A Florida megachurch is asking its congregation to sign a pledge denouncing homosexuality, warning them they will be kicked out of the church if they do not sign the document affirming their beliefs ‘in a sexually confused world.’
First Baptist Church in Jacksonville decided in October to make all of their 3,500-strong congregation sign the statement by March 19. If they refuse, they ‘will be considered by the church to have resigned their membership.’
The pledge states: ‘As a member of First Baptist Church, I believe that God creates people in his image as either male or female, and that this creation is a fixed matter of human biology, not individual choice.
‘I believe marriage is instituted by God, not government, is between one man and one woman, and is the only context for sexual desire and expression.’link
A 46-year-old actor who starred alongside Kevin Costner in Dances With Wolves gained trust with tribes across America as a ‘healing medicine man’ before his arrest for allegedly running a cult which sexually abused young indigenous girls.
Nathan Chasing Horse, 46, who played Smiles a Lot in the 1990 Oscar-winning film, was taken into custody in the afternoon near the North Las Vegas home he is said to share with his five wives.
Known for his role as the young Sioux tribe member Smiles a Lot in the Oscar-winning Kevin Costner film, Chasing Horse gained a reputation among tribes across the United States and in Canada as a so-called medicine man who performed healing ceremonies and spiritual gatherings.
‘Nathan Chasing Horse used spiritual traditions and their belief system as a tool to sexually assault young girls on numerous occasions,’ an arrest warrant reads, adding that his followers believed he could communicate with higher beings and referred to him as ‘Medicine Man’ or ‘Holy Person.’link
- Perkūnas, god of thunder and lightning.
- Žemyna, goddess of the earth and fertility.
- Laima, goddess of fate and destiny.
- Dievas, god of sky and heavens.
- Aukštaitis, god of the highlands.
- Gabija, goddess of fire.
- Saulė, goddess of the sun.
- Mėnulis, god of the moon.
- Vakarinė, goddess of the sunset.
- Rasa, goddess of the dew.
It’s worth noting that the pantheon of gods and goddesses in the Lithuanian paganism was not fixed, many local gods and goddesses were also venerated by different regions and tribes.
More about Žemyna
Žemyna is a goddess of the earth and fertility in Lithuanian paganism. She was one of the most important and widely worshipped goddesses in pre-Christian Lithuanian religion. She is often depicted as a nurturing and protective mother figure, who provides bountiful harvests, fertile land, and protects the people from drought and famine.
In addition to her role as a fertility goddess, Žemyna was also associated with the land, its fertility, and the well-being of the people who lived on it. She was believed to have the power to heal and protect animals, plants, and people. She was also associated with the natural cycles of the earth, such as the changing of the seasons and the cycles of growth and decay.
Žemyna was often invoked in rituals and ceremonies related to agriculture, such as planting and harvesting, as well as in rituals related to birth and marriage. She was also associated with the household, and was sometimes invoked to protect the home and its inhabitants.
After the introduction of Christianity in Lithuania, the worship of Žemyna and other pagan gods and goddesses was discouraged, but many people continued to venerate her and other deities in secret, and many of her attributes and associations were absorbed into Christian saints and holy figures.
More about Perkūnas
Perkūnas is the god of thunder and lightning in Lithuanian paganism. He is one of the most important and widely worshipped gods in pre-Christian Lithuanian religion. He was believed to be the ruler of the sky and the heavens and was associated with the natural phenomena of thunder and lightning.
Perkūnas was also considered as a god of justice, and was associated with law and order. He was believed to have the power to punish those who broke the moral and social laws of the community. In this role, he was seen as a defender of the community against chaos and disorder. He was also associated with war, and was sometimes invoked by warriors before going to battle.
Perkūnas was often depicted as a powerful and fearsome figure, wielding a hammer and a thunderbolt. He was also associated with the oak tree, which was believed to be sacred to him.
In rituals and ceremonies, offerings were made to Perkūnas, such as bread, meat, and alcohol. These offerings were made to appease him and gain his favor, particularly during times of drought or other natural disasters.
Like other deities of the Lithuanian pagan pantheon, Perkūnas worship was discouraged after the arrival of Christianity, but many people continued to venerate him in secret, and many of his attributes and associations were absorbed into Christian saints and holy figures.
[These entries were generated by ChatGPT. I think they are interesting. ABN]Continue reading “The main gods and goddesses of Lithuanian paganism before the introduction of Christianity”
Try reading the following paper while keeping the Mind Only Buddhist interpretation of our world in mind.
In 2005, an essay was published in Nature asserting that the universe is mental and that we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things. Since then, experiments have confi rmed that — as predicted by quantum mechanics — reality is contextual, which contradicts at least intuitive formulations of realism and corroborates the hypothesis of a mental universe. Yet, to give this hypothesis a coherent rendering, one must explain how a mental universe can — at least in principle — accommodate (a) our experience of ourselves as distinct individual minds sharing a world beyond the control of our volition; and (b) the empirical fact that this world is contextual despite being seemingly shared. By combining a modern formulation of the ontology of idealism with the relational interpretation of quantum mechanics, the present paper attempts to provide a viable explanatory framework for both points. In the process of doing so, the paper also addresses key philosophical qualms of the relational interpretation. (Making Sense of the Mental Universe)
Edit: The explanation offered in the linked paper, without saying as much, provides a very reasonable way to see Buddhist rebirth occurring without there being any soul or pudgala being reborn. Nothing need fly out of the body or transmigrate anywhere.
Instead, the classic Buddhist description of karma alone giving rise to a new life works perfectly. Rather than conceive of ourselves as fundamentally material beings, we can conceive of our personal individuality as being (a part of a “mental universe”) enclosed within a Markov blanket.
If there is still karma, a new Markov blanket or bodily form will be “reborn” or rearise after the extinction of its prior existence. In Kastrup’s way of putting it, our physical bodies are themselves Markov blankets causing or allowing us to arise as forms separate from the wholeness of the mental universe.
I suppose we might venture to say that enlightenment occurs when the karma, or reason for our separation in a Markov blanket, is gone and “we” remain the whole (of the mental universe) without being reborn (in a body).
first posted JANUARY 29, 2020
The religion and its followers faced persecution in the 4th century from Christianization, and Mithraism came to an end at some point between its last decade and the 5th century. Ulansey states that “Mithraism declined with the rise to power of Christianity, until the beginning of the fifth century, when Christianity became strong enough to exterminate by force rival religions such as Mithraism.” According to Speidel, Christians fought fiercely with this feared enemy and suppressed it during the late 4th century. Mithraic sanctuaries were destroyed and religion was no longer a matter of personal choice.[ae] According to Luther H. Martin, Roman Mithraism came to an end with the anti-pagan decrees of the Christian emperor Theodosius during the last decade of the 4th century.
Clauss states that inscriptions show Mithras as one of the cults listed on inscriptions by Roman senators who had not converted to Christianity, as part of the “pagan revival” among the elite in the second half of the 4th century.[af] Beck states that “Quite early in the [fourth] century the religion was as good as dead throughout the empire.” Archaeological evidence indicates the continuance of the cult of Mithras up until the end of the 4th century. In particular, large numbers of votive coins deposited by worshippers have been recovered at the Mithraeum at Pons Sarravi (Sarrebourg) in Gallia Belgica, in a series that runs from Gallienus (r. 253–268) to Theodosius I (r. 379–395). These were scattered over the floor when the mithraeum was destroyed, as Christians apparently regarded the coins as polluted; therefore, providing reliable dates for the functioning of the mithraeum up until near the end of the century.: 31–32link
There is a theory that elite Mithraists became elite Christians who founded and maintained the Catholic Church. The rapid decline and disappearance of Mithraism parallels the rise of Christianity. Since it is today now clear, in my view, that Christianity is not going to be able to guide the West forward, and indeed will impede its development, I think we should consider the possibility that Christianity never was what people thought it was. That what it really was was an elite cult of mind-control and subjugation of the West. ABN
“Mithraism had backing from the Roman aristocracy during a time when their conservative values were seen as under attack during the rising tides of Christianity.” ~ link. If so, this provides a good reason for the Roman aristocracy to quietly switch over from Mithraism to Christianity thus retaining or even increasing their control of Roman culture. ABN
Laurent Guyénot is an original thinker able to convey his ideas with great clarity. He is also a French intellectual, polite yet fearless, erudite and also down to earth. I highly recommend this video and all of his work. The ideas presented in this video will blow your mind if you have never been exposed to them before. They completely rewrite the history of Europe over the last 2,000 years. ABN
I watched more than half of this last night. It is quite interesting for the first one-third or so, especially if Green’s ideas are new to you. Around the halfway point it declines into a spat over the existence of God. I stopped five minutes into that; may watch more of it later because the topic is interesting. Better to stage this kind of thing as a discussion rather than a debate. ABN
Most Important Thread
1. There are so many Journalists in India and abroad who are writing against Hindus, mocking Hindus and Hindu Gods day in and day out. Do you know who funds most of them?
Do you ever thought why Zubair received international support when he was arrested?
2. Do you ever think why most of these journalists get free scholarships, training, and trips to the USA or European countries?
Do you ever think about who is giving them training to use our faultline of the caste system?
3. Let me show you some of the examples.
Here is famous Hindu hater Audrey truschke writing an article in The Caravan and asking that was Ram a real historical person?
Since Canada legalized euthanasia in 2016, there has been a strange balancing act at the heart of its medical system. There is a national suicide prevention hotline you can call 24/7, where sympathetic operators will try to talk you out of killing yourself. But today there are also euthanasia hotlines, where operators will give you the resources you need to carry out your wish. Doctors and nurse practitioners are now in the business of saving the lives of some patients while providing death to others.
Canada calls it Medical Assistance in Dying, or MAID. The term encompasses both assisted suicide, which is when providers give patients the means to end their own lives, and euthanasia, which is when a medical practitioner directly administers a patient’s lethal injection. But virtually all such deaths — over 99 percent — are euthanasia.
Supporters insist that this is not state-sanctioned suicide. Rather, it’s a dignified solution for those who no longer wish to suffer from terminal or chronic illness. MAID allows “for compassionate action, while also protecting those who are particularly vulnerable,” claimed David Lametti, the attorney general and minister of justice, in 2021.
…Important people — prominent politicians, physicians, and judges — promised Canadians that their rights to autonomy would be expanded. But the picture that emerges is not a new flowering of autonomy but the hum of an efficient engine of death.link
Once you make anything explicit, it changes it. Once you make something legal, it changes it. The moral compass moves all over due to complex factors that overwhelm the vastly simpler act of making something explicit or legal. As with all health care, providers are as much patients as the patients. ABN
Sophiology (Russian: Софиология, by detractors also called Sophianism Софианство or Sophism Софизм) is a controversial school of thought in Russian Orthodoxy which holds that Divine Wisdom (or Sophia) is to be identified with God’s essence, and that the Divine Wisdom is in some way expressed in the world as ‘creaturely’ wisdom. This notion has often been understood or misunderstood (depending upon one’s point of view) as introducing a feminine “fourth hypostasis” into the Trinity.link
While the trend toward atheism and agnosticism in Europe has been a slow but steady decline, Bullivant said, the increase in Christians dropping the faith didn’t really take off in the U.S. until the early 2000s, and the decline since then has been steep and quick.
For people who study such trends, there was kind of this feeling in the ’90s that if a rise in secularism hadn’t happened yet in America, there was no reason to think it would. “Even the most dramatic historical examples of religious growth or decline tend to occur over many generations,” said Bullivant. “But then it was as if in the early 2000s, something was released.”
And it’s important to note, said Bullivant, that it wasn’t about an influx of secular immigrants or nones raising throngs of nonreligious babies. It was about Americans deciding they were not tied to any religion. Interestingly, while a third of Americans that identify as nones say they are atheist or agnostic, Bullivant notes in his book, the rest have varying degrees of belief in God — Christian or otherwise.link
Those who want to save or reconstruct Western civilization must not ignore to the rapid decline of Christianity. Western civilization is much more than one religion. Civilizationally, a religion is an agreed upon moral, intellectual, and linguistic standard. It provides a backbone or reference point for laws, behaviors, and societal goals. Buddhism could fill that role very well. Buddhism is closer to ancient Greek and Roman philosophies than Christianity. Buddhism is rational, ethical, and teaches spiritual wisdom above all else. Buddhism has zero problem accepting science or evidence-based reason. It also has zero problem accepting other religious traditions. Christians can be Buddhists and no Buddhist will ever have a problem with that. Same for all other religions if they have an ethical basis, are able to change as new truths are discovered, and respect the ineffable primacy of the unnamable, which you are free to name in your own way. ABN
There is something irresistibly attractive in Russia’s defense of traditional and religious values (what might be called Russian neo-conservatism if that label had not been usurped by American Jewish warmongers). But where does it really come from? We tend to assume that it is a reaction to Western post-modern decadence. But there is more depth to it.
What is Russia? How does Russia define herself, and how does she conceive of her relationship to Europe? Specifically, from what tradition do Russia’s current ruling elites draw their vision of Russian civilization? I wanted to learn about the Russian thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that the Russians themselves have rediscovered since the fall of Communism, and who are said to have a strong influence on Vladimir Putin and his entourage. Here is what I found.link
The sack of Constantinople occurred in April 1204 and marked the culmination of the Fourth Crusade. Crusader armies captured, looted, and destroyed parts of Constantinople, then the capital of the Byzantine Empire. After the capture of the city, the Latin Empire (known to the Byzantines as the Frankokratia or the Latin Occupation) was established and Baldwin of Flanders was crowned Emperor Baldwin I of Constantinople in the Hagia Sophia.
After the city’s sacking, most of the Byzantine Empire’s territories were divided up among the Crusaders. Byzantine aristocrats also established a number of small independent splinter states, one of them being the Empire of Nicaea, which would eventually recapture Constantinople in 1261 and proclaim the reinstatement of the Empire. However, the restored Empire never managed to reclaim its former territorial or economic strength, and eventually fell to the rising Ottoman Empire in the 1453 Siege of Constantinople.
The Byzantine Empire was left much poorer, smaller, and ultimately less able to defend itself against the Seljuk and Ottoman conquests that followed; the actions of the Crusaders thus directly accelerated the collapse of Christendom in the east, and in the long run helped facilitate the later Ottoman conquests of Southeastern Europe.
The sack of Constantinople is a major turning point in medieval history. The Crusaders’ decision to attack the world’s largest Christian city was unprecedented and immediately controversial. Reports of Crusader looting and brutality scandalised and horrified the Orthodox world; relations between the Catholic and Orthodox churches were catastrophically wounded for many centuries afterwards, and would not be substantially repaired until modern times.link
Meyer’s arguments for intelligent design fit well with the Buddhist idea that the cosmos is intelligent and conscious and that our own consciousness is a particular and unique perception of that consciousness. I like the following quote from the video:
‘Science has had extraordinary success in tracing the chain of cause and effect backward in time. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.’ ~ Robert Jastrow
Like scientists, Buddhists should accept new evidence and compelling argumentation. The emptiness of the individual self is not a negation of consciousness but a recognition (or realization) of its vastness. ABN