Vexen Crabtree 2015

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Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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Vexen Crabtree 2015
vexen

Evangelical Priest Ryan Erickson, multiple murders, child sex, binge brinking...

Erickson was an enthusiastic born-again Christian, who split his local community in 2 with his new, passionate-style masses... many of the previous regulars left, and the born-again crowd moved in. He came with all the talk, a typical religious-right moral-crusader loon. Two of those who didn't like his approach, but still attended the church, were one day found shot. After a search warrant from police where he had been re-located to after the murders, child porn was found on his computer, and he hung himself a day later in the hallway of his new church, St. Mary's of the Seven Dolors, in Hurley, Wisconsin. [News: http://www.citypages.com/databank/26/1296/article13748.asp ]

"This week, at last, St. Croix County Attorney Eric Johnson is presenting evidence connecting Father Ryan to the murders. Johnson will offer an explanation for what Erickson and O'Connell were talking about in the minutes before the murder. And he will confirm what has long been whispered by Erickson's harshest critics: that the crusading sexual moralist had been engaging in the same crimes against children that have devastated the Catholic church in recent years."

"A right-wing newspaper, Renew America, edited by anti-abortion activist Matt C. Abbott, frequently defends Erickson"

The religious right are the developed world's most insiduous disease; they are long-term, devious, strategic, organized... fundamentalists in a very similar way to Sharia-promoting Islamist fundamentalists of the world.

Europe is caught between Islam's Dark Ages to our East, and America's growing Christian fundamentalism to our West.

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The same Europe that gave the world of the Holocaust. The same Europe that refined appeasement to a high art. The same Europe that gave the world the Inquisition and Communism.

Your question needs to be caressed somewhat into "What can the Liberal, Free-market Democracies do"? *

*e.g. US, Canada, India, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, and most of Europe etc

Yes, that very same Europe.



But, you make good points and I think I was being a bit hot-headed in only identifying Europe... I do also warmly follow the lead of Japan and the countries you list (apart from the USA, which is suffering from both religious neurosis and over-commercialisation, and a decadent, deteriorating population).

India, too, is a little less than inspirational... it's massive point of awe is that it maintains a good democracy despite severe social divisions (some used to say that democracy requires more cohesion... India proves otherwise).

Canada... I love, it one of the countries I am considering moving to if I leave the UK permanently... living in Germany for 2 years has made me realize I like European populations more than I like the British masses.

Apart from that... thanks for kicking me out the little bit of Euro-centrism I slipped into there... both Canada in the West, that I love, and Japan in the East, that I have confidence in, amongst others, are harbringers of hope and progress that surpass many of Europe's achievements.

apart from the USA, which is suffering from both religious neurosis and over-commercialisation, and a decadent, deteriorating population).

Care to expound on that? (And include references, not just opinions!)

I'm guessing you mean the 'population' bit and not the religion bit (which I think you'd agree with in Bush era-USA)...

Population:

Obesity: http://www.vexen.co.uk/countries/best.html#Obesity contains some stats and commentary, also, I have a note from the British Medical Journal (I think) that obesity is the biggest cause of American soldiers being discharged, and that the American army is the fattest... The Economist, 2004 Dec 18th... states that with a population overweight % of over 60%, the USA is the fattest country in the 30-country Americas... etc.

Other elements... David Held, 2004, his book on globalisation refers to multiple books and sources on USA commercialism; including such exports as McDonalds, Nike, Microsoft, etc, and the extent to which oil barons have influenced USA politics, with apparently no cap on commercial interests (here, for example, parties can only accept under a set amount from any company).

Ill-health (especially lack of exercise and obesity) will cause, for the first time in one of the top OECD countries, an actual decline in life expenctancy of Americans... no other developed country has seen this happen since modern medicine became intertwined with welfare ('Global Trends 2005', Mazaar).

On gay rights, the USA is one of the few modern countries left not to endorse same-sex marriages (the few advances in made in 1997 have been halted or reversed)... I have collected the dates & scope of gay-marriage victories on http://www.humantruth.info/marriage.html#Gay

Also (as you will probably testify to, although I haven't got any notes on it, hence no references)... abortion, stem-cell research, and other science-based technologies in the USA have been hindered by the continued rise in religiosity (a common cause of many of these problems!)... creationism has a foothold in USA that can only be compared to third-world countries (Steve Bruce, see http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/fundamentalism.html for a brief intro to his explanation of USA-led Christian fundamentalism).

USAs foreign policy and traditional nationalism encourages a suspect foreign policy [Chomsky; Sardar & Davies; British Army Review 205, No 137, General Sir Hugh Beech]... this nationalism is partly a result of the identity-strengthening caused by a mobile population mixing with large numbers of immigrants [Bruce].

Many trends (public health issues, welfare failures) are caused by the governments reliance on free-market ideals rather than government foresight ('Ordering Lives: Family, Work and Welfare' by Hughes & Fergusson), others are caused by rising fundamentalism (Bruce, Momen -> http://www.vexen.co.uk/religion/fundamentalism.html ), others are caused by the effects of immigration & transition (where the USA is a victim of its own successes).

If you were to compare the heart of the USA (politics) to the Roman Empire at the time before it's collapse after splitting in two... you'd get the general feel: It's armies spread out, finances massively stretched (the USA current-account deficit is astronomical -> The Economist, ongoing theme)... it's population are still mostly good-natured, but, increasingly unprotected from threats from within (welfare, religion, crime: the standards).

Speaking of crime... I could go on...

Hey I found your prompt to be uncharacteristically, a challenge (?), which is exciting because I rely on my friends to poke me when I start writing daft stuff... I going to take it that you disagreed with my prejudice labelling of USA society... hopefully with some clues as to where I'm coming from, you'll understand why I said it like that, even if you disagree with the tone.

And... sorry if it seemed offensive, I only want to help inspire lazy-arsed liberals into action. Liberal inaction, non-voting and armchair-ism is such a problem in many developed countries... if the good-natured and good-people in America were stirred to stand, every single one of the problems I've pointed out (apart from, perhaps, public health) would be fixed in a year.

Yes, it was a challenge, but I wasn't offended. :) I just knew that you had the ability to answer and provide the info all in one spot, and I wanted a summary both for myself and for others to see!

I'm not unaware of all the problems here, but I was a little curious about your "deteriorating population" comment. Yes, I know all about the religion problems and it's an ongoing source of irritation. The obesity problem isn't restricted to the U.S., and I'm not sure that 60% estimate is accurate (I've heard just a little over 50%), but it's still alarming. We don't know for sure if it's simply bad diet and lack of exercise (although that looks obvious) or other factors at work as well. Which segues into the McDonald's and commercialism; sodas help to raise obesity levels as well.

The gay rights, abortion, stem cell research, etc. is an EMBARRASSING position for the U.S. right now. It's true, we're behind the times and out of step in that regard. This 99% ties in with the religiosity.

As for lazy liberals, I always vote, I'm a member of various groups and organizations (though I don't talk about it much here at LJ), and am active in the health & medicine side of it all, but I usually feel like I could be doing more.

And, I completely agree, as you say, if the majority of people wanted to and would just do it, we could fix ANY problem. We could have completely equal rights if we wanted, we could get our economic shit together, we could have better foreign policy (though that would require intelligent leaders), we could have decent schools again, we could reel in this religious stupidity and set things to a little more reasonable level, and probably even lick the obesity epidemic.

"lick the obesity epidemic" ... some phrases just shouldn't go together *ick ick ick*

:p

I have the Nato Unclassified terminal where I am accessing the internet and typing and stuff... and next to it I have my own laptop with all my notes in... I've wrote a really clever book-quotes-notes program...

When I type up notes from books, I put them all on my program as little disrete quotes... so, each book has a list of quotes and I can easily list all the quotes I've used from a particular book, and what URLs I've used them on... I also add all my "unused" quotes... it's all searchable, so I can type "obesity" and it lists books and quotes where I've taken text from the book including the word 'obesity'... makes doing quick look-ups like you asked for quite efficient.

I even have programmed a "MAKE HTML" button that writes the HTML needed for bibliographies and links and things, so I just copy and paste them into the biblio section of webpages. I've only been developing/using BookQuotes for 2 years, but it's proved to be invaluable... with further development, it'll be a product I can sell for others (ubergeeks and academics, probably) to do the same!

For fun and for when I'm lacking motivation... I put in a 'Random Quote' button... it selects a random (unused) quote, that I briefly look at, and consider if it's something I want to now write about.

*clicks it* The quote it came up with just now is from The Economist, 2006 Mar 18, page 6, an article on the new United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) which is now replaced with the UN Commission on Human Rights, with stricter entry criteria and self-watching.

Anyway... missed you :p

My, my. Aren't you crafty! :D


(I said "lick the obesity epidemic." Not "lick the obese." *L*) >:Þ ::moo:: *cow icon*

But, you make good points and I think I was being a bit hot-headed in only identifying Europe... I do also warmly follow the lead of Japan and the countries you list (apart from the USA, which is suffering from both religious neurosis and over-commercialisation, and a decadent, deteriorating population).

The religious neurosis is overplayed, I deem. Yes, there is a lot of fear-mongering going on at the moment, but look at the likely candidates for the next president - Rice, McCain, Gulliani on the right and Clinton, Gore and Edwards on the left - none of them are hysterically religious. Bush has used a lot of religious imagery, but he has not actually threw the Religious Right many bones - hence all the complaints about him at the moment over immigration and such like. Many of the problems that the US has, in terms of finding the right place for religion can be put down to the fact that it is still a young country - its only just over 200 years old. And here in Britian, the dissolution of the monestaries by Henry VIII was over 500 years ago, I think. Compare and contrast.

I think you're also underestimating the powering effect that immigration has on the US as a whole and on the US economy. It could certainly give Europe lessons on integrating migrants successfully.

Incidentally, France is McDonald's most profitable market ;-)

India, too, is a little less than inspirational... it's massive point of awe is that it maintains a good democracy despite severe social divisions (some used to say that democracy requires more cohesion... India proves otherwise).

India is the up and coming superpower, and we're fortune that it could be defined as an Anglospheric country. In a few decades, India is going to be a real star. If there are any good points about Imperialism, then the legacy that Britain left India in terms of government structures and the rule of law is one of them.

Canada... I love, it one of the countries I am considering moving to if I leave the UK permanently... living in Germany for 2 years has made me realize I like European populations more than I like the British masses.

Trust me, and this is from someone who spends a lot of time in France, the British may have their faults, but so do the French, and a lot of other europeans. No one is perfect.

Maybe you should just stay out of Quebec :-)

Apart from that... thanks for kicking me out the little bit of Euro-centrism I slipped into there... both Canada in the West, that I love, and Japan in the East, that I have confidence in, amongst others, are harbringers of hope and progress that surpass many of Europe's achievements.

Europe is in danger of turning in on itself - constructing "Fortress Europe" out of the EU. Europe must realise that there are others in the world that it can trade and interact with (North America, Oceania, India, the Far East). It cannot sit back and define itself by what it is not - that way is disaster as Islam will pick it off bit by bit. That is my main beef with the EU (apart from the whole soverignity thing) - we should be trading and interacting with the world - much of whom we have got as much, or more, in common with, then other countries in Europe.

Decline

(Anonymous)
The xian church is declining in attendance, an in other ways, and soon the pagans will take over once again!

Priest story

(Anonymous)
I would suggest that the person in the 'dark' here is the author. Firstly the broad generalisations used to describe both Islam and Christianity are frankly stupid. One isolated incident does not colour a whole race, culture or religious group. Just as a Muslim terrorist does not make all Muslims dangerous, nor Allah a god of violence; so also one fallen priest does not make all Christians murderers, nor Jesus unable to save us from our sins! Secondly there is confusion here between Catholic, 'born-again' and Evangelical. These terms are almost exclusively different, and rarely can be used in the same context. Evangelical and Catholic, for example are decscription of very different types of church. The obvious lack of understanding demonstrated by the author suggests to me that other elements of this account may also be insecure.

blogposting

(Anonymous)

Interesting post. Thank you!

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