Rev.Spong on "tribal religion" and God in 21st century culture

About: uo channel » god in the 21st century: bishop john shelby spong at uo


I thought this was one of the most insightful & entertaining discourses I've heard in quite some time.

Tags

  1. god
  2. fundamentalism
  3. tribal religion
  4. evangelical culture
  5. troglodytes
  6. platos cave
  7. intolerance

Comments


Seth says
Yes indeed .  Fundamentalism, whether it be of the religious right in this country, or of the radical terrorist of Islam are nothing but a tribal God concocted out of fear and for the purpose of wielding power.  Bishop Shelby's conception of a God of life and love who calls us to extend our humanity to be all that it can be is certainly closer to my conception.  The scriptures of our religions support both the tribal God and the God of life.  Watch carefully which passages you quote when you use scriptures to justify hate and carnage in the name of God.  Bishop Shelby certainly makes his point clear. 


Seth says
The Thelmite/Troglodyte distinction is the quintisential Tribal distinction.


Mark de LA says
seth 2006-06-09 07:57:13 3672
The Thelmite/Troglodyte distinction is the quintisential Tribal distinction.
Sorry Dude, nobody was asked to slay anyone or kill in the name of Thelemites. It was a distinction between those who were inside the circle & those on the outside. Those on the inside were presumed/tested to be all of: Loyal, Active, Worthy, Descrete & Aspiring.  Those on the outside were assumed to be at least one of: Disloyal, Inactive, Unworthy, Indescrete & Unaspiring. Were you in or out ? Nobody had to stay or went to hell if they didn't. Nobody was forced to join either.

Mark de LA says
For those who are still interested there is a wonderful summary of the Christian Initiation & The Christian Mystery by Rudolf Steiner here. It may answer some of your questions about Christianity in it's essence (step 1) & Global Warming (see steps 4 & 6) where the separation between the Earth & the individual disappears entirely. From Goethe's Faust he quotes:


Mark de LA says
M 2006-06-09 06:54:28 3672
I'm glad that I was brought up as a Christian but not as a tribal religion. As I read the gospels I did not grok the hate that some somehow think they find there. I didn't find it in RS's occultism & description of the Mystery of Golgotha either. When I read the gospels early in my life, I didn't understand war & hate as well as I do today.  Strange that Buddhism wasn't singled out for atrocities. Those that commit atrocities in the name of religion or any other name forget one of the fundamental rules of Love - The Golden Rule!
Shelby did forget to mention some of the most glaring Tribal Religions: Atheism, Materialism, & even Science conducted in an Atheistic context to justify atheism.  I remember my biochem professor who at almost every step preached his atheism from his lecturn as if it were a pulpit - he wasn't able to veil his anger and apoplexy when he spoke. Atheism produced some of the greatest atrocities of the 20th century. Take a look at the communist empires; the Bolshevik Revolution & Stalin, Hitler & Mao's purges. Look at Mao's fruits in China - one child per family & infanticides to avoid the state's wrath. Atheism & materialism has produced the fruits of 30 million abortions in this country since it has been legal.
Egoism is another tribal religion.  The net of it all is still that Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely! Lots of religions seem to have taken a large bite of that ego cookie! The other piece of the puzzle is well covered in the ongoing discussions about the right-wrong game. Perhaps the Ahrimanic double is an occult coin for the same thing.
One of the biggest challenges of our time is the question of What to Do about Evil ? Maybe by the next giant leap in our evolution we will solve the problem. Polarization is a natural result of power. With the poles being good & evil where do we go? (Zen students wake up!) (Real Christians would say LOVE!)
Namaste!


Seth says
Perhaps you should take another listen to Bishop Shelby.  Separating the world between the "Worthy and the Unworthy" is the problem any way you cut it.  It was a total lie that "Those on the outside were Disloyal, Inactive, Unworthy, Indescrete & Unaspiring."  There were billions of people who were not part of The Order who were Loyal, Active, Worthy, Discreet and Aspiring. 

Incidentally, from where in your Thelmitic mind did it suddenly come up to address your brother as "Dude" ?  Do ya  think it lends more credance to your words?  Da ya think it rings the same bell over here when i read it, as it did over there when you wrote it?   Think about it ... this kind of linguistic  game  is very akin  to Selby's topic. 

Love for the Life force ... and for that which kills it !


Mark de LA says
When you quit calling people liars that disagree with you I will quit calling you Dude, Dude!


Seth says
Should i be misrespected when i hear a lie and call it a lie ?   Were there billions of people who were not part of The Order who were Loyal, Active, Worthy, Discreet and Aspiring .... or not?   Can you not see the these glaring biases that were part of your upbringing?  


Mark de LA says
seth 2006-06-09 08:46:32 3672
Perhaps you should take another listen to Bishop Shelby.  Separating the world between the "Worthy and the Unworthy" is the problem any way you cut it.  It was a total lie that "Those on the outside were Disloyal, Inactive, Unworthy, Indescrete & Unaspiring."  There were billions of people who were not part of The Order who were Loyal, Active, Worthy, Discreet and Aspiring. 

Incidentally, from where in your Thelmitic mind did it suddenly come up to address your brother as "Dude" ?  Do ya  think it lends more credance to your words?  Da ya think it rings the same bell over here when i read it, as it did over there when you wrote it?   Think about it ... this kind of linguistic  game  is very akin  to Selby's topic. 

Love for the Life force ... and for that which kills it !
You left out critical parts of the part of the quoted sentence (does that make you a liar or just a distorter ?) - here it is in it's entirety with my emphasis highlighted:
source: ... Those on the outside were assumed to be at least one of: Disloyal, Inactive, Unworthy, Indescrete & Unaspiring.
...Inasmuch as the Order was not yet covering everybody on the Earth you might expect that there were potential candidates for the inner circle yet to be tested.  It was more a test of alignment & security than right & wrong.


Seth says
Watever !   Don't forget i was there.  I know how it was used and practiced in our family.  I know what it did to my mind when i was growing up.  I know what i went through to get out of it.   It is the identical process that feeds into the Muslem Fidel/Infidel.  Cherry picking words and arguing legalistic semantics does not cut to the heart of the issue.  There was much good in our upbringing ... but this Thelmite/Troglodyte was not a part of that good. 


Mark de LA says
The Rev.Spong & Seth (or maybe just Seth) seem to ascribe all religion or belief in the spiritual as Tribal. I hold that any system that can teach you how to arrive at your own direct perception of the spiritual reality & leave you with your sanity & humanity is NOT Tribal; no more than learning how to program & groking computers is Tribal (oops! maybe that is a bad analogy for geeks .) The Rev.Spong seems to be drawing his own line around his enemies: Christian Right, Islamists, the Bush admin. etc. & making them wrong relative to his own version of what is right - does that make him Tribal.  Seth seems to be making Tribal a bad word - does that make him Tribal ?

Mark de LA says
seth 2006-06-09 09:12:36 3672
Watever !   Don't forget i was there.  I know how it was used and practiced in our family.  I know what it did to my mind when i was growing up.  I know what i went through to get out of it.   It is the identical process that feeds into the Muslem Fidel/Infidel.  Cherry picking words and arguing legalistic semantics does not cut to the heart of the issue.  There was much good in our upbringing ... but this Thelmite/Troglodyte was not a part of that good.  
Wow! I was there too! & I still have all my marbles .  There is lots of innuendo & insinuation in your statement, prolly best handled somewhere else


Seth says
The Bishop clearly brings out that there is both a Tribal God and a God of Life and Love in the scriptures of all religions.   But to hear that message you need to listen to the second half of his sermon.  I cannot say it any better than the Bishop said it  ... nor am i going beyond what he said here.  Nor am i against tribes and groups ... see some of the things i say in cells and biology ... cells and groups are a biological imperative ... the Life Force could not exist without them ... and the group will not exist without some distinction of privlidbe between those inside and those outside.  What is heinous is where one works to dehumanize and degrade those outside the group and militate against them.  Jesus did not teach us to do that!  Muhammad  did not teach us that!  Buddah did not teach us that!  Yet those who preach in their name do.  I don't specifically remember RS teaching that either ... yet in the guize of Thelmite/Troglodyte it did crop into CFR's teachings; but that does not invalidate the rest of his teachings. 

Mark de LA says
The history of Islam was not particularly peaceful. See the Wikipedia on the life of Mohammed. It is very interesting. The Koran pesumably was a revelation of the Archangel Gabriel . The Archangel Michael rules this age according to GW. My test of association is simply the Golden Rule as I have often pointed out!
I don't remember any
source: ... What is heinous is where one works to dehumanize and degrade those outside the group and militate against them.
... particularly the militating. Troglodyte of course means "cave dweller", prolly more applicable to Osama benLaden than to others.

I went church hopping once with a girl friend who happened to be "born again". What I discovered was that most of the churches (~5 in my sample) seemed to teach more that you can get salvation (whatever that was) in the big economy size (like tooth paste) at their church. Not one pastor/priest taught the Golden Rule - how sad!.
GW was good at protecting his "cell" in the biological sense from a tradition that was mostly in the age of Gabriel (under which he was born). Time has moved on & more openness & self guidance is appropriate now.






Seth says
... I have no problem with most of that; except to observe that calling people Cave Dwellers is degrading. 


Mark de LA says
seth 2006-06-09 10:43:51 3672
... I have no problem with most of that; except to observe that calling people Cave Dwellers is degrading. 
Maybe you should start a Cave Dweller Awareness seminar/group.

Seth says
M 2006-06-09 10:51:13 3672
seth 2006-06-09 10:43:51 3672
... I have no problem with most of that; except to observe that calling people Cave Dwellers is degrading. 
Maybe you should start a Cave Dweller Awareness seminar/group.

Too late ... somebody already got there ... have you seen the Geico Cave Men commercial ?

Mark de LA says
seth 2006-06-09 11:00:09 3672
M 2006-06-09 10:51:13 3672
seth 2006-06-09 10:43:51 3672
... I have no problem with most of that; except to observe that calling people Cave Dwellers is degrading. 
Maybe you should start a Cave Dweller Awareness seminar/group.

Too late ... somebody already got there ... have you seen the Geico Cave Men commercial ?
Yep, I thought it was hilarious ! Maybe they need to send that guy to an awareness seminar on the Geico dime.

Mark de LA says
seth 2006-06-09 10:43:51 3672
... I have no problem with most of that; except to observe that calling people Cave Dwellers is degrading. 


I tend to think of the Troglodyte/Cave Dweller metaphor as connected to the allegory of Plato's Cave.  In that sense, Troglodytes are thos who are in bondage to their own illusions and mistake the shadowplay of materialism as the 'real thing'.

Mark de LA says
Breck 2006-06-09 12:01:22 3672
seth 2006-06-09 10:43:51 3672
... I have no problem with most of that; except to observe that calling people Cave Dwellers is degrading. 


I tend to think of the Troglodyte/Cave Dweller metaphor as connected to the allegory of Plato's Cave.  In that sense, Troglodytes are thos who are in bondage to their own illusions and mistake the shadowplay of materialism as the 'real thing'.
thanks!

Mark de LA says
A line appropriate from the Arvada view of the universe today is Hex 24, line 3 the quote at the bottom of page 2082 applies nicely to this discussion:

"Initiation no longer, since the advent of Christ, depends on coercive authority, but now on authority freely accepted & based wholly on trust & confidence - "watch & pray" neh fully awake not sleeping ! not hypnotised - wide awake!"  

CFR  72-9-2-10-11-33 or 10 September 1972 - 11:33 AM


Seth says
And in summary ...



Mark de LA says
Hmmm... My GOD doesn't hate anyone! 


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