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The American Theocracy

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by TheBahggs, May 12, 2008.

  1. TheBahggs

    TheBahggs WAT

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    Although wherever one gazes in the United States, constant reminders of "the great American democracy" can be clearly seen, this is far from the truth. The office of the American president is essentially the role of the high priest of old, as he is only present to ensure the widespread prominence and respect of the rules of the Judeo-Christian Bible, which is perhaps the greatest work of fiction ever written. Discuss.
     
  2. WeAreTheLastMen

    WeAreTheLastMen Metacom

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    Well, sort of.
    America's pretty secular in a lot of respects. Socially, we're very secular. Politically, I would make a few points.
    No. 1
    Hopefully you aren't one of those people who thinks the Christian Right shouldn't have a political voice. Obviously they should, because they live in America. That's pretty much the only qualification people are supposed to need, last time I checked.
    No. 2
    Everyone in America likes to feel fucking persecuted, so all the atheists whine about the all powerful cult of Christianity, and all the religious people whine about us secular types getting abortions all willy-nilly (yeah, I said willy-nilly) and commercializing their holidays and whatnot. As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Abortions are legal... gay marriage isn't but that's a state decision, so that's a problem with people, and not an sort of "theocracy". Te nature of the war we're currently engaged in is more economic than anything, although I'm aware that there are a lot of Christians who prefer to think of it as a war against Islam. I'm also aware that there are a lot of Christians who see pacifism as one of the most important facets of their faith.
    And
    as far as your description of the role of the president... just no. I've just finished studying my ass off all ear for AP US history, and no.
    In conclusion, you bez with the Xtreme oversimplification, and pretty inaccurate.
     
  3. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    The pres. has about as much power as a peanut. In this latest instance we have seen an abuse of peanut power which has been pretty powerful but we were attacked and have been for decades.

    While its easy to say the "war" is about economics, but its screwed our economy. Granted many puppet masters have benefited, but they have been from many countries including the middle east. There is and has been a world wide desire to stop sneak attacks on civilian populations and a time came when many had had enough, thats where we were a few years back. Now people are mostly sick of the effects. Frankly if the madness would just stop the States would be glad to get back to our own affairs. All wars we have stepped in on over history prior to this one has been to stop one country who was attacking another country.

    I have never felt Christian pressure from the government, but the press is making much about it these days. There is not the Christian population of this country so many think there is. If our morals seem close, so be it, that is a good thing regardless of its scetchy history, that has long been behind western culture. Christians are pushing harder lately and that is due to the continued decline of our state. Not all Christian sects are anti abortion. Primarily a Catholic or other hard core religious groups thing. Catholic ideals are also strong throughout Europe and South America. Many people that are believers are actually very liberal, open minded and keep it to themselves.

    I see the first testament as the Jewish book of folklore and the "new" testament as somewhat more reasonable. However as with all tales of folklore amounst various cultures the point in many cases has been "the moral of the story" and they have been full of learned knowledge and intended as guidelines, something to think about. Even the Native Americans had story tellers whos stories were riddled with truths about consquences and they had no knowledge of "christianity"

    No, I dont think people of other countries have a accurate account of the States, they only hear about or see the extremes. We try hard not to only see the extremes of other countries, but the press works that pretty hard as well. There is no story to sell in the average Americans daily life.

    Yes, our government is a joke as I feel most countries are. People and power ($)... you know. But ultimately we all dance to the tune of stock traders, manipulators, big banking interests and corporate bliss, this applies to most countries.
     
  4. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    Good point that I agree with. While journalists do play an important and vital role, and have done a great deal of good for this country, they also do a great deal of harm. Journalists want the juiciest, most emotionally appealing story. However, anyone who studies critical thinking and logic knows that appeals to emotion are fallacies and corrupt the rationale of a human's thought process. It persuades them to favor certain parties over others without presenting all the facts. Very few journalists in the big newspapers and magazines present all the facts. They each have their own agenda, and part of that agenda is raking in the cash. There are a lot of people on this forum who actually are loathe to admit this; but journalists can be crooks too (not all of them are, I realize; but even the ones who aren't still deny their readers a completely objective view).

    Now, on the American Theocracy:

    The word "pagan" has acquired a negative aura surrounding it, and it's because of the intolerant Christian movement (not only in America, but in several European countries as well). The MPAA and other censorship committees actually view things such as "occult" and "pagan" elements as offensive and criteria for rating or censoring (possibly even banning) an album. This frustrates me to no end. Paganism and Satanism have been lumped in together by the intolerance of Christianity (which doesn't even make sense; but then, little of it does). The censorship in this country is harmful to artistic integrity and is all because of the influence of Christianity in this nation. It's just as bad in other countries too. Gorgoroth can never play in Poland again (for now, anyway) because of their show where they raised crosses and had sheeps' heads impaled across the front of the stage. They were charged with crimes against religion. To be quite honest, the only crime against religion I can recall was when Urban II called for a march to take the holy land back from the heathen in 1095.
     
  5. WeAreTheLastMen

    WeAreTheLastMen Metacom

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    As someone who actually knows a thing or two about the field of journalism, I can tell you it doesn't "rake in the cash" (lol). Not at all. I you're talking about the bigwigs at the top (the NOT journalists) it's a different story, and you'd be right.

    Oh, Goddamnit, not again. Ok. The appropriately vague "Christian movement" doesn't want to keep the "pagans" down. If you asked them what they thought of paganism, they'd ask you what the fuck you were talking about. Nobody is even aware that anybody still practices paganism, so they've got no reason to try and oppress it.

    Correction: they did, in the 80s. Now they don't. The reason they did in the 80s was because a lot of metal was associated with Satanism, which scared everyone over the age of 40. If you recall, this was pretty much what a lot of the record execs had in mind when they signed the bands in the first place.

    I don't think so: Satanism is just silly, and nobody knows paganism is still practiced... which, actually it's not, but you know what I mean.

    Can you actually sight any examples of censorship in America? I reaaaaaaalllly doubt it.

    Oh, there are plenty more. Pretty much every major religion has a few. They all have a few fundamentals, you know?
     
  6. WeAreTheLastMen

    WeAreTheLastMen Metacom

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    The executive has a little more power than a peanut, and it just grew to fucking biblical proportions, in case you missed that.

    Well, sort of. A lot of this screwed our economy, it would have happened anyways. Still, we didn't know it would even hurt before we went in. Most of our previous third world engagements have been for economic reasons.

    That's not a very fun joke... :erk:
     
  7. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    I did mention it a bit, I thought - "In this latest instance we have seen an abuse of peanut power which has been pretty powerful"

    I was more refering to how Presidential seat, upon presidential seat, term after term.... little is accomplished, as well as the government really doesnt run the country anyhow, or not as it should. Too much in some instance, not enough in others.

    Einherjar - Christians are not the only people with concerns about content or that question the point of such content. Concernes were also not exclusive to metal/rock, there was/is large concern with Rap attitude for many reasons, even amounst the black community. Metal concern did not solely focus on satanism either, there were others.

    Having been a parent that raised a child, I will tell you many things suddenly come into play when we consider what influences we want around our children, this is a natural ancient instinct and I sure as hell wasnt going to fight it.

    Myself I just question the point of such lyrics or antics. I dont apply to them and am quite comfortable with that. You said jepordize artistic integrity... I would say... "what integrity?"

    I will also say - while it all fell back on constitional "rights"... I found it laughable, because the simplist of rational thinking would make it obvious that those who wrote the constitution could not possibly conceive the point things have come to be. Freedom of speach was established for other reasons... not the "shock" factor. Once again I did not support censorship but rather hoped people could show a better side or find more tactful or self respecting ways of fighting faults with "the establishment" if that was their motive. I guess you could say I was annoyed that some felt the need to push it that far as to make spectical of the thing in the first place. All you had was extremes on both sides creating a scene, Im proud to not have been part of either side.

    Of similiar topic - I am not in favor of futher extended gun laws, yet never owned one. However Im of sound mind to realize that when our founding fathers wrote the constitution they could not have possibly concieved random drive by shootings for example... or that children would not know enough or respect guns enough, not to shoot their brother or best friend in the head.
     
  8. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    I just meant that they go for the most emotionally appealing stories in order to guarantee a majority of reader sympathy; which they do. By "raking in the cash" I meant for their publication, not just them. I know plenty of journalists don't have it great, and I don't mean to imply that I don't like journalists or anything.

    Sure there is. The church knows all about the neopagan movements in Scandinavia, many of them associated with black metal bands. They've openly spoken out against them, and religious states like Poland have banned bands from playing.

    Besides, that's just a way for them to avoid the question. If they did become aware of it, you can be sure they wouldn't condone it.

    Okay, my bad. I assumed many Christians still make the connection. I wouldn't be surprised if many still do, actually. But that was an assumption, so I apologize.

    Paganism is still practiced; it's just ignored or sometimes laughed at because it seems like an untrue religion or belief system nowadays. But to the people who believe it and find it comforting and enlightening to adopt the religion of their forefathers, it's still very much in practice.

    *cite

    The Nirvana song "Rape Me" was changed to "Waif Me" for distribution in major stores like Wal-Mart. This kind of stuff happens all the time, my friend. Bands that don't allow their song titles or lyrics to be changed suffer poor marketing and distribution efforts. This, in turn, affects sales. Now, on to movies:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493459/

    A very enlightening film. :cool:

    I know, I was making a point. The Crusades were by far one of the largest. I was just venting.
     
  9. WeAreTheLastMen

    WeAreTheLastMen Metacom

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    True, but I think more in the way that they don't condone Judaism, or Islam, or Hinduism (because like most belief systems, they believe they're right and other people are wrong). The Church spoke against satanist black metalers because the whole point of Satanism is to hate Christianity (ok, at least ONE OF THE MAJOR POINTS).

    Ok, sorry. No offense meant.

    I did not know that.
    How strong do you think the connection is between this and Christianity? Were the people who banned it just prudes, or was their being Christian their primary motivation for the censorship. I ask only because "rape Me" contains no blatant anti-Christian sentiments.
     
  10. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    rape is a touchy word to some, just as are other terms are to others that are frowned on and accepted as unnecessary negative, dehumanizing words. not complicated
     
  11. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    Good point; but still, it's just the fact that they do oppose paganism.

    No offense taken, my friend; I'm not a pagan. I'm simply very open to any religious or mythological belief system. And paganism is still very active; it's just that it's not very well known. :cool:



    You bring up a good point, and I admit :cool: it was actually feminists who encouraged the censorship of this song. However, I was simply trying to argue against your claim that censorship in America doesn't actually happen. The truth is that it does, and metal music is often a victim of such censorship (and it is sometimes at the hands of Christian representatives). Bands such as Slayer and Cannibal Corpse have suffered at the hands of the censors.

    I consider myself to be very conservative in my economic policies; but when it comes to religion, I believe that America is a victim of serious Christian influence.
     
  12. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    You're right, it's not just Christianity. Plenty of different interest groups influence censorship as well. Feminists were offended by Nirvana's "Rape Me," which was actually why it was censored. However, the song is actually an anti-rape song written by Kobain. He never meant it to be offensive.

    This leads me to my next point. "What integrity?" It's possible for bands to be very poignant in their lyrics and yet also cause offense. Questionable lyrics have a very important purpose. Usually they're the most important lyrics. Admittedly, there are artists whose lyrics offer nothing in the way of intellectual thinking (rap music and metal such as goregrind, as you've said); but there is plenty of metal with intellectual, meaningful lyrics that would never be allowed on major American radio stations. Observe Kiuas, a Finnish metal band. They never swear or sing about sexual material. Some of their lyrics are violent, but not in a gratuitous way at all. However, this is the chorus to one of their songs:

    "Fire rains down from the heavens,
    Pouring down on those too weak to learn.
    All the ruins of the dead religions
    Standing tall as the enslaving doctrines burn."

    These lyrics would never be played on major radios in America, because the Christian church would not allow it. However, the lyrics are far from gratutious or pointless, and changing them would alter the intensity of the song. Kiuas are a vehement, iron-willed act, and changing these lyrics would compromise their integrity. Personally, I don't think they would submit to ever changing the lyrics; but that just means that they'll suffer less radio play and marketing opportunities. Therefore, they won't sell as much. This is what I mean by the integrity of the artist. Their art shouldn't suffer.

    As to your point of being a parent: I agree that there are certain things you don't want your children to see or hear; but that's your job. Take the time to listen to an album before you buy it for your kid. You can return it if you decide it's inappropriate. Read up about a movie before you let your child see it. They have excellent reviews in the paper. Personally, I believe that film ratings should be done away with. So many great films are edited because the MPAA initially gives them an NC-17 rating. They have to cut the film down just to get an R. Many film companies won't let a film go with an NC-17 rating because it severely hurts marketing and advertising. Television stations and certain theaters won't pick up a movie that's rated NC-17. The director can keep his/her film intact, but it will hurt sales. Or they can cut material from it, but it ruins the integrity of the film.

    Critics should still view films; every film that's in the theaters, as soon as they come out. This wouldn't be hard, only a few new movies come out each week. There should be no rating attached to the film, but the critic should offer a detailed account of what objectionable material is contained in the film. Based on this report, parents should judge if they will allow their kids to see a film (or if they even want to).
     
  13. Fenrisúlfr

    Fenrisúlfr ὁ δύσκος λύκος

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    This has clearly evolved into practice, with the executive exercising undue power as the Federal government has expanded in scope beyond that which the Founders, in their great wisdom, intended, or even one that is constitutional.

    Many argue why he is there, but there is one reason why he is not: to serve the public interest. The current bloated regime is only in place to do two things: pacify (and if need be suppress) the citizenry and enrich the well-connected interests which finance both parties, protected by laws favouring the two-party system.

    As in times past, such regimes do not last forever (esp. those that become so top-heavy). The United States will be no exception as its bankruptcy due to short-sighted trade policies and financial mismanagement is all but assured.

    (me? I just live here, and once I get my engineering degree I am out of here, what do I owe this decrepit land?)
     
  14. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    einherjar - I dont think "The Church" has that much power. What you just talked about I would sum up to non commercial music, its never gotten airplay, most of that goes by popular demand and the interests "the industry" itself pushes. There is that one XM station that plays ??? I have no idea what it is, but I have never been able to listen to it for more than a minute. I doubt the religious or other regular ol people of values find it amusing being how it seems every few words are fuck. Yet its there, on the air. I dont know, I've never sweated any of it, theres always been plenty of good music for me to find to listen to. Radio has always been just radio to me, I dont expect much from radio.
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Good post Cipher, possibly containing some bitter sweet reality which we all hope wont happen for the sake of our children. Another sad reality is that when you get your engineering degree you may very well work for one of those well connected interests. We all seem to get caught in the web
     
  15. Fenrisúlfr

    Fenrisúlfr ὁ δύσκος λύκος

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    I do not plan to pay a cent of tax unto the Leviathan; my degree will either go to Dubai or Russia (0% and 13% income tax respectively). Empires rise, empires fall, I shall shed no tears. However, Dubai and Russia may well wind up buying up quite a bit of the US as the currency continues its slide into oblivion...

    The method of escape is simple: the sinews of war are infinite funds; if one is not paying tax (or evading it), one is absolved from any responsibility as a result of citizenship: "I just live here" becomes a justified defence.
     
  16. razoredge

    razoredge Member

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    Ah, yes, Russia, no jaded history there. It is a good place currently to exploit the jaded ways of capitolistic extremes
     
  17. WeAreTheLastMen

    WeAreTheLastMen Metacom

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    Personally, I think we are much more capitalistic than theocratic. Commercialism and consumerism are churches attended by far more than, say, the Catholic church, of the Mormon church. So the only reason Kuias (I should go look them up btw) won't be played on the radio any time soon is because it's not very popular. If it were, if it started topping charts in Finland, and people in the American music business started to think they could profit from them, no Christian groups would ever be able to stop them, it would be on MTV and top 40 radio before you could make the sign of the cross. As it is, there's quite a bit of music and tv shows and movies that a lot of Christians and just generally prudish people find offensive, but because it sell, nobody gives a goddamn.

    Ok, I have the severely biased point of view of a kid who is only now beginning to find the means to separate himself from his parents, via college, work, etc. But I think in today's society, trying to restrict a child's consumption of pop culture at a ridiculous rate is (unfortunately, imo) a lost cause.
     
  18. WeAreTheLastMen

    WeAreTheLastMen Metacom

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    Dude, I've got to ask... are you posting on a metal forum, or writing a speech?
     
  19. WeAreTheLastMen

    WeAreTheLastMen Metacom

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    I completely agree. This is the problem at the heart of our democratic deficit.
     
  20. Fenrisúlfr

    Fenrisúlfr ὁ δύσκος λύκος

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    I must admit, I am a bit long-winded (I warned as such in my introductory post), and I am somewhat passionate about these things, thus the illusion of a speech. That and I am bored.

    As for democracy, the Founders did not intend us to have a democracy, as it would disintegrate into mob rule. Methinks it is a pernicious form of government. Rather, we were to have a republic, but we could not keep it.
     

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