Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Article for Italian Media

April 7, 2010

The Post-Christian Atheist
by William Hopper,

author of The Heathen’s Guide to World Religions

The Church’s edict condemning Galileo’s model of the solar system is often quoted to show the folly of the Roman Catholic Church. What most atheists fail to quote, though, is the explanation for this edict, offered Cardinal Roberto Bellarmino (1542 –1621):

If there were a real proof… we should proceed with great circumspection in explaining passages of Scripture which appear to teach the contrary, and we should say that we did not understand them. But I do not think there is any such proof.

Herein lies the history of the Church. The dogma and canon are not born of serene moments of purity and insight, but from a long history of committees that react poorly to challenge. But it is also a history of a few calm voices— like that of Cardinal Bellarimo— that have firmly but quietly offered sensible, measured opinions. The problem is that the frenetic voices of the fanatics is always louder than common sense. This was true at the Nicene Council in 325, it was true with Galileo in 1616, and it is equally true today. Historically, the great doctrines of Catholicism were not born of divine guidance, but wrought from angry debate, cruel accusations, and summary execution.

For a very long time the laity were only told the dogma and canon that came out of these debates. Few, if any, were privy to how the institution they had sworn their lives to was formed. It is only in the last century that many dusty tomes that no one had paid attention to have been cracked open, and their contents finally proliferated. For the first time average people are now able to see and read the real reasons for the laws that have governed them, and the darker history that contributed to the creation of The Holy Roman Catholic Church.

For the faithful, it is a tale of how the Word of God endured centuries of scandal and sheer stupidity, remaining intact despite the fallible and corrupt hands to which it was entrusted. For many, though, the real tale of what has been created from the simple origins of Christianity is more than just a dark spot. It calls into question the heart and soul of the faith, and the motivations of those who still control it.

For many years atheists have been portrayed as angry rebels out to destroy authority. But this is a new era. A new time. Those who have always had doubts about the veracity of religious claims now have very real, very solid reasons for asking what the truth really is. Instead of screaming “There is no God!”, the modern atheist is now asking “What’s real?” How much of what we have been spoon-fed from on high has been actual Gospel and how much is politically-motivated subterfuge?

These are questions that each person must answer on their own. But before they can do so, they have to know the full story of the faiths they hope to understand. Not just the clean, holy versions of history that they teach in catechism classes and synagogues. This is why I wrote The Heathen’s Guide to World Religions. Regardless of how devout a person is, they need to know the real history of a faith before they can say they believe it. They need to know about the human greed, avarice, lust, and insanity that have contributed to the creation of all religions. From there, they can take the facts they find and ask their priest, rabbi, or imam to justify or explain it all.

For those with blind faith, I have no doubt that they will find something in the words of a cleric to allay the worries that history introduces. For others, the questions will remain. But at least they will be informed.

WordPress Blog Moved to williamjhopper.com

January 21, 2010

Well, I finally got my life in order and redid The Heathen’s Guide homepage.  This means I was finally able to move my wordpress blog off WordPress and onto my own server.

So, henceforth, my blogs (and all my old blogs) will be at http://williamjhopper.com/

Book sales (English and Italian editions) will now be at heathensguide.com and at Erispublications.com.

Christmas Myth-Making

December 6, 2009

(The following is a reprint of an article I wrote for The Secular Web)

Who Was Wenceslas? The Origin of Christmas Myths
By William Hopper


Caroling-Wassailing

Wassailing, or caroling, is Celtic in origin. Originally, wassail was a cup used for beverages made of mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, nuts, eggs, and spices. The word comes from the Old Norse ves heill, meaning “be well, and in good health.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, wassail bowl)

The tradition of wassailing (or singing for ale) supposedly comes from a Saxon woman named Rowena who presented Prince Vortigen a bowl of wine and toasted him with the words “Waes hael.” The Celts mimicked this toast by going door-to-door singing to bless the farmers for the next season of crops. In thanks, the farmers would offer the wassailers a drink, usually mulled wine or hard cider, in return for the well-wishing. The wassailers would wind through the city and end up at the orchard. There, they would blow horns and beat drums in an attempt to wake the tree from its winter slumber so that it would again bear fruit. This was also a community service disguised as a ritual. By going door-to-door, the crowd was able to check-in on the sick and elderly of the town to make sure they were still alive.


The Feast of Stephen

The Stephen in the carol Good King Wenceslas is the biblical St. Stephen who was martyred by being thrown off a cliff near Jerusalem. Saul of Tarsus (who later became St. Paul) was witness to Stephen’s martyrdom and it is said that this was one of the main reasons that Saul embraced Christianity. The Catholic Church holds a feast day to St. Stephen on December 26. (Catholic Encyclopedia, St. Stephen)

The Christmas Tree

The origin of the Christmas tree is difficult to pin down as so many cultures had sacred trees. The Roman Saturnalia festival included the decorating of houses with fir branches. The Norse had Yggdrasil, the Great Tree of Life, which some contend is the original Christmas tree. Others credit the enemies of ancient Israel, quoting Jeremiah’s condemnation of sacred trees in Jeremiah 10, verses 2-4:

Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, for the customs of the peoples are false. A tree from the forest is cut down, and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. Men deck it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move.

Gift-giving and Christmas Lights

Gift-giving in December is a very old tradition. It dates back to the Saturnalia festival in Rome in the first century AD. This festival, named for the god Saturn, took place from December 17th to December 25th. Adults exchanged strenae, boughs of laurel and evergreen. Children were given small clay dolls called sigillaria. Because Saturnalia took place at the Solstice, it was also known as the Festival of Lights. Many of the presents given were candles, used to summon the sun back to life. Several hundred years later, the Celts also developed a winter festival, which they called “Candlemas.” It was a midwinter house-cleaning day wherein people would light candles and clean everything. This tradition was originally a health precaution. In the middle of winter, the small hovels would become rank and dirty. A day was set aside to cleanse the houses of the soot and dirt that would accumulate through European winters. The early Catholic Church allowed the idea of lighting candles in December, eventually adopting the practice into Christianity as birthday candles for Jesus. Whether they adopted this idea from the early Romans or the Celts is debatable, though it is likely the former.


Christmas Wreath

Originally, a wreath was called a “diadem.” It was a band made of cloth that was worn as a circlet around the head very much like a joggers sweatband. In 776 B.C., diadems or wreaths made of laurel leaves were used to crown victors of Olympic games. The Roman Caesars wore these laurel wreaths to show their victory over Roman territories. During the Olympic games in Greece, each host city would award head garlands made of branches of local trees. This version of the wreath is likely the origin of the traditional Christmas wreath made of fir trees. Hanging the wreath on a wall likely began as a remembrance of the person who owned it.


Good King Wenceslas

King Wenceslas (also “Wenceslaus”) was born in Bohemia, present day Czech Republic, in approximately 907 AD. Because he was too young to rule, his mother, Drahomira, became regent when his father died. Drahomira was opposed to Christianity, and banned all Christian practices in Bohemia. When Wenceslas took power he lifted the ban on Christianity and allowed people to worship as they wished, which is why he is referred to as “Good King Wenceslas.” The carol refers to his death in the line “Good King Wenceslas last looked out on the feast of Stephen….” His brother, Boleslav, had joined nobles in plotting an assassination. Boleslav invited Wenceslas to celebrate the Feast of Stephen and then attacked him on his way to mass. While the two fought, Boleslav’s supporters jumped in and murdered Wenceslas. He died in 929 AD and is now the patron saint of the Czech Republic. (Catholic Encyclopedia, St. Wenceslaus)

Holly and Ivy

In both Norse and Celtic myth, Holly represented the woman and Ivy the man. In any fertility ritual, both were used. The intertwining of holly and ivy was meant to represent the male and female united, and good luck for any marriage. In Christian lore, the holly became identified with the crown of thorns Jesus wore on the cross; the ivy became associated with the ivy (sometimes translated as “gourd) that God gave Jonah to rest under. (Jonah 4:6-10) Both of these interpretations are ways of including the pre-Christian tradition into the “Xmas” festivities.

Mistletoe

The Norse were likely the first to record mistletoe as being a “magical” element. In the Norse myths, Odin’s wife, Frigga, made a charm that would protect her son Balder from fire, water, air, or earth. Because it grew on trees as a parasite, mistletoe was not considered to be of these four elements. Loki was able to kill Balder with a dart made of mistletoe. Afterwards, Frigga swore that mistletoe would never cause harm again, so she is said to kiss anyone who passes under it. An interesting side note to this is that the word Friday comes from Frigga’s name. It was originally Frigga’s Day. Similarly, Wednesday was originally Woden’s Day, or Odin’s Day. Thursday was Thor’s Day.

St. Nicholas

St. Nicholas did not live in the North Pole. He was from Myna, Turkey. The only tale we have about his life had to do with a father who had three daughters and no dowry money. The father decided to sell the daughters into prostitution, as he wasn’t going to be able to find them husbands. To prevent this, Nicholas anonymously threw bags of money through the father’s window. The father used the money as a dowry for his daughters and they were saved from a life of prostitution. Nicholas is also famous for miraculously saving the life of a sailor while on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He eventually became the Bishop of Myna, and died in 340 AD. Because he was credited with saving the sailor while at sea, the Catholic Church canonized him as the patron saint of mariners. (Catholic Encyclopedia, St. Nicholas of Myra)

Sinter Klass (Santa Claus)

When the Dutch adopted Christianity, the name St. Nicholas became Sinter Klass, the Dutch rendering of Saint Nicholas. To distinguish Sinter Klass from Odin, the Dutch Church donned him in a red robe that flowed to the ankle. The red outfit (that of a bishop) became the popular image of St. Nick throughout Europe from that time onwards.


Yule Log

The word “yule” is generally accepted to mean “feast,” although some scholars attribute it to the Scandinavian Ylir, the name of a winter month. The tradition of a Yule Log was originally a huge pyre of logs burned at Yule in honor of Thor, the Norse god of thunder. Regardless of the god in question, however, the burning of a log in December when it is freezing is less religious than it is practical. (Dictionary.com, Yule)

Xmas

One of the most misinterpreted words in the Christmas vocabulary is “Xmas.” Many Christians contend that using “X” in place of “Christ” is the way that evil atheists take the “Christ out of Christmas.” In fact, the opposite is true. The X has been used by theologians for hundreds of years to denote chi, the first letter in the Greek spelling of the word “Christ.” It is meant to represent Christ and remind the reader of the cross upon which he was hung. (Dictionary.com, Xmas)

During the transition of power from fun-loving Hellenistic orgiastic cults to supreme Christian control of the Roman Empire in the forth century AD, just before it collapsed, Rome was rife with parties and feasts of all kinds. At the point where the Christians took control in Rome, their theology was up against a month of feasting that consisted of:

* Consualia, or the end-of-sowing-season festival, December 15
* Ops (Goddess of plenty/agriculture), December 19
* Dies Juvenalis, Coming of Age for Young Men, December 22
* Saturn’s Feast, December 25
* Feast of Mithra, the Unconquerable Sun, December 25
* Brumalia, Winter Solstice on pre-Julian calendar, December 25
* Janus Day and New Year’s, January 1

In December, the early Christians who fought so hard for stoic abstinence and purity were confronted with a month of drunken revelry and fun. It is no surprise that, in the end, the revelry won out. The best they could do was to adopt the festivities and mask them in Christian myth.

A ‘Hail Mary’ Pass: Vatican Welcomes Anglicans into Catholic church

October 21, 2009

Today’s news of the union of old-school Anglican and traditional Catholicism is not a triumph of faith.  It is the religious right, circling the wagons in a final showdown for God, faith, and the sacred coffers that keep it all going.  We are witnessing ‘the last round-up’ of the Christian ultra-conservatives, and it’s going to get interesting.

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While their activists can be louder and angrier than most moderates, their numbers are dwindling.  In the world they wished to convert, we see straight common-law relationships on the rise and gays wanting to marry.  No one is repenting, and no one seems to understand the ‘evil’ they see rising in our midst.  Even abortion clinics— a long-time bastion of right-wing anger— seem impervious to their contempt.  R. v. Wade is safe and sound in Obama’s care.

Before the right-wing forsake this world to the demons of moderate thought, however, there is a Hail Mary pass that has to be tried.   Since Hellfire and Damnation has failed to woo our society from PS3 games, porn sites, and evolution, Pope Benedict is now looking to an old adversary,the Anglicans, to increase his numbers.

It makes sense. After all, the original rift between the two faiths was personal, not doctrinal.  Henry VIII simply wanted a divorce, which Pope Paul would not condone.  But there were no doctrinal arguments between Rome and Henry VIII.  In fact, though he was excommunicated and made the head of his own church, Henry kept England closer to Catholic teaching than most European monarchs during the age of reformation.   As such, they are the first, best place for Benedict to look for  allies.

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The real question here is: Why now?  What would move both of these faiths to decide— at the same time— to suddenly set aside centuries of animosity to form an alliance against moderates?  Catholic Archbishop Di Noia explained this mystery to CNN by saying simply: “The Holy Spirit is at work here.”

If you are Christian, I suppose this might make sense.  However, while perusing the other stories on CNN, I came across a far better explanation for this sudden embrace within right-wing Christianity, and it has nothing to do with gay marriage or female ministers.  In fact, I don’t think the move to unite far-right Christianity has anything to do with the age-old fears of gay sex and a world dominated by lackadaisical evil.  There is something else scaring the Hell out of the fire-and-brimstone crowd now: Competition.

NEARLY 1-IN-4 PEOPLE WORLDWIDE IS MUSLIM, report says

(CNN) — Nearly one in four people worldwide is Muslim — and they are not necessarily where you might think, according to an extensive new study that aims to map the global Muslim population… (link)

Milad-Imam-uz-Zaman1

Islam is far more right-wing than any Christian counterpart.   With 1-in-4 religious people in the world falling under its sway, Rome is going to be hard-pressed to maintain moral relevance as Islam moves deeper into the West.  Should it take hold as predicted, Islam is going to make Vatican II look like  the Rainbow Coalition.

Right now it’s a matter of numbers.   Like Richard readying for war with  Saladin, Pope Benedict is trying to strengthen his troops and secure his territory before the battle begins.  And it is coming… this battle for right-wing supremacy.    At best, the moderates are going to be able to watch it with bemused smiles and detached indifference.  At worst, this war of ideology will spill into the streets, challenging every protection under the law in an attempt to strip  the world of the right not to be involved.

In the end that’s the real fear… no matter who wins this.  If there’s one thing that all conservative religions have in common it is a need to have every person’s altar, bedroom, and life remade in lock-step with what they believe to be good and right and true.

It’s going to get interesting…

Insanity

October 19, 2009

Here’s the problem with having my job…  I was just out to the store.  On the way back I wound up stopped, waiting for traffic to clear before I walked across the street. While waiting, this guy flies at me out of nowhere, and starts screaming at me about God’s vengeance.   I brace myself, and get set for a long, heated argument (I tend not to back down from these things).

I was two minutes into this when I suddenly realized that this guy is genuinely nuts.  I mean “off his meds” nuts.  He didn’t know me, and had never read anything I’ve written.

Funny, though, how much he sounded like every other religious nutbar who comes screaming at me on God’s behalf….

Birthers, Truthers, and Aliens: A Conspiracy of Stupidity

September 13, 2009

The world seems angry about a whole heap of idiotic issues these days. I want to take a second to address these ideas with my usual diplomatic tact (roughly akin to a blunt-force trauma).

The Rumor: 9/11 was an “Inside job”. This group, known as “Truthers” believe that Bush and his cronies either set up 9/11 or allowed it to happen so that the country would rally around their cause and allow the invasion of Iraq.

My Take: I wouldn’t be surprised. Mind you, I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out that it was Clinton or Gore. The stories spin everywhere, but the truth is we simply don’t know, and we probably never will. We publically accuse Bin Laden, but there is no formal charge against him for 9/11 or terrorism on his FBI Wanted List citation.
As of about noon on September 11, 2001 it didn’t matter. If it was Bush, he’s never going to be tried or convicted for it. If it were Bin Laden, he’s never going to be caught. If it was a Clinton/Gore conspiracy, well kudos, they did a good job. No one suspects them… yet. But all this conspiracy talk is just that: talk. Nothing will ever come of it, and no one will ever be called to account. Shit happens, and the best we’re ever going to do is guess at what it was. There’s no use arguing.

The Rumor: Barak Hussein Obama was born in Kenya. Known as “Birthers”, this group are seriously convinced that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii. This makes him ineligible to be the POTUS.

My Take: Assume the Birthers are right and Obama is Kenyan. Who the hell cares? The law that governs this was set up at confederation to prevent agents of the English Crown from infiltrating U.S. politics. These days, if a foreign government wanted to get someone to do their bidding they wouldn’t send one of their own. They’d set up lobbyists and donate heavily to both parties (via surrogates) to make sure that whoever won the election was in their back pockets. [Wait… this is sounding familiar…]
In the end, though, he IS the President of the United States. He may have lied and cheated to get there, but if you look closely at the job description I think lying and cheating are in there somewhere. As president, he will have the power to deflect any and all legal challenges until after his presidency, by which time your concerns are too late. He’s going to be there no matter what you believe of his heritage. As such, I say quit worrying about it and get to worrying about whether he can do the job he was elected to do.

The Rumor: An Alien Cabal and/or Satan is Secretly Running our Governments. The theory goes that aliens and/or Satan have been actively taking over the world and are in power behind the scenes.

My Take: If they want political power, I am happy to give it to them. They can’t do worse that we’ve been doing for a century or so. Now, put those elongated temporal lobes and red pointy ears to work and find us a way out of this damned recession, solve the Middle East Crisis, and for the love of Pete balance the damned budget. If they manage to do this I foresee strong returns for the Alien/Satan ticket in 2014.

The Rumor: The Moon Landing was faked.

My Take: It’s definitely possible that the US government decided to fake the moon landing in a (successful) effort to thwart Soviet aggression.  From where I sit, though, it’s equally possible that it happened exactly the way NASA says it did. The point is, why freak out about it? Your government either  successfully reached the moon, or it successfully staged a phenomenal ploy to defeat the expansion of an enemy superpower.  Who’s being hurt here? Of all the conspiracies out there this is the one that I just don’t understand people getting angry about. No one was hurt, and unless you’re a former Soviet cosmonaut you’re not likely to be effected by “the truth” either way.

Written by Wm. Hopper, author of
thumb-heathens-guide-front-cover The Heathen’s Guide to World Religions.

(Not for Sheep.)

www.Heathensguide.com

Islam’s Legacy: CNN’s ‘Generation Islam’

August 12, 2009

CNN is running a piece this week called ‘Generation Islam’.  While major news agencies are never a great source of insight, the series is done by Christiane Amanpour, whom I’ve come to respect. (Her God’s Warriors series was amazing.)

That said, I think there’s a major piece of the puzzle that is being ignored. Recently, it was reported that Europe was going to be 50% Muslim by 2050. Like Amanpour, this statistic assumes that the trend we see now will continue: Ardent Muslim parents who hate the evil West, training their children to do the same.

generation_islam_updated1

Thing is, there was a time when Islam was not the West-hating, fanatic group they are perceived to be today. By the 13th century Muslims were no longer out conquering lands or invading countries. Persia was peaceful (for the most part.) This was a time when Islam was at the forefront of philosophy, architecture, mathematics, and liberal thought. It was the Muslims of that era who first distilled alcohol and created booze as we know it today. It was these Muslims who saved the works of Plato and Aristotle from destruction under Rome, and proliferated thought that eventually became “western philosophy”. In the early 13th century, Islam was way ahead of Rome and Europe in both maturity and intellect.

And now they hate us.

Most blame this anti-Western attitude on American intervention in the Middle East. Me? I blame the Mongols. (Damn you Genghis…)

You see, all these great advances of science and philosophy that Islam had ended abruptly in the 13th century when the Mongols wandered through the area. As happens with wandering bloodthirsty Mongols, the interaction was less-than-idyllic. After raping the cattle and killing the women, the Mongols defeated and took over the once-mighty Abbasid dynasty. The caliphate (Muslim rule by elected leader) came to an end. Mongols controlled the Middle East.

This was a pivotal moment in Islam. Up to this point they’d done great slaughtering and killing their way through the Mediterranean. They’d managed to get filthy rich, control huge portions of land, and were the epicenter of intellect, reason, and philosophy. Except now they were either dead or Mongol slaves. I mean really… who wants to be a Mongol slave? [Andy Dick?]

mongol

Anyway…

This whole situation only lasted a couple years. Eventually a bunch of bloodthirsty Muslim guys called the Mamluks went out and killed the bloodthirsty Mongols and everything went back to Muslim control. Sort of.

See, (imho) this is where things went awry in Islam. After this whole destruction and cattle raping bit, the remaining Muslims had to deal with the fact that they might not be as powerful and omnipotent a they’d thought. A philosophy grew out of this that remains in Islam today: the idea that weakness is a sign of God’s disfavor. It was reasoned that all this architecture, deep thought, philosophy, and math had drawn the heart of Muslims away from Allah’s basic teachings in the Koran.

The Mamluks (who had kicked Mongol ass) were decidedly un-thoughtful. They were solidly military and devoutly Muslim. As they had won, everyone agreed that their lifestyle must be blessed by God [Allah]. From that time on education took a back seat to Islamic law and devout prayer. You could still learn stuff, but it all had to agree with the holy books, and you had to strictly obey the mandates of the faith. Gone were the halcyon days of intellectual pursuit and theoretical mathematics.

There’s been a few decent Islamic thinkers that have come and gone since those times, but no matter how persuasive their thought they were still controlled by the Islamic belief that the Koran trumps every revelation, and ingenuity is often at odds with Muslim life.

Had the Mongol invasion never happened the Marluks would never have assumed power, and the engineers and mathematicians would have remained in charge of Islam. As it is, the leadership of the faith fell into the hands of a strict Muslim military that established the modern ethics of Islam. I’d love to see where the faith would be had this not happened…

There’s obviously a lot more to this—I will post again in a bit about how it all came crashing down in the 19th century—but for now I think it’s important to understand that there was a time when Islam had a chance to become a more liberal, modern faith long before the rest of the world caught up with their philosophies and ideals. It didn’t last long, and it ended brutally, but it remains for me one of the great “what ifs” of history.




The Heathen’s Guide to World Religions.NOT FOR SHEEP.

Support for Satan’s One-World Government

July 27, 2009

On May 14, 2009, the evil global elite met in Greece for the yearly Bilderberg Conference. For those who don’t know, the Bilderberg Conference is an annual meeting of the Western world’s elite.  Only the most powerful bankers, economists, oil barrens, and media moguls are allowed to attend.  According to most right-wing Christians, it is chaired by Satan himself, who oversees the entire agenda.  Just to keep the Christian fanatics on their toes, the Lord of Darkness has decreed that the conferences be held in different cities each year, at which time these god-forsaken billionaires gather to hatch their next diabolical plot.

The very first Bilderberg Conference was held in 1954 at the Bilderberg Hotel in the Netherlands, which is where the meetings got their name.  Despite the fact that any one of the attendees would normally garner flocks of paparazzi, not one photo or comment is ever released and not one word of these meeting makes the news.

The devout Christians who follow such things assure us that, though Lucifer himself did not attend the most recent meeting, he did send his apologies and a nice fruit basket.  His minions of global hegemony were left to carry on his evil work without him.  They seem to be doing fine.  According to the YouTube videos and conspiracy sites, these minions have orchestrated the downfall of the US dollar and the empowered the International Monetary Fund.  They also rigged the election of Barak Obama who, apparently, is a Kenyan-born Muslim sent by the Bilderberg Group to destroy America.

Not content with these evil enterprises, the Prince of Darkness has also shaken the international financial system to its core, driven thousands of Americans into bankruptcy, and prepared the way for the rise of his New World Order.

The thing is, while the Bilderberg Group may, in fact, be evil bastards bent on world domination, they are OUR evil bastards bent on world domination.  They represent the interests of Western corporations and governments.  While they may be heartless corporate bastards, they are also democratic and capitalist.  They work in opposition to other, not-so-nice groups who also strive for world domination and ultimate control… notably the People’s Republic of China and the Gulf Cooperative Council (League of Arab States).  Given the choice, I’d opt for world domination by secular, capitalist over either of the others.

Take away the fear mongering, religious myth, and paranoia and what we have with the Bilderberg Group is an elite bunch of very rich people meeting behind closed doors to secure trade routes, oil reserves, and waterways.  The bounty that the Western nations have enjoyed over the last hundred years has come in no small part from the measures these people have enacted to preserve and protect the Western lifestyle.

As communications and travel get easier and easier, the world is getting smaller and smaller.  Ideologies are clashing, and the real battlefield for ideas is in the marketplace.  Whoever has the most resources will write the agenda for the next century.  While I may not agree with every decision that comes out of the Bilderberg Conferences, I do respect the need for these people to unite and form a cohesive plan to advance Western thought through trade.  The alternative, should they fail, is for everyone in the USA to learn Mandarin or Arabic.  (The Christians better hope for Mandarin… they would not be happy to see the schools replacing their bibles with Korans.)




The Heathen’s Guide to World Religions.NOT FOR SHEEP.

Italian Heathens and a Preview of The Eschaton

February 4, 2009

Well, the big news is that foreign language rights to The Heathen’s Guide to World Religions has been bought up by a company called Macro Gruppo Editoriale.  They are at this very moment translating it into Italian for release in Italy.

The pope will not be happy.

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After that, the book is scheduled to be released in France, Sicily, and (of all places) the Czech Republic.   It’s going to be kinda cool looking at all the copies at once, seeing my work in other languages.  Looking forward to it.

In other news…

Amazon finally has the “Look Inside ” function working for my new fiction, The Eschaton. This means people can read the first chapter or so before buying the book.

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We’ve decided to run with the tag line: “Every faith believes that their god will one day return to destroy the Earth.  They were right.”

Feel free to comment on this.  I could use the input.

All of this explains, I hope, why I’ve been out of the blogosphere for most of January.  But things are calming down now so I should be posting regularly again.  Besides, the Vatican is trying to oust Pope Benny, so this is gonna be a month worth reporting on…

Church Threatening To Make Sins Public

December 18, 2008

Christian idiocy at its best.

The thing about being “holy” and “just” in the eyes of thier lord that really ,really pisses me off is that it gives them a sense of power and entitlement.  Case in point: In Florida,  a Jacksonville Christian church has threatened to “go public” with their knowledge of a sexual relationship between one of their parishioners and her new boyfriend.  (link)

The woman is not married, so she’s not screwing around on anyone.  She’s single, healthy, and now has a boyfriend to whom she is no married.  This means she is “living in sin”.  Thing is, she (stupidly)  confessed her “sin” to the minister this church in an attempt to get forgiveness for it.  But, as her guy seems to be better at making her happy than the church was, she’s refused to leave him.  Instead, she opted to leave the church.<BR>

<BR>But, like the spurned and jealous thing it is, the church is taking its revenge.  Even though the woman doesn’t attend  any longer, the minister is going to announce her “sins” in front of the whole congregation so everyone will know what an evil, godless harlot she is.   (My guess is that half the congregation will despise her,  and the other half will want her phone number.  Either way, she’s screwed.)

While all this seems harsh, I want to point out that, theologically, she got off lucky.  Whenever you leave a religion that you’ve bought into, it gets messy.

Scientologists send crack re-programmers after you, no matter where you go.

Jehovah’s Witnesses “shun” you… meaning you can’t ever talk to your own spouse and children,  even if you live in the same house with them.

Islam, of course, is the simplest.  A person who leaves thier faith is to be killed.

I am convinced that if every religion got together and held an amnesty day… a day when you could leave the faith forever with no punishment… these churches and mosques would be considerably emptier from that day on.

Morons.

Written by Wm. Hopper, http://www.heathensguide.com.

‘The Heathen’s Guide to Christmas’.

A Field Manual in the War on Christmas.
Available just in time for Christmas dinner with your in-laws.

The Heathen’s Guide to Christmas
www.heathensguide.com


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