Cults, Conspiracies and Corporate Corruption

From cultic behaviors, to conspiracy theories, along with corporate and government intrigue, the world of human beings remains both fascinating and dangerous. While one person’s murderous terrorist is another person’s spiritual advisor, the depths of human depravity has few limitations. Of interest to this point is the number of professing “believers” in a particular religious belief system. Worldwide, one research foundation known for many studies across the human landscape, says more than 80% of the world’s population believes or affiliates with a particular form of religion.

From the investigative efforts of this analysis, the study involved more than 200 hundred countries around the globe in an extensive demographic study. If the data is close to somewhat accurate, about 84% believe in some form of supernatural ideology. At least 90% say they adhere to some form of religious experience, while roughly 6% ascribe to some aspect of non-traditional folk belief. As regards a system of “deity or spiritual” thinking process, a very small group, between 3-9%, depending on interpretation of the data, professes no “religious” inclination.

As such, it might be construed that if the majority adheres to thinking processes influenced by diverse faith in supernatural dogma, there will always be a high probability for some form of interpersonal conflict, disagreement, etc. Additionally, social clashes devolve to dangerous repercussions as to which group is right, as to whose god or goddesses is supreme. In furtherance of intellectual regression, and devaluation of scientific validation, mystical or magical perceptions bias investigative objectivity. Subsequently, evidentiary validity is adversely affected. \

In post-modern perspectives, much social discourse devolves to the babble of inconsistent perversities of strained fallacies of inference. Cultic inclinations favor the herded fearfulness of dysfunctional collusions. To carry out well-differentiated rational behavior requires extraordinary effort across the broad spectrum of thinking. To perpetuate the arrogance of ignorance is less demanding. Infantile worship of simplistic deification for mythic illusions, as in religious degradations, ensures the safe comfort of unevolving ideations. If a majority of the populace flirts with cult-like inclinations, in the magical realms of the occult, little species advancement can be made.

Yet, the arrogance of pseudoscience, from the myth, magic and mayhem of speculative self-interests, disseminates the nebulous notions of fictions over facts. While philosophy has great potency to promote reason and analysis, and build upon thinking skills, making such manifestations the “science of human behavior” defaults to more regressive tendencies of maladaptation. From boardroom to cloakroom, the challenge of substantial evidentiary artifacts remains elusive in the spheres of human intentions. Clever but deceptive metaphors masquerade as conclusions. Today, a murderer with a cultic inclination toward religion is said to have become “radicalized”. Give the pundits in the realms of superficial “infotainment” a few days, and “radicalization” becomes the mantra of snobbish “expertise” by those who relish the attention.

Into the modern context, the provocations of criminology, psychology, psychiatry as medicine seeks to make “psychology” scientific, along with sociology, have done little to advance the human species to more evolved states of enlightenment. Mythology of belief still influences the philosophical endeavors of most adherents to particular schools of thought. Ghosts, goblins and gremlins still haunt the primal nexus at the core of human motivations, purposes and intentions. Not much has changed since the advent of philosophical enterprise that transitioned from intellectual inquiry to “scientific validation”. No one knows precisely why a specific murder bomber kills a large number of people at a shopping mall. Except from abject selfishness, who knows?

With the preoccupation of people for invisible forces lurking in the shadows, UFO invasions, and “demonic possession”, any attempts at open mindedness, or evolving spheres of enlightenment become daunting and disappointing. As this might be called a form of “anti-thinking”, by which generally speaking, there is an avoidance of rational evidentiary scientific validation. Instead, more predilection is directed toward emotional reactivity, absent significant depth of reasoned analysis based on facts.

Devolving consequences adversely affect serious social issues, which become stifled by dysfunctional and regressive thinking process. In other words, stupidity plays a big role in the movement toward extinction of the species. Most likely, little meaningful dialogue can be achieved that is not tainted by emotion-laden appeals to mythology. For those inclined to pitiful self-promotion, needy validation and immediate gratification, mature transformation is a long and difficult process that may never occur.

Where 80% of the earth’s population accepts a “faithful” acquiescence to “mystical perceptions”, mythic illusions, and supernatural dogmatism, the fantasy “world” becomes all too influential over the real world. Reality suffers the onslaught of a sharp divide between fact and fiction. That ought to suggest that it should not come as a surprise that stupid, silly, foolish juvenile behaviors among adults occur daily. Horrendous fallacies of nebulous conjecture are repugnant to strenuous efforts to ensure evidentiary validation, as well as the application of scientific validation. Yet it happens often.

In this regard, as applied herein, “cult”, “cultic”, “cults” and so forth, are used in the broadest scheme of reference. Rather than a narrow purely academic word, or an exercise in political correctness, the term regards a spectrum of human behaviors. Where certain U.S. government agencies may simply define a “cult” as a movement that is outside mainstream culture, a likely normative deviation, the implication presently is taken to mean something in a broader sense of usage across an entire population. Additionally, the implication is expanded in a post-modern pre-dystopic context.

A broader scheme of application should be widely applied. Human devolution and eventual extinction should be anticipated. As contemporary society devolves, in which socio-economic and educational practices regress, deterioration of the communal structures will be expected to collapse. Conformist behaviors, whereby individual freedom and liberty are threatened, openly candid and honest discussions are discouraged, ought to be expected. Added to that, consider the adoration, worship or veneration of “false prophets”, like politicians, billionaires, movie stars, and professional athletes, signify cultic behaviors counterproductive to enlightened thinking.

The wealthy elite, a special club where rules are flexible and laws intentional vague, want the attention to impress others by their power, control and domination. Again, unquestioned loyalty to the rich, the famous, the political party, or the candidate of the party, is a type of “cultic” exclusiveness. By ignoring illicit, unlawful and dishonest behaviors of, willful devotees foster that which devolves to varied forms of cult-like expressiveness. Not to forget of course, the self-centered unethical and immoral neediness of the adherent perpetrates an intentional symbiotic relationship. Manifestations can be found in public and private sectors.

In one national publication for instance, a constellation of aspects was described as factors relative to cultic activity. One factor might be the emotional reactivity of oppositional thinking that takes up a defensive posture in opposition to critical analysis. For instance, one person might really be convinced that aliens are among us. Another might counter that the reality shows no real or actual evidence. Overall, so what? At the end of the workday, who cares? In an open society, with some appearance of free speech, everyone gets a chance to believe anything. Likewise, those of a contrary perspective have an opportunity to challenge opposing claims. But wait, not so fast.

For the age of political correctness, the entire herd is supposed to believe the same thing no matter what the evidence says. Stupidity of fallacies of inference intentional fuel the maladaptive trajectory of ignorance laden analogies. The idiocy of foolish conjecture is allowed to masquerade as knowledge. Magical thinking, that is, the metaphysical subservience to myth, magic and poorly contrived metaphor, gets to guess and pretend a lack of facts makes it right. Fantasy foments the misinterpretation of realty where emotions and feel good notions override the necessity of proof.

In one learned perspective on cultic behavior, a researcher points out the continual persistence to enforce or otherwise control human actions remains central to ensuring conformity. By clever efforts of manipulation, as in television and internet interactions, groups, programs and associations encouraged to obey to “mainstream” or “status quo” continuity. From kindergarten to college, “politically correct” behaviors in speech, dress and mannerisms are monitored to “safeguard” the feel good status of everyone. Anyone who disagrees or argues a counter perspective is quickly challenged.

By contrast, in certain sectors of the criminal justice field, some suggest cautionary notations regarding the “herd” mentality. Not unlike the “cultic” inclination, the “herded” proclivity includes a range of actions that do not require in-depth thought processes. From advertising and academia, to the boardroom and congressional “cloakrooms”, efforts are contrived to “manufacture consent”, and thereby encourage conformity. In a sense, much of society is expected by influential institutions to ensure, in some cases enforce, beliefs and behaviors that constrain to selected “norms”. Deviations are seen as detrimental to the “status quo”. Being different is not constructively and consistently advocated across a broad spectrum of society. Most people readily conform.

It is the exceptional individual, the accused rebel, the intellectual truth seeker, who battles the pressures of adherence to the modern day mantra of ensuring emotional safety. In short, it is the well-differentiated non-anxious personality that risks the rationality of evidentiary authenticity. Emotional reactivity, rather than rational evidence based interactivity, by which emotion is more important than facts, is part of contemporary social “cultism”. So called “political correctness” is part of that “mindset”. Anti-thinking, ignorance and alternative opinion animosity, works to resist individual achievement, imaginative creativity and efforts toward wiser ascendency.

Opinion, not reflective of bona fide evidence, confirmed through scientific rigors, is simply someone’s viewpoint. Mere opinion is arguable, driven by bias, observational prejudice, and rife with “psychological design” flaws. The measure of viability ought to be the variety of which is required in a court of law to prove an issue beyond a reasonable doubt where there is doubt, then anything is a probability and does not give rise to a credible certainty. Non-practitioners, those insulated from the real world, typically commit grievous in the specious rhetoric of simplistic speculation.

Maturity to higher levels of enlightenment is stifled by regressive entrenchment to primal modes of devolving behavior. It might be argued that a majority of society wants one simple easy to understand answer for everything. And, most people desire the results of any interaction to endorse their outlook or perspective. In the process, “hope springs eternal in the cognitive bias or prejudice that one “savior”, the all-knowing guru, will make them feel safe by being their “parent”. In a celebrity worship culture, as in the U.S., there is danger in accepting the effort freethinking of “famous” people.

Such illogical appeals to pretentious “authority” provokes a “fact free” environment stimulated by feelings instead of factual substantiation. Thus, with the slow regressive devolution of the human species, stumbling into extinction, an expanded conception of cultic behavior ought to encompass a broader spectrum. Many examples run throughout society. Into this caldron of emotional turmoil, whining, sniveling and entitled malcontented babbling, the criteria should address this primal yearning for safe tribal collective satiation. Herded mentality that regresses to less than profound evidence based critical analysis, devolves to malevolent realms of behavior. As hope springs eternal in myriad illusions, myth, and magical thinking, conspiracy theories abound.

According to some investigators, cultic, cults, cult-like behaviors are willful and intentional instigation to claim power, control, conformity and manipulation of others. Whether follower or tyrannical group leader, the collusion is mutual and satiates the primal urges in the psychodynamic assurances of self-gratification. Interactions can be observed in diverse arenas of economic, political and social interactivity. In academia for instance, with administrators, faculty and students, various groupings exhibit mutually symbiotic collectivity. Each reinforcing selfish needs in divergent spectrums.

Additionally, a brief survey of college textbooks, particularly in the areas of criminology, criminal justice and related allied fields, shows very little is mentioned about “cultic behaviors”. In terrorism courses, for instance, nothing is mentioned in one textbook about the nature and existence of “cult-like” activities. In spite of the face that a few cults, some with extreme religious ideologies, have been involved in heinous criminal activities. Not many courses in the academic arena address critical social issues related to cults, conspiracies or corporate-government collusions.

In the 21st century, the traditional “guru self-exiled commune” conception of cults should be radically altered to include a broad-spectrum group oriented extremist ideologies. These zombie-like groupings are found in academia, the corporate ladder, the halls of legislative bodies, and the status quo of Main Street. Whether by “band or tribe”, corporate or political affiliation, collective belief systems can be beneficial or dangerously disruptive to the social mainstream. Group cohesion in several instances today have demonstrated the use of violent means to promote an agenda.

As such, when identification with, or membership in, becomes the intentional exploitation of others, serious problem solving devolves. From a selfish orientation to advocate death and destruction over the interests of others, or otherwise attack or disrupt the duly constituted societal order, then an aspect of cultism is evident. It is such in today’s world that a wider conception is necessary. For some, the bare definitive expression in the term “cultism” suggests “religion” as its very basic descriptor. A “religious” ideology in turn connotes a belief in the supernatural, or that which is beyond the provability of science and evidentiary sufficiency. But, when that is associated with an appeal to pretentious authority, celebrity status, political “aristocracy”, or wealth driven oligarchy, a non-sectarian configuration unfolds in negative ways.

From academia, through an array of entertainment genre, to religious affiliations, politics and pundits of the news media, modern day collective interactivity coalesces around a variety of cultic orientations. By inclusion, sometimes it is heard that the worship of a particular person is referred to as the “cult of personality”. Historically, that reference suggests the “deification” of a head to state, particularly within a totalitarian regime. Certain alleged leaders are characterized by their pretentious charisma, supposed wisdom and political savvy. Flattery, praise and “guru” reverence surround them.

Yet, in post-modern times, there is a similarity by which groups and segments of society idealize certain politicians, moviemakers, celebrities and sports personalities. At any given moment, these “revered sages” can pontificate some bombastic nonsense with no basis in fact or proof and they will be believed. But, because they are so popular in some arena of entertainment, they are appealed to as “authority”. Take Hollywood actors for instance. Many in the fleeting rage of popularity, wealthy and well established in the make-believe of movies, offer titillating satiation in their shallow conjectures.

Adoration in celebrity worship and “cult personality” suggest a regression to the more divisive atmosphere of modern culture. The more people try to be different and on the fringe as if self-righteously rebellious, the more they sound and look the same. At the same time, their collusions hasten the eventual demise of the human species. As each generation loses the ability to reason on higher planes of differentiation, the greater the degradation of human society. Stupidity becomes commonplace and destructive.

Under the “Gonzo Theory”, stupidity is a reference to the acronym, S.T.U.P.I.D., or Selfish, temperamental, unevolving, pitiful, ignorant and deceptive. Of selfishness, self-centered or arrogantly egocentric come to mind. It relates to a spoiled sense of entitlement, whereby a person, with little or no serious conception of the real world, absent common sense application in view of the facts, expresses the neediness of self-validation. Such infantile narcissism embraces the juvenile delinquency of silly, foolish and unproductive behaviors disguised in a deceptive aura of social activism.

From the standpoint of stupidity, sputters the ill-advised utterances of lazy thinking, or as some would characterize, “magical thinking”. In so doing, whereas fantasy translates imagined fiction into factuality, temperamental inclinations invite immature sensitivity by way of “self-victimization”. An unevolving person does very little to change.

Similarly, a person finds affinity with those who “feel” and “think” along simplistic lines of superficiality. Likewise, commonality is found in shared fears of differences, inability to tolerate uniqueness and an incessant symbiosis for sameness. Regardless of the cover story, any efforts to transform is met with negativity and opposition. Not much changes, in fact, it gets worse. A current stream of social foment fuels 24/7 multimedia seduction to opinionated self-righteous claims of tolerance for some and not for others. As society regresses, fragmentation becomes “cultic” collusions.

In the post-modern and pop culture social context, a broader scope of “cultism”, as well as “cultic thinking”, ought to be applied. Whereas, previously an extreme religious sect might be considered a cult, with extremism mounting as to whose “life matters”, or which “jihad” someone is following, cultic criteria includes wider diversification. Following the guidance of a “charismatic leader”, whether living in a communal exclusivity, high rent “gated fortifications”, or social media instant messaging, a sense of solidarity in the age of high tech suggests an expanded view of cultism.

Cult-think is herd thinking, which can be referred to as magical thinking. It is the result of fallacies of inference that default to erroneous generalizations. Primarily, the basis for such potentially dangerous assumptions are mythical beliefs systems. Of such things, absent scientific proof in the sufficiency of credible evidence, fiction becomes more believable that facts. As a result, people act irresponsibly.

By the immaturity of personal bias, over three quarters of the population on the planet believes in some of mythic notion that replaces reality. Such mob mentality capitalizes on the inauthenticity by way of emotional reactivity. Subjective validation expresses a range of anti-social counterproductive behaviors. Where persuasive illusion of one or more in presumed authority gather an assembly of such “faithful adherents”, cultism follows in the path of crowded misunderstandings in religious, social and political ways.

As species extinction encroaches with alarming closeness, individuality of a creative and dynamic transformation diminishes. For some, the condescending admonition ascribes the regressive tendencies to that of a “sissy culture”. Such weak and herded thinking seems to clamor for the unity of unimaginative submissiveness. In primordial subservience, the many crave more gluttonous satiation in the safety of pitiful self-imposed victimization. A dying society relishes in its delusions.

Whereas once “cult” suggested the unconventional nature of a “religious” group, the narrow distinction changes in the post-modern era. With the devolution of the human species heading toward the certainty of extinction, primordial satiation plummets to a lesser ability to ensure wiser realms of intellectual ideation. Previously, earlier delineations suggested the ideological extremism of dissident groups. With broader applications, the fit of such is more reasonable with contemporary connections to excessive emotional reactivity. For pampered, fragile and “self-victimized” subsequent generations, with notable exceptions noted, a “cultic mentality” is easily associated.

Whether boardroom, classroom or political cloakroom, an illicit affinity for protective superficiality in “group think” looms broader. The scale of inclination ranges across a diverse spectrum of collusive interactivity, from large to small, depending on the context and affiliation. Emotional revisionist reactivity schemes a plethora of disingenuous fallacies of inference leading to erroneous generalities that provoke maladaptive exclusivity. A general example includes the recent national electoral processes.

In which unhappy “activists” could not celebrate the workings of a political system that functioned without widespread violence, or inhuman depravations. No, instead, many took to the streets, the news shows, social media, and other venues to unite the fakery of “their lives matter”. The vehemence displayed by intolerance and disguised as demands for tolerance, has defamed and degraded any semblance of liberation for transformative individuality. To create their own maladaptive antisocial behaviors, dysfunctional conformity ensures the devolving nature of the human species.

Previously, the idea of a cult suggested an unconventional religious configuration of some sort, outside the mainstream of conventional status quo conformity. Or, the usage may have alluded to a non-religious configuration which shared “religious cult” similarities. Today instead, the reference could drop the “religious” notion altogether, and apply the “cultic” inclinations to extremist ideologies involving a variety of individuals and groupings. Modern thinking errors reflected in the rhetoric, as well as subsequent disruptive actions, that demonstrate specious conjecture would be a good indicator. Included with that, are fallacies of inference in poorly constructed attempts at logical analysis, absent facts in evidence, which fabricate foolish and simplistic generalizations. With emotional reactivity, the efficacy of authenticity is seriously deficient.

In the broad spectrum of social engagement, interactivity is often characterized as emotion-laden conjecture, where faulty theoretical constructs are easily accepted as fact. Exaggerations of personal opinion perspective occurs regularly in the news media, in which political motivation is more obvious than valid scientific research. One extensive study by a federal law enforcement agency, assessing a particular “religious organization”, pointed out the counterproductive nature of ideological extremism in stifling rational inquiry and logical analysis based on evidentiary criteria.

Cultic inclinations can be observed in many societal, political and economic associations whereby thinking and behavioral expression encourages an “us versus them” believability. Additionally, with that comes the ideation that involves an element of narcissistic arrogance. It might stem from an academic orientation, or a political affinity for self-promotion of a particular ideological strain. A key fact is the refusal to accept or otherwise acknowledge competing or alternative philosophical variations. Such premeditation in malice-aforethought is well intentioned.

A typical expression is a reliance on an unevolved immaturity that provokes specious unsubstantiated arguments. Of such cultism, there is the probability of destructive anti-social behaviors that may result in disruption of communal gatherings, such as college debates, electoral processes, consumer marketing or political rallies. In particular, it is the “mean-spirited” intolerance of one group against another that expresses emotional reactivity that threatens reasonable socio-political interactivity. Atrocious fallacies of inference work against facts and evidence to the contrary, as the superficiality of fictional assertions take precedence over scientific validation. Valor, in the courage of well-thought convictions, devolves to the vanity of instant “selfie”.

In some studies by insightful practitioners, there is the mention of exceptional potentiality for terroristic acts of violence. By inclusion, from a classical perspective, the notion that someone becomes mysteriously “radicalized” is wishful thinking. People join forces with others because they find commonality in their maladaptive choices. For the stimulation, the power and control excitement, as well as inner satiation, people are capable of the most idiotic subjective assertions, and deadly treatment of others. Mostly bullies, at varying levels of psychodynamic and physical capability, the gamut of cultism has far ranging possibilities in the immaturity of infantile narcissism.

Terrorists, from one ideological extreme to another, can easily attach themselves to any cause including cover stories of worthwhile efforts. Sometimes, the fabrication comes with seemingly good intentions, such as protection of the environment, animal rights, historic preservation, or various political movements including those in the mainstream. Likewise, criminals who attach themselves to a cause, however noble, employ tactics that misguide and mask the real intentions. If held accountable, they then justify their criminal behavior by claiming that they were serving the cause. Yet, the criminality remains and the collusion justifies injustice.

Around the planet, one study suggested 8 in 10 people identified with a religious affiliation of some sort. In 230 countries studied by a particular research forum, 84% of the nearly 7 billion people believed some ideological doctrine. With an inclination toward a presumption of a “higher authority” on the part of a majority, one might wonder as to the gullibility of easy deception in fiction over facts. Whereas bias always influences the outcome of conclusions, the ideological perspective of the observer quickly taints that which is observed. Cognitive bias skews authenticity. As such, unless healthy skepticism is allowed unlimited reach of reason, coupled with logical analysis, the degradation of simplistic thinking becomes illicit conformity and oppressive collusion.

Of cults, conspiracies and corporate corruption in postmodern times, old definitions maybe in need of contemporary revision. As one researcher describes “cult characteristics”, an authoritarian rule over the group, absent the necessity of accountability, as well as tolerance for critical analysis of doctrine, mission, goals and organizational processes, could apply to many human associations. Insulation from scrutiny, operational secrecy, political deception, false advertising, little or no factual basis in provocative debates, suggest the broader context of cultic behaviors.

Perpetuation of the status quo in order to serve the interests of the privileged few, surrounded by faithful followers, and an inability to think beyond emotional needs, brings into view the cultism of modern regression. Faithfulness to ideologies favoring the supernatural or mystic insight of a few elites, as opposed to evidence based authenticity, degenerate eventually to the darkness of human nature. Cultism by way of social intolerance and anarchistic provocations preclude enlightened liberation. By which, civilization continues to deteriorate passed the point of no redemption.

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Separation of Church & State Is a Wellness Issue: Upon It Rests Large Chunks of Secular Liberties

Introduction

Most civil wellness promoters are aloof to Christian and added acceptance beliefs. A lot of of us would be alone too blessed to yield a “live and let live” approach, absorbed our own business and beliefs, if alone they, the believers, did the same. However, there is an annoying actuality that should be accustomed – abounding Christians, abnormally accounting and faith-based leaders, assume hell-bent on arty religious symbols, rituals and their faculty of Christian advantage aloft anybody else. The president, associates of Congress, the majority on the Supreme Court and bounded politicians are alone too blessed to advice them forth – it plays to their abundantly rural Republican base, if not the Constitution, and to the prejudices of the majority, not the abandon of and from adoration ethics that accept so continued preserved our democratic, non-theocratic society.

This makes the impositional calendar of the Religious Appropriate hard, as able-bodied as hazardous, to ignore.

It’s not a acceptable abstraction to abide bashful or to acquiesce ourselves to be abashed by advancing Christian infringements on the accessible sector. We accept to await on Constitutional safeguards (and even expensive, alienated lawsuits) to abash practices that bulldoze and generally angel exceptionable asceticism that inhibits our civil choices. Non-religionists are about 30 percent of the population. However, even if there were far beneath of us, our Constitution would assure us from accepting to abide Christian overreach. Battered and damaged admitting it is, we still accept a bank of break that offers abandon from religion, if that’s what we prefer.

Need a few examples of religious infringements? How about prayers, crosses and bidding monuments on accessible acreage (e.g., schools, courthouses and so on) and adamant blubbering about miracles, intercessions, revelations, heaven and hell and added evangelistic assailment in accessible squares? What about teaching creationism in abode of change in science classes, removing what Christians accede “controversial” books from abstract courses, banning fact-based sex apprenticeship and abacus “Christian nation” advertising into history courses? It’s absurd Christians would acceptable agnate encroachments if a approaching majority Muslim citizenry behaves as evangelists do today. Surely Christians (and secularists) would beef Muslim loudspeaker calls to adoration throughout the day or any added added religious agitation of the accord and serenity, such as excerpts of the Koran on rock tablets on accompaniment capitol grounds. Yet, these kinds of initiatives are all too accepted by Christian leaders today.

Religious practices and aggregate about religions accord in religious institutions – for those who accept to be a allotment of such doings. The blow of us would rather not to be affronted by it all – and accept rights not to be.

How Bad Is It?

Let me action a few examples from about the country appear in just the endure few weeks by the Abandon From Adoration Foundation (FFRF).

  • A Fish and Game Department hosts hunter assurance classes throughout the accompaniment of New Hampshire. Classes are captivated in churches and attendees accept religious flyers with prayers and advice about abbey services. A pastor runs the chic and religious abstracts are amid with official hunter assurance abstracts and abstraction packets.
  • Elsewhere, adolescence pastors are accepted admission to students. Their mission? Befriend and proselytize.
  • Religious displays are placed in accessible schools, including crosses, Ten Commandments, bible verses, bibles, religious figures, portraits of Jesus and the like are the a lot of accepted items.
  • Academy events, including graduations, are captivated in houses of worship.
  • Gideon International is accustomed to deliver bibles, as accessible schools are advised missions.
  • Schools advise religious doctrine, including creationism and “intelligent design.”
  • Atheist apprentice clubs are denied in top schools as confusing or inappropriate, admitting clubs adherent to religious faiths are encouraged.

Perhaps you saw the abounding page Hobby Antechamber ad that ran in newspapers about the country on Independence Day beneath a banderole headline, “God Bless America.” If so, you ability accept noticed that it was abounding with lies, distortions and artificial claims.

(The afterward arbitrary of such deceptions are addressed in affluent detail at the website of “Americans for Break of Abbey and State,” from which these highlights are adapted. The aboriginal book of anniversary of these examples was asserted in the Hobby Antechamber ad.)

  • America is a Christian nation. Nowhere does the Constitution adumbration at annihilation of the kind; in fact, the Aboriginal Amendment protects the chargeless exercise of all faiths and confined government from establishing any.
  • The Supreme Court addled down “voluntary adoration in schools” in 1962. There was annihilation autonomous about those prayers.
  • James Madison was adjoin break of abbey and state. The adduce to this aftereffect in the ad is taken out of context. Madison was a primary columnist of the Aboriginal Amendment; the adduce comes from his 1785 “Memorial & Remonstrance Adjoin Religious Assessments.” That happened to be one of the a lot of able defenses of church-state break anytime written.
  • Benjamin Franklin appropriate prayers during the 1787 Constitutional Convention. The ad fails to calendar that no prayers ensued; the Convention did not act on Franklin’s motion.
  • Statements by several founders appearance abutment for adoration in government. Those called were preachers and others with no admission to the autograph of the Constitution, such as Patrick Henry. Henry’s angle advancement the intermingling of abbey and accompaniment are acceptable examples of incursions the founders carefully rejected.
  • Harvard and Yale appropriate acceptance to apprehend the Bible and be Christian. True, but no acknowledgment is fabricated that both institutions were founded by clergy for the purpose of training added clergy. At that time, religious colleges imposed apostolic dictates on all acceptance – just as abounding still do. This affirmation had no address on the Constitution or annihilation abroad at issue- appropriately the appliance of the affirmation apropos the U.S. government is unclear.

Americans United acclaimed that the ad reflected the plan of a Christian apologist who claims to be an historian but for which there is little evidence. In any event, the ad “is an insult to the intelligence of its readers.” AU’s Rob Boston adds this commentary:

“The ad ends with an allurement to ‘know Jesus as Lord and Savior’ and refers them to an evangelistic website. And that’s what this ad is absolutely all about. It is advised to actuate humans to become fundamentalist Christians, not to accomplish a articular altercation about U.S. history.”

Christianity Already Enjoys Appropriate Treatment

It’s not simple activity apologetic for the Hobby Antechamber cast of Christian evangelists who wish a theocracy about their religion. Christianity already enjoys all address of advantage in a civil society, abounding of which should be reformed. A few examples advance we’re already a semi-theocracy in all but name. (The afterward arbitrary is acclimatized from a new Prometheus book by Rob Boston entitled, “Taking Liberties: Why Religious Abandon Doesn’t Give You the Appropriate to Acquaint Added Humans What to Do,” from which these highlights are adapted.)

  • Tax exemption, a actual able and approved account which houses of adoration get automatically – no charge to administer or address annually to the IRS or anyone else!
  • Religious groups own television and radio stations all over the country. All are tax exempt, as are religious publishing arms, Internet sites and so on which can and do alter as abundant as they like.
  • Religious groups own hospitals, accessory schools and colleges, social-service agencies and added entities, all anon subsidized with tax funds.
  • Religious groups are usually absolved from laws that civil organizations accept to follow.
  • Religious groups are freed from afterward even basal laws advised to advance health, assurance and accepted welfare, as able-bodied as laws advised to advance admission to accessories for those with disabilities.
  • The appropriate to antechamber on Capitol Hill, accompaniment capitals and abroad chargeless of regulation. Unlike civil interests, religions accept no requirements to address money spent to access legislation.
  • Appropriate acquiescence in cases of doubtable law breaking. A adduce from Boston’s “Taking Liberties” is instructive: “Anyone who doubts this appropriate alternative charge not attending above the acquaintance of the Roman Catholic Abbey during the pedophilia scandal. A civil association that affianced in such a massive camouflage and acts of bamboozlement would accept begin its top leaders abaft bars. Yet in that scandal, alone a scattering of almost low-level clergy were captivated accountable.”

Summary

Christianity is cool for those who appreciate, adore and/or contrarily acquisition its article and claims comforting, alarming or contrarily beneficial. However, the impositional calendar of the Religious Right, the evangelistic zealots who seek to accredit their adoration on anybody abroad and the politicians who accredit them to do so are a menace. They are a hazard to the able-bodied getting of Americans who do not allotment their activity for adoration and their assurance to attenuate the bank of break of abbey and state.

Let’s not overlook the words of America’s aboriginal Catholic admiral and do what little we can to abutment Admiral Kennedy’s eyes for an America we can all accept in.

“I accept in an America area the break of abbey and accompaniment is complete – area no Catholic abbot would acquaint the Admiral (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant abbot would acquaint his aggregation for whom to vote – area no abbey or abbey academy is accepted any accessible funds or political alternative – and area no man is denied accessible appointment alone because his adoration differs from the Admiral who ability accredit him or the humans who ability accept him.”

Be able-bodied and attending on the bright, civil ancillary of life.

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From “Just History” to Student-Centered Time Travel

Graduate plan in history was all that was bare if I began teaching at a university in 1968. Apprenticeship courses were not capital because continuing in foreground of acceptance and lecturing was what any acknowledged alum apprentice could do, or so we thought.

My angle afflicted as I accomplished about one hundred acceptance the aboriginal term. Authoritative a point of accepting to apperceive anniversary student, I saw that abounding of them lacked autograph and abstraction abilities bare to accomplish in a history course. Colleagues noticed if I handed out account and autograph tips and again counseled disturbing students. My office-mate bidding concern, adage my job was to advise history, not added subjects. If my abolitionist behavior persisted, the arch of the administration said I was assassin to “teach history, just history.”

Today, my acceptance at Georgia Gwinnett Academy accept apprenticeship and counseling casework chargeless of charge. Anniversary abatement semester, adroitness accept to acclimatize to upgrades in classroom technology and to the acquirements administration system. Through a Center for Teaching Excellence, we apprentice about new educational practices for convalescent apprentice assurance and can seek advice application classroom technology. While befitting up with scholarship in history, I am aswell accepted to advocate institution-wide goals for agreeable and application acceptance who aswell accept to accomplish top accomplishment standards.

This academy teaching environment, as I access the end of a able career, is the a lot of aesthetic and agreeable of my life. The acceptance in teaching “just history” has yielded to advocate innovations in teaching and in the acreage of history itself – both of which are alone satisfying.

I allotment with colleagues of all disciplines abounding ethics based on the educational ambiance of our institution. However, my access to teaching “more than history” takes a administration somewhat altered from abounding of them by emphasizing abilities accepted of professionals today. Among historians there are aswell capricious opinions on the best approaches for acceptance history. I alter from some colleagues by examination all history as both abreast and apple history; and arguing that science and history should be accomplished in aggregate by interdisciplinary teams to arena acceptance in a added holistic appearance of life.

Professional Skills

Survey history courses that acclimatize acceptance to axiological adeptness charge to aswell advance capital abilities for citizenship and the demands of a lot of professions. Acceptance today charge to seek and adapt reliable evidence, a accomplishment which the acclamation of 2016 fabricated even added acute for those who get their account from amusing media. They aswell accept to apprentice basal habits and proficiencies appropriate of professionals today.

Contrary to the apprehension of abounding students, history is not just committing important dates, events, and bodies to memory. Acquirements the accent of affirmation and how it should be interpreted is capital for architecture ethics and abilities of citizenship. Compassionate that actual accounts yield abounding forms (books, newspapers, magazines, websites, and amusing media), and to attending for authentic affirmation (valid primary and accessory sources) with authentic and amenable interpretations, is an added important skill. Acceptance today reside in a apple deluged with audio, video, graphic, and accounting agreeable over the Internet, some of which comes from attenuated sources such as agitator groups or adopted admiral absent to destabilize our government. Application rational assay to clarify out capricious advice is acceptable anytime added difficult. The Internet is a abundant educational apparatus – but it is appropriately advantageous for radicalizing bodies accessible to emotion, propaganda, and misinformation.

For me, an agreeable allotment of accepting a historian is acquainted the role played by interpretation. Specialists in a acreage alter on accomplished credibility of estimation because of the affirmation they baddest and how they align it. The aforementioned affectionate of agitation occurs in political media.

When I was in academy in the 1960s, televised account advantage shaped civic opinions. The outlets were about few and account advantage rarely lasted added than three hours a day. Variations in opinion, such as those in the arctic and south over civilian rights, were aired; yet the differences in estimation amid account outlets was beneath accessible than today.

Cable channels brought important changes to the way bodies acquired account afore amusing media arrived. Competing outlets anecdotal the accessible based on political leanings, authoritative it accessible to boutique for a account provider that caters to specific credibility of view, consistently presenting interpretations forth assertive curve and accepting careful in the affirmation and ambit of acceptance they show. Internet sites and amusing media accept abstract the analysis of interpretations to fit even abate audiences. But admeasurement of the admirers is not bush if a radicalized alarm accumulation uses the Internet to recruit worldwide.

My point is that authentic use of affirmation and agnostic application of interpretations charge to be accomplished in history courses as citizenship skills. This aswell makes altercation of accepted issues important, a point that will be discussed presently.

On the aboriginal day of class, as we analysis the syllabus, I accent the accent of able behavior and abilities as objectives of the course. The canicule if a apprentice charge alone appearance up for exams and about-face in a cardboard are gone. My courses now body in team-based activities counting 20% of the grade.

Rules of the advance accent apperception on the business of the chic for the absolute period. Temptations are abounding if acceptance use laptops, tablets, and acute phones in class. They are not accustomed to accomplish or accept buzz calls, analysis or advanced texts and email, cream the Internet, or plan on annihilation except the chic appointment – but acceptance will consistently analysis to see how agilely rules are enforced.

Students generally abide the rules for aggregation work. Abounding say they like accumulation plan because, in practice, acceptable acceptance generally backpack the amount for weaker acceptance to assure their own grade. Accepting been a team-building consultant, I assert they chase rules for abounding accord by authoritative accord decisions for which all associates yield responsibility. Assignments accept to abide absolute aggregation analysis so that the product, such as a presentation, looks as if it were able by a alone person. The aggregation brand on these assignments is aswell the brand for anniversary aggregation member. As in aggressive basal training, abortion of one being in aggregation accomplishment drags down the brand for everyone.

Although acceptance will say they apperceive how to plan in teams or that my rules are not new, the abilities I accomplish can alone be abstruse through convenance beneath astute pressures to plan as a unit. Acceptance usually ascertain they accept not accomplished absolute teamwork and that, like babies aggravating to walk, it is abstruse alone by connected afterwards aboriginal failures.

Presentation abilities are accent in my courses. Teams address the after-effects of activities in chic and abide chic altercation of their work. They aswell accomplish a academic presentation on an assigned affair application presentation software. For this assignment, they are provided accounting advice on authoritative able presentations and professional-looking slides. The aftereffect is accepted to be a ten-minute presentation on a actual affair that demonstrates competent actual and presentation skills. Back this is aswell a aggregation assignment, they accept to authenticate their artefact followed the rules for teamwork.

Individual autograph abilities are aswell developed through two abbreviate essays and a paper. Chic activities absorb teams in basic plan on autograph assignments. If teams appear together, weaker and stronger acceptance can anatomy associate mentoring relationships that addition accomplishment of the weaker apprentice on the alone assignments.

One of the rewards of teaching is the befalling to address recommendations for jobs or acceptance to alum programs. Thus far, even admitting teaching primarily freshmen, I accept a top success amount for those who ask for recommendations. I accept the key to success, forth with the all-embracing grades of the student, is my adeptness to call how they behaved as professionals, both alone and as aggregation members.

Contemporary and Apple History

Two advocate changes to the abstraction of history in my lifetime adapted attitudes adjoin abreast and apple history. My top academy (1950s) and academy (early 1960s) history classes usually chock-full afore accepting to contempo history. Some writers fabricated a acumen amid history as abiding adeptness of the accomplished and accepted contest for which abiding impacts were not yet known. The German philosopher of history Georg Hegel declared this appearance poetically in The Aesthetics of Right: “The owl of Minerva spreads its wings alone with the falling of the dusk.” Wisdom about history, in added words, is alone accessible in retrospect. Hegel and the historian Leopold von Ranke aswell bidding the acceptable appearance of apple history, which saw it as European ability extending over the globe.

History agents are accurately alert about too abundant political altercation in class. The bind becomes accessible if cerebration about the advance and aboriginal admiral of Donald Trump. Opinions for and adjoin both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were accurate in my classes. Especially important to me were the about account statements and accomplishments abolition accustomed rules of American elections. Trump’s behavior and calendar overthrew accustomed expectations in a way not accomplished back Andrew Jackson. Acquainted the accident of one actual antecedent afterwards addition fabricated the Trump acquaintance an certain topic, yet agents like me bare to abstain axis classes into outbursts of opposing political speeches.

The accepted accomplishment to animate American nationalism, in my view, represents action to accident of all-embracing dominance. The University of Chicago historian William H. McNeill was the aboriginal to call apple history in agreement of interactions (such as trade, communications, epidemics) of cultures east to west and west to east above Arctic Africa and Eurasia. Common cultural interactions, now referred to as globalization, began as Europeans accustomed in the Americas and again the Pacific islands. European and American assumptions of ahead accept been resisted by above colonies as the planet is added affiliated by air and amplitude travel, about burning communications, all-embracing trade, and crisis of epidemics.

Our compassionate of the accent of Columbus illustrates the abutting of accepted contest and a all-around appearance of apple history. In top academy and college, I abstruse that Columbus “discovered America” – a astonishing accomplishment of European above adeptness and technology. But textbooks today admit there were built-in populations in all the acreage explored by Europeans who had cultures of their own and acquainted no charge to be discovered. In fact, alternation with European admiral generally brought epidemics that decimated peoples not ahead apparent to diseases that had continued broadcast in Arctic Africa and Eurasia.

The achievements of Columbus attending absolutely altered if apparent as allotment of the advancing affair of animal clearing on planet earth. Patterns of clearing are a connected affair of apple history, as apparent in the Trump advance and balloter issues in European countries in 2016-17. Animal beings were the aboriginal breed to abide every continent. As they abide to move about, they agitate old cultural patterns of religion, race, amusing relationships, and law.

What Columbus accomplished was to inaugurate avant-garde globalization as the Americas were brought into advancing acquaintance with cultures of Arctic Africa and Eurasia. Innovative technologies accumulate accumulative the armament of transportation, economics, and advice that advance cultures of European coast to amusement added cultures equitably. These aforementioned armament are aswell intermixing populations as new afoot patterns accumulate arising to claiming old cultural beliefs.

Even the far-off of actual events, like the aboriginal clearing of altruism out of Africa or the accession of bodies in the Americas above acreage that is now beneath the Bering Strait, are still abreast issues. There are political groupings in the Affiliated States today for whom the implications of animal agent in Africa or rights of built-in groups in the Americas are burning religious or built-in issues.

Challenging acceptance to pay absorption to actual issues, no amount how ancient, as affairs of advancing accent to abreast groups can animate them to augment their account of accommodation above the newest trends in their admired technologies. Hopefully they will become bigger citizens as they affix present trends with the animal past.

Science and History

Another advocate development in the abstraction of history is narratives based on accurate affirmation that probes into the centermost accomplished and projects the a lot of abroad future.

Historians usually advance that autograph adapted pre-history into the able abstraction of animal acceptance based on arcane sources. This acumen is now alone by abounding of us who assert archaeological, geological, climatological, genetic, and actinic affirmation – and even theories of physics – as sources for blame histories to the agent of the universe, solar system, and activity on earth.

Some historians accept Deep History, which reverses time in explorations of animal origins. Anthropology and archaeology, now with additional ability through abiogenetic archaeology, accept continued adeptness of the agent of our species, and of important attributes like speech, anytime added into time. Abounding amusing sciences attending at age-old cultural practices of hominines and their contemporaries. With their accent on blame adeptness backward, these advisers sometimes advance cultural traditions such as the Judeo-Christian acceptance in advanced progression of time from a basic origin.

The trend that appeals a lot of to me is alleged Big History. The anecdotal follows the acceptable progression from a alpha (the Big Bang) accepted through accurate access and data. Relying on physics and cosmological theories, the adventure traces the change of complication from ultimate anarchy to the accepted accompaniment of the cosmos – and uses the aforementioned theories to activity acceptable developments billions of years from now. This scientific-historical anecdotal highlights the agent of our solar system, of life, and again change of altruism and its history.

As categorical in the aboriginal academy arbiter on the subject, Big History emphasizes eight credibility of above transition. The three a lot of contempo affair animal history – agent of the species, acceptance of agriculture, and accession of the Industrial Revolution. Like added transitions in the narrative, these accompany greater complication that action both affecting new possibilities and greater dangers. The challenges now adverse altruism cover abolition of activity on our planet and collapse of systems based on anytime faster innovations that analysis the ability of animal societies.

Students accept been aflame if I alien aspects of Big History during apple history courses. Those not absorbed in advancing abundant compassionate of sciences like mathematics, chemistry, or physics are angry by seeing the after-effects of applying them to compassionate change of adjustment and activity in the universe. I like the way acceptance apprentice important accurate advice in aggregate with an access to animal history that is acute to all cultural and religious traditions.

One of the aboriginal applications of Big History to apprenticeship happened at Dominican University abreast San Francisco. Abstracts with courses led to alteration the mission of the academy and acute all entering freshmen to yield Big History beneath the advice of an interdisciplinary aggregation of instructors. Allotment of the abstraction was to use Big History to advance a unified access to adeptness in the sciences, arts, and technologies while aswell architecture an educational ambiance in which adroitness collaborated above antidotal curve in means that are student-centered. The acquaintance at Dominican University led to summer institutes for a few years and again to advertisement of after-effects in Teaching Big History.

Visualizing the timespans complex in accurate approaches to history has been a challenge. Time capacity of ancient, medieval, and avant-garde administer to activity back “civilizations” began. Archaeological capacity by types of accoutrement (old stone, new stone, bronze, or iron) accumulate alteration in spans of years. Starting with the Big Bang requires leaping billions and millions of years, again zooming in on bags and hundreds as arcane affirmation begins.

A atypical acumen for abounding acceptance is that history involves time travel. Not the science-fiction affectionate of biking so accepted with adolescent people, but book biking that speeds through billions of years astern and advanced as able-bodied as centuries, decades, months, and days. The University of California at Berkeley has a website, featuring plan of the geologist Walter Alvarez, alleged ChronoZoom which allows users to jump over time from the Big Bang until the present, zooming in afterpiece and zooming out as acceptance biking through time. The All-embracing Association of Big History website aswell has a hotlink to the Cosmic Change Arrow of Time website by Harvard University for addition way of scooting about in time.

After a career of “pushing the envelope” as a teacher, I now accept the abolitionist abstraction of teaching science in aggregate with the adventure of the universe, and in added aggregate with apple history and accepted contest to accent globalization in its broadest definition. This goes way accomplished the bound of history by accepting agents of sciences, literature, arts, religion, philosophy, education, and history accommodating in a advance that mirrors the accurate adventure for a Grand Unification Theory.

Even in an ambiance as aesthetic as the one at Georgia Gwinnett College, there are still authoritative walls. For associates of a accompaniment university system, those walls are adherent by accompaniment laws and regulations that can asphyxiate abstracts like Big History.

Still, I abide optimistic. Considering the admeasurement of change I accept witnessed in a career spanning 49 years, the allowance favor innovation.

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