Where does ecumenism start and stop vis-a-vis syncretism?

Rick Staggenborg SOLDIERS FOR PEACE INTERNATIONAL: Preident Obama is expanding the shadow war directed against Al Qaeda in Yemen and elsewhere. He has chosen to dance around restrictions on the CIA and is using the military to fire cruise missles containing cluster bombs which are more efffective at killing the children of farmers than Al Qaeda members.

One also killed a popular Yemeni minister who was in the area to negotiate with Al Qaeda members to lay down their arms. He is sanctioning increased use of unaccountable mercernary agents run by a spymaster involved in Iran-Contra, the treasonous rogue action that placed Reagan into power and America on the road to fascism.

You can thank the NY Times for this report, thanks to the research done by Amy Goodman and groups like Amnesty International: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/world/15shadowwar.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&th&emc=th
Secret Assault on Terrorism Widens on Two Continents - NYTimes.com
In a dozen countries — including in North Africa, Pakistan and former Soviet republics — the United States has significantly increased military and intelligence operations.
August 15 at 5:07am · Comment · Like · Share · Report

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Rick Staggenborg

This article is an excellent summary of covert operations that Congress is not informed and of the likely consequences, including the destabilization of an unpopular regime in Yemen propped up by CIA money and "foreign aid" Obama disingenuously implies will go to help the people of Yemen.

The aid is no doubt actually goinjg into the bank accounts of the Yemeni government officials who have to be preparing for an escape if Yemen falls to rebel gorces gaining increasing propaganda value from these "stealth" attacks. We could be setting up another Somalia.

The New York Times may have earned the criticism it received for being a stenographer for the Bus administration, but it is past time that the Left acknowleges that it has learned its lesson and is reporting fully on important news in the US and around the world. Our efforts at challenging the corproate media are thus making a difference.
August 15 at 5:15am · Like ·

Daniel S. Moskowitz

The primary difference between the Policies of Barack Obama and George W. Bush is the Facade. I'm sorry to say, and this may be a very CRUEL thing to say, but, if Barack's FATHER was looking down from Heaven upon the actions and poicies of his son, he might be ASHAMED. I was closer to my Dad than my Mom. So, I often wonder whether my Father would approve of my Actions. Even if his Father was a bit of a Playboy and a "lukewarm Muslim", he probably wouldn't want Innocent People in Poor Countries killed with his son as Commander and Chief. If he was looking down right now, he might wish that his son remained a Community Organizer in Chicago.
August 15 at 6:21am · Unlike · 2 people ·

Rick Staggenborg

I agree about your statement on President Obama's policies, but I diagree with your judgement of him. It does not seem to me to be fair to judge the actions of a man walking through a minefield with sniper's rifles aimed at his head from every direction. The corproatocracy is much more in control of America's shadow government than it was in Kennedy'stime and we know what happened to him when he didn't go along with their plans in Cuba, Iran, Vietnam and elsewhere.

Obama is our Commander-in-Chief and as a solider, I must support him by working to free him from this threat so he can do the job for which he was elected, once the Senate if reformed. If he fails to do the right thing then, there will be grounds for trying him for war crimes: http://takebackamericaforthepeople.blogspot.com/2009/11/chapter-twentythree-obama-is-political.html
August 15 at 10:16am · Like ·

Tom Usher


I say you are too kind to Obama. You are giving him much more of the benefit of the doubt than he deserves. He ran for President. An honest man doesn't do that and then shirk doing the right thing just because he might get a bullet. Besides, he ran on a certain number of planks to his platform that changed and changed as the primaries wore on and then which he largely threw out the window once elected.

Do you really see him growing in office? I have seen none of that – not a trace. With John F. Kennedy, we all could see him growing in office. History shows it.

I want Obama to stop, turn, repent, and to work to atone – to help America to atone — to set a new, good agenda. If he does that, then he'll get into good graces. He's not in good graces now, looking like a good-hearted person simply surrounded by evil. He looks rather to be a part of the possessed.

You wouldn't put it in such religious terms, but you can translate what I've said into secular and mundane terms and still see that Obama is misguiding and misguided.

Leaders lead. Followers look around to see whose going to kill them and then change their "convictions."

Peace and truth to you,

August 17 at 3:27am · Like ·

Rick Staggenborg

I hope that you are wrong, Tom.

Giving up on a man when he may be doing his best will do nothing to persuade him to change. I know this from my personal experience as a therapist.

I do not use the term "evil" because no one is absolutely pure in their motivations and all of us rationalize. If we reject Obama the man, we cannot expect him to respect our views. No one changes because they are shamed. Rather, they tend to live down to our expectations. Obama is our President until 2012 (God willing) and it is our moral duty to try to persuade him in respectful terms if we are going to try at all.
August 18 at 8:21pm · Like ·

Tom Usher

Well, Rick, you did reply with the typical non-religious-therapist approach. I don't agree that people never change due to shame. Being ashamed of oneself is a proper thing when one has truly done shameful things. Being ashamed is part of a working conscience. Realizing that the working conscience is largely missing in oneself can lead to its development.

If you believe Barack Obama has some working conscience (he does), then being told that he should be ashamed of himself is not giving up on him but attempting to stimulate him in the right direction. I have said that I don't see a properly working conscience but rather duplicity under the Plutocrats. He's a great actor in that he's duped so many. He's "so good at it" that he convinces himself so he may all the better play the role. He is not a good actor though to me because I see right through his character. You fall back on your training. I fall back on the Gospels.

"I do not use the term "evil" because no one is absolutely pure in their motivations and all of us rationalize." I disagree. Jesus did not and does not have impure motives and did not and does not rationalize. As a Christian, I must take his positions. In doing so, I must leave behind impure motives and rationalizations. Besides, if all have impure motives and rationalize, which you've identified with evil (and correctly so), then why not use the term evil and call humanity out from the impure motives and rationalizations? That's what I'm working to do.

Anyway, I do want you to know that I do believe that your intention here is to be good. We use the language differently. We use different terms and different connotations, which makes for misunderstanding. However, if we continue dialoguing, if we don't give up when we both want understanding, we may produce fruits worthy of repentance. That's my goal.

Peace, Rick,

August 19 at 1:19am · Like ·

Rick Staggenborg

Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed response, Tom.

I think that it is important that we learn each others language if we are to have a dialogue, do it is important that you explain your interpretation of what I write. That is why I don't censor any appropriate comments from my friends on any of my websites or Facebook pages.

I do not believe in "sin" unless you define it as error that hurts others. If the intent is good the result cannot be judged by whether a person is inherently "good" or "evil." To put it in religious terms, we all have the Devil in us that represents our Id.

We also have the potential to realize the angels of our better nature if we try. I beleive that the way to do this requirres us to question all assumptions if we are to develop a personal model of God and Man that reflects physical reality and the revealed widom that is to be found not only in books but in the natural world and the study of how it changes over time.

The problem with the Fundamentalist religious interpretation of the term "sin" is that it presupposes that we judge our own actions by the standards of others who in turn rely on not always dependable authorities to define proper conduct for them. No one speaks for God unless God dwells within them and speaks louder than our own self-interest.

That is why the Jesus described in the New Testament is not of mixed motivations, as you say. The problem is that people trying to follow him almost inevitable fall short not because they are not trying but because they have accepted self-interested propaganda from "evil" authority figures with a personal agenda.

The problem with shame is that it is a rejection of self. Jesus taught that we can be forgiven any sin if we truly repent and try to do our best. If we strive to become the angels of our better nature and rejecting the devil within us, we can approach the glory of the God within us: http://takebackamericaforthepeople.blogspot.com/2010/04/chapter-eighty-what-if-god-were-all-of.html
Yesterday at 7:04am · Like ·

Tom Usher


The way you talk about the id there sounds like individual existence itself is the proverbial Satanic. In a certain sense on this plane of existence, that's a defensible position.

Of course, if the id is the devil within, than rejection of self apart from God is a proper attitude.

This verse taught me a great deal:

"If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)

A working conscience makes one ashamed of his wrongful feelings, thoughts, words, and deeds.

I definitely agree with you concerning many self-styled Fundamentalists. The old-time ones were more sincere. The carnival barkers who moved in though to take the suckers pretty much ruined that.

I can see where you've help many a returning soldier to cope with being haunted by having done things he was unaware he would be ordered to do.

Thank you for the reply. I believe I know you better now.

As for your blog post, well, it's long. That's not a problem, but for me to address every point where I diverge would require a post longer than yours. I don't think that's required here. I believe you are willing to learn my views over time.

Let me say that the idea is mistaken that the Christian scriptures were as different as some would have the world believe. The falsehood concerning it is used to self-license all sorts of iniquity, and Jesus was adamantly opposed to iniquity. I've looked into the matter in some detail, and what I've come away with is just how similar the versions all are up to about 1970. Since then, there has been a huge lack of integrity concerning some Bible versions.

Reading the ante-Nicene Fathers helped. I haven't read nearly enough, but I have read enough to realize that Jesus to John to Polycarp to Irenaeus is something I trust. The canonical Gospels per the King James Version are not without a few scribal errors and in one case, outright false emendation (no matter how well intentioned). However, it jibes with the earliest extant text remarkably well. I use it so that when I discuss anti-war and anti-greed, the King James Only adherents will hear him and me.

It is true that some writings that were not incorporated into the canon under Constantine were very far a field from the general tenor of those that were included. Let me say though that I subscribe to what is referred to as the wider or broader canon, not that I hold that every book in that wider canon holds the same weight as every other. The narrow canon itself though refers to Greek pagan poetry to make some points. I see nothing wrong with it at all. God doesn't send chills through my bones when I ponder such things as Greek, Egyptian, Indian (Hinduism and American) "mythology." I use the term "mythology" advisedly for reasons too ponderous to flesh out here right now.

I can't refer to God as an "it." Neither can I speak of finding a theory of God. These things are on account of my personal experience with the singular consciousness who is God.

I also believe that there is good reason that Jesus referred to God as "Father." There is certainly place for "Mother."

How do you deal with the outright Satanists and Luciferians? Surely you can't strive for syncretism with those religions. I certainly don't. You must realize that the Theosophists are literally anti-Christ. They've said as much openly and in writing. Are you also aware of the Talmudic Jesus? Jesus is treated as a devil in the Talmud. Well, Jesus called the Pharisee's "serpents." The Qur'an of course, holds that Jesus didn't even go to the cross. That idea alone throws off the whole point of Jesus's atoning and being a ransom for many, etc., showing the kind and degree of love required.

I can't see the point of striving to all get along where it means claiming that all religions or views are equally valid.

I do arrive at being non-coercive, as you know. I also would not starve, etc., the others who don't profess Jesus, as Jesus intends and not as others try to make him out to be.

Your denomination is close to what I came out of into what I am now.

Peace, love, and giving and sharing all,

For: The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project

Tom Usher

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    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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