Posts Tagged Jesus
When I first saw this I thought it was a freaking joke made up by someone with the worst sense of humor. That, or a piece of cartoon/anime porn. I mean she does look like she was fisting his ass. Outside of porn and S&M, how do you even come up with a scenario like that?
Turns out, this pile of garbled shit is the result of the fermented mind of a religious person to be found in the Old Testament of the glorious Bible, Deuteronomy 15: 11-12 to be exact.
“If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, 12 you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.”
I swear the Bible is the most hilarious work of fiction ever written.
May I remind our religious brethren that if anyone today came up with something like that as part of their religion, we would recommend they receive full psychological evaluation.
Seriously though, this isn’t divine anything, this is a cry for help.
He is real. He was real. He must have been real!!! Because the star who plays Jesus on the History Channel’s miniseries “The Bible” says that he just saw his whole life in a flashback in front of his eyes when he was hanging on that cross waiting to shoot the scene.
Amazing. This “strange occurrence” as the teaser headline on Yahoo! News says has me definitely convinced that in fact something divine may have had a part in this and that I was wrong and that Jesus was the son of god who died for my sins.
Strange occurrences like this always convince me – and they should convince you too – that even the most fantastical and far fetched myths are truths that we all just missed. I am sitting here in shame that I ever doubted him – whoever he is – especially now that I know that a “strange occurrence” during the reenactment of this scene totally makes the case for the veracity of the whole Jesus being the savior thing. Amen. Thank you for this sign. You had me on “strange occurrence.”
As the Portugese actor Diogo Morgado said “It’s so strong when you feel that you’re where you should be, you know, and you feel that this is what you were kind of … that you were born to, at one point, to touch people’s hearts. If the goal of an actor is to tell the best story ever, there’s no higher story than Jesus Christ. It’s the ultimate love story, and the way he can touch people, it’s just a privilege, it’s just beyond words, having this opportunity of doing this. It was really a personal journey and a spiritual journey. And it touched me, in a way that I’m still digesting. It didn’t end with the shooting. It’s still alive.”
I like how Jesus makes self righteous people feel great about themselves Something he was born to do? His destiny? Yeah right. As T.S. Eliot once said “most trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. ”
Morgado got the whole “greatest story ever told” part right because that is exactly what Jesus is, a nice story about the triumph of good over evil and self sacrifice, magic, love, pain, blood and tears. Shit, I mean if you were to add the lightsabers, Chubacca and the evil emperor to the mix, you could pitch the script to Hollywood and make crap loads of money of of it. Oh wait…
Much like Christmas and Halloween, Easter and the traditions that surround it have actually very little to do with Jesus or Christianity and a lot more to do with how our ancestors rationalized the natural world around them with respect to the movement of celestial bodies and the change in seasons.
Accordingly, many traditions and costumes have developed along various human tribes and cultures in response to these changes in the natural world. Changes all humans could observe but not really explain.
Our ancestors, not possessing the technological and scientific knowledge and advances that we posses today - and which allow us to analyze and understand what we observe, created a world filled with deities, myths and legends in order to understand and rationalize the world around them.
Understanding the changes in the seasons and thus the cycle of life – from the fruitful and warm months of the spring and summer to the dark, frigid and cold months of the fall and winter – is one example to the point. Easter and the Spring Equinox stand in contrast to the Fall Equinox and the traditions and symbolism found in Halloween and Christmas. And all follow the rhythm of this planet.
While Halloween and Christmas are traditions marking the end of the light season of the year where the days get shorter and the nights longer, thus commemorating the beginning of the “dark” season, Easter represents the end of the “dark” part of the year and the beginning of the light season, when the sun seems to awaken from its winter’s sleep bringing with it new life and seemingly new hope. Spring.
Use of Symbolism in Religion
The use of symbolism in religion is a universally established phenomenon. Archeologist Steven Mithen contends that it is common for religious practices to involve the creation of images and symbols to represent supernatural beings and ideas. Because supernatural beings violate the principles of the natural world, there will always be difficulty in communicating and sharing supernatural concepts with others. This problem can be overcome by anchoring these supernatural beings in material form through representational art and customs. When translated into material form, supernatural concepts become easier to communicate and understand.
Throughout history, human tribes and chiefdoms – in response to the movement and rotation of the Earth in relation to the sun and with it the creation of the seasons and various other biological facts, have developed a myriad of traditions and practices honoring and commemorating such changes.
Supreme celestial deities occur in many mythologies, with various qualities and attributes, in many shapes, and with great diversity in cultic significance.
Celestial bodies, such as the sun, moon and Earth itself, were ascribed to various deities who represented such celestial bodies and/or were in direct control of them, such as the Goddess of the sun who is celebrated as the months of March and April bring us the Spring Equinox, when the tilt of the Earth’s axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth’s equator.
Natural disasters in the form of droughts, hurricanes, thunderstorms and other similar phenomena were attributed to the failure of properly worshiping and serving such deities.
Easter a Pagan Tradition
Much like Halloween - and following it Christmas – represent the end of the light season of the year and the beginning of the dark season, fall and then winter, where the days become short and the nights longer. Spring represents the opposite.
All Hallows Eve - also known as Halloween – which was originally influenced by Western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead, particularly the Celtic Samhain marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the Winter Solstice - is a festival to bid farewell to the light part of the year in order to welcome the dark. Halloween and Christmas are examples of such pagan traditions and the reason why we celebrate Halloween and subsequently Christmas (even though Christmas is associated with Jesus, while Halloween isn’t, although it very well may be).
In fact, the Winter solstice accounts for the selection of Christmas day as December 25th. People noticed that in late December the the days became noticeably shorter and that the sun ceased its movement to the south. The Winter solstice was celebrated for the birth of the sun.
When Christianity began being forced on people and took over other religious and spiritual beliefs, especially the pagan traditions of above, those traditions were often preserved and carried over but now they were celebrated in the name of the new God, Jesus Christ.
In a way Christians fused the old pagan traditions with Christianity, with the “desired” effect of getting more converts that way. That they picked Christmas to fulfill their religiosity and not All Hallow’s Eve is completely arbitrary as both are pagan traditions celebrating the transition of the seasons.
Similarly, while Easter is the annual festival observed throughout Christendom in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannlca confirms that “there is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the apostolic Fathers. The sanctity of special times was an idea absent from the minds of the first Christians.” (1910, Vol. VIII, p. 828).
The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us that “a great many pagan customs, celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter. The egg is the emblem of the germinating life of early spring. . . . The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility.” (1913, Vol. V, p. 227).
Nowhere does the Bible indicate that early Christians observed either a weekly Sunday or a yearly Easter to commemorate Christ’s resurrection. In fact, and according to the fictitious Bible itself, the night before he died, Christ ordered quite a different celebration. He served his disciples a simple meal of wine and bread and commanded them to “keep doing this in remembrance of [him].” (Luke 22:19). It was thus Christ’s death, not his resurrection, that Jesus wanted memorialized. Jesus served this meal on the night of the Jewish Passover meal—a yearly celebration of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. (Matthew 26:19, 20, 26-28) Obviously, Jesus intended to replace the Passover with a yearly serving of this memorial meal. However, neither Easter nor any other celebration was commanded by Christ.
Celebrating the Spring equinox has for millennia been an important cultural tradition of many human tribes beginning from the Bronze age. In fact, celebrating the beginning of spring may be among the oldest holidays in human culture. Occurring every year on March 20, 21, or 22, the Spring equinox marks the end of winter and the beginning of Spring. Biologically and culturally, it represents for northern climates the end of the “dead” season and the rebirth of life, as well as the importance of fertility and reproduction.
Origins of the Name Easter
The name Easter (German Ostern) is derived from old Teutonic mythology. According to Bede (De Temp. Rat. c. xv.) it is derived from Eostre, or Ostdra, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of dawn, spring and fertility to whom the month of April, called Eostur-monath, was dedicated. This month, Bede says, was the same as the mensis paschalis, “when the old festival was observed with the gladness of a new solemnity.”
“Easter is a word of Saxon origin and imparts a goddess of the Saxons, or rather, of the East, Estera, in honor of whom sacrifices being annually offered about the Passover time of the year (spring), the name became attached by association of ideas to the Christian festival of the resurrection, which happened at the time of the Passover.” (Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, “Easter,” p.12).
The name of the festival in other languages (as Fr. padques; Ital. pasqua; Span. pascha; Dan. paaske; Dutch paasch; Welsh pasg) is derived from the Latin pascha with its Hebrew name being Passover. Passover is the Hebrew festival celebrating the exodus out of Egypt and slavery, where in an act of divine love, Yahweh’s spirit killed the innocent firstborn of every family, except for the Hebrews’ (naturally. That explains the whole “god’s chosen people” crap and totally makes me wanna join this faith) who had painted their doorways with lamb’s blood, allowing the angel of death to recognize and avoid those homes.
An erroneous derivation of the word pascha from the Greek ircthx iv, “ to suffer,” thus connected with the sufferings or “passion” of Christ, was given by some of the Fathers of the Church, as Irenaeus, Tertullian and others, who were ignorant of Hebrew.
The word Easter appears once in the King James version of the Bible where Herod has put Peter in prison, “intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people” (Acts 12:4). Yet in the original Greek text the word is not Easter, but Pesach, that is Passover.
Celebrating Sun Gods and Spring
In his Dictionary of Word Origins, Joseph Shipley writes that “Easter [...] is from Anglo Saxon Eostre, a pagan goddess whose festival came at the spring equinox. The festival was called Eastron (plural of Eastre). The Christian festival of the resurrection of [Messiah] has in most European languages taken the name of the Jewish Passover (Fr. Paques, It. Pasqua, from Latin pascha…); but in English the pagan word has remained for the Christian festival.” (p.131)
Before she was Eastre, the idol was called Ishtar (pronounced by the Assyrians and Babylonians as we do Easter).
Ishar and Eostre
Ishtar (alias Semiramis) was the wife of Nimrod, the priest-king and founder of Babylon. She was the first “deified woman” (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p. 304). The Greeks worshiped her as Aphrodite and the Romans as Venus –goddess of love.
Ishtar is the Mesopotamian Semiticgoddess whose Greek name is Astarte and whose Sumerian name is Inanna. She has been known throughout the Near East and Eastern Mediterranean from the early Bronze Age to Classical times. She was connected with fertility, sexuality, and war. She was accepted by the Greeks under the name of Aphrodite or, alternatively, Artemis. A trace of this among the Hebrews appears in Deutronomy vii. 13, xxviii. 4, 18, where the lambs are called the “ashtarot” of the flock.
Ishtar was the Queen of ancient Babylon and in Phoenician countries the female counterpart of Baal, and was no doubt worshiped with him by those Hebrews who at times became his devotees. This is proven by the fact that Baalim and Ashtaroth are used several times (Judges x. 6; I Sam. vii. 4, xii. 10) like the Assyrian “ilani u ishtarati” for “gods and goddesses.”
Before the establishment of Judaism and all the other world religions that followed, Israelites were just like any other human tribe worshiping various deities whose images they carved in stone based on their perceived association with certain archetypes and/or their dominion over certain aspects of nature, such as Earth, the Heavens, the seas, Sun, light and darkness.
Asherah/Asherim, a major northwest Semitic mother goddess, was such a deity who was made of wood carved from a type of evergreen tree. Often they were set up in Canaanite homes as full trees cut down from a forest.
The Asherim normally were highly acknowledged during certain specific occasions. They were the fertility gods of the Spring Equinox, when the days and nights were approximately the same in length, signifying the beginning of living things growing for the summer season. A very common practice in the Canaanite religion was performed on the first Sunday of the equinox. The families would face east to await the rising of the sun, which was the chief symbol of the sun god, Ba’al. Later on during the day, the children of the Canaanite parents would often go and hunt for eggs, which were symbolic of sex, fertility and new life.
Alexander Hislop, in The Two Babylons (p.103) said that “Easter bears its Chaldean origin on its forehead. Easter is nothing else than Asarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven…”
Rabbits and Eggs, Sun Gods Have Nothing To Do With Christ
Although Easter is a Christian festival, it embodies traditions of an ancient time antedating the rise of Christianity according to Funk and Wagnalls Standard Reference Encyclopedia. The “Eastre monath” (Easter month) was dedicated to Eastre, the Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Her festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox, and traditions associated with the festival survive in the familiar Easter bunny, symbol of the fertile rabbit, and in the equally familiar colored Easter eggs originally painted with gay hues to represent the sunlight of spring.
It was believed that eggs came from rabbits, which in the pagan tradition were symbolic of lust, sexual prowess and reproduction.
The Canaanites, however, were not the only ones who worshiped rabbits as deities. The Egyptians and the Persians (Babylon) also held rabbits in high esteem because they believed that rabbits first came from the divine Phoenix birds, who once ruled the ancient skies until they were attacked by other gods in a power struggle. When they were struck down, they reincarnated into rabbits, but kept the ability to produce eggs like the ancient birds to show their origins.
Other stories concerning the egg rose later in the Middle Ages by the Anglo-Saxons, where they believed the origin of the Universe had the earth being hatched out of an enormous egg. Decorating eggs came about to honor their pagan gods and were often presented as gifts to other families to bring them fertility and sexual success during the coming year.
Hot cross buns also have little to do with Jesus. “Cakes” is the Hebrew kavvan, meaning a sacrificial cake, which was “used in worship of Ishtar“ according to the The New Brown, Driver, and Brlggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 467). These “cakes” survive as today’s hot cross buns — an Easter tradition on which are marked crosses, the symbol for woman. In hieroglyphics the cross is a symbol for life.
This ancient queen of heaven was the mother of life, the heathen believed. Even though the early church clergy tried to put a stop to sacred cakes being baked at Easter – as that was considered sacrilegious, in the end they gave up and blessed the cake – which is a traditional Easter food today.
In fact, in its effort to join pagan with Bible believers, the early church accommodated many pagan observances, finding common dates on which to merge, much like the pagan traditions surrounding Christmas that were eventually co-opted into Christian traditions. In the case of Easter, the Roman Catholic Church adopted the Asherah worship and named it Easter around 155 A.D.
Easter & Zoroastrianism
As mentioned above, celebrating the spring equinox and thus the new season is a tradition many human cultures have shared. Traditions that have become the foundation of organized religion as we know it today.
The earliest such reference we have to a similar holiday as Easter comes to us from Babylon (Persia) circa 2400 BCE. The city of Ur had a celebration dedicated to the moon and the spring equinox which was held some time during the months of March or April.
During the spring equinox Zoroastrians and Persians continue to celebrate “Nowruz,” (literally “new day”) the New Year, which marks the first day of Spring and the beginning of the year in the Iranian calendar. It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical Northward Equinox, which usually occurs on March 21 or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed. As well as being a Zoroastrian holiday and having significance amongst the Zoroastrian ancestors of modern Iranians, it is also celebrated in parts of the South Asian sub-continent as the new year. The moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year and iranian families gather together to observe the rituals.
This date is commemorated by the last remaining Zoroastrians and probably constitutes the oldest celebration in the history of the world.
The traditional table setting of Nowruz includes some specific items such as sombol (hyacinth plant), sekkeh (coins representing wealth), aajeel (dried nuts, berries and raisins), lit candles (enlightenment and happiness), a mirror (cleanness and honesty), decorated eggs (fertility) and traditional Iranian pastries like baghlava.
Christ the Sacrificial Lamb of Passover
A great controversy arose between the Catholic Church (as in between human beings, nothing divine) and the Greek Orthodox Church in 325 A.D. on whether to celebrate Easter on Sundays or on whatever day the Jewish Passover fell upon. The Greeks lost a lot of followers and the Catholics contended that keeping Easter on Sundays would stimulate the practices of both the Christian world and the pagan worshipers. Since the original practice of Asherah worship we now have in our time the celebration of Easter, a counterfeit holiday to the true Christian festival of the Passover which was instituted in the Bible and completed in the New Testament when Christ died on the cross as the Passover Lamb.
“For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed” (1 Corinthians,5:7) In other words, the Christian’s passover is similar to the Jewish Passover. However, instead of sacrificing lambs and using their blood on the doorway to be saved, Jesus becomes the sacrificial lamb when he is crucified, saving all those who follow him, the Christians.
In 325 CE the Council of Nicaea decided that the Easter date would be the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the March equinox. Easter is therefore delayed one week if the full moon is on Sunday, which lessens the likelihood of it falling on the same day as the Jewish Passover. Eastern Orthodox churches in many countries such as Greece still figure their Easter date based on the Julian calendar.
The Bible Doesn’t Tolerate Pagan Abominations
Revelation tells us that Babylon is the mother of all false worship, and Revelation 14:8 says that Babylon caused all nations to partake in her spiritual unfaithfulness. Our society didn’t escape Babylon’s influence regarding the Easter observance, either.
The Easter sunrise service is common today. But how many who participate realize the ancient tradition they are really keeping alive — adoration of the sun-god Ishtar?
Ezekiel gives this sobering account of what god thinks of this custom employed in worship of Him:
“Then said he unto me, Have you seen this, O son of man? turn you yet again, and you shall see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of YEHOVAH’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of YEHOVAH between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of YEHOVAH, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Have you seen [this], O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, [yet] will I not hear them.” (Ezekiel 8:15-18)
God will one day teach mankind that He is the only true Mighty One. They will learn — through plague, if necessary — that pagan abominations will not be tolerated. And man will one day discover what True Worship is all about and what blessings can be his if he will only be obedient not to the world — but to the Word.
Nothing Christian About Easter
Easter eggs and bunnies and the Spring equinox have as much to do with Christ as Christmas trees, mistletoe and the fall equinox and winter solstice. In fact, there is really nothing Christian or Biblical about forty days of Lent, decorated trees in your homes, engraved images and symbols of Ba’al and Ishtar, the sun Gods, the use of Evergreen and mistletoe, the latter of which Pagan priests (Druids) used to conjure black magic in love potions, “sunrise services”, Santa Clause, decorated eggs, rabbits, hot cross buns and the Easter ham symbolizing and worshiping the Goddess Ēostre.
These things, however, have everything to do with the ancient pagan traditions of Babylon and Mesopotamia. Engaging in such activities makes professing Christians nothing but idolaters.
Since Christians are so apt at condemning non-believers and especially atheists to the various levels of the Inferno, I would like to remind them that the worship of and engaging in such very Pagan practices, from Christmas all the way through the supposedly holiest of all Christian holidays, Easter, has neither anything to do with Jesus nor does it make for a one way ticket to the Pearly Gates. What it does, however, is guarantee a sure way to secure yourselves, oh faithful people, a seat right up there with the rest of us. You have to be in an intellectual coma to not realize that the practice of such things goes against the very book you uphold so highly and which you are more than happy to slap in everyone’s face to judge them and justify all sorts of atrocities. Happy Ēostre!
Given that none of the Christmas traditions observed have anything to do with Jesus or Christianity; given that Jesus – if he existed – wasn’t even born in December and given that Christmas is a totally pagan holiday co-opted by religious people, seeing a billboard like that gives new meaning to the notion head in the sand and willful ignorance.
I am also certain that given all the shit that is going on in this world – wars, oppression, hunger, poverty and the myriad of horrible things us blessed human beings, god’s children, do to one another – the last thing Jesus would be bothered by is that we do not wish each other “Merry Christmas“. Then again, given the hypocrisy of most religious people, this is the exact kind of billboard you would expect to see from such pious followers, so in a way they are actually pretty consistent and this billboard spot on.
Religious people and hypocrites everywhere care a lot about decorum and politeness, lending a civilized veneer to the sinister reality and ruinous worldviews they advocate.
Whenever I have a discussion with someone over the Second Amendment and gun ownership in this country, it is seriously like a walk down idiot lane with a bunch of unreasonable, ignorant, paranoid, right wing, the-zombie-apocalypse-is-upon-us-and-we-need-to-protect-ourselves-from-liberals morons who could not logically argue the need for water for life on this planet.
I feel like they need to be taken aside and educated since the arguments as to why ordinary citizens just direly need to own tools of mass murder always center around the same uninformed, ignorant notions and baseless strawmans rooted in myth and paranoia.
People who adamantly champion for ordinary, private citizens to own guns often have very little understanding of either the Second Amendment, the history behind it and why it was set in motion and they cannot even really intelligently articulate as to why their right in 2012 to own tools of murder should supersede the right of people to safety and most importantly life. I keep hearing the same lame and weak excuses over and over again and it is tiring having to repeat oneself. This really is idiot nation when it comes to guns. Well, not just guns but you get the picture.
So, here I compiled an FAQ in response to the typical “arguments” that are often thrown in the way of gun control in this country. I may add to the list because stupidity is bountiful and I am sure someone will come up with some colorful, creative reason trying to justify why we, as a civilized people, need an arsenal of guns at our disposal.
The Second Amendment to the Constitution says that citizens have the right to bear arms. Wouldn’t putting limits and regulations on such a thing violate the Second Amendment?
As stated in the Second Amendment “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
So the patriots are correct, gun ownership is in the Constitution – if you’re in a well-regulated militia. Ordinary citizens are not part of the militia.
The militia at the time of the framing of the Constitution was all able bodied citizens. There was no official militia at the time and it should be noted that the National Guard wasn’t formed until 1903 with the Militia act of that year. So the framers of the Constitution were clearly referring to “the people” meaning all citizens as a source to draw upon in case of military need.
If the Constitution were written in today’s English, the justification and operative portions of the Second Amendment would likely read something along the lines of “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed because they may be called upon for military service to secure the state“.
What is a “well regulated militia” anyway?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a MILITIA as
a : a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency
b : a body of citizens organized for military service
: the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service
Or as Alexander Hamilton stated about the militia:
A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions, as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.
Why was the Second Amendment put into the Constitution?
Remember that at the time the US Constitution was framed, we were still a young nation having just freed ourselves from the yokes of the British Empire. The original intent of the Second Amendment, which calls for a well regulated Militia of the citizenry, was, therefore, to defend against the superpower Great Britain in case it chose to exercise its property rights as “owner” and seize back the newly created United States.
Up until then and codified in the English Bill of Rights of 1689, the King and ruling bodies had the authority to disarm their subjects and especially opponents. For the populace not being able to bear arms was, therefore, a very serious issue since - as a result – they were also not able to stand up to a tyrannous state that oppressed them. The text of the English Bill of Rights of 1689 includes language protecting the right of Protestants against disarmament by the Crown.
The need to have arms for self-defense, which is what the proponent of the second Amendment strongly stress, was not really in question. Peoples all around the world since time immemorial had armed themselves for the protection of themselves and others.
However, as organized nations began to appear these arrangements had been extended to the protection of the state. Without a regular army and police force (which in England was not established until 1829), it had been the duty of certain men to keep watch and ward at night and to confront and capture suspicious persons. Every subject had an obligation to protect the king’s peace and assist in the suppression of riots.
A foundation of American political thought during the Revolutionary period was the well justified concern about political corruption and governmental tyranny. Even the federalists, fending off their opponents who accused them of creating an oppressive regime, were careful to acknowledge the risks of tyranny. Against that backdrop, the framers saw the personal right to bear arms as a potential check against tyranny.
The framers thought the personal right to bear arms to be a paramount right by which other rights could be protected. Therefore, writing after the ratification of the Constitution, but before the election of the first Congress, James Monroe included “the right to keep and bear arms” in a list of basic “human rights”, which he proposed to be added to the Constitution.
The advocates of guns who claim patriotism and the rights of the 2nd Amendment – are they in well-regulated militias? For the vast majority – the answer is no.
I am a patriot but how do I protect myself against the tyranny of the government?
True patriots support the Constitution adamantly and wholly. They have faith in the Constitution of the United States and the Rule of Law. Since we no longer find ourselves in the 17th Century where citizens had to fight for and stand up to oppressive monarchies, the use of arms in this country to protect against the government no longer applies. To think that the United States will suddenly turn to France circa 1659 or to Nazi Germany circa 1933 and come after people is laughable. To think that one could stand up to such acts, if they were to really happen, by owning guns is beyond ridiculous.
But are you expecting me to just have blind faith in the government?
One should always question the actions and policies of one’s government and leaders demanding transparency and oversight But armed revolt? With guns? One cannot keep lawmakers in check by owning assault rifles. One cannot get the Supreme Court to enact policies by pointing a gun at them. Such an approach to “civil” discourse goes directly against the very principles this nation was founded upon where people are to resolve their problems and dissatisfaction through civil society and democratic means, such as grassroots, organizing and lobbying instead of by shooting opponents.
Our government has been corrupted and stolen and the forces of evil are at play, planning to take over this nation. We need to fight back and take a stand. How can you be against that?
I agree. There are evil forces at play. To fully quote Jason Alexander who said it better than I could: I call [such evil forces] corporatists. I call them absolutists. I call them the kind of ideologues from both sides, but mostly from the far right who swear allegiance to unelected officials that regardless of national need or global conditions, are never to levy a tax. That they are never to compromise or seek solutions with the other side. That are to obstruct every possible act of governance, even the ones they support or initiate. Whose political and social goal is to marginalize the other side, vilify and isolate them with the hope that they will surrender, go away or die out.
These people believe that the US government is eventually going to go street by street and enslave our citizens. Now as long as that is only happening to liberals, racial minorities, atheists, homosexuals and democrats – no problem. But if they try it with anyone else – it’s going to be arms-ageddon and these committed, God-fearing, Jesus loving brave souls will then use their military-esque arsenal to show the forces of our corrupt government whats-what. These people think they meet the definition of a “militia”. They don’t. At least not the constitutional one.
And, if it should actually come to such an unthinkable reality, these people believe they would win. That’s why they have to “take our country back”. From who? From anyone who doesn’t think like them or see the world like them. They hold the only truth, everyone else is dangerous. Ever meet a terrorist that doesn’t believe that?
But I am still worried about the tyrannous government. I need to arm up to protect myself.
If you live in fear than any day the government will come after you like this was Afghanistan or Orwell’s 1984, I suggest undergoing full psychological evaluation and seeking aide in that regard. Not arming up. In fact, arming up is the last thing a doomsday paranoid individual with a nervous trigger finger should be doing.
Then how do I protect my family against intruders or muggers?
A simple hand gun should suffice for that purpose, after you have undergone a certain minimum hours of training in order to gain the experience needed to utilize the gun in case you need to to protect your life while in immediate danger. Not assault rifles that can shoot 30 rounds without reloading per minute. The only use for such guns is combat.
Why is it bad for a civilized society if everyone were armed? In fact, wouldn’t we be a safer society if everyone carried guns to protect themselves?
Using a weapon to protect oneself in cases when one’s life is in danger - such as someone breaking into one’s home – is very different than resorting to some form of vigilante justice as a matter of public discourse and in lieu of a criminal justice system. Unless you want the country to fall into chaos under martial law, you will not advocate for unlimited and unhindered gun ownership and extensive usage by ordinary, untrained civilians not accountable to anyone – unlike the police, national guard and members of the armed forces.
We have the Constitution, the separation of powers and the rule of law for a reason. You have the right to own a gun to defend yourself but that is where its usage stops. To defend your life. Not take revenge or take justice into your own hands and become judge, jury and executioner at once. This is not how the social contract works. In fact these are not the principles this country was founded on.
What about places like Chicago that are gun free zones but where gun crimes still occur? And for that matter what about criminals who use guns and for whom such gun control laws will have little to no consequences?
Yes there will always be crime, but that doesn’t mean we will forgo law enforcement or stop prosecuting and punishing criminal. Similarly, there will always be people who get their hands at guns and other tools of murder if they want to. But that doesn’t mean we can stop trying to regulate guns.
The difference between 200,000 guns or 2 million lying around is 1,800,000 less guns. The issue is of access and availability. A society in which its citizens are armed to the teeth is not a safer one. People are irrational, they react in the heat of the moment. Having a gun ready to point and shoot at others is not what we should build towards. People cannot be entrusted with such tools unregulated and unhindered and call it their right.
People have first and foremost the right to life. If owning guns seriously jeopardizes that right, then they are no longer entitled to it.
Wait a darn minute here. People kill people, not guns. Guns should only be banned if violent crimes committed with tomatoes means we should ban tomatoes. In fact, drunk drivers kill, should we ban fast cars?
A gun is a tool solely designed to kill. Nothing else. Tomatoes and cars have purposes other than killing.What purpose does an AR-15 serve to a sportsman that a more standard hunting rifle does not serve? Let’s see – does it fire more rounds without reload? Yes. Does it fire farther and more accurately? Yes. Does it accommodate a more lethal payload? Yes. So basically, the purpose of an assault style weapon is to kill more stuff, more fully, faster and from further away. To achieve maximum lethality. Hardly the primary purpose of tomatoes and sports cars. And, more to the point, by that line of reasoning, one’s hands should be banned since a human hand can be a tool for murder as well.
So people kill? Fine. Let them kill each other with tomatoes. Let them bring baseball bats, knives, even machetes — a mob can deal with that but with assault rifles that just point and shoot high velocity bullets into the flesh of people in a matter of seconds?
If the Sandy Hook Elementary principal had guns and if people in Colorado during the viewing of The Dark Knight had guns, couldn’t these shooters have been stopped?
A crowd of untrained people firing away in a chaotic arena with moving targets but without planning produces even more victims. Remember that the Principal of that school is not a trained peace officer. In fact, police and members of the National Guard and armed forces undergo hundreds of hours of training and real-time exercises to be able to master such situations. It is neither the job nor the obligation of regular layman and unarmed private citizens to possess the skills, training and expertise of SWAT teams and counter insurgency operators.
But people like Lanza and the Colorado shooter would get these weapons even if they were regulated
That is true. However, in case of strict regulation, the Colorado shooter, for example, wouldn’t have strolled down the road to Walmart and picked up guns and ammo with his pot roast and a gallon of milk. Regulated, such people would have had to go to illegal sources – sources that could possibly be traced, watched, overseen. Or they would have to go deeper online and those transactions could be monitored. “Hm, some guy in Aurora is buying guns, tons of ammo and kevlar – plus bomb-making ingredients and tear gas. Maybe we should check that out.” But that won’t happen as long as all that activity is legal and unrestricted.
Again, it is about accessibility. When guns are easily available, more of them float and lie around in society. Remember than Lanza’s mother obtained those assault rifles legally. Had she have to get them illegally, she probably would not even needed them because why would a citizen go through the trouble of getting assault rifles illegally if she wasn’t planning something?
The more of something is just there and available, the easier it is for people to get their hands on it and live out their impulses and pathologies.
But why can’t I own an assault rifle? What is so wrong with assault rifles in the hands of ordinary citizens anyway?
Guns are tools designed solely to kill. Assault rifles especially are designed to kill a large number of people in a short amount of time, due to their higher payload.
The AR-15 – which is a very popular and also preferred weapon of gun owners as well as the weapon the Newton shooter Adam Lanza used, is an assault rifle. An assault style weapon is used to kill more stuff, more fully, faster and from further away in order to achieve maximum lethality. Why do American citizens believe that they need to own such weapons of mass murder – unregulated and unhindered no less? Weapons obviously designed for combat because they do take down a large number of people in a short amount of time without having to reload. The AR-15 was the same rifle that James E. Holmes used in the carnage in Colorado.
Semiautomatic weapons like the AR-15, the civilian version of the military’s M-16 and M-4, are a logical choice for anyone whose goal is to kill a lot of people in a short time because of their ability to rapidly fire multiple high-velocity rounds. As a la abiding citizen there is no need for such weapons. In fact, those have no place in the hands of ordinary citizens in a civilized society. A single hand gun is enough to protect oneself. It should not be easier to own a gun than it is to own a car.
In order to hold a licence and own car one needs to take tests, meet health requirements, get insurance and renew the paperwork and registration every year.
How come tools designed to kill do not and should not require such measures? It is truly indefensible.
Military weapons belong in accountable hands, controlled hands and trained hands. They should not be in the hands of private citizens to be used against police, neighborhood intruders or people who don’t agree with them. These are the weapons that murderers acquire to wreak murder and mayhem on innocents. They are not the same as handguns to help homeowners protect themselves from intruders. They are not the same as hunting rifles or sporting rifles. These weapons are designed for harm and death on big scales.
What about the Supreme Court decision District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), where the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia?
Remember, this is the same ill informed court that ruled that corporations are people allowing unlimited political expenditures by corporations, thus effectively resulting in the creation of Super Pacs so that now corporations and those with money can influence the outcome of elections.
Don’t trsut everything the Court says unquestioned and as if it were populated by infallible beings.
As citizens of a democratic republic, we are required to critically assess the actions of the people making decisions on our behalf, which includes being critical about the decisions of law makers and legislators and not just accept everything at face value and without examining the evidence and other pertinent information in order to arrive at the right conclusion – whether that be agreeing with or disagreeing with a piece of legislation.
Also remember that faith in the Constitution is not the same thing as blindly trusting decision makers, including the Supreme Court, no questions asked.
In other words, the Supreme Court’s decision in this regard, much like Citizens United, is wrong, misguided and flawed. Remember the Supreme Court also once ruled that Jim Crow laws were perfectly legal.