•    Spiritual But Not Religious   

    Scales of a Balanced Justice

    A Response to Alan Miller’s Article Entitled:
    “The ‘I Am Spiritual But Not Religious’ [notion] is a Cop-out”

    This article is responding to Alan Miller’s original CNN ‘My Take’ article (“The ‘I am spiritual but not religious’ [notion] is a cop-out”) ~~ and this response is also addressing — another of Alan Miller’s similar commentaries – condescendingly entitled: “I’m So Spiritual.” (See footnotes below for links to these Miller articles).

    Miller condescendingly states that spirituality is delusional in believing that “by choosing an ‘individual relationship’ to some concept of ‘higher power’, energy, oneness or something-or-other – they are in a deeper, more profound relationship than one that is coerced via a large institution.” From this errant perception, Miller concludes, “The trouble is that ‘spiritual but not religious’ offers no positive exposition or understanding or explanation of a body of belief or set of principles of any kind.”

    It’s a classic illustration of how erroneous premises invariably lead to erroneous conclusions. Miller has gotten it exactly backwards. He has reality standing on its head.

    In Christianity, the exodus from institutional religion to Spirituality constitutes the abandonment, i.e., the patent rejection of, religious ‘dogma’ — in favor of Compassion – the central cardinal precept of Christ’s teachings. Spirituality, which manifests for most of us in our daily lives as ‘Compassion’ — differentiates itself from the epistemology of rationalism, and in doing so, often incurs the wrath of rationalists like Miller, who have difficulty understanding that when you take Christ’s central teaching, Compassion, and try to cram it through the rationalistic meatgrinder, you end up with ‘dogma’ — NOT the Compassion Christ enjoined us to marry. When you cram ‘Compassion’ through the rationalistic meatgrinder you end-up with a seedy ‘quid pro quo’, something-for-something, plastic, Golden Rule, glad-handing barter-and-exchange concept utterly devoid of Compassion’s content and directly opposed to it.

    Websters defines “dogma” as: “something held as an established opinion; especially : a definite authoritative tenet – a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds.” Within the ‘religious’ context it means that religious dogma sees religion as a body of black letter rules and edicts that must be blindly obeyed and followed, much like the hierarchy of military command, where the soldier’s ethos and thought processes are subordinate to the high command. Those who do strictly obey and follow the tenets, the edicts, the religious laws, are deemed to be holy and religious (good soldiers).

    Central to religious dogma is the belief that one need not ‘understand’ or ‘grasp’ the meaning or import or purpose of the edict or rule. To the contrary, such an effort “to understand the meaning and import” is considered an act of blasphemy, an act of heresy by religious dogmatists and zealots, because it is deemed tantamount to ‘questioning’ or ‘second-guessing’ the inspired imperial word, order, edict, rule, law that God promulgated. This belief is often expressed as the fierce military command “Yours not to reason why, but to do or die.” Blind, unquestioning acceptance and obedience is expected and demanded, as an article of ‘faith.’ The hallmark of religious dogma is apparent as a cardinal trait in all mainstream and “Fundamentalist” religions throughout the World.

    Spirituality is the antithesis of religious dogma and the Fundamentalist movement. Spirituality holds that true religiousness lies in an ‘awakened’ understanding of the ‘spirit’ — the ‘heart’ of the religious rule or precept. Where religious dogma pontificates direct orders saying “You must do this – you must not do that” — spirituality emphasizes “being” over ‘doing.’ Thus, religious dogma says “you must do this” while spirituality says “if you will ‘BE’ this, you will always do the right thing.”

    Spirituality rigorously contends that Christ was a fierce anti-dogma Enlightened One. In fact, they would argue that anti-dogma stood as the very heart and soul of his teachings. Spirituality holds that Christ was saying “It’s not enough to follow the strict black-letter law not to kill. Instead, one must cultivate a heart of such Compassion that the impetus to kill cannot arise in the first place.”

    Christ WAS a devout anti-dogmatist. The teaching of Christ was of Compassion. There is no other teaching but Compassion. There is no other ‘way’ – no other salvation – no other ‘awakening’ – no other born-again eureka or ‘enlightenment’ – no other ‘understanding’ but Compassion. That was the teaching. That is what Spirituality embraces and what the rationalistic meatgrinder despises and avoids like the plague.

    Several recent Vatican ‘decrees’ help to illustrate this point and help to differentiate ‘dogma’ from Compassion. Recently, Pope Francis issued a decree holding firm on the long-standing ‘policy’ that NO Catholic church shall offer a guten-free wafer in place of the standard gluten-filled communion wafer. This is a perfect example of the Vatican’s long, long history of choosing Dogma over Compassion. Contrast this sociopathic model with Christ’s teachings of Compassion. In his day, Christ was castigated by the religious authorities for working on the Sabbath — something that was deemed forbidden by religious doctrine. Christ’s response? He said, “You enjoy adhering rigidly to the letter of the law, while you violate the heart of the law.” Translation: “It’s about Compassion, idiots, NOT the ‘dogma’ or the doctrines.”

    What would Christ have said about the communion wafer? “Why of course — go ahead and substitute the gluten-free wafer, so it does not harm or kill anyone. Communion is just a symbolic exercise and it symbolizes each person taking unto themselves the Compassion of Christ. It represents the consumption of Christ’s Compassion — and therefore — if it is not admistered in a spirit of Compassion, it defiles and bastardizes its own intention — to perpetuate and instill ‘The Spirit of Compassion’ in every human Heart.”

    About a year or so earlier, Pope Francis issued a heartless pronouncement to Brittany Maynard’s grieving parents, decreeing that their beloved daughter Brittany Maynard would go to hell because, in an act of Euthanasia, she ended her life a few months before her brain cancer would have, with certainty, killed her in a most cruel and inhumane and long-suffering manner. As has been evident in the entire history of this sociopathic, callous institution known as the “Catholic Church” — Pope Francis and ‘The Church’ once again patently reject Compassion in favor of the dogma and its mindless, heartless doctrines. Only a certified demented sociopath could have issued such a cruel, heartless comment to the profoundly grieving parents of a recently deceased child.

    In repudiating Compassion, Pope Francis and ‘The Church’ have, once again, patently rejected Christ, his teachings — and the teachings of the pope’s name-sake, Saint Francis — all of whom advocated, with every fiber of their being, the patent rejection of the ‘dogma’ and the unconditional embrace of Compassion in its place. The very same stunted papal mentality that militantly repudiated Saint Francis’ teaching — before, during and after his death — is precisely the same ruthless, sociopathic, decrepit Dark Ages mentality that terrorized Brittany Maynard’s grieving parents — and it is the same demented mentality that throws its own Communion participants under the bus — all in the name of a mindless, heartless dogma, which it deifies, while demonizing Compassion as a heretical threat to the dogma it worships and idolizes.

    What would Christ have said about all of this? Well — let’s look at what he actually did say about it. Christ was criticized by the religious elders — the religious ‘authorities’ and ‘experts’ of his time — for socializing with a prostitute — which was forbidden by religious doctrine. Christ’s response was essentially identical to his response to his Sabbath Day critics. He said, “This woman washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. Which of YOU have treated me with such Compassion when I came to your city?” Translation: “It’s about Compassion, idiots, NOT the ‘dogma’ or the doctrines.”

    But Miller would have us remain wedded to institutional “beliefs” and belief systems (the ‘dogma’) dispensed as a toxic pabulum gruel after being pressed through the rationalistic meatgrinder for a ‘one size fits all’ grease-ball patty that’s content-barren and guaranteed to choke your arteries with its myopic indecencies and generalities. When we look at all the Crusades and wars and atrocities and genocides committed in the name of ‘religion’ we see rationalism’s self-righteous dogmatists enforcing their sanctimonious dogma and belief systems in a militant iron-fisted determination to impose them on others.

    Miller has inverted reality. The cop-out actually is the substitution of dogma for Compassion — the substitution of rationalism for Spirituality. Spirituality is not a “cop-out.” It’s the toughest, hardest, most grueling rocky road one could travel. It takes enormous courage, honesty and Compassion to take such a hard and burdensome path. Just ask the beloved enlightened ones, the saints and sages who have traveled that rocky inglorious road – Mother Theresa, St. Francis, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer. It’s not the easy life of remote arm-chair ruminations, rationalizations and pontifications dispensed from a safe, comfortable perch in a sumptuous lecture-hall sanctuary for robust discussion and ego gratification. Rationalism masquerading as ‘religion’ is the cop-out.

    The road Miller would take us down is the road of institutionalized rationalistic dogma that has heretofore alienated people from the Compassionate Heart of the True Teachings. Miller’s delusion is that he sees ‘Compassion’ as nothing more than mere emotional ‘feelings’ that need to be bridled by and subordinated to the supreme operation for the human species — the Rationalistic Meatgrinder — that produces such superior products as dogma, belief systems, egotism and feudalistic wars of carnage and atrocities committed in the name of this religious dogma versus that religious belief system – The Doctrine Wars — it’s what the killing has been all about from time immemorial.

    So once again, we witness the goose-step march of rationalism’s dogma, stomping and strutting through the town square with imperious ferocity — with an impudent, militant determination to condemn all blasphemers and to castigate, mock, scorn and exterminate all infidels who repudiate the supremacy of its beloved rationalistic dogma and all that it stands for.

    It’s something we never see within the Spiritual domain — where Compassion reigns supreme by virtue of its honesty, and its acceptance of the ‘other’ as other. Compassion is NOT an emotion — no matter what rationalism says to the contrary. And Reason is not nearly all of my eye.

    Revised: Tuesday, September 26, 2017




    Below are some footnotes that link to Alan Miller’s original CNN ‘My Take’ article (“The ‘I am spiritual but not religious’ [notion] is a cop-out”) which this response is addressing — and including a link to another of Alan Miller’s similar commentaries – condescendingly entitled: “I’m So Spiritual.” Footnotes 3-5 are links to Reflecting Pool articles that are also listed here in the Posts and Pages index on the left.



    Footnote 1 Link: CNN My Take – Alan Miller article entitled: “The ‘I am spiritual but not religious’ [notion] is a cop-out”

    Footnote 2 Link: Battle of Ideas discussion panel with Alan Miller on topic – I Am So Spiritual

    Footnote 3 Link: Related Articles: “Has Religion Forsaken Spirituality”

    Footnote 4 Link: Related Articles: “Rationalism Religion & Dogma Three Wicked Sisters”

    Footnote 5 Link: Related Articles: “On Moral Questions – Science is Clueless”


    The Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog

  •    Mass Extermination is Not Euthanasia   

    Scales of a Balanced Justice

    TO:  All Media Outlets & WSYR Channel 9 News
    RE:  Stop Calling Mass Extermination & Genocide Euthanasia
    Media accounts about the mass slaughter of Canadian Geese in New York keep calling it “euthanasia.” Mass Extermination is Not Euthanasia and the media needs to stop bastardizing the true definition of “Euthanasia” and stop butchering the English language.
    The Media stories I’m referring to repeatedly talk about the mass “euthanization” of Canadian Geese for a variety of alleged reasons ranging from “over population” (a human convenience standard) to air traffic safety (another human convenience standard).
    As used in this story in this situation, the term  “euthanization” is a dishonest, inaccurate sham euphemism that is used to distort, defraud, misrepresent, falsify what is really going on here.
    The WSYR Channel 9 news story states that Canadian Geese were “Euthanized” for a variety of purported reasons. A similar story on a July 12, 2010 CBS News broadcast had the headline “400 Canada Geese Killed for Air Safety Reasons.” The subheading for the CBS story read “Mass Euthanization of Geese a Step in Goal of …”. This is a complete misuse of the term “Euthanize.” They did NOT “Euthanize” these Canadian Geese!! They “Exterminated” them – they “slaughtered” them. These geese were perfectly healthy. They were not injured, or sick, or suffering.
    These geese were “Exterminated” purely for human convenience, and that makes the term “Euthanize” totally inapplicable and reprehensible. The ‘human convenience’ is that the humans saved humans the time, the expense and inconvenience of solving the Canadian Geese problem in an intelligent, non-violent, humanitarian manner. One way or another, this ‘rift-raft’ was going to be discarded — either to a relocation center or to an incinerator. They chose the unintelligent, sociopathic, ruthless solution — the ‘incinerator’ method, just as Hitler’s “Final Solution” did, when neither of them could honestly defend such brutal, demented extremist methods.
    The term “Euthanize” only applies when it is done solely for the benefit of the Euthanized animal or person, to alleviate horrific immediate pain and suffering of that animal or person, and only where it is a last resort because they cannot be medically cured of their injuries, disease or illness.  (fn 2 & 7). It is worth noting that the fraudulent, deliberate misuse of the term “Euthanize” has deep roots in the Nazi propaganda machine that served Hitler’s “Final Solution” for achieving genetic purity of the race (Eugenics Program), as they too sought to clear the streets of the ‘rift-raft’ — the physically disabled, the mentally disabled, the elderly, the gays, the gypsies and the Jews. Hitler and the Nazi Regime called this the “T4 Euthanasia Program.”  (fn 3-6).
    This particular human dishonesty about the term “Euthanasia” regarding animals is virtually identical to the Nazi calculated misuse of the term, in that it seeks to conceal (via misrepresentation) the true reality of what is taking place and why, by hiding it behind a sham euphemism that falsifies the reasons for killing and the intended beneficiary of the killing, just as the Nazi Regime did.  (fn 3-6). Virtually every respected dictionary and encyclopedia defines Euthanasia as: “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.” (Miriam-Webster & Encyclopedia Britannica – fn 2 & 7). Sometimes referred to as “Mercy Killing,” it is unmistakably clear that the sole purpose of the mercy killing is to alleviate the pointless, unequivocal and extreme suffering of the creature being killed. There is no other ‘ulterior’ motive — no other intended beneficiary — no other collateral purpose or interest being served when TRUE “Euthanasia” is implemented.
    Killing one being, taking one life, solely for the benefit of ‘another’ (namely the one doing the killing) is NOT, I repeat, is NOT “Euthanasia” in any sense of that term and that term should never ever be used to describe such conduct.
    Killing one being, taking one life solely, for the benefit of ‘another’ (namely the one doing the killing) is called social engineering “EXTERMINATION” because that is exactly what it is. It is precisely what Hitler’s Nazi Regime did with humans — they “EXTERMINATED” them for the twisted perceived benefit of society (the German race) under his demented social engineering notion of a genetically pure race of human beings.  (fn 3-6). The killing of these Canadian Geese is no more “Euthanasia” than is the Nazi social engineering genocide.
    It would appear that all those engaged in this “Mass Extermination Program” and all those in the media reporting about it, are acutely aware of how immoral, inexcusable, unethical, unjustifiable, reprehensible and indefensible this “Mass Extermination Program” really is, otherwise there would be no need to cover it up with fraudulent, sham euphemisms, as the Nazi’s did. Hitler knew that if he called it what it really was, “Extermination,” there would have been a mass revolt. Hitler deliberately falsified what he was doing by calling it “Euthanasia” knowing that most people deem Euthanasia to be a ‘humanitarian’ act of kindness, rather than a ruthless, senseless, sociopathic genocide.  (fn 3-6). If the Extermination of the Canadian Geese is so defensible and honorable and moral and justifiable, then come right out and call it exactly what it is — the Mass Extermination & Genocide of perfectly healthy Canadian Geese purely for human convenience reasons, and in no way is it for the benefit of the geese.
    Therefore the media and everyone else should STOP calling these Mass Extermination & Genocide crusades “Euthanasia” since that term absolutely does NOT apply. And the fact that this term does NOT apply is not a gray-area of uncertainty or a debatable point today any more than it was when Hitler deliberately and strategically abused the term to facilitate his Mass Extermination & Genocide agenda. Take a good hard look at these words — Mass Extermination & Genocide — because that is what humans have been doing — NOT “Euthanasia” as everyone is fraudulently claiming.
    Either this action is justifiable when we call it exactly what it is (Mass Extermination & Genocide) or it is NOT justifiable when we call it exactly what it is (Mass Extermination & Genocide). In either case, falsifying the accounts of what is taking place by deliberately using what, ipso facto, is a patently false, inaccurate term (“Euthanasia“) to misrepresent what is going on, is most definitely morally and ethically and logically wrong and reprehensible. If it is too horrible and too ugly and too disturbing to think about what it really is (Mass Extermination & Genocide) then clearly it is something humans should NOT be doing.
    We urge the media to STOP calling these Mass Extermination & Genocide crusades “Euthanasia” since that term absolutely does NOT apply.  Just because some government entity attempts to defraud the media with a counterfeit term, does not mean the media is licensed or obliged to pass that fraud onto the general public as though it had legal tender status. We simply cannot afford to have the media, the Fourth Branch of Government, constantly falling asleep at the wheel, sucking down every flim-flam sham that some fast-talking snake-oil salesman decides to panhandle. 98% of what humans consume from the media is NOT verbatim quotes, but rather, paraphrased summaries — it’s editorial license to paraphrase. Employ an honest, ethical standard of human decency and refuse to paraphrase “Mass Extermination & Genocide” as “Euthanasia.”
    Once governments and societies get used to the exercise of falsifying news events with patently false, candy-coated euphemisms, distorting the reality that is actually going on, then they are solidly on the same path the Nazi’s traveled.  That is precisely how it all started in Germany. Hitler noted that the term “Euthanasia” had successfully been misused, misapplied at animal shelters and the public had come to completely accept those counterfeit terms and characterizations as reasonable ‘humanitarian’ acts for the benefit of animals, when it obviously was NOT. So Hitler believed he could do the same, misusing the term “Euthanasia” to get public approval of his “Final Solution” and getting them to believe that “Mass Extermination & Genocide” of the physically disabled, the mentally disabled, the elderly was merely the ‘humanitarian’ act of “Euthanasia” solely implemented to alleviate their suffering.  (fn 3-6). We know as historical fact that the scheme worked completely.  (fn 3-6). And we know it is working today precisely as it did for Hitler, to defraud, distort and misrepresent a brutality that otherwise would be too reprehensible and disgusting to tolerate.
    We urge you — Please tell all news writers and reporters to STOP misusing and misapplying this term “Euthanasia” and call it what it really is — Mass Extermination.  (see footnotes for authority and links below that provide correct, accurate lexical definition and use of the term “Euthanasia“).
    Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog
    Human Dishonesty Against Animals
    A Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog Website

    The sub-heading for this CBS News whitewash story reads: “Mass Euthanization of Geese a Step in Goal of Clearing Geese Within 7 Miles of JFK and LaGuardia Airport.

    The Reflecting Pool Discourse Blog