Friday, July 24, 2009

Cats don't go to Heaven!

This excellent essay was submitted by Bro. James C. Stewart of North Bay Lodge No. 617, in Canada. Thank you, Bro. James.

Cats Don't Go to Heaven!
by James C. Stewart

I was accused of being a Satanist today.

Let me pause to assure you, dear reader, I do not believe in, let alone worship the devil. Those that do are naive, pathetic, confused and/or criminally insane.

My own personal beliefs are pantheistic. I believe God and the Universe are one in the same, that there isn’t anything above or below that isn’t God. I think someone who is looking for proof of God is akin to someone trying to find the sun with a flashlight.

But that’s just me.

As for the devil... well, that’s an excuse. I don’t have time for ‘the devil made me do it.’

That’s a cop out.

You let you do it.

If you’ve transgressed, no one made you except your own dark urges. What some call ‘the devil’ I believe are the baser aspects of our humanity. To place the onus on an outside force or some sort of supernatural temptation is absurd. You are your own devil.

Besides, evil is a relative thing isn’t it? It is, more often than not, a matter of perspective. Consider the cat and the mouse. If a cat eats a mouse is the cat evil? The cat is merely following his instincts. But if we look at the cat from the mouse’s perspective, the cat is most certainly evil; and from our perspective what we see we call ‘nature.’

But I digress.

A Christian called me a Satanist today. Why did the Christian call me a Satanist? Because I made the mistake of telling him I was a Freemason.

The following are my opinions, not the opinions of any organization, group or society.

Now let’s discuss Christianity.

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” — Mahatma Gandhi

By my tenth year on this rock I was having issues with Christianity, and the various horrors that were and are being perpetrated in its name. My mother is an Anglican priest. While no longer a Christian, I myself was baptized, raised and confirmed in the church. And naturally my first brush with Christian intolerance was through the church. Watching my mother become a priest was a sketch... this was in the 1980’s. One can well imagine the interesting (and occasionally cruel) things said to and about a woman attempting to minister “The Word of Christ.” Now that I think of it, the most hurtful acts of intolerance I have witnessed have been committed by Christians. And if I look beyond that, the picture becomes quite grim indeed. One need only type ‘residential schools’ or ‘inquisition’ into Google to see what I mean.

Christians are capable of extremely warped thinking. Anyone who has watched the Oscar-winning documentary Jesus Camp can tell you that. William S. Burroughs put it best when he said, “Christianity is like the inevitable course of some unsightly disease: criminal ignorance, brutish stupidity, self-righteous bigotry and paranoid fear of outsiders.” A former Roman Catholic priest turned Freemason crystallized it for me when I asked him why he’d left the church. “Well,” he said, “it occurred to me I was on the wrong path when I considered the outcry there’d be from Rome if the planes that were dropping napalm on villages at that time were dropping condoms instead.”

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.” That’s Christ in Matthew 22:37-39. Note he didn’t say, “Unless they’re non-Christian, or homosexual, or something else you personally don’t agree with.”

It’s part of what I like to call the Build Your Own Christianity Syndrome... given the various inconsistencies, vagrancies and outlandish assertions in the New Testament, Christians are forced to pick and choose exactly what it is they believe. Some agree with this part or that, others not so much. A sect of Christians may even decide another sect of Christians is heathen, even though both sects fully believe they have the Way and the Truth. The result is often very bloody. We see this play out in history with schisms within the church, quickly becoming schisms within the churches. Once you pick one piece of scripture over another, anything becomes possible. Just ask the family of an abortion doctor who’s been shot dead by the Pro-Life Movement.

Christianity is a control system. It seeks, first and foremost, to control your mind. It does this by controlling your beliefs with rigid and inflexible rules which in turn control your body, your speech, your ideas, your afterlife and even your sex. Allow me a single example (though there are many) for each:

Your body: the Pro-Life Movement and other like-minded Christians seek to control the female body. Simple. You are not allowed to abort. Therefore, you have no control over your womb. Therefore you have no control over your body.

Your speech: A short quote from a spam email I received. It was the most legible of the bunch, “...Please boycott of the children’s movie “The Golden Compass” and books. Also, pass information along to everyone you know (including church leaders). This will educate parents, so they know the agenda of the movie. I am sending this to those of you who have kids or friends with kids, grandkids or have influence with kids. So many today are darkness concealed in what appears to be innocence....”

Your ideas: Christianity has always opposed new ideas. Think of poor Galileo, confined to house arrest for contemplating that maybe... just maybe... the Earth revolved around the Sun. In the natural sciences, all discoveries and new theories not supported by the Bible were opposed. Sciences that flourished in Antiquity, ground to a halt in the early centuries AD. The church historian Lactantius (ca 250–320 AD) called the natural sciences utter nonsense, and church scholar Ambrosius called natural sciences an attack on God’s magnificence. To this day the concept of Evolution is under constant harassment by Christians.

Your afterlife: if you are a Christian, and you contravene the rules, you are going to hell... a place of unimaginable suffering and pain for all of Eternity.

This brings me to... your sex.

“Christianity: The doctrine that there is an absolutely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe spanning entity that is deeply and personally concerned about my sex life.” — Andrew Lias

I have a desire, a genuine desire, to sit down with one of these Christians and ask them, “Why do you care? What is it about what the rest of us are doing in the bedroom that interests you people so much?”

Christian control in this area starts at pre-marital sex and it doesn’t really end. They refuse to teach their children (and would prefer you didn’t teach yours) about birth control, instead opting for abstinence, then they wonder why teenage pregnancy rates spike. As AIDS ravages Africa, they’d prefer the rest of us not give out condoms. And I seriously believe there is something insanely malicious at the heart of the Christian beliefs regarding homosexuality. I had my first inkling of it in 1987 when I saw a group of Christians outside a hospital having a rally against homosexuality based upon their understanding of the AIDS virus. There, screaming alongside her parents was this girl, maybe eleven or twelve years old, her pretty face twisted with hate and wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan, “Thank God for AIDS... God hates Fags.”

Since then I’ve seen families divided, teenagers forced off to bizarre camps to become ‘straight,’ and in one case a man badly beaten because a group of Christians thought he might be gay (he was, in fact, heterosexual).

Christians are quick to say, or perhaps fanatically shriek, “It’s in the Bible!”

I guess. But your Jesus never said it. Not once.

The symbol of Christianity is the cross... a symbol of execution, a symbol of death. How many blood-soaked battlefields has this flag flown over? I wonder... if Christ had been executed in the 1950’s would Christians be wearing little electric chairs around their necks today?

My guess? Absolutely.

“Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd, and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.” — Voltaire

Christianity seems focused on a man who may have claimed he was God, rather than focused on God. Yet Christianity asserts it’s monotheistic. I debate this. I say Christians have not one, but rather three gods: Jesus Christ, God the Father, and for good measure, The Holy Spirit. The so-called triune god. Now, to be fair, Christians claim the three make one, but you must have faith in all three to be saved. You must believe in three separate entities which mystically make up a single god.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot wrap my mind around God separating Himself from Himself to incarnate as a human being for thirty-three some-odd years. And for God to then concentrate on our dour little rock in a lonely galaxy in a far corner of space?

The Universe is a Big Place.

No, what it seems has happened is they’ve made God into a man. I’m not going too deep into it here, but there are many fascinating books regarding the formation of the early church, the Roman emperor Constantine and his questionable interpretation of the New Testament. In the final analysis, Christians have turned a man into God... it’s only on their faith Christ becomes divine. Frankly, it’s an idea older than Christianity. But again, there are many well-researched and wonderful books devoted to the topic of Christianity as a form of theological-plagiarism.

“What is Freemasonry? A beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” — A Mason

It has been said no man needs a priest to find God, and nowhere is this truer than within The Craft. And perhaps this is truly what lies at the heart of Christian hatred toward it. My grandfather was a Mason, as is my father. I became a Mason after realizing Freemasonry was the most reasonable, if not most fascinating, institution I’d come across. Just a couple of points I’d like clear up:

Freemasonry is not Satanic. In fact, all discussion of religion and politics is forbidden within a Masonic Lodge.

Freemasonry is not a religion, nor has it ever claimed the prerogatives of religion, yet Freemasonry’s detractors continue to believe since Freemasonry doesn't define God, it cannot be their God. Freemasonry believes that men of all faiths can dwell together in peace. Freemasonry requires its members to believe in God but will not dictate those beliefs.

One of the more insidious falsehoods I’ve heard regarding Freemasonry holds it responsible for, or directly involved with, the Third Reich. For Masons who are veterans of World War II, including my grandfather, I can’t imagine a larger slap in the face. I’ve seen this lie repeated on various anti-Masonic and Christian websites. Incidentally, on fundamentalist Islamic websites, I’ve seen Freemasonry referred to as Jewish-Zionist front. Amusing when you consider I have witnessed Christian, Islamic and Jewish brethren sitting side-by-side within the Lodge.

In fact, on Hitler’s rise to power, the ten Grand Lodges of Germany were dissolved. Many among the prominent dignitaries and members of the Order were sent to concentration camps. The Gestapo seized the membership lists of the Grand Lodges and looted their libraries and collections of Masonic objects. Much of this loot was then exhibited in an “Anti-Masonic Exposition” inaugurated in 1937 by Herr Dr. Joseph Goebbels in Munich.

Hitler’s hatred of Freemasonry is clearly documented. In 1931 Nazi party officials were given a “Guide and Instructional Letter” that stated, “The natural hostility of the peasant against the Jews, and his hostility against the Freemason as a servant of the Jew, must be worked up to a frenzy.”

To say Freemasonry was behind the Third Reich is tantamount to saying Judaism was behind the Third Reich.

What a hateful and offensive piece of stupidity.

“If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” — Benjamin Franklin, writer, humorist, ambassador, inventor and Freemason

The following is a short list of famous Freemasons for your perusal:
  • Sir John A. MacDonald
  • George Washington
  • Giovanni Giacomo Casanova
  • Sir Richard Burton
  • Tommy Douglas
  • Harry Houdini
  • Mark Twain
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Voltaire
  • Mozart
  • Robert Service
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Sir Alexander Fleming
  • Salvador Allende
  • John Glenn
  • Harry S. Truman
  • Peter Sellers
And so many, many more....

The following is a short list of groups and people opposed to Freemasonry:
  • Pope Benedict the XVI and the Roman Catholic Church
  • Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition of America
  • Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich
  • Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority
  • The Palestinian Islamist Movement Hamas
  • Ted Haggard and the National Association of Evangelicals
Interesting. Compare and contrast. I showed these same lists to a Christian once. He looked it over, looked at me, and declared, “Well, I’m on the list with the Lord.... I’m on the list for paradise!”

Christians say my cat can’t go to heaven. He has no soul therefore he cannot find salvation through Christ. It’s an idea I chose for the title because I find it indicative of the entire faith. It reminds me of something I read once, and maybe it’s the most appropriate way to close…

“No heaven will Heaven ever be,
If my cats are not there to welcome me.” — Epitaph in a pet cemetery

© James Stewart 2009

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7 comments:

  1. Yeah as an accused Saanist myself I really enjoyed this.....
    Thanks for the insightful log !

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  2. "evil is a relative thing isn’t it? It is, more often than not, a matter of perspective. Consider the cat and the mouse. If a cat eats a mouse is the cat evil?"

    Evil is if we torture both the cat and mouse for fun. Evil is genocide of the mouse population until the mouse population is wiped out. Killing the mouse for food is not evil, because its not against the laws of nature, it serves a rational purpose beyond simply hurting mice.

    Good and evil are based on the consequences, not just the perspective. Rape is evil because it almost ever results in positive consequences. Torture and genocide are evil for the same reasons.

    Creating unnecessary misery for other lifeforms is evil.

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  3. This brother speaks my mind. :) My story runs much the same as his, just substitute some other denominations in there for family religious lineage. This blog gives me hope for Masonry. Progressive Masons Unite! :)

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  4. "All dogs go to heaven"- Gee, I wonder if Walt Disney was a freemason? Great read! You explored all aspects of the subject.

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  5. I have my doubts that politics and religion are non-topics within your lodges. Surely you cannot talk for every lodge in every spec of town around the world. And further more, if masonry is so great, why is it one needs to believe to join! Through out your rant on christians... you talk about hem as a whole and yet to be a "brother" you need to believe in god?? surely you slandered some good faith brothers in your rant?

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