James M. Martin's Blog (32)

Meeting William S. Burroughs

A friend took me to a dinner at the home of a Manhattan dowager who turned out to be the agent there for the paintings of Brion Gysin, Burroughs' co-conspirator in magickal displacement of time and space known as the cut-up (slicing pages of a manuscript in half or quarters, then, John Cage-like, rearranging the pieces in such a way that they create in a kind of Flash Gordonesque, Hegelian manner, new messages, some actually predicting future events. I had long been fascinated by Burroughs,…

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Added by James M. Martin on January 19, 2014 at 10:00am — No Comments

On Euhemerism, Yesterday & Today: Jesus, Elvis, and Antinous: Is Bieber Next?

While studying the occult for about a decade prior to becoming an agnostic, I read H. P. Blavatsky, Manly P. Hall, and, most valuably, Gerald Massey.  Blavatsky and Massey were sober critics of Christianity; the former became famous for saying "there is no religion higher than the truth," and the latter explored the death and resurrection myths that went into the making of the myth-in-chief: Jesus.  Blavatsky pointed out the similarity of the name, Krishna, to the name Christ, and Massey…

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Added by James M. Martin on July 23, 2013 at 11:30pm — 3 Comments

Something is Rotten -- Very Rotten -- in the State of Texas

I've always maintained that so-called pro-life advocates for the unborn have little science to back up their cockamamie theories concerning abortion and rely, in most cases, on religious intolerance, bigotry, and slavish devotion to dogma. All three of the solar phallic monotheisms, the Abrahamaic faiths, preach male dominance and female submission, paternalistic hegemony that by now should be consigned to the dust heap of history. Allowing a woman to have total control over her bodily…

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Added by James M. Martin on July 12, 2013 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

Debunking the Beatification and (Carefully, if Illogically) Planned Canonization of Pope John Paul II

Not long ago, I argued a contract case before an appeals court after losing in a bench trial (trial to judge, as opposed to jury).  We were suing a couple who basically swindled my client, a builder.  At some point disagreements between the parties developed, and the purchaser-defendants began to request add-ons and upgrades in order to exceed their loan guarantee.  The contract made the purchasers responsible to apply for a loan once…

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Added by James M. Martin on July 5, 2013 at 4:24pm — 9 Comments

Popepropaganda: The Vatican as a Perfect Union of Church and State

Perhaps the most misunderstood, and still mysterious symbol in the lexicon of the 19th and some 20th century occultists is that the Baphomet of the French magician known as Eliphas Levi.  The androgynous goat enflamed with Luciferian light atop rather obvious sub-symbols of the Earth, hermaphroditic accoutrements, and a face with horns (the Devil being God to those you dislike).  The suggestion is Pan, reminding us of the amazingly petty and archly devious ways the Roman Church has dealt…

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Added by James M. Martin on May 27, 2013 at 8:23am — No Comments

The Banality of Evil: Nominees for Retired Expressions of Sympathy

I had to take my 2003 Toyota Corolla CE into the local dealer to have a head gasket repair.  Being as it is a dealership, they do a lot to make service customers comfortable.  There was fresh Folger's in both regular and decaffeinated carafes and the waiting room had comfortable chairs and a 50-inch + flat screen TV monitor for those of us with cataracts.  Also, they have an SUV shuttle service that eventually showed up to take me to my office.  About the only thing lacking was reading…

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Added by James M. Martin on April 18, 2013 at 6:52pm — 8 Comments

I Don't Believe in Ghosts But I Love "A Christmas Carol" by Dickens: My Life With Mr. Sim

From a first viewing of Alastair Sim as Scrooge in the best movie adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, I was hooked.  The story employs the use of symbolic characters and moves the narrative as if we had the controls to a time machine.  A wealthy man who won't aid charities and wonders why there aren't more poor houses and prisons meets his old partner, the dead as a doornail Marley, and is warned of visitation by three ghosts.  The second turns out to be this…

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Added by James M. Martin on December 24, 2012 at 4:44pm — No Comments

The Jesus of Juarez Avenue: My Week on Isla Mujeres, Quntana Roo, Mexico

Isla Mujeres (Island of Women) is a five mile long Caribbean island off the Yucatan coast at the top of the Cancun-Mayan Riviera tourist and backpack route leading eventually to places like Tulum to the southwest and the laid back island of Holbox out on the Gulf of Mexico spillover.  You get to Isla…

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Added by James M. Martin on November 1, 2012 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Why the Prosperity Gospel is Neither, or "I Passed Through the Eye of a Needle (Along With My Camel Cigarettes)"

Almost all religions place a high priority on charity as a means to the end of a good quality of life in the hereafter.  I am told that early Christians took this tenet so seriously they organized communes and forbade ownership of property, real or personal.  The "good book" recites that the prophet used the metaphor of a camel passing trough the eye of a needle to represent the difficulty in going to Heaven if you act like you can take it with you.  Yet here we have a movement in…

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Added by James M. Martin on October 31, 2012 at 5:09pm — No Comments

My Take on Romney's Failure to Mention Afghanistan in His Acceptance Speech & Saying it Was Not Important

Poor George Orwell, the inventor of "Newspeak" as an element of civilization in 1984, heralding the arrival of "Big Brother," which the Republicans identify with D.C. government while the Dems view as a Romney-type front man for the 1% with all the wealth and the lowest taxes. Had he REALLY been…

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Added by James M. Martin on September 8, 2012 at 10:30am — 5 Comments

All Gods Are the Same And Any One Will Do

Each believer will insist

that his or her God is the only God

and if you believe in some other God

you are "not saved."

 

Whoa!  The only thing I want

to be saved from is myths and superstitions…

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Added by James M. Martin on September 7, 2012 at 5:05pm — 1 Comment

Some Lessons From Gnosticism, or Daemon est Deus inversus

Nietzsche by Edvard Munch

Believe it or not, I once was pope of a Gnostic church.  I know that sounds like a mad person making an absolutely ludicrous statement, but unfortunately (and yet, as shall hopefully be show) fortunately, too, the statement is true (insofar as I am capable of…

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Added by James M. Martin on March 27, 2012 at 7:56pm — No Comments

Deconstructing (Revisioning?) Genesis, Pt. 1

            I had never until very recently known the word for what might be called a “reverse anachronism”: the selective grafting of mores as indicated in ancient writings onto today’s standards of conduct.  I am now aware that the practice I mention is known as “presentism,” and I extend an apology to all who read this with a smile at having learned this term before I glimpsed it at one website or another, possibly Religious Dispatches, possibly one of the links at Crooks and Liars, my…

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Added by James M. Martin on February 9, 2012 at 6:02pm — 6 Comments

Nature or Nurture? The Argument You Just Can't Win

Atheist Movies pores over the Net to bring us YouTube and other clips depicting topics of interest to non-believers, with a decided emphasis on evolutionary science.  In their latest email link, they take us to evolutionary biologist Lewis Wolfert's new work, Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief, which I hope to get to when I finish things like Jennifer Michael Hecht's Doubt.  I say "things like" because I set works aside to read…

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Added by James M. Martin on February 4, 2012 at 10:00am — 9 Comments

One Day in Chemo

I always felt a kinship with Hitchens because we shared infection with the big "C"; his, esophageal; mine, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or CLL.  Cancers are tricky little bastards: they can take someone out in a month or two, or let him live with the disease as best he may for years and years.  I am not bragging, but I am over a decade into my inconveniences and humiliations.  If I ask, why did Hitchens go so fast but I am yet alive, I waste both his time and yours.  I am not comparing…

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Added by James M. Martin on January 9, 2012 at 9:02pm — 13 Comments

That Day in the Electronics Store: My "Road to Damascus"

I was on my to the check-out at Circuit City (now defunct) when I glanced at "Blackstone," a fellow attorney I knew only by reputation, and then only that he practiced in one of my own fields of concentration, consumer law.  It is not a particularly lucrative field but it's a satisfying one, striking back at people who violate our state's consumer protection and deceptive trade practices act.  Most clients come in with a lemon auto on their hands, often a used vehicle, or a fly-by-night…

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Added by James M. Martin on September 18, 2011 at 8:57am — 1 Comment

Death of a Gnostic Church: A Memoir

Many years ago I founded and incorporated as a non-profit organization my very own church. Many are the roads to atheism and many the side streets. My life has been one long exploration of religion, and I had to experience it so fully that I invented a religion that I called the American Gnostic Church. It is listed in one of the encyclopedias of American religions, and it was mostly active in the late 80s and early 90s. It died about two weeks ago when I received a letter from D.C. saying I… Continue

Added by James M. Martin on July 16, 2011 at 5:46pm — 1 Comment

My Personal Relationship With Jebus Crust: A Memoir - Part I: "Baptism"

Baptism

 

You might say I have had a close personal relationship with Jebus.  Yes, this is what I call him.  And you will note that I do not capitalize personal pronouns when referencing Crust.  If one does not believe in him there is no point at all in capitalizing references to him, e.g. Him.  I also have taken to putting "God" in quotes, though I do capitalize the "G" since the quotation marks indicate I am…

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Added by James M. Martin on April 16, 2011 at 9:25am — No Comments

Daily Beast on Veil Ban in France

French Senate Passes Full Veil Ban
Full Muslim veils will soon be illegal in France: The French Senate passed a ban by a vote of 246 to 1

on Tuesday, and the measure has already passed the lower chamber. Now

there are 10 days for dissenters to challenge the measure, which is

considered unlikely. Several Muslim women have vowed to continue wearing

the face-covering veils, despite the…

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Added by James M. Martin on September 19, 2010 at 9:53am — No Comments

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