"Dr. King's Nightmare"

The richest 400 people in our nation have as much wealth as the entire African-American population in the United States. According to a new analysis by Bob Lord of the Institute for Policy Studies, the so-called “Forbes 400” has as much wealth as 41 million people. Mr. Lord called this stunning statistic, “Dr. King's Nightmare.” Wealth inequality is a huge issue in our country, but the racial wealth divide is even worse. While the home-ownership rate for White Americans is over 73 percent, only 43 percent of African-Americans and 47 percent of Latinos own their property.

This persistent divide between whites and minorities is the long-lasting result of our nation's history of discrimination, and it persists because many of these deep-rooted policies are engrained in our society. Decades of racial disparity have kept minorities from catching up financially, and the most recent recession erased many of their modest economic gains. Those at the top have continued to hoard billions and concentrate wealth, while the net worth of African-Americans and Latinos has actually shrunk. The median wealth for White Americans is $97,000, while African-American families average less than $5,000.

People can claim that racism is dead in American, and that Dr. Martin Luther King's Dream has been fulfilled – but these facts show otherwise. Our kids may drink from the same water fountains these days, but their families still have different opportunities based on the color of their skin. It's been more than 50 years since Dr. King dreamed of a better future for our nation, and it's about time that we start living up to it.

Comments

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 8 years 45 weeks ago
#1

I just read elsewhere that the top 1% of the wealthiest people in the world own HALF of the global wealth. That's what I call wealth inequality. Does anyone remember Star Trek Deep Space Nine and the very greedy Ferengi and their "Rules Of Acquisition"? I feel like Earth has turned into Ferengenar. It's all about profit, PROFIT, PROFIT!

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 45 weeks ago
#2

80% of African Americans in the United States are born to non married couples. (I read this somewhere please correct me if the is not true) if so I think thats the biggest problem. A lot of those poor kids don't stand a chance right from birth. I find it interesting how the parents always seem to get a free ride. After all parents are the ones responsible for raising theirchldren not tax payers.

Just watch "Maurey" or "Springer" some mothers don't even know who the father is.

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 8 years 45 weeks ago
#3

How many people you walked up to at the water cooler in 1965 knew who Dr. King was? How many people you walk up to at the water cooler today know who Dr. West is? Arguably, in my opinion, Dr. Cornell West is as active and vocal as Dr. King was in the 60s, yet, I’m guessing, that at least 90% of our nation’s citizens have no idea who he is, that he’s been arrested fighting for social/environmental/economic justice...etc. Congress ignores him ‘cause the media does. If we don’t find a way to put control of media back in the hands of the people, we are so screwed! NO other issue will be dealt with without bloody revolution or degeneration into a fascist, brutal dictatorship unless we do. Dr. King is not just turning over in his grave, he's spinning so fast that if his coffin hadn't long ago rotted away, it would catch fire!!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 45 weeks ago
#4

Kend, I'd be careful with this subject if I were you, because much of your post comes off sounding like more stereotyping of black people. I don't know what you're reading, but if the sources are from conservative writers/publications, you are virtually guaranteed inaccuracy on issues pertaining to race or class. Their agenda puts socioeconomic equality at the bottom of the proverbial list and they've no skin in that game. I assure you, nobody is getting a free ride in this shit hole; least of all blacks. - Aliceinwonderland

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 8 years 45 weeks ago
#5

Kend!

The social problems of African Americans have complicated and nuanced causes - most of them directly or indirectly the result of racism and discrimination. Single parenting of well off, professional white women is never considered a problem.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 8 years 45 weeks ago
#6

What we need is some old tyme G-Men with cujones enough to get The Mob out of the banking system and juicy federal appointments.

Individual Bankers and Banking Families and employees, not corporations, should be prosecuted for fraud overlooked in their jurisdiction. They know what the rules are, and they hire former treasury agents who have worked years as fraud examiners, so as to know how to avoid detection.

The deck is stacked against all races, creeds, colors, genders, and kinds. We are under Mob Control because the Courts are corrupted.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 45 weeks ago
#7

Alice and Mark, I live in a area of Canada where there is less than 1% of our population is black and there is no country on earth more open to all races than mine. I will try and find where the information I am recalling is and post it. You guys always caution me to show my sources to back up my statements so I will try. I am just trying to say a safe stable home and parents is the best chance to increase our childrens chances of a better life not a higher min wage or a free gov. cell phone.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 45 weeks ago
#8

Kend -- What is the metric for determining a country's openess to all races?

Lloyd Lutterman's picture
Lloyd Lutterman 8 years 45 weeks ago
#9

Ignorance has let bias television propaganda tell us what to think, what to do and who to hate. 19 Muslims did not turn off security at the most protected building on the planet, the Pentagon, on 9/11.

flyguy8650's picture
flyguy8650 8 years 45 weeks ago
#10

This is not an issue of race so much as an issue of culture and education. If we, the citizens, were on top of our local schools and forced tighter educational goals, uniforms, civics classes, US History (truthful), hired teachers and paid them for performance with attainable goals and balanced compesation, got rid of union stooges who are no more than banksters in hiding, ensured that $$ was appropriated at the local level, got rid of the over staffing of mid-management and political goof offs, we could make significant progress without a lot of increased taxation and regulation. I was born in 1950, got a good education, had two parents, and many diverse cultural friends. I love my country, there is no place on earth with so much opportunity, or at least it used to be that way.

Sure, Switzerland and the European Social Democracys look pretty good from a distance however the population is SMALL compared to 300+ million in the USA! Look at China, Russia, India, Brazil, etc. The larger the numbers of people the harder it is to effect equality and liberty. Our country is falling behind each year, we spend too much on "feel-good" programs that are inefficient and over staffed. We, the government, cannot take care of everyone. We need a shift in culture and values. Not Right Wing or Left Wing or Progressive, just a focus on educating our children for the 21st century. It is a scary world we live in but no where on earth is there a more compassionate and open society like the USA! If we dont take ownership at the most basic level, The Family, we will suffer what the Romans and alike did.

All this hyperbole of in-equlity due to race is a bunch of crap.....We have an African American Executive who has fallen prey to the Washington elite and wall street. I do support the progressive move to get money out of politics, Move to Amend, but as Tom says...Get envolved at the local level, if we each do our part to change values and culture, the rest will follow over time. Unfortunately, my generation scewed the youth. It is up to the 30+ generation to change the course of our countries destiny.

My sincere apologies for what my generation is leaving behind, the fixes are going to be painful but the rewards are huge. We live in an "information" economy that requires each citizen to be their own "masters". Nothing is out of reach if one is willing to work hard at personal responsibility based on common good behaviors, good citizenship and a willingness to work hard to keep our liberty and freedom!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 45 weeks ago
#11

I think turning economic disparity into a racial wedge issue is a bad idea. It leads to letting the peasants fight amongst themselves over what crumbs there are. Not to deny the problems in the African American community. They are very real and must be addressed by us all. However, the way to battle the current problems of economic inequality is to admit that they very adversely affect 99% of the population regardless of color; and, unite everyone to do something about it. African Americans are not the sole target in this economic problem. They are simply being victimized along with everyone else. The only way to solve the problem is with everyone taking part. I think that in doing so the dream of Dr. King would be realized far better then beating another drum for racial animosity. Dr. King was about bringing people together, not setting them at each others throats. That's much more like the tactic of the 1%.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 45 weeks ago
#12

Marc- Glad to see ya back! I missed you.

I agree that the media does its utmost to use race as a wedge issue, exploiting racial tensions in this society to keep everyone distracted from a common enemy that is screwing us all. I get that. But generally, blacks have it worse than the rest of us. Their unemployment numbers are twice as high as that of whites. I think that deserves acknowledgement.

Hope you had a great weekend, Marc... - Aliceinwonderland

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 45 weeks ago
#13

Very well said fly guy

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 45 weeks ago
#14

chuckle I guess it starts with never needing a Martin Luther King. That would put you at the top of the list.

bobcox's picture
bobcox 8 years 45 weeks ago
#15

Did you mean "Free of Debt" whn you say Owned? Or do you include both those that are free of mortgage and have mortgages?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 45 weeks ago
#16

Kend -- What is the metric that says you do not need a Martin Luther King? Incidentally, metrics usually have numbers with them to actually be called a metric.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 8 years 45 weeks ago
#17

I would like to take the time to thank all of the well-meaning people who have left their comments, with the exception of Kend, you have confirmed my thoughts that I am better off not partaking of the conversations posted on this left wing blog. It appears A.I.W. has once again bestowed her wisdom upon Hartmann's blog and I would hate to hurt her feelings again and have her flee into the night once more, due to the fact she cannot handle any criticism of her comments. And, yes I have noticed how DAM still continues to ramble on, when his entire verbiage could be delivered in a few lines if he was to get to the point of his message. And the person, who calls himself flyguy, enjoys dumping all the ills of America's education system on the teachers. I doubt you have any experience in the real world of teaching, especially in today’s world. The so called, “Teachers Unions", seems to be the fall guy for all of the problems that America faces, especially when it comes from of the idiots of the right side of the political aisle. Sir, and I say that with some disdain towards your opinion of who is blame in our schools. Do you have any idea who develops the criteria for the lessons taught? For your information, and I believe that to be very limited, the school board and the State in which these teachers raise our children decide what will be taught, and not the teachers themselves. Teachers on all levels are constantly being reviewed and there all people who manage the schools that sit in classrooms and rate the teacher’s performance constantly. I guess that little bit of info passed by your narrow right wing mind. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, I have been told, but in your limited capacity it would be a good thing for our country, since your narrow minded comments reveal your bigoted attitude. And I would like to ask, when will the PARENTS be held responsible for their children’s education? Since you, Mr. flyguy, was raised in the 1950's and 60's, you may recall our mothers and fathers would sit down with us and go over our homework and make sure we were ready for the next day’s session at school. Without preparation for the next day, the lessons are almost meaningless on levels of education without proper preparation to go on to the next step. Unfortunately in today’s world this is a rare event. The children and young adults in general are on their own with very little intervention from the parents. And, I can assure you from experience that in the poorer school districts which are made up largely of non-whites it is a major problem. Whether this is due to both parents having to work long hours or because many are single parent families and the parent just does not have the resources in education or time to sit down and mentor their own children! But, it is easier for asses like you to blame the Teachers and their Unions for the failures in our education system. An education means a chance for a higher standard of living, but unfortunately this education is not held in the same high regard among many lower income families, as it is in many middle and upper class families. I am not blaming just the parents in these situations for the children not obtaining the education they need, but in the present system it is the school board and the non-union administration that pushes these kids through in order to retain the money the need to operate the schools each day. You do know of course, since you like to come across that you know what you’re talking about, that the school districts run by non-union administrators are paid for each seat that is occupied each day by a student is the basis on which the receive their funding! Or is that another thing you missed while blaming the teachers on how the administration runs the schools and the criteria by which students are graded. The teachers are handed a curriculum to teach by and they only have so many hours in each day to teach these kids. With our overcrowded classrooms due to the funds being cut by mostly Right Wing State and Federal Senators and Representatives on both levels, I have to thank the Teachers of our Nation for doing the best they can with what they have been given. It would behoove you to at least look up the information concerning what and who decides what is taught in our schools nationwide, before you with your complete lack of understanding, blame the hard working teachers that serve our kids and young adults. Do you, Mr. Flyguy, also blame the computer and the programs there within, for individuals not learning from online programs? I highly doubt it from your uneducated remarks. And I doubt your name flyguy comes from serving in our military as a pilot or anything remotely close to that. Of course there are some bad teachers in our schools; just like there are people who do not perform their jobs as well as they should in all occupations in this world. But, as in teaching this is only a small percentage and the schools have ways to get rid of these teachers, even if the right likes to spread the untruths that Unions can protect the bad teachers from being found out and replaced. IN today’s world all employees that are unionized can be removed if they break the standards set down and agreed upon by everyone involved. We are not living in the 1970's and 80's any longer and things have changed, even if the right would like to blame the Unions for all the problems of OUR Nation. Thank you and good night. K.W. P.S. What ever happened to the guy who believed everything that bad happens in our country and world is due to governmental conspiracies, I missed his comments! I did not expect to make a comment tonight; I just cannot stand the verbal garbage from the right, concerning our teachers and unions. An uneducated statement as his apparently is, needed an answer... Dr. Kings nightmare that still exists in America is due to many things, the exportation of jobs and the importation of workers from foreign countries is just one of the reasons why there are still people living in the ghettos economically and educationally. Let the right and the left isles of our political system continue this practice and the middle class will disappear as well and there will only be left the wealthy to collect profits on our work.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 45 weeks ago
#18

Sorry chuck I am not sure what your asking me.

Nice to here from you Ken W. hope all is well.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 8 years 45 weeks ago
#19

Kend - Are you really serious when you state that 80% of Black Children are born to single mothers? And, did you mean that you actually watch Maurey or Springer for your factual information? You do realize that these are rag television shows that use sensationalism to hype up their shows. If you said you watch Fox entertainment channel for your news, I might be able to almost understand that point of view, but to reference a talk show host that uses the worst side of any human being and to think this is a factual reference to some part of our society is beneath even a Canadian from the right...And, I always thought there was hope for you, you have certainly lost sight of reality if you think these types of shows can be referenced as legitimate venues while commenting on this blog. Really, Maurey or Springer, I guess it really must get cold up there or you have been sniffing something to use these guys as a reference for facts concerning a large segment of American Society. Did that Artic freeze that came down affect your logic to the point that you would even mention these two rag shows?!!!!! K.W.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 45 weeks ago
#20

Ken, why don't you crawl back in your hole? Go play with your grandson, and let us continue in peace. It's been so nice here without you.

I left last March because I got tired of you and the negative impact all your bullying was having on this blog. The only people who have the ability to hurt my feelings are those I happen to like and respect. You're not one of them.

If you think Marc should be writing shorter posts, you might start practicing what you preach. - Aliceinwonderland

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 8 years 45 weeks ago
#21

Interestingly, Martin Luther King called on us, black and white, to recognize that poverty is an American issue, and we need to unite to legitimately address it. He specifically noted white poverty, which America has habitually ignored -- or tried to sweep under the rug. Native American poverty is normally disregarded (or avoided). That said, consider what we have done. We looked at the policies and programs that were in place from FDR until Reagan, which took the US to its height of wealth AND productivity, and chose to reverse course. We can't be surprised that the inevitable happened. The problem was actually that of the success of our former social policies. Because benefits and programs had been significantly improved, we reached the point where some 80% of AFDC recipients were able to quit welfare for jobs by the time their children began school. By the mid-1970s, we saw efforts to claim that the success of former welfare recipients was not the result of their own abilities and capabilities, but of "special privileges." It was hinted (not so subtly) to middle class workers that their own jobs were at risk of being given to welfare recipients, and this began the backlash. In the 1980s, govt began dismantling the education and job skills programs while slashing benefits, building a case to "prove" that welfare was a failure. By 1996, virtually all legitimate discussion about US poverty had long been removed from the public forum, and Bill Clinton ended both general assistance and AFDC. Since then, we've dealt with the consequences by ignoring them.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 8 years 45 weeks ago
#22

The general population knows virtually nothing about white or Native American poverty. While there appears to be some dispute, it is my understanding that while black Americans are disproportionately poor, the majority of our poor are white. Regardless, as Martin Luther King (who did take note of white poverty) pointed out, poverty is an American problem caused by a gravely flawed socioeconomic system. It's arguably worse today (in large part because of years of anti-poor propaganda and massive upoward wealth redistribution). Since Reagan, several trillion taxpayer dollars were redistributed upward, mainly to corporations, always "vital to job creation" -- which they continue to use to build factories and offices outside the US, shipping out our jobs. At the same time, we wiped out our basic welfare programs, and repeatedly cut remaining social programs (disability aid, food stamps). Extreme poverty in the US has soared. Food stamp aid for the elderly, disabled and poor has been cut twice in recent months, while Congress continues to shoot down every jobs bill the president has presented. But massive annual handouts for the rich continue.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 8 years 45 weeks ago
#23

Are you serious? A "free ride"? As for your last comment, do you also rely on the National Enquirer and similar tabloids for in-depth news? Need I point out that the reason we have so many single parent families today is because so many American men wimp out, unwilli ng to accept their responsibilities for their own children? Women tend to be monogamous, and men commonly aren't. Of course there are other factors that tear families (married or not) apart, with poverty being the leading cause. Free ride??? Unlike the more advanced nations, there are virtually no social supports for single parents in the US. Being a single parent, accepting one's responsibilities for her own child, is a situation of constantly having barriers put up, of having to struggle against the odds.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 45 weeks ago
#24

Ken, what a surprise..I was just wondering, just yesterday, what ever happened to you.

Quote ken ware: P.S. What ever happened to the guy who believed everything that bad happens in our country and world is due to governmental conspiracies, I missed his comments!
Still here, just giving my fingers a break and concentrating on other neglected things but still reading the posts. Wow! That was some ramble..I think you've beaten me, even! And yes, 911 is still an inside job! And the NSA is still spying on us all!

I can see why you are sensitive about teachers because your daughter is a teacher. I have to concur with you about teachers..though. Teachers are often underpaid and unappreciated. And it is certainly not their fault that they have to deal with some very unruly and even dangerous students. Some teachers should get hazardous duty pay or even have their own weapon for protection of them and their students. Whatever happened to metal detectors in schools? I guess they don't all have them...they probably should!

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 45 weeks ago
#25

Branski, I see very little in your excellent posts to take issue with. I'd just like to point out that, in light of how much Native American poverty is concentrated in reservations, where those people are kept isolated from the rest of society, it is way too easy for us non-natives to overlook. And considering how large the white segment of our population happens to be, it should come as no surprise if the majority of our nation's poor people are white. However blacks still suffer the most from poverty, in proportion to their numbers. - Aliceinwonderland

jswood41's picture
jswood41 8 years 45 weeks ago
#26

The bickering doesn't help anyone learn. And the name calling while momentarily gratifying isn't productive.

But I'm not immune. Of the 12 Us presidents that span my lifetime there are only three I respect for their actions and yes there is one Republican among them. Too many with great promise were unable to fulfill that promise . Men like JFK,Barak Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter probably all ran into the forces which debase much of human history. That some of us are greedy beyond need and have little regard for the welfare of others ( psycpathy )

We are all at fault for where we are at least those of us over 30. We have not resisted strongly enough the greedy, we have retreated too often into our own circumstances.

When we live in a world where 85 individuals con posess more wealth than the poorest 3.5 BILLION the resistance to their influence can never wane.

One can be reasonably chastized for turning to any single source of information, for refusing to constantly challenge one's momentary truth ( the earth was flat and we did come from Adam's rib) and for failing to forgive one's self for prior ignorance.

Kend's picture
Kend 8 years 45 weeks ago
#27

Sorry everyone it is 72% of black children are born to un wed mothers. I was way out 8%. NBC news google it. It is such a sensitive issue sometimes we don't look at the true. But we have to look at the truth to fix the problem.

Kenw of course I don't look at those shows for my facts. The fact there are shows like them is part of the problem. I seems to be kind of cool today to have children out of marriage And with many different partners.

Green_TZM's picture
Green_TZM 8 years 45 weeks ago
#28

Our biggest problem is not who we're married to or not, what ethnicity we are or not, it's our inaction. It would be hard but it coud be done. I'm tired of hearing that my poor brothers and sisters are lazy. aren't you? So why don't we meet at the nearest library or other free meeting room and form some cooperatives? Why don't we just show everyone that we can employ ourseves?

And politics, why is it that so many of us don't participate? In a country that self governs, we opt out?It's because information is not filtering down to the masses. So why don't we meet once a month and hand out some information? Meet once a month to watch videos?

If you can provide free meals and force Jesus down a throat why can't you have a free meal and force knowledge down a throat?

That sofa is just too comfortable.

Green_TZM's picture
Green_TZM 8 years 45 weeks ago
#29

LOL I agree and also what about that "getting to the point" part when a few words would do. LOL It took a long time to figure out what he was talking about. A riot.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 45 weeks ago
#30

Thank you TZM! For both posts.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 45 weeks ago
#31

green-T -- Do you know how much easier Jesus goes down my throat than knowledge.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 45 weeks ago
#32

Green_T -- You do know that "taking a long time to figure out" is knowledge going down your throat.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 45 weeks ago
#33

And the Flying Spaghetti Monster goes down my throat very easily too!...ummmmm...pasta! ;-}

Ancient cultures also had their favorite myths that they found easy to go down their throats too that's why more modern myths plagiarized them....of course, they modified them so that they would be more believable by the masses. ie: born of a virgin in a manger (or cave), 3 wise men, feeding the masses, walking on water, healing the sick, bringing dead people back to life, dying on a cross and arising in 3 days prophesied to one day return to the earth, end of the world, afterlife, etc. Yeah, all very believable, huh? ;-}

And that's why so many people are hoodwinked out of their money, and often, their lives and the lives of their family by believing in all these fallacies pushed on us by preachers, priests, witch doctors and shamans. Hocus Pocus! Did I mention Rajneesh, Jim Jones and the Maharishi to name just a few?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 45 weeks ago
#34

Hey PD- you can add "moonies" to that list.

I think that in all likelihood, Jesus was a pretty cool guy. I can get behind many of the things he is quoted for saying without compromising myself one iota. That said, I don't get why that wasn't good enough for some people; why they had to tack on all these silly myths like the ones you've mentioned. - Aliceinwonderland

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 45 weeks ago
#35

Since you're talking about the Flying Spaghetti Monster don't forget to mention L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology. That one takes the cake.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 8 years 45 weeks ago
#36

AMEN.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 45 weeks ago
#37

Aliceinwonderland: I agree that most of the personification of Jesus is very much desired and has very positive attributes. But a myth is still a myth. And the fact is that much of the myths of Jesus and God are really the plagiarization of more ancient myths modified to suit the believability of people 2000 years ago. The early Christian cult had sought to sway Jews and Pagans alike so they needed to adopt beliefs from both in order to win converts.

The inventors of Jesus back in those days used psychological varisimilitudes of their current cultures to make their new Savior more believable, so too were they modified over that past 2000+ years for the same purpose. All the while the current day believers consider all those more ancient myths to be total BS and superstitions. It's really quite funny that they can't see this.They don't see how their current day beliefs are just as ridiculous as the more ancient myths they borrowed from. They don't really want to know where their religions and beliefs originated...they have all just been brainwashed into not questioning authority and to accept the nonsense that they have been taught to be true.

And on RT channel I see yet another Jesus-like creature, dressed in white robes, with long hair and a beard...looking very Jesus-like...that people go to for adoration and advice...he can only speak Russian though...but then again the mythical Jesus could only speak Aramaic..or so I'm told. Some people even believe that Jesus was black...and that Mary was Ethiopian. Ah, well, people will believe what they want. I sure do!

History is full of charlatans dressed in white robes...trying to emulate that myth of Jesus...and they do manage to pull in sucker believers. Some even modify their auras a bit with science fiction abandon...Raelians...Scientology...a whole bunch of weird cults pop up all the time that hope to be as powerful as the more ancient cults they try to leech from. Because they know that "suckers are born every minute".

As I said before, the characteristics of the myth of Jesus are admirable but believers tend to rely on so-called experts of Jesus, the priests, preachers, cult inventors, to manipulate that image to serve their own self interests. Very dangerous.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 45 weeks ago
#38

Sorry, I'm done editing now. I know that editing tends to shift the order of things.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 45 weeks ago
#39
Quote Aliceinwonderland:I can get behind many of the things he is quoted for saying without compromising myself one iota. That said, I don't get why that wasn't good enough for some people; why they had to tack on all these silly myths like the ones you've mentioned.

Aliceinwonderland ~ That is a very good question. Most of Jesus teachings were basic logic coupled with the "right thing to do." I too get lost in the miracles. I suppose his teachings were more than enough for people like you and I; yet, for some, they weren't enough. Some people just aren't capable of "doing the right thing" without the imaginary big supernatural stick of God hanging over their heads. Especially in antiquity. Therefore, the authority of the day had to tack on all those silly myths like the ones PD mentioned. It is what it is. Whether or not they did any good is anyone's guess. What I hold true are the teachings. In the end, that is the only really important message from the story.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 45 weeks ago
#40

Throughout the ages there have been esoteric orders of people who believed themselves higher up on the totem pole of knowledge. They pretended to believe just like the masses believed but they manipulated subrosa, behind the scenes, to keep the masses controlled the way they wanted.

They believed that it was necessary to keep the masses believing in those things that they were prone to believing in...magic...sorcery...images of both good and evil. The masses were mostly uneducated bumpkins who could only be controlled through manipulating those iconic images. So when the myth of Jesus was created, it had to compete with the magic of other competing beliefs...not to be undone.

So the new myth of Jesus, which was billeted to fit the long awaited prophecy of a Savior that will save the Jews from the Romans, had to take on magical, mythical proportions in order to sway people away from their other beliefs.

Today, it takes things like false flag operations of terror like 9/11 to control people..in addition to the xenophobic, misdirected, self-righteous, exclusionary beliefs that such religions tend to foster.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 45 weeks ago
#41
Quote Palindromedary:They don't see how their current day beliefs are just as ridiculous as the more ancient myths they borrowed from.

Palindromedary ~ Of course not. You have to realize that many of these modern day believers were born into this belief set. It is shared by their parents, their siblings, and their community. The Church is the central unifying force of their neighborhood. It would be easier to suck water out of concrete than it would be to cast doubt on any of these fundamental beliefs. Which is why to communicate with such people you need to at least understand and respect their beliefs. Without that minimum concession, you will be cast out as a pagan on your ear faster than you can say Holy Bat Crap Batman.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 45 weeks ago
#42

DAnneMarc: I agree. But, of course, Pagan is just another form of religion. I consider myself an Atheist which is not a religion. So they can cast me out as an Atheist and I would not be insulted. It's something I quite expect from such a community of superstitious people. But in my case I shut the door in their faces when they come knocking rather than expecting to be "cast out" of their community. I don't want to be part of their community to begin with.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 45 weeks ago
#43

So have any of you read the book "Why God Won't Go Away - Brain Science and the Biology of Beleif"? I like to think of it as god for atheists; the authors do not. I am only a thrid of the way through the book.

Today on the "View" the had the PA Operator that talked the gunman into to not shooting anyone. She kept saying how god enabled her to do what she did. I am sure she was talking about the Christian God. I think the aforementioned book explains how her belief in God activated the appropriate brain circuits to enable her to accomplish the feat.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 45 weeks ago
#44

"Mother Murdered Two Children in Exorcism Attempt"
--2 days ago--

"...Avery and Sanford believed they were performing an exorcism when the children were assaulted; they believed they were releasing demonic spirits that had possessed the children."

http://guardianlv.com/2014/01/mother-murdered-two-toddlers-in-exorcism-a...

You know, if the major news media spent as much effort in news stories about the frequent occurring deaths of children from exorcisms as they do from trying to disarm us when putting out news stories about school or theater shootings, then maybe there would be a strong case to ban Bibles.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 45 weeks ago
#45

chuckle8: "God won't go away" because people get brainwashed with that stuff and they brainwash their children...etc...etc. "God won't go away" because there are institutions...ie: churches... that keep proselytizing people.
"God won't go away" because people who write books keep psyching people out with their idiocy...and make lots of money doing it.

But really, one would have just as much success at believing their Teddy Bear is the creator of the Universe, the Savior. You would have just as much chance of success in praying to your Teddy Bear as you would in praying to an invisible make-believe cosmic friend. That invisible God is really not any different that all of the mythological gods of ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia or Greece. Today's concept of God...ie: the one God...is merely an adaptation of the plethora of old gods. It's all make-believe...just pretend! If you are convinced that it gives you special powers then it probably gives you some kind of confidence which can (might..might not) affect how you handle a situation. But the same could be said of any other ridiculous thing you might believe in...whether it is your Teddy Bear deity or the Sun god...Mood god...Satanism...whatever. It's all psychological.

But look what it sometimes does to it's victims...whether they are exorcism victims or victims of religious wars. Victims of an auto-da-fe.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 8 years 45 weeks ago
#46

By the way...non religious meditation also works very well for those who try it. You don't have to cross your legs in a sitting position or do anything with your fingers pressed together in a weird fashion to get. You don't have to revere some idiot yogi or maharishi. Just the relaxation, sans any kind of religious belief, will work just fine.

Yes, if you have completely abandoned any kind of freedom of thought and immersed yourself in a religion, for some people, it may have beneficial results...for others...disastrous results...like exorcisms. But then you'll also find that you will be cajoled into having to give up a portion of your worldly goods (ie: tithing, etc) in order to keep in good standing with the head of the church who claims to be the go-between to the path of the ultimate being. It's nonsense, of course, and not recommended if you want to remain sane and still have retirement funds left over.

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 8 years 45 weeks ago
#47

Kend, (this is Mark S. under a different moniker) your facts and statistics are not what are in dispute. What is are the causes for those statistics and what they mean. The social problems of the African American community are largely adaptions to white racist practices and policies.

Crime, for example, I was born in 1960 and even I remember when black folks could get a job scrubbing the floors - i.e., doing the most menial manual labor - and that was it! They couldn't go any higher. There was a more or less plexi-glass ceiling upon their advancement - and it wasn't until MLK that that began to change.

When people are in such a position two things happen, first, they're not very enthusiastic about their work. As they are, in effect, in a continuation of slavery, they acquire the work ethic of a slave. They're naturally and rightly concerned more about, "When's break time?" than about excellence in their performance.

The second thing that happens is they resort to criminal enterprise for their advancement. In the African American community the crimminal professions became respected proffessions. Just as in the white community a carpenter, an engineer or electrician would be respected, so was in the African American community a pusher, pimp or burglar. This, of course, for generations and it was what African Americans needed to do, not just to advance themselves but to survive.

Similar is the effect of racism upon black families. Peole in an urban setting who are unable to earn a living rightly and naturally turn to what we call public aid or welfare. Welfare policies in the United States historically punished strong family units by denying aid to a household that had a man in residence. He was a "bread winner" and thus there was no need for the government to aid this household. This did a lot to undermine African American families.

So anyway Kend, its not enough to cite statistics. What the solution is is another topic for another day but let's not spend Martin Luther King's day casting aspersions and uninformed pronouncements on an entire group of people.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 45 weeks ago
#48

Palindromedary ~ We all have a basic human need to explain the unexplainable. How we do that is only limited by our creativity. To me, there is no difference between believing in a God, mythology, and/or believing in UFO's. All are Supernatural by our definition; and, all cannot be proven empirically. You say you're an Atheist; yet, even so you have a belief system. If you chose to believe that after death you will dissolve into a mound of ashes more power to you. I can't understand why you can't respect another's belief that there is more to the afterlife then simple organic decay. Personally, since you cannot prove there isn't anymore than they can prove there is I think you owe them the benefit of the doubt. To me, you're all grasping for straws and no one has any real legs to stand on. The least we can do is respect the beliefs of each other.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 45 weeks ago
#49

Palindromedary ~ Um.... By the way... I was just watching Thom's show and noticed in the background image of the White House that about 70 UFO's just flew by Thom's head while he was on the phone with a caller. Correct me if I'm wrong. Unbelievable!

It was at the end of the show starting at 3:40 min.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 8 years 45 weeks ago
#50

Pal--ary -- Incidentally, the book I mentioned starts out studying non-religious meditation. They use brain scans to see what happens. You should really read the book to understand how all those myths are so effective. That is, how the myths, rituals etc. effect brain ciruitry.

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