Links for purchasing Surrender of Sovereignty.

Dr. Clendenon's book "SURRENDER OF SOVEREIGNTY" is now avaible through major bookstores: Amazon.com, or Barnes & Noble, and is also available in the Kindle format compatible wtih PC, iMac, iPad, iPhone, 3G, Wi-Fi and Blackberry.

1/30/2011

Divorce In Monotheism's Cafeteria Of Doctrines

 If you believe what the Bible says Jesus said, then you can only divorce if one of you is UNFAITHFUL.  The implication is strong that it is speaking of sexual unfaithfulness.

If you believe Judaism, a man may divorce his wife for any reason, even if he finds another woman more attractive. However he must have her consent.  All a man would have to do is make his wife's life miserable until she gives the consent.  The divorce is accomplished by a specific process of writing and delivering a "get" to his wife freeing her to marry another man if she desires.  Sounds a little like what one might say to a bothersome dog: "Get!."

If you believe what the Bible records Paul saying, then you can also divorce if one of you is an unbeliever.  Paul also indicates that you might do well not to marry at all so that you can focus on your relationship with God.  No mention here of permission to abuse the Altar Boy though!

If you believe what the Quran says, a man may divorce his wife by simply saying "talaq" once to his wife.  Apparently he may take her back twice, but if he divorces her by saying "talaq" a second and a third time, then they are permanently divorced.  That is, until she remarries, has sex with her new husband, and then gets divorced from him.  Then the first husband may take her back even again.  Sunni Muslims, unlike those who practice Sharia law, believe that if a husband says "talaq, talaq, talaq" (the triple talaq) all at one time, the divorce is permanent.  Other Muslims believe this is a hangover from pre-Mohammed days and is a perversion of the Quran.

So none of these systems are friendly to the wife whose husband is beating her.  In fact Muslims consider it a gift from God that a husband beats his wife.  None of these systems are friendly to the wife whose husband is abusing one or more of their children.  None are friendly to a wife whose husband berates her and makes her feel worthless.  In fact Christianity, Judaism and Islam support the idea that in a marriage the man is glorious and she is to be reserved, quiet, respectful and submissive.

But what would you expect from religions who all believe the story of Adam and Eve in the garden.  Man was created first.  Then woman was created from his rib mainly because he needed companionship.  Then Eve was the weak one who conversed with the talking serpent and ate a piece of the forbidden fruit.  Then Adam succumbed to her invitation to also eat of the fruit, and thus fell like Eve into sin.  Both got kicked out of the garden; but God cursed the ground, not Adam, and made his work harder.  The woman, however, got a personal curse that made childbirth harder and more painful.

Why is it that monotheistic religions are so hard on women?  I believe that in most early civilizations men ruled predominantly because of their body size and strength and subsequent mental subjection of the women's minds to believe they must be submissive or get the stuffing beat out of them.  When David and Solomon commissioned the writing of the first scraps of Genesis, Exodus and Numbers around the tenth century BC, male chauvinism was already prevalent in cruel societies in the world; and the writer "J" included the idea in the story of the Garden of Eden.

I recently read an article in the National Geographic magazine, published in March of 2010, depicting how in Southern Ethiopia, children whose upper teeth erupt before the lower teeth are killed.  It is considered mingi: bad luck.  Some of them are abandoned in the desert with dirt stuffed in their mouths.  When I read of such insane practices, I wonder how, in this modern age, such ignorance can exist.

But when I read how monotheistic religions subjugate women and ruin lives with their insane beliefs regarding the relationship of men and women, that were derived from myth and legend, I wonder how modern human beings can be so ignorant as to believe such nonsense in this day and age.  Are women the weaker sex?  I would suggest that they are the stronger sex for putting up with all the ridiculous male dominance still alive in the world today.  By the way women, I'm not much for pushy, bossy women either.  But you do deserve some grace considering  how we have historically treated you.

1/25/2011

25 Things I Like

I spend most of my blog posts challenging the status quo of religion.  I think one could rightfully ask if there is anything I do like. I do enjoy life, and there are many things that I enjoy.

I write this blog to generate interest in my recently published book, Surrender of Sovereignty.  But I think today I will write down those things which I find particularly nice about life:  some things philosophical and some things material.

25 Things I Like

1. I enjoy being useful and of value, and enjoy not being dead weight.
2.  I enjoy clearly defining my purpose in life. Satisfaction comes more frequently for me when I look at the root motivation for the things I do and think.
4. I enjoy loving and being loved, but also enjoy the freedom to choose who and what I want to love.  I relish the freedom of not feeling like I have to love everyone, especially my enemies.
5. I enjoy striving to have an open mind and experiencing new things. 
6. I love non-conformity.
7.  Independence and freedom to make my own choices are wonderful, not to mention a basic necessity.
8. I enjoy showing respect to those who deserve it.  I enjoy getting respect when I deserve it.
9. I enjoy technology when it makes life better.
10.  I love the solitude of remote places.
11. I enjoy the reduction of background noise afforded by a couple of drinks.
12. I like experiencing new things with my senses: new food, new music, and different feelings.
13. I love being responsible for my own actions,   and I hold others responsible for their actions.  I enjoy owing nobody anything other that what I have promised them, and I expect nothing from anyone except that which they have promised me.
14.  I respect fairness.  I love justice.
15. I like honest easy-to-understand conversation.  You may not like me if I have to read between the lines.
16. I like dignity, but I hate pride.
17. I enjoy the commonality of all people.  I do not like class distinction or anyone thinking they are better than another.
18. I enjoy humor. 
19. I believe we all should laugh more at our mistakes and stop suing each other over them.  Sure some mistakes are costly and terrible, but not as costly as what we've given up by holding everyone to such a tight standard. I know some mistakes have to be taken seriously, but we need to move the bar much lower.
20. Political correctness is a disease.  It is the accommodation of the irritatingly thin skin of others.  I love racial humor, religious humor and off-color humor.
21. I love ethnic diversity.  I relish exposing myself to different beliefs, cultures, and cuisines; and I expect you to buck up if I tease you about it.  I consider every human being, regardless of sex or race, of equal intrinsic value.  If one adds to their intrinsic value a lot of ridiculous baggage, I feel free to not like you, associate with you, or speak well about you.
22. I like meat and potatoes, custard,coffee, glazed doughnuts, dry Italian salami, beer, good pizza, Mexican food, sushi, Hagen Daz coffee ice cream, and Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream.
23. I believe women are just as intelligent as men.  I believe skin color has no effect upon one's intelligence.
24. I think that hope is one of our greatest assets.  Disillusionment and lost hope are our worst detriments.
25.  I love liquid water: oceans, rain, rivers, lakes, swimming pools, and bathtubs.

1/21/2011

The Ten Commandments - Several Convenient Formats To Suit Everyone's Needs

The Bible claims that the Ten Commandments were written by God's finger on tablets of stone.  The inference is that since he didn't write it on something like wood or cloth, he must have not wanted it changed.  But mankind has changed it, voted out parts of it, divided it, and now it is being proudly posted in the hallways of a public school in Giles County, Virginia.  


The Ten Commandments, like the Bible and the drawings  of Jesus, have been manipulated to whatever purpose suits any religious group of the day.  Someday soon, I'll do a photo album of Jesus pictures.  He's a busy multi-talented guy in our pictures.  But for today, lets look at the Ten Commandments: allegedly written in stone by God's finger.  Ecclesiastes ends with the conclusion to "Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man."  And whoever wrote the book of Luke attributes Jesus as saying, "It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law." So, as far as the Bible is concerned, don't change the Ten Commandments. 


The pictures above show (from left to right) the Old Testament version of the Ten Commandments, the Ten Commandments as taught by the Catholic Catechism, and the Ten Commandments as abbreviated by Protestants, posted on sticks in front yards, and framed and put in public places like schools and court buildings.

Few people other than Seventh-day Adventists and Jews realize the changes that have beset the holy ten.  Jews, Seventh-day Adventists and a few other small denominations keep the fourth commandment regarding the Sabbath from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown as the commandment requires in the Old Testament.  

The Catholic church likes the second version above.  It forgets about  the second commandment and its prohibition against graven images.  Catholic churches are full of images and they like them. They always have, so they just removed the second commandment.  But how uncool would it be to have Nine Commandments when everyone else has ten.  So they split the commandments  about coveting into two commandments.  Now they have ten again. Oh, and the fourth commandment about the Sabbath: they watered it down to "Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy."  Now they could have church on any day.  Sunday was their favorite, since the Bible makes its unsubstantiated claim that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, Sunday; and the Pagans would be more comfortable with honoring the day of the Sun. 

Evangelical Christians like the third version: abbreviated, but no graven images like the Catholics, and that way they can have ten commandments without splitting the coveting commandment.  The really hilarious thing about the Evangelical Christians abbreviated Ten Commandments is that their roots come from the Protestant Reformation where they stubbornly denied the power of the Pope of Rome.  Yet their watered down Ten Commandments include the abbreviated version of the fourth commandment, touted by papists as displaying their authority to change the law of God.  Click Here to see the article from the Catholic Mirror which taunts Protestants for their awkward unknowing acknowledgment of their Catholic Church's authority.

For me, this fiddling around with the Ten Commandments is just more of the same irrationality exhibited by religious kooks. Religion exalts its unverifiable relics, scriptures, and dogmas.  They are not holy at all.  They have been changed, added to, abbreviated, embellished, canonized, and exalted.  Christians have a lot of nerve pushing the Bible as the Word of God, and then editing God's words to their own liking.



1/19/2011

The Ignorant Face of Dogmatism Displayed In Alabama

Governor Robert Bentley of Alabama Showcasing His Ignorance

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley told a church crowd just moments into his new administration that those who have not accepted Jesus as their savior are not his brothers and sisters, shocking some critics who questioned Tuesday whether he can be fair to non-Christians. "Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I'm telling you, you're not my brother and you're not my sister, and I want to be your brother," Bentley said Monday, his inauguration day, according to The Birmingham News.

Well Governor, I for one am mighty happy not to be your brother.  I find your attitude of Christianity being the only way to think typically dogmatic and ignorant.  I think you should not be a representative of the people.  I consider myself liberal on social issues, but conservative on financial issues.  But I must say this man is an embarrassment to conservatives.  Go to church and believe whatever you want Governor Bentley, but shut up about divisive religious views already.

This displays the inherent divisiveness of religions who think that their way is exclusively correct, and everyone else needs to see things their way.  Christianity and Islam masquerade as peaceful ideologies, but they are not.  Both religions are divisive.  And both religions are alright with divisiveness, because they teach that God will return and make everything peaceful someday. If they are wrong, as I believe and teach in my book Surrender Of Sovereignty, the type of divisiveness displayed by Bentley does nothing but bring more disharmony in the human race and make peace more elusive.

1/16/2011

Mega Church Children's Ministies - Give The Little Kiddies A Good Time And Slip Your Insidious Doctrine In On The Side


Wii Love JESUS - Kids Encounter 2011 from Austin Power House Church on Vimeo.
Mega Church Kiddie  Recipe 
Ingredients: 
Excitement (cartoon tempo)
Peer Pressure
Sense of Belonging
Free Atmosphere To Release Aggressions
Forgiveness
Jesus
Rock and Roll
Shady Looking Dude

Instructions:
1. Let the kids leave the boring adult service and go to a side room where a stage, rock band and lots of props are available.
2. Teach kids using contemporary kid's lingo so you look cool.  (If needed, interrogate your own kids to find out this generation's identifying lingo)
3. Keep the excitement level high to keep the little Kiddies' interests.
3 Eventually work in the doctrine of sin and forgiveness.
4. Play some rock and roll.
5. Teach kids how to fall and catch each other.
6. Just when all the hormones are flowing, play some emotional "God is Awesome,  come to Jesus just as you are music."
7. Get one kid to hold their hands up in the air, and pray for him.  Put pressure on his forehead and encourage all the others who learned to catch in step 5 to get behind him.  Peer Pressure will make him fall down (slain in the Spirit)
8. Other kids will follow suit like domino's
9. Excited kids return to parents in the main meeting, who are amazed at the stories and dump mega cash in blank unmarked "KFC' buckets.
10. Kiddies' minister get's his salary and operating budget.

1/15/2011

Our Nation's Not-So-Christian History: Steeped In The Ancient Wisdom Of Freemasonry


THE FRESCO  "APOTHEOSIS OF  WASHINGTON " ADORNS THE DOME OF OUR CAPITOL'S ROTUNDA
George Deified
Apotheosis means to become or be made a god.  A depiction of George Washington becoming God is painted on the dome of the rotunda of our nation's capital building.  And just in case one might think it was merely a little overzealousness about George as our nation's first President, let's look at the rest of the Fresco.

Minerva of Science

Minerva, the Roman goddess of crafts and wisdom, is portrayed with helmet and spear pointing to an electrical generator creating power stored in batteries next to a printing press, representing great American inventions. American scientists and inventors Benjamin FranklinSamuel F. B. Morse, and Robert Fulton watch. In the left part of the scene a teacher demonstrates the use of dividers.





Mercury of Commerce


Mercury, the Roman god of commerce, with his winged petasos and sandals and a caduceus, is depicted giving a bag of gold to American Revolutionary War financier Robert Morris. To the left, men move a box on a dolly; on the right, the anchor and sailors lead into "Marine."

Neptune of Marine

This scene shows Neptune, the Roman sea-god, with trident and crown of seaweed riding in a shell chariot drawn by sea horses. Venus, goddess of love born from the sea, is depicted helping to lay the transatlantic telegraph cable which ran from America to the Telegraph Field in Ireland.  In the background is an ironclad warship with smokestacks.

Ceres of Agriculture

Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, is shown with a wreath of wheat and a cornucopia, symbol of plenty, while sitting on a McCormick mechanical reaper. The personification of Young America in a liberty cap holds the reins of the horses, while the goddess Flora gathers flowers in the foreground.

Vulcan of Mechanics

Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and the forge, is depicted standing at an anvil with his foot on a cannon next to a pile of cannonballs. A steam engine is in the background. The man at the forge is thought to represent Charles Thomas, the supervisor of ironwork during the construction of the Capitol dome.

George Washington was a Freemason, and this fresco obviously conveys the Masonic belief that Ancient Wisdom is channeled to mankind by the gods.  You would think that the Religious Right would have some objection to this fresco; but then, probably quite a few Masons are Christians. Ha.

1/04/2011

Sticks And Stones Can Break My Bones, But Words Can Never Harm Me

God: "Don't Talk Smack About Me!"
I think one of the things which keeps me pushing on this blog is the fact that so many folks don't question much of anything. 

Consider, for example, todays news that reports the assassination of  a Governor of Pakistan by his Elite Guard escort for the reason that he was supporting modern amendments to Pakistan's Blasphemy Law. 

When I was a kid, I was told that sticks and stones could break my bones, but words would never harm me.  Now as an adult, I realize that words can harm a person.  Verbal abuse, condescension, and defamation can wreak havoc upon one's life or psyche.  But isn't  God a bigger idea than that?  If I were the Master of the Universe, knowing all things, present everywhere at one time, knowing everyone's thoughts, and could intervene within the course of people's lives, I think I could endure some little ant of a human being saying something bad about me.  And if I didn't like it, wouldn't it be more fun to just screw up their life a little and make them pay for it.  To just wipe out the one speaking badly of one's self speaks of a God-size inferiority complex, doesn't it?  Shooting someone for wanting to moderate archaic and ancient laws about blasphemy makes their God look pretty small. Gods who require offerings, praise,  nobody talking smack about them, and righteous killing are pretty ridiculous looking gods, if you ask me.  In fact, to me, it wreaks of human devising.  I think human beings have concocted the ideas they hold about God in the face of an extreme lack of evidence that such a being is actually personally involved with our world.

1/03/2011

Unfortunate Unprotected Persecuted Egyptian Christians

SHOULD  IT BE BOTH WAYS?
As 2011 began, many Christians lost their lives in Egypt when their place of worship was bombed.


The Bible says that  God will protect those who trust in him (Psalms 91), yet Jesus told those who believed in him to be prepared to endure persecution (John 16:1-4).  I know how Christians rationalize this, but it does not seem reasonable to me.  The rationalization is usually that Jesus hadn't lived yet or become the "offense" at the time of the writing of Psalms 91.  But even those who lived back then endured much persecution from conquering empires like Babylon.  For me, it's just like all the rest of the Bible: It conflicts with itself and is a fertile bed for strife, disappointment, and  fanaticism. It seems to me that Psalms 91 is hyperbole and grandiose wishful thinking. Once again, here are the contrasting verses.  You decide.

Psams 91

5. You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
         Or of the arrow that flies by day;
6. O f the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
         Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
7. A thousand may fall at your side
         And ten thousand at your right hand,
         But it shall not approach you.
8. You will only look on with your eyes
         And see the recompense of the wicked.
9. For you have made the LORD, my refuge,
         Even the Most High, your dwelling place. 

Or Jesus in John 16:1-4 

“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues [today it might be from churches]; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them."