take off your hat when the hearse passes

God always seems to be bumping into an atheist’s head in the most unexpected places. There was always Voltaire fessin’ up on his deathbed.His almost comic anti-semitism attributed to a repressed piety and faith. But, then he was always angling for a favor. And Martin Buber with his socialism without religion lacking the content to get the job done. Don’t forget Michael Moore and his  Capitalism with its standard scene of religious observance. Even the atheists, with the denial of god, by implication acknowledges a presence of sorts. At least they don’t spill buckets of ink in an effort to guage his/her “mood”. Even John Lennon’s anthemic Imagine implicates god in the narrative.

..Genet clings to his nihilism not because he rejects God so much as he finds the world more interesting without Him. Challenged repeatedly by the Palestinians to profess his religion, he answers: I didn’t believe in God. The idea of chance, a random combination of facts – a trick, even, of events, stars and beings owing their existence to themselves – such an idea seemed to me more pleasing and amusing than the idea of One God. The weight of religion crushes; chance rings lightness and laughter. Read More:http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/internetnation/s%27eclipser

Maurizio Cattelan. The Ninth Hour...Sartre:Bad faith is erroneously viewing ourself as something fixed and settled (Sartre utterly rejects Freud and his theory of the unconscious determination of our personalities and behavior), but it is also bad faith to view oneself as being of infinite possibilities and ingore the always restrictive facts and circumstances within which all choice must be made. On the one hand, we are always trying to define ourself; on the other hand we are always free to break away from what we are, and always responsible for what we have made of ourselves. But there is no easy resolution or "balance" between facticity and freedom, rather a kind of dialectic or tension. The result is our frustrated desire to be God, to be both in-itself and for-itself. But this is not so much blasphemy as an expression of despair, a form of ontological original sin, the impossibility of being both free and what we want to be. Life for Sartre is yet more complicateed. There is a third basic ontological category, on a part with the being-in-itself and being-for-itself and not derivative of them. He calls it "being-for-others." Read More:http://mythosandlogos.com/Sartre.html image:http://www.thesharkguys.com/lists/top-10-offensive-religious-art-pieces-part-one/

Is there something that the utterly rational misses?  A hunger. A need. Not really. And perhaps its not rational. Its innate. No doubt,  in spite of the violence the god industry has wreaked, there is the profound and revolutionary social force that religion has been associated to the individual. Maybe it just is. Some need some don’t. Yet He/she persists. …

ZIZEK: This reconciliation, however, only becomes possible after alienation is brought to the extreme: in contrast to the Catholic notion of a caring and loving God with whom one can communicate, negotiate even, Protestantism starts with the notion of God deprived of any “common measure” shared with man, of God as an impenetrable Beyond who distributes grace in a totally contingent way. One can discern the traces of this full acceptance of God’s unconditional and capricious authority in the last song Johnny Cash recorded just before his death, The Man Comes Around, an exemplary articulation of the anxieties contained in the Southern Baptist Christianity:

There’s a man going around taking names and he decides
Who to free and who to blame every body won’t be treated
Quite the same there will be a golden ladder reaching down
When the man comes around

The hairs on your arm will stand up at the terror in each
Sip and each sup will you partake of that last offered cup
Or disappear into the potter’s ground
When the man comes around…

Elmer Gantry. 1962. Read More:http://www.onlygoodmovies.com/blog/good-movies/good-christian-movies/

…Hear the trumpets hear the pipers one hundred million angels singing
Multitudes are marching to a big kettledrum
Voices calling and voices crying
Some are born and some are dying
Its alpha and omegas kingdom come
And the whirlwind is in the thorn trees
The virgins are all trimming their wicks
The whirlwind is in the thorn trees
It’s hard for thee to kick against

Till Armageddon no shalam no shalom

Then the father hen will call his chicken’s home
The wise man will bow down before the thorn and at his feet
They will cast the golden crowns
When the man comes around

Whoever is unjust let him be unjust still
Whoever is righteous let him be righteous still
Whoever is filthy let him be filthy still…

Chagall. Oh God. ---Kuspit:Chagall endured the conflict, struggled with the opposites, came closer to reconciling them than any of his artist friends. He may have. Writing about “Kafka’s Jewishness,” Clement Greenberg asked, “Might not all art, ‘prosaic’ as well as ‘poetic,’ begin to appear falsifying to the Jew who looked closely enough? And when did a Jew ever come to terms with art without falsifying himself somehow? Does not art always make one forget what is literally happening to oneself as a certain person in a certain world? And might not the investigation of what is literally happening to oneself remain the most human, therefore, the most serious. . . of all possible activities? Kafka’s Jewish self asks this question, and in asking it, tests the limits of art.” Read More:http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/kuspit/marc-chagall-6-6-11.asp

…The song is about Armageddon, the end of days when God will appear and perform the Last Judgment, and this event is presented as pure and arbitrary terror: God is presented almost as Evil personified, as a kind of political informer, a man who “comes around” and provokes consternation by “taking names,” by deciding who is saved and who lost. If anything, Cash’s description evokes the well-known scene of people lined up for a brutal interrogation, and the informer pointing out those selected for torture: there is no mercy, no pardon of sins, no jubilation, we are all fixed in our roles, the just remain just and the filthy remain filthy. In this divine proclamation, we are not simply judged in a just way; we are informed from outside, as if learning about an arbitrary decision, if we were righteous or sinners, if we are saved or condemned – this decision has nothing to do with our inner qualities. And, again, this dark excess of the ruthless divine sadism – excess over the image of a severe, but nonetheless just, God – is a necessary negative, an underside, of the excess of Christian love over the Jewish Law: love which suspends the Law is necessarily accompanied by the arbitrary cruelty which also suspends the Law.

Martin Luther directly proposed an excremental identity of man: man is like a divine shit, he fell out of God’s anus. One can, of course, pursue the question into how the deep crises that pushed Luther towards his new theology, he was caught in a violent debilitating superego cycle: the more he acted, repented, punished and tortured himself, did good deeds, etc., the more he felt guilty. This made him convinced that good deeds are calculated, dirty, selfish: far from pleasing God, they provoke God’s wrath and lead to damnation. Salvation comes from faith: it is our faith alone, faith into Jesus as saviour, which allows us to break out of the superego impasse. However, his “anal” definition of man cannot be reduced to a result of this superego pressure which pushed him towards self-abasement – there is more in it: it is only within this Protestant logic of man’s excremental identity that the true meaning of Incarnation can be formulated. In Orthodoxy, Christ ultimately loses his exceptional status: his very idealization, elevation to a noble model, reduces him to an ideal image, a figure to be imitated (all men should strive to become God) – imitatio Christi is more an Orthodox than a Catholic formula. In Catholicism, the predominant logic is that of a symbolic exchange: Catholic theologists enjoy dwelling in scholastic juridical arguments about how Christ paid the price for our sins, etc. – no wonder that Luther reacted to the lowest outcome of this logic, the reduction of redemption to something that can be bought from the Church. Protestantism, finally, posits the relationship as real, conceiving Christ as a God who, in his act of Incarnation, freely identified Himself with His own shit, with the excremental real that is man – and it is only at this level that the properly Christian notion of divine love can be apprehended, as the love for the miserable excremental entity called “man.” Read More:http://www.lacan.com/zizshadowplay.html

…God did not create man from the word, and he did not name him. He did not wish to subject him to language, but in man God set language [...] free. God rested when he had left his creative power to itself in man. This creativity, relieved of its divine actuality, became knowledge. Man is the knower in the same language in which God is creator. ( Benjamin )

If man knows the world through the name just as God creates the world through the word, then the exigency of naming becomes the cornerstone and building-block of all historical knowledge. The ‘messianic task’ of the historical materialist is to bear witness to this potentially actualizable communion between word and world; to shirk this responsibility is to divide the world and the word from man and to consign humankind and human knowledge to disintegration and eventual oblivion. Read More:http://www.janushead.org/11-1/MellamphyandMellamphy.pdf

Maurizio Cattelan.---Zizek:Which is why the secular-humanist reactions to phenomena like shoah or gulag (AND others) is experienced as insufficient: in order to be at the level of such phenomena, something much stronger is needed, something akin to the old religious topic of a cosmic perversion or catastrophy in which the world itself is "out of joint" - when one confronts a phenomenon like shoah, the only appropriate reaction is the perplexed question "Why did the heavens not darken?" (the title of Arno Mayor's book). Therein resides the paradox of the theological significance of shoah: although it is usually conceived as the ultimate challenge to theology (if there is a God and if he is good, how could he have allowed such a horror to take place?), it is at the same time only theology which can provide the frame enabling us to somehow approach the scope of this catastrophy – the fiasco of god is still the fiasco of GOD. Recall the second of Benjamin’s "Theses on the Philosophy of History": "The past carries with it a temporal index by which it is referred to redemption. There is a secret agreement between past generations and the present one." Read More:http://www.lacan.com/zizshadowplay.html image:http://anatheimp.blogspot.com/2010/10/fear-and-loathing-in-berlin.html



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