Catholicism is by its roots connected with Judaism as with no other religion. Both Jews and Catholics share an understanding that the Bible is the word of God – “divine revelation” – and they also share a hope for a messianic era.
Maximon isn’t an easy idol to comprehend. He is both divine and devilish, fiend and friend, a communicator to Ajaw, the supreme Mayan god, but also a trickster that may double cross whoever presents an offering.
A result of the very long unpaid or inadequately paid period of apprenticeship, during which survival is dependent on adhering closely to programs established at the higher levels of the hierarchy, is training in avoiding independent thought, especially avoiding noticing when the results of research are not serving the general public.
Have we made significant progress in dealing with cognitive dissonance in scientific thought since the beginning of the fourteenth century? I wonder.
It’s remarkable how little the term “atheist” tells you about someone. The one thing it does tell you is that we are not convinced of the existence of a god. But we believe in lots of things. It might be worth having a conversation to learn more about each other. Perhaps a dance with “the devil you don’t know” and you might find we have a lot in common.
Our personal beliefs are just that – personal. Humans are social creatures and we are concerned for the welfare and well being of those around us. The personal can become very public if we try to “save” each other from ideas we believe are “wrong” or “untrue.” Many religions “salvation” built into them but apparently many atheists and non-believers have their own version too!
It seems to be fashionable in certain segments of society to claim that those who do not believe in a god are also amoral, evil, or worse. That is certainly not how I have lived my own life and it is not how I was taught to approach life by the people who shaped my world view when I was young. Neither promise of “heaven” nor threat of “hell” are necessary to motivate me to do right by my fellow humans. I have found that the doing is reward enough in itself.
Is it necessary to believe in life after death in order to find meaning in this life? This is a question that I answer for myself every day with a resounding “NO!” This life, this extraordinary universe, is more than enough to explore and give my life purpose and meaning. The great adventure of learning how to be in this world is all that I need to find meaning in this life.
If Swift-Tuttle were to collide with the earth, the result would be massive extinctions, but a smaller object with similar properties, exploding over the Pacific Ocean, would produce effects in Europe and the Middle East that approximated the description in Revelation 6.
This heavily decorated church is a rare survivor of the iconoclasm of Huldrych Zwingli’s Swiss Reformation.