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Daniel Carelli (Panentheosis)
Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.
Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici.

Daniel's posts

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This is looking mighty fine..... 

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So, I got a chance to visit the super cool +Austin Toy Museum​ today to check out their vintage toy and video game collections, including a pretty sweet G1 Transformers display. If you're ever in the area, I suggest you stop by. You won't be disappointed.
18 Photos - View album

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Amazing lines like this are why I love my husband. Well, one of many reasons - but I just had to meme it.

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T_T So sad I had to cancel my pre-order for this. It looks so nice. Hope they don't sell out too quickly....

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Kyurangers Kyuren-Oh is actually lookin' pretty nice.
Thanks, +ヲタファ/wotafa for another great review!

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So I wrote a post today responding to Alex Jones and INFOWARS’ absurd accusations about Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl performance being some sort of Super Evil Satanic Ritual™ meant to dominate people or something… That post itself is mainly just an examination of two points within Satanic ideology which conflict with his accusation, so it doesn’t really belong in PoR - you’re welcome to read it here if you want a little more context for my questions below.....

I do feel there is relevance to PoR regarding the points I brought up as they apply in a broader sense to more religions than just my own, however. Namely:

1) Preaching, proselytizing, evangelizing, missionaries, and seeking converts.
2) Behaviors that abuse or take advantage of children - especially in ways they can not understand or give consent for as adults might.

The idea that followers of a religion should go out of their way to promote their religion and convince others to join them is rather common, especially among those of Christian and Muslim faith. It is also found among certain sects of Buddhism, Hinduism, Bahá'í, and others…. On the other hand, there are religions like Satanism, other sects of Hinduism, many forms of Paganism, Occultism, Judaism, Shinto, Jainism, Taoism, Sikhism, and so on which rarely employ proselytizing types of behaviors and instead allow people to make their own choices about their beliefs without coercion or judgement. If we take a look at the global populations of religions, it seems rather obvious - the more a religion promotes proselytizing, the larger their collection of followers is. Coincidence? I think not.

If we take a look at just the two largest religions in the world, I would argue that Christianity and Islam’s 2.2 and 1.6 billions followers respectively are proof positive of just how much proselytizing has done for them in swelling their numbers above those of other religions. I think it requires we ask ourselves, would that many people still be Christians or Muslims if those religions did not teach and encourage proselytizing and the seeking of converts? I believe not. I think one need only look to history, and the way that both Christianity and Islam ended up erasing and overwriting many native cultures’ original religious and spiritual beliefs while converting new groups across the planet, and right there you would have a significant amount of people who (without the influence of Christianity or Islam on their cultures) would likely still be following what were once the majority religions of their specific locations, such as Korean Shamanism, Shinto, Native American spirituality, and many forms of Polytheism across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

If we take a look at the actual scriptures of these two major religions, however, there seems to be a good deal of self-contradiction and inconsistency with how proselytizing and preaching are viewed and condoned.

Take for instance Christian scriptures:

and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Luke 24:47

Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38

Although God overlooked the ignorance of earlier times, He now commands all men everywhere to repent.
Acts 17:30

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son,and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.
Matthew 28:18-20

These all seem to paint a pretty clear picture; that the teachings of the Church and Jesus should be spread as far and as wide as possible to as many people as will listen, and doing so is for those own people’s good (whether they agree or not)... and yet from the very same gospel we have;

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward. But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:5

What is the disconnect here? Is it a matter of intention or purpose? To spread the good word vs simply trying to gain attention and reward from their god? Why is it promoted in one case and denounced in the other? If a convert is gained either way, what difference does the motivation of those who converted him make? If I feed a starving child out of selfless empathy or do so because I want to appear a humanitarian to other people, is the starving child not fed either way? Can a student not hold genuine belief even if his teacher is a fraud? (An issue a post in PoR many weeks ago addressed, I’d check out the comments there if you can find them.)

How is one to tell the difference between justified preaching and proselytizing or non-justified forms of those activities using the Bible as a guide, and what exactly is the difference to begin with? Whatever that difference is, why is it important if the end result is the same? On one hand, it seems like the Bible would have you believe that true conversion is a work of their god, and not humans.

Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.
Zechariah 4:6

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets: ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from Him comes to Me...
John 6:44

But on the other hand, it wants to claim that human beings are a required component of that conversion - as if their god is not capable of accomplishing these tasks without human beings to do the work for him:

How then can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can they preach unless they are sent?
Romans 10:14

And then take a look at Islamic scriptures discussing the subject of proselytizing, known as Dawah within their faith….

Let there be no compulsion in the religion: Surely the Right Path is clearly distinct from the crooked path.
Al-Baqarah, 2:256

Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them (non-believers) in ways that are best and most gracious; (leave judging them) for your Creator knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance.
Quran 16:125

Who is better in speech than one who calls to Allah, does righteous deeds and says indeed I am among the Muslims.
Quran 41:33

Let there arise among you a group inviting to all that is good, enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil. Those are the successful ones.
Quran 3:104

And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing... but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun(the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)
Qraun 2:191-193

Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority
Quran 3:151

They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.
Quran 4:89

And that’s not even getting into the various verses in the Hadiths which promote proselytizing and conversion:
"Whoever directs someone to do good will gain the same reward as the one who does good."

It seems neither religion can really make their mind up about how, when, and why their followers should seek converts and promote their beliefs to outsiders. More concerning, they seem confused about whether or not conversion is entirely an act of their gods or one which relies upon human beings to convince others. Why do you think such internal contradictions exist?

This type of behavior has always stuck me as incredibly self-defeating and presumptuous, so I was wondering what others’ views on it might be. I for one have often thought about it terms of Chocolate - no one needs to go around trying to convince others that chocolate is delicious. Most people discover that for themselves by trying it, and those who do not enjoy chocolate are not going to have their minds changed by someone evangelizing for it. Religions like Christianity and Islam seem rather similar to me - they have had thousands of years to spread their messages across the world, so you’d think people would have heard them by now. If it was such a perfect and compelling message, why would anyone need to be convinced of its validity and applicability? Wouldn’t everyone have accepted this perfect truth by now? Why would anyone need to be argued into accepting a religion’s teachings if those teachings are allegedly the inerrant word of an all-knowing deity? Wouldn’t it be inarguably apparent to anyone studying those religions that they alone represented the “One True Path?” Isn’t it a little bit ignorant to assert that other people have to be saved from their own beliefs and convinced to accept the beliefs of another - when neither person’s beliefs can be proven with any substantial evidence or data?

Which brings me to my next issue - a lack of attention to context and history. No single religion can exist in a vacuum divorced from all the other religious and nonreligious belief systems on the planet - especially when those religions often predate them by thousands of years. For any one religion to assert their own teachings as a “Truth” that must be spread to all people - they must also imply that the religions other people already follow are wrong, and their own messages are flawed, untrue, or even dangerous. The idea that a Hindu, for example, has never heard the message of Christianity and must then be preached at and convinced to replace their own beliefs with those of Christianity or Islam seems incredibly arrogant and insulting to me - as if anybody who had really heard the message of those religions would obviously sign on the dotted line and abandon their old corrupt ways. This makes them look rather jealous and insecure in my eyes, and only further decreases the chances of me taking them seriously. If their message is so absolutely true - why do they need to use it as a weapon to attack other religions and their teachings? Why not allow people to come to the supposed “truth” on their own?

If that is really the will of some all-powerful god, why would humans need to intervene at all to get that done? Shouldn’t such a powerful god have the means to convince people of his words’ truth himself? It always seems to me that, when these types of religious people go out of their way to try and convince others to join up with their various groups, that they do themselves a massive disservice - they make themselves look desperate and in need of convincing people of things they claim are absolute truths. Ask yourself - how much do you need to convince other people they need water to survive? How much do you need to convince other people that oxygen or gravity exist? How many actual truths do you need to argue people into accepting? I’d be much more apt to listen to them if they sat back and allowed people to come to them and ask questions - instead of trying to shove “answers” that no one asked for down the throats of unsuspecting strangers. Am I alone in this?

Further complicating matters, at least for me, is the way I view such behaviors as rather abusive when they are directed at children. Psychologically and emotionally speaking, children are not mentally mature enough to understand or consent to what they are being taught. The same way we have decided that children under certain ages are not developed enough to make sexual choices, to drive cars, to own weapons, etc - they are not at a point where they can apply an adult-level of critical thinking or skepticism to those who are authority figures in their lives. Biologically speaking, the very young are more apt to accept whatever they are told until they are old enough to question it. While I have a rather serious issue with proselytizing in general, and think it is a pretty pathetic practice, I consider it to be nothing short of child abuse when it is being forced upon children too young to understand what is happening. I think the fact that many of these religions specifically target children, and get them into programs like Sunday School as soon as possible, speaks volumes about their tactics - it’s a major red flag. Again, why would they need to force-feed children all their teachings instead of allowing them to learn these things once they are old enough to really do their due diligence? To me, the answer is clear - they know that a more reserved approach would produce more people who reject their teachings than indoctrinating children who are too young to know any better does. Do you agree?

To all members of this community - how do you view behaviors designed to promote religions or seek new followers there for? Do you have any specific reservations against such actions, or consider it any worse or better when they are directed at young people? If you are religious, is this kind of behavior included in your own beliefs? Do you engage in it yourself? If so, why; what are your goals and motivations for doing so? How do you decide when it is and is not appropriate to do so? Is it something you choose to engage in for your own reasons, or does your religion specifically instruct you to do it? If so, what reasons does your religion give? Do you believe you are saving people’s souls? Do you believe that you are bringing people some truth they were not yet aware of? Do you think you will be rewarded in some afterlife for how many people you recruit on your way up? If you do not engage in such practices - whether you're religious or not - why do you avoid it? What do you think about other people doing it? How do you feel about other people doing it specifically to you? Are there ways or times when you think this is acceptable behavior, or are you opposed it it in all forms at all times?

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Mwaahahahahaha - our diabolical machinations went off without a hitch. I hope you all enjoyed the show, because you were secretly imbued by our infernal magics while watching it!

Oh. Wait. No, you weren't - because this is total fantasy. I knew within 30 seconds of watching her performance that these kinds of accusations would be incoming. The issue is that these bat-shit insane conspiracy theories (and those who peddle them) discredit themselves right out of the gate by having absolutely no basis in what Satanism actually is or what it teaches.... Lets take a little look-see at why these claims make no sense, shall we?

The Superbowl is a televised event that usually draws upwards of several hundred million viewers in the US alone. That's a whole lot of people, and any Satanist would be the first to admit that the vast majority of those watching the Superbowl are not Satanists - that is a statistical certainty since Satanists are (by our very nature) not a majority of anything, nor do we have any desire to become one. Satanism is not a religion seeking mass appeal or global spread of our beliefs. Unlike some other religions that focus quite heavily on bolstering their numbers and converting new members by any means available, we are quite content to remain a minority.

Satanic ideology rejects behaviors like proselytizing, preaching, indoctrination, and seeking converts - so it would be pretty damn hypocritical for us to employ them on such a grand scale as the Superbowl halftime show. Satanism is for Satanists, who are few and far between. Much like the paranoid Heterosexual who is convinced Homosexuals are out to "turn them gay" or manipulate them into sex - the idea that Satanists have any desire to poach members from the ranks of Christianity (or other religions for that matter) is nothing short of inane. We are not so desperate to increase our numbers, and we have higher standards than that anyway, thank you very much. The only Christians we're interested in accepting among us are those who opened their own eyes and walked away from their yoke willingly - not those who need to be dragged kicking and screaming our of their camp and into ours. We believe that those who are Satanic will discover that truth about themselves naturally through self-discovery, and follow their own path to our beliefs and practices in their own time, without any prompting or prodding required. That is our way.

As stated by the Church of Satan and its founder Anton LaVey:
"We are looking for a few outstanding individuals."
"We expect people to come to Satanism of their own free will, so shoving literature at them is a rude imposition and contrary to Satanic behavior.... we will not engage in such tactics nor endorse anyone who employs them."

or as Jex Blackmore of The Satanic Temple has said: "We do not seek followers. We are seeking collaborators."

In this context, Alex Jones' assertion that we would use a highly-viewed broadcast to promote our religious practices make absolutely no sense. Trying to hold people's hands and lead them to Satanism is not even on our priority list, and we would gain absolutely nothing from it. Satanism will not appeal to or work for most people - so what would be the point of co-opting a halftime show to perform some kind of vaguely defined ritual? What ritual could possibly benefit from the forced inclusion of millions of people who are not of us and likely never will be? What is there to be gained there, for us or for them? Simple answer - absolutely nothing.

Paranoid groups of gullible Right-Wing Christians who see the big bad Devil's work everywhere they turn love to project their own beliefs and behaviors onto us as if we emulate them for our own cause - when in reality our cause is stark contradiction to those behaviors on a fundamental level. We are not the ones who have spent thousands of years using our beliefs as weapons to force our religion down the throats of those who never asked for it - we're the ones who have those weapons used against us. If they're looking for those to blame for such conduct, they would do well to locate the nearest mirror. Unfortunately, however, this is hardly the first time such unhinged charlatans have accused us of behaviors we unabashedly denounce...

Take for instance the so-called Pizzagate conspiracy; accusing Satanists of running some kind of imaginary child sex ring out of a pizza shop is a rather absurd accusation to make against a religion that does not believe in harming children (or innocent people in general) as a fundamental tenet - especially coming from another religion whose scriptures routinely speak about their own god murdering babies and demanding his followers sacrifice children and animals to prove their loyalty and devotion to him - a religion with a denomination so often accused of protecting child molesters within their clergy that it's become a running joke among outsiders. Child abuse is their god's shtick, not ours.... Satanism is a religion that feels it prudent to include teachings against child abuse and unprovoked violence specifically in our various tenets and ideologies.

"Do not harm little children."

"One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason."
"One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone."

Lets compare that to the 10 Commandments. Oh, that's right. They don't say a word about abusing children.... Just like they don't say a word about attempting to brainwash an entire planet into accepting their religious beliefs through unsolicited preaching and indoctrination.

I remain bored to tears by certain members of the Christian-Right's attempts to blame invisible Devils, Demons, and Satanists for all the deplorable behaviors their people have happily employed for thousands of years in the name of their own god and religion - those very same behaviors are those we reject, and are the line drawn plainly between us. I can only hope that, as with all things, when you encounter these types of claims you employ thorough research and apply critical thinking to determine their validity for yourself. Being informed and skeptical is the only way to combat these types of nonsensical lies - and the only way to protect yourself from their corrupting influence of ignorance. There are plenty of valid criticisms that members of Abrahamic religions could make regarding Satanism - but sadly most of them don't understand enough about it to make those valid criticisms, so they fall back on delusion and dishonesty instead.

In the end, though, I have to conclude that professional misinformation generator +The Alex Jones Channel doesn't know the first thing about real Satanic ritual - Gaga's performance involved way too much clothing and far too many non-Satanists to qualify as one. So amusing to hear him speak of "controlling superstition," since that's his entire modus operandi. Better luck next time, jackass.
Hail Satan.

Link via Jex Blackmore of +The Satanic Temple.

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Pretty sure this is the first review of this figure - at least that I've been able to find.

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This has to be the funniest shit I've seen in a long time.
The Netherlands has created a video in a language that Trump can wrap his tiny brain around so he might understand what they're all about.

It makes me proud of my Dutch heritage. :)
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