Fusion Magazine: Choice You Can Believe In



THEISM VS. DEISM

Theism is the belief in an


omnipotent, all-knowing


personal God, like one


who cares about you


scoring a touchdown or


not dying in a helicopter


accident. Anyone who


yells, "Thank you Jesus!"


when the Yankees win is


presumably a theist.

Deism is a belief in


a higher power, but


one that deals with


the universe as a whole


and is less concerned


about how you do on


the SAT or if you ever


find a girlfriend.


When someone says


"I believe in a greater


power but I don't know


what, "they're in


deist territory.


The other day I was walking around the office shaking a large tree branch. Glenn stopped me and asked what I was doing. I told him I was going to make it rain. He told me that shaking a branch would have no effect on the weather whatsoever. Normally I would have launched into an endless train of swear words that would make Rahm Emanuel blush, but I remembered that he signs the checks. So, I politely disagreed and told him that if I shook a tree branch, the Great Spirit Banzu would hear the rustle of the leaves and make it rain. It's one of the central tenets of my faith, Briantology.

That led to a discussion on faith. Apparently Glenn is religious (I had no idea) and we chatted for a long time about it. We didn't agree on much (he refuses to accept Great Spirit Banzu) but we both agreed that I should not try to make it rain indoors - so I went to the roof and did my branch-shaking there. Three hours later it hadn't rained a drop, so I can only assume Cappucina, Goddess of Baristas, is mad about something I did at Starbucks.

My discussion with Glenn piqued my interest in religions. Glenn said there are more than two (I had no idea) so I decided not to do any work and instead went about summarizing some of the world's biggest or more interesting faiths. Here's what I learned:

 

CHRISTIANITY


FOLLOWERS: 2.1 billion


PRO: Really pretty cathedrals.


CON: So many offshoots you get options paralysis.


FAMOUS CHRISTIANS: Chuck Norris, Don Imus, MC Hammer

As you might have guessed from the name, Christ plays a significant role in Christianity. Be grateful his name wasn't Bob: Bobianity lacks the right ring to it. A strong missionary element helped the religion to flourish. People were attracted to its emphasis on peace, good vs. evil and an afterlife of reward for the faithful adherents (not to mention the fear of punishment for the naughty ones). Over the centuries there have been numerous rifts such as the Catholic/Protestant split, and the time they had dueling Popes. There are 2.1 billion adherents overall, with 1 billion of them Catholic, nearly 400 million Protestant, and the rest all sorts of things ranging from Pentecostals to Baptists to Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists and Latter-Day Saints.

JUDAISM


FOLLOWERS: 14 million


PRO: You're one of the chosen people!


CON: People keep choosing to try and kill you.


FAMOUS JEWS: Jesus, Paul Wolfowitz, Albert Einstein

Judaism is one of the Big Three religions that came out of the desert. It has a strong emphasis on being good and focuses on earthly life as opposed to afterlife. They have the best delicatessens. There is a very strong cultural emphasis on education which has resulted in a disproportionate number of Jews ending up in the higher echelons of business, science, entertainment and finance. This disparity has been known to make Richard Nixon, Mel Gibson and other anti-Semites terribly mad as they see this as some kind of conspiracy, when in reality it's merely the byproduct of a Jewish mother nagging her son until he applies to Harvard.

ZOROASTRIANISM


FOLLOWERS: 2.6 million


PROS: Nobody bothers to mock you.


CONS: Have to explain it all the time.


FAMOUS ZOROASTRIANS: Freddie Mercury, Zubin Mehta

Once the official religion of Persia (now Iran), Zoroastrianism was an attempt to corral all the wild beliefs of the time (there were gods for everything) and narrow it all down for simplicity's sake. After cleaning house, what was left was a god of good, Ahura Mazdah, and a god of evil, Ahrima. They each had a few arch-angels to help out with things because being good or evil is hard work. Good and evil are engaged in a constant struggle and followers spend a lot of time with purification rituals in an attempt to avoid being contaminated by evil. Its followers were nearly wiped out by Muslims in the 8th Century, so they fled. Many of them wound up in Bombay, which is now called Mumbai for some reason.

SCIENTOLOGY


FOLLOWERS: 500,000


PROS: Can help you get a leg up in Hollywood.


CONS: It's a little weird.


FAMOUS SCIENTOLOGISTS: Tom Cruise, Nancy Cartwright, Beck (not Glenn, the musician)

Someone has an idea. Starts talking. Eventually has lots of people believing it. That's par for the course for any religion. It has been suggested that writer L. Ron Hubbard founded Scientology on a bet. That may or may not be true, but what is true is that the religion is heavily influenced by sci-fi. It's got aliens, "body thetans" and e-meters. The church has had a reputation for aggressively spying on, harassing and threatening those who have scrutinized it, and only in the last few years have its detractors become more and more vocal. Because of high profile members like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, Scientology draws Hollywood sycophants like moths to a flame.

HINDUISM


FOLLOWERS: 900 million


PROS: So many gods to choose from!


CONS: No hamburger.


FAMOUS HINDUS: Gandhi, Deepak Chopra, M. Night Shyamalan

Despite having so many followers, Hinduism is virtually ignored here in the states where we tend to focus on Muslims, Jews and Christians. The faith is big on karma – what goes around comes around – and if something bad happens to you it could be from something you did in a past life. If you're especially rotten, you might come back as a mosquito. But cows are holy. The whole idea is to work out all your kinks over time so that your soul ultimately joins the Infinite Being. Hindus have tons of cool gods with awesome names like Shiva the Destroyer.

RASTAFARIANISM


FOLLOWERS: 600,000


PROS: Marijuana plays a large role.


CONS: Munchies, slow reaction time, muddled thoughts.


FAMOUS RASTAFARIANS: Bob Marley, Peter Tosh

Rastafarianism arose in Jamaica in the early 20th Century. The religion promoted the belief that Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia was the second coming of Jesus Christ on Earth. The religion is Abrahamic and claims that the black race came from the original 12 tribes of Israel. It tends to be Afro-centric and adherents often reject modern society - which makes sense because of all the pot smoking. Followers have bloodshot eyes and are often too laid back to spread the faith.

WICCA


FOLLOWERS: Approximately 500,000


PROS: Free entry into Renaissance festivals.


CONS: Can haunt you when running for office.


FAMOUS WICCANS: Gerald Gardner (only famous to Wiccans)

Primarily a religion for girls with ten cats and a need for attention, Wicca found itself in the news lately after old footage of Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell surfaced claiming she dabbled in it once. The Wiccan religion features two gods: a Horned Male and the Triple Goddess. Like any religion, it has a hundred different offshoots that all share one trait: silliness.

ISLAM


FOLLOWERS: 1.5 billion


PRO: You're allowed to visit Mecca.


CON: No-Fly Lists.


FAMOUS MUSLIMS: Osama bin Laden, Shaquille O'Neal, Fareed Zakaria

Islam is getting a lot of bad press lately on account of all the bombing and shooting and beheading and screaming and cartoon riots and threats and other generally unpleasant events to which some of its adherents seem inclined. A bad apple can spoil the bunch, and we're seeing a growing backlash against the religion - which is unfortunate for the quiet moderates who are now finding themselves the target of anger and increasing scrutiny. Like Christianity, it promises a swell afterlife for its adherents, but in this life it requires submission (that's what the word "Islam" means). Unfortunately the faith has had a hard time co-existing with a much more liberal Western society. Shariah, the Islamic code of justice, is effectively incompatible with Western sensibilities.

BUDDHISM




ATHEISM


VS. AGNOSTICISM




Atheists are saying,


"I do not believe in a god."

Agnostics are saying


"I really have no idea,


stop nagging me."


FOLLOWERS: 376 million


PRO: Everyone thinks you're cool and laid back.


CON: Half of L.A. claims to be one.


FAMOUS BUDDHISTS: Dalai Lama, Richard Gere, Oliver Stone

 

Buddhism derived from Hinduism, keeping the concept of reincarnation while dropping numerous things, including the god that looks like an elephant and the one with six arms. Buddhism relies on meditation and self-reflection as one pursues the goal of Nirvana - at which point you're relieved from all desires, suffering, and the cycle of reincarnation altogether. Buddhism is a favorite of Hollywood celebrities who are apparently blissfully unaware of the Dalai Lama's stance on homosexuality. Also, if you go to Benihana you can get a cocktail in a Buddha glass - so they're pretty laid back. Try doing that with Mohammed.

 



<< Return to the November 2010 Index

Apparel company The North Face recently stated that it would no longer make jackets for oil and gas companies because it doesn't want to be associated with the fossil fuel industry. In response, Colorado-based oil and gas company Liberty Oilfield Services rented full billboard ads to remind The North Face of the truth: "Globally, 60% of all clothing fibers are made out of oil and gas. For North Face, it is likely 90% or more."

Liberty CEO Chris Wright joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to discuss just how much of our economy — beyond outdoor apparel and energy — wouldn't exist in a world without fossil fuels. And he warns that many companies are now deeming this truth to be "controversial."

"I have been for years, trying to get a real, honest dialogue about energy going," Chris told Glenn. "So we took this opportunity to point out that North Face jackets are ... almost completely made out of oil and gas. How can you choose not to associate with the essential material your equipment [is] made out of? So we put a billboard up ... the billboard says, 'That North Face puffer looks good on you. And it was made from fossil fuels.'"

"Most billboard companies did not want to run that billboard. They thought it was controversial," he added. "And Facebook put a hold on our brief video just saying the jacket looks good, this is what it's made out of. In today's world, that is controversial."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

During a lecture at the Yale School of Medicine's Child Study Center, a New York City-based psychiatrist told students and faculty that she fantasizes about "unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way," among several other shockingly race-hating statements.

In April, Dr. Aruna Khilanani — a New York-based forensic psychiatrist and psychoanalyst — delivered the talk called "The Psychopathic Problem of the White Mind" virtually as part of the Yale School of Medicine's "Child Study Center Grand Rounds," a lecture program for "trainees in child psychiatry, psychology, and social work, faculty, clinicians, and scientists."

On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck shared several quotes from an audio recording of the lecture provided by Bari Weiss, a former opinion writer and editor for the New York Times.

Here are a few of Khilanani's statements from the audio:

  • "This is the cost of talking to white people at all. The cost of your own life, as they suck you dry. There are no good apples out there. White people make my blood boil."
  • "I had fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in my way, burying their body, and wiping my bloody hands as I walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in my step. Like I did the world a f***ing favor."
  • "White people are out of their minds. And they have been for a long time."
  • "White people feel that we are bullying them when we bring up race. They feel that we should be thanking them for all that they have done for us. They are confused, and so are we. We keep forgetting that directly talking about race is a waste of our breath."
  • "We are asking a demented, violent predator who thinks that they are a saint or a superhero, to accept responsibility. It ain't gonna happen. They have five holes in their brain. It's like banging your head against a brick wall. It's just like sort of not a good idea."

"We must take a stand. We must speak out, because this is evil," Glenn said in response to Khilanani's shocking lecture. "I don't care who you voted for, you know this is evil."

Watch the video below for more details:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

The prices of our houses and food are already rising fast, but they will skyrocket to record highs if we don't fix the problem soon. So what's causing the inflation?

On the radio program this week, Glenn Beck said he doesn't believe it's the fault of our loggers, farmers, or truckers — many of them are really struggling. But the big corporations that control these industries are making record profits, all while the Biden administration is making some very odd decisions that could make the crises even worse.

Watch the video below for more details:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

The crisis at the border continues to worsen, with the U.S. Border Patrol recently releasing some shocking statistics that illuminate just how bad the situation has become. But Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) is doing everything he can to prevent any additional unlawful crossings into the Lone Star State.

Abbott joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to describe recent action he has taken to ensure that those who do cross into Texas illegally know they came to the "wrong state."

After noting that both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris "have completely abandoned post as it concerns the Texas border," Abbott explained how "Texas is stepping up" to combat the flood of dangerous gangs and cartels, human traffickers and drugs he says are pouring into border communities.

"Beginning in March, I deployed a thousand Texas Department of Public Safety officers to the border. I deployed the National Guard to the border. And they made well over a thousand arrests of some of these criminals we talked about. They've apprehended more than 33,000 illegal immigrants coming across the border." Abbott said. "But because of the way the Biden administration has abandoned the border, we are now elevating our game. What I did yesterday, in response to more than a dozen counties along the border ... I granted their request for a disaster declaration," he added.

Abbott went on to describe how his disaster declaration gives Texas the authority to toughen penalties for lawbreakers, including criminal trespassing, smuggling, and human trafficking.

"We're going to begin arresting everybody coming across the border and charging them with criminal trespass and putting them in jail. They are coming in here, thinking they'll get the Biden free-ride, and go wherever they want to go. Not in the state of Texas. We'll start arresting them right and left, and putting them behind bars, and saying they came in to the wrong state."

Asked by Glenn if he is prepared for the inevitable "media onslaught", Abbott simply answered, "We're prepared to see a reduction in the number of people coming across the border — because Texas is enforcing the law, period."

Watch the video clip below for more:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.