Why are Christians constantly subjected to ridicule?


I recently read a short piece on someone’s blog (for the life of me I’m unable to find my way back to it) asking why religious people are often subjected to constant ridicule and name calling.  My immediate thought was, “how odd that someone would ask, what I considered to be, such a naïve question.  Wasn’t it obvious to anyone who wasn’t walking around in a religious stupor?”  Well, obviously not, or the writer wouldn’t have asked such a stunningly stupid question.

So, I thought I’d take a few minutes to explain why thinking people the world over consider the devout more than just a little off their rockers and deserving of the derision and name calling that they receive.

Let us first take a short historical trip to see what we could uncover to explain this phenomenon.

Who was it that created (and until the tail end of the 20th-century still maintained it) something called the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, a most shameful edict calling upon the “faithful” to avoid reading anything that posed problems for established doctrine and instead asked their flock to censor their own brains?  The world, in fact, was asked to turn their backs on Copernicus, Galileo, Voltaire, Sartre, Russell……… the list is practically endless.

Who was it that tortured their fellow human beings going so far as to stretch them on racks and very slowly pull on the limbs of their bodies until their bones and muscles separated from their joints, all the while taking great delight in the screams of agony coming with each clink of the wench?

Who was it that strapped women to poles in a public square, lit a fire under their feet and roasted them alive after first cutting the tongues from their mouths simply because they dared to offer council and comfort to other women giving birth to their own children?  Do the faithful have any knowledge at all about what happened in all parts of the western world for nearly half a millenium, even right in our own front yard in a place called Salem, Massachusetts?

Who was it – in a public display of piety and self-righteousness, no less – that tied their fellow human beings to chairs and then slowly lowered them under water, holding them there until they drowned because they questioned this or that bit of so-called holy writ?  Or who tied people to steel chairs and stoked a hot bed of coals beneath them simply because they refused to adhere to proscribed doctrine?  Or, who used ingeniously devised contraptions to tear a rectum, vagina or jaw to pieces while listening to bones breaking and their victims screaming in agony?

Who was it that tied Giordano Bruno – himself a Dominican friar – to a pole and set him alight in a public square simply because he had the unmitigated gull to question doctrinal concepts like Christ’s divinity and the “Trinity?”

Who was it that aided and abetted the wholesale slaughter of literally millions of people in the Americas including the Taino, the Aztecs, the Maya, the Inca and the native peoples of North America after first making them slaves, infecting them with diseases for which they had no immunity or killing their livestock or burning their villages to the ground or forcing them to walk a thousand mile journey to a “special reservation” all the while subjecting them to the most barbaric, vile treatment imaginable?

Who was it that stood steadfastly in the way of ending slavery in this country?  Moreover, who was it, that once the practice of slavery ended, immediately began the era known as Jim Crow and honored and protected men who rode around on horses, at night, wearing white robes and white hoods with the sole purpose of terrorizing and murdering a population of people who were just granted emancipation from said slavery?  If memory serves me correctly, those robes bore a distinct white cross on a red background.  Here’s a strange coincidence: the thing they often lit on fire in front of the dwellings of their victims was a wooden cross wrapped in rages and soaked in kerosene.  Just a coincidence, you say?

But, enough of the history lesson already.  Let’s us move on to more contemporary considerations.

Who’s made it impossible to harvest embryonic cells in the pursuit of medical advances that could be immensely beneficial to humankind the world over?  And why the prohibition, one might ask?  We’re given a very straightforward answer: zygotes have souls, souls that must – at all costs – be “protected.”  We’re told by the holders of the public trust that not providing this protection leads us straight to the gas chambers.  Once on that slippery slope, they tell us, there’s just “ain’t no way we cun stop ‘er.”

Who’s directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of children each year because their parents opted for prayer, natural healing remedies, homeopathic remedies and other such quackery over a proven medical treatment?  Nearly every State in our Union provides parents a constitutionally-sanctioned excuse to reject the scientifically-demonstrated efficacy of childhood immunizations, refuse blood transfusions that could easily save their child’s life or to even administer antibiotics to a child with an easily treatable infection, all in the name of their so-called “faith.”

Who’s sending packs of embarrassingly stupid wackaloons to the US Congress and State Governorships across this country who, instead of working diligently in pursuit of interests in the public sector (i.e. doing things to make life better for everyone they represent), spends an inordinate amount of time proclaiming their loyalties to a supernatural deity and working diligently to pollute every public building and civil institution in the land with their religious graffiti?

Who’s currently standing in the way of all women in this country seeking reproductive health information and medical care?

Who’s currently standing in the way of all women to convenient and inexpensive access to birth control medicine in this country?

Who’s been standing in the way of equality in marriage rights in this country (nay, the entire world) for, well, forever?  Strangely enough, the last time I watched the national news it was an ignoramus, wackaloon judge name Ray Moore down in ‘bamy who declared that edicts issued by the Supreme Court of the US were not necessarily applicable to areas within his fiefdom.  This so-called judge was thoroughly discredited (and in fact may have had his membership card to the community of enlightened human beings permanently revoked) just a few years back for refusing to remove a religious monument from a courthouse in direct defiance of a Federal Court order.  He was subsequently removed from his judgeship and declared unable to competently perform his job as a judge.  But, lo and behold, the people of ‘bamy thought they knew better and decided to re-elect this discredited moron to serve in precisely the same capacity a decade later!

When I witness shenanigans like the Ray Moore travesty, I sometimes have to seriously ponder how much of a role religion plays in explaining this phenomenon and how much can be attributed to other, more serious, mental shortcomings.

After all this, I would ask the reader to seriously contemplate these simple observations: Who exactly is it that, despite all of the solid, indisputable evidence to the contrary, still – in 2015, no less – willing chooses to:

  • believe that the planet on which they survive is somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 years old?
  • believe as inerrant truth the legend of a man who is said to have lived for nearly a thousand years and built a boat large enough to hold a mating pair of the world’s wildlife for about a year, without even sailing around the world to welcome the critters aboard? I’ve often wondered why this same guy hasn’t been held responsible for his role in the Black Plague or the world’s malaria epidemic.  What do believers of this claptrap think, that he bathed and thoroughly disinfected all of the critters before they waltzed up the plank toward their “living quarters”…… margarita in hand?
  • believe that newborn babies are doomed to a life of evil and sin and need to be “saved” because of an incident that took place in a garden involving forbidden produce, a talking snake and a divine eviction more than 2000 years ago?
  • believe that with enough “faith” and the right prayers one could easily survive in the belly of a whale cruzin’ the ocean for three days and three nights?
  • believe that someone could (if possessed with special supernatural powers, that is) just spit on the ground and bring a corpse back from the dead?

Seriously, what group of people does this level of credulity best describe?

Who’s standing in the way of world consensus regarding the dire consequences of human-made global climate change and what we must do as a species to mitigate the devastation that is certain to befall us?  All indications so far (at least as well as I have been able to discern) is that the resistance has been coming solely from those who believe that their deity has entered into a covenant with them and that said deity is in full, beneficent control of their destiny.  Besides, they tell us, whatever happens in any case is for the best.  Nothing, they say, happens without good reason.  This, like many other things, they are convinced beyond movement.

Who’s been working overtime to alter public school science textbooks to better reflect their “spiritual beliefs,” denying the evolutionary history of the planet’s biodiversity?

Who’s invested a ton of energy in trying to convince the American public that high school history textbooks need to place much greater emphasis on the founders’ religious piety while at the same time obscuring the country’s Enlightenment and revolutionary beginnings?  Last time I looked, David Barton was still doing a stand-up job at it, despite the fact that he has been exposed for the fraud that he is by every reputable historian in this country.  Despite being thoroughly discredited, Barton still has the ears of so-called responsible parties in Congress and State Educational Boards across this country.  He even offer tours of the Capitol for brainless idiots who are more than eager to pony up for a ticket.

Who’s been working overtime to dismantle the public school system throughout the country by funneling money away from public school funding and to charter and sectarian schools?

Who’s still standing in the way of passage of the Equal Rights Amendment?

I probably could go on a lot longer but I hope that by now my point has been sufficiently made.  The people who profess their adherence to such remarkably stupid ideas are not viewed as credulous, simple-minded, unapologetically and willfully ignorant dolts without good reason.

But an even bigger question that remains unanswered for me is this: why would anyone willing choose to affiliate themselves with a group with a track record that I just described?  And what would it really take to dissuade people from openly, affiliating themselves with these stealthy, State-sanctioned terrorist organizations?  Yes, I know, it’s a serious problem that won’t, if ever, be easily fixed.

We might do very well to take a lesson from the past on how to effectively eliminate the scourge of ignorance that we are currently witnessing.  If memory serves me correctly, Superman was able to put a major dent in the membership of and respect for the KKK during the 1940s.  Maybe it’s time we put our superhero to work again helping us to fight the present forces of ignorance, intolerance, bigotry and injustice.

superman

And if that isn’t possible, maybe we can encourage more frequent use of the Google for those finding themselves in such a state of blissful ignorance.

 

 

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CFI Social Night: 7PM TODAY at Sharp Edge Bistro


Where: Sharp Edge Bistro (922 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222)

When: 7PM TODAY

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/220188434/

Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers (CFI)

Welcome to the Center For Inquiry’s monthly social night, held every first Tuesday of the month at the Sharp Edge in the Cultural District downtown.  Come and socialize with like-minded friends.

See you there!

To learn about all the secular groups in Pittsburgh, visit the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason website…and you can follow Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers and CFI on Facebook!

*CFI-Pittsburgh strives to be an ADA compliant organization.  Please email pgh@centerforinquiry.net to request accomodations.

Pittsburgh, PA 15222 – USA

Tuesday, March 3 at 7:00 PM

Details: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/220188434/

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PSF Ladies Meetup: 3/8/2015 at Cafe Phipps


Where: Cafe Phipps (1 Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA, USA)

When: 3/8/2015

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/220554787/

Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers (CFI)

Welcome to the PSF Ladies Meetup! :)

No more meetings until 2015. Join us at Festivus, Sunday December 15, 5 PM at Rock Bottom. PSF Ladies will meet next on January 11, 2 PM at the Phipps Cafe.

See you there!

For more fun, follow us on Facebook!  To learn about more secular groups in Pittsburgh, check out the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason website.

*PSF strives to be an ADA compliant organization.  Please email pittsburghsecularfreethinkers@gmail.com to request accomodations.

Pittsburgh – USA

Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 PM

Details: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/220554787/

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CFI Social Night: 3/3/2015 at Sharp Edge Bistro


Where: Sharp Edge Bistro (922 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222)

When: 3/3/2015

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/220188434/

Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers (CFI)

Welcome to the Center For Inquiry’s monthly social night, held every first Tuesday of the month at the Sharp Edge in the Cultural District downtown.  Come and socialize with like-minded friends.

See you there!

To learn about all the secular groups in Pittsburgh, visit the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason website…and you can follow Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers and CFI on Facebook!

*CFI-Pittsburgh strives to be an ADA compliant organization.  Please email pgh@centerforinquiry.net to request accomodations.

Pittsburgh, PA 15222 – USA

Tuesday, March 3 at 7:00 PM

Details: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/220188434/

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CFI Monthly Lecture and Movie Night!: 7PM TODAY at First Unitarian Church


Where: First Unitarian Church (605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213)

When: 7PM TODAY

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/219875272/

Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers (CFI)

Welcome to CFI’s monthly lecture and movie night series!

As in our past Darwin’s birthday celebrations, our presenter is the always interesting and knowledgeable Dr. Charles E. Jones, of the Department of Geology and Planetary Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

The abstract for his talk is as follows:
He will introduce us to a variety of terrestrial vertebrates that lived and died in Pittsburgh some 75 million years before the earliest dinosaurs.  Although not as famous as the dinosaurs, they deserve our love because while some are entertainingly weird, others are our direct ancestors.  In addition, coming only 30 million years after the very first vertebrates to walk on land, the fossils around here preserve two key moments in our past:  An evolutionary radiation out of lakes, rivers, and swamps into fully terrestrial habitats, and the evolution of the world’s first herbivores.  Thus, although the animals were completely different, the region’s rocks capture the beginnings of what we think of today as a fully developed terrestrial ecosystem.

This should prove to be quite an interesting talk. And as always when we are celebrating a birthday, there will be cake for all who desire.

P.S.  We usually head to Ali Baba’s on nearby Craig Street at 5:30 p.m. for a pre-lecture or pre-movie dinner. Please leave a comment below if you are coming to dinner so we can include you in the reservation. Thanks!

To learn about all the secular groups in Pittsburgh, visit the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason website…and you can follow Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers and CFI on Facebook!

*CFI-Pittsburgh strives to be an ADA compliant organization.  Please email pgh@centerforinquiry.net to request accommodations.


Wednesday, February 25 at 7:00 PM

Details: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/219875272/

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CFI Monthly Lecture and Movie Night!: 2/25/2015 at First Unitarian Church


Where: First Unitarian Church (605 Morewood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213)

When: 2/25/2015

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/219875272/

Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers (CFI)

Welcome to CFI’s monthly lecture and movie night series!

As in our past Darwin’s birthday celebrations, our presenter is the always interesting and knowledgeable Dr. Charles E. Jones, of the Department of Geology and Planetary Science at the University of Pittsburgh.

The abstract for his talk is as follows:
He will introduce us to a variety of terrestrial vertebrates that lived and died in Pittsburgh some 75 million years before the earliest dinosaurs.  Although not as famous as the dinosaurs, they deserve our love because while some are entertainingly weird, others are our direct ancestors.  In addition, coming only 30 million years after the very first vertebrates to walk on land, the fossils around here preserve two key moments in our past:  An evolutionary radiation out of lakes, rivers, and swamps into fully terrestrial habitats, and the evolution of the world’s first herbivores.  Thus, although the animals were completely different, the region’s rocks capture the beginnings of what we think of today as a fully developed terrestrial ecosystem.

This should prove to be quite an interesting talk. And as always when we are celebrating a birthday, there will be cake for all who desire.

P.S.  We usually head to Ali Baba’s on nearby Craig Street at 5:30 p.m. for a pre-lecture or pre-movie dinner. Please leave a comment below if you are coming to dinner so we can include you in the reservation. Thanks!

To learn about all the secular groups in Pittsburgh, visit the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason website…and you can follow Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers and CFI on Facebook!

*CFI-Pittsburgh strives to be an ADA compliant organization.  Please email pgh@centerforinquiry.net to request accommodations.


Wednesday, February 25 at 7:00 PM

Details: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/219875272/

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How the moron virus is spread, part II


Mika&Joe

I have the distinct feeling that there are likely to be many more parts to this series.  It makes an ugly appearance almost every day in my local newspaper (I dare not even provide a link for fear that just reading it digitally might damage a few of your brain cells) and has recently reared its ugly head on a popular national morning talk show.

Viewers of MSNBC’s Mika and Joe Mornings Morons Show, aka Morning Blow (err, I mean Morning Joe), is I place I can predict, with a very high degree of certainty, that something completely moronic will be offered up by the chief blowhard himself.  If not him then something is sure to come from the pie hole of his sappy, half-baked sidekick, the Meekster or the cowardice buffoons who drop by each morning to cheer the head morons on.

Such was the case a couple of days ago when idiot Joe shared what he thought were his mature and sophisticated intellectualizations about the deity he worships and why the Prez’s “National Prayer Breakfast” remarks about the historical brutality visited upon humanity by the “faith” of most of the people in the audience that day were completely unfounded, unjustified, untrue, rude and just plain obnoxious!

How dare Obama stoop so low, he said, as to compare the history of the flock he’s a member of to the insane nutbags currently lappin’ at the doors of Alepo and Baghdad.  Joe claimed, in the most disgustingly immature fashion possible (oh, you’ve just got to witness his whinin’ and cryin’ to believe it), that one would “have to go back more than 800 years” to find some stupid, picayune thing (yea, he’s talkin’ about the Crusades) in order to compare it with the insane antics of ISIL!  He was so pissed about Obama making this comparison that I think he may have actually blown a head gasket.   The Meekster and the three onlookers at the table were positively astounded at Joe’s behavior and tried their very best to drag the asshole off the ledge…..but, of course, failed.  In the end, they actually became enablers of Joe’s ignorance and stupidity and helped spread the moron virus he was carrying throughout doctors waiting rooms, airports boarding areas, coffee klatches and hotel lobbies in the entire nation.

You see, this is the kind of pure bovine excrement that creeps into the national consciousness just as easily as the slime coming forth from the likes of Rush Limpbrain, Michael Savage and Alex Jones but because these idiots claim to be “defending” a delusion that they mostly share, suddenly they become respectable voices of the sane and reasonable.

My gawd, how much effort does it take to learn a few facts about the colonization of the Americas to know that Columbus, Cortez, Pizarro and the rest of the boys to follow were little more than murderous thugs who were interested in nothing more than the gold they could find and the natural treasures they could steal, human beings included.  Each of these good Christian men insisted that Jesuits tag along to deliver the “good news” to the little brown people they encountered.  The good news was really straightforward: it’s time to get down on your knees and kiss your ass goodbye ‘cause in the name of their god and their king they were being compelled, by steel and germs, to give up everything they had ever known, including their own lives.

How much effort does it take these days to recall the times when so-called gawd fearin’ Christian men donned white hoods and set out every knight to terrorize a race of people just for being the color that they were?  How much effort and educational time does it take to know what transpired in this nation to the native population when the likes of Andrew Jackson came up with his final solution, known today as the “Trail of Tears.”  Just as a Jesuit priest administered the last rights to Atahualpa as Pizarro ordered his capos to ratchet-up the garret wrapped around Atahualpa’s neck, I’m confident that the good Presbyterian Jackson had a number of his bible thumpin’ preacher idiots readin’ bibble verses to the thousands who were about to drop dead from exhaustion, exposure, disease, thirst and hunger as they were driven from their ancestral homelands to “Indian Territory” west of the Mississippi, all of it done, of course, in the name of one of the greatest land grabs ever attempted in this country, a land grab I might add in which Jackson himself held an enormous stake.  This ugly tale transpired a mere 185 years ago!

Burning “witches,” impaling, hanging and drowning “heathens” and “blasphemers” by the millions wasn’t enough for the good Christians of the day.  They also found it necessary to ban and burn their books, expel (under threat of death) their countrymen from their homes, imprison them in dungeons for indeterminate periods and force them to undergo the most gruesome tortures in hopes of hearing their confessions of heathenism were common occurrences the world over a mere 200 years ago, and right here in the good old USA too!

And what of the good Christians today who would stand outside of a woman’s health clinic to harangue her about her private reproductive health needs?  No, how stupid of me to think that these women have rights that far exceeded the rights of delusional jackasses that would block her path to the doctor’s door all in the name of what they believe is the soul of a zygote.  Na, there’s nothing weird goin’ on there at all folks.  It’s the “word” of their god that they’re enforcin’, so just get the hell out of the way or face the inevitable consequences of their irrational and murderous impulses.

That’s the kind of moronacy, duplicity and stupidity that people like Mika and Joe spread to their audiences every morning.  And their viewers walk away feeling snug in their beliefs that their holy righteousness is smilingly sanctioned by their imagined deity.

It’s all so very disturbing.

 

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The real history of religion


RIB cartoon

Stolen from Religion is Bullshit (with permission) and modified appropriately by yours truly.

Visit them when you have a chance.  It’s a pretty nice site!

 

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How the moron virus is spread


This article appeared in the Youngstown Vindicator today.  And it wasn’t in the “Religion” section either.  I think it’s the perfect example of how mind-dumbing stupidity is so easily spread in 21-century America.  Newspaper editors are ever so willing to include bovine excrement like this along with the traditional, mediocre news stories that they conveniently nab from their AP wire.

About a decade ago scores of Campbell, OH residents gathered around a local Catholic Church every day for about a month to witness the miracle of the Virgin Mary as she made her daily “appearance” on the side of the church building.  So many people showed up on some days that several police officers were summoned to control traffic!  The church shaman came out every day to ask the assembling morons to please disperse, telling them that it was just a bizarre water leak from a broken pipe that was soaking its way through the brick wall.  His voice fell on deaf ears (and vacant cranial cavities).

I think it really says something about the level of idiocy in a church crowd when the head shaman turns out to be the only voice of sanity and reason.

As I’ve long maintained: we’re shovilin’ bovine excrement against a bovine excrement tsunami.

Saint Cassini

 

 

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Moral behavior: divinely inspired or evolved?


BK-Cash find

This story was reported in my local rag this morning and immediately had me pondering a couple of things that frequently run through my brainial meats whenever I encounter stories of this sort.  For me, these stories immediately raise a number of questions that I’ve never been able to adequately resolve.

Perhaps I’ll find some help with this posting.  I particularly hope that readers who profess to believe in the supernatural could lend some insight into my ponderings.

The first observation I have is this: Janelle and her husband decided to do the “right” thing, not because she knew intuitively that it was the “right” thing to do, but because they believed that a) Jehovah was overseeing their drive-thru activity and b) they believed that they knew what choice Jehovah would have them make in this situation.  The question, of course, that immediately comes to mind as I make this observation is this: what does it say about a person’s internal moral development when they resolve their moral dilemmas solely on the basis on what they believe that their object of supernatural veneration would have them do?

The second question that immediately comes to mind is this: If Jehovah is an omniscient being who knows all things – past, present and future – why would he find it necessary to watch every nanosecond of your life, and believed to guide all of your daily decisions?     Unless my understanding of Jehovah is way off kilter, Jehovah was well aware of the decision Janelle and her husband would make eons before they were even born.  Why would Jehovah bother to watch a rerun of Janelle’s behavior, just to make sure he was right about what he knew eons before?

The third question I have is this: How does Janelle and her husband so easily come to the conclusion that Jehovah wanted Janelle to return the cash?  Couldn’t it be quite possible that Jehovah was guiding the manager’s hand when the cash was placed in the take-out bag instead of the spicy chicken sandwich?  Maybe Jehovah influenced the manager to give the cash to a person he felt was in real need of it or, as Janelle said, someone who really “could have used it.”  If this were the case, Janelle’s decision to return the cash is actually a violation of Jehovah’s will.

Now, the Jdubs who will read this post might normally be inclined to declare that my observations and questions show a distinctive and strong Satanic influence but I caution them against rushing to this conclusion.  After all, Jehovah knew long ago that I’d be asking these questions and I’m sure you’d insist that my asking is just part of Jehovah’s will.

Thanks in advance for all the insight you might offer.  I’m looking forward to receiving it. I’m ready to make a quantum leap in my knowledge and understanding of the unseen forces claimed to be guiding us mortals.

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