This is a longer article framed around the shorter message we put out a few weeks ago about the astrological event, Uranus Square Pluto, hitting exact on March 17, 2015. On this date and several days before and after that we suggest you and your loved ones keep your eyes and ears open and spend the maximum time you can in a safe an secure place.
Our planet is experiencing a transitional period that some call the New Age, though I prefer the term "New Paradigm" as more descriptive of what is essentially a shift in perspective. While there are many positive aspects to this new era, it is also viewed – often with concern – as a period of historical discontinuity or a crossroads for the human race. Some people think that World cultures are disintegrating and that we are nearing a climax in human cultural evolution. Calling attention to apocalyptic images of universal destruction, they compare our era to the decline of the Roman Empire.
A paradigm is a theoretical pattern or a collective framework of thought, according to Thomas Kuhn. A new paradigm represents not necessarily more knowledge than the old one, but rather a new perspective. When a critical number of people accept a new idea, a collective paradigm shift occurs.
In 1969 I completed my first mural for Johns Hopkins University called "The Apocalypse". It is 2,700 square feet and covers a large room and stairwell and two ceilings. It is not about the end of the planet, but vast CHANGES. At that time I foresaw changes in our climate brought about by humans who value the almighty dollar and gold above all else, including human life and the corporate powers behind our nation's decline. Maryland Public Television documented this and other murals I completed in a special called "The Artist of Savitria" that aired on PBS in the early 70s.
We see the events transpiring in 2015 reflected in this mural's story told 45 years ago – we are now facing near complete corporate domination and climactically great change!
On March 17, 2015, the planet will experience the 5th in a series of squares between the planet Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn that will change the direction our planet is heading. In 2013 we posted a story on this topic to alert our listeners to what to expect from the struggle between the planet of liberation (Uranus) and the Cosmic control freak (Pluto ) (Astrostyle, p. 1) you may ignore astrology at your own peril, but I've never met a person that has studied serious astrology (not newspaper astrology) and didn't find it helpful and revealing! Those who have carefully studied the Uranus Square Pluto event have had this to say: Uranus in Aries Square Pluto in Capricorn is the most significant and most challenging planetary influence in a generation. We are living through a major generational upheaval (http://darkstarastrology.com/uranus-square-pluto-2014-2015/). Market Analyst Raymond Merriman says, "We are truly living in an exceptional period right now, sort of like a modern version of the "Twilight Zone." ("The State of Financial Markets" Uranus Square Pluto 2012 – 2015, p. 4, http://www.mmacycles.com/). Elsa Elsa in the Astrologyblog: when Uranus is involved things happen unexpectedly. With Uranus in Aries the unexpected comes quickly and when you combine this energy in hard aspect to Pluto, which rules death and destruction, I'd say that war is almost a given as are natural disasters (Elsa the Astrology blog). AstroStyle writes "Pluto-Uranus Squares: You say you want a revolution?" (astrostyle.com/Uranus-squares/) Alan Oken: "On the negative national/international level, this gives rise to totalitarian dictatorships, ruthless international corporations and rigid theocracies." (http://alanoken.com/newsletter/Aug11_c.htm)
Reviewing the past history of Uranus Square Pluto is instructive. Dark Star noted this aspect had five exact hits between 1932 and 1934 and that many astrologers today fear a repetition of the results. "In the early 1930s the Great Depression, political and social upheaval, and the rise of dictators and extremism" and by January 1933 Adolf Hitler cemented his power. Uranus rules invention and technology which Hitler used in the creation of weaponry that nearly defeated the allied powers. Will Russia's Putin in his admiration for Stalin attempt a replay of planetary domination? (darkstarastrology.com)
A more recent period of the coming together of Uranus and Pluto was their conjunction in 1963-1969. It's believed that a conjunction period starts the cycle. As far as mass movements are concerned there were at least two in the United States in the mid 60s. There were the Uranian Flower-power children who wanted to make love, not war and who were rebelling against the status quo of their parent's authority and the establishment. However, the Vietnam War and the military draft which led to the formation of the SDS Students for a Democratic Society who were not afraid of violence and with the infiltration of the Black Panthers with their agenda, violence and civil discord led to the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago and marches on the Pentagon. Raymond Merriman concludes:
"Not only did this infiltration transform the direction of the "peace" movement, but it also created conflicts within the Civil Rights movement as originally envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Deep divisions evolved, and various African-American groups like the Black Panthers, NAACP, groups led by Jesse Jackson and others, began to break away from the peaceful, non-violent principles of Dr. King. Under King's leadership, the Civil Rights movement of 1955-1968 produced the successful passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination based on "race, color, religion, or national origin" in employment practices and public accommodations. It also resulted in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which protected the voting rights of all people, regardless of their race or religion. Dr. Martin Luther King's vision of America was for a "race-neutral" application of laws, rights, and opportunities. The passage of these acts reflected that dream. Yet in spite of this historic legislation, the Black Power movement was still angry over their feelings of oppression by white people over the past centuries. The aims of the Civil Rights Movement expanded beyond Dr. King's initial efforts, which included "… racial dignity, economic and political self-sufficiency, and freedom from oppression by White Americans," according to www.Wikipedia.com. In the late 1960s, their anger boiled over into race riots in several U.S. cities, like Newark, NJ, Detroit, MI, and Los Angeles (Watts), CA. In 1968, Dr. King was assassinated." (http://www.mmacycles.com/articles/articles/uranus-square-pluto%3A-2012%112015/)
I interviewed the alleged assassin James Earl Ray from his prison on March 27, 1992 which was aired on FOX-TV WBFF on 4/5/1992 and I was convinced he did not murder Martin Luther King, Jr. So who did? I learned from Carl Gibson of Reader Supported News who on April 3, 2013 reported.
by Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News
03 April 13
Before scoffing at this headline, you should know that in 1999, in Memphis, Tennessee, more than three decades after MLK's death, a jury found local, state, and federal government agencies guilty of conspiring to assassinate the Nobel Peace Prize winner and civil rights leader. The same media you would expect to cover such a monumental decision was absent at the trial, because those news organizations were part of that conspiracy. William F. Pepper, who was James Earl Ray's first attorney, called over 70 witnesses to the stand to testify on every aspect of the assassination. The panel, which consisted of an even mix of both black and white jurors, took only an hour of deliberation to find Loyd Jowers and other defendants guilty. If you're skeptical of any factual claims made here, click here for a full transcript, broken into individual sections. Read the testimonies yourself if you don't want to take my word for it.
Check the full report which details how and why the government wanted Martin Luther King Jr. dead!
Religion will be a source of conflict. With the growth of extremist fundamentalism in Islam, Christianity and Judaism, we are being pushed into conflicts all around the globe. In America extremist Christianity is anxiously awaiting the second coming of Jesus Christ and looking forward to entering the heaven world.
Giving the extremist Christians political power is the Tea party whose origins we have been told were a spontaneous movement. However, the Huffington Post Al Gore report from February 14, 2013 described a study funded by the National Cancer Institute. It revealed:
False Spontaneity of the Tea Party
by Al Gore
Posted: 02/14/2013 4:37 pm EST
A new study funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health reveals that the Tea Party Movement was planned over a decade ago by groups with ties to the tobacco and fossil fuel industries. The movement was not a spontaneous populist uprising, but rather a long-term strategy to promote the anti-science, anti-government agenda of powerful corporate interests.
The two organizations mentioned in the report, Americans for Prosperity and Freedom works, used to be a single organization that was founded by the Koch brothers and heavily financed by the tobacco industry. These organizations began planning the Tea Party Movement over ten years ago to promote a common agenda that advocated market fundamentalism over science and opposed any regulation or taxation of fossil fuels and tobacco products.
The disturbing history of links between market fundamentalists, the tobacco industry and the Tea Party movement is part of an even larger trend that I describe in my new book, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. Following the era of Progressive and New Deal reforms that restrained corporate influence in American politics following the infamous Robber Baron Era, market fundamentalists were once again motivated and radicalized by the social turbulence of the 1960s. In 1971, a prominent lawyer for the tobacco industry, Lewis Powell, wrote a memorandum for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that presented a comprehensive plan aimed at shifting the balance of political power in favor of corporations. President Nixon appointed Powell to the Supreme Court just two months later.
You can read the entire story on our website by clicking on "news". The extreme right and especially the Tea Party are always quick to charge others with conspiracies, but the fact is the Tea Party was founded on a secret conspiracy in support of shifting the balance of political power in favor of corporations. The goal of "Tricky Dick"—"I am not a crook?"
Christianity used to mean to live by Jesus Christ's teachings of loving your neighbor, unconditional love for all beings, turning the other cheek, serving those in need and feeding the poor. Today, the extremist fundamentalists Christians are war-like and believe that the more money you're worth and more power you have the more God loves you. For decades, I've wondered how can these souls call themselves Christians? They do not live Christ's teachings. How did this happen?
I found part of the reason in the reporting of Jeff Sharlet who exposed the workings of the secretive extremist Christian group infiltrating politics. Known as The Fellowship or "The Family" or the International Foundation, it is a U.S.-based religious and political organization founded in 1935 by Abraham Vereide. The deliberate development of "elite fundamentalism" is painstakingly detailed Sharlet's two New York Times bestsellers, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (Harper Collins, 2008) and C Street: the Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy (Back Bay Books, Little Brown & Co., 2010). "Elite Fundamentalism" as developed by Abraham Vereide (Abram) who founded the national prayer breakfast and whose successor is Doug Coe, was designed to get people in power to support him, and proclaim Christ as dictator. "Abram perfected a feel good fundamentalism that was every bit as militant and aggressive as today's populist front, but incapable of uttering a harsh word. It was country club fundamentalism, for men who believed in their own goodness [and chosen-ness] and proved it to themselves and each other by commending Christ and the next fellow's fine effort at following his example."
Elite fundamentalism began in the 1930s by organizing capital and Big Business to oppose the rising strength of organized labor.
"While San Francisco had boiled [in labor strikes and bigger and bigger unions] Abram had developed the prototype of the idea, preaching a manly Christ to a group of business executives who had no time for hymnals and sob sisters and soup kitchens and the Jesus of long eyelashes beloved by old ladies. Jesus for such men must be disentangled from church organization, Abram had discovered. In the 1930s the meaning of that was plain: a rejection of the social gospel of good works for the poor in favor of an unhindered Christ defined by his muscles, a laissez-faire Jesus proclaimed not by spindly necked clergy men bleating from seminary but by men like Major Douglass, officers who commanded troops who brought order to cities."
"We are where we are, Abram said – on the brink of anarchy, both men thought – "because of what we are." By that he meant sinful, only his concept of sin was not so much concerned with immorality as with "duty." "Top men" had a duty to do for God what lesser men couldn't. Their failure to take on this burden had left the nation to its terrible position. Obedience, concluded Abram, is the way to power. God wanted his chosen to rule, or to serve, as Abram liked to say."
At the first prayer breakfast 19 leaders of industry "agreed to use the Bible as a blueprint with which to take back first the city, then the state and perhaps the nation from the grip of godless organized labor."
"THE AMERICAN EXPRESS", 1966
Sculpture by Bob Hieronimus, Ph.D.
"My dreams were showing me the death of America. I was wrenched night after night with the sight of millions of bodies floating lifelessly in rivers of mud, some face up, some face down. It was not until I began to express my concerns in a series of paintings and constructions that I was able to control the visions. The first creation resulting from these visions was a 12-foot long sculpture construction of the American eagle lying in a coffin on wheels. I called this piece "The American Express". Covering the American flag that draped the coffin were medals and logos of corporate giants like Coca-Cola, General Motors, Chiquita Banana and play money. Always intensely patriotic and a lover of America's symbols, I didn't like the message portrayed by this construction, but I was being pushed to awaken others to the realization that America had lost its way, and even its very reason for being."
Does it surprise you that all this happened in the 1930s during the same energies of Uranus Square Pluto that assisted Adolf Hitler to power in Germany? It doesn't surprise me! Extreme fundamentalist Christianity has as major goal to eliminate our Constitution's First Amendment, the separation of church and state. This is the Tea Party's hidden agenda.
An even more extremist group than the Tea Party, but supportive of it, is the New Apostolic Reformation or the new form of "Dominionism" that is sweeping through Pentecostal mega-churches. Here's what psychologist Dr. Mark E. Koltka-Rivera revealed about them when he joined us on 21st Century Radio:
"The New Apostolic Reformation is a group of evangelical Christians who claim to have the authority of the apostles and prophets of old. Not because God appeared to any of them, not because God sent angelic messengers with authority to them, but just because they feel they have a calling from God. The New Apostolic Reformation practices Dominion theology, or Dominionism, and this takes the position that their brand of Christians should attain literal domination over American, and ultimately world, society, by dominating what they call the seven supreme molders of culture, namely, religion, family, government, arts and entertainment, media, business, and education. And there are several reasons why so many pastors in this movement are attracted to conspiracy theories. First, to a large extent, these are not scholarly or even especially learned people. They don't concern themselves with facts or learning, other than their particular reading of the Bible. These people may have no education beyond Bible college, not even real seminary training, and thus they have had little if any training in critical thinking, evaluation of sources, and so forth. I am second to none in my admiration for the Bible, but you have to learn more than what's in the Bible to navigate the world. Without any practice in critical thinking, people fall prey to the lazy-minded conspiratorial view of the world.
"Second, the approach that the New Apostolic Reformation takes to Christianity is a very narrow one, in which a person is either their kind of Christian or servant of the devil. That kind of simplistic thinking fits in very nicely with simple-minded conspiracy thinking in which everything is a contest between the innocent masses and the evil "them" who run the world.
"Third, and I know this is going to get me into trouble, focusing on conspiracy theories is a nice way for the New Apostolic Reformation to turn attention away from the fact that they are engaging in quite the ambitious conspiracy themselves. They specifically want to dominate religion, family, government, arts and entertainment, media, business, and education. If that isn't the conspiracy to dominate the world, what is?
"The NAR are dangerous, for at least two reasons. First, they want to take away people's Constitutional rights. I was shocked to hear one of the New Apostolic Reformation preachers claim that people of what he called "counterfeit religions," alternative religions to Christianity, have no First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.
"Secondly they have the potential to incite people to violence. They use warfare language, and for some people it's not a big jump from spiritual warfare to physical warfare against the people whom this movement literally demonizes."
While many G.O.P. presidential candidates are affiliated with the NAR, more media attention was given to Sarah Palin's church. For 25 years Sarah Palin attended an Assembly of God church so radical it had been kicked out of the Assemblies of God. It was there that Palin was personally blessed with a protection against witchcraft from a visiting pastor whose main claim to fame before that had been hounding a woman out of her Kenyan village after he accused her of witchcraft. Michelle Bachman, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Ted Cruz and now Bobby Jindal are all pandering to this gigantic voting bloc of people who proudly maintain a stance of "no compromise". Demon-possessed becomes a convenient label when used to describe politicians you disagree with. Both the Tea Party and the New Apostolic Reformation complain about what they call the moral relativism of the 1960s, and have become increasingly uncomfortable in this era of tolerance where more and more people accept that more than one point of view can be right.
Bruce Wilson wrote in his article "Weird Theology in Wasilla: A Look Inside Sarah Palin's Pentecostal Church":
"Sarah Palin's churches are actively involved in a resurgent movement that was declared heretical by the Assemblies of God in 1949. This is the same 'Spiritual Warfare' movement that was featured in the award winning movie, "Jesus Camp," which showed young children being trained to do battle for the Lord. At least three of four of Palin's churches are involved with major organizations and leaders of this movement, which is referred to as The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit or the New Apostolic Reformation. The movement is training a young "Joel's Army" to take dominion over the United States and the world."
The goal of New Apostolic Reformation and Sarah Palin and her pastor Ed Kalnins is to remove both the Statue of Liberty and the Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol Building (because both are demonic) and replace them with the Christian cross.
Dr. Mark E. Koltko-Rivera's insight that the New Apostolic Reformation has no education beyond Bible College, not even real seminary training, and thus they have had little if any training in critical thinking, evaluation of sources and so forth is more than significant. For example, what can the NAR tell us about the importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls found in the Qumran caves in 1947? Simcha Jacobovici and Barry Wilson in their recently released The Lost Gospel (p. 32):
"The same is true of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which in addition to the community's own sectarian writings also preserved the oldest known manuscripts of virtually all of the books of the Hebrew Bible. Based on this find, we can now trace most of the books of the Hebrew Bible to at least the 1st century B.C.E. But this doesn't mean that this is when they were first composed. The presumption for both the Christian Scriptures and the Hebrew Bible is that the existing manuscripts represent copies of copies of much earlier writings."
Within the Dead Sea Scrolls they would have discovered the similarities between the Essenes and the story of the Messianic figure, the Teacher of Righteousness, the Wicked Priest, the Writers of the Scrolls and the Dead Sea Scrolls Community.
If there were but one source to study on the Dead Sea Scrolls you would have to use the research of Dr. William Foxwell Albright (1891-1971) who served as the Chair of Biblical Studies at Johns Hopkins University. I was fortunate to meet the retired Dr. Albright in person in 1968, while I was working on my very controversial Apocalypse mural. He was curious about the sources I used for the various texts in Hebrew and Egyptian inscriptions used throughout the mural.
America's first center for training scholars in the history and cultures of the ancient Near East was established at the johns Hopkins University a century ago. Then as now, the study of the Hebrew Bible was both the stimulus of interest in the ancient Near East, and a major focus of that interest. For three decades, under the leadership of William Foxwell Albright, Johns Hopkins was the world center for Biblical Studies.
Albright was a unique phenomenon. Over the course of his unrivalled career, he demonstrated outstanding specialist knowledge of a wide range of disciplines within ancient Near Eastern studies, combined with the intellectual daring to attempt a synthesis of man's material, mental, and spiritual progress from the stone age to the heights of Biblical faith and the Greek philosophical revolution. His legacy lies not only in his writings, but in the many distinguished students that he trained, students who are now senior scholars in prestigious institutions the world over.
William Albright published a great deal, more than 800 books, pamphlets and articles. But he came to the public's attention mostly as an authenticator. In 1948, he confirmed the authenticity of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were a thousand years older than any previously known Hebrew texts. Interesting work for a man with bad eyes.
"The Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of thirteen ancient codices containing over fifty texts, was discovered in upper Egypt in 1945. This immensely important discovery incudes a large number of primary "Gnostic Gospels" – texts once thought to have been entirely destroyed during the early Christian struggle to define "orthodoxy" – scriptures such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Truth." (gnosis.org/naghamm)
The Nag Hammadi Library lists quite a few gospels that the NAR has yet to absorb such as the Gospel of Mary, Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Phillip, Gospel of Thomas, and the Gospel of Truth. It's not rocket science to understand that without having studied these authoritative texts one's knowledge of Jesus Christ and early Christianity is at best incomplete!
DIVERSITY IS AMERICA'S STRENGTH
"The Perennial Philosophy", 2006
Pen and Ink Watercolor by Bob Hieronimus, Ph.D.
"A perennial philosophy suggests universal truths and principles indigenous to all peoples and cultures. It is what forms the common ground of most religions, from the so-called primitive peoples to the more intricate forms. People across time have recorded their perceptions about the nature of reality, and at their roots they are more similar than different. In this piece I am suggesting that by studying the rudiments of the perennial philosophy found among the symbolism of the three great religions of the West, we could find the keys to peace. A simplified analysis and interpretation of this piece demonstrates deep similarities between these three sacred symbols: the Star of David, the cross, and the crescent and star. The goal of securing peace between these peoples in conflict (Jews, Christians and Moslems) could be assisted by an image focusing our attention on their similarities rather than their differences."
Again, if there were only one scholar whose work is at the pinnacle of research in the study of the Nag Hammadi scrolls it would be the distinguished scholar Dr. Elaine Pagels, the Harrington Spear Pain Professor of Religion at Princeton University and the author of several books on early Christianity. She is best known for her 1979 book, The Gnostic Gospels, which won the National Book Award, and was named one of the hundred best books of the twentieth century by Modern Library. Several others of her titles have also been best-sellers and award winners. The Origin of Satan, and Adam, Eve and the Serpent. Her latest book is called Revelations: Visions, Prophecy and Politics in the Book of Revelation. In The Gnostic Gospels on page 49 she says:
"Other texts discovered at Nag Hammadi demonstrate one striking difference between these 'heretical' sources and orthodox ones: Gnostic sources continually use sexual symbolism to describe God. One might expect that these texts would show the influence of archaic pagan traditions of the Mother Goddess, but for the most part, their language is specifically Christian, unmistakably related to a Jewish heritage. Yet instead of describing a monistic and masculine God, many of these texts speak of God as a dyad who embraces both masculine and feminine elements."
I had the great fortune of having Dr. Pagels join us for 2 hours on 21st Century Radio on 3/11/12 to review her ground-breaking scholarship. She has some very lucky students!
The late 2014 release of Jacobovici and Wilson, referred to earlier in reference to the Dead Sea Scrolls, The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus' Marriage to Mary the Magdalene is about to light a fire that extreme fundamentalism will not put out. As the Globe and Mail noted: "Barrie Wilson has produced a significant and sensational work of scholarship. And it is truly religious dynamite." Jesus was a Jew and a Rabbi. All rabbis must marry. It's their duty!
The source for this revolutionary discovery is the Macarios Monastery Manuscript located in the British library dated circa 570 CE. It was acquired on November 11, 1847. Its publisher Pegasus Books reviews what makes the Lost Gospel so special:
"While there has been increasing speculation over the precise nature of Jesus' relationship with Mary Magdalene from both an historical and fictional perspective, The Lost Gospel is the first book to make use of an actual written source, one that is comparable in length to the Gospel of Matthew, to show that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, that they engaged in sexual relations and had children.
"While acknowledging his divinity, this ancient document examines Jesus as a human being, with social, family and political connections well before his mission in the late 20s and his death in the early 30s. This helps fill in the significant gaps in Jesus' life. The gospels in the New Testament, for instance skip over his life from the time he was 8 days old until he was in his early 30s, except for one incident in the Temple when he was 12. The Lost Gospel helps us better understand who he was as a person, why he had enemies at the most senior levels, and what his marriage meant to him and his followers."
America's political system has revealed a schism that could change the face of America – perhaps forever. It has manifested more prominently in the dichotomy of Red states vs. Blue States and there has been serious research done on the differences between the family core philosophy in Naomi Cahn and June Carbone's Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture (2010) Oxford University Press which Publishers Weekly called "invaluable." A summary of the book's contents can be found in Stephan A. Schwartz's "Social Values, Social Wellness: Can We Know What Works?" (see Schwartz Report Explore March/April 2012, vol. 8, no. 289).
In regards to relationships, marriage, and divorce this is what we learn from Stephan A. Schwartz's "Social Values, Social Wellness: Can We Know What Works?"
"Even the most secluded person cannot fail to have noticed that the United States is riven by two competing worldviews—one politically and culturally conservative and religiously bounded and the other socially progressive and largely "spiritual but not religious." Each is defined endlessly in the media—which just feeds the divisiveness—so my need to do it here is hardly necessary.
An unintended consequence of the ﬁnancial collapse has been a further intensiﬁcation of this schism. The rise of the antipodal Tea Party and 99er-Occupy Movements attests to this. The rhetoric of their disunity is couched in the language of values, and it is a wrenching struggle.
Which challenges us to ask this question: If it is a ﬁght over values, which values are best? Of course the critical word here is best, so let me deﬁne what I mean by that. Best is the greatest state of social wellness beginning with the individual and growing to include our entire society, Earth, and all the beings who inhabit the planet. This is the transition we must make, reﬂected in every aspect of individual and social life. It's not whether we have to make these changes but rather how much pain are we willing to endure before we make wellness our ﬁrst priority? So this is a very important question.
SHADES OF 2008
"Corporate Surprise", 2003
Pen and Ink Watercolor by Bob Hieronimus, Ph.D.
Can we answer it in an objectively veriﬁable way? Can we avoid the mires of theological or ideological dispute? Can we know with surety which set of values produces greater social wellness? The answer: Yes, we can. And we can do it on the basis of data, with no reference to polemics, ideology, or theology. Just data. Does the conservative theocratic worldview of the right, or the more inclusive social progressive left produce better outcomes as deﬁned by greater wellness? Thanks to a network of excellence, created through the meticulous work of hundreds of researchers, publishing thousands of studies, we can work out an answer in which we can repose signiﬁcant conﬁdence. And we should.
RELATIONSHIPS, MARRIAGE, AND DIVORCE
I want to look at one thing, families, to make the point. Why? Two reasons. First, because dozens of studies in several disciplines, from biology to sociology, tell us that families, in some form, are the foundation of every social order from beehives to nations. Second, because the importance of families is the central value upon which both of these great social cohorts in America agree.
Blue families, in order to make it possible to invest in women as well as men, defer marriage and childbearing, and reap the advantages from older partners' greater emotional maturity and ﬁnancial independence. The "bluest" areas of the country, and particularly the urban northeast, have the highest averages ages of family formation and demonstrate the greatest support for the mechanisms that effectively deter teen births. The new model also lowers fertility and produces higher rates of non-marital cohabitation.
Red families, centered in the more religious and marriage-oriented communities of the South, the mountain west and the plains, continue to embrace unity of sex, marriage and reproduction. The growing gap between the beginning of sexuality and readiness for childbearing alarms religious parents about the morality of their offspring, and higher divorce and non-marital birth rates threaten the fabric of these communities. 1
To build families there ﬁrst have to be partnerships. Conservative theological (CTs), of course, deﬁne these partnerships as one man, one woman. Social progressives (SPs) deﬁne them as loving committed partnerships of whatever gender. Regardless of the gender battle, one measure of how good a relationship is whether it lasts. The comparative answer can be seen in divorce rates as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. Nevada, of course, is ﬁrst in divorce, because it makes a specialty in both ends of matrimony. But the next eight states, in descending order—Arkansas, West Virginia, Wyoming, Idaho, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Alabama, and Alaska—can all be deﬁned as Red societies.2 Obviously, Red-State families have a harder time maintaining stable loving partnerships, and one reason for this is that they encourage early marriage, often before young personalities are fully formed.
... Therefore, if we are going to have healthy families, if our family wellness is to increase, perhaps it isn't marriage as a religious institution on which we need to focus. Perhaps it is healthy relationships in whatever form — religious or nonreligious — that we need to nourish. Our national wellness springs from healthy stable relationships that endure. And our failure as a culture to reconcile ourselves to this is causing us enormous stress, and it is clear that CTs, once again have the least wellness. Rebecca Ruiz, writing in Forbes says,
Much of the American South is ailing, with West Virginia the worst off--at least, if the rate of prescription drug use is any indication. The state ﬁlled 17.7 prescriptions per capita compared to a national average of 11.5, according to Verispan, a health care information company.
Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky and Missouri also have prescription drug-use rates well above the national average. 5
MONSANTO FRANKENFOOD TERMINATOR GENES PERSECUTES FARMERS
"Monsanto's Skull and Bones", 2003
Pen and Ink Watercolor by Bob Hieronimus, Ph.D.
"When Monsanto began aggressively bullying objectors to its genetically modified crops, and headlines started appearing like "Terminator Gene Persecutes Farmers", I picked up my pens and brushes. In this piece "Monsanto's Skull and Bones" I am drawing attention to the company's loathsome practice of buying out seed companies, monopolizing seed stocks, and actually persecuting hundreds of North American farmers for the "crimes" of seed-saving or accidentally growing the Monsanto patented crops when seeds blew into their fields. I put the headline "Monsanto Frankenfood Terminator Genes Persecutes Farmers" inside the red stripes of an American flag to show that Monsanto's genetically-modified foods are only declared safe by American scientists under the protection of our corporate media and the well-placed officials in the Bush (and now Obama) Administrations."
What makes this important to values is explained by Dr. Jane Barlow, vice president of medical strategy and clinical quality for Medco Health Solutions, one of the nation's largest pharmacy beneﬁt managers. To her this is explained thusly "The growth in prescription drug use," arises from the "chronic diseases that are largely preventable and are linked to lifestyle and physical activity." 6 The CT-Red States use more medication because, she says, "Their rates of heart disease, obesity and diabetes are higher than the national average, particularly in West Virginia." 6
It's not just physical health either. As Marcia Angell writes,
A large survey of randomly selected adults, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and conducted between 2001 and 2003, found that an astonishing 46 percent met criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association (APA)…
The CT Red States are not producing the best success at sustaining either relationships or marriages, and the lifestyle choices reﬂected by these values is literally making people sick.
What changes a relationship into a family? Offspring, of course. Children start with pregnancies and birth. How do women fare in bringing a son or daughter into the world? Children do better in the SP states than in the CT states. Why? Consider the Right's assault on Planned Parenthood, again justiﬁed explicitly by values. And consider: As a result of the relentless pressure from the Right, we don't have the universal health-care considered a citizen right in most of the developed world. We have tried the Right's approach to "for-proﬁt" Health industry medicine for more than three decades, since the Nixon Administration made it possible. Can anyone claim ignorance of this model's failure? The World Health Organization assessed our standing as compared with the rest of the world and ﬁnds we are 37th.7 And the most recent United Nations assessment, released in September of 2010, shows "the United States is 50th in the world for maternal mortality—obstetrical death—with maternal mortality ratios higher than almost all European countries, as well as several countries in Asia and the Middle East." 8
Yet according to the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP), "we spend more on childbirth-related care than any other area of hospitalization— US$86 billion a year."
"Even more troubling," the ARHP points out "the United Nations data show that between 1990 and 2008, while the vast majority of countries reduced their maternal mortality ratios for a global decrease of 34%, maternal mortality nearly doubled in the United States." It seems very unlikely that the U.S. is going to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goal #5—the reduction of maternal mortality by 75 percent by the year 2015.9
To place this in its larger context, remember the U.S. pays a far higher percentage of its GDP—16 percent in 2008—compared with the best healthcare in the world, which is French, and takes only 11.2 percent.
We have pursued policies that have failed to serve our collective wellness. Why is that? Because of values. All of this arises because one set of values has predominated and given us an illness-proﬁt system, not a genuine healthcare system, one that puts national wellness ﬁrst. It may be unpalatable, but the truth about the United States is thus: we place more importance on the value of proﬁt than we do the value of individual and social wellness.
And, once those children are born how will they fare?
From state performance data, we can say that the children growing up in states in which the Red family values prevail will received less education, and are more likely to be obese and to have more diabetes. There also is more teen pregnancy.
Margaret Talbot, writing in the New Yorker, presents this very clearly in her discussion about the work of Mark Regnerus, a University of Texas at Austin sociologist, and the author of Forbidden Fruit: Sex and Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers, which has ignited enormous controversy, but whose data have not been refuted. He said, "evangelical Protestant teen-agers are signiﬁcantly less likely than other groups to use contraception. This could be because evangelicals are also among the most likely to believe that using contraception will send the message that they are looking for sex. It could also be because many evangelicals are steeped in the abstinence movement's warnings that condoms won't actually protect them from pregnancy or venereal disease."11
In the Red States there is also a higher incidence of teen age sexually transmitted diseases, and children who grow up in these states are also exposed to the most violence. If one lists the 10 most violent states and the top 10 most religious states, six of the 10—Louisiana Alabama, Tennessee Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma—are on both lists.
Saddest of all, much of this violence is aimed at them personally. The children of the Right are more likely to be beaten, raped, and murdered by their own families. During the past 10 years, more than 20,000 American children are believed to have been killed in their own homes by family members. Can you believe that, can you accept that nearly four times as many children have died at home than U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan? More than 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year. 12
America has more child abuse than any other industrialized country in the world. We're number one. A child in the United States is 11 times more likely to be abused than a contemporary in Italy and three times more likely to be punched and brutalized than a child in Canada. Much of the reason for our number one position is revealed when one examines state level data. Red Texas has four times more child abuse than Blue Vermont, and it doesn't end there.13
The BBC reports, "In looking at key indicators of well-being, children from Texas are twice as likely to drop out of high school as children from Vermont. They are four times more likely to be uninsured, four times more likely to be incarcerated, and nearly twice as likely to die from abuse and neglect." 12
There is much more that could be said. But this is enough to make the point. If we really do care about family values, and we should, and we make our decisions on the basis of facts, with wellness as our goal, social progressive Blue values can get us there, whereas the outcome data we have suggests the Red Right values will not. That is not a political judgment, just what the data tell us. In the miasma of political exposition and commentary I hope we can stay in touch with that. Just as we know what is wrong. We also know what works.
Stephan A. Schwartz is the editor of the daily web publication The Schwartzreport, which concentrates on trends that will shape the future, an area of research he has been working in since the mid-1960s. He is also the Senior Samueli Fellow in Brain, Mind and Healing at the Samueli Institute. For over 35 years Schwartz has also been an active experimentalist doing research on the nature of consciousness, particularly Remote Viewing, healing, creativity, religious ecstasy, and meditation. He is the author of several books and numerous papers, technical reports, and general audience articles on these topics.
You can review Stephan A. Schwartz's paper "Social Values, Social Wellness: Can we Know What Works?" on our website 21stcenturyradio.com. (See References at the end of this article.)
America and the rest of the planet are going through great changes, which may continue on for another half century. Will corporate domination brought on largely because of Citizens United and a Supreme Court who supports the Red State philosophy and Corporations who have funded climate change denial and who do not pay their share of taxes and have driven the middle class into near extinction move us toward a theocracy and away from the democratic-republic established by our founding fathers? Their hidden goal and objective is to eliminate the separation of church and state. If this happens you will see the break up of the United States. We are not a Christian nation. We were founded to be free-especially in regards to our spiritual beliefs. The only way to stop this calamity is to vote more balanced women and men not afraid of their nurturing selves into the Senate, House and state and local offices. They know how to care for a dying planet and the billions of humans and living beings that are now in jeopardy. Even though I am one myself, I say that old white men, at least those at the pinnacle of power, have lost the capacity to love unconditionally, serving those in need and feeding, clothing, and housing the poor. There was a being who taught and lived this way. His name is Jesus Christ. Extreme fundamentalist and conspiratorial Christianity has rejected his teachings and accepted the other golden rule: he who owns the gold rules. Instead of do unto others, they follow--if you're rich, God loves you and if you're poor, you deserve it. Uranus (liberation) Square Pluto (control). Will this be humankind's finest hour or a new reign of totalitarian dictatorships? We have a front row seat!
On April 8, 2014 I wrote President Obama about our environmental peril. Here is my letter to him along with the response I got from him on August 5, 2014.
1. Cahn, N. and Carbone, J. Red families vs. blue families. (Washington Post) http://voices.washingtonpost.com/political-bookworm/2010/05/red_families_vs_blue_families.html. (Accessed December 12, 2011)
2. Births, Deaths, Marriages, & Divorces: Marriage and Divorces. (The 2012 Statistical Abstract) http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/births_deaths_marriages_divorces/marriages_and_divorces.html. (Accessed December 15, 2011)
3. Divorce Rate by Country. (NationMaster.com) http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/peo_div_rat-people-divorce-rate. (Accessed December 16, 2011)
4. Cohn, D'V., Passel, J., Wang, W., and Livingston, G. Barely half of U.S. adults are married—a record low (Pew Research Center). http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/12/14/barely-half-of-u-s-adults-are-married-a-record-low/1/. (Accessed December 14, 2011)
5. Ruiz, R. America's most medicated states. (Forbes)http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/17/most-medicated-states-lifestyle-health-prescription-drugs_print.html. (Accessed December 16, 2011)
6. Angell, M. The epidemic of mental illness: why?. (The New York Review of Books) http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jun/23/epidemic-mental-illness-why/. (Accessed: 23 June 2011)
7. World Health Organization's Ranking of the World's Health Systems (The patient factor). http://thepatientfactor.com/canadian-health-care-information/world-health-organizations-ranking-of-the-worlds-health-systems/. (Accessed December 15, 2011)
8. Coeytaux, F., Bingham, D., and Strauss, N. V Maternal mortality in the United States: a human rights failure (Assoc. of Reproductive Health Professionals) . http://www.arhp.org/publications-and-resources/contraception-journal/march-2011. (Accessed December 12, 2011)
9. Goal 5: Improved Maternal Health (United Nations). http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/maternal.shtml. (Accessed December 16, 2011)
10. Health Care Spending in the United States and Selected OECD Countries April 2011 (Kaiser Family Foundation). http://www.kff.org/insurance/snapshot/OECD042111.cfm. (Accessed December 15, 2011)
11. Talbot, M. Red Sex, Blue Sex. (The New Yorker) http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/11/03/081103fa_fact_talbot. (Accessed December 17, 2011)
12. National Child Abuse Statistics (Childhelp). http://www.childhelp.org/pages/statistics. (Accessed December 16, 2011)
13. America's child death shame (BBC News). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15193530. (Accessed December 7, 2011)