Sermon on the Mound, Eve of 2007

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A for-profit religion where nothing is sacred, and human sacrifice is obligatory


Eve of 2007


The following sermon was delivered over a New Year’s Eve bonfire for 2007



Dear Worried Souls:


Take Heart! The Worst is yet to come.  Witness this miserable mound of machine age offal.  Wasted resources compounded daily--advertising, packaging, junk mail, paperwork, broken equipment—a sorry heap of worthless Trash reviled by all.  The costs have become unbearable.


It does not live so cannot die.  We must dispose of it anyway, and we aim for the Sky.  We plead for help from the great Mother Earth and Father Sun. Open our senses to the stench of Burning Plastic.  Burn our lungs with Particulates and Smoke. Singe our eyes with the Motes we scatter.  Spread sparks of Common Sense wherever smog may go.


On this eve, the Church of the Holier than Thou, Incorporated ignites this sacrificial pyre, in humble apology to the Planet we call Home.  As long as we can live and breathe on this speck of Cosmic Dust, we give Thanks for our Success and Vow to Make Sin Pay.


Thank you, Mother Earth, for deflating false profits and reducing their costs. Our debt to you is incalculable.


Thank you, Father Sun, for your clean nuclear power, the solar system's eternal source of centralized energy output.


The Loving Lambs of Church of the Holier than Thou, Inc. have watched in horror as the TechnoDemons befouled the Earth.  Their numbers numbed us.  Their profits (er . . . prophets) preached Winning by Losing, and Promised Eternal Hell.  Machine Noise rocked the Planet and rattled the Tectonic Plates.  We Bleated in Horror, Fear, and Rage, but there was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.   We prayed for Peace and Quiet.


We sighed as they Drowned Porpoises, Paved Neighborhoods, Spilled Oil, Dumped Chemicals, Bulldozed Wildernesses, Polluted Oceans, Pipelined Tundra, Gobbled up Farms, Obscured the Stars, and Obliterated the Sounds of Birds and Breeze.  We cried for Mercy as Global Temperatures Rose, Tempers Flared, Ice Caps Melted, the Ozone layer dissipated, and Dynamite collapsed mountains and hills.  We watched Mutations and Health Problems Created for Profit and spreading like cancer.  We searched in vain for Recycling Centers, Compost Piles, and Locally Produced Goods.


This Mound of Refuse--papers, plastics, boxes, wraps, junk mail, bubbles, baubles and bills--represents countless Murdered Trees and Earthly Treasures that gave their all for junk mail, propaganda, advertising, photo-ops, cellophane, and disposable containers.  Swallowed in the glut (er  . . . gut) of Human Consumption, these plundered assets Writhe in Pain.  Their pitiful Pleas reach us from Roadsides and Trash Cans, raising Taxes for Garbage and Litter Collection.  “Stop this Plague upon our Souls,” they Cry in tortured sobs.


We at the Church of the Holier than Though, Incorporated, know a Natural Solution when we see one.  We will find a way to uplift this junk into Something Useful, so we can Make Sin Pay.


Yes, the Savvy Saints of the Church of the Holier than Thou, Incorporated have lit the solar flares, at last, but we are weary, wary of yet another trick, a Light too Bright to be Natural.  But Fear no longer. 


The TechnoDemons’ Hot Stocks have Cooked their Geese.  The Gold weighs heavy in their Stomachs and Blocks their Bowels.  Take Pity, and sell them fresh Vegetables.


We at CHT, Inc. mean Business.  We will grow the Economy to Scale.  Green leaves and Roughage will Prevail.  Put methane in cars, corn in stomachs, trans fats in wheel bearings, and soy in tofu.  Put the mercury back in thermometers and the lead back in batteries.  Shade roofs with solar panels. Generate energy from landfill. Equalize postage rates and ditch junk mail. Clean the ditches with tax collectors. Hire prisoners instead of illegals.  Transform scrap metal to passenger trains.  Make synthetic hormones from oxidized plastic.  Sift sand for silicon.  Collect rain on roofs, or whatever it takes, to Make Sin Pay. 


We Lobby you, great Mother Earth and Father Sun, to grant our request for Survival Skills Technology.  Light our way through the Sewers of Human Degradation, as we seek Natural Markets for these discarded Treasures.  We pray for a Healthy Return.


May sparks from the Fire of this Pyre seed new Trees of Knowledge, wherever particulates drift.  Too cumbersome to be mulched, too poisoned to nourish, too diseased to be safe, this Trash has no Market Value, no place to Go but Up.


With a Match and a Blessing, the Church of the Holier than Thou, Incorporated--a for-profit religion where nothing is sacred and human sacrifice is obligatory-- sets this Sacrificial Offering ablaze.  We Pray this Fire will spread Sparks of Enlightenment wherever the Smoke may Blow, and dispel the Mind Pollution that hides the Bottom Line.  


Dino Manalis Added Oct 20, 2017 - 9:41am
That doesn't sound hopeful or encouraging!  the opposite!
Ari Silverstein Added Oct 20, 2017 - 11:16am
Who is this sermon meant for?
Who’s giving the sermon?
Assuming I agree with the sermon, what am I supposed to do?
Are you aware it’s illegal to burn machinery?
George N Romey Added Oct 20, 2017 - 12:43pm
Katharine we now live in a disposable society, including people.  All for the ultimately dollar.  Some of the allegedly greatest followers of Jesus are the worst, for example the Republican Party.  I'm not if we will ever get back to a society where people take care of people not government and token handouts that forced never ending dependency.
Thomas Sutrina Added Oct 20, 2017 - 1:35pm
This is a great sermon for the 60's and 70's flower child of my teenage years.  You make it sound as if your talking to the earth, but your not.  Your taking to the Americas that have lost religion or rather not taught the principles of GOD since God has been thrown out by the socialist.  Replaced by the government class of socialist.
You see humans from the conception of a thinking human have always asked the same questions.  Because of the questions man has chosen to create God be it the Sun, Moon, Stars, Fire, Water, Volcano, Tree, an animal, Gods of the Greece's, etc..  Socialist choose to create the none-God.  But the questions remain the same.  Ma always 'chooses to speech for the God'.   You are speaking for 'God' in this article.  
The classic liberals, our founders, believe it or not, were the children of the cream of crop of  those escaping from religious persecution.   John Locke the major person quoted by USA founders  escaped imprisonment from English Kings.  Todays socialist have nothing on them.  They are tea toters in comparison.  
The only reason we know of Martin Luther was because the printing press, Gutenberg introduced his invention around 1450, of movable type.   His bible that took two years to create went on sale in March of 1455.   You see others that questioned the Roman Catholic Church before Luther were silenced.  But you can not silence once distributed.  He could be considered the first classic liberal.  
You see Katharine O., one common thread that the rebellious classic liberals discovered in the enlightenment is presented in the Declaration, laws of nature and of natures GOD.  They are talking about what all of these mostly religions have in common.  The common answer of humans successful societies that those religions or non-religions before the socialist have found.  It is called common law by some Ten Commandments by Jews, Christians, and Muslims that call Abraham a profit.  This is the law of nature.  The first to are the prime principles and the rest are the limits to freedom for a society to exist.  Boundaries not to cross.   The next thing presented in the Declaration is what exist on the side of the boundary where we can live.  Created equal, life, liberty and property which was Jefferson present as pursuit of happiness.  Lincoln put it this way, "property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; it is a positive good in the world."
I am going to end with another Lincoln quote which in this rush to promote fairness by equal distribution within a class.  NOTE A IMPORTANT QUALIFICATION.   "You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.  You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.  You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.  You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."
George N Romey Added Oct 20, 2017 - 2:36pm
In a perfect world people would have equal bargaining power but they don’t. If I could force 80 year old women to scrub my toilet for ten cents an hour is that fair?
Thomas Sutrina Added Oct 20, 2017 - 3:58pm
A cousin of mine may share a similar religious or tribe experience.  She is involved in a native indian religion  on the west coast.  What she has told me the times I have picked her up at the airport on the drive back sounds similar.  Your telling us the ceremony as she told me.  Beliefs are much harder to get into. 
These indian societies existed for centuries and thus had to have common morals or laws.  Chaos would develop if the moral code was not similar to the Ten Commandments, laws of nature and God.  Second class humans are those not members is one that exists in many societies and even in Judaism when it followed a judgemental theology as Islam does now.  The rules do not exist for them because tribes killed each other for land etc.   Isis is a great example of tribal nature of Islam when following the 8th century Islamic laws or moral code.  The Ten commandments existed during the judgemental theology period of Judaism.
I hope that your tribe has switched to a salvation theology as Judaism did about 550 BC when they took the exile to Babylon as the loss of the promise land for not being capable of following God's laws as a nation.  Thus they could only ask for salvation individually.  The all were reduced to second class with their neighboring tribes. 
Phil's Personal Perspectives Added Oct 21, 2017 - 12:48am
This sermon may describe what we have done.  The sermon on the mount described who we should be.  It’s time to decide either we accept what we are doing or change.  This is no longer a political or religious issue but rather a matter of survival on this planet.  Some of us may prefer to join Elon as he heads for Mars.  I prefer to stay put and clean up my act.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 21, 2017 - 12:16pm
It's about who we could be, if we shift focus a little laterally.  Solutions are within the problems.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 21, 2017 - 12:25pm
You're preaching to the choir, in many ways.  I identify strongly with the Creek Indians, imagining they inhabited these marshes in relative peace, long before the white man arrived with his guns, diseases. and property lines in the sand.
Nature is a maternal, nurturing counterweight to the monotheistic, paternalistic tradition of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic tribes.  The AmerIndians had an animistic, nature-focused mysticism, thus more respect for the earth.  Fluid and nomadic people.  Had to make friends with nature.  White man, guns, trade and exports changed all that, but that's a different blog.  
Katharine Otto Added Oct 21, 2017 - 12:27pm
I wouldn't want an 80 year old woman to scrub my toilet.  What else can she do?
Katharine Otto Added Oct 21, 2017 - 12:31pm
It's for everyone who doesn't want junk mail.  For people who don't like taking out trash.  For those of us who would rather buy products made in the Western hemisphere with a minimal of packaging.
Boycott packaging, as much as possible.  Tell everybody.  Shop with reusable bags.  I keep a collection of them in the trunk of my hybrid car.
One of the best things about shopping at places like Salvation Army, Goodwill, or consignment shops is No Packaging.  Pass it on. 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 21, 2017 - 12:38pm
Can your 80-year-old woman sew?  Maybe she could make reusable shopping bags out of Georgia cotton canvas.  I've made several of my own and given them away, too.  Fabric remnants work great.  Some beautiful upholstery fabric remnants to be found and transformed into designer, hand-crafted grocery shopping bags by the aspiring entrepreneur with a sewing machine.
George N Romey Added Oct 21, 2017 - 3:56pm
Katharine I’d like that 80 year old to teach young people. Someone that age has experienced so much change and could provide an understanding of human nature. We constantly write off the past and older people assuming it’s all irrelevant when it’s just history repeating itself in a different form.
Cliff M. Added Oct 21, 2017 - 8:06pm
K.O.,  The evaporation of morality fueled by $$'s owning the politics will be our downfall.
Phil's Personal Perspectives Added Oct 21, 2017 - 8:39pm
Katherine, this is a good post and provides a look at our values.  After reading some of the comments I get the sense that many of us see our values as deficient or depleted.  Truthfully I have greater faith in the younger generation (40 and under) than my own.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 21, 2017 - 9:59pm
I tend to get along with the half-my-age generation, probably because I remember what it was like to be so hopeful.  My generation (60s) has become jaded, but it doesn't have to be this way.
Phil's Personal Perspectives Added Oct 21, 2017 - 11:22pm
I agree 100%.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 23, 2017 - 9:49pm
John G.,
Just the opposite.  I'm not dead yet, but am working on strategy.  The only purpose for suffering is to learn how not to suffer.
Ari Silverstein Added Oct 24, 2017 - 12:41am
Next to ethanol, reusable shopping bags are the biggest environmental scam going.  You have to use one of those reusable bags over 100 times before it becomes less environmentally damaging than plastic bags.  What are the chances one of those reusable bags after 100 uses is still in good enough shape to continue using?  Answer: not very good.  It will likely develop a hole or tear or stain, and you’ll throw it away thereby making yourself more environmentally insensitive than someone like myself who just buys plastic and reuses them as dog poop bags.  Meaning, you’d have to use your reusable bag 200 times to be more environmentally sensitive than me. 
The whole discussion of plastic versus reusable should be thrown away in a non-biodegradable plastic bag.  With so much we could do to help the environment you do next to nothing (my argument is you make things worse) by using reusable bags.  If the environment is something you care about deeply, you should spend your time and effort on something that might make a difference. 
Katharine Otto Added Oct 24, 2017 - 5:18am
I do grocery shopping with a canvas acupuncture bag I got at at conference in 1998.  I have replaced the handles twice, and they need it again.  I shop on average about twice a week, or 100 times/year.  The bag will be 20 years old next year, so that's about 2000 uses.  Also, the bag was free with the course.
So I guess I'm about ten times more environmentally sensitive than you.  I do get plastic bags when I need trash can liners.
We agree on the ethanol mandate, big time.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 24, 2017 - 5:20am
John G.,
I suspect Ari was talking about plastic reusable bags, which I don't like, either.  They fall apart quickly.  Mine are 100% cotton canvas and last a long, long time.

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