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Old Aug 8th 2015, 02:28 PM
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Default Religion as a political weapon

I've been reading up about the 1980's lately - particularly the Reagan-Thatcher philosophy of putting freedom 'on the offensive' initiative. For those too young to remember, the Soviet Union was aggressively trying to expand their influence in the early 80's with military operations in Africa, Middle East, Central America and Afghanistan. It was the height of the cold war when all anyone talked about was the apparently increasing threat of all-out nuclear war between USA and USSR.

Anyway, the Reagan-Thatcher offensive to bring down the Soviet Union was a multi-pronged assault that used a variety of economic, political, military and religious 'weapons' to destroy the USSR. Most people are familiar with the economic, political and military aspects of the Reagan-Thatcher plan, few people realize the extent of how religion was used to bring down the USSR - or ongoing fallout we are experiencing from that policy.

The most notable example of religion used as a weapon was the alliance with Pope John Paul II (aka the Polish pope) and the struggle in Poland that dominated the 1980's. Catholicism was a major element in bringing down the power of the Soviet Union in Poland, no doubt about it. Interestingly enough, the west hasn't suffered any 'blowback' or unintended consequences from this.

The same cannot be said for the massive support given to the Russian Orthodox Church or to Islamic groups in the Middle East and Central Asia meant to serve the same purpose. In many ways, the collapse of the USSR meant the end of state-atheism and a ressurgence of religion throughout Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East. And it was always radicalized religion with one goal - to control the state power apparatus by any means available.

That is to say, the increasingly militant Russian Orthodox Church and the increasingly fanatical and militant Muslims are a direct result of the Reagan-Thatcher policy to overthrow the USSR using religion as a political weapon, all bought, paid for and organized by the CIA with American taxpayer's money.

Just some food for thought.
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Old Aug 9th 2015, 11:55 AM
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Dominick Dominick is offline
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Default Re: Religion as a political weapon

Anything that happened in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union would have happened anyway regardless of who was in the White House, Downing Street 10 or the Vatican. To view all world events as a product of US policy is a form of pathological hubris only found amongst American political commentators and so-called historians.
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Old Aug 9th 2015, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Religion as a political weapon

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Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
Anything that happened in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union would have happened anyway regardless of who was in the White House, Downing Street 10 or the Vatican. To view all world events as a product of US policy is a form of pathological hubris only found amongst American political commentators and so-called historians.
Yes and no.

I understand your point certainly. Reagan didn't win the Cold War all by himself, no doubt about it. The Soviet system imploded under its own weight certainly. Reagan's actions merely helped it along.

That being said, the point I was making is about the rise of radical Islam in Central Asia and the pheonix-like rise of the Russian Orthodox in Russia being an 'unintended consquence' of Reagan's Cold War policies.
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Old Jul 17th 2017, 12:22 PM
Abishai100 Abishai100 is offline
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Post Cinematic Angles?

I like the approach to 'religion-storytelling' employed by Martin Scorsese in The Last Temptation of Christ (with a terrific screenplay by the gifted Paul Schrader), which presents the life and 'quest' of Christ through the 'campfire-lens' of 'dystopian magic' and also 'restoration rapture.'

In the film, we see Jesus (Willem Dafoe, very effective) portrayed at fist as an 'ordinary man' trying to find meaning in a mad world controlled by Babel/Rome and then 'becoming' the man of rapture and miracles we celebrate in Christian images.

While he is discovering himself and 'recruiting' disciples, he is teamed with Judas (Harvey Keitel, also good) who is portrayed as a staunch 'political radical.'

So this presentation of a 'sacred man' caught up in a world of compelling obsession, political claustrophobia, and divination dearth, invites audiences to look at the 'experience of religion' and how it can be personalized (even if through party-based angst regarding political unhappiness) for even a 'psychiatric catharsis' suggests to me that the power of film has changed the way we talk about 'revolutionary sentiments.'

The popularity of specifically-politically themed films such as Michael Collins, The Battle of Algiers, and Gandhi further adds fuel to the flaming question, "Can art affect social attitudes towards the 'political and even cultural applications' of religion?"

Certainly American movie superstar Tom Hanks has considered this question in his work with the incendiary and society-stirring Dan Brown novel adapted Da Vinci Code sequence of films (including Angels and Demons and Inferno).

In other words, do we 'seek' evocative experiences on screen, and if so, how does 'art world chatter' fuel societal 'passions' regarding 'traditions-based free-speech'?



{re-interpretation dialogue from Scorsese's film}
====

JUDAS: Rome requires radicals, not mystics, Jesus...
JESUS: Mysticism lies at the heart of passion, Judas!
JUDAS: You sound like a street-performer...
JESUS: I am a street-performer, and my audience is the 'little-guy.'
JUDAS: Caesar cares nothing for a million 'little-guys.'
JESUS: You wouldn't defer to any Roman Centurion?
JUDAS: I would defer to anyone curious about defiance only.
JESUS: You're a slave, a weeping-man in a different robe.
JUDAS: At least I'm free and I feel strong; you seem intentionally weak!
JESUS: If we topple Rome and replace it with monuments, we'll repeat.
JUDAS: I can't 'ignore' politics in favor of 'magic' and 'vision-quests.'
JESUS: A street-performer (as you put it) cares greatly about liberty...
JUDAS: Why then do you 'sanctify' the 'ignorance' of countless 'heretics'?
JESUS: If I were a mouse, I'd listen, and as a man, I seek to outline.

====



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Old Jul 18th 2017, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: Cinematic Angles?

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Originally Posted by Abishai100 View Post

Gandhi further adds fuel to the flaming question, "Can art affect social attitudes towards the 'political and even cultural applications' of religion?"
That question is absurd...

Of course art can affect social attitudes towards the political and even cultural applications of religion.

Of course politics can affect social attitudes towards the religious and even cultural applications of art.

Of course religion can affect social attitudes towards the political and even cultural applications of art.

Of course art can affect religious attitudes towards the political and even cultural applications of religion.

I can go on and on switching words around in the sentence and it all just says the same damn thing over and over again. That is to say, human art, like politics, culture, society and religion are all human enterprises that are constantly influenced and affected by each other all the time.
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Old Jul 30th 2017, 04:26 AM
Abishai100 Abishai100 is offline
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Default The Social Preamble

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
That is to say, human art, like politics, culture, society and religion are all human enterprises that are constantly influenced and affected by each other all the time.
Yes, but as we've noticed, states that create forms of politically-oriented 'nationalism fervor' lean sometimes dangerously towards a 'pseudo-religious' mindless 'mob psychology' (i.e., Nazi Germany).

So while those points are true, just HOW these realms/spheres are connected and in WHAT WAY are definitely worth a second look, no?

It seems that to affect real cultural change, you have to think about how religion-politics links create power controversies, a 'social consciousness' arguably presented/reflected in spiritualism-development themed films such as End of Days, The Agony and the Ecstasy, and Empire of the Sun.


====

GOD: Films change the way society 'discusses' values.
SATAN: Movies encourage intellectual expression and open-mindedness...
GOD: True, but they can also create controversy (i.e., Natural Born Killers).
SATAN: Maybe propaganda is 'rust-colored.'
GOD: It is arguable that media is 'vulnerable' by the iniquities of man.
SATAN: Brittle values dialogue reflects the appeal of 'idealized' gods/avatars.
GOD: Yes, comic book characters such as Captain America are 'socialization schema faces.'
SATAN: Every branch of social governance respects the value of gold...
GOD: The Vatican is decorative, politicians are financial, teachers are frugal.
SATAN: Perhaps movie-stars are new age 'diplomats' of socialization.

====




LUCIFER MORNINGSTAR (DC COMICS):

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