Pokey McDooris

Pokey McDooris

Pokey is The Discord's chief theologian and philosopher. Pokey performs an important function here at The Discord, namely by annoying the living shit out of Zano, whenever he submits something.

Pubs Vs. Clubs: The Case Against a Woman’s Right to Vote

Throughout my journeys, I’ve encountered many candidates for the quintessential pub. I’m talking about those uber-bars with gritty style and spirited atmosphere, witty hip characters, stimulating conversations, and delicious beer. I’ve noticed that these greatest of taverns often experience the one same problem—lack of single women.

I’ve reflected deeply on this phenomenon, very deeply (zip). What were we talking about?

Oh yeah, why don’t single chicks hangout at cool spots? Perhaps these establishments promote an offensive vibe, and that’s the reason for these ladies’ absence? Is it possible that these floozies have been made to feel uncomfortable at these greatest of gin joints? But when I investigated into the sleazy, tacky places where these wenches did frequent…well, I realized that it was just the opposite. For some reason (possibly a deep-seeded inferiority: PDSI) American women tend to hangout at culturally dead and often sexually degrading places. They just love paying cover charges for a disco DJ with pumping primal porno music and a dance floor filled with body rubbing rejects. Wow, I feel rewarded after that stop. The ladies love it. Or how about we hangout at a big stale subdivided lounge with social cliques so tight that you have to pull your cheeks apart to fart.

“Excuse me miss, maybe you’d like to checkout the cool brewpub with yummy beers and free live jamming music next door? Or there’s the stylish pub with great beverages and characters rocking beyond last call. We’ve got a hippy bar with the best jukebox in town and an outdoor beer garden. And don’t forget the casual corner bar…Oh, you’re meeting all of your female friends at the Sugar Shack. Great.

Why do women spend their time and money the way that they do?

The answer hides within the occult history and evolution of the sexes. The phenomenon of sex first emerged outside of a Neolithic nightclub—that they called ‘caves’—as a survival pump for the purpose of propagating the species toward light beer and bad music. This archaic impulse when harnessed through primitive tribal ceremonies—that they called ‘happy hours’—drove our ancestors toward rabid cannibalism and virgin sacrifices—that they called ‘fun.’ At this level of sexual development our urges are powerful, yet brutal. Women in ancient cultures learned that their safety depended on keeping men tangled in endless competition. In order to stay elusive they developed the survival mechanism of social shape-shifting from one identity to another. This ‘identity-shifting’ is etched deep inside women’s psyches. Men refer to this phenomenon as ‘two faced,’ ‘cock tease,’ or ‘lying scumbag bitch whore’ (LSBW).

As tribal communities arose, sexual consciousness focused on issues of survival, protection, childbearing, power, and ladies’ nights. The male warrior became identified as the protector of his female, but the woman was also identified as his possession. From this place of power, traditional kingdoms and chivalrous etiquette refined the blade of law through the social instrument of marriage. The Enlightenment then sparked the romantic expansion beyond individual identity. Personal freedom of expression now blossomed in these beautiful women who were previously mandated to the role of the subordinate. The growing educational and economic opportunities granted women expanding choices to direct her own destiny (stripper, prostitute, or battered housewife). The baby boomer revolution climaxed with uninhibited sexual experimentation (bondage, sadomasochism, or erotic asphyxiation). Now at the integralist’s level, we taste the joy of true liberation and realize that our own attachments (many of them sexually driven) have imprisoned us in our daily delusions. I recommend genital mutilation.

The history of human sexual development must be recognized, integrated, and transcended if we hope to salvage civilization and evolve into higher frequencies of sex, love, and culture. It’s not just our foreign policy that has inspired Islam to wage Holy War against the Big Satan; it’s our cultural complacency and decadence. You ladies have the difficult task of soul-searching beyond your ego’s habit of identity hopping. As you do so, you will realize just how much you invest in cultural pornography.

Yes, pornography.

Pornography is any cultural expression—TV, movie, music, literature, website, theatre, pubs, and clubs—that, by its nature, leads to a dulling, degeneracy, or complacency of those involved….you dirty skanky shit pouch, you. Pornography is any device of entertainment that inhibits people’s natural and healthy growth toward individual and cultural enrichment. Shit pouch!

How can we best bring about this cultural awakening of which I speak?

It’s time that you ladies started making more mature decisions regarding atmosphere, beverage, and music selection. Remember, you hold the power. You’ve just been stuck in a rut for an epoch or two. Please allow me to guide you on a tour of the town’s rising hot spots. Let’s crack this party to life as art waves wailing across the cosmos and then back to my place for the finale (I take my eggs medium, my homefries crispy, my coffee black, and my women in crotchless sheep costumes).

RUSH LIMBAUGH: Step It Up, Bitch

When creating a curriculum to move society toward an integral media, the first contemporary personality that begs to be assessed is Rush Limbaugh.  Rush is one of the most listened too, if not the most listened to media personality in the country.  (‘Today’s Tom Sawyer, mean, mean pride.1) He certainly has a knack for controversy that compels the public to either ‘love’em’ or ‘hate’em,’ which is precisely why I remain so ambivalent.  As life teaches us, there are few who are fully inspired by divine goodness or completely consumed by absolute evil.  Even Dick Cheney strings cute ceremonial necklaces from the skulls of the newborn puppies he devours.  See?  Not all bad.  Anyway, an examination of Rush Limbaugh’s strengths and weaknesses provides excellent insight into the rights and responsibilities of the media.

Let’s first examine Limbaugh’s flaws. He focuses on limited, very pigeonholed subject matter. Whereas he may not qualify as a full-blown White House spokesperson, he does spend an exorbitant amount of time uncovering the liberal agenda and criticizing their irrational ideology and unethical propaganda techniques (U.P.T). He’s very good at examining international tyranny and United Nations corruption, but he rarely brings the Republicans antics under the same scrutiny (not an easy trick in the last eight years).  There were conservative voices, such as Pat Buchanan and George Will, who presented a challenge to the current war in Iraq and a slew of other questionable executive policies. Rush Limbaugh only challenged the radical liberals who were sabotaging our war efforts.  In other words, in the true spirit of partisan hackery, he picks all of his fights with the Murthas, not the Hagels, of the world.

Rush Limbaugh’s perspective is obviously authoritative/entrepreneurial, which is legitimate, but shortsighted.  Despite his shrewd intellect, he shows not an inkling of integral thought. The only paranormal or transrational propositions that Limbaugh doesn’t immediately dismiss as crazy are the beliefs in Jesus’ virgin birth and his subsequent resurrection.  Everything else to him can be translated roughly as: Kuccininch Sees UFOs!

To Limbaugh’s credit, he was one of the first outspoken voices against the dangers of political correctness.  He even defended his politically incorrect adversary, Bill Maher, after Maher’s controversial comments following 9 /11.  Limbaugh does bring consistent bursts of wit to his show, and most importantly, he has successfully irritated Hillary Clinton on a number of occasions.

Here’s how Rush holds up to Ken Wilber’s Four Quadrant model: from the objective/individual (brain) quadrant, Limbaugh rates fairly high. He does seem to respect science, objective facts, individual and constitutional rights, as well as economic libertarianism (grade: B.)

From the subjective/individual (self) quadrant, Limbaugh has some trouble. He still holds to mythical beliefs like ‘Jesus died for humanity’s sins’ and ‘the Republican party is good for America’ and uses these myths to perpetuate ideological agendas. I never recall him expressing interest or respect for a disciplined meditative practice, and his unacknowledged hypocrisy on the issue of his drug use shows a lack of personal awareness (grade: C –.)

The objective/plural (society) quadrant brings even more problems. He does support social, legal, and military structures but refuses to acknowledge shortcomings of these institutions and offers no constructive suggestions for outmoded bureaucracies. He has blindly supported the psychiatric method of clinically diagnosing the insane in order to restrict their rights and get them off the street against their will, yet he cries ‘liberal bleeding hearts’ when a person is deemed not responsible for their actions due to mental illness. Then he wants to cut welfare and social services for the freeloading prescription and otherwise drug dependent individuals—other than himself (grade: D.)

Limbaugh scores surprisingly high in the subjective/plural (culture) quadrant. He is a good sharp-witted debater who makes some strong logical points on meaningful subjects (aka, does Kuccinich see UFOs?).  He recognizes the hierarchy of positions, policy, culture, and government, but he seems unaware of any integral voices.  Perhaps most telling, he rarely gets a topnotch adversary to challenge his positions. Oh yeah, and he’s a belligerent asshole (grade: C.)

In summary: one part man, one part fiction, Rush is a pill-popping contradiction.

(Overall score: C -.)

1“Tom Saywer”, from RUSH’s Moving Pictures, 1981

Enter the Ghetto Shaman

The Ghetto Shaman

Traditional shamanic practices employ chanting, dancing, sweat lodge and fasting to induce altered states of consciousness.  Long ago, cave dwellers created these rituals to achieve insight and wisdom. With guidance from ‘plant spirits,’ shaman priests discovered roots, vines, cacti, and mushrooms that, when ingested, stimulated the nervous system, allowing access to perceptions of abnormal frequencies of consciousness.

Archeologists all concur that ‘psychedelic visions’ sparked the inspiration for the Paleolithic cave art found throughout the world, and may explain most of the Wal-mart midget sightings.  Many scholars even argue that hallucinogens are the very roots of rational civilization itself.  It’s odd that mainstream science agrees on the importance of hallucinogens in human development, yet these same scientists dismiss the significance of the perceived spirit world. The scientific community reduces these visions into mere random subjective byproducts of an abnormal brain.

The divine world of the gods, demons, angels, fairies, and hedge yetis have long been suppressed by Western Civilization.  On that note, meet the Ghetto Shaman.  He has seen the hedge yetis and has spoken to their king!  Too long has society locked the shadow side screams of schizophrenia behind the materialistic bars of insignificance.  Too long has society left the Ghetto Shaman shaking and quivering in his drunk-tank retreat (after the last Mardis Gras Enlightenment Party bust).

What are these spirit worlds where ancient shamans traveled to find health and wisdom for their people?  Does the shaman’s spirit world wisdom have any relevance today?  Our current medical and psychiatric ‘symptom cures’ leave us empty and unsatisfied, but who has the money for the Amazonian Sacred Healing Vision Quest?  Who has the time to beckon these ‘plant spirits.’

The Ghetto Shaman is closer than you think. He resides under the Market Street bridge (southside).  The Ghetto Shaman’s flesh has been affectionately stripped from his bones by the Thunder Gods and then reassembled during a seven day initiation/barcrawl.  Why do scientists balk at this?  Can I make this stuff any clearer? The Ghetto Shaman uses his own rituals, special substances, and ‘avante guard’ sexual techniques to stimulate the induction of unusual frequencies of consciousness (snorkel not included).

The Ghetto Shaman leads workshops on discovering your sacred parasite, as well as an interdimensional escort service (the inspiration behind the movie, Happy Hooker Goes to Narnia). The Ghetto Shaman’s ‘weekender,’ constitutes two days and two nights in the Raystown boiler room.  Rates vary—survival rates, that is, and for those concerned about last month’s ‘incident,’ the Ghetto Shaman is now CPR certified.  Home visits available—for no extra charge…well, one item from the fridge is the recommended donation and there is always the chance of a Forced Sleep Over (FSO).

Ayauhusca, DMT, peyote, Ibogaine and psilocybin are all illegal and difficult to unearth. No problem. Meet Mr. Nutmeg (spice of the gods), Robutussin, DM (nectar of the odds), and Maddog 20/20 (vine of the sods).  All three are legal to possess and with the right guidance can induce profound changes in the nervous system, accessing ‘abnormal’ frequencies of consciousness (don’t try this at home).

The Ghetto Shaman is also a wizard with the earth’s most life-enhancing foods like lentils, curry powder, cumin, and ginger.  A dash of this and sprinkle of that, add whole nutmeg and slow cook to a saucy paste (seriously, don’t try this at home). Toss it in a tortilla with rice and healthy puddles of Bob’s Big Bad Mamma Jamma Hotsauce ®.  Sell the recipe on-line to Jenny Craig.  Jumpstart the Further bus and get the band back together. It’s the Electric Nutmeg Taco Test. For the even more adventurous, there’s his Electraquilla Mad Dog Mess (for god’s sake, man—don’t do it).

Springtime for Wilber?

Sometimes, just sometimes, watching the democratic process stirs up a mix of emotions that is oddly reminiscent of how I feel when I see things like chocolate covered potato chips. First, I’m a little intrigued. Then, I think, what a waste of perfectly good chocolate. Then, I end up feeling a bit scared on behalf of humanity as a whole.

During some of the presidential debates, I felt all this, and more, as I watched Ron Paul’s emergence and his fellow candidates’ subsequent confusion. When someone like Paul brings up those pesky National Intelligence Estimate findings to the denial squad, or mentions facts about torture, habeas corpus, or the constitution, it can be both comical and dangerous. For Republicans any deviance from the White House’s talking points triggers serious consequences, such as (gasp) realization.

Didn’t that kook, Paul, get the memo? FOX News has assured us that the incompetent parts of the last seven years (roughly 94%) never happened. Who is this constitutional upstart? Doesn’t he realize that what’s left of the Republican Party is designated to the ever-shrinking Bushian bubble of non-reality, hovering over the White House like a Roveian fart? When Paul spoke during the debates it was like watching robots being fed paradoxical statements. Smoke rose out of their ears, a few springs shot into the audience, and the knee-jerk responses spewed, such as, “America doesn’t need to apologize to anyone!” Apparently, this includes those affected by all the war’s collateral damage as well as those people wrongly whisked away into the night, detained, and tortured without proof or due process.

These neocons must be brought up to date slowly; otherwise it’s like watching a deep sea diver surface too quickly, or abruptly rousing a sleep walker, or reliving that mother/daughter end-of-the-Crying-Game moment. In short, the Republican denial involves pride, stubbornness, and a lack of Ginkoba supplements. You have been terribly wrong about a terrible war that may have far reaching consequences for the Middle East and the United States, but it’s OK. When you are a neocon digging a hole, it is best to stop digging, casually lay down the shovel, look as inconspicuous as possible, and maybe shift your energy toward domestic affairs, like dismantling more of the Constitution.

The ‘Surge’ may well be working, but the fact remains that this is just the first step of our build-your-own-country kit. After five years, countless lives, and an ongoing two-billion a week price tag, we have successfully inserted tab A into slot B. Hurray, now we have completed step one…only 187 left (I knew we should have purchased the preassembled model).

I understand it may be distasteful to allow your liberal friends to pull you out of this hole, so why not employ the aide of someone more integral? Someone who understands that foreign threats do exist and that something really does need to be done about them, but have you ever seen something fraught with this many missteps end well? OK, maybe the play Springtime for Hitler, but, let’s face it, that was a fluke.

Personally, I marched on Shock and Awe Day, but I was brightened by the purple thumb brigade during Iraq’s first vote. Our cheerleading must be tempered with the awareness that any progress might be seen as a green light for the Bushies to move their invasion to other countries, including loveable Canada. This eventuality continues to cause considerable moral and patriotically-grounded angst. After all, they invented back bacon and hockey. It’s time people started to appreciate the difficulty that I have had walking the line between patriotism and rationalism. Let’s face it, if Iran, and or Syria, are ever to become the next logical step in Bush’s ‘road-side-bomb to peace,’ there is no way, no how, it should be managed by Dr. Incompetent and his Neonatecons.

Isn’t it time for more options than ‘America is always wrong,’ or ‘America is always right?’ In order to rise above both parties, isn’t it time we formed a new one? Integralists will help you out of this ideological ditch without saying, “I told you so,” or “where is that twenty you owe me, bitch?” But on that note, I would like to take this moment to ask, “Where is that twenty you owe me, bitch?”

This party will stand by the original tenants of conservatism, small government, and protected civil liberties, while embracing civic responsibility for those less fortunate among us. A more ‘integral’ party loosely based on some of the work of Ken Wilber, will help us address the complex problems of the twenty-first century. Our battle cry, which will ring out from the fruited plains to the purple mountain’s majesty: “Don’t be stupid. Be a smarty. Come and join our TransCosmetic Party.”

Toward an Elightened Media

"If you want to change your mind, change the medium."

– Marshall McLuhan

For good or ill, advancements in media technology have revolutionized the means and access of news dissemination and commentary. This presents us with the potential to unite an enlightened population to a degree unseen since the Monkees’ second reunion tour.  We can pass policies on crucial issues that enhance the development of the individual, culture, and international community.

This potential cannot be underestimated.  With the tools of the modern media, we can transform the world itself—except maybe Portugal.  First, we must address some problems: a slack of journalistic standards (cable news), an overabundance of questionable information from unverifiable sources (the White House), huge news conglomerates with profit motives influencing their subject matter (Comedy Central), and a culture that is hypnotized by immediate gratification entertainment (Paris DUI) while too impatient to ingest more meaningful topics of discourse (Lohan DUI).

We can best understand the media by applying Ken Wilber’s 4-quadrant model. From his individual-subjective quadrant, the key principle is the freedom of expression. All peoples must be given the opportunity to express themselves without fear of personal repercussions, jail, or job loss. This freedom must be tempered with a commitment for truth and responsibility that enriches rather than sensationalizes.  Pluralistic liberalism claims to embrace such freedom, yet it is the biggest offender of first amendment rights.   Any politician plugging for the Fairness Doctrine missed a few days of civics class.  I’m talking to you, Pelosi!

In the age of blogging, virtually anybody can express any opinion or story regardless of merit (the Discord). This has led to an overload of untrustworthy or meaningless information (ibid). Our culture craves for a standard of journalism that proves its trustworthiness through honest and responsible reporting via the checking and rechecking of sources (except maybe that Curveball fellow Powell was working with; I’m sure he was on the level).

This leads us to Wilber’s next quadrant, the objective-individual. As a society, we must establish respectable and reputable ethics of journalism, commentary, art, and entertainment. This is the key to our modern dilemma.  Everyone is free to spew their points, but who can we trust for meaningful news? Who will not waste our time? Who will provide vital information leading to the enrichment of our culture and our world (Kiefer DUI)?  Who has sincerely sought truth, inquired deeply into the issues of our time, and transcended all personal and political agendas?

Too much dialogue in modern media merely advertises a particular ideology, which brings us to Wilber’s third quadrant, the subjective-plural, which relates to group expression or, in the case of media, dialogue. When diverse perspectives address conflicting issues, both sides must continually assess and reassess the validity of each other’s perspectives. The goal is not the mere denigration of our opponents through crafty argumentation—although that’s fun—but rather to seek the transformation of the self and culture through the process of Socratic dialogue (Sheen-Richards divorce).

The final quadrant is the objective-plural. This quadrant concerns the use of social and economic institutions for the stimulation of personal and cultural evolution. The dilemma for the modern corporate entity is how to maximize profit and still promote insightful and enriching, yet easily digestible, stories. How do we bridge the gap? People are addicted to reality TV shows, Internet porn, and soap opera dramas that leave them tantalized yet empty.  Businesses know this is where the money lies. How can we both entertain and stimulate? (Besides NakedLesbianFencing.com., which works on all quadrants and all levels.)

We must simultaneously make progress in all quadrants at once. As more people raise their level of consciousness, they will seek out more stimulating media sources (en garde!). As we elevate journalistic standards, we will better recognize and promote responsible media. As these journalists, pundits, and commentators transform through dialogue, so too will their audience. In other words, we have bottomed out on the stupid meter and are, no doubt, climbing toward a, much welcomed, intelligence resurgence.  As corporate institutions recognize the marketability of these higher media endeavors (HMEs), they will invest in more meaningful programming. (Have I mentioned NakedLesbianFencing.com?)

Over the next several weeks we, at the Discord, will analyze each of the more popular commentators and news anchors.  See how Mathews holds up to Limbaugh, or how Hannity compares to Dobbs.  Each week a political commentator will be highlighted, appraised, and dissected for your enjoyment. So let the naked lesbian fencing commence!

NEO-HIPPIES – What the Hell?

The Beatnik’s counter-cultural ideas of the 1950s soon evolved into the hippy movement of the 1960s, and eventually the bowel movements of the 1970s. This beat mindset ultimately permeated the mainstream zeitgeist in the 80s and 90s like a funkadelic fart.

Although many of the Beatnik and Hippy writers like Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg, and Kesey expressed great insights, they also embraced serious philosophical flaws that have been ingested by our current culture like a Jim Jones Cool-Aid Spritzer. ‘Sex, drugs, and Rock-n-Roll,’ ‘If it feels good, do it,’ ‘Turn on, tune in, and drop out’ all became war cries of the 60s movement—Sure, I love sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll as much as the next transvestite crack whore, but I don’t recommend starting a religion based on them…well, maybe the sex part.

The neo-hippy insanity is rooted in the Beatnik’s mistaking biological impulses and pleasure-seeking for higher trans-rational states of consciousness (Wilber, 2000). Kerouac’s most well known character, Dean Moriarty, was the glorified hero of On the Road. He lived life moment-to-moment, chasing after his whims without concern for consequence. This became the role model for the archetypal hippy-guru, and any social or religious rules that infringed upon this hedonism were viewed as the evil oppressor of the Neo-Hippy’s enlightened narcissism (N.H.E.N.). In order to justify their ego’s indulgence, they gripped onto moralistic issues that pitted them against the demonized societal overlords. Save our young soldiers from the machinery of war; the planet from corporate monsters, and E-coli from relentless scientists’ germicidal agenda! Save the parasites!

Certainly peace, environmentalism, and science are all higher moral endeavors, but when people turn these issues into ideology, they do so for the immoral purpose of justifying their pacifist-aggressive strikes against ‘the man.’

Back in the sixties, many anti-Vietnam protesters operated at a pre-conventional level of moral functioning, yet they aligned themselves with lofty and often legitimate post-moral causes. This justified their derailment of conventional morality. History repeats itself as Neo-Hippies now align themselves against the war in Iraq, the Bush administration, corporate greed, and the far right fanatics in order to validate their childish tantrums and irresponsible behaviors. These people already have the higher ground, therefore, anything is justifiable as long as it opposes the evils of Western Civilization.

Hey, I’ve got an idea; let’s invite the president of Iran to speak at an Ivy League college…

Neo-Hippies are irrational know-it-alls with bottled up rage veiled as pacifism. To them, America is the worst virus to ever infest the Earth…when all rational people know that it’s Kazakhstan!

Neo-Hippies today argue that civilization itself has alienated humanity from their Edenic environment which now destroys the very planet upon which we live. Therefore it’s commendable to return to a time when wild unicorns roamed the Serengeti Plains. There is an overpopulation of people, and these people have made machines that rape planet Earth and plunder her natural resources for the purpose of humanity’s wanton greed. Yawn.

F’ the unicorns, Bono.

Ultimately, the dismantlement of western civilization is at the heart of the Neo-Hippy agenda. They secretly hate themselves and hate humanity and hate living. Eventually three days of peace, love, and music, has degraded into thirty years of hate, fuck, and noise.

Policies are passed that destroy community, country, and world. The irony remains: all of their excessive freedom-seeking compromises individuality. Destroy all immigration policies and deconstruct all social structures, especially those established by religious and family principles. Make all concepts of ‘truth’ and ‘goodness’ relative and irrelevant.

All cultures, peoples, and governments are equal. But Kazakhstan…not so much.

Nobody in this world, from suicide bombers in Palestine to dictators in South America, can possibly be called wrong, well, except for the United States and Israel, who can do no right. If this sounds like a contradiction, remember that the Neo-Hippies have liberated themselves from the stifling repressive grip of logic.

Welcome to our worldwide suicide.

Sexism, Paganism and the Lost Gospel of Moe

Christianity remains shadowed by the sexist authoritative indoctrination that fueled the establishment of the Orthodox Church for centuries. We must come to terms with our religion’s shady history in order to cleanse our psyches from any prejudices that inhibit the authentic experience of compassion, love, God, and barely legal Japanese anime.

After Jesus’ crucifixion, yet prior to the establishment of an orthodox definition of a “true believer,” the beliefs and practices of professing Christians varied greatly. The Ebionites fought to limit Christian belief within a Jewish framework, in which all of the Jewish laws would be maintained. The Apostle Paul argued against the Ebionites exclusory attitude, leading to the tragic loss of the 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not glusten thy neighbor’s gefilte fish.

Simon Magus argued against the literal interpretation of the Bible and instead sought knowledge from the direct experience of God, which Jesus himself was rumored to encourage once during an all-night poker game. Skeptics retort that he may have been bluffing. What did Simon Magus get for his troubles? He was convicted of consorting with demons and sentenced to the seventh circle of Dante’s hell.

At the time, other versions of Gnosticism circulated (later designated to the fifth, eighth, and ninth circles, respectively). What all of these different factions had in common was a deep influence from Greek mystery sects and a conviction that Gnosis (divine knowledge) took precedent over dogma, church authorities, religious law, and even folks like Pat Robertson.

According to the Greek scriptures, Jesus appointed twelve apostles and four branch managers, headed by Peter (CEO), to build and define Christ, Incorporated. It’s peculiar that these twelve people did not include Mary Magdalene. Remember that during Jesus’ crucifixion, all of his fair-weather, water-walkin’, not-ready-for-primetime apostles fled, fearing persecution. Peter even denied knowing Jesus three times, which he later blamed on a combination of the glare and some oak-aged blood of Christ. An alternate defense of Peter comes from the Lost Gospel of Moe, wherein Moe explains that his denials took place in a pub, where Jesus had run up a large bar tab…one of “biblical proportions,” as Moe tells it.

Unlike the weak-willed apostles, Mary Magdalene had the courage to remain by Jesus’ side right up until his death, literally, and has been cleared of any involvement in the “spear” incident. Was there a relationship between the two? An important piece of frivolous fiction, The Da Vinci Code, makes a compelling argument.

In an affirmative action lawsuit, Mary Magdalene asked why she, or any other woman for that matter, should be excluded from the early formation of the Christian Church. By reviewing some of the Gnostic writings, judged heretical by the Orthodox Church, we become aware of a much more broad dimension of Christian belief than is ordinarily considered. As orthodox belief narrowed and the power structure of the church became established, members deemed “off message” were cast out as heretics. For example, you’ve probably never even heard of Moe the Apostle.

In the gospel of Thomas, Peter is quoted as saying “let Mary [Magdalene] leave us, for women are not worthy of life.” Spoken like a true CEO. Conversely, many of the Gnostics had both a masculine and feminine element…at least, that was God’s story when He was seen leaving certain clubs. These Gnostics often held non-hierarchical services, without a priest-ruled power structure. They preached that divine knowledge came only through the direct experience of God, not through the teachings of the priests and bishops. Anybody in the community, including women, could lead services, baptize, prophesize, or heal. Admittedly, the Gnostics sometimes taught bizarre doctrine. There were persistent rumors about ritualized orgies, bobbing for forbidden fruit, and crazed false-idol humping.

Tertullian, a popular writer and noble gas, was influential in defining Orthodox Christianity in the second century. He commented on the early Gnostic feminists: “These heretical women—how audacious they are! They have no modesty; they are bold enough to teach, to engage in argument, to enact exorcisms, to undertake cures, and, it may be, even to baptize!”

Tertullian, emphatic about being “celibate by choice,” was known to shout this randomly to passersby.

The battle over women’s position in the church and society was fought into the late second century as the orthodox community came to accept as dogma the domination of men over women—a position that somehow reversed itself in the early twenty-first century…in my living room.

Along with the repression of the feminine element, orthodox leaders defined as heresy any belief or practice inconsistent with church doctrine. This greatly offended the many Aztec-Christian Cannibal Voodoo sects of the time. Even today, many Christian churches express an exclusionary attitude toward any person who refuses to unquestionably bow down to the accepted dogma of the church. This means you, McCain!

Most Christian churches still restrict women’s directive power. This means you, Hillary! Esoteric religious practices, not accepted or understood by the church, are usually labeled “occult” and demonized as satanic. This means you, Obama!

Many young people today have turned away from Christianity due to these rigid attitudes and early business hours. Churches of all denominations need to recognize the mistakes of the past and begin generating an attitude of inclusiveness and tolerance. If our churches ever hope to become God’s instruments, they must welcome people of differing practices and beliefs so that we all can learn, grow, and heal together. And if that means occasionally sacrificing a goat, then so be it!