WATCH: Innocent Man Attacked and Arrested for Saying Cops Abuse Their Power

Lebanon Junction, KY — A video recently uploaded by the Oath Accountability Project (OAP) shows a Lebanon Junction police officer arrest Avery Williams for simply asking for his name and badge number along with the name and badge number of his supervisor and noting how this cop was abusing his power.

The video begins with Williams and a female friend at a Lebanon Junction, KY Pilot gas station. After Williams asks the police officer for permission to stand under the awning, he tells his female friend:

Police in this town, in this state, in this city, have nothing better to do than to rouse people for nothing…play the bully role because they wear badges.

A Lebanon Junction officer returns to speak to the couple. His badge states his name as Officer Hedges. The officer tells the man he’s, “free to go,” but the citizen wanted to apparently hold the officer accountable for his actions and asks for his badge number as well as the name of his supervisor. “This is going to go online so people can see truth and consequences, how you guys push your weight around,” the man says.

All of a sudden, the officer takes a defensive tone. “You are done! Get on the fucking ground,” he says as he throws the man on the ground, cranks his hand behind his back and then threatens to tase the man. All the while the man pleads for the reason why he’s being arrested.

It appears from the video that Ofc. Hedges didn’t like William’s promise to expose him to the world as the bully he appears to be. As a result of the OAP exposing the cop for his heavy-handedness, and likely unlawful arrest for questioning the quick-tempered officer’s authority, a lot of attention is now being given to the small Kentucky town. Ironically enough, this cop proved Williams’ point by acting in the manner that he did.

Hedges miserably explained to the young lady his reasons for arresting Williams.

I don’t know what to tell you. He did what he did. I tried to be nice to you all and he refused to go along with it.

As a result of the arrest, many people believe the young man should now sue the police department and the officer for infringing on his civil rights.

We called the Lebanon Junction Police Department. The telephone number published on their Facebook page rang and rang with no answer. According to the website Supporting Heroes, the department only has four police officers and serves a community of fewer than 2,000 residents.

We have since learned Williams was eventually arrested and charged with several criminal offenses. But many people critical of the officer’s actions are coming to his defense. They’ve taken to Google reviews and Facebook to voice their objections to the way the motorist was treated. Wade Oliver wrote the following Google review:

Officer Hedges should be fired and charged with assault and false arrest. This punk cop was picked on and stuffed in his locker as a child and now that he has a badge and weapon is taking out his childhood on law abiding citizens. What a shame the people of this town put up with his terrible behavior and by doing so they are condoning this behavior and will find themselves or their loved ones subjected to it one day.

In a TFTP exclusive, courtesy of the OAP, we had a chance to interview Williams. He said he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and public intoxication controlled substance. He did not specify as to what substance it was he had in his possession after he was arrested. He said he was released after posting a $50 booking fee.

The woman with me is a life long friend her name is Toni…we were in the moving truck I was in the process of moving from Kentucky to Missouri. We had just arrived back in Ky to get another load after being on the road for 12 hrs When I stopped to get us drinks at the pilot truck stop in Lebanon junction KY.

He says all his problems with the law started after he won a cash prize with his lottery ticket and simply wanted to cash in his winnings.

I had attempted to redeem a scratch of lottery ticket when the attendant informed me she couldn’t I asked why and she replied that their lotto machine had already shut down for the night. I inquired as to why that the machine at every where else shuts down at 2am. To which she replied then just f***ing go to speedway. As I was walking away she screamed across the store “it’s not like you work here” to which i replied “no but i did for 4 years” I proceeded to go the McDonald’s which is attached to the pilot to get the drinks I was wanting. When I exited the McDonald’s the pilot attendant was standing out side and begin running her mouth. I don’t recall what she was saying but at that point I took out my phone and told her I’m recording you and I’m going to report you. She replied I have a cop inside that will disagree with you.

He says the gas station attendant made good on her promise to get the police involved. Williams’ earnings were quickly spent after he was arrested. Here’s how he described the incident and how much money he says he’s spent trying to get his case dismissed. It’s unclear how a lawyer worth his weight in salt could not successfully argue the arrest was made without probable cause. After all, Ofc. Hedges did say, and it was caught on camera that Williams was “free to go”.

 I have subsequently made 4 more trips to KY for court over this issue at an expense of over 1500 dollars only to have them repeatedly continue the case and give a new court date. My next court date over this issue is scheduled for Jan 2.


Source Article from

What’s to be done about pesky grandparents and their bad influence?

How about nothing? You’re lucky to have them.

A new review from the University of Glasgow has found that grandparents have a negative impact on their grandchildren’s health. Did your eyebrows shoot skyward upon reading that statement, as mine did? Allow me to explain further what the researchers found.

Grandparents who provide part-time childcare tend to exhibit less-than-desirable behavior traits, such as smoking and physical inactivity, that rub off on the child and incline him or her to the same, thereby increasing their risk of getting cancer later in life.

Food is another sticky area. Grandparents have a tendency to ‘spoil’ grandchildren by over-feeding or providing sugary or fatty treats that parents would not normally condone. These actions, researchers say, contribute to the development of unhealthy eating habits that become harder to break as the child grows.

Since smoking, diet, and lack of exercise are all identified as risk factors for non-communicable diseases, including cancer, the authors suggest that, despite the risks being unintentional, grandparents could benefit from re-education. (I wrote about this very topic of training grandparents earlier this year: “Who cares if grandparents have an old-school approach?“) Lead author Dr. Stephanie Chambers told the University of Glasgow News:

“Currently grandparents are not the focus of public health messaging targeted at parents and in light of the evidence from this study, perhaps this is something that needs to change given the prominent role grandparents play in the lives of children.”

While I understand the need for children’s long-term health to be at the forefront of any discussion about child care, I do find the entire premise of ‘grandparents damaging grandchildren’ to be quite puzzling, especially within the context provided by the Financial Times, poetically titled “In defence of the killer grannies“:

“A report this year found that grandmothers and grandfathers save parents £16.1 billion (US $21.3 billion) each year in formal childcare costs, about £1,786 (US $2,362) per family.”

With that level of support being offered free of charge — I’m going to be blunt here — what on earth do parents have to complain about? That is huge! To save thousands of dollars annually, while furthering one’s career, all thanks to a kindly grandparent who is willing to put off retirement plans to chase around a toddler, is nothing to scoff at. It seems downright ungrateful to complain about a bit of junk food and too much TV.

If those ‘risk factors’ are such a concern to parents, then they should opt for another, considerably more expensive child-care route; nobody is making parents use free grandparent care. Now, one might argue, saying the alternatives are too expensive or impossible to access, but my point is that there are plenty of other people who are forced to make do without grandparents around. Somehow they scrape by. So, no, you don’t need grandparents, although they make life easier.

Obviously, parents are justified in feeling resentful when grandparents disregard requests for how a child should be cared for, but then that’s more of a communication problem than it is a lack of grandparental awareness.

How about talking to grandparents and getting their perspective? Presumably they haven’t forgotten how to raise kids. Unless their approach has changed considerably in a couple decades, who better than the parents themselves to know they turned out just fine in the end?

Crucially, “the studies did not take into account the positive emotional benefit of children spending time with their grandparents,” according to the University of Glasgow News. That strikes me as a significant oversight.

I’d like to tell those irritated parents, “Put this incredible gift into perspective. You are lucky to have help of any kind, let alone from a relative who loves that child almost as much as you do.” A bag of chips and a few too many SpongeBob episodes hardly matters in the big picture.

Source Article from

Here’s Why They Give Ayahuasca To Prison Inmates On Their Path To Redemption

Next Story

In a quest to ease pressures on the Brazilian prison system, mental health workers have opted to give prison inmates the psychedelic brew ayahuasca, in the hopes of helping them to work through their deeply-rooted emotional traumas. 

It is no secret that the current prison system lies in shambles. Overcrowded holding spaces, abusive staff, unsanitary living conditions — such environments rarely lead to redemption and rehabilitation, but instead almost always seed further violence, aggression, and feelings of alienation from society.

While some prisons are now offering holistic services such as yoga, meditation, and Reiki, prisoners’ rights advocacy group Acuda is taking it one step further, offering Brazilian prisoners a real shot at a new life through the use of the traditional Amazonian brew, ayahuasca.

Ayahuasca is a psychoactive brew that combines a specific Amazonian vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) with a leaf (Psychotria viridis), creating an extremely pungent, orally-active cocktail of DMT, a powerful psychedelic known to induce mystical and life-changing experiences for its user.

At first, Acuda had trouble finding a place where the inmates could drink the ayahuasca, but they were finally accepted by an offshoot of Santo Daime, a Brazilian religion founded in the 1930s that blends Catholicism, African traditions, and the trance communications with spirits popularized in the 19th century by a Frenchman known as Allan Kardec.

Many people in Brazil believe that inmates must suffer, enduring hunger and depravity,” said Euza Beloti, a psychologist with Acuda, to the New York Times. “This thinking bolsters a system where prisoners return to society more violent than when they entered prison. [At Acuda] we simply see inmates as human beings with the capacity to change.”

Supervisors at Acuda, who obtain a judge’s permission to take about 15 prisoners once a month to the temple ceremony, say they are mindful of the risks of ayahuasca, commonly called Daime in Brazil or referred to as tea. At the same time, Acuda’s therapists consume the brew with the inmates, as well as with the occasional prison guard who volunteers to accompany the group.

This is how it should be,” said Virgílio Siqueira, 55, a retired police officer who works as a guard at the prison complex that includes Acuda. “It’s gratifying to know that we can sit here in the forest, drink our Daime, sing our hymns, exist in peace.”

But in a country where conservative views are ever-growing in response to continual violence and crime, not everyone is convinced this intervention is okay.

Darci Altair Santos da Silva, 43, who sexually abused a minor. Credit Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times

Darci Altair Santos da Silva, 43, who sexually abused a minor. Credit Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times

Where are the massages and the therapy for us?” asked Paulo Freitas, a 48-year-old manager at a leather factory whose 18-year-old daughter, Naiara, a college student, was kidnapped, raped, and murdered in Porto Velho in 2013 by a group of men — a crime that stunned many people in this corner of the Amazon.

Whether or not we should be providing convicts with therapies that could be considered “luxury” is a justified question, no doubt. However, we cannot ignore the fact that many criminals eventually return to society after their sentence. Do we want to see these people as a product of years of violence and aggression, most likely repeating their offences, or would we rather have them come out of their sentence with new insights, a new perspective on their past choices, and a chance to do things differently?

We are considered the trash of Brazil, but this place accepts us,” said Darci Altair Santos da Silva, 43, a construction worker serving a 13-year sentence for sexual abuse of a child under 14. “I know what I did was very cruel. The tea helped me reflect on this fact, on the possibility that one day I can find redemption.”

What are your thoughts on offering prisoners psychedelic therapy? Share with us in the comment section below!

Get Your FREE In Depth Numerology Reading

Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

Get your free numerology reading and learn more about how you can use numerology in your life to find out more about your path and journey. Get Your free reading.


Source Article from

During Protests Police Must Allow Journalists to do Their Jobs

The St. Louis Police Department has agreed to abide by tighter procedures to protect journalists from arrest while performing their jobs at scenes of protests. The procedures are better than the subjective and haphazard approach that led to the arrest of a Post-Dispatch reporter, among others, after the Sept. 15 verdict acquitting former Officer Jason Stockley of murder.

A special order from Interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole states that police officers “will be reminded of the important role served by the press” and that officers should “do nothing that would interfere with any journalist’s ability to gather information and report it to the public, where a journalist has done nothing to violate the law.” Each officer will receive a monthly reminder about this order and will be required to acknowledge it.

That’s a big, positive step toward ensuring the public stays informed and journalists are not penalized simply for doing their jobs.

The order was prompted by mistreatment of working journalists during recent protests, particularly downtown on the night of Sept. 17 when officers executed a technique called “kettling” to corral protesters and facilitate their arrest. Caught inside the kettle were residents, bystanders and Post-Dispatch reporter Mike Faulk, whose credentials were in clear view of arresting officers.

O’Toole issued his order shortly after U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry ruled Wednesday that the police had violated the constitutional rights of protesters and bystanders. Perry issued a set of procedures and restrictions that St. Louis police must abide by going forward. Her ruling made clear that some officers had attempted to deliver punishment on the streets against anyone caught in their corral, aggressively pepper-spraying restrained detainees and refusing to accept explanations from nonprotesters.

Pages: 1 2

If you haven’t already, be sure to like our Filming Cops Page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Please visit our sister site Smokers ONLY


(function(d) {
var params =
id: “3c7936d6-71e2-4cba-afb4-95ed4171941f”,
d: “ZmlsbWluZ2NvcHMuY29t”,
wid: “365543”,
cb: (new Date()).getTime()

var qs=[];
for(var key in params) qs.push(key+’=’+encodeURIComponent(params[key]));
var s = d.createElement(‘script’);s.type=’text/javascript’;s.async=true;
var p = ‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https’ : ‘http’;
s.src = p + “://” + qs.join(‘&’);

Filming Cops

Source Article from

The Fixers Using Recycled Laptop Batteries to Power Their Homes

The Fixers Using Recycled Laptop Batteries to Power Their Homes

November 20th, 2017

Thanks for everything you do, Jehu.

Jehu Garcia – YouTube

Via: Vice:




Buy gold online - quickly, safely and at low prices


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Source Article from

Re: Reports: Saudi prisoners to be freed in exchange for 70% of their wealth

Saudi officials are seeking to appropriate billions of dollars from captured princes and businessman in exchange for their release.

According to the Financial Times (FT) the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohamed Bin Salman, is negotiating a settlement with some of the country’s most well-known figures who have been detained under corruption charges since the beginning of the month.

In some cases, Saudi officials are demanding 70 per cent of the suspect’s wealth in exchange for their release.

It was widely suspected that Bin Salman’s anti-corruption purge was part of a wider strategy to raise money for the country’s depleting treasury, which has grappled with a recession triggered by prolonged low oil prices.

Read: Saudi UN envoy: anti-graft detainees to get due process

According to the Wall Street Journal, the purge, which saw more than 1,200 bank accounts frozen, had their sights on seizing up to $800 billion in cash and assets.

People negotiating the deal with the prisoners are keen to secure their release by signing over cash and corporate assets, reported the FT.

“They are making settlements with most of those in the Ritz,” said one adviser. “Cough up the cash and you will go home.”


Officials investigating the allegations of corruption are looking to seize at least $100 billion though the target is said to be $300 billion.

While the round up has backing from many of the country’s young population, who perceive the older princes and businessman of being corrupt, it has spooked the international business community.

Reports that the detainees are being tortured by Saudi security officials are likely to raise further concerns over the crackdown. Saudi whistleblowers have alerted that Bin Salman, who is personally overseeing the detention, orders the guards to “beat” the prisoners who are being held at the Ritz Carlton hotel.

It is also alleged that two of most high-profile prisoner Waleed Bin Talal and Mutaib bin Abdullah, who is a potential challenger to the throne, are being tortured.

Source Article from

Health Ranger: EPA, FDA building their own private armies with body armor and military weapons

Image: Health Ranger: EPA, FDA building their own private armies with body armor and military weapons

(Natural News)
Natural News founder/editor Mike Adams said in a recent podcast that two government agencies that shouldn’t be — the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration —  are now arming up with military-style equipment such as body armor, spending tens of millions of dollars on such gear over the last few years.  has been tracking this government spending on military-style equipment, revealing a frightening pattern of regulatory agencies — which should be pushing paper — now building their own PRIVATE ARMIES to be used as weapons of intimidation and coercion against the People, Adams says in a recent podcast.

“The regulatory police state has arrived! When an ‘environmental’ protection agency is building its own private army with military weapons, body armor, and assault gear, you know something has gone horribly wrong with the federal government,” he noted.

Just imagine, he points out, that now farmers can be subjected to military-style EPA raids and intimidation tactics, almost as if the government itself is engaging in state-sponsored terror against American citizens.

What’s even odder is that the FDA, too, has begun building its own military-style ‘government militia’ of armed assault teams.

“Is this part of the FDA’s continued mission to destroy natural products that compete with the profits of Big Pharma?” Adams asked, noting that most of the “militarization” of these and other federal agencies took place under the Obama administration.

The Health Ranger said that he’s been documenting for years the United States’ slow but steady progression towards a North Korea-style police state in which the central government has supreme control over all Americans, and where even state governments would be completely powerless against Washington’s power.

While the trend has certainly slowed since President Donald J. Trump was inaugurated in January, he still has a long way to go before he drains the swamp and cleans out Obama-era (and previous) federal appointees and holdovers who believe in an all-powerful federal government that dictates mandates to the people.

“How is it protecting the environment when you’re all geared up as a military assault team?” Adams said, in reference to the EPA’s SWAT-style units.

And of course, the taxpayer doesn’t get off the hook either, Adams said, quoting published sources claiming that these federal agencies were spending tens of millions of dollars to purchase SWAT-style gear and weapons.

“Forty-four federal agencies have spent over $71 million on items like body armor, riot helmets and shields, cannon launchers and police firearms and ammunition,” Adams said during his podcast, quoting one of those reports, which used the watchdog organization Open the Books as a source.

That amount is in addition to nearly $400 million spent on similar gear and weapons by legitimate federal spy and law enforcement agencies like the FBI, CIA, Secret Service and the Diplomatic Security Service, the latter of which falls under the State Department.

There are 440 federal agencies in all, by the way, proving that once an agency is created, it never goes away.

Later in his podcast, Adams noted again that “America is already a police state,” and that citizens are “living under a totalitarian regime right now.”

He also said he believes we’re living in a “food fascism police state” as well since the FDA also has armed units and can impose the agency’s will — literally at the point of a gun — anytime it wants, with no recourse for the citizens.

“They want to be able to raid your herbal manufacturing facility, and they want to make sure that you are shootable and defenseless” when they come, Adams said of the FDA, mockingly.

There’s much more to his podcast and you can hear it in its entirety below or by clicking here.



Source Article from

Democratic Candidates Are Hanging Roy Moore Around The Necks Of Their GOP Opponents

WASHINGTON ― Democrats are seizing on the controversy surrounding Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in state and local races around the country, attacking GOP opponents over their stance regarding the former judge, who has been accused of sexual assault and inappropriate advances by multiple women.

A sixth woman came forward Wednesday and accused Moore of sexual harassment, just a week after four women said the former Alabama supreme court justice, who is now 70, pursued them when they were teens and he was a 32-year-old district attorney. One woman said Moore sexually assaulted her when she was just 14 years old.

Moore has denied all of the allegations, and Alabama Republicans continue to stand behind him. Most Republican lawmakers in Washington, however, have said the stories sound credible and that Moore hasn’t mounted a convincing defense.

GOP leaders are so desperate to keep Moore out, they’re exploring the idea of a last-minute write-in campaign for another Republican candidate — possibly Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who previously held the seat.

Alabama’s senior senator, Richard Shelby, told reporters this week that he would probably vote for a write-in candidate in the Dec. 12 special election, adding that he was “absolutely” worried about Moore damaging the GOP brand.

In states outside of Alabama, meanwhile, Democrats are targeting Republican candidates on the ballot who have stayed silent on Moore or who have failed to sufficiently denounce him.

American Bridge, a progressive super PAC, launched digital ads this week calling out Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), who is running for Senate in the Grand Canyon State, and Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel for failing to condemn Moore’s actions. The group also launched an ad hitting Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who is considered one of the most vulnerable GOP senators facing re-election next year, for what it called Heller’s “cowardly silence” on Moore.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, a group dedicated to advancing GOP Senate campaigns, officially dropped Moore from a joint fundraising agreement with the PAC last week. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), the NRSC chairman, also said the Senate should vote to expel Moore should he win the race.

Democrats have similarly gone after Republican Senate candidates in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Michigan for failing to denounce Moore quickly enough, including Reps. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Luke Messer (R-Ind.), and Todd Rokita (R-Ind.).

In the Texas Senate race, Democrat Rep. Beto O’Rourke fundraised off Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) initial refusal to un-endorse Moore’s campaign. Cruz has since pulled his endorsement of Moore.

“I am not able to urge the people of Alabama to support his candidacy so long as these allegations remain un-refuted,” Cruz said in a statement.

The allegations that have rocked Moore’s campaign have also made an appearance in congressional and local races.

A Democrat running in the special election to replace Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), who resigned last month after allegedly asking a woman to have an abortion, accused the GOP candidate for the seat of being no different than Roy Moore.

“Today the Republican Party selected State Representative Rick Saccone — Pennsylvania’s version of Roy Moore ― as their candidate to replace disgraced GOP Congressman Tim Murphy,” a consultant for the Democrat, Pam Iovino, said in a campaign email.

And in Tennessee, a Republican state lawmaker who is running to succeed Blackburn was put on the defensive over his ties to and support for Moore. The lawmaker, state Sen. Mark Green, appeared at a rally for Moore in September and posted a photo of himself to Twitter and Facebook with the Alabama Republican. His caption read, “Proud to call him a friend!

Both social media posts were deleted after the allegations against Moore surfaced, according to the Nashville Post.

Democrats will likely have to grapple with allegations of sexual harassment against a lawmaker in their own midst, too. On Thursday, a woman came forward and accused Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) of kissing and groping her without her consent during a USO tour in December 2006. 

Republicans are already calling on Democrats to return donations given to them by Franken. Some Republican candidates are also calling on the senator to resign.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Source Article from

You Will Know a Liberal By Their Lies- Roy Moore


It is the simplest detective work I have done. How to tell that Roy Moore’s detractors are lying.



Please donate to offset the costs of The Common Sense Show



The official storable food of the CSS. Take 5% off with Promo Code “Hodges9”. Click here

This is the absolute best in food storage. Dave Hodges is a satisfied customer.  Listeners to The Common Sense Show will receive 5% off their next order by mentioning “Hodges9” in the coupon code box.  Don’t wait until it is too late. Click Here for more information.

From the Hagmann blood sugar protocol to the Hodges joint protocol, Dr. Broer has helped hundreds of thousands of people. There is something for everybody at Take 5% off the cost of your order with coupon code DAVE5

From the Hagmann blood sugar protocol to the Hodges joint protocol, Dr. Broer has helped hundreds of thousands of people. There is something for everybody at  FOR COMMON SENSE SHOW LISTENERS, YOU CAN TAKE 5% OFF OF ALL ORDERS FROM HEALTHMASTERS.  ACT NOW, THIS IS A VERY LIMITED TIME OFFER. USE THE COUPON CODE “5HODGES”


Source Article from

Seeking order in the chaos: Why are non-believers turning to their Bibles?


Even in the middle of the atheism boom, Richard Dawkins described himself as a “secular Christian“. To the author of The God Delusion this meant an appreciation of “aesthetic elements” such as church bells. Christopher Hitchens felt the same. At the end of one interview with the firebrand antitheist the interviewer invited him to the pub. “That’d be nice,” he said, “But actually I really want to go to Evensong.” Hitchens, the interviewer reflected, “had some enthusiasm for the words and sounds of the church, which he could easily disassociate from the actual believing part.”

Decades before, Philip Larkin had admitted, in “Church Going”, that a church was:

A serious house on serious earth…

In whose blent air all our compulsions meet

Are recognised and robed as destinies.

The poet would later describe religion as “that vast moth-eaten musical brocade” but he felt a certain awe inside a church:

If only that so many dead lie round.

Europe and America, of course, have Christian heritage and there is no excuse for intelligent citizens to lack some knowledge of and appreciation for the faith. To reject it as a whole means rejecting Inferno, Paradise Lost and Four Quartets. To dismiss its power is to dismiss the power of Mass in B minor, Requiem and The Creation. To deny its influence on our social norms is to deny the influence of faith on family structures, common law, industry and social justice.

One could value our religious heritage while maintaining that religion is no longer relevant. Christianity might have inspired Dante and Donne but now artists have secular sources of inspiration. There are nonbelievers, though, who turn to the Bible for advice and inspiration and are “cultural Christians” in a deeper sense.

It is striking, if unsurprising, that different nonbelievers have taken different lessons from the same book. Some claim Christianity for progressivism. Daniel MacGuire, a former Catholic priest, argued in his book Christianity Without God that people should reject supernatural claims of Christ and yet embrace Biblical narratives as a “realistic global ethic to heal a planet sinking under the effects of our ungrateful management”. Alana Massey wrote in The Washington Post that such a message appeals to young people who see Jesus as “an anti-capitalist insurrectionist murdered by law enforcement”. Such progressive cultural Christians find it hard to rationalise the verses that relate to private conduct – often emphasising Christ’s command to love the sinner while ignoring his insistence on hating the sin – but find the carpenter’s son who chased the merchants from the temple an appealing avatar for socialist humanism.

Secular conservatives and liberals, led by the Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson, have also been a revisiting religion. Peterson, a philosophical pragmatist, holds that beliefs contain literal and metaphorical truths. Influenced by Carl Jung, he argues that whether or not great stories reflect actual events they reflect the archetypal narratives of human beings and their societies. Like Richard Tarnas in The Passion of the Western Mind, he diagnoses cultural nihilism in the “deconstructive frenzy” of the postmodernists. His alternative, however, is more traditionalist. He returns to stories told in the Bible.

Peterson’s lectures on the “Psychological Significance of Bible Stories” make the case that knowledge of these texts “is essential to a deep understanding of Western culture, which is in turn vital to proper psychological health…and social stability”. The story of Noah’s Ark, for example, reflects the need to order one’s life so as to withstand chaos. The story of Abraham reflects the need to abjure comfort for the sake of achievement. One could teach these lessons without reference to ancient texts, of course, yet abstracting them from stories weakens the emotional punch and divides our collective consciousness. Peterson makes an effective case, though, as the biologist Bret Weinstein suggests, it is more applicable to general patterns of behaviour than to specific and complex questions.

Yet the rise of cultural Christianity may also reflect a more widespread lapse into in-group-out-group bias. Intolerant identitarians, for example, imagine themselves as modern day impersonations of the Knights Templar, defending Europe from marauding invaders.


Anders Breivik, a militant nationalist who massacred 76 of his fellow Norwegians in July 2011, wrote in his manifesto that while he did not have a personal relationship with Jesus he believed in Christianity as a “cultural, social, identity and moral platform”. Yet “Identity” is the key word in this sentence. The Christian lessons of mercy and forgiveness do not exist in the moral repertoire of violent vigilantes, let alone mass killers. Examples like this show that while a virtue of faith is its social and communal nature-when it is held in merely hostile and embattled terms-it can easily mutate into vice.

If some exploit the faith with the aim of conflict, others exploit it with the aim of building Heaven on earth; a more respectable desire, perhaps, except for the fact that there is at least metaphorical truth in the saying that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. In the Bible, man is fallen and is saved through God. Pain, and sin, are absent only in Heaven. While we could debate just how constrained the Christian vision of human nature is, there is no debating that its vision is constrained. Utopian atheists like Ernst Bloch, who wrote that the Bolshevik revolution was in essence a continuation of the “fight for God”, are puddles of what the TE Hulme called “spilt religion”; desirous of glories that the world cannot provide; worshipful of that which tends towards corruption.

And finally, there is a question we should not avoid. “Is it true?” John Betjeman once asked, “And is it true?”

For if it is…

No love that in a family dwells

No carolling in frosty air,

Nor all the steeple-shaking bells,

Can with this single truth compare –

That God was man in Palestine

And lives today in Bread and Wine.

Nonbelievers disbelieve to varying degrees. Jordan Peterson, like me, is an agnostic: someone who thinks such questions as “Why is there something rather than nothing?”, “Why are things in motion?” and “What is consciousness?” might have theistic answers. But he does not like the question. He believes it is “an attempt to box [one] in”.

I agree if the question assumes that belief and nonbelief are monolithic. One can accept Christian values without a belief in God, much as one can meditate and practice mantras without accepting all the teachings of Siddhārtha Gautama.

Still, I think the question matters. James George Frazer wrote in The Golden Bough that religions consist of two elements, one theoretical and one practical. The latter involves the duties and the rituals by which religious people serve and worship God. The former, however, is their inspiration: the belief in His existence and the truth of His words. Without this belief, and only scientific naturalism, one has no “vision of the celestial city”, no “fear of the human dead” and no cause for “dependence on the divine”. Religion exists insofar as it is functional; insofar, in other words, as it promotes human well-being. It can do this, of course, but without the grandeur of God, and the promise of Heaven, it is less compelling and less exceptional; part of the structure of societies and not their energising force. Atheists and Christians will, in most cases, diverge on the question of whether this is good or bad but it demonstrates the inescapable importance of the question.

One thing cultural Christianity of both the left and right reveals is a thirst for meaning and a hunger for direction. Austin Frank, a Christian commentator, writes that Peterson has earned such an enormous and enthusiastic following because he’s a professor and not preacher. I disagree. He’s a professor and a preacher. He presents intimidating intellectual discussion but with such eloquence, urgency, optimism and engagement that he sermonises more than he lectures. He appeals less because of academic interest in Carl Jung and William James than because of insecurities about our social and intellectual existence. We need stories. We need sermons. The great challenge is to balance them with our reasoning in the struggle to align our wisdom and will.

“There’s probably no god,” proclaimed the famous slogan on the side of the “Atheist Bus” in 2008, “Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” No one stopped worrying, and, thus, here we are. The religious instinct perseveres. How it will be actualised is to be contested.

Source Article from