#1. Thoughts, Slogans and Ideologies of Burning Man Community Festival 2018: Shades of Mystery Religion Babylon, “Do As Thou Wilst”?

Blog note: (Emphasis added).

Revelation 9:20 … And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk.

Exodus 20:4 … Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Leviticus 26:1 … Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God.

Deuteronomy 4:16 … Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,

Deuteronomy 4:23 … Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of anything, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee.

Deuteronomy 5:8 … Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth:

Deuteronomy 7:5 … But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

Deuteronomy 7:25 … The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therin: for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God.

Deuteronomy 12:3 … And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.

Deuteronomy 27:15 … Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.

2 Chronicles 34:7 … And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem.

Psalm 78:58 … For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.

Psalm 97:7 … Confounded be all they that serve graven images that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.

Isaiah 21:9 … And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.

Isaiah 30:22… Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.

Isaiah 40:19 … The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.

Isaiah 42:8 … I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

Isaiah 42:17 … They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.

Isaiah 44:9 … They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed.

Isaiah 44:10 … Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?

Isaiah 44:15 … Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.

Isaiah 44:17 … And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.

Isaiah 45:20… Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.

Isaiah 48:5 … I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.

Jeremiah 8:19 … Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the Lord in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?

Jeremiah 10:14 … Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

Jeremiah 50:38 … A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.

Jeremiah 51:17 … Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.

Jeremiah 51:47 … Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall groan.

Jeremiah 51:52 … Wherefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will do judgment upon her graven images: and through all her land the wounded shall groan.

Hosea 11:2 … As they called them, so they went from them: they sacrificed unto Baalim, and burned incense to graven images.

Micah 1:7 … And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot.

Micah 5:13… Thy graven images also will I cut off, and thy standing images out of the midst of thee; and thou shalt no more worship the work of thine hands.

Nahum 1:14 … And the Lord hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown: out of the house of thy gods will I cut off the graven image and the molten image: I will make thy grave; for thou art vile.

Habakkuk 2:18 … What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?

End of note.

 Background Note: The Burning Man Festival takes place in Back Rock City, somewhere in the desert North of Reno, Nevada, United States. The “festival” started out on a beach in 1986 with the burning effigy of a stick man on the Summer Solstice (per the festival’s website timeline). Twenty (20) random people or strangers walking on the beach witnessed the burning of the stick man who was 8 feet tall. Fast forward to 2017, almost 70,000 people (from around the world) attend the Burning Man Festival Community in the desert. The stick man or burning man effigy has grown to 105 feet tall. Burning Man is the ultimate festival, taking place in the Nevada desert. The festival has grown into a cultural phenomenon and has inspired imitation festivals around the globe. Burning Man is about escaping the confines of capitalism and freeing oneself from the everyday things that confine creativity and imagination. Attendees set up all sorts of sculptures, art cars and other creations as well as ritual tents, DJ booths and anything else you can imagine for revelers to experience and interact with.  Running from the last Sunday of August to the first Monday of September, everything leads to the culminating event: the burning of a large wooden effigy representing “the Man.” End of note.

 #1. Thoughts, Slogans and Ideologies of Burning Man Community Festival 2018: Shades of Mystery Religion Babylon, “Do As Thou Wilst”?

  • People create Gods when they wonder why things happen. Do you know why things happen? Because Gods make them happen. Do you want to know how to make good things happen? Be good to your God. You give a little, you get a little. The simplicity of that bargain has always been appealing…”
    — Mr. Wednesday, “American Gods.
  • All of Us: An LGBTQ+ Burner Event to Take Pride In. But by the end of the weekend, I would come to realize that this was the first time I had experienced the closest thing to a whole queer community of LGBTQ+ people gathered together in the same place, along with our non-LGBTQ+ allies. On the final night, there was a talent show where our drag queen M.C. invited the audience to share final thoughts about the weekend. I responded by sharing how the weekend was the first time I felt that I had gathered together with the whole queer community. I briefly talked about how I had sung with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington for a little while, but had stopped because, although the group championed for LGBTQ equality, I wanted to be part of a queer group that didn’t just visibly represent the “G.” I also recapped how, just a week or so earlier, I had introduced some of my queer friends in D.C. to the work of a trans male choreographer from San Francisco, who was showing a new work in our city. This work explored masculinity through a trans and queer perspective. During a post-show Q&A, I asked whether their work had addressed or even broken down the silos, actual or perceived, of our queer community into separate “L,” “G,” “B” and “T” spaces, with little interaction. As the M.C. closed the talent show by acknowledging those voices that were not present or represented, I realised — as if for the first time — that All of Us was not just an appropriate name for the event but an ongoing goal for the Queer Burner community and the Burner community as a whole.

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