Huffington Post’s Reverend Kimball Bears False Witness Against Christianity and Judaism

 Who would Jesus behead?

This, Virginia, is why I do not put any great weight on my own ordination; any fool can be ordained and seeking God has nothing to do with it; witness the blatant bearing of false witness to further a political agenda exercised by this so-called minister. Here a so called minister of God is even bearing false witness against his own religion, if you can believe it!

Here we have an analysis of the ranting’s of one Charles Kimball, the director of Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma and a Baptist minister regarding the culpability of Christians and Christianity for the Oslo massacre and bombing by mass murderer (alleged, I think we are supposed to say Virginia) Anders Breivik.

The horrific events in Norway this past weekend provide yet another powerful teachable moment in the ongoing and increasingly dangerous saga of religion becoming lethal.

I can’t imagine how. Unless the good reverend’s point is somehow that the actions of non-Christian religious folk caused Breivik to snap I don’t see the point.  Breivik very pointedly explained that he was not, would not be, and did not recommend being a religious Christian; to him “Christian” seems to be no more than a catch-all term for non-Muslim of European culture! He also never used Christian theology in his writings to base his actions upon.

Indeed it would be hard to find any Christian “church” today, anywhere, that would be able to propound a theology based in the teachings of Jesus that would support the killing of anyone merely to make a point, let alone try to justify the slaughter of children to make said point. Even Fred Phelps and his sad band of haters do not promote violence, other than making decent people wish for an excuse to righteously kick their asses. Sadly, Phelps and Co. have been too clever so far to give the rest of us an excuse to use our laws to put them away… This is the price you pay for freedom.

Reality aside, facts aside, respect for his own religion and co-religionists aside, the good Rev. wants to use this as a teaching moment. Such aggressive compassion surely must be a good thing, right, Virginia? Right?

The murderous rampage by Anders Behring Breivik brings several important lessons more clearly into view.

Indeed, it does, but not in the way you seem to feel, Sir!

First, religion is an extraordinarily powerful and pervasive force in human society. Throughout history, people within various religions have been motivated to their highest and noblest best actions. At the same time, some of the worst things human beings have done to one another have been done in the name of or justified by religion. Religion is a powerful force inspiring constructive and destructive behavior among believers.

Right, but what does this have to do with a man, Breivik, who justified his evil with secular arguments, and did not use any religion’s message or theology to base his horror upon?

Second, we live in a world with many weapons of mass destruction. Quite apart from the horrors associated with chemical, nuclear or biological weapons, we now know that a devious plan can utilize automatic weapons, fertilizer, box knives and commercial airplanes as weapons of mass destruction. Attacking a summer camp for youth vividly reminds us that there are many ways people bent on doing great harm can accomplish their goal.

As far as I can tell that last paragraph was no more than background music for an ongoing apologia for the “free speech is good, but it can go too far” crowd who equate free speech with inoffensive (to them) speech.

Third, we now know with certainty that it doesn’t take many people to wreak havoc on a wide scale. Breivik may have acted alone or within a small circle of cohorts, as did Timothy McVeigh. Nineteen men carried out the attacks of Sept. 11. Small numbers of zealots who are convinced they know what God wants for them and for everyone else are capable of almost anything.

Notice how the oh, so honest Revd. throws in McVeigh, another secular terrorist who explicitly rejected any theological grounds for his crimes against humanity to balance the unarguably theocratic 9/11 terrorists, among others too numerous to count. What this compulsion he shares with other Leftists, to beat his breast and declare “We are just as bad!” instead of solving the problems, is all about is simply beyond me.

I can’t think of any modern religious terror committed by other than lone madmen at all except for the Islamic kind… Even the Irish terrorists who divided on religious lines never used Christianity to justify what they did, nor did the clergy in any way justify or support them, in fact for the most part they were Marxists whom the local Catholic clergy would not trust any more than they would Protestants!! The same can be said about abortion clinic bombers, they are lone wolves and, are not backed up by mainstream theology or communities in any way.

Not surprisingly, many preachers and pundits who have spewed hateful rhetoric and fanned the flames of Islamophobia are now scrambling to disassociate themselves, their published statements about Islam and Muslims, and what some call “true” Christianity from the actions of Breivik.

No my dear wolf in minister’s clothing, you are the one who is scrambling to tar innocent people with the taint of Breivik’s evil in order to further your own agenda  That is the very epitome of bearing false witness against your neighbor! I highly doubt even one of the people you seek to demonize ever called for violence against Muslims in any way; certainly none of the “influential” ones have; they certainly did not promote violence against the enablers of Islamism, which seems to be what Breivik thought he was doing in the dark buzzing cloud pretending to be his soul. At the same time, others quoted by Breivik have promoted violent and totalitarian schemes… but they are never mentioned by the oh, so righteous Reverend.

But words matter. Examine the path taken by violent extremists claiming inspiration from Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism and you can trace connections with the fiery rhetoric of influential, sometimes self-appointed leaders in madrasas, in books, at religious rallies, on websites and the like. There are consequences when cocksure Christians or Muslim militants proclaim God’s truth while stoking fear of the “other” in the minds of their would-be followers.

Here “Rev.” Kimball is bending over backwards until his spine snaps to attempt to “level the playing field” between Islam and other religions when it comes to directly inspiring violence. He fails to make his case.  Show me the violent Christian, Jewish or Buddhist movement, in the lifetime of this nation, that was encouraged by “fiery rhetoric” from “influential” books, churches, synagogues and leaders? Can you think of any in the last two hundred years? I can’t, just a handful of nutjobs who are universally excoriated by their own co-religionists.  No-one complained about what kind of burial Jim Jones got, no Christian thought it important how a lunatic mass murderer should be buried!

Meanwhile, the good reverend goes back to his “free speech is bad in the wrong hands” theme. The wrong hands here of course being hands that are possessed by someone who disagrees with the enlightened view of Revd. Kimball.

While there are no easy answers or simple solutions, there are constructive ways to move forward in our increasingly interconnected and interdependent world community. It begins with education.

Study programs in schools and colleges, churches, mosques and synagogues are essential. Interfaith dialogue and engagement with people of different religious and cultural backgrounds are invaluable ways to dispel generic fears and help humanize the “other.” All across the U.S., Christians, Muslims and Jews are working together to build Habitat for Humanity houses and work on common problems such as crime and drug abuse within their communities. These kinds of intentional efforts at education and cooperation are vital at the local, national and international level. We need more and more such endeavors in the U.S., not only for the well-being of our communities, but also as a way to model the kind of healthy religious pluralism our future requires.

The truly sad part about Kimball’s misguided view is that the above actions are not being done, and never will be done by the kinds of religious extremists he worries about; not the handful of Christian ones and, not the thousands upon thousands of Muslim ones. At most they will use such activities as a smokescreen while they pursue their theocratic agenda’s unmolested.  I can only assume that either Mr. Kimball’s seminary did not offer a real course in history or, that he flunked it.

He also seems to be guilty of the sin of Liberal Racism. To that mindset the “underclasses” of past racist philosophies have not vanished, they are poor, helpless children that must take under protection, for their own good.

Because they are “of the oppressed”, a state of permanent victimhood, their actions do not make a difference compared to the actions of the evil, dominant White Man from Europe and America that is Kimball’s real devil, and God.

He will never compare the fruit of Muslim and Christian fairly, because then he would be forced to speak of Islam (from the perspective of any devout Christian clergyman) as a religion that might stem from God but, that has been mired for most of its existence in a theo/political system of worldly evil.

The path to a more hopeful and healthy future also requires people of faith and goodwill to speak out clearly and directly against extremists of all stripes.

I can’t argue with that. That is what the Heretics Crusade is.

Although most of us were taught by our parents not to talk about religion or politics in public, the stakes today are far too high for deferential silence or casual indifference. Ignorance is not bliss; silence is proving deadly.

Once again, I agree, I don’t think anyone reasonable would try. But, that is not the pitch, that is just the windup with a lean to the left to imply a slider, this next bit is the pitch; a spitball, knuckleball covered in tar.

Just as many people continue to call on Muslims to speak out forcefully and unambiguously against violence and extremism, so too must Christians and Jews openly challenge those who advocate extremism and foster hatred in the name of religion. This means, for example, naming names and identifying the theological and political positions of Jewish fundamentalists and Muslim extremists who block potential paths to peace in Israel/Palestine.

The problem with this little gem is that the Jewish and Christian communities in this country as a whole have always stood against anyone who used violence and extremism to advance or defend their faiths! It has been held a virtual truth that to do so is to abrogate that faith entirely!

Just what more is it that they are supposed to do when the mainstream Islamic community complains about how Osama Bin Laden was buried after assuring us for years that he was not a “real Muslim”?

For me, as a follower of Jesus and a Christian minister, it means strongly disagreeing with TV preachers with political clout such as John Hagee and Rod Parsley. They have every right to espouse their religious and political worldviews. But their ill-informed and hateful rhetoric about Islam and Muslims, as well as their certainty that Jesus will be arriving in the next couple of weeks, has very real consequences.

That is nice Chuck, when are you going to do it? This whole piece reads like it is aimed against free speech and, to me, seems to be intended to gently brush Oslo/Breivik tar on anti-Jihadist bloggers and writers who have never propounded, or invoked, an ideology of violence; yet gives a pass to Breivik “inspiring” figures and writers (in his own words) who happen to be on your side of the war in your mind. You haven’t even given us a clear idea of just what they say that you oppose! If that last paragraph was really the point of your post then, I have to say I think your point fell flat.

The mind-boggling terrorism manifest in Norway will continue to provide hard but important lessons about the dangers all around us and the need to find more constructive ways to move forward in the 21st century. It is a stark reminder that we share a fragile planet where ignorance, hate and fear can link easily with religious worldviews and produce horrific consequences.

Yes Virginia, the world is a dangerous place, especially if you equate the evil acts of lone scumbags with the evil acts of organized and ideologically driven scumbags who are numerous and active instead of isolated and sporadic.

Got Jews?

Here we go again! No matter where I look it seems I keep seeing ads and images and news reports that try to draw a parallel between Israel and Nazi Germany. To me this about like drawing a parallel between Dirty Harry and The Manson Family. In the one case you have someone who has been known to go too far in a good cause. On the other we have a totally evil bunch who tried to justify their atrocities.

I have noticed a trend amongst the morally bankrupt whether they be an insincere “evangelical” preacher or a woman abuser or a radical Muslim. They all like to describe their own evils in great detail. But they assign these evils to their innocent victims; non-Christian(tm)s, woman and Jews.

You can learn volumes about the mindset of the radical Muslim. Just listen to what they say about Jews and apply it all, in total detail, to the speaker! You can’t go far wrong I promise.

When you hear the TV preacher talking about how no one can restrain their sinful ways without “Jayzus” they are merely confessing their own lack of inner moral values. They require an external authority to impose a decent life on them. They just “don’t get it”. Yet they claim the moral high ground in their moral weakness and proclaim those who do NOT need such a supernatural daddy figure are immoral and evil. This totally ignored the success of the totally secular Western system as seen in America.

The reason Thomas Jefferson and other notable agnostics and Deists like Franklin used a lot of Biblical imagery was that simply that the Bible contained a common language of image and theology from which express his Enlightenment era ideas. The Bible can be useful in that capacity today. It is interesting to note how many of the concepts of the New Testament are actually Rabbinical ideas that had their root in Hillel and other Jewish sages of Jesus’ time. One idea that is common to both traditions is very apropos today: Judge them by their fruits.

In every society where Jews are allowed to pursue their lives with any degree of freedom, and some places where they can’t, they bring a yeast-like effect. Simply list a series of German, British, French or American (amongst others) writers, playwrights, scientist, actors, politicians and such and you will find Jewish people represented far beyond their numbers in that society. This obviously seems to be due to the extreme intellectual tradition with which Jewish children are raised. It is GOOD for Jews to know and understand things. This puts them a bit ahead of the game in many fields over us laissez faire Goyim. I would imagine it really irks the ego of folks like Muslims whose religious and intellectual tradition is based on authority and rote memorization instead of enquiry and debate. Hence the almost pathological hatred of Muslims for Jews. And the hatred of many non-Muslims for Jews for that matter. It all comes down to an envy for a richly creative upbringing.

This tradition does not force all Jews to be moral and good people though. I think this is why you see Jewish people EVERYWHERE there are new thoughts being thought and ideas being worked with. Good, bad or indifferent if there are creative minds involved there will probably be a Jew somewhere close. Some people cannot deal with such nuances and simply blame Jews for the people’s own failings. Their small numbers and essentially non-violent philosophy makes them an unfortunately prime target for repression whenever the local authorities need a scapegoat.

There is virtually nothing similar between the situation in Israel and Gaza and the West Bank and what happened with the Nazis. Unless you want to examine the pathological insecurity of the Muslim nations and the Nazis whom they allied with in WWII.

Fascism One, Freedom Zero in Northern Cal

Imagine it’s 1940, and picture Adolf Hitler speaking at a US university, receiving a polite reception, while Winston Churchill is barred from speaking because his safety cannot be guaranteed.

It’s unthinkable, yet the very same pro-fascist dynamic is a reality in 21st Century America.

Protestors at Berkeley, the campus once synonymous with the term “free speech,” forced the cancellation of Netanyahu’s speech there, as well as two subsequent speeches, in November 2000. The Jewish Bulletin of Northern California reported:

Hundreds of protesters shouting “Support the Palestinians, choose a side” and “No free speech for war criminals” blocked the gate leading to the Berkeley Community Theatre Tuesday evening, forcing the cancellation of a scheduled speech by former Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Waving banners reading “Zionism=Nazism” and “End U.S. aid to Israel,” the crowd was estimated at more than 500 by the Berkeley Police Department and at 200 to 250 by observers…

The vitriol that greeted Netanyahu at Berkeley only worsened in the ensuing years. Anneli Rufus of the East Bay Express recalled that in 2001:

“…Students for Justice in Palestine had become large enough to stage a high-profile sit-in at UC’s Wheeler Hall. The group had demanded that the regents divest from companies with significant holdings in Israel. When the regents failed to respond, dozens of group members chained shut nine of the building’s twelve doors. They formed human chains to block two of the remaining doors and ushered students out of the building through the last door. Professor Gordon, who had an important class scheduled that day in Wheeler, burst through the chain of students only to be showered with spit and hit by a student…”

Later that year, 23-year-old Aaron Schwartz was walking toward the Hillel building as part of an obviously Jewish group celebrating the annual holiday Simchas Torah. According to accounts in The Daily Californian and the Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, one onlooker mocked the procession by goose-stepping in place, chanting “Heil Hitler,” and performing the Nazi salute. After punching Schwartz in the face and knocking him to the ground, the man and his two companions strolled away.

But many remember spring 2002 as the season the screaming really started. On spring break, someone hurled the cinderblock through the front door of Berkeley’s Hillel Center, scrawling the words F— JEWS nearby…

The same mentality was on display in spring 2002 at San Francisco State University, where pro-Israel students and elderly Holocaust survivors trying to hold a rally were stopped by violent protestors screaming “F– the Jews,” “Jews, go back to Russia,” “Too bad Hitler didn’t finish the job,” and “Get out or we’ll kill you.”

Threats of “we’ll kill you” appear to have led to the logical next step in the recent violent death of 38-year-old pro-Israel activist Daniel J. Kliman in San Francisco.

It appears that present-day northern California is to Jews what Mississippi in the early 20th Century was to African-Americans-the epicenter of explosive hate-although the same bigotry permeates much of the academic world.

That would include Concordia University in Montreal, where Netanyahu was prevented from speaking about the war against terrorism. Daniel Pipes, writing in the New York Post on September 17, 2002, described the violent scene:

“… he never made it onto the campus – because a thousand anti-Israel demonstrators staged a mini-riot with the intent of preventing him from speaking…

The anti-Israel forces physically assaulted the would-be audience…
They smashed a plate-glass window and threw objects at the police inside.
They hurled furniture at police from a mezzanine. As Toronto’s Globe & Mail
put it, “By lunchtime, the vestibule of Concordia’s main downtown building was
littered with paper, upturned chairs, broken furniture and the choking
aftereffects of pepper spray.”

The police, saying they couldn’t assure Netanyahu’s safety, canceled the event…

On Thursday, Hanan Ashrawi, the former spokeswoman and colleague of Yasser Arafat, went to Colorado College in Colorado Springs to give a keynote speech at a symposium on “September 11: One Year Later.”

Protestors noted that Ashrawi is smack on the side of America’s enemies in the War on Terrorism. For example, while the U.S. government formally designates Hamas a terrorist group, Ashrawi states she doesn’t “think of Hamas as a terrorist group.” Also, she considers Israeli civilians living on the West Bank to be “legitimate . . . targets of Palestinian resistance” — that is, legitimate targets for deadly violence.

Yet the protestors did not block the terrorist spokeswoman from expressing her opinions (a mere year after the 9/11 attacks), and she is just one of countless pro-terror speakers who are welcome on US campuses. Sheikh Khalid Yasin, a convert to Islam, has been invited to numerous colleges to preach that terrorism is justified, homosexuals should be murdered, and Christian missionaries in Africa are injecting people with AIDS. …

Little wonder that when the genocide-espousing Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University on September 24, 2007, the event did not seem out of the ordinary. His politely received speech was hailed by many observers as a fine display of one of the noblest ideals of institutions of higher learning -the free exchange of ideas.

Hardly anyone in the media noted that, the day before he departed for America, Ahmadinejad re-emphasized the two most heartfelt ideas to which he and his regime are dedicated–“Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” emblazoned on signs in a military parade over which he presided.

Were the deaths of America and Israel debatable propositions? For many in the academic world, the answer apparently is yes. After all, they would tell us, that’s what universities are for. Let all views be heard.

All views, that is, with certain exceptions, including the anti-terror message of the prime
minister of Israel.

Edward Olshaker is a longtime journalist whose work has appeared in History News Network, The Jewish Press, FrontPage Magazine, and other publications.

Most definately READ IT ALL

Another Middle Eastern Voice in support of the West

Rome, as the proud city of the ancient world, was not simply overwhelmed by the swarming hordes of barbarians from the east, but a civilization long in the making swiftly was ruined. It was undone from within by a population that lost its sense of purpose while forgetting its history, and a ruling elite corrupted by self indulgence beyond repair.

The West, as was ancient Rome, is besieged, and those encircling the West at present make no pretence of their intent to tear it down as reparation for past sins that occurred in the making of the modern world.

But the swarming hordes of the anti-West axis — unlike those that overran Rome and its empire — do not gather at the frontiers of the West. Instead they assemble within the modern day temple of rank hypocrisy, the United Nations, and from there launch their assault against the civilization whose wonders they greedily seek, as did their barbarian predecessors invading Rome.

The UN conference on racism in Geneva, Switzerland is the modern day effort of an increasingly supine West at negotiating the price for being left alone by the rapacious thuggish leaders of failed and rogue states of the Third World.

It is the weakening of the West’s moral centre — the abject unwillingness to defend its history which on balance has given the longest lease on freedom and prosperity to the world — that was on display in Geneva.

The spectacle of several European diplomats walking out of the conference hall in Geneva as Iran’s President Ahmadinejad delivered his vile anti-Semitic anti-western rant, illustrated the pathetic disarray of Europe’s frantic diplomacy to negotiate a face-saving agreement with the world’s worst human rights violators.

Instead of hosting such fraudulent conferences as Durban II in Geneva, it is time the West demonstrated its moral authority by demanding from the likes of Ahmadinejad and his anti-West allies to answer why they have denied their people freedom to fully embrace the proven model for prosperity that is the West.

In respect to Israel, it is a beacon of modern enlightenment restored to its ancient home and a reflecting mirror in which the Arab-Muslim world sees daily its appalling failure as a civilization that once merited respect.

AHMADINEJAD’S RAGE

Moreover, the intensity of the anti-Semitic rage that Ahmadinejad displayed in Geneva serves the Arab-Muslim rulers to hold others responsible for their people’s misery.

The Third World needs more of the West despite its flaws — ask the Chinese and the Indians — if their poor are to escape the oppressiveness of their traditional cultures.

The West needs to recover urgently its moral centre for it is only moral criterion — as once Alexander Solzhenitsyn counselled the West against communism — which can help contain and defeat the contemporary enemies of freedom.

SALIM.MANSUR@SUNMEDIA.CA

Please, read it all by clicking on the title

Jesus was a Palestinian? That’s what one public school textbook says.

Jesus was a Palestinian? That’s what one public school textbook says.

From Fox News

Although Jesus lived in a region known in his time as Palestine, the use of the term “Palestinian,” with its modern connotations, is among the hundreds of textbook flaws cited in a recent five-year study of educational anti-Semitism detailed in the book “The Trouble with Textbooks: Distorting History and Religion.”

A “true or false” question on the origins of Christianity asserted that “Christianity was started by a young Palestinian named Jesus.” The teacher’s edition says this is “true.”

But even though Jesus is the founder of Christianity, the question ignores the fact that he was Jewish. And Ybarra said, “The Christian scriptures say that he preached in Judea and Galilee, not Palestine,” a term that was used at the time as a less specific description of the broader region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

“They’re under pressure from all kinds of minority groups, religious groups, and they try to satisfy everyone and that results in content that is dumbed down to the lowest common denominator,” he said. “And so, in that process, things can be missed. Errors can survive.”

Ybarra also claims that the textbooks tend not to treat Christianity, Judaism and Islam equally.

Islam has a privileged position,” he said. “It’s not critiqued or criticized or qualified, whereas Judaism and Christianity are.”

(HH here: in response toe the Liberal element lurking here I say yes, Christians have certainly also been guilty of painting school books in religious colors. The difference is that the tendency is in retreat in Christianity and in advance in Islam.)

One example is in the glossary of “World History: Continuity and Change.” It calls the Ten Commandments “moral laws Moses claimed to have received from the Hebrew God,” while the entry for the Koran contains no such qualifier in saying it is the “Holy Book of Islam containing revelations received by Muhammad from God.”

Experts agree, though, that part of the problem rests in the fact that there are so few textbook publishers.

Seventy-five percent of public school books are published by just three companies: Houghton Mifflin, McGraw-Hill and Pearson Education. None responded to requests for comment for this story.

“It’s a big problem right now that we have so few choices in our textbooks,” Haynes said. “This is an industry. … It’s a marketplace. They’re trying to sell their textbooks.”

But Ybarra said it goes deeper than pure economics. He thinks the school books are being used as tools for propaganda, particularly to perpetuate negative attitudes towards Christianity, Israel and pro-Palestinian views concerning the Middle East.

(HH: in public schools all religions need to be treated in completely objective fashion in historical context ONLY!)

“We fear that this is creating a generation of biased school children,” he said. “Some of our projects in the higher education realm with some of these same subject matters, we find that students do show up at universities with these prejudices.”

(HH: A big problem with this issue, just like the Radical Muslim issue, is that a fair number of the folks who agree that there is an anti-Christian, Anti-Jewish factor here want the freedom toe impose THEIR religious bias in the other direction. There are too few moderate voices attacking the hypocrisies of BOTH sides here. IT must be like living in the 50’s and SEEING the Soviet threat but the only people who truly agree with you are jingoistic McCarthy lovers and racists! My attitude would probably be the same it is now. I would kick butt verbally on BOTH the Soviets and McCarthy.

There is a huge red light that goes off when a radical, close-minded partisan speaks or responds. They take whatever position that they are reacting to and spin it to the extreme of the opposition. A hardline conservative might respond to ANY questioning of unrestricted gun ownership by attacking you as a fascist, big government, intervening traitor to all that is American. The Liberal version will respond to your assertion that it SEEMS that towns and counties with lots of guns don’t have much gun CRIME with slurs against your humanity and assertions that you want 8 year olds to be able to buy weapons at Walmart.

As you can see neither one is actually able to defend their ideas creatively nor can they pick out any of your thoughts and logically critique it.

These sad souls are not my audience. I am not speaking to them other than in response to their questions. I am speaking to the majority that stand in a state of inaction due to the extreme left and right not allowing any real discourse or, God forbid, solutions.)

Ybarra maintains that, ultimately, parents and communities need to get involved and demand accountability from school boards, publishers and scholars on what goes into the materials being used to teach fresh, young minds.