Calling Yourself Liberal and Religious won’t MAKE You a Good Person

PartyPlayFairDemo

Today we have two re-writes of older articles that seem very relevant today:

First, we will take the “Liberals” as well as the “Conservatives” to task for partisan hypocrisy…

Nowadays the word Liberal is often used as a pejorative; I often use it that way myself for good reasons.

Yet I am a moderate, and probably spend about 40% of the time cursing the idiocy of the Left, and 60% of it complaining and worrying about the Right (It is too bad there are not more real conservative minds in the Conservative camp these days.). Of the two the Conservatives tend to scare me a bit more but the Leftists in total power would be/ have been worse. But the actions of the radicals on either side do not condemn entire schools of thought to a mature mind.  This should be remembered by pundits on both sides in this age of attack politics.

 Lately a radically Conservative group has taken over almost all the political voice of conservative American Christianity.  They have used their pulpit to propound, and pound in, their own view of history, and how Christianity has influenced the development of the United States as a nation.

 They are not actually lying about the influence of the churches. The problem is that they have forgotten from just where in the Church all that influence came.  Yes, it was those damn liberals every time!

 In American history, every time the religious culture has had a profound positive influence (as judged by successive generations) on changes in society those influences have their roots in the Liberal-to-Radical churches. They most certainly did not come from the Conservative ones!

 The Conservative Churches in every case have held the line with the status quo through history whether it was regarding the Revolution, slavery, child labor, workers rights, racial equality or now, gay rights.  Yet the Conservative Churches of today want to shine their halos with the contributions made for the most part by the Liberal Churches of the past.

This activity is not unique to Christianity by any means.  A Radical Conservative Jew will spend much energy telling you about Judaism’s amazing contributions to Western society, but will refuse to see that his brand of thinking never produced any of it.  Find a Conservative Imam, and you will find a man eager to convince you that Islam has been an enormously positive contributor to civilization over the centuries.  But if you remind him that blind faithfulness to Islam’s Conservative philosophy had nothing to do with the various periods of (heretically liberal) Islamic glory that he is polishing up for you to admire; he may even take offense.

  In every case where religious and political power intermingle the things that modern world civilization would call progress has only come when the dominant Church(s) is(are) liberal to the point of being heretical (to the parent dogmas and doctrines), tolerant and more focused on understanding, accepting and spreading the “love behind the Law” rather than promoting a zero-tolerance attitude regarding adherence to the “Letter of the Law.”

But only stagnation and decay ensue when the Churches are conservative and cling to a memory, or fictitious ideal, of “the way it should be.”

 It should be noted that Conservative religious thought can have a greatly positive influence on society but, that usually the effects remain chiefly negative.

 Witness: the defense of slavery, and the stances of “Godly” preachers and priests against child labor laws, and minority civil rights laws.

Witness: the attempts at forced, coerced and violent conversions directed at any people of another religion that are under the influence of a politicized religion (theocracies, inquisitions, shari’a states).

 We all admit that Conservatism is designed to be highly successful at keeping the wheels of a society turning. Who but a fool will deny that there is a true virtue most times in maintaining most of the status quo; Leftists take note of the qualifications and keep your straw men to yourselves – I am not Christian, and never have been a Republican, or supporter of either Bush.

 But, it also must be admitted that Conservative governments and organizations have a poor track record when attempting to grease those wheels, to make accommodation for the fact that seems “odd“, “weird“, “different” to the average mind; whether the ideas are good ones or not!

When the going gets rough or to be a creative inspiration for the people who bear the main burdens of pushing the cart of civilization further, faster and safer than our ancestors ever believed it could go Conservatives can be of more a drag chain when they should be acting like the regenerative brakes that go with a hybrid engine.

 Conservative ideology certainly does not allow real flaws in the basic social system to be changed without a protracted, and often ugly, fight with the liberal mindset who are busy finding things that are not really broken to make into really nasty situations with well-meaning new laws and more, and more, and more tension from enforcement, and less and less elbow room for the well-intentioned citizen just trying to get along and improve their lives.

 Without a Liberal element in society, one that has enough influence to smack the current bosses on the head now and then but, not enough to dominate society  a person lives in what is at best a well upholstered slave camp destined to fade into the dust of history.

And…

Without a Conservative element at the core to give perspective and balance a people will… well, just look at the aftermath of every single revolution in the past – the American revolution was actually a colony revolt – it was an independently evolving, functioning society that broke away from the parent nation/culture rather than an indigenous movement to topple all the central power structures and replace them ad hoc with unproven or dis-proven but, “much better” institutions; not long after they succeed the real bloodshed is just beginning!

 Who was it again that decreed with proven ‘Holy Authority‘ that all human problems can, and may, only be solved by a totally Left-wing or totally Right-wing ideology? When did admitting that your Party’s platform cannot solve all problems if followed by “good” people?

The voting public needs to take off their trendy, strait-jackets/sheep-outfits, grow up, and look at reality – of the real kind, rather than the oh-so-importantly-unimportant political sort – and then find the ideal solutions, not the solutions that serve your political tribe while walking over everyone else’s Lives’, Liberties, and frantic Pursuits of Happiness.

If this Koran gets burnt it could only be because – You Made Me Do It!

…Mohammad, the pedophile warlord with submissive and transvestite tendencies, met up with Jesus, the gay, black, communist right-man-in-the-wrong-place to engage in illicit sex with unclean animals… I pause here to look around; no-one seems to be bleeding, nothing seems to be burning, nobody’s pocket has been picked nor has their leg been broken; all that happened was that I wrote a sophomoric and idiotic series of statements about two religious figures, neither of whom has sent me any kind of complaint for my actions. My question to the blasphemy law proponents is this: What is WRONG with you guys?

 Human religious history reads like the development of a self-aware and , mostly, responsible young adult from a completely ignorant and self-centered infant. It is a story of tribes of humanity moving from stage to stage in our comprehension of just WHAT reality IS and WHO the hell WE are, and how do we relate to all the rest of it. IT is a story full of amazing examples of how primitive peoples can have grasped truths while too ignorant to even know why what they have written can still be said, even by science to be, on some level at least, true. We have also seen horrific examples of human wishes for things to be the “way they are SUPPOSED to be” ignoring all trace of the voice of God from within and causing misery upon misery in the name of “the Love of God“; it’s been a long, strange trip indeed.

In normal times and places people would describe me as a bit of a character and definitely of liberal views.In the areas of racial equality, sexual equality and the freedom of speech and religion I have always been on the quote ‘Liberal’ side of things. But as for the extremes of the leaders and their sheep – don’t put their words in my mouth, I am quite capable of putting my own foot there should the occasion arise!

My response to the latest assault on free speech by so-called Muslim people who have never had it, are uninterested in understanding it (which culd be said as equally about them regarding Islam as about free speech (religion for humans is supposed to be like the Pirate Code, less a set of rules than… guidlines) is simple. Let me wipe my feet on this book that used to be a Qur’an until you defiled it with your idolatry and then toss it on the fire to toast my kosher hot dogs.

Normally I would have no reason on the Earth to think of doing such a thing; it is the Islamist rioter’s idolatry that demands it to remind them that Allah has proscribed treating anything as though it is “the same” as Allah. To the beloved of God (Allah by your calling) it is not your holy book I spurn here, I “offend” against a stack of paper made trash by the actions of men who call themselves your fellow Muslims.

I have a policy of always being polite, except to those who demand it. The people who are easily offended and use their offense as a means to control others are usually the ones most in need of being “offended“, that they might have a chance to grow up and control their inner two year old. Especially since those are inner two-year old adults capable of building, and using, all sorts of weapons in order to “get their way“!

The Islamst rioters around the world are behaving like pre-Reformation Christians did but, without the built-in “leash” of Christianity’s  central text, narrative and central figure being all about love, peace and the humility and brotherhood of all humans before God… and about staying OUT of the unholy games of money and politics. Instead Islam has allowed itself to replace any feeling of human love and justice with the simple formula that what is commanded by Allah is mandatory if you wish to avoid committing a crime against God at the same time anything that is seen by the authoritative scholars (all long dead) to have be forbidden by the Islamic texts is forbidden. It is forbidden at any time, in any place and regardless of the humanly defined “moral” situation – unless, in some branches of Islam, the forbidden thing is done with a sincere desire in the heart of the otherwise, sinning Muslim to promote or protect Islam, Allah or the name of Mohammad. This holy principal was used to great effect by the atheistic Communists for their redefinition of the meaning of Pravda (truth) to “that which promotes the world Communist revolution.”

Islam is a rather un-unique religion in that it has been its heretics who have ‘enlightened‘ Islam over the course of the years, while Islamic fundamentalism has only acted to destroy the unity and harmony of societies of humans with differeing views in favor of primitive superstitions about God that have been abandoned long ago by virtually the rest of the religious world, barring a cult here and there.

My opinion? The only true prophet is the voice of God in your own heart; how well you are listeing in your life shows in your life and in your fruits. Not because you are “rewarded:” for “obedience” but because your understanding from God changes you into someone who does not need to ask what is right and what is wrong when they know the facts, it comes from within, not from the memory of a priest or Imam’s sermon.

Oh, Virginia, you will like this bit; In the pre-70 CE Judaism you would have still found a tendency toward the same sort of Shari’ah type system that the modern Islamsts seem to be clamouring for; but by 70 CE that tendency had already mellowed considerably; to the point where Pilate chided the Sadducee dominated alternate Sanhedrin for being lax in the enforcement in their world-famously harsh code of law. The Jews, LIke the Christians later and the Muslims soon (we all hope),  had mellowed over 4 thousand years or so as gloss after gloss, commentary after commentary and, yes, interpolation and insertion after interpolation and insertion changed their tribal superstition into a reflection of the shape of God within us all; they followed the trail of their central tenet: God IS Love/Love of God is All.

It started with Abraham and his using a wonderfully bald-faced baloney about rams and bushes and the ‘Voice of God ™‘ to explain his realization that to kill his son HOPING it MIGHT please God was simply not a ‘Godly‘ thing to do; but as he supposedly smashed the idols of his father’s shop, not because they were “evil things” but because they had come to be seen by the people as BEING the Gods instead of merely being a focus for a person’s attention on Godly thoughts. Idolatry is to act as though an idol IS a God in all ways. Surely it is a small step from there to see that this attitude obliterates the view of GOD from the “idolator’s” path? The Jews, the first ‘Judaic‘ Christians, Protestants (what do you think one of the main things they were ‘protesting‘ was?) Christians all have no argument with the basic idea that to place too much reverence in an image of a person (even Jesus) is ‘religiously-unhealthy’. At the same time all of these religions and sects have engaged in idolatry freely on one level or another, time after time.

In fundamentalist Islam we see a completely theocratic and intolerant, indeed by any other World Religion’s standard’s, a primitive tribal faith; structured not around a seaking of the Will of God but instead based around an almost pathological defense of Islam’s freedom from every other human religions’ burden: to constantly question and test its own faiths; to SHUT UP long enough for the small voice of God within us to tell their clergy what is faithful to the God of their worship, the one of their soul instead of the one that only lives in their scripture, and what is only their human failing to be more true to their own selfish desire than to what is right!

However, it is not all bad Virginia, all religions have the strength, as well as the weakness, of being the product of the human mind and soul; science has found that truth is not a possession you can keep to yourself, anyone with a sincere heart and mind can find it if they search with passion and humility.

It is all about how we use it. One of my earliest quibbles with the Christian Bible regarded the notion that a so called ‘perfect being’ was even capable of making a “wrong” choice (unless they were error about their actual data and the very trustworthyness of the source of that data; since Adam and Eve are also described as totally ‘innocent’ this would mean that they lacked all capacity for what we would call judgement and unable to label anything as “willfull mis-information provided by a source not sanctioned by authority as trustwrothy or untrustworthy.” Eve simply accepted the Serpent’s correction of Adam’s recollection of God’s warning, Adam could not judge between the two data sets and was going to fall back on procedure; why would a ‘perfect being’ of human intelligence accept the authority of the Serpent unless it were through mere ignorance that ANY voiced being that spoke to them might fail to speak the truth. It follows that God had either not warned them about the Serpent’s influence or, that they were at that time already “imperfect“. Either way I failed to see how they could have been ‘guilty‘ of anything!

What is the meaning of perfect if a perfect being cannot see that she should not be arguing the side of some random critter with a voice that has been hanging around, regardless of whether or not God had specificallly told her not to trust it; and a ‘perfect‘ Adam would know better than to let his mate’s opinion be the deciding factor when he himself rememberered God’s warnings; it should be noted though that God lied about the effects of eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil since as the rest of the text makes clear that it is the SERPENT’s version that actually occurs (or is feared to be about to occur) by… but, oh my… this is another article in itself. It seems that it seems that the effect of Adam and Eve eating not only the Fruit of Knowlege of Good and Evil but also the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, by which Holy Combo-Smoothie they might live forever and Be As “WE” Are.

The point is that the God portrayed in the earliest parts of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim traditions is either a liar or, far from the omnipotent, oniscient, omnibenevolent being humans conceived of 2,000 years ago; nor the individualized “entity” called the “creator” of the universe Who is also immanent and omnipresent that most faiths ascribe so form of to the word “Deity” today. The worst news though is for non-Monist religions: Quantum physics points to proof that All is One. Yes Virginia, people in white coats with huge intelects and no social lives have proven in repeatable experiments that …

“I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together“! – John Lennon

The nature of time as well defeats those who see God, or Allah or whomever as ‘outside‘ the universe; affecting but unaffected, indeed the very source of effect. If this were so then they would be unable to intervene, change, react or in anyway interact with their created universe for its entire internal “existence.” A God that is within the universe is therefore of the universe and so, if you believe in a God the can relate to you in any way then in the universe you belive in all that is, is inextricably part of God!

When you start to let this all sink in the very ideas of “blasphemy” or “heresy” become ludicrsrous. It hardly takes the wise observation of the ancients that if the Gods exist then it is for Them to decide what is blasphemy, and what fails to make the grade; it is also traditional in such religion’s for the Deity to identify the guilty, and to assign their punishement/retribution. It certainly is not the usual scriptural practice for it to to be the job of any random fool who calls themselves “faithful” to make God responsible for the “working out” of said un-annointed human being’s most personal, and often twisted, inner “issues” in the guise of “protecting” God’s honor!

If my actions offend God then I am sure that God will be fully capable of making my own life, and after-life, conform to God’s, not my own, idea of ‘justice’; anyone else can stay out of my face unless I get up in their’s!

If your relationship with God is threatened by someone else not holding your faith then you have no relationship with God, or Allah, or anything, you have put God in a box and attempted to control your Deity like a pair of shoes. If you think that God (or Allah) is somehow harmed by my words or actions, or that my words or actions could hinder God’s (or Allah’s) plan for humanity and the Earth one jot or tittle (biblical language: sorry but, confidentially Virginia, I am hoping it addds a sage-like air to this piece that might even survive my irreverent sarcasm) then it is they who are the ones commiting blasphemy by putting their own judgement before their Lord’s will for each moment of Creation!

Causing harm to property, people and livelighoods because you think Allah (or God), or Marx for that matter, is hurt and wants you to act like a spoiled two-year old with a machinegun is not a return to fundamentalism, nor is it an expression of the radical fringe of a religion. It is nothing more or less than a social/cultural version of having a disease like rabies in the family dogs.

When are the civilized Muslims in America and around the world going to stop waiting for a new scripture  (forbidden by Islam for anyone ever to write and that most Muslims do not even want) to come along and reform the social diseases within their religion and do it themselves? Can we be sure they want to? If they did then the Ahmadiyya, Sihk and Ba’hai would be thriving and growing faiths all across the Muslim world. In the real world all of them are subject to persecutions and pogroms in many Muslim nations, and are attacked secpond only to Jews by Muslims in the West (Christian are attacked too, just not as frequently or consistently).

A book is a book; holy books should be treated with great respect but, reacting with ANY kind of retaliation on the part of God blashphemes against any ‘holiness‘ you felt the book held if you take that path. If I burn a Qur’an or put dung on a Crucifix or use a statuue of Kali as a coatrack it will be because I used an object in a maner I saw fit that harmed no-one; in I say things about your God or Allah or Mohammed or Jesus or Hitler or any other deity that yo do not like then yo take that rage and give it to God, or Allah etc… You stole it from them to begin with, it is only fitting that you give it back and get on with demonstrating the positive aspects of yor fiaith to those, we might assume, you as a faithful son or daughter of whom you bloody well hope to CHOOSE to change to join your faith.

…so, as I was saying Mohammed and Jesus got out of the third bathhouse and met up with Rama and a few Clears. But I am telling you, the party didn’t get rolling until Lucifer started doing card tricks by pulling puppies out of Mohammed’s houri’s… umm, Virginia, isn’t it past your bed time?

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.

How to Reform Politics: What Your Politician Will Never Tell You

Guy DeWhitney's Heretics Crusade: Defendng Western Civilization

You hear it on the Left, you hear it on the Right, you hear it from the Third Parties – Reform Campaign Finance; Reform Congressional Lobbying, Reform Labor Relations and Unions! But, you never hear solutions, at least not solutions that amount to more than “things would be wonderful if those people over there (labor, management, government, you and me, etc. ad nauseum) were not allowed to participate in the process at all!!!“.

And the sad part Virginia, is that the solutions are so damn simple anyone can see it the moment they drop their “but, we have to win”/zero sum perspectives.

How do we reform campaign finance? We can’t, so we don’t.

That is, we don’t reform it, we eliminate it! It is nothing but a source of potential corruption and cannot be “fixed” by any means available to man, so let’s drop it. All election campaigns should be financed from a pool of government funds; if politician A gets X number of signatures qualifying for a place on the ballot for the office of Y he/she would get the same exact amount as every other andidate who qualified for that ballot.

I eagerly await anyone who can show me that this is a bad idea, except for the fact that their side, the good guys, can’t use it against the evil bad guys, their opposition, whoever they may be at the moment.

That takes care of a huge part of the inefficiency and corruption of modern politics at one fell swoop; how about we go after most of the rest with our backhand?

Congressional lobbying, bending the ear of Senators and Representatives, is quite arguably inseparable from a meaningful freedom of speech or a responsive government, so how do we reform what we cannot eliminate? We pass a law making it illegal to pay (in goods or services as well as money) someone to do it for you, that’s all.

Both of these ideas put central the concept that money is not equal to speech;a nonsensical conclusion to anyone who is not desiring to benefit from corruption before it is shut down if I ever eard one!

Think about it Virginia, if Citizen A has 10 dollars his political voice is only ten dollars “loud” but, if Citizen Y, or worse, Corporation M and foreign national R, with ten million dollars have voices that make Citizen A virtually invisible on the political stage; surely this is not what any of our founders
envisioned!

Which brings us to the unions! SO much has changed since the heyday of the teens and twenties of the last century. Remind me again, in this day and age just what purpose do Union Leaders serve… other than their own?

My proposal once again is very simple, organic and even elegant: when a union ends a despite and signs a new contract they immediately disband.

That’s it. If a new issue arises and the workers vote to form a new union to deal with it all is well and good. And when a new contract is signed the leaders go back to work instead of sinking their fangs into the real worker’s necks and riding them until they die, or their industry is killed instead.

Now, take those three, simple changes, all of them unassailable on Constitutional grounds, and project the country past two presidential election cycles; does your mind boggle at the possibilities for real improvement? Does a shiver run down your leg?

Then take it and run with it! The beauty of our system is that no matter how much a pol does not want to do something, if enough people get an idea in their heads the pols have to go along and pray to survive the next election.

All of these changes have one thing in common, reality, they make the government deal with facts and voters, not special interests and corporate funds; and that Virginia, is really all this country needs to be a strong and beautiful as it can be.

The Right too can be Wrong!

Conservative pundits, bloggers and humorists need to be cautious. The current bubble of Leftist gaffes and exposes coupled with President Obama’s delusion that he is a third world dictator makes finding juicy Leftist stories to comment upon like shooting fish in the proverbial barrel. It almost isn’t fair. We have Acorn, and Van Jones, and Aaron Hill, and Obama ignoring Afghanistan so he can waste time being humiliated trying to strong-arm the OIC, and fake nobel prizes and teh Gulf Spill and…whew; the moderates and conservatives are having a field day.

But all good things must come to an end, as this one someday surely shall. Right now though, it is hard to keep a moderate balance to this blog.

The Lefties who have lately dominated the Democrats are being caught with their hands in the political cookie jars left and right, and the Leftish blogs and pundits are looking very hard trying to find things to talk about without becoming…gasp…moderate in tone!!

We all know, of course, that for a partisan, Leftist or Rightist, to find fault with their own leaders is a sign of moral failure and a clear lack of loyalty to the “Right Thinking” side of the zero-sum game they call Life.

It is only the rest of us, those who think about issues instead of reacting to the actions of the opposition, that can look at our own team’s leaders from time to time and say “You are full of shit!” in public.

But, that is neither here nor there. I came here not to talk about general partisanship, but about the blatantly supremacist, if non-violent, mentality of those in America who claim to be patriots but “Just. Don’t Get. It.” on the Right.

As has been noted by several pundits recently, David Horowitz among them, partisans see the world in terms of absolute truth. Whether a person be an Islamist, or Marxist, or Radical Right-Wing Christian Dominionist, they all see theirTruth” as an integral part of reality.

It is something to be obeyed to obtain salvation; morality does not enter the equation until the last step, when the world is saved and all is made right for all time.

When a person of  this mindset sees someone who is not “of the Body” reagarding the agenda of “Truth” they are able to judge that person’s actions fairly accurately against the society’s secular legal and social framework.

But, when asked to judge a “True Believer“, someone who is acting for the same “Truth” that the observer holds dear, suddenly the mind cannot apply simple logic to laws OR customs.

When in the minority these folks known instinctively that the majority has no right to enforce a universal “code of customs” based blatantly on only one sect of one religion (not theirs); and thus Newt Gingrich is back influencing Conservatives, and an unapologetic William Ayers teaches at Harvard.

But, give them the majority and no matter the religion or political ideology the partisan mind sees black as white and white as green. Sins by leaders that would destroy an opposition leaders credibility in their minds is met with ambivalence and excuses. Take just a few examples: Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson, and on the Left we have half of the Hollywood Elite.

These people have managed to amass multiple, cross-confirmed reports of complete moral vacuity by many sources from all sides of the political divide. Yet all have been rehabilitated over and over; to stand beside decent people as leaders with trust and respect. HOW??

Group-think Virginia, Group-Think. The sad thing that happens when the only people you talk to tend to agree with you. You tend to get, slowly, bit by bit, just a little CRAZY! And the people you are talking to get crazy right along with you!

The main warning sign is an inability to address actual ideas when “arguing”. If the only arguments you have are personal attacks and arguments from authority and guilt by association etc. cetera. et. cetera. then you just might have a cranial-rectal inversion and not know it. Like this folks seem to have:

Bible verses banned from Ga. school football field

By DORIE TURNER
Associated Press Writer

FORT OGLETHORPE, Ga. (AP) — The Warriors of Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High took the field on Friday night without any Bible verses written on the cheerleaders’ banner.

Instead, the football team ran through a banner that read “This is Big Red Country” before each bent on a knee to pray on the field of Tommy Cash Stadium.

Well, it starts off good, they have stopped using Bible verses for a public school event, but then they give the Constitution AND Jesus the finger by having a good old “look at us, we are so pious” anti-Christian prayer on the field. This is an issue I really don’t get.

There is bias against Gays (more or less) in Leviticus; respect for life shown by Jesus can get you the anti-abortion stance; now I don’t agree, but they have SOME excuse in the Christian scriptures.

This praying in public thing though is exactly what I see Jesus as having said was a “bad thing.”  To me, this is the tell-tale sign of the not-really-religious-but-love-the-moral-authoritycrowd. They get all up in your face about their rreligion but, the point being the display, not their own relationship with God.

So, we probably can guess the attitude of the locals to the change in the the school using Bible verses…

The spirited display comes after the school district banned the banners last week over concerns they were unconstitutional and could provoke a lawsuit, angering many in the deeply religious north Georgia town of Fort Oglethorpe.

This is the point that the partisan on either side just can’t get. In this case if there is ONE student who is not Christian or even an Agnostic leaning questioner of Christianity that student feels an outsider for no reason that is appropriate for a public school. If you could put each parent in the place of a student NOT of the majority for a week they would understand what our Founding Fathers did when they put the First Amendment in place along with the rest of the Bill of Rights. Yet these folks consider themselves patriotic.

“I’m just kind of unnerved about it,” said 18-year-old Cassandra Cooksey, a recent graduate who often prayed with her fellow marching band members before football games. “It seems like the majority of people in our community want this and they don’t have a problem with it, so I think they should be allowed to have the signs if they want to.”

Here we have the obligatory “But, it is the majority that wants it, and no one has ever been uppity enough to say they don’t like it before” argument.

If this was valid, any town that had one Muslim more than Christians would be able to have a Friday Prayer before the game, right Cassandra?

That is the same mentality as the “Christians” who used the courts to get Christian literature included in a local grammar school’s  “backpack mail” packets, along with the literature for the intended secular activities. But, when an Agnostic group put in a flyer about onew of their events the “Christians” went ballistic, and ended up dismantling the entire backpack mail program; just because they could not limit the religious material to their religion.

The move has galvanized the community. Hundreds of people attended a rally this week supporting the signs, which included messages such as: “Commit to the Lord, whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Many students attended class Friday wearing shirts with Bible verses and painted their cars with messages that read: “Warriors for Christ.”

Remember what I said about partisans seeing things all as zero-sum games? This is a good example. The “logic” is thus: “I am a dedicated Christian; I must at all times be seen as a dedicated Christian; If I do not attempt to make My Savior triumphant in all things, then I am not a dedicated Christian.

This kind of person does not even get to the point of applying their religion’s ethics or morality to an issue. They just act to make sure they “win” and that God sees them fighting the good fight. “Warriors for Christ“? Any parent who sees something like that on their kids car, no matter the religion, should have a long talk with them about forgetting their religion in their zeal to advance the Church.

During the game, several other messages were visible in the packed stadium. Some people stood with signs that read “You Can’t Silence Us” and some young men had Bible verses painted on their chests.

More misguided “patriots.” The fact that their signs, held by individuals attending the game, were an actual legal form of Free Speech, while the Bible verses banner held by cheerleaders in the past were not seems to have sailed right over their heads.

When you get a whole bunch of teenagers mad, this is what happens. We stand up for what believe in,” 16-year-old Shelby Rouse said over the roar of a pre-game pep rally.

Shelby, are you mad that you are not allowed to have your tribal religious rights as part of a U.S. Public School event? Do you think the Taliban thinks differently than you do. Why? Is it because you only want to dominate in the name of the “Truth“; rules are for those who do not see the “Truth” like you and your teenaged friends do.

Guess what Shelby, cutting off heads, or just giving people a headache, it’s all the same when it comes to totalitarian thought.

Cheerleader Taylor Guinn said she is disappointed about the banning of the signs on the football field and believed there was nothing wrong with displaying them.

It’s done good because it brought a lot of glory to God,” the 17-year-old senior said.

Here we have a completely naive argument; it being included shows up the agenda of the “News” reporter, one Ms. Turner. 

Note again the mindset that assumes the possession of a complete and irrefutable “Truth” that supersedes any allegiance to secular law, or customs, or even simple politeness; in the propagation of “The Faith” any mundane rule may be trespassed.

Taylor, I am sorry your teachers failed you, especially your history and civics teachers. In fact your pastor has failed you as well; Christianity has long rejected the idea that an act is allowed simply because it advances The Faith.

That has been found by all major schools of Christian thought to be a pitfall full of peril and heresy. The “means” is never sanctified by “The Ends“. In fact, the paradigm within Christianity is that a series of acts taken with total commitment to “walking the walk” humbly will be more likely to succeed than any Machiavellian scheme designed to ensure certain victory.

Frankly Taylor, if you like that paradigm better, you might want to look into converting to Islam.

Players at the 900-student school began running through the Biblical banners shortly after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and school Principal Jerry Ransom said he enthusiastically supported it then. But Catoosa County schools Superintendent Denia Reese banned the practice after a parent complained.

Here is where we see that the school acted in a fashion that puts it completely across the line Constitutionally. Not only did they suddenly start using Bible verses, but they did it in an reaction to 9/11.

I am a Moderate. I am VERY critical of mainstream Islam, as well as the so called radicals. But, in my Moderate view, no acts of idiots justifies sensible folks in being idiots themselves.

To any non-Christians in town the sudden change would have been seen for what it was; a jingoistic declaration of hostility to any who are not seen as “one of us“.

In the U.S. that is not acceptable behaviour for a school district, period, end of discussion.

I they wanted to make a patriotic, as opposed to religious, statement that was not divisive and unconstitutional they could have used quotes from American heroes or the Constitution that conveyed their claimed message of solidarity in the face of adversity.

That would have been inclusive of any who want to be included as Americans (in my book you accept that when you move here), individual religions are by far another story though, and should never be made an integral part of secular social life by government bodies.

Reese said the school board’s attorney advised her the signs violated federal law because they were being displayed by the cheerleaders during a school-sponsored event.

I regret that the cheerleaders cannot display their signs in the football stadium without violating the First Amendment,” Reese said in a statement. “I rely on reading the Bible daily, and I would never deny our students the opportunity to express their religious beliefs.”

Notice that this man does not seem to see the difference between “denying his students the right blah blah” and imposing his own religion on students, and parents et. al.?

Right or Left, the mindset is easily identified once you realize that neither side of the “aisle” is truly sane when allowed by group-think to take things to extremes.

The Anti-Defamation League, a human rights group, sent a letter to Reese commending the ban.

There are legal ways for students to have religious observation in a school context and there are illegal ways, and we believe Reese is correct that the football game crosses a line,” said Bill Nigut, the group’s southeast regional director.

And I “believe” that if I kill someone I can be charged with murder. I “believe” that I have no more chance of winning the lottery than any other ticket holder. The scary part is that TEACHERS needed to told the sky is blue!

Tom Rogeberg, a spokesman of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, said he can understand banning cheerleaders on the field from displaying religious banners. But he said spectators in the stands must be able to continue expressing their beliefs freely as they did in Fort Oglethorpe on Friday.

It’s been long seen at sporting events with banners like John 3:16 being put up by fans,” Rogeberg said.

Just so he doesn’t sound totally stupid he puts in a defense of something no one has attacked, and that is actually legal; assuming any other kind of banners are allowed by spectators, then it is not legal to ban religious ones. Another no brainer pretending to be a profundity.

Microsoft Supports non-Profits and NGO’s with Free Licenses

microsoft defends civilized standards with free software

Here is a nice bit of news from the New York Times about a corporation often thought to be on the wrong side of the equation:

Microsoft Expands Effort to Protect Nonprofits

By CLIFFORD J. LEVY

MOSCOW — Microsoft is vastly expanding its efforts to prevent governments from using software piracy inquiries as a pretext to suppress dissent. It plans to provide free software licenses to more than 500,000 advocacy groups, independent media outlets and other nonprofit organizations in 12 countries with tightly controlled governments, including Russia and China.

With the new program in place, authorities in these countries would have no legal basis for accusing these groups of installing pirated Microsoft software.

Microsoft began overhauling its antipiracy policy after The New York Times reported last month that private lawyers retained by the company had often supported law enforcement officials in Russia in crackdowns on outspoken advocacy groups and opposition newspapers.

Yea, Bill Gates!  At least this time.

Read it All…

Fairness Doctrine is NOT a “Leftwing” Idea!

fairness

I think that in the end Obama will make G.W. look like the best thing since sliced bread BUT, I remember when talk radio was a place where you could LEARN about things and THINK about them, not just gulp down some predigested, group-thunked, sheeple fodder from BOTH sides!

Keeping media free and objective is one of the MOST important ways we can protect our entire society, on both sides!

And while we are at it let’s go back and beef up the media ownership rules!
NO individual or corporate entity should be allowed to own more than ONE outlet of each media type in any one locale.

The only folks who do NOT support that idea are the very ones who seek to under abuse">abuse the concept and impose their mindset on the masses merely by buying enough "airtime" to drown out other voices!

2010 Guide to Free Speech (C.A.I.R. and O.I.C approved)

2010 GUIDE TO FREE SPEECH
(A PC’ers for Sharia Production)
White Males
It Is Hate Speech If You Offend non-Whites, Females, non-Christians or Muslims
Christians
It Is Hate Speech If You Offend non-Whites, non-Christians, or Muslims
Jews
It Is Hate Speech If You Offend non-Whites, Females or Muslims
Females
It Is Hate Speech If You Offend non-Whites or Muslims
Non-Whites
It Is Hate Speech If You Offend Muslims
Muslims
It Is Hate Speech To Offend Your Imam

We Must All Hang Together With Fox News, Or Assuredly We Shall All Hang Separately

That’s Treason Glenn!
Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion and the Free Press all seem to be under assault in the West. Progressives and Totalitarians are moving to put Free Speech in chains. No country in the West is immune to their attacks.
From Vienna to Venice Beach we see Socialists, Marxists and Islamists moving to eliminate freedom of speech, religion and the press under the cover of “tolerance” and “multiculturalism”. With many Western leaders complacent or complicit it is past time for a light to shine on this agenda.
Even the U.S. President seems to have been seduced by this movement and its slippery logic.
NBC’s Savannah Guthrie interviewed the man to whom Americans look to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”.
Ms. Guthrie’s second question for the President made me sit up and take notice. The question was regarding the continuing controversy about FOX News Channel being cut out of the Real Media™ © 2009:
Savannah Guthrie: “…do you think it is appropriate for the White House to say what is or what is not a news organization?”
Obama: ”I think that, understandably since you are in the news business, this is something you are very interested in. I think the American People are a lot more interested in what we are doing to create jobs or how we are handling the situation in Afghanistan.”
S.G.: “Fair enough …but your advisors raised this issue.”
Obama: ”well no, the, uh, I think that what our advisors have simply said is that we are going to take, uh, media as it comes. And if media is basically operating as a “Talk Radio” format then that is one thing, if it is operating as a news outlet that’s another. But it is not something that I am losing sleep over.”
Let us translate the President’s political speech into plain English with the SpinTron 3000 running Kumquat’s iPolitician 2.0 so that we may react to his unfiltered ideas.
iObama: ”I think that, understandably since you are in the [Free Press], [government suppression of dissenting press] is something you are very interested in. I think the American People are a lot more interested in what we are doing [ to pretend] to create jobs or how we are [avoiding] handling the situation in Afghanistan.”
iGuthrie: “[Cool with me boss.] …but your advisors [initiated] this [confrontation and blacklisting].”
iObama: “NO, [o.k. yes, but the reasons WHY make it ok] we are going to take, uh, media as it comes. And if media is basically operating as a [“Free Opposition Press”] format then that [puts them on our black-list], if it is operating as a [“properly deferential” Free Press] that’s [allowable]. But it is not something [my agenda will stumble] over.
No Savannah, not fair or enough. Did no one teach Mr. Obama about Thomas Jefferson? Expedience and politics are no substitute for integrity and the Constitution.
Jefferson: “The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”
“The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves, nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.”
“I am… for freedom of the press, and against all violations of the Constitution to silence by force and not by reason the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents.”
“The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.”
How long will it be before President Obama’s naïve introduction of the Orwellian concept of a media blacklist leads to the silencing of not just networks but individual outlets and citizens who fear to anger “The State”?
Already the White House’s chill on the Free Press has produced frost damage. “Journalists” from the middle to the left of the spectrum are voicing their approval of the president’s declaring war on Conservative media. Dan Rather of HD-Net is on record saying the tactic:
Rather: “… has been very effective. And they [The White House] take the attitude that nobody gets a “no-risk shot” at our president. You take a shot and we’ll shoot back, [which] strikes me as sound strategy…”
Time and time again we are told that Free Speech means nothing if it does not allow unpopular opinions to be heard. I do not think there is much doubt what the likes of Jefferson, Franklin, Paine and Locke would have to say about what is happening in the White House today.
Regardless of the Party in office this is an issue that strikes at the heart of all American freedoms. It is past time for Americans to start standing up for what they believe. For my closing I will again turn to Thomas Jefferson, the most passionate Moderate politician in American history.
“To preserve the freedom of the human mind… and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement.” Thomas Jefferson to William Green Munford, 1799.”