Guy DeWhitney on Government by Heretics Crusaders

My ideal of government:
Un-self-consciously, individual humans that are raised to feel a profound duty to protect all aspects of seldom/individuality that neither “picks someone’s pocket nor breaks someone’s leg” and a profound respect for the notion that we are all one and what goes around not only comes around, it DIRECTLY affects us; i.e. “successful” assholery damages a psyche’s ability to make ‘good’ choices in the future.Guy DeWhitneys Heretics Crusade

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 You are Not Playing Fair, God is Not on Your Side; Clergy are Not Excused from Honesty

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Today we have two examples, one from the Left and one from the Right, of people making blatantly self-serving attacks on their political opponents while attempting to cloak themselves in the sanctity of God.  This is partisanship at its most nauseating.

buddy_jesus

First let us examine the Leftist “religious” viewpoint:

Liberal Christians Give LESS to the Poor; Naturally We Must Expose The Conservative Reasons for Not Giving Enough! …HUNH?

I have often said that partisanship can make people believe anything about ANYTHING.  Here is a good example of someone so needy for rotten fruit to huck at his opponents that he “condemns” them for… what amounts to being BETTER at something than his own side!!!  To make matters worse he all but lies to do so, distorting basic facts and mixing and matching demographics at will to support his demonization of a group that has shown itself well able to expose its own demons; Conservative Christianity)  I just want to ask him one thing, who gored YOUR ox?

Richard T. Hughes

Why Conservative Christians So Often Fail the Common Good (Part 2)

In part 1 of this article, we posed this riddle: why do so many evangelical and fundamentalist Christians — people who clearly honor the Bible — so often disregard the two requirements that are central to the biblical vision of the kingdom of God, namely peacemaking and justice for the poor?”

From the start this piece is off track, as Jesus preached to individuals and taught PEOPLE how He wanted them to live. He did not preach to nations or governments, He never left precepts for RULING a society.  The author actually seems to have bought into the heresy of the far-Right, Christian Identity folks; “Godly” society must be established BEFORE Jesus can return.

“Why Focus on “Conservative Christians”?

Some readers quite correctly pointed out that conservatives tend to be more generous toward the poor than liberals, but to frame the issue like that only muddles it. The Bible never suggests that we adequately fulfill our responsibilities through “generosity” toward the poor. Rather, the Bible summons Christians to radical solidarity with the poor and radical opposition to those demonic, systemic structures — what the Bible calls “the principalities and powers — that sustain the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor and the dispossessed.”

Really? In my reality Jesus called for individuals to turn away from political structures and just GET ON WITH IT and feed the poor and live THEIR lives as their conscience commanded.   In fact He had harsh words for those who felt they could legislate morality into their “flock”!  He further advised in no uncertain terms that civil rebellion was NOT his way.

I also love the way the author dismisses out of hand the notion that actual ACTION to help REAL poor people, as opposed to working to create a government to force everyone to care for them, is somehow a lesser expression of Christian charity and Love.  You just Gotta love group-think Virginia!

“…Further, to claim (GDeW: You said before that it was correct, but now you call it a claim?) that conservatives are more generous than liberals sidesteps the fact that neither group is all that generous toward the poor to begin with.”

Are you following this Virginia? Conservative Christian give more to the poor but since neither Leftist nor Conservative Christians do enough in the author’s eyes, it is the CONSERVATIVES that must be brought to task…umm, yes, it is a bit silly. Lets see if our dear Mr. Hughes can pull it out at the end.

“It also sidesteps the fact that neither conservative Christians nor liberal Christians are called to compare themselves with one another.”

I was unaware of the fact that it called for them to ignore their own faults and attack the other! You seem to be of a different opinion Mr. Hughes.

“Instead, if Christians are serious about following Jesus, the only meaningful comparison is with Jesus’ picture of the kingdom of God, and when measured by that standard, American Christians across the board — liberals and conservatives alike — fall woefully short.”

As a student of history I am well aware that pretty much all Christians of this day and age fall short of what the fist generation of “Chrestians” recognized as their own brethren.  That said, I do not know of any major branch, original or modern, that promotes the idea of Jesus’ preaching that you must work for a GOVERNMENT to be formed in the image of the Jewish vision of a Messiah Ruled Society before a person could be considered a follower of His.

“Why, then, would I write a two-part article that singles out conservative rather than liberal Christians for a comparison with that biblical vision.”

Given that your vision is one that you made up instead of finding it in the words of Jesus, I would say that it is just so you can use God as a weapon in your ongoing partisan attacks against your fellow Christians.

“First, conservative Christians are typically far more adamant than liberals in their claims that they are “Bible-believing Christians” who take the Bible seriously at every point.”

The passage above is a great example of a man so eager to demonize the opposition he does not even realize he is insulting his own side!  He is trying to hard not to “look mean” by calling Biblical Literalists byname that he implies that Liberal Christians do not believe the Bible seriously AT ALL.  Kinda makes you wonder why they would BE Christians if Hughes has them pegged rightly, doesn’t it?  Somehow I think that the average “Liberal” Christian deserves a bit more respect than that!

“ It is therefore fair to ask how successfully they live out a theme that stands at the center of the biblical text — the biblical vision of the kingdom.”

First off,it is a central Biblical theme that you do not stand hypocritically on the Temple steps and denounce the sins of others before you have examined your own!  And you certainly do not do it by putting words in the mouth of the central figure of your supposed religion that support your political goals!

“The second consideration is perhaps even more important. For almost forty years, the most visible representatives of the Christian religion in the United States have been conservatives, not liberals. I have in mind the electronic evangelists — those leaders of the Christian Right like Jerry Falwell, Jim Bakker, James Kennedy, Pat Robertson, and a host of others — who have been extraordinarily vocal about their vision of the United States as a Christian nation. Not once have I heard any of those preachers define the Christian religion in terms of either (1) peacemaking or (2) justice for the oppressed, the poor, the marginalized, and those who suffer at the hands of the world’s elites — themes that are central to the biblical vision of the kingdom of God.”

One wonders why Hughes doesn’t just do a piece on how televangelism corrupts preachers, given that he only lists the most controversial if not heretical of a class that polls have revealed to have about the same level of trustworthiness in the public eye as lawyers!  And even with that vetting for nuttiness I would bet that if you actually read their sermons you would find examples of these things; if you ignore Mr. Hughes’ fantasy about Jesus requiring His followers to build Socialist government institutions.

“To the contrary, these preachers have often gone out of their way to support the principalities and powers that oppress marginalized people. Various televangelists at various times, for example, have told the American people that God has chosen the United States for a destiny of dominance in the world, that Jesus’ followers should prosper and never be poor, and that Christians should rally to support America’s wars against the enemies of God. In a word, most televangelists of the Christian Right have preached a gospel that is radically antithetical to the biblical text, and by proclaiming this pseudo-gospel, they have discredited the Christian religion almost beyond belief. It is surely time to measure their preaching by the biblical vision of the kingdom of God!”

Am I confused Virginia, or did we start off this piece talking about how Conservative Christians giving more to poor folks really meant Liberal Christian were the cool ones? How did we get onto Televangelists? Many Televangelists are bad preachers = All Conservative Christians are failing their duty to God? Somehow, I do not think Mr. Hughes passed Logic 101.

“The Kingdom of God and the Common Good

… The kingdom of God is universal and those who promote that kingdom care deeply for every human being in every corner of the globe, regardless of race or nationality. But earthly nations — even so-called “Christian” nations — embrace values that are inevitably nationalistic and tribal, caring especially for the welfare of those within their borders. And while the kingdom of God exalts the poor, the disenfranchised, and the dispossessed, earthly nations inevitably exalt the rich and powerful and hold them up as models to be emulated. In fact, in the context of earthly nations — even so-called “Christian” nations — the poor seldom count for much at all.”

Which is probably why Jesus preached to people and not governments!!!  So intent on his political goal is he that even while describing it, Hughes misses the point of Not Of This World!

“In light of that comparison, it must be obvious that when I speak of the common good, I don’t have in mind the American dream of a chicken in every pot or three cars in every garage or the American notion that freedom ultimately means freedom to shop. In fact, I don’t have in mind anything uniquely American at all. Instead, when I speak of the common good, I have in mind what the Bible envisions for all humankind — life and not death. But when the principalities and powers define the common good, they typically mean the good life for some, and the good life for some invariably means poverty, hunger, nakedness, and finally death for all the others.”

And this is probably why the Bible envisions this perfect society needing DIRECT INTERVENTION by God to come about AFTER we have messed it all up for the last time (not MY view, but the Bible’s), not Mr. Hughes and his buddies legislating their version of “morality” upon everyone.

“One final introductory comment: several who commented on the first article also questioned the accuracy of my claim that the biblical vision of the kingdom of God is really all that central to the biblical text or, for that matter, to what Christians call “the gospel.” But the Christian gospel always has two central components — the unmerited grace that God extends to us and, in response, the unmerited grace that we should extend to others. I John makes this point as well as any other biblical text: “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (I Jn. 3:16) That is as clear a picture of the kingdom of God as one is likely to find.”

It is simply astonishing to see someone hold up a black book and declare it to obviously be white!  It is just sad when that person does it for personal glorification and to put down their opponents. It is simply disgusting when that person does it using God.

Where, Mr. Hughes, does the Bible tell us to legislate that grace so our neighbor is forced to dispense it in exactly the measure WE define as acceptable?  Pardon me while I go get reacquainted with my breakfast.  The fact that all that poison was just “introductory” to your “point” put my stomach over the top.

beat1 

Now let us move on to the Right-Wing side of the Pew and see how a “conservative Christian” shows his love by lying and distorting everything he can in order to “Save” his sheep:

Traditional Values Coalition Opinion Editorial For publication on or after Wednesday, October 31, 2001

New FBI Hate Crime Statistics Expose Homosexual Lies

By Rev. Louis P. Sheldon Chairman, Traditional Values Coalition

… This legislation begins with this somber comment: “The incidence of violence motivated by the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability of the victim poses a serious national problem.”

This introduction to S. 625 is filled with lies and half-truths about the nature of hate crimes in America-yet this bill is being seriously debated-despite the facts. The recently released FBI hate crime statistics for 2000 shed new light on what Ted Kennedy alleges is a “serious national problem.””

And now Rev. Sheldon will put his own lies and half-truths on the table as a counter-balance!

“Most Americans are tolerant and compassionate individuals who do not wish anyone to be harmed. Unfortunately, homosexual activists have exploited this compassion in the promotion of the idea of “hate crime” legislation. A “hate crime” law typically includes enhanced penalties against an individual for his negative thoughts when he committed a crime against a person who is part of a protected class. For example, a common thug who mugs a lesbian for her purse will receive a higher penalty for his anti-homosexual thoughts or motivations than if he had mugged a woman simply for her money.”

I have my doubts about many, if not most, hate crime laws, however lying about them does not help! Claiming the label Reverend and then proceeding to lie is “just not done”!

A hate crime law does not criminalize the thoughts of the thug who HAPPENS to mug someone who is a lesbian, they only apply if the lesbian is attacked BECAUSE she is a lesbian. If a person mugs two women, one of whom is openly lesbian, and then verbally insults that woman for being gay and kicks her in the face, all the while not harming the “straight” lady, they HAVE committed a hate crime in addition to the “regular” crime.  I fail to see that the basic idea of making crimes that are committed ONLY because of prejudice a special class is wrong.

“Homosexuals have been successful in getting many states and communities to add “sexual orientation” as a protected category under hate crime laws. This creates what amounts to “thought crimes” and unequal justice under the law for those not given protected class status.”

I can’t see why, if you are gong to have a hate crime law, why ANY definable grouping should not be included.  The whole idea of “hate crime”is of a crime that WOULD NOT HAPPEN if the criminal did not see the victim as “acceptable to attack” because of their race,religion, politics, sexuality or WHATEVER. IF someone attacked and beat someone for being a street mime it should be classed a hate crime.  “Normal” crime is impersonal,it is about transferring money or property from one who has it to one who wants it but, hasn’t earned it.  Committing a crime not for financial gain, but solely to satisfy an inner need to dehumanize ANYONE, is what the hate crime ideology is all about at its core.

“The FBI’s newly released hate crime statistics should be welcomed news to homosexuals. The latest hate crime numbers have been posted on the FBI’s web site. …The FBI hate crime statistics show the following: In 2000, there were a total of 8,152 hate crimes reported involving a total of 9,524 distinct incidents. Out of a total of 8,144 single-bias incidents, for example, 5,206 were racially motivated and 1,568 were bias crimes against a person’s religion.

The FBI says the most common hate crime was that of “intimidation” with a total of 3,294 cases. A person who was “intimidated” was a victim of profanity, racial slurs, or verbal threats by another individual. In short, a third of these hate crimes were non-violent and amounted to name-calling.”

One wonders  if the good reverend has ever been seriously harassed or taunted or threatened in his life! He blithely dismisses as mere name calling things as serious as multiple, physically aggressive and verbally hateful people trailing someone down the street telling them in graphic terms just what they plan to do to that person, their family and anyone who is close to them…Remember, these statistics only refer to those verbal acts that were considered by the FBI to be CRIMES!

Virginia, what do you think of a reverend who thinks that a truck load of rednecks trailing a black schoolgirl and taunting her with rape and assault on her family is “name calling”? Good girl, I can’t fault your instincts. But, you should not use language like that in public. Ladies have better use of their vocabulary than that!  To be fair it should be noted that he also probably considers 15 Muslim youths chasing and screaming threats at a Jewish kid half their size to also be “name calling.” The Rev. only promotes Equal Opportunity Callousness I am sure!

“…Overall, there were only 1,517 hate crimes of bias committed because of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation in 2000. It is likely that at least a third of these were intimidation or name-calling. The FBI gathered these statistics from 11,691 law enforcement agencies encompassing a total of 237 million Americans-or 84.2% of the entire population.”

Here is a good example of how partisans use statistics dishonestly.  The number 1,517 is called “only’ and then several much larger,but irrelevant, numbers are listed to further diminish it in the reader’s mind. The good Rev obviously does not expect his audience to stop and THINK about the numbers he has revealed to be a veritable gospel for American homosexuals.

1,517 out of 8,144 means that more or less one out of every five incidents of ”single bias” against ANYONE was about that person’s sexual orientation!  Almost TWENTY PERCENT!  And this is measured against all the bias incidents against Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, women, men, old folks, young folks, Republicans, Democrats and whatever other groups you care to name!!!  TWENTY PERCENT of this type of crime is committed against gays?  And the Rev feels that gays should rejoice in this “Good News”?

“No compassionate American is in favor of someone being verbally or physically assaulted because of his sexual preferences, but neither should we be subjected to thought crime legislation that provides special legal protections to homosexuals not accorded other Americans. Criminalizing a person’s views on sexual behavior should not be a matter of federal law.”

I agree that EVERYONE should have protection against bias motivated crime. But, this does not give the morally-ambiguous Reverend the right to lie and say that criminalizing bias-based ACTIONS (that in themselves are criminal) is criminalizing a person’s VIEWS!!!

“Out of 11.6 million crimes committed against persons and property in 2000, only 1,517 were hate crimes directed at homosexuals-and a third of these were undoubtedly name-calling. This should be good news to homosexual activists, but it undercuts one of their primary objectives: The passage of federal hate crime legislation that will add homosexual behavior as a protected class status under federal civil rights laws.”

I guess that it is possible to admire the economy or language in the above passage, it is impossible to find morality in it. First the Rev pulls the TOTAL person and property crime number out (not the much smaller, but RELEVENT, single-bias number) and compares it to 1,517, next he applies his “name calling” dismissal to further reduce the importance of that number. Finally, he slaps homosexuals in the face by calling this number good news and uses the sum of his hypocrisy to “prove” that the numbers “undermine” the need for hate crime laws, ESPECIALLY regarding homosexuals!  Tums anyone?

“…The FBI’s recent statistics showing how few hate crimes were committed against homosexuals in 2000 are irritations that will undoubtedly be ignored by activists. The truth has undercut their claims of an epidemic of hate crimes against homosexuals, but that won’t stop them from attempting to gain special rights under federal law for their preferred sexual behavior.”

I guess the Rev follows the old “Big Lie” theory; tell it with a straight enough face and tell it often enough, and people will believe ANY nonsense!  Notice how he tosses in the gibe implying that gays CHOOSE to be as they are!

Left or Right, it does not really matter. Those who seek power for power’s sake will show themselves as morally empty,no matter what “God” they claim to follow.

 

Doth we protest too much?: a Muslim voice

(HH here: I was perusing the AtlMuslim site today. Most of the articles are smoothly spun anti-West Pro-Islamist softsoap. Here and there are interesting glimpses into the mind of the supremacist Muslim. Occasionally there is reasonable argument and analysis. This article is one example.

I think the author has about as much chance of changing the course of the Islamist movements as a “moderate” Nazi would have had in changing the party in 1939 but I applaud the effort.

Frankly I think that if large numbers of Muslims actually put things to reason as much as this author wants the “movement’ would LOSE people to blossoming compasion and tolerance.

But Anyway, even in this piece you see the spin of supremacist. The Jews are “oppressing an indigenous people” Not only does that stretch to the limit the term indigenous but it forgets that a significant percentage of the JEWISH population there also must be then considered “indigenous”. And let us not forget the hundreds of thousands of displaced JEWS from Muslim lands who were expelled in ’48. (as opposed to most of the Muslims who left of their own free will to be out of the way of the Muslim Vengence army. Don’t believe it? Look at quotes from ARAB leaders as late at 1964!!!)

No matter how much you stretch the supremacist mind it remains supremacist in thought until it finally shatters in it’s own hypocrisy and the person is no longer a tool of an ideology. So I have hope for the author even while I don’t expect many radical Muslims to listen to him.

In fact I would not be surprised to find that by saying that Islam had no lock on moral behaviour Superior to that of any other religion the author would be considered an apostate.)

By Ayman Fadel, January 15, 2009

In many Gaza demonstrations, the use of inflammatory rhetoric – such as the words “Nazi” and “Holocaust” – does not advance our objectives at all. Instead, it causes observers to doubt the marchers’ rationality.

On January 10, 2009, I attended a protest in Atlanta, Georgia titled “Children March Against Genocide in Palestine.” Overall, the protest was a positive event, …

However, there was a phenomenon in place at this event – something I had witnessed at similar protests in the past – namely some disturbing chants and a few horrifying signs used to express outrage at the ongoing suffering of the people of Gaza.

One chant from a person with a bullhorn referred to Israel as a “terrorist state,” while others in the crowd started chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” In ascending order of disapproval features on some of the signs included the use of the words “genocide,” “Holocaust,” “Nazi,” and the swastika symbol. One particularly offensive sign had “Israhell: The Real Racist Nazis” on one side and the Israeli flag on the other, with the Star of David replaced by a light blue swastika.

I approached two people carrying this last sign and asked them if they made it themselves. Each told me no. Instead, each had grabbed the sign from a stack of available signs for marchers to take. I then asked each if he knew what the sign meant. Both said, “No.”

There are symbols that produce the most reptilian, visceral response in people. For Jews worldwide, for victims of Nazi Germany, and for those who fought Nazi Germany (like the United States), the swastika is at the top of this list. Contemporary U.S. and European hate groups vandalize minority religions’ buildings, including mosques, with this symbol. In my mind, the only effect the use of this symbol can possibly have is to provoke the worst reaction in people who see it.

One young woman had a sign equating the Star of David with a swastika, followed by a question mark. I asked her about it, and she told me that she hoped to provoke thought. I did not press the issue with her, but I would ask her if the caricatures of the Messenger Muhammad ﷺ published in the Danish right-wing newspaper Jyllands-Posten “provoked thought.”

The desecration and abuse of these symbols is incompatible with the ethos of a humble believer. The Star of David, despite its appropriation by the state of Israel, remains a symbol of Judaism, which Muslims regard to be a revealed religion in its origin and a source of guidance. Regardless of whether the symbol has any real relationship to God’s Messenger David (Dawud in Arabic) ﷺ, anything tied with a messenger’s name should have some sanctity.

Regarding the chants, the Israeli state does do some terroristic things. But it also has an educational system, a health care system, public transportation, and more, just as Hamas, the Palestine National Authority, Egypt and the United States do (or wish to). In fact, some libertarians would say that every state is a terrorist state. Aside from the fact that the claim is either wrong or a truism, it is an unnecessary claim that does not advance our objectives at all. Instead, it causes people to doubt the marchers’ rationality.

I believe there is a group of demonstrators whose sole purpose is “shifaa’ al-suduur,” an Arabic phrase which I would roughly translate in this context as “blowing off steam.” They feel bad, like all of us, and marching and shouting insulting slogans and carrying provocative signs makes them feel better. Those in this group should indulge the rest of us in our delusion that we can actually improve U.S. policy towards the Palestinians. Indulge us by not undermining us in that work. If you must blow off steam, have a separate direct action. Or travel abroad and fight. Or, better, fast the day and pray at night that Allah ﷻ relieves the Palestinians and forgives us for betraying them. Organizers of these events must make it clear why they want people to come and take measures to prevent or limit behaviors that undermine this purpose.

I quickly learned that the Israeli government is not the only government in the world suppressing indigenous peoples, so I don’t say stupid things like “the Israelis are the worst people in the world” and worse. When I learn that Muslims in Sudan killed hundreds of thousands in Darfur and forced millions to flee their villages for refugee camps, I know that adherents of no single religion have a monopoly on morality (and immorality). When I learn about the Nazi-orchestrated slavery and industrial murder of Jews and others in Europe and the killing of 800,000 in Rwanda in 100 days, I don’t casually use words like “Nazi”, “genocide” and “Holocaust.”

Muslim organizers of these protests against the Israeli war in Gaza should expand their encounters with others through participation in a wide variety of organizations, from women’s rights, social welfare, environment protection and foreign policy advocacy, particularly where Muslims are underrepresented. By framing our issues in a manner consistent with more widely accepted norms, we can avoid ineffective and inaccurate “protesting too much.” By connecting our just causes to those of others, we can improve our effectiveness in advocating for them in the years to come.

Click on the title to read it all.

Moderate Religious commentary. Blogging the Bible? Blogging the Koran? How about BOTH?

I started looking at Hot Air’s Blogging the Koran and decided to read the original Slate: Blogging the Bible first. That was yesterday afternoon! It is now 10:00PM. The writer, David Plotz (yes, that IS his real name) is fantastic. Here is a small sample of his comments:

“Koheleth begins by deploring the “solitary individuals,” who spend all their time working but have no one to share their wealth with. This flows into the following glorious passage:

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone?

This is an out-of-fashion sentiment for our individualistic era—like something from a Swedish government pamphlet, circa 1975. But my God! It’s phenomenal! Let’s talk about the killer line of the passage: “How can one keep warm alone?” My all-time favorite Slate article is this 1997 essay about marriage by the late Herb Stein, written right after the death of his wife. Stein described watching couples walk by the sidewalk cafe where he was sitting. He asked why the wives were important to their husbands.

First, she is a warm body in bed. I don’t refer to their sexual activity. That is important but too varied for me to generalize about. I refer to something that is, if possible, even more primitive. It is human contact. A baby crying in its crib doesn’t want conversation or a gold ring. He wants to be picked up, held, and patted. Adults need that physical contact also. They need to cuddle together for warmth and comfort in an indifferent or cold world.

When I read Stein’s article 10 years ago, I wept, imagining him with no one to cuddle with anymore. And I almost cried at this passage from Ecclesiastes, thinking of all those who don’t have someone to keep them warm in bed.

The chapter closes with a smack at the ostentatiously religious: “Be not overeager to go to the House of God.” The implication, if I read the surrounding verses correctly, is that the prayers and offerings of fools are worthless. ”

Find the rest HERE! Warning! It is addictive!

The Blogging the Koran was a bit too partisan for my taste. I would like to see a true moderate Muslim do the job over.

Ask and you shall receive an answer


I have been asked why I include so many articles critical of Islamist thought and action in this blog. Basically it comes down to a focus on nations and ideologies that I see having actual potential to disrupt lives here and around the world.

I am not a big fan of totalitarian thought and will never apologize for highlighting it when I see it. I will and HAVE argued toe to toe vehemently standing up for someone to have the right to say things I thought were stupid and even what I would call evil. That is words. Actions are something different.

I have also always felt that to deny someone else’s rights is rude and simply wrong. To me, any organization or group or religion or whatever that tries to force it’s opinions on people is, by default, wrong. I do not believe that ANY philosophy that includes a need for “thought police” can find many VALID conclusions in its search for “truth” with a capital T.

Whether we are looking at a group of Biblical Literalists or a sect of hyper-conservative Jews or Wahabi Islam branch we are looking at a Neo-Platonic mindset that is simply not compatible with the Post Reformation, Post Enlightenment Western way of life and thought. The world we live in is not the world that matters to these people. What matters is an idealized “other place” where all things are perfect and from which all things of this world are IMPERFECTLY reflected. This perfect plane (heaven if you will) contains the “perfect being” that in incomprehensible to this world. Human reason in this vision of reality is incapable of finding ANY great truths at all. Imperfection is built into everything and no amount of time or study will bring a person closer to real “truth”. To even try is to commit a crime against the “State” or “God”.

This is a world of revelation not inspiration. a world of doctrine, not one of discussion or debate. The “least imperfect” elite must absolutely control the masses to channel them into “proper” behavior against their imperfect tendencies and inherent nature to do things wrongly. The Radicalizing Imams, the Militant Rabbis and the Christian Identity Preachers all hold the concepts and ideals of Plato’s Republic close to heart whether they admit it (as the Marxists and Nazis did) or not.

In the West the religious attachment to these ideas has faded before the glare of the Enlightenment, a rebirth and vindication of the Aristotelian mindset that has its roots solidly in the idea that reason is useful and the world does have an order of it’s own that can be seen and understood with time.

The very idea that revelation is the only proper source of “morality” is easily refuted simply by noting that even when using wholly secular logic and psychology the non-platonic moralist arrives at the same, almost universal, concept of Do Unto Others etc. that is shared by most religions.

It should be noted that the only notable examples of philosophies and religions (i.e. Soviet Communist, Fascism, Radical Rightist Christian and Jewish groups and Wahabi and Taliban style Muslims) that do NOT accept the basic Humanity and worth of non-members are all Neoplatonic in philosophy using their “revelations” to dominate and control the “unenlightened” masses.

In the end what I disseminate and comment upon depends on how influential I think a group or movement is at the time. In the 80’s and 90’s It was radically political Christians (which is funny as the way I read the Bible Jesus was EXPLICIT in telling his followers to NOT get involved in politics lest they compromise their relationship with God) that worried me the most domestically and abroad it was the Soviets and the White Power movements abroad that troubled me most.

Today the only major threat to world peace and stability seems to be the persistence of an extreme, neoplatonic ideal in the Islamic world. Debate is not allowed. Questioning of authority is not just bad it is immoral. All reform is seen as heresy and any dissent is a crime against God rendering the perpetrator less than Human not just in the eyes of the law but in the eyes of GOD!

Whatever neoplatonic foolishness that has existed in Christianity (Mostly perpetrated by the Greek influenced Paul) has, in the West, has faded before the Aristotelian philosophy of the Reformation and Enlightenment yielding a new dawn of ideas, inventions and political evolution.

With the beginning of what looks to the beginning of depolitization of American Christianity and the disappearance of the U.S.S.R. and it’s style of Communism hardline orthodox Islam is the last one standing that seems to be a real threat to civilization in general.

Jews and Christians abound who posses a devout love of God. Yet they do not feel they are required to blindly embrace every barbaric tribal injunction that resides in their Scriptures. They follow the words of Jesus and Hillel and temper The Law they feel God wants them to obey with a recognition that ANY application of “God’s Law” that does not reflect the LOVE of God and the LOVE by God FOR Man is misguided and legalistic and should be thrown out.

There is an instructive story in in a man who was seen by his Rabbi to break the Sabbath in a small way to help a neighbor in trouble. The Rabbi told the man that if he did not realize what he had done the man’s own Rabbi should admonish him for violating the Sabbath. But, he said that if the man DID understand what he had done he deserved his Rabbi’s PRAISE! To express the Love of God in the form of love for your neighbor is seen here as being more in tune with “God’s Law” than a literal letter by letter adherence to that same law!!

Contrast this tale to any of the neoplatonic philosophies I have mentioned. Imagine a Communist or a Nazi or a Saudi Muslim telling their authorities that their breaking of the letter of the Law was actually a truer expression of the ruling philosophy.

Deviations and reinterpretations can be accepted but ONLY if they come from the top of the hierarchy. A groundswell of feeling from the masses is only seen as an evil deviance to be extinguished, never inspiration to be seriously considered. This is also why these organizations tend to rarely have peaceful transitions of power. In the political arena Total Control is sought after and ruthlessly maintained until wrested away by another faction who begins the game again. Anything less than total authority is seen as horrible compromise with evil that can only be tolerated for short times and specific goals.

As for me, I will take the Aristotelian Western view over the Platonic worldview now and forever. One works, the other only works evil. All modern sciences from the physical to the political are based in Aristotle’s ideas, why? Because they work!

Plato’s theories are today mostly confined to the remnants of two political religions , Communism and National Socialism, and the conservative sects of one major religion, Islam. Each one degrades the human worth below that of the “state” (or “God given law”) and each has resulted in a steady worsening of the general Human condition in areas they have controlled.

It can be argued that the only reason that the Nazis did not experience a serious loss of scientific advancement was that they did not have power long enough for their thought police to fully harden into place. Despite this lack of time studies of the intellectual changes in Germany over the Nazi period itself do show the stifling effect of a Platonic authoritarian system.

Another theme possessed by all of the Neoplatonic schools of thought: Exclusion of outside thought. The Communists and Nazis were great book burners. They both felt it a duty to root out and destroy any dissenting thoughts and ideas. So too the radical Christian and Jews as well as the Orthodoxy of Islam forbid their followers from even seeing certain ideas.

In a thousand years fewer books have been translated into Arabic than the number translated into Spanish in ONE YEAR. If one group (The West) can allow competing thoughts to freely enter and still retain it’s identity what does that say about the validity of another society that claims it’s only hope of survival is the exclusion of any idea that is in any way non-orthodox? One of the biggest social issues in Europe now a immigrants that come to Europe but refuse to participate in European culture OR allow it in their enclaves. Competition is stifled.

Are human reason and progress evil fantasies propagated by deluded agents of darkness? Are we all doomed unless we enslave our God-given minds and hearts to a rigid adherence to an unforgiving code that can only be interpreted by authorized agents? Are we to take it on faith that once the mind enslavers have total control of us all THEN peace and harmony will prevail? I for one know where I stand and I will continue to make that stance known.