The Mind’s Signs; You’ve Got to Have a Membership Card to Get Inside

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In the mind of all human beings you will find etched virtually unbreakable, arcane incantations. Amidst stray rituals, smells evocative of meaningful moments from life, and a variable number of intense emotional memories swept under mental furniture to prevent their being included in the ‘files‘. That is where they are found, shining out like neon signs along an oft traveled, drab neighborhood lane strung with bars and the occasional restaurant; engraved on the walls of the soul may be found a human’s personal, subjective, and mostly inviolable, ‘n Commandments’:

I MUST ONLY POOP WHERE I AM SUPPOSED TO!!!

 

NO ONE MUST DETECT BAD SMELLS FROM ME!

 

[Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here] IS DISGUSTING!

 

SEX IS…  [Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here]!

 

SEX MUST BE…  [Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here]!

 

SEX MUST NEVER BE…  [Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here]!

 

To Be Seen NAKED is…  [Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here]!

 

To See Someone Else NAKED is…  [Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here]!

 

Stealing is [Worse than or the Same As] stealing when you never [are/were] caught [variable intensity of punctuation]

 

I AM BAD IF I…  [Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here]!

 

I AM GOOD IF I…  [Put your own related hang-ups, kinks, realizations or coping mechanisms here]!

 

An attentive student cannot help but begin to get the picture; though only comprised of “software” modeled during our lifetimes on our psyche’s we are rarely even aware that they exist; let alone that we can change them with understanding and will.

Do you know what bars line your mental street of unforgettably forgotten habits, rituals and automatic, “natural” reactions? If you do have a mental map of your life’s ‘programming’, what are you doing with this understanding?

How are you treating Life anyway?

–       Be Prepared to Appreciate What You Meet. (Taoist proverb)

With the Reaping of the Harvest of the Arab Summer Comes a Sowing of Real Spring for Islam

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As the bitter harvest of the “Arab Summer” is brought in there are signs that the seeds of a true Arab/Muslim “Spring” may already be sown.

Things are getting… interesting, Virginia; all is not as the talking heads (as opposed to Talking Heads, a Punk group in the 70’s – 80’s of truly original musical genius) would have us believe. It seems that not only have the people of Egypt tossed out the cleric-backed Morsi, they are turning a deaf ear to their imams’ efforts to “twist the population’s religious arm” to support the Muslim Brotherhood’s political influence.

Muslim Brotherhood’s bid to scapegoat Christians failing, say Egyptians

By Lisa Daftari

As their nation descends into violent chaos, Egyptians are increasingly blaming the Muslim Brotherhood, despite attempts by the Islamist group to scapegoat Christians and the military, according to several sources …

The Muslim Brotherhood has lost all sympathy with their points due to their violence,” said a Long Island, N.Y., Egyptian-American [visiting] in a Cairo suburb…”

The man, a Coptic Christian who asked that his name not be used until he and his family are safely back in the U.S…. arrived in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis last weekend, just days after Muslim Brotherhood supporters began clashing violently with security forces. Since then, nightly curfews, angry mobs and closed roads that cut off supplies to restaurants and groceries have made his homeland unrecognizable… The violence began when, more than a month after the military stripped President Mohammad Morsi of power and took him into custody, authorities cleared camps of protesters in Cairo.

Take note that it was only after a full month, when the camps of core protesters themselves were dispersed, was there any violence from the citizenry; they had rejoiced in the streets, and on TV during that month. This would lead one to believe that the violence is coming from a small (in relation to the population as a whole) core of Brotherhood supporters and will crumble swiftly unless given life-support by massive foreign intervention of some sort; both weapons/cannon-fodder smuggling and ‘sanctuary‘ in some nearby sovereign area come to mind.

That action prompted a violent uprising in which more than 1,000 people have been killed. Morsi, who(m) critics said had put the nation on a path toward Islamist rule, is now facing accusations of conspiring with Hamas to escape from prison during the 2011 uprising and complicity in the killing and torture of protesters outside his Cairo palace in December.

…Christian and Muslim … are solidly behind the military, which has been criticized by the west for its decisive crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

I am Muslim and I am against terrorism and I support the revolution [which ousted Morsi] and I support all the decisions of the Egyptian army forces,” …  “We love Egypt so much and we hope the foreign countries stop misunderstanding about us and the situation now in Egypt.”

The fact is that in Egypt, like in Iran the actual people of Egypt overwhelmingly prefer a more “enlightened” version of Islam despite being dominated, and often hoodwinked, by a “tiny minority of radicals“; I am referring to the Imams not terrorists, who are just the ‘useful idiots‘ the Imams use to steal power.

Even at mosques, the tide seems to be turning against the Muslim Brotherhood, according to one man who spoke from Cairo.

They gather around mosques, from five to 100 of them, to show they are important and the goal is to go and cut off the roads and rally to get more supporters,” he said.

Sometimes during Friday prayers, the sheikh wants to push people to support the Muslim Brotherhood, but modern Muslims are dominant and not deceived anymore with fake words that defending the Muslim Brotherhood is defending Islam,” he said.

One former jihadist and Salafist cleric who spoke to Mid-East Christian News said the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to focus anger against the nation’s Christian minority, which did not support Morsi, but was hardly alone in that stance.

The Brotherhood lost everything, politically and economically,” Osama el-Quossi told MCN. “They lost the citizens’ sympathy, so they used religion to gain support of ordinary people.

Methinks, Virginia that when yo add in the polls showing the vast lack of support for groups like CAIR and MPAC amongst the deen it looks like the clergy of Islam might be facing a “stockholder” revolt that will replace all the “board-members” with Imams who actually share the same reality that Muslims-as-people live with every day, and enjoy.

In sum; While Pakistan and Afghanistan are cultures long used to ongoing sectarian strife other nations like Turkey, Egypt and most of the more Eastern Muslim countries are seeing mostly problems fomented by power/money from outside their own borders and ethnic/religious groups. I want to make note though that Egypt’s record under Mubarak in its treatment of the Copts (the original Egyptian culture before the forced Arab cultural assimilation introduced by the invasion of Islam).

In fact, it seems that if President Obama had supported the grassroots revolt in Iran a couple years ago, and not thrown his weight behind the Muslim Brotherhood after Mubarak was ousted, we might already have seen a real Arab Spring; I have high hopes for the next 12 months though; the ‘Black Hats‘ (Imams) are starting to realize that the “townsfolk” (deen) all hate them, even if the ‘White Hats‘ (secularists) can be jerks themselves often enough. I can see their point; far preferable is the religious nut who is a total pain in the neck when compared to someone who wants to cut off your head.

To the Muslim world; Good Luck with your Enlightenment and Reformation, I promise you, it will be interesting.

Dumbest (uncorrected) Choices in American History: Shortlist

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My list of REALLY STUPID CHOICES made in American history; just a short-list I am afraid:

Diet Food” that is more chemicals than food

Having the Soviet Union an “ally” in WWII – better to have let them go it alone; email for full argument

The Electoral College in the Age of Communication; direct election of all offices should be the norm; Political Parties are OBSOLETE and COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE

Public Sector Unions

Adding “under God” to the Pledge making it a point of division instead of unity

Lotus and Apple’s Patent-the-Universe Syndrome making the courts accept patents on things never meant for patent

Failing to live up to Dr. King’s vision and refusing to stop being prejudiced regarding race

Private campaign donations of any kind other than labor

Campaign donations by businesses

Supreme Court deciding that money= a right to a louder voice for YOUR ‘free speech

Dropping the no-partisanship requirements for radio talk-shows and ‘interview’ programs

Letting Lawyers advertise

Supreme Court declaring that nothing of value is earned by the recipient of a military award or decoration

Women’s, Chicano, Black “Studies” propping up people selected, distorted and lionized with blatant prejudice; taking away self-respect while pretending to help by ‘giving the poor things a hand’, and White Studies designed to rip on Western Culture for the same purpose – removing its self-respect – it seems non-whites are too dumb or clueless to run their own lives or stand up to whites and that whites are just intrinsically demonic – welcome to the enlightened world of PC education

Failing to settle on the point in a pregnancy where a woman’s choice is MADE and she must be held responsible for an infant rather than a piece of owned tissue. (6 month preemies regularly survive today and the Radical Right’s agenda on abortion would make women all but chattel)

Worrying more about which consenting adults, what age, color or how many may legally get ‘married’; ignoring the concept of duty, honor and responsibility anyone brings to their marriages

Bilingual Education as a policy

Helmets, knee and elbow-pads for tricycle riders

Peer promotion in school

Affirmative Action after 1990 – where was the transition to color-blind government?

Worrying more about what actual people have DONE with their guns than trying to get law-abiding folk to not have any at all

Electing Andrew Jackson, Jimmy Carter, George W., and Obama

Forgetting that ALL countries do best with immigrants if they pick from the TOP of the pile instead of the bottom

Paying a private group to print/coin money like a product to be bought forgetting that money has no ‘intrinsic’ value’; dollars are just counters for the economic game; increasing or decreasing the supply by fiat to ACCURATELY reflect the production/wealth of a nation is the ONLY reason when deciding when or if to print more money, or let the cash pool contract

Deciding that political consensus and no working model or scientific theory that has been tested is sufficient when making decisions in haste that could wreck the world’s entire economy/infrastructure; in the 70’s it was the next Ice Age that was imminent… no models then either

Making an “eco-friendly” light-bulb containing hazardous amounts of mercury

Adults stealing Halloween from the children and making it another grown-ups party holiday

The Writer’s Strike

ANY serious university or college that “emphasized” sports to make money and enabled ‘tails’ that can wag Great Danes with ease

Conservatives Like to Steal the Thunder of Liberals

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Poor RIchard Dawkins. All that he did Virginia, was to note, as an interesting statistic, that Trinity College, Cambridge faculty and alumni have more Nobel Prizes than all the world’s Muslims despite many inflated “facts” floated about regarding the awesome contributions to modern society of an apocryphal “golden Age” of Islam; the quality of the Muslim claims are typical of all conservative partisans!

Though the conservatives like to take credit 100 or more years later, it is the liberal thinkers that seek, and bring, the progress; meanwhile the conservative-minded act as a ‘brake’, ideally keeping things from going too far, too fast. However, allowing conservatives too much control has only ever led only to stagnation; letting the Left dominate always to chaos, then tyranny, which eventually becomes itself “conservative” and stagnates – lather, rinse, repeat.

I am sorry Virginia but, I fail to see anygood choice‘ there for the majority of us, the moderate minded – the true 99%.

The problem is partisanship. If people of disparate thought let cooperation originally intended to improve opportunity and quality of life for the nation as a whole; individuals, families and up; to do this despite corruption, stupidity and social ills that are apolitical & endemically human turn into a rivalry for control society is at a point when it really doesn’t matter which side “wins” when you look at how much the society inevitably loses.

Reality = “I tend to be conservative in my actions and reactions as a personal policy/character trait

B.S. = “all major political & social issues should be decided by solidly conservative minds”

“New Perspective of ‘Jihad’ in Christianity and Islam” Just More ‘Narrative’?

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Here is a hard question Virginia; when does ‘selling‘ cross the line into ‘conning‘, when does a ‘pundit‘ or ‘proponent‘ become a propagandist?

 There was an an article in my inbox this morning by Craig Considine on Huffington Post that begs the question; is it a good‘ article, or just another attempt promoting a ‘Big Lie‘?

 I have always believed that to lie, distort, cast aspersions or avoid full disclosure of questionable sources in order to “win” a debate (or followers) is inherently dishonest, and at least partially, invariably damages the strength of any argument that the ‘less-than-honest‘ pundits put forth.

 Any reasonable person can see that when it becomes generally obvious that this kind of dishonest “argument” is acceptable and indispensable to an organization or pundit’s persuasive arsenal the only possible effect on non-committed minds, as well as the ‘opposition‘ is to take away any reason they might have to consider the actual thoughts or ideas lurking behind the libel, hype and spin; the credibility of all of their arguments and positions become suspect.

 This piece by Mr. Considine; is he intentionally doing a whitewash or, does he merely accept inaccurate and, or misleading information he has been fed by those who know better but only want to “win“?

Come Virginia, let’s look at it piece by piece; we shall attempt to differentiate the bog, fog and quicksand from what is truly solid ground.

Politicians and anti-Muslim activists frequently take to audiences and websites to criticize the term “jihad” as a form of Islamic supremacism, oppression, and violence. Muslim extremists, on the other hand, argue that “jihad” refers to a “holy war” against non-Muslims. Viewing the term “jihad” though these frameworks alone, however, would be playing into the hands of extremists who forego the other elements encompassed by the term “jihad.”

Take note Virginia of the typical partisan technique: lumping all conceivable “opponents” into one conveniently disposable lump. Note also the author’s bearing of false witness as he conflates everyone against the advance of Islamic Supremacism with a tiny minority against those individuals who are labeled as Muslim!

At the very same time Considine comes off as though he is doing a ‘whitewash‘; it is indisputable that the definition he tells us is promoted for “jihad” by “Muslim extremists” is exactly the same as the declared interpretation of the word accepted and defended by all of the Islamic Schools of Jurisprudence; who set doctrine and dogma for the Ummah; Yes, Virginia, both the Sunni and the Shiite Schools.

Not one thing he says in that paragraph is technically untrue but, when you look at what is unsaid, what is distorted or maligned, and the paragraph becomes more an example of artful lying than of an honest attempt at communication.

But, Wait! There’s MORE!” said the used car salesman…

In Islam, “jihad” has several different components, which include personal struggles, such as the struggle against an addiction; social struggles, such as the struggle to become tolerant of others; and occasionally a military struggle, if and when necessary in self-defense. When asked, “What is the major jihad?” Muhammad replied: “The jihad of the self (struggle against the personal self).” Contrary to the rhetoric and misinformation about “jihad” in anti-Islam networks, Muhammad did not say that the violent struggle was the most important form of “jihad.

Contrary to its being one of the most quoted “hadith” by Islamist apologists I can’t find it in any orthodox collection of ahadith! The only place it seems to be found is in a book published posthumously but, only in the completely re-edited 2nd edition:

Forty Hadith:

An Exposition on Forty Ahadith Narrated through the Prophet and His Ahl al-Bayt, may peace be upon them

Second Revised Edition
by
Imam Khomeini

Translated by:
Mahliqa Qara’i (late) and Ali Quli Qara’i

Published by:
Ahlul Bayt World Assembly
(ABWA)
Tehran, IRAN

Table of Contents:

Introductory Note

About The Author

Childhood And Early Education

The Years Of Spiritual And Intellectual Formation In Qum, 1923 To 1962

The Years Of Struggle And Exile, 1962-1978

The Islamic Revolution, 1978-79

1979-89: First Decade Of The Islamic Republic, Last Decade Of The Imam’s Life

Introduction

Purpose Of Writing The Book

Hadith 1
First Hadith: Jihad of The Self

Hadith 2
Second Hadith: Ostentation (RIYA’)

Hadith 3
Third Hadith: Self-Conceit (‘Ujb)

Hadith 4
Fourth Hadith: Pride (Kibr)

Hadith 5
Fifth Hadith: Envy (Hasad)

Hadith 6
Sixth Hadith: Love Of The World

Hadith 7
Seventh Hadith: Anger (Ghadhab)

Hadith 8
Eighth Hadith: Prejudice (‘ASABIYYAH)

Hadith 9
Ninth Hadith: Hypocrisy (Nifaq)

Hadith 10
Tenth Hadith: Desire And Hope

Hadith 11
Eleventh Hadith: Man’s God-Seeking Nature

Hadith 12
Twelfth Hadith: Contemplation (Tafakkur)

Hadith 13
Thirteenth Hadith: Trust In God (TAWAKKUL)

Hadith 14
Fourteenth Hadith: Fear of God

Hadith 15
Fifteenth Hadith: The Believer’s Trials And Tribulations

Hadith 16
Sixteenth Hadith: Patience (Sabr)

Hadith 17
Seventeenth Hadith: Repentance (TAWBAH)

Hadith 18
Eighteenth Hadith: Remembrance Of God

Hadith 19
Nineteenth Hadith: Backbiting (Ghibah)

Hadith 20
Twentieth Hadith: Pure Intention (Ikhlas)

Hadith 21
Twenty-First Hadith: Thankfulness (Shukr)

Hadith 22
Twenty-Second Hadith: The Aversion For Death

Hadith 23
Twenty-Third Hadith: The Seekers Of Knowledge

 

Hadith 24

Twenty Fourth Hadith: The Classification Of Sciences

Hadith 25
Twenty-Fifth Hadith: Satanic Insinuation

Hadith 26
Twenty Sixth Hadith: The Pursuit Of Knowledge

Hadith 27
Twenty-Seventh Hadith: Prayer And Concentration

Hadith 28
Twenty-Eighth Hadith: Meeting God

Hadith 29
Twenty-Ninth Hadith: The Prophet’s Counsel To ‘Ali

Hadith 30
Thirtieth Hadith: The Indescribability Of God, The Prophet, And The Imams

Hadith 31
Thirty-First Hadith: The Kinds Of Hearts

Hadith 32
Thirty-Second Hadith: Conviction In Faith

Hadith 33
Thirty-Third Hadith: Wilayah And Works

Hadith 34
Thirty-Fourth Hadith: The Station of The Faithful Before God

Hadith 35
Thirty-Fifth Hadith: God And Man, Good And Evil

Hadith 36
Thirty-Sixth Hadith: The Attributes Of God

Hadith 37
Thirty-Seventh Hadith: The Knowledge Of God

Hadith 38
Thirty-Eighth Hadith: The Meaning Of God’s Creation Of Adam In His Image

Hadith 39
Thirty-Ninth Hadith: Good And Evil

Hadith 40
Fortieth Hadith: Exegesis Of Surat Al-Tawhid And Some Verses Of Surat Al-Hadid

A Hint Concerning The Exegesis Of Surat Al-Tawhid

A Hint Concerning Bismillah

A Brief Hint Concerning The Exegesis Of The Noble Verses Of Surat Al-Hadid Until The Words ‘Alimun Bi Dhatis-Sudur

Conclusion

Prayer And Epilogue

The Table of Contents of the posthumous 2nd edition (Even the 1st Edition was published after the death of the author) has a curious addition that is found nowhere in the TOC of the original, or anywhere else it seems; it is also of note that the names of the translators is the same in each edition though the publisher and city in Iran in which it was published changes:

 Forty Hadith

An Exposition on 40 ahadith narrated through the Prophet and his Ahl al-Bayt
by
Imam Ruhullah al-Musawi al-Khumayni
Translated by:
Mahliqa Qara’i (late) and Ali Quli Qara’i
Published by:
Al-Tawhid
Qum, The Islamic Republic of Iran

Here is the original Table of Contents:

 Part 1

First Hadith: On the Tradition of the Forty Ahadith

Part 2
The Second Hadith: On Riya’

Part 3
Third Hadith: On `Ujb

Part 4
Fourth Hadith: On Kibr

Part 5
Fifth Hadith: On Hasad

Part 6
Sixth Hadith: Love of the World

Part 7
Seventh Hadith: On Anger (Ghadab)

Part 8
Eighth Hadith: On `Asabiyyah

Part 9
Ninth Hadith: On Hypocrisy (Nifaq)

Part 10
Tenth Hadith: On Desire and Hope

Part 11
Eleventh Hadith: Man’s God-seeking Nature

Part 12
Twelfth Hadith: on Contemplation (Tafakkur)

Part 13
Twelfth Hadith (Contd. From the Part 12)

Part 14
Thirteenth Hadith: On Tawakkul

Part 15
Fourteenth Hadith: On the Fear of God

Part 16
Fifteenth Hadith: On the Believer’s Trials and Tribulations

Part 17
Sixteenth Hadith: On Sabr

Part 18
Seventeenth Hadith: On Tawbah

Part 19
Eighteenth Hadith: On Remembrance of God

Part 20
Nineteenth Hadith: On Ghibah

Part 21
Twentieth Hadith: On Ikhlas

Part 22
Twenty First Hadith: On Shukr

Part 23
Twenty Second Hadith: On the Aversion for Death

Part 24
Twenty Third Hadith: Of the Seekers of Knowledge

Part 25
Twenty Fourth Hadith: On the Classification of Sciences

Part 26
Twenty Fifth Hadith: On Waswas

Part 27
Twenty Sixth Hadith: On the Pursuit of Knowledge

Part 28
Twenty Seventh Hadith: Prayer and Concentration

Part 29
Twenty Eighth Hadith: On Liqa’ Allah

Part 30
Twenty Ninth Hadith: The Prophet’s Counsel to ‘Ali

Part 31
Twenty Ninth Hadith: The Prophet’s Counsel to `Ali

(Contd.)

Part 32
Thirtieth Hadith: The Indescribability of God, the Prophet, and the Imams

Part 33
Thirty First Hadith: The Kinds of Hearts

Part 34
Thirty Second Hadith: On Conviction in Faith

Part 35
Thirty Third Hadith Wilayah and Works

Part 36
Thirty Fourth Hadith: The Station of the Faithful Before God

Part 37
Thirty Fifth Hadith: Of God and Man, Good and Evil

Part 38
Thirty Sixth Hadith: On the Attributes of God

Part 39
Thirty Seventh Hadith: On the Knowledge of God

Part 40
Thirty Eighth Hadith: The Meaning of God’s Creation of Adam in His Image

Part 41
Thirty-Ninth Hadith: Of Good and Evil

Part 42
Fortieth Hadith: On Exegesis of Surat al-Tawhid and Some Verses of Surat al-Hadid

THe first hadith in the 2nd edition is not in Bukhari, it is not in Muslim; it is not in any  collection of ahadith that I could find mention of yet appeared in the 2nd edition of a dead man’s book, and is now used constantly to reassure non-Muslims that “holy war” has no part in “mainstream Islam” or was ever a major part of the concept of ‘jihad‘!

Even Google is in on the game…

If you put the Arabic/Persian word جِهَادُ into the Google Translator you will find that in a large number of languages Google simply spits back the transliteration of جِهَادُ for that language… in other words in English, German, Japanese, Latvian, Russian, Spanish and most of the others ‘jihad’ means ‘jihad’!

Ah, Virginia, that is not the end of the tale; it seems that Google missed a few. Here are the ones I found with translation instead of transliteration:

Dutch:

جِهَادُ = heilige oorlog

Heilige = Sanctified (St.)

Oorlog = War

جِهَادُ = (in Dutch) Holy War but, Google is still determined to keep most other peoples in ignorance; if I translate the Dutch phrase ‘heilige oorlog’ directly to English it declares that it means ‘jihad’!

Tamil:

جِهَادُ = இஸ்லாமியர்களின் புனித போர்

இஸ்லாமியர்களின் = of Muslims

புனித = Sanctified (St.)

போர் = war

புனித போர் = Holy War

If you put the whole phrase in then Google says that a translation of the Tamil phrase is… You guessed it…

இஸ்லாமியர்களின் புனித போர் = Jihad

Vietnamese

جِهَادُ = chiến tranh Hồi giáo and that chiến tranh Hồi giáo = jihad (in English)!

Word by word translation shows this however…

chiến = wizard

tranh = competition

Hồi giáo translates as Mohamadenism but Hồi translates as steam and giáo as lance; I may be lacking a Phd. in language but, I get something like “supernatural or divine competition of the ‘explosively expanding and dangerous’ ‘spear-people’”, um… Virginia does that sound like it means ‘Holy War’ to you? Certainly I think that a long and historically peaceful relationship between the two groups, Vietnamese and Muslims,  is contraindicated when the Vietnamese phrase for Islam translates as ‘steam lance’!

Of course here in politically correct Google-Land if you translate the whole Vietnamese phrase into English, well Google again gives the transliteration of the Arabic/Persian word جِهَادُ ‘jihad’ instead of any attempt at translation.

chiến tranh Hồi giáo = jihad

The hype in America and abroad over ”jihad” has brought me to consider the term through a Christian perspective. In this piece I seek to do two things — explore how forms of ”jihad” are present in Christianity and pinpoint different ways of looking at ”jihad” in Christian and Islamic texts. Doing so can help find common characteristics of “jihad” so that Christians and Muslims can build bridges of mutual understanding and tolerance.

The kicker Virginia is that the hadith has been declared unreliable pretty much by all Islamic authorities world-wide!

The entire article is in a similar, “who me, honest?” vein; including the following paragraph containing another hadith confirmed to be not only unreliable, but  fabricated (emphasis added):

In the Quran (58:11), God raises in rank “… those who have been given knowledge.” Muhammad also emphasized knowledge in a hadith, or saying of the Prophet, in which he said that “Seeking knowledge is a must for every Muslim, male or female, from cradle to grave in any part of the world.” Muhammad also stated in another hadith that “the ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.” Christians and Muslims, therefore, share a similar “jihad” in terms of their obligation to seek out knowledge and apply that knowledge in good faith for the betterment of humanity.

Sorry Arianna, your “pundit” pranked you; how much did you pay Craig for a politically correct fantasy pretending it is an informative article?

Virginia, it goes to show that it is best to ferret out the original information first, especially when that information is spread by a partisan in support of a partisan position.

Heretics Crusade Reviews ZEALOT: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan

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Anyone not familiar with my writing, religion or my politics should read these articles first to avoid getting the wrong idea ab out how the author feels about Iran, Imams and the Iranian-on-the-street that is the REAL “Iran”.

This is a review of the excerpted introduction from ZEALOT: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan

 I can’t wait to see the second volume, the one about ‘historical Muhammad’, to be followed no doubt by similar volumes on Krishna, Buddha, Lao Tse, the Rev. Moon and Bob Dobbs!

From the introduction I get the feeling that it should have been called the Charge of the Taqiyya Brigade! But, who is Reza practicing it against? Non-Muslims to confuse and convert, or Traditional Muslims to stay alive long enough to make a real difference; I can’t tell.

The only thing that is obvious is that B.S. plays a big part in this book; the introduction shows clearly both ignorance and dishonesty, while claiming pretensions of being objective analysis!

“… Palestine, the [Roman designation for the vast tract of land encompassing modern day Israel/Palestine as well as large parts of Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon].”

Not really. The name was of Egyptian/Judaic extraction [peleshet] and meant ‘rolling’, ‘migratory’ or something close to that; it referred to the, mostly Greek-derived culture that had invaded and conquered the coastal region of what is now Israel and Gaza all the way back in the 12th century BCE! The name was only made official by Rome (explicitly done to attempt to reduce the Jewish peoples’ identification the ‘Nation of Israel’) in 132 CE; also, the name had referred at overlapping times to a number of distinctly separate  places in the Middle East of 2,000 years ago.

The area was known, and had been known for centuries as Judea, Samaria and Galilee! It wasn’t until 3 full human lifetimes had passed after Jesus vanished from the world’s stage when a final Jewish rebellion brought turned Roman patience with Jewish Nationalism into Roman vengeance; the designation “Palestine” was chosen by the Romans in much the same spirit that neighboring Native Americans chose to call a particular North American tribe “the Sioux” – It meant “snakes” in the local dialects, and did not refer to wisdom dispensing kind in Greek lore; they picked the biggest boogiemen from Jewish history; the new dirige Provinciae Romanae was to be called after the Philistine invaders who conquered much of the Jewish lands for a time in centuries past.

Of course the pesky locals, probably already a bit peeved at having some invading peoples’ name imposed on them by leather skirt wearing “sore winners” carrying swords and eagles, and not even having an ‘F’ sound in their language just called it Filistin.

Common-sense tells us that anyone, of any religion or race who is descended from people, of any race or religion other than ‘Roman Citizen’ who is/was ‘from’ “Palestine” is no more, or less a “Palestinian” than any of the others who fit that description!

The earliest labeling of the area as “Palaistinē” (Greek – Παλαιστίνη) in the 5th Century BC by Herodotus hardly fails to conflict with the fact that the same century saw the steady return of the Jews from Persia to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of The Temple!!! Can this be any less “indigenously legitimate” a name than when a Spanish-Catholic invader (somewhat resembling in his cultural mindset the Jihadists under the First Caliph)namedmy birthplace and home after a mythical ‘Utopia’ from a contemporary book written within a culture thousands of miles away.*

Only after WW I was “Palestine” made in any way official; by the British who inherited responsibility for making sure the local infrastructure did not collapse when the Turks followed the defeated Germans West leaving their former subjects and brother Muslims in the mandate regions to sink or swim, Insha’Allah.

The newly named ‘Palestinian Mandate’ included Israel and the entire area that was given by the British as a (useless) gift/bribe to the Arabs for their own; we call it Jordan.

Despite some non-Muslim xenophobes trying to make a mountain out of that mole-hill it is irrelevant if the local Arab-culture Muslims cannot even pronounce the Roman-applied name; after all the Muslims are invaders too!

It certainly does make a difference though that that the word Palestine or Filastin appears 0 times in the Koran but, no fewer than 250 times does the Hebrew/Egyptian peleshet appear in the Jewish Tanakh.

Will the rest of your book be so generous to prides and prejudices of the religion you follow in other matters?

* Personally, I think it is cool be born and grow up where ‘our’ name was never a real place with a history, good or evil, until Californians made it real; we show cultural signs of our good fortune as American Californians in escaping much of the burden of guilt from slavery era, the Civil War or for displacing the natives simply because by the mid 1800’s the Spanish had already managed to more-or-less commit “benevolent” genocide by “saving the Natives’ Souls.” [i.e. forcing the natives into from their villages into “Missions” to be prayed over, worked to death and decimated repeatedly by various plagues as the over-crowding, bad sanitation and malnutrition weakened them and the “good Fathers” eliminated ancient cultures from Argentina to Oregon.]

Only after all that was over and done did you find Americans in large numbers braving the immense and dangerous crossing of the deserts and mountains west of the Mississippi into this magical land.

Americans soon outnumbered the Spanish, elbowing aside the Spanish; who were napping while the Indians and peasants worked only a little faster than they starved.

The Spanish, called “Missionaries”, and “Dons” were well dressed and drowsily stylish yet completely merciless against non-Catholics and peasants. These slave-holder/feudal Lords from Spain might just have been exhausted; it is not easy overseeing more than a hundred years of stagnation, native depopulation while regularly putting down revolts by sullen, despised-by-the-Spanish and always-about-to-rebel locals of mixed-blood called campesinos.

An embarrassing loss here, a cannon-shot there and California, now part of the United State of America could finally ‘get out of 2nd gear’! Of course, we STILL can’t won’t ‘Drive 55’!

 “the first-century Jewish revolutionary party known as the Zealots, who helped launched a bloody war against Rome”

What prompted the name of your book? WHY do you tar the Christian messiah with the filthy brush of a group he rejected in no uncertain terms when offered the chance by Simon to lead 50,000 fanatical warriors in taking Judea back from Rome? I will NOT put my earnings in your pocket to read the rest but, so far it seems no more than the usual taqiyya and dawa-based “narrative”!

You do know that the ministry of Jesus followed to its extreme the interpretations and philosophy of the Pharisee religious faction (expounded on at length in Jesus’ own lifetime by the beloved rabbi Hillel); the most devout stood aside during the defense of Jerusalem because they believed that a divine punishment had been ordained to the Jewish nation that must be accepted for a renewal of their ancient “covenant” with God? And you call Jesus a follower of the philosophy of Zealotes?

“He was a man of profound contradictions, one day preaching a message of racial exclusion (“I was sent solely to the lost sheep of Israel”; Matthew 15:24), the next, of benevolent universalism (“Go and make disciples of all nations”; Matthew 28:19); sometimes calling for unconditional peace (“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God”; Matthew 5:9), sometimes promoting violence and conflict (“If you do not have a sword, go sell your cloak and buy one”; Luke 22:36)”

Good Lord Man! I left Christianity because of its internal contradictions and such but, your interpretations of these passages are out of context, reinterpreted in your favor, seemingly with overt hostility. The only consistent message I ever found through the fog of two thousand years of political expedience by various sects bear no resemblance to your “interpretation”! This “profound contradiction” is hardly realistic; it is not any kind of objective scholarship I recognize!

Let me break it down for you…

1 what mystery regarding the difference between ‘I’ (me, myself, one person, one lifetime, one ministry, one goal) compared to ‘you’ (his followers, disciples, and later generations, broader goals) carrying his mission from a “saved” Judaism to other peoples is confusing you here? Isn’t’ that EXACTLY the way Mohammed is supposed to have done it; didn’t he only spread Islam to Most of Arabia and leave his followers to carry it to other nations? In English this is usually called hypocrisy.

I would say that you are misrepresenting even the “good” half of your pseudo-paradox regarding Jesus and pacifism!

sometimes calling for unconditional peace (“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God”; Matthew 5:9)”

In what language does call for unconditional anything, except Love for God? Jesus never advocated, he even refuted, the idea of unconditional non-violence; what mattered was if God was being followed or defied; the invocation and limits of violence were always tightly defined to avoid trespassing against “God’s Will” if their faith “called” them to do violence when required. He whipped the corrupting and religiously illegal money-changers from the forecourts of The Temple but, he most certainly did not storm in with a gang and start lopping off heads! That behavior is reserved for Friday evenings in certain Middle Eastern and South Asian countries!

As one raised in the faith by believers I saw NONE of what you are talking about even though eventually I left the religion for other reasons; in fact, as far as I saw it, read it, was taught it and saw it practiced, most of Jesus’ advice, his ministry and his teachings were aimed at an individual’s relationship with God; he wanted a city of saved souls, not to save the soul of a city, culture, nation or anything of that sort! In fact, he is recorded as advising those inclined to “get involved and save the world” to spend more time ignoring Earthly distractions and favored people, individuals all, living a Godly Life™. He certainly never promoted or promulgated any new societies, governments or states, nor did he promote the making of new laws to “make people be godly”! Do you even remember his treatment of the woman at the well, of the Roman Centurion wanting a sick servant who was absent healed by faith alone, the old non-Jewish woman he favored in ways he never favored any Jew? BZZZT, try again!

You also get it wrong on the “sword verse”, that is defensive based advise because of supposed fore-knowledge, a prediction of an overwhelming and swiftly approaching conflict, not an incitement to start cutting off people’s heads!!! He was even right in is prediction; within a hundred years Jerusalem had been destroyed by war!

The problem with pinning down the historical Jesus is that, outside of the New Testament, there is almost no trace of the man who would so permanently alter the course of human history. The earliest and most reliable nonbiblical reference to Jesus comes from the first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (d. 100 C.E.). In a brief throwaway passage in the Antiquities, Josephus writes of a fiendish Jewish high priest named Ananus who, after the death of the Roman governor Festus, unlawfully condemned a certain “James, the brother of Jesus, the one they call messiah,” to stoning for transgression of the law. The passage moves on to relate what happened to Ananus after the new governor, Albinus, finally arrived in Jerusalem.

Fleeting and dismissive as this allusion may be (the phrase “the one they call messiah” is clearly meant to express derision), it nevertheless contains enormous significance for those searching for any sign of the historical Jesus.”

So? Mohammed has even less! His name was also a title back, it is certainly possible that Mohammed also might have been mentioned a total of zero times in the Qur’an!! Do I think there was one man that we know as Jesus? I don’t know. Given that I am not Christian it has little importance to me. I am also not Muslim so, being able to put his existence in doubt is no more important! His teachings are the parts that mattered, not what fools made them into decades, centuries, millennia later!

I think it seems more likely than otherwise there was a radical Rabbi named Yeshua but, I am not so blind that I failed to have noticed that all four gospels contradict each other; it seems so far that your book is more an of an undercover defense of Islam than any kind of realistic critique regarding the existence or ministry of a man moderns call Jesus of Nazareth!

Oh, you did know, scholar that you are, that many Jews thought, and think that “the Messiah” already came and freed them… from the Persians… long before Jesus was born. Or that there are from three to five different versions of “The Messiah” and may, or may not, manifest combined in one, or more people? You can call yourself a Christian scholar if you must, I would disagree but, you certainly lack much understanding about Judaism of the time or about Judaic theology before the 1st Century.

Paul may be an excellent source for those interested in the early formation of Christianity, but he is a poor guide for uncovering the historical Jesus.”

Well what do you know! We agree on something!!!! Though I regard Paul more as the heretical Greek hijacker of Christianity than as one of its founders! Of course that doesn’t protect you from the fact that Islam is on even shakier ground; it was a  member of a family hostile to Islam from the beginning, a gentle soul… a family that had constantly sought to do to Islam just what Paul did to Christianity; this is the tree that fruited a Caliph. Then he just happened decide to oversee the destruction of all versions of the Qur’an in conflict with his tribe’s version.

And there is worse! If ‘Muhammad’ is being used in the Qur’an as a title, instead of a name, well  then Mohammed the man was ignored by the main source book of the religion he is supposed to have founded.

I guess you can write about any religion you like but, it would be nice if you refrained from bearing false witness when doing such a thing!

Simply put, the gospels tell us about Jesus the Christ, not Jesus the man.”

How can you write that and claim honest scholarship, even noting that there were a lot more than the “Four Gospels ™” which do show Jesus the man; even the Final Four give us glimpses… Just one example here; the Biblical story about the wedding with the water and wine was likely talking about HIS wedding to the third Mary (Did you forget Mary the Hairdresser?) the Magdalene. In the time of the reign of Tiberius it simply was not possible to be a Jewish Rabbi of any sort without being a married man; marriage was considered a religious duty to anyone with pretense to being devout. It would be similar to an openly gay drag queen trying to start up a preaching circuit at Southern Baptist churches in 1972 Alabama; ‘Minister’ is not one of the names they would call him! Nor could Yeshua have been able to be treated as a Rabbi, even a radical one, if unmarried. Only a segment of the Essenes preached celibacy and even they “married”!

“a zealous revolutionary swept up, as all Jews of the era were, in the religious and political turmoil of first-century Palestine”

That statement is about as bigoted and misleading as if I wrote a book claiming  “many Indian leaders were caught up in the turmoil that swept over New Amsterdam in 1374”, but never mention that there was a long established nation of Native Americans called the Iroquois there until about 200 years after that date!

“The plaque the Romans placed above Jesus’ head as he writhed in pain—“King of the Jews”—was called a titulus and, despite common perception, was not meant to be sarcastic. Every criminal who hung on a cross received a plaque declaring the specific crime for which he was being executed.”

Half right! The Romans were not caught up in the Messiah game; I believe the word gravitas would help define the distinction. In the book King Jesus Graves puts forth a very convincing argument that Jesus possibly WAS the actual “King of the Jews” by right of inheritance at the time of his arrest… one telling point is that the Romans would have called him a pretender or usurper of the title, not just declared him King of the Jews as his “crime”; it would be like a court convicting a forger while calling them a “’mint owner’ instead of making the crime as charged “making false coinage’!

“That image alone should cast doubt upon the gospels’ portrayal of Jesus as a man of unconditional peace almost wholly insulated from the political upheavals of his time. “

Where do you GET these interpretations? He is portrayed as being HOUNDED by zealots on all sides who wanted political power even his own disciples constantly earn his rebuke on this matter!!

“The notion that the leader of a popular messianic movement calling for the imposition of the “Kingdom of God”—a term that would have been understood by Jew and gentile alike as implying revolt against Rome—could have remained uninvolved in the revolutionary fervor that had gripped nearly every Jew in Judea is simply ridiculous.”

This is getting boring! What is ridiculous is that you seem to have missed the fact that his popular support drained away, and the mob turned against him when he FAILED to do what you just claimed he DID, namely attempt to “impose” a political kingdom that would free the Jews from Rome! Rather he told them the struggle was useless, Jerusalem was self-doomed and that HIS kingdom would not be “of this world”… or you can go on mixing up the characteristics of five different Messiahs until you have the mixture that fits your prejudices. You already admitted that only ONE gospel was written by anyone that was even alive, let alone a companion of Jesus, son of Mary, when all of this was supposed to have occurred.

Thus began the long process of transforming Jesus from a revolutionary Jewish nationalist into a peaceful spiritual leader with no interest in any earthly matter. That was a Jesus the Romans could accept, and in fact did accept three centuries later when the Roman emperor Flavius Theodosius (d. 395) made the itinerant Jewish preacher’s movement the official religion of the state, and what we now recognize as orthodox Christianity was born.”

Do you just make it up as you go? Rome was being torn apart by the conflict between a growing Christianity and the established pagan priesthoods; he saw the Christians’ zeal and growth. And he coldly chose the faction he thought would win anyway; the idea was for ROME to win back some stability in a conflict that looked about to tear the Empire to shreds.

It happens. I have dealt as many if not more ‘Evangelistas’ as I call them than you probably have. As for me, I would say that even more often it is the pseudo-devout who do what you seem to be doing; see people not of your own faith (which has an even more fogged origin and a founder virtually invisible for over a hundred years after he  is supposed to have lived. Islam is on at least as shakily grounded as Christianity when even Muslims cannot agree on who is and who is not a ‘real’ Muslim even within the Sunni and Shiite sects; all conflicting faith is “the enemy”, is competition.

You can read a million books and collect a hundred degrees I do not seeing you getting over the bar labeled “scholar and historian” until you can see the humble fallibility that ALL humans are subject to; unfortunately you seem to  have too little honor to refrain from bearing false witness against those who are not “of the body” if there is some thread of hope you might be “winning” converts by damaging your self-declared enemies’ common bonds with deceit, stratagems and bald-faced lies instead of debating in favor of a theology built from honesty and love. No, I am not saying that Christianity is that theology… True theology is mostly about what happens between ONE person and God; ALL organized religions are, at best, social clubs crossed with support groups; at worst they are the Taliban, the Inquisition, “peaceful Buddhist sects” warring against each other unto extinction… Are those the kind of “godly” compatriots, the brand of co-religionist you seek?

“If we expose the claims of the gospels to the heat of historical analysis, we can purge the scriptures of their literary and theological flourishes and forge a far more accurate picture of the Jesus of history. Indeed, if we commit to placing Jesus firmly within the social, religious, and political context of the era in which he lived—an era marked by the slow burn of a revolt against Rome that would forever transform the faith and practice of Judaism—then, in some ways, his biography writes itself.

The Jesus that is uncovered in the process may not be the Jesus we expect; he certainly will not be the Jesus that most modern Christians would recognize. But in the end, he is the only Jesus that we can access by historical means.
Everything else is a matter of faith.”

 And that was only the introduction?

What Non-Western Civilization?

Taliban-women

Is there anyone who can tell me just which part of modern world civilization is Non-Western?

If it came about in the last 300 years, and general world-wide opinion is that it is “civilized” then it came from the West; deal with it people! IT is not about race or the color of anyone’s skin, it is about CULTURES; some are structured in healthy ways, others , um… are not.

I believe that the source of the West’s almost incomprehensible loss of the will to keep the more unruly cultures on a leash (or at least penned up) is related to the fact that we have won the war, the struggle from animals to civilization; the rest is just tuning and tweaking and finding the best ways to do this civilization game. If the world were ‘civilized’ as a whole there would be no need for war or armies or bombs; but only part of the world is civilized and our own civilized “sensibilities” tell us that it is not “nice” to fail to “be nice” to those unfortunate cultures that still have a lot of growing up to do. And so we allow the idiots to blow themselves and others up, rape, pillage and commit genocide – all in the name of being “civilized”!

How is it a civilized act to allow barbarism to flourish? It isn’t; it will not eve produce stability. Ask the Romans; ask the British.

We in the West walk a fine line; on the one hand we must protect and hold on to our hard-won prize: the dignity and honor of the individual based on their own life instead of their family,tribe, nation or race. On the other hand we must not shy away from swift and effective actions to contain the un-civilized while their cultures slowly grow up in their own time.

I have always felt it was a form of racism to ascribe every problem and ill suffered by the second and third world to the first world; those places all were, in Kipling’s words, “dog’s breakfasts” of cultures to live in long before any ‘white man’ came to interfere with the quaint native ways.

It was Western culture that came, not a color of skin. And everywhere it has gone, the individual has seen the length, prosperity and stability of their lives increase dramatically; at the cost of most of the “old ways”, the majority of which where of questionable psychological value to begin with! Anyone who disagrees about some cultures being more messed up (none are perfect, by a long shot) had better be prepared to come up with a “good” reason why some primitive tribes to this day retain a rite of passage to manhood that includes the child/man performing, willing or not, ritual fellatio on an older man in order to protect the younger one from “the overwhelming power of the female”! I am not sure about you, but I just can’t go along with forced sex with minors in the guise of a religiously vital ritual of passage, and I hold some fairly heretical notions about what a sexually healthy society would look like!

Sex is one of those “tweaks and tunings” I spoke of that Western society needs to work on; oh boy do we need to work on it! But, that hardly means we in the West (the role models of civilization) should be so timid about being settled in our minds on the basics: non-Western ways of treating women as a class, and personally, quite simply suck.

Check out this attempt at a defense of non-Western views toward women.

The whole bazaar mentality of “narrative” is also questionable; it is not who makes the loudest, most emotional yet traditional argument first who wins, it is the guy who goes over and counts the mules teeth and knows the facts.

I close with my update of Kipling; all I did was take one word, and translate from what it meant then to the word we would use to show what Kipling was really saying.

Take up the Westerner’s burden–
Send forth the best ye breed–
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild–
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.
Take up the Westerner’s burden–
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another’s profit,
And work another’s gain.
Take up the Westerner’s burden–
The savage wars of peace–
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to naught.
Take up the Westerner’s burden–
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper–
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go mark them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.
Take up the Westerner’s burden–
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard–
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:–
“Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?”
Take up the Westerner’s burden–
Ye dare not stoop to less–
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloak your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.
Take up the Westerner’s burden–
Have done with childish days–
The lightly proffered laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!

Finally remember that I consider Japanese, South Koreans, and much of India etc., to be “Western” before you light your straw-men.

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.

CNN Cheers on Hamas as They Make Their Own Children Bleed!

We All Saved! CNN has put out a FAQ on Hamas and Israel and their conflict! World Peace is IMMANENT!

Problem:

That FAQ was actually almost MOSTLY objective; but boy is that ‘mostly’ a big one!

Did you notice Virginia, that the author left out the fact that after Hamas won enough of the Gazan elections to control the Strip they violently and illegally ejected all non-Hamas persons of authority from their positions and made Gaza a virtually independent HAMAS territory; while the West Bank remains controlled by a somewhat pseudo-democratic mix of Fatah and Hamas and others?

Their violent conversion of political dominance into dictatorial control in Gaza puts a very different spin on a lot of things that have happened since then!

The author might as well put on a sweater declaring “Hamas, Hamas! RAH! RAH! RAH!”

The tone of the language used about the Palestinians is very neutral, objective and non-judgmental while the language used to describe the actions of Israelis is full of prejudice and filtered through a bigoted lens.

Some Examples

Four years after the last major conflict in the region, Israel and Hamas are once again on the brink of war in Gaza. So what is the group, and what does it hope to achieve by its rocket attacks on Israeli targets?

A psychologist might find it amusing to note that usually, when insider describes something like their political, criminal, or terrorist group for the most part they refer to them with terms like “the group” rather than the more formal names used by outsiders such as “the Catholics” or “the Smith’s” or “the Bronco’s.

Terms like “the Church, “the family” or “the team” are reserved (mostly) for group’s with which the speaker likely self-identifies. Yet here Hamas is referred to as “the group.” It is as though a member of a new Christian cult explaining to you what “the group” was about as opposed to someone telling you about “the Moonies” –  a term that a non-Moonie would use to explain “that group” as opposed to “The Group“; just saying.

After failing to mention any of Hamas’ more ‘unsavory’ activities in the years since its founding the author goes on to say:

Hamas’s refusal to recognize the state of Israel is one reason why it’s been excluded from peace talks. In 1993…

Then it never mentions the bombings, rocket attacks, and relentless television propagandizing on the Palestinian people by Fatah and Hamas; the “FAQ” even fails to notice the recent Palestinian government dedication of a public square in celebration of the mother of several suicide bombers. A woman who expressed the wish that all of her sons would die killing as many Israeli civilians as possible; that occurred in the “moderate: West Bank

Later on we have this gem, remember Virginia that virtually all of the Muslims you see on TV declare that ‘Jihad’ and ‘Holy War’ are not at all the same thing!

However, the founding charter of Hamas, published in 1988, called for jihad, or holy war, and marked a decisive split with the Muslim Brotherhood’s philosophy of nonviolence.

After the FAQ gives paragraph after paragraph of “facts” simply stated regarding Hamas’ actions (All reported in the most neutral tones, whether good or heinous but focused almost solely on the positive) we get this kind of tone about the Israelis:

Israel also accuses Hamas of using civilians in Gaza as a “human shield,” and the territory’s schools and hospitals as a cover for military hardware…”They bury their military infrastructure inside civilian areas,””

Given that everything in the sentence above is an established fact about the tactics Hamas uses regarding civilians, hospitals and children it is hard to understand the sudden change in tone from the Hamas description earlier in the ‘FAQ‘:

Hamas has sections dedicated to religious, military, political and security activities. It runs a social welfare program, and operates a number of schools, hospitals and religious institutions. It also has about 12,500 security personnel.

The FAQ reads like it was written half by an actual moderate seeking to explain facts on the ground and half by an actual member of Hamas; then some utterly clueless CNN suit chose which to include in the limited of space they had for this piece; this FAQ explains nothing but the need for people to go out and look at information for themselves to decided who did what to whom in each case.

GO ISRAEL!