The True Face of Christianity

Nothing has changed since the Roman Emperor co-opted Christianity into the Empire.

The poor are used. The Rich are are further enriched.

The people are too stupid to realize the truth.

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If you give money to these criminals you are a fool. If Christ were a part of Christianity, these folks would not exist.

Christians are definitely sheep. Ignorant, bleating and led to the slaughter.

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If there is a hell, Christians deserve it. They have made the Earth closer to hell than heaven.

 

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I’m a White Dude

Camp Scorpion, Every 4 months

I’m a White dude — pure bred Cracker of Scots-Irish, Swiss origin. I think…that’s what legend tells me.

I’ve been subjected to racism. For instance, I was jumped by 8 Black guys when I was in the Army in Baumholder, Germany. I was one of four separate victims that night.

I never once used “Race” or “Color” to stereotype Black People. I don’t see life in binary colors.

I’ve had Black, Hispanic, Asian and, yes, White friends for as long as I can remember. I lived on Pope Street in Louisville, Kentucky. One street down the hill was Williams Street — home to the Page brothers who were pretty good boxers. We lived in the shadow of Muhammad Ali and we grew up believing him to be a larger than life hero.

I once walked into a room full of Black guys about half of whom were my friends. Jack, the guy who looked a helluva a lot like Ice Cube, yelled; “Hey fuckin’ Cracker! What the hell do you want?”

I answered; “Nothin’ Nigga!”

And the whole room cracked up laughing.

I’ve always had excellent relationships with anyone who wasn’t an ass.

I never really cared about the whole color thing on an individual level while simultaneously being fascinated by cultural differences.

Where I work now, my Boss calls me “White boy!” and I laugh and rejoin with “Nothing’, ya fuckin’ racist bastard.” And we all laugh.

I fully realize that my being White has contributed greatly to the ease with which I interact with and benefit from/with people and those who have hired me and for whom I have worked — Black, White, Hispanic, Araba, Asian and any other race you can name.

I know for a fact that being White has granted me access to places, events, people and things all over the world.

In China and most of Southeast Asia, people are fascinated by my “Whtie skin.” Asia has a “White is beauty, Black is ugly” dynamic that is, quite frankly, appalling. My girlfriend of several years used to tell me that she was Black. She’s approximately the color that most White girls aspire to when they are tanning. And when she tans, White women are jealous of it.

Strange, I know.

I constantly tell my girlfriend that she is beautiful. “Black” skin and all.

In Afghanistan, the Afghan Officers with whom I work told me that my girlfriend looks African and is too dark and that I should find a nice White woman and then show me photos of Iranian women who are only slightly lighter skinned than my girlfriend.

Skin color is confusing. The slightest shades make huge differences to people.

In Egypt, I was granted access to touristy places that were shut off to most because the strange tourist officials wanted to take pictures with the big white guy whom they kept calling Hercules. They virtually ignored my friend Humberto who was also American of Mexican origin because, well, he looked like them.

I have benefited from my skin color. I’ve also made great sacrifices to get to where I am. I’ve risked my life and taken chances that most Americans could never dream of.

I have helped many, many people along my journey. Some White, Some Black, Some Arab, Some Asian…Muslims, Christians, Atheists and Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu.

If I thought helping them would not come back to bite me in the ass or, more importantly, hinder me in helping others, I help others. I turned down my own White cousin when she asked for help with a recommendation and I told her the reason. She had a poor track record and I didn’t want her quitting on me and ruining it for some other who deserved the assist. She understood and we are still quite close.

I say all of this not to say that I’m a good person and not racist. I fully recognize that every human has built in and learned prejudices. I am not a good person. I’m not a bad person. I’m simply a human being who tries, sometimes fails and sometimes succeeds in treating others as I would like to be treated.

When “People of Color” (such a silly term…as if we aren’t all colored uniquely) make blanket statements about White people or White Americans, I get a bit touchy.

I’m a White person. I fully realize that racism exists and I have spent my life actively fighting it. I’ve called White and Black people out on their Bigotry. When a White friend used the word “nigger” in the privacy of our barracks room, I ripped him a new one. When a Black friend said all Afghans are “worthless raghead pieces of shit,” I ripped him a new one. Likewise when folks act foolishly and stereotype all Thai people when they’ve been insulted or in some way wronged by one Thai person, I refute their lunatic assertions that all Thai people are this, that or the other.

There is no such animal as a “person of color.” There are no two people on this planet that are the same color. “White” people are not bereft of color. I know White people who grew up in predominantly Black neighborhoods who “act Black” and cannot code switch to “Whitey-eze.”

I know Black people who cannot speak urban slang or “Ebonics.” I know 2ndGen Colombian-Americans who do not speak a word of Spanish and I know Mexicans who can barely speak English.

To portray all of any people any thing is an injustice. Constantly reading articles by “People of Color” and “Allies of People of Color” (I’m not ever sure what the hell that means…) telling me that “White people are…..” or “Why White people freak out when told they are racists” and other inane articles without an ounce of nuance irritate the shit out of me.

I cringe. Why? I know the reaction to these articles is nothing more than tens of thousands of minds slamming shut!

I know that if I made a stereotyping statement about any group except for “White” people, I would be branded a racist by those of you who wish to pretend that the world is divided between “people of color” and White people.

I know that I have seen Black people treated worse in Africa than I’ve ever seen them treated in America. I was born in 1968. I know that one of my good friends holds a hell of a lot of anger because of his upbringing in South Carolina and his Grandfathers treatment at the hands of White Southerners.

There is much injustice in America. There always has been. More than likely, there always will be.

There is racism, bigotry and discrimination in America. I know this for a fact.

None of these things will be solved…ever…if we do not learn how to have real, honest and open dialogue.

White people can experience bigotry including racism.

If any American ever stopped to think about it, Europeans (i.e., White People, Crackers, Whitey) are the minority on this planet. Europe began its ascendancy geo-politically a mere 400 years ago. Prior to that, the largest “White” Empire was Rome. There is much evidence that Rome was much more ethnic than the European Colonizers would have us believe.

At some point, we must begin to be honest with each other. We must be open. We must stop accusing all or none. We must accept differences. Not tolerate but ACCEPT and we must do so in an open manner.

I have seen this work.

I have always been accepted for who I am and have always accepted folks for who they are. I fell into it. I was lucky. I learned to look past differences early on in my life. I have been rewarded countless times for this fortunate accident.

It is…unfortunate that we can’t all simply accept differences and move on together.

People Are Funny

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People are funny.

Christians are committing the same old sins such as burning witches alive today in Africa. Christians have murdered in America in the name of Jesus. I know this is not the message of the Christ.  However, it is done. Abortion clinics have been fired and abortion doctors have been murdered. Other freaks are out there murdering in the name of Jesus. The KKK were using Christianity as pretext for their actions and still do.  Though the KKK is or has been fairly non-violent as of late.

Of course, America is a modern nation.  As such, our people are, on whole, better educated and less prone to outright violence in the name of religion. However, it happens and it will happen. Islam is 700 years younger than Christianity. It is going through a period similar to the Wests Dark Ages or Medieval Age. We had it.  They’re having it now.

Imagine what they were saying about us in our dark age. Fortunately, the West and Christianity did not have today’s technology. We were far, far more violent than they have been thus far. We are actually still more violent.  The Muslims have done nothing close to World Wars 1 & 2, yet. I love how we, in the West, point to others and call them savage and barbaric when the West have nearly destroyed ourselves twice.

What is worse?  A couple of hundred beheadings or the bombing campaigns that the US has going all over the Middle East and Central Asia.

“Hey, I’ve got a brilliant idea.  We’ll stop ISIS from murdering people by murdering more people!  Brilliant.”  lol

People are funny.

I’m not excusing anything. I’m simply saying that no one is innocent. If all Muslims are guilty of the actions of a minority of Muslims, all Christians are equally guilty of the actions of a minority of Christians. Thus, we have no room to speak.

You can’t have it both ways.

BUT!

People are funny.

Your sins are horrific. Mine are excusable even if they were worse.

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Now, let’s go drone some ragheads!

Random Thoughts on the Destruction of American Liberty

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The DNC and GOP are evil.

Neither are good for the country.

Both are good for their respective Lobbyists and Special Interests.

Both target key demographics and lie to them to get elected.

Unions represent the interests of their respective organizations. Police Unions represent the interests of Police. They lobby for legislation that will benefit the Police. Laws such as COPS and 1033, qualified immunity, confiscation, etc.

The Wars on Poverty, Crime and Drugs were initiated by Democrats. All of these so-called wars benefit the Police, empower the police and destroy the rights of the Citizens.

The War on Terror was initiated by Republican Bush 2. However, Obama has taken that war and run with it. He’s made it his own. The NDAA, NSA spying, police militarization, assassination, rendition, invasions and occupations…all of these things were started by someone other than Obama, the Democrat. Yet, Obama has taken them and injected elephant steroids into these programs and gone about the business of destroying the Constitution.

Any Political Party that centers on the corruption that are American cities is bound to be corrupt.

Police have, historically, been Democratic run organizations. Not Republican.

Military members joining the police forces enmasse is a recent phenomenon. This is happening recently as a result of the terrible economy and programs put in place by respective Clinton, Bush 2 and Obama DOJs.

Our current volunteer military is only 30 years old. Prior to the “All Volunteer” military, our nations military services were made up of careerists who retired after they left service and draftees who were mostly poor. These draftees left the service and went into all career fields and some into none as most were from the poor or lower middle class.

This preposterous idea that the Police forces in the military are made up of mostly ex-military is patently false. I looked it up and it can’t be proven or disproven because no one (not even the DOJ) keeps statistics.

I have been researching American police forces for some time now because of Obama’s continuation of Bush’s War on Liberty. Police come from predominantly working class familes. They enter the police force between the ages of 21 and 24. That does not give the majority of them time to enter the Military, ETS and then join the police as a goodly majority of Police have at least 2 years of college. This is a prerequisite for some, if not most, Police forces.

Police Brutality, of late, is a direct result of the Bush/Obama war on Liberty and the Constitution.

Both the Military and the Police are tools of the State.

Police forces have been given qualified immunity. This means that they are not accountable to the citizenry and not held to the same law as the rest of the citizenry. They are, in fact, above the law. Bush and Obama have brought this about via legislation, “Wars on…,” and court appointments.

This must change or America will no longer be a free nation but, instead, little better than Maoist China.

The Democrats are no better than the Republicans. They are the same. This is an age old tactic. Divide and conquer.

By choosing D or R, you are defeating yourselves and destroying America.

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The Least of Me and the “Christian Nation”

 

 

 

 

The Good SamaritanI am the first to admit that I am extremely negative and distrustful of Christianity.  My opinion is that modern Christianity is so unlike Christ as to be THE Anti-Christ.  This is especially so of Modern American Evangelical Christianity (MAEC).  MAEC has become so politicized as to have lost it’s moral compass.  Certainly, there are good Christians out there who observe the message of Christ and who live a Christ-like life.  However, too many of them subscribe to the “all fall short” mentality and allow that to excuse hateful behavior towards their fellow man.

Christian capitalist are the perfect example of this.  Modern American Capitalism is rarely based on giving the best product for the best price.  It certainly is not set upon the value of excellence or good behavior towards one’s fellow man.  Corporate CEOs are nothing but bottom line vultures.  They wish to pay the lowest wage possible for the most work squeezed out of wage slaves.  They wish for nothing more than a labor force so dependent upon wages that little choice is left but to work for corporations that destroy the planet in the name of higher stock prices at the expense of all else.

Christians political support of the Drug War is indecent and not supported by any passage or message in either the Old or New Testament.  Much in the history of religion actually points to support of drug use.  At least for the Judges and early leaders of Judaism and the Church.  Drug imagery and “secret” messages encoded in the Bible point to the use of mushrooms and hashish by the likes of Moses and Aaron (smoking tents and whatnot).  The Bible does not encourage forcing people to be good Christians or followers of secular law.  If anything, the Life of Christ is an example of civil disobedience to civil law.  Jesus was crucified for that very act.

I was told today that “breaking the law constitutes criminality.”  If that is the case, biblical leaders are a long line of criminals.  Abraham, Moses, Daniel and Jesus were infamous for their refusal to obey unjust laws.

Not only that but America is built upon a tradition of civil disobedience.  If breaking the law makes one a criminal, every “Christian” founder of our nation were criminals.  I begin to see that criminality against the State is not only NOT bad but essentially wholly good for the soul and intellect.  It is a calling for true Americans and true Christians alike.

Jesus admonished the people of the Earth to “love thy neighbor” and to “love the least of me as you would me.”  I view the world through that lens.  I try to live those words.  Of course, there are people whom I cannot stand and would love to punch in the face.  That said, along the path of my life, I try to help those less fortunate, less intelligent, less motivated, less informed and less loved than I.  For I am fortunate.  I believe myself intelligent.  I am nearly always  motivated.  (I just ran a six minute mile.  ; ) )  I am fairly well informed as I read constantly and study often.  I also attempt to reflect upon that which I learn in my reading and study.  And above all, I am fortunate enough to be loved by many.

With that in mind, I tend to view issues such as the “sanctity of marriage,” immigration, war, the drug war, terrorism and “nation building” through the lens of these “Golden rule” wisdoms.  The Golden Rule is omni-present in cultures throughout the ages and across breadth and length of this globe.  All great civilizations have some form of the Golden Rule.  Treat others as you would wish for them to treat you.  What could be simpler.  Yet it seems so difficult for humanity.

We have millions of immigrants showing up at or borders right now.  Many conservative Christians would throw them out with little thought to consequences and with a blind eye towards the message of Christ.  Would Christ suffer the little children of immigrants to be thrust back into poverty and desolation?  Would Christ abandon these people?  Are our actions and attitudes towards our Southern neighbors one of loving our neighbor?  I think not.  We would abandon these people.  We would not follow the example of the parable of the man from Samaria.

 “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Go and do likewise.  America should be a good neighbor.  We have not been a good neighbor.  Our policies have led directly to the situation which has placed these peoples on our borders.  Our banks rape and pillage to the South and we blame the victims for their plight.

The sanctity of marriage is a farce.  Millions of Christians who purport to believe in the “sanctity of marriage” have been divorced.  Some of them have been divorced several times.  Yet, they believe marriage to be so sacred that homosexuals, lesbians and others should be denied the right to have their marriages recognized by the State.  My first response to this is that State recognition of a marriage has nothing to do with God or sanctity.  The State sanctifies home invasion and murder in the name of the Wars on Terror and Drugs.  The State is run by politicians who have proven time and again to be ungodly.  Iniquity runs rampant in the green and black blood that oozes through it’s deadly veins.  Yet, somehow Christians believe that State recognition will somehow affect the “sanctity” of their second and third marriages.

I see hypocrisy here.

Hypocrisy is nowhere in the message of Christ.  Christ admonished us to love.  Not to segregate based on our own base prejudices.

This is where I differentiate myself from the MAEC.

I try to live my life with the admonishment to love my neighbor and to not see others as lessor than me.  This is one reason that I love my girlfriend, Unny.  She reminds me to be nice and to see the world around me through loving eyes and a purer soul.  She lives to help others and her art is a reminder to me that helping others see beauty and wonder in everything around is as close to the divine as I will every travel.

This is one reason that I love working in Afghanistan.  Aside from the pay, I get to help people.  I teach, mentor and advise.  I watch young people making their way through life and making hard choices.  At times, I see nothing but cruelty and ignorance around me.  However, there are moments when I see the light in a young persons eyes.  There are times when I can help and when that help makes a difference.  These moments are priceless to me.

If Jesus wished for us to love our neighbors as we loved him, should we not take a step back as a nation and re-evaluate our policies in the drug war, in our dealings with other nations, in our support of despots and in our treatment of our South American neighbors.  Should we not be good Samaritans.

If we don’t, can we truly call ourselves a Christian nation.

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men. (Galatians 6:10)

The Statist Nightmare called “Progressive” America

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Anyone who stands behind the fascist laws of this nation may be able to read. However, these persons are much too brainwashed to be capable of critical or independent thought.
America is supposed to be a land based on justice, liberty and “pursuit of happiness.”
I know this concept is foreign to most liberals and conservatives who wish to impose their will upon the population at large.

America, thanks in large part to the GOP and DNC, has become an oligarchy wherein justice is known only to the affluent and elitist classes. That anyone besides these persons would support fascism such as that clearly visible in America today is a clear sign of said person’s self-delusion.

I hope that each Democrat and Republican in this country falls victim to the abomination which they have helped create via their blind allegiance to the parties of corruption and greed.

May you all rot in your mythological Christian hell.

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The Statist Nightmare called “Christian” America

Anyone who stands behind the fascist laws of this nation may be able to read. However, these persons are much too brainwashed to be capable of critical or independent thought.
America is supposed to be a land based on justice, liberty and “pursuit of happiness.”
I know this concept is foreign to most liberals and conservatives who wish to impose their will upon the population at large.

America, thanks in large part to the GOP and DNC, has become an oligarchy wherein justice is known only to the affluent and elitist classes. That anyone besides these persons would support fascism such as that clearly visible in America today is a clear sign of said person’s self-delusion.

I hope that each Democrat and Republican in this country falls victim to the abomination which they have helped create via their blind allegiance to the parties of corruption and greed.

May you all rot in your mythological Christian hell.

Ideological Tolerance and Acceptance

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I have a few hard line stances to which I am pretty much a hard stay.

Most people are cool with the difference of opinion.

Two groups who, ironically, preach tolerance/love/acceptance have been the ones most often and most likely to hold these opinions against me.

1. Fundamentalist Christians
2. Hard Left Liberals

I have a few people who hold a hardcore dislike for me or who love to “preach” their message but do everything that they can to NOT hear any other message.

All of these people fall into the category of Fundamentalist Christian or Hard Left Liberal.

For instance, I do not think that Palestine will ever be “democratic.”  Yet, there are a group of liberals whom I have known who attend rallies, meetings and such with the goal of a “free and democratic” Palestine.  When I tell them that this is impossible, they automatically think that I am for the status quo in Palestine and that I am pro everything Israel.  However, that could not be further from the truth.

I believe that Israel is the author of many of the woes of Palestine.  I believe that Israel has become an offensive fraud who preaches democracy, yet, oppresses a whole class of people based upon fear and greed.

I, also, believe that the Arab Nations share guilt in this endless conflict.  All of the Arabs.  Iraq, Saudi Arabia (most guilty and most hypocritical), Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan and Palestine.  These people are as great a problem and sticking point as the Israelis.

That said, no Palestinian State that emerges at this time will be democratic.  It will be another Islamic Despotism based on the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Liberal fallacies and fantasies about freedom and democracy in the region are naught but dreamy intentions paving the way to hell for Arab Christians and Muslims in Palestine.

I also have my Fundie Christian detractors.  Those purveyors of hellfire and brimstone who “innocently” imply that I am on the path to hell and can’t quite understand how such a belief would offend anyone.   These people have told me countless times that morality can not exist without Christianity.  For them, there is no morality without Christ.

I, on the other hand, look at the history of Christianity and think that if that is morality, I’d rather be immoral.

When I refute their claims, they claim that I am blaspheming their religion.  They tell me that I am disrespecting their beliefs.  They tell me that I should be more tolerant.

That bewilders me.  The thought that I should be “tolerant” of a belief that condemns me to hell.  The idea that I should be more respectful of a religion that believes that I will burn for eternity because I do not pay lip service or believe in their system of intellectual and emotional servitude to a capricious deity who on the one hand orders genocide and on the other preaches faith, hope and love BUT only if you believe in him, his son and their plan for salvation.

If I deign not to believe, I shall burn in hell for eternity.

And I’m the disrespectful, intolerant one?

Inconceivable.

Yet, that I have the audacity to make it clear that I think Palestinian Democracy or Salvation at the hands of a vengeful, judgmental God or whatever pet project a Fundamentalist Christian or Hard Left Liberal might have is based on fallacy, I am the intolerant one.

These folks are absolutist.  There is no room for difference with these folks.  I will admit that I might be wrong.  I fully and freely admit that I do not know all.

But there is no room for doubt with these folks.  Therefore, I become the enemy.  The hated one.

They preach.  They give their story.  They’ll demand that you listen, that you give them your time.  When you attempt to give your side, they will not listen.  Their minds close as tightly as their eyes, ears and hearts.

And then I become the evil one.

Tolerance?  Acceptance?

For most of these people, these are mere tools with which they bash the opponent.  You are required to tolerate and accept their ideas.  They require that you dismiss yours.

A Challenge to the Religious

“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best . . . to everyone.”
– Jesus (Matthew 5:43-45 The Message)

Islam was spread solely through conquest.  In every land that is now Muslim there are religious minorities.  These people are treated as second class citizens.  In no Muslim country are religious minorities treated with the respect and reverence  that Muslims demand for themselves everywhere in which they are minorities.

Islam has a version of the Golden Rule.  The problem with this Qu’ranic exhortation to “do unto others as…” is that it applies ONLY to fellow Muslims.  It is not all inclusive.  It is exclusionism at it’s worst.  The Qu’ran exhorts it’s followers to kill the unbeliever and to NOT treat with the unbeliever.  There is no universal Golden Rule in Islam unless you are a fellow Muslim or until the whole of the World “reverts” to Islam.  Those are Muhammadan commandments.  This is clearly spelled out in the Qu’ran and expounded upon tirelessly in the Hadith.

Christianity is on the verge of returning to it’s old ways.  It is becoming a religion of exclusion.  Counterfeit outrage and unfounded claims of persecution abound within the Christian realm of America.  Christians see more ghosts lurking in the shadows than McCarthy at the height of the Great Pink Scare of the Cold War.

Go back and read the words of your Savior.  Stop spreading hate and discontent towards others who are not like you.

Instead of forcing others to become Christian in order to receive your charity and kindness, be truly charitable and kind without expectation, without demanding reciprocation and without the quid pro quo.

In the northern Hill Tribe area of Thailand, Christians are doing excellent work.  However, that assistance is only available to those who are willing to become pretend Christians or who are willing to be indoctrinated and attend Church services on a regular basis.  The Hill Tribe people are required to convert or at least “shamvert” in order to receive services, education, food stuffs, etc.  This is not charity.  It’s trickery.  It’s deception.  It’s dissembling.  It is an outrage.

Yeshua said to be fishers of men.  He did not command his followers to go forth and enslave men.  He did not force others to receive his word in order to receive his love and kindness.  If this is to be the work of Christianity, they may as well be Muslims.

Christians and Muslims loudly proclaim that theirs is a religion of peace.  They say that they are a boon to mankind.  Prove it.  I do not see it.  In Islam, I see continual strife and violence against the unbeliever.  In Christianity, I see exclusion.  Too much hell fire and brimstone and not enough Faith, Hope and Love.

Come to the light.  It’s warm and lovely therein.

America’s Christian Inferiority Complex

Do American Christians have an inferiority complex?

The above photo would give that impression.  Some person decided that he should create this picture and shoot it around the internet.  Of course, he uses Islam as the juxtaposition.  He might have used a group of Hindus praying or Buddhists in contemplation.  Why not Wiccans?  Satanists?  Daoists?

It’s the obvious emotional ploy.  Aside from the fact that no one really has a problem with Tebow praying in public except, perhaps, Jesus himself.  The complaint that I’ve most often heard is from players on opposing teams.  That complaint being that God is on their side, too.  Why does Tebow think that he’s so special that God would intervene on his behalf and not theirs.  Players pray in the NFL and NBA all the time.  So much so that I get sick of them publicly thanking God for the big win.

To the photo!

What’s occurring in the two pictures?

#1   Muslims in an area designated for their daily prayers acting out one of their five daily devotionals to Allah in a Mosque.  They’re repeating a set prayer in a place of worship.  This same prayer which is memorized by all devout Muslims is offered by millions of Muslims daily.  Five times daily.  Muslims go to their Mosque or other designated area.  If they’re not near a mosque a designated prayer area, they usually find some private place to pray.  They lay down their prayer rug.  They bow.  They pray.  Same prayer.  Five times a day.  Every day.  The truly devout Muslims do this.  Other Muslims pray when they feel like it or not at all.

Note that this prayer is occurring in a designated area in what I believe is New York City.

#2  Tim Tebow is on the sideline of a Football Stadium on National TV.  He’s kneeling.  He’s offering up a prayer to God.  What is his prayer?  For what are we to assume that he’s praying?  World Peace?  Universal Harmony?  Not to embarrass himself and the Denver Broncos in a football game?  Victory in a Football Game?

What’s he praying for?

I have no problem with the guy praying.  I can understand why members of the other team would think that he’s grand standing when he prays in the middle of a game on the sidelines as if he’s David about to do battle with Goliath or Constantine about to meet the savages of Briton.

I can understand why so many people are making fun of him.  It’s completely understandable.  He’s made himself into a caricature of Christian arrogance and hypocrisy.  He’s praying on the sidelines of a football game and his stance usually looks strikingly similar to a famous portrait of George Washington praying at Valley Forge.

He’s asking God to take time out of his busy schedule to help Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos prevail in a Football Game.  A Football Game.  Yeap.  Never mind all those wars, the famine, the hurricanes, floods and tornadoes ripping through the world.  God, please stop everything else and help me win this football game.  It’s a bit ridiculous.

The players on the opposing team are probably sending up their own prayers.  However, they’re not doing it in such a manner that the whole world can see them.  They’re silently offering their prayers in the manner that Jesus himself said that Christians should offer their prayers.  Prayers are personal and private.  A prayer is a conversation between God and an individual.  Does Tebow think that God is more likely to answer his prayers if he’s seen praying on National TV?  Maybe he thinks God is watching the game on a satellite dish in Heaven.

I understand that he’s attempting to set an example.  Be a good role model.  I don’t know if that’s the way to do it.  Maybe it is.  If you take something personal and put it in the public realm, don’t be surprised and certainly don’t be thin skinned if other public people ridicule the act or, at the very least, call into question your motives.  Perhaps ignoring the actual instructions of Christ is a good and Christian way of setting a proper Christian example for other Christians.

Let’s see what the Bible says about Prayer.  This is what Jesus had to say concerning how and where to pray;

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

That’s Mathew 6:6.

It’s instructive to note that Jesus didn’t say to walk onto the sidelines of an NFL Game on National TV and pray in front of three or four million people.  His basic instruction was to NOT showboat and to not make it a public spectacle.  Jesus wasn’t a big fan of public spectacle.  Perhaps, there has been a papal bull wherein the Acts of Tebow supercede the Life of Christ and the Bible.

Muslims are actually instructed to pray publicly.  Mohammad had no problem with public acts of piety.

Jesus, however, instructed Christians to pray in their rooms.

Christians should ask themselves the question in the photo.  What is wrong with that picture?  The Bible has the answers.  It’s called the Word of God by Christians.  The answer is in the very words of Jesus when he instructed the Disciples on how to pray.  The same time that he gave Christians the Lord’s Prayer.

But you good Christians knew that…didn’t you.

Sometimes, I have to wonder if Christians actually read the Bible.  Perhaps, they’re too busy thinking of new and improved ways to be offended by Muslims to pay attention to the Life of Christ or his words.  I must have missed that passage in the Bible that states “Thou shalt be offended.”

Christians have gone so far away from Christ that I’m surprised any of them own a Bible.  Sometimes, it seems that too many Christians learned how to be “good” Christians while watching the Kingdom of Heaven.

Or Strategic Posturing?

From Cairo to Istanbul in 28 Days

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We flew from Bangkok to Cairo on the 21st of September.  On the first day, we tripped around to Giza and the City of the Dead.  Later that evening, we took the train to Aswan.  Along the way, we stopped at Abo Simbel, Luxor, Karnak, Philae, Deendeera, Abydos, Hurghada and finally flew to Alexandria.  We spent two days touring Alexandria.  Taking in the new Library of Alexandria and Fort Qutbay as well as the Greek and Roman Catacombs under the city.  We drove from Alex. back to Cairo where we toured the city in detail (Muhammad Ali Mosque, the Giza Plateau, Pyramids and Sphinx, Saladin’s Citadel, etc).  We also took in Sakkara and Memphis and viewed the Red and Bent Pyramids as well as the Alabaster Sphinx and the Statue of Ramses II along with the Ziggurat of Zoser and the surrounding pyramids.

Then we were off to Israel.  We spent about 5 days in Jerusalem viewing the old City and took day tours out to Nazareth, Akko (Acre), Ceaserea, the Dead Sea, the Jordan River and Masada.  We met an old friend (Mali) from my days in the MFO in the Sinai.  And we got the excellent airport treatment for which Tel Aviv is so famous.  But that’s a story for another day.

Finally, we were on to Turkey.  I wanted to see the Hagia Sofia.  Primarily.  That said, I was a bit anxious about Turkey.  I’ve been to quite a few Muslim countries and Islam hangs over them like a pall.  I don’t particularly care for it.  It’s quite heavy and puts a damper on things.  Israel did not have this except in the Palestinian areas of the Old City in Jerusalem.

We arrived in Turkey and I was quite pleasantly surprised.  Islam is an undercurrent in Istanbul.  They’re Muslim.  You know it.  They know it.  No one gives a damn.  I like that.  It’s how it should be with all religion and it’s how it is in most non-Muslim places.

It was refreshing.  I don’t think I saw but 10 Chadori/Hijab wearing women and they all seemed to be tourists.  Nothing oppressive in Turkey about religion.  They seem to all get along.  I met quite a few Nestorian Christians and they had the same attitude.  We’re Christians.  So what!  There’s none of the demand that their religion be respected at all cost.  I like that.

Turkey was clean as well.  That’s another thing about Muslim countries.  They’re dirty and run down.  Even newer places.  It’s as if Allah has declared that “thou shalt not do maintenance.”  lol  Cairo is the worst.  They built the city hundreds of years ago atop ruins.  They didn’t remove anything.  They cleared no land.  Just started building atop the rubble.  When those buildings started falling apart, they just built around them.  And the dirt and grime.  It’s everywhere.

Not so in Istanbul.  It’s a beautifully maintained city.  Clean streets.

And the people.  Everyone was so nice.  And they smiled.  Very few mean spirited folks or scammers around.  As a matter of fact, I can’t remember anyone even attempting a scam on us.  We asked directions when we were lost and we were simply given directions.

The food was great as well.  They had these pancakes with beef or veggies or jellies. Whatever you wanted.  AND THEY WERE DELICIOUS.  Of course, the Lamb Kabob was excellent.  I ate so much kabob, I thought I was going to explode.

The Hagia Sofia or Aya Sofia was wondrous.  Incredible.  Amazing.  It was gargantuan.  The famous religious depictions were beautiful.  Centuries old Art.

The Blue Mosque or Suleimein.  One of the most beautiful structures I have had the pleasure to visit.  More lovely inside than the Mohammad Ali Mosque in Cairo.  Insanely intricate and well maintained as well.  Simply beautiful.  Can’t say it enough.

We walked around the city several times. Stopped by a few museums.  The Istanbul Archaeological Museum was huge.  Relics from Troy, Persia, the Ottomans, the Greeks, the Romans, and everything in between.  It was amazing.

Then we went up the hill to the Topkapi Palace.  I didn’t know much about it.  I knew it was supposed to be gorgeous and historical.  I hadn’t researched it.  We almost didn’t go.  Huge mistake.  If you make it to Istanbul, you must go to the Topkapi Palace.   Aside from it’s beauty and historocity.  It has what are called “The Sacred Trusts.”

The Sacred Trusts are actual artifacts handed down (or stolen) from Empire to Empire from the time of Mohammad.  His clothing.  His water bowl.  The plates off of which he ate.  And not only Mohammad.  There are relics from Fatima and “the Companions.”

That is some serious history.

There are also pieces of the Kaba’a from Mekkah and old keys and locks to the Kaba’a and the Grand Mosque there in Mekkah.

Treasures all.

I could scarcely believe my eyes when I walked in this room.  When I laid my eyes upon the Sword of Mohammad, I thought I was seeing things.  I had to rub my eyes.  Take my glasses off and clean them and take a second to let it sink in.

Imagine finding the sword of Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great.  Imagine finding the actual clothing that Jesus wore or the actual cup and plate from the last supper.

I’m no believer in any of these religions, but, I have a keen interest in history.  As a personality from an earlier age and a great historical interest, I have much respect for Mohammad.  He built an empire from nothing.  He created a religion and a culture which has lasted for over 1300 years.  It’s not his fault that his religion and his culture has been hi-jacked by complete asses like Osama bin Laden, the House of Saud and the followers of al Wahhab.  That’s not to mention the Iranian fools.  And, still yet, it doesn’t take into account the idiotic Apologists in Europe and America who sell their lies to an ignorant populace.

At any rate, it was a singular experience for me to be able to gaze upon the Swords that Mohammad and his companions used to rise up out of the desert and plant the seed that created one of the worlds greatest empires.

I was awe stricken.

After Istanbul, it was on to Ephesus to see the Greek Ruins, the House of Mary where Jesus’ Mother supposedly lived out her last days and the Temple of Artemis.  Next day it was on to Pammakule.   These places are so full of history and culture that there is no possible way for me to do them justice.  The Temple of Artemis is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

In this trip, we’d been fortunate enough to visit 3 of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World.  The Temple of Artemis, The Pharos of Alexandria (Fort Qutbay) and the Pyramids at Giza.

In my estimation, Abo Simbel is a great worthy of this acclamation as well.  Abo Simbel is a wonder of any age much less to marvel that it was built thousands of years ago.  But then again, Egypt is full of wonders that defy description, dazzle the eye and boggle the mind.

From Cairo to Istanbul in 28 Days.  This was a great trip and we all very much enjoyed ourselves.

Hope you enjoy the pictures…Dave

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(some of the pics in the slideshow are from earlier trips to Paris, Rome, Athens, Santorini, etc)

 

 

On Religious Tolerance and Acceptance

Muslims can be tolerant and Muslims can avoid hostility towards others. To do so, they must disregard whole passages in their Qu’ran.

The same is true of Christians and Christianity.

Both are world devouring religions. Anyone who denies this is denying the message of their religion. Both religions teach that they are the true religion and that all others are false. There is no tolerance in that dogma. Both preach that unbelievers, heretics and infidels are going to hell. Both agree that homosexuality is an abomination. Both are patriarchal versions on life that preach that the man is the leader of the household. Both call the other and all others false.

The ultimate goal of both religions is the conversion/reversion of all of the peoples of the world. Both have tried to convert by force of Arms. One is attempting to do so today.

I know this will offend the Islamophiles and Christians on this board. If you are honest with yourself, you will admit the truth of it, though.

There is simply no room for tolerance in either religion for true believers. For those who pick and choose what they wish from the religions, tolerance and the better form acceptance is possible. For those who take a literal view, tolerance is only a stop gap. Acceptance is impossible.

Therefore, in the end, neither religion can truly tolerate the other or any other. All of this talk of tolerance and acceptance is merely chimerical voodoo. It merely delays the inevitable conflict.

America preaches freedom of religion. We practice it as well. For the most part. Reality on the ground is that all are free to practice their religion of choice in America. Practitioners are not free from criticism. Neither are they free from attack. Physical, spiritual or otherwise.

One is free to choose. Free to practice. Free to preach.

This freedom is only possible in the West. In the lands occupied by Islam, this is not possible. Islam prohibits this. Islam prohibits proselytizing of other faiths. Islam severely restricts the practice of other religions. Muslims scream to the high heavens about tolerance in the West. In the East/Occupied Lands, they speak not of tolerance. They act as if it is the natural order that no other be allowed to freely preach their religion or seek converts. Even in the most Western or least Islamically dogmatic countries such as Egypt and Turkey, seeking converts is problematic. One’s life is at risk.

Yet, Muslims and in some cases the same Muslims who would react violently to Christians proselytyzing in Muslim lands come to America and abuse our freedoms in order to seek converts (reverts) to their religion.

When do we start to hold them to account for their actions. They come here and are allowed to build their Mosques and bristle at any criticism and any challenge to their aggressive campaigns against other religions. Then they go home and act in the exact opposite manner that they expect Westerners to act towards them in the West.

Eventually, the two systems must clash.

Either that or Christianity lays down and Islam becomes the dominant religion on the planet.

What happens then?

Is an Islamic America still America or is it simply another Muslim Occupancy wherein Sharia becomes the law of the land?

Imagine a majority Muslim America. How long do the freedoms and liberty last?

On the other hand, imagine a truly Christian America. How long til freedoms are reversed. Christians led by the Republican Party wish to add religious laws to our legal code. They wish to make homosexuality a legal abomination. They wish to reverse divorce laws. There is much, much more that Christians speak to when they are amongst themselves.

Both of these patriarchal religions are intolerant and un-accepting of any other order. Both wish to re-make the world in their chosen religions image.

That! I find dangerous and offensive.

Christians at this moment use the systems in place to further their agenda. Muslims are beginning to do so. Muslims are a minority in America for the foreseeable future. And thank the Gods this is so. I’ve lived and traveled in Muslim lands. I can tell you for certain that not many of you would be comfortable in these places.

Neither would I be comfortable in a truly Christian land.

I am comfortable in America. For now. If the Right gets it’s way, there may come a day when America becomes unpalatable to me.

That day is not yet here. Thankfully, the radical Christians are peaceable for the most part and are willing to use the systems in place to further their agenda.

There are no true Christian lands. There are only lands wherein Christians live. Such has not always been the case. I would say that I hope this trend never reverses itself.

As well, I hope that Islam does not make any further advances. That includes Israel.

Every land wherein Islam is the power is a backward place. I’ve been to most of them. There is a reason for this and it isn’t Colonization by Western powers. The backwardness of these provinces of man are the reason that they were so easily colonized.

Islam is a danger. It’s not the danger that is preached by the Homeland Security types. It may come to pass that is becomes that great a danger. This is why I am against any Wahhabi mosque being established in America. Wahhabism is the greatest evil of all time. And it is not a new evil. It is a yoke on the spirit and free will of mankind. It is violent. It carries with it death.

IT is worth fighting on all fronts. It is worth laying aside tolerance and acceptance and becoming intolerant and unaccepting. Wahhabism should never be allowed on our shores.

It is too late for this as in our weakness and folly, we have allowed it to reach our shores.

The backlash that could occur here is dangerous. People could flee to Christianity and become rigid. Freedoms could be lost in our search for security against the very danger that we invited in to our home.

Think hard about these things.

The threat is there. It is looming. It very well may bring us down.

Rome did not think she would fall to the Barbarians. Britain laughed at the Colonists as well as at Gandhi. The Holy Roman Empire and the Christian Kingdoms of Europe laughed once at Islam.  The Roman Pagans once laughed at and persecuted Christians.

We are there again.

Laugh at your peril. Dismiss the danger at your peril.