11th September – Hope or Hate? by Felicity Arbuthnot

by Felicity Arbuthnot
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
11 September, 2010

Animated dove with olive branch

Image via Wikipedia

“No creature smarts so little as a fool.” (Alexander Pope, 1688-1744.)

Numerous commentators on the demented, hate filled ramblings of “Pastor” Terry Jones, who may or may not celebrate his 11th September by an evening of Qur’an burnings, have referred to the potential of Muslim retaliation across the globe.  General Petraeus is concerned about backlash to US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, more or less reiterated his stance –  whilst saying they are powerless to stop his hate filled initiative. One can only speculate as to whether they would be as sanguine were it the Torah or Talmud being burned.

Yet the avalanche of comments also create a further divide.

Jones is a man with miniscule “following.” Near no mention is being made of Christians, Jews or those born to both religions, but who have long wandered away, and of other faiths, or none, shamed and repelled to have this action committed in their name – they are American, British, German, Spanish, Polish, Italian and other nations – civilian, but unwillingly “allied” to the “coalition”, who have invaded – and are threatening –  Muslim countries. They are part of the millions who marched against war – and the countless more, who first believed the threats spouted by their governments, then acknowledged that they had been mislead and have acted tirelessly, trying to redress their – and governments – mistakes.

One website condemning the action attracted seven thousand protesters near-instantly. A tongue in cheek commentator suggested it is the Pastor who should be burned – in Hell. Another site has attracted more thousands of non-Muslims to a worldwide “Wear a Hijab Day”, on 11th September – and another to convert the anniversary to global: “Buy a Qur’an Day.”

One writer wondered what kind of “crazy” now “represents” God. Well, a few actually. There was George W. Bush, who announced he was embarking on a “Crusade” and was enjoined by then Prime Minister Tony Blair, now converted to Catholicism. There was the “Clash of Civilisations”, nonsense.  And US and UK soldiers taking in guns with Biblical quotes on the stocks – and distributing bibles in the relevant languages as they incursed – and worse – in to towns, villages, neighbourhoods in Afghanistan and Iraq. A practice, when discovered, which led – ironically – to a photo-op of ceremonial burnings of remaining bible stocks by US troops.

Guantanamo, Bagram and formerly US and UK-operated prisons in Iraq (and elsewhere) including another infamy, Abu Ghraib, filled with near entirely Muslims. Countless languishing for years, uncharged and with no day in Court. Tortured, unimaginably degraded, their Qur’ans have been thrown in to toilets, stepped on and worse. In Fallujah in the original confrontation when the US troops took over a school, they left having written obscenities about Islam on doors and walls, having repeatedly defecated and again, done the unspeakable to Qur’ans.

Book burning is a special kind of savagery, it both destroys and displays an ignorance of and fear of culture, own and that of others. Julius Caesar burned the great library in Alexandria in 48 BC. Nero burned Rome in 64 AD. The Mongul hordes the Baghdad Library and that of the great Munstanstarya University eight hundred years ago. Hitler, of course was in to book burning, organized under Goebbels, the Orwellianly-named Minster of Enlightenment. The new Monguls, in US uniform, allowed or were instrumental, in the same the same, multi-fold, in 2003 – and have continued to bomb and burn property and people – and Qur’ans – for seven years – ongoing, for all the misleading “pullout” nonsense.

Perhaps Mr Jones – who seemingly packs a .40-caliber pistol on his hip – has unwittingly made one progressive step. After what has been revealed, from top to bottom of barking crazy fundamentalism in Christianity, many may think twice before ever again writing or uttering the words: “fundamentalist” with “Islam.”

11th September falls at the start of the three day Muslim celebration of Eid, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a time of abstinence. Eid is joyous meals, new clothes for children, gifts and pristine money for the young. In Afghanistan and Iraq, for the majority it is either scaled down to near nothing, or just a memory, due to grief, invasion, inflicted travel terror, poverty, or all four .

For America, it is the commemoration of the fall of the Towers, with no thought of the 11th September inflicted in casualties, daily, weekly, monthly on the countries invaded since – who had no nationals even accused of being on the flights which allegedly hit the buildings and the Pentagon (facts which over twelve hundred professionals and experts now dispute the official version.)

Anniversaries on 11th September abound, from the mists of time onwards. However, some salutary ones, in relatively recent history, show America is not alone in its suffering, indeed, has created that of others. On 11th September 1919, US Marines invaded Honduras; on 11th September 1941, the ground was broken for the construction of the Pentagon, that source of more subsequent world wide marauding and slaughter. On 11th September  1965, the US First Cavalry arrived in Viet Nam – and on 11th September 1973, the Nixon Administration’s collusion in the overthrow of the democratically elected President Salvador Allende in Chile, came to fruition, ushering in the decades of the “disappeared”, under General Augusto Pinochet.

Ally Britain indulged in a bit of decimation on 11th September 1944, bombing and creating a fire storm in Darmstadt, Germany, incinerating eleven thousand five hundred people. 11th September 1997 is remembered for the loss of fourteen Estonian soldiers on the Russian submarine Kurske, in a haunting disaster. The widow of one who died reflected, memorably: ” If you betray your country (the law is invoked) and you pay the price. But what happens if your country betrays you?” Quite.

Betrayed also are the nationalities of the numerous other countries who died in the Twin Towers – over one in ten of the tragedy. They included nationals of Jordan and Lebanon, India lost forty one, South Korea twenty eight, Canada and Japan both lost twenty four, Colombia seventeen, Jamaica, Mexico and the Philippines sixteen each, Australia and Germany eleven each, Italy ten, Israel five and the UK sixty seven, including nationals of its territory, Bermuda. Deaths in lesser numbers are from nations across the planet. (Wikipedia and others.) In spite of a near uniquely international tragedy, and opportunity for coming together, it seems to have been transformed in to exclusively American grief – and revenge.

Even that wretched dove, symbol of global peace, which adorns cards for all seasons, has become embroiled, with “Pastor” Jones, in naming his strange interpretation of vengeful, not conciliatory, Christianity: “Dove World Outreach Centre.”  Jones, of course sent children from his church to school, wearing shirts stating: “Islam Is Of The Devil,” also the title of a book he has written. Impossible not to think of a recent depiction on a card, of a desperate dove, not with an olive leaf, or twig in its beak, but the entire branch. It  is depicted struggling through the thermals, drops of perspiration bursting though the feathers.

Those of note who have spoken out appear to be more worried about retaliation on US and UK troops, than the implications of a shaming act. With the news from Pentagon documents, that US troops have alleged to have been involved in further atrocities, collecting of fingers, teeth bones, even skulls of victims, retaliation seems anyway, pretty well guaranteed.

Recently a contributer to a Middle East-orientated website wrote: “I am a Muslim : Kill me & call it “collateral damage”; imprison me & call it: “security measure”; exile my people en masse & call it: “A New Middle East”; steal my resources, invade my land, murder my wife & children, alter the leadership of my country & call it: “democracy.” He speaks for millions. Those representing the West, especially the US and UK need humility, genuine outreach, to listen carefully before they talk and bridge building, not bridge burning.

11th September 1893 marked the first World Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago, an outreach of understanding between all faiths, and held ever since. An anniversary which celebrates justice, not vengeance. A good starting point in emulating their efforts, might be to ponder on a verse from the Qur’an. The copy in mind is in superb, lovingly crafted calligraphy, on palest peachy-primrose, dawn’s perhaps most perfect herald. Translated, it reads:

“I seek refuge with the Lord of the Dawn,
From the mischief of created things,
From the mischief of darkness as it overspreads,
From the mischief of those who blow on knots’
And from the mischief of the envious one as he practises envy.”

From the archives:

Dennis Kucinich: 9/11 Truth and Reconciliation

Peter Dale Scott: 9/11 and Continuity of Government (must-see)

Peter Dale Scott: 9/11 Questions Remain Unanswered

How our lives have changed since 9/11 by Cindy Sheehan

From Ronald Reagan and the Soviet-Afghan War to George W Bush and September 11, 2001 by Michel Chossudovsky

The Imperial Anatomy of Al-Qaeda: 9/11 and America’s Secret Terror Campaign, Part III

Hijacking the Hijackings & Hijacking Hope by Philip A. Farruggio

Lawrence Wilkerson on 9/11

62 thoughts on “11th September – Hope or Hate? by Felicity Arbuthnot

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  2. In response to Natureboy’s comment, https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2010/09/11/11th-september-hope-or-hate-by-felicity-arbuthnot/comment-page-1/#comment-127000 as the nesting of comments is making the comments too narrow to read.

    I’m not following you, Natureboy. What do you have to fear if you don’t believe in God, do not accept Jesus, and don’t believe in Hell? To you it’s a myth, so why worry?

    I’m presenting Jesus here in a different manner than mainstream media does. My readers have the choice to read the articles and/or view the videos or skip these posts entirely.

    As to Rev. Rev. McGinnes, I do not claim him as my preacher. I found a piece he wrote on the topic we were discussing on the Internet. I have no idea who he is, but have read similar things from others on this topic in the past and felt he answered your question well.

    • Because it’s a scary ghost story.
      I don’t do well with horror movies!
      But you have a point.

      Back to where this started.
      If we are to avoid inflaming violence and divides, it’s important that people of faith avoid proclaiming theirs as more valid, or saying things that could easily be interpreted that way.

      • As horrible and irresponsible in my opinion of Terry Jones’ talk about burning the Koran, why did the media pick up on this story? And why is that same media not talking about all the death and destruction the US/British and other NATO nations’ military subject to the innocent peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries?

        This really goes back to why I started blogging in the first place; from my old blog:

        “What we need on our nightly TV news and in our newspapers are coffins and dead babies, and mutilated soldiers. We have a media blackout on showing what war is really all about. I hold the media responsible as well as our govt.”

        • From the outset I was amazed that it got so much press, that betrayus spoke up about it at all!

          I probably said this somewhere, but if they truly thought it was a national security threat, since when have the FBI & CIA not covertely silenced things they thought was a threat?

          Why only infiltrate & cointelpro the Black Panthers, or blacklist leftists? For once this would have been a case where someone should have quietly gone down there & talked to him… (which is ultimately apparrently what happened, Jones looked scared in that last interview…).

          Thankfully it’s over, but the scars of this will remain.

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  6. natureboy– one can ignore the texts , and just look at plain ancient history from the roman historians of the time like Tacitus or Suetonus . though they hated the early christians they knew what they were claiming about this peasant who died a criminals death .

    i talked to lawyer friend of mine last week and she told me that testimony under oath in court is admissible as evidence unless one is caught in a lie or deemed insane.

    you are right about the jury . but since the burden of proof lies on those lawyers who seek to disprove a testimony by facts , it must be proven without a reasonable doubt .

    if they cant do that ( like say in a murder case) the testimony stands as evidence.

    in the case of the testimony that early historians say that the christians claim about jesus resurrection cannot be disproven , we end up with a hung jury .

    what i am trying to say is that i am seeing after all of these years of debating people , is that all i need to do is testify of what i have seen and heard and how my life was changed. period . i could saved alot of time and hassle learning this years ago . why ? because it cannot be disproven . i have no burden of proof . in a way if i am lying i risk a kind of metaphysical perjury . people who know me know i dont lie , nor am i insane . so whats left ? the jury would be with me .

    • Ah, but in your scenario, it’s not the Witnesses who are on trial, it’s the scripture.
      Their evidence may be admissible, but so would that of the prosecution.

      It would be the aggregate admissible evidence which the jury would deliberate.
      A witness from one side does not an acquittal make.

      Somehow I think trial in courts of law is not an appropriate analogy for religion. Neither the original disciples nor the later believers could comport with the legal model. Law, as we know it, is a decidedly secular system, religion is decidedly not.

      Religion & law only collide with tragic consequences, like the Spanish inquisition, or in Iran, or under the Taliban, offenses punishable by caning or stoning, or a stretch on the rack.

      Let’s hope the ideals designed into this system prevail in keeping religion & law forever fully dissociated.

      Certainly that fundamental underpinning of liberty is under constant threat by those who would have us revert to theocratic absolutism or Sharia Law.

      • i did not mention the scriptures. i was giving an analogy . and that is that testimony under oath is in and of itself EVIDENCE.

        let us put all scripture aside and just look at the Roman historians and history of the first century . why were the early christians put to death and eaten by lions ? because they refused to offer incense to Ceasar. why ? because they said that he was not the Son of God , but rather a man named Jesus put to death by the Empire that rose from the dead was .

        that was their crime . this is open persecution was decreed as we know under Nero 64 A.D.

        it is a matter of record.

        we are not talking theocracy or any such thing . let us stay on topic . we are talking about unique claims in a historical context.

        now , does that prove it to be true . NO. the testimony of the early martyrs recorded after it happened in public view –the arenas of Rome ..just says that that is what they believed to be true and it has not been disproven .

        the modern courtroom analogy was just to show that it would be taken as evidence today until someone could prove differently without a reasonable doubt .

    • Do not forget that your witnesses would be cross-examined by the prosecution, their testimony would likely be picked apart as circumstantial or imaginary.

      Proving or disproving christianity in a court of law is likely not a viable strategy for validating the bible.

      It’s entirely, profoundly real for you, therefore it exists, despite any detractors or debates.

      You entirely have a total right to your convictions. But others likewise do theirs, though you may not approve nor agree.

      • one does not need the bible to testify . the early christians had not even written anything yet . the gospels came later. besides , one cannot prove or disprove the bible . it is absurd. one testifys on one owns experience. and only that. i think that we can agree on that one .

        let us take circumstantial and imaginary –the definition of testimony under oath is that it really is evidence . no matter what a person is testifying of . so the whole thing ends up a mexican stand off .

        • Not being an attorney, it would seem testimony by eye-witnesses would require the eye witness to testify.

          You have neither the Martyrs nor Roman historians, nor even a witness to testify to their testimony. You have only what is written about what they say they saw.

          If that were admissible as irrefutable evidence, you’d have to accept all claims written as fact, such Odysseus and the Sirens as confirmed by Ovid.

          The claim of a bodily resurrection, a miracle having happened neither prior nor since, would not even survive cross-examination let alone a dubious & skeptical jury. Why this story became so huge is a conundrum.

          There’s a lot more ammunition for your position than what your lawyer friend provides. I don’t read this stuff, but ‘The Impossible Faith’ seems to lay out a complex case for the undeniable witness as indisputable evidence from the perspective of contemporaries.

          Pit that one against ‘The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold’ and you’ll have your nose in archaic debates for the entire semester.

          But if you’ll follow the prior link I posted, it appears all of you have a far more brilliant adversary on your hands, whom you likely will never catch up to in this life (nor this time & space!):

          Stephen Hawking Has Physics Showing the Universe DID NOT NEED A GOD FOR CREATION!

          I suggest you apply your energies to debating his new book ‘The Grand Design’. I’ll certainly be interested in your book-report published on DS.

        • Yes, why did this story last for so long? Why did so many people die for their faith in Jesus? They were convinced enough to die. That’s pretty strong. Are you willing to die for Stephen Hawking’s beliefs? How many of Hawking’s followers are willing to die for their beliefs?

          Lazarus was raised from the dead and the ancient Hebrews believed in resurrection. http://www.biblestudy.org/question/who-has-been-resurrected-from-the-dead.html

          I have my testimony and you know that I don’t lie. I think that’s what Rocket was getting at. Those of us who do share our testimonies with others and are truthful people, those testimonies would stand up in court.

        • I don’t think you are lying nor do I doubt your testimony.
          But in all fairness, Schizophrenics are also quite certain of the voices in their heads…

          There are other good people equally deserving of such enlightenment, without which there is no reason to be convinced.

          People who have seen ghosts believe in ghosts. Those who haven’t are hard to convince (unless you terrify them with enough ghost stories).

          When god was invented, we had no idea as to the scope of the universe. The more we discover about the vastness & complexity of the universe, of evolution, brain science, etc, the harder to imagine we are the first thing on god’s mind…

          The idea that he has time to sit in judgment of stupid humans, believers or otherwise, gets more incredible not less.

          To imagine a deity who judges in bi-polar extremes people’s lives that vary in degrees of good or bad is a deity that is at least unfair, and at worst demonic.

          Why would a many who’s sins were barely outweighed by his devotion get the same eternal glory as mother Theresa? Why would a kid who failed to repent for that candy bar he stole when he was age 9 be sent to the same eternal fire as hitler?

          And then what of the various schools of christianity, the Calvinists are certain the Catholics will burn in hell, yet both are devout Christians.

          The Shiites believe all Sunni’s aren’t even Muslims, not even the Sunni Whabbists like Bin Laden?

          There is no rhyme nor reason to anything abrahamic, nothing to teach, nothing to believe. Either jesus appears in the froth of your latte or he doesn’t. If he appears to some and not to others, he’s hardly fair, certainly crudely non-compassionate, and likely unjust and unloveable. A trixter playing sadistic games with our souls.

          If life is to be a great test of faith based on the word of witnesses, then god is a villainous tyrant.

          There are no degrees of guilt, only damnation regardless of degree of transgression, and eternal paradise for even those whose deeds may barely outweigh the summation of their sins. No consideration for honest mistakes, no special stars for outstanding performance, no inferior seats at the stadium in the sky for the significantly less good.

          Biblical & sharia law were designed to terrify a populace whose only concept of society was absolute control by kings.

          Monotheism was constructed for a completely different time. Its very assumptions bespeak its obsolescence and reveal the clear hand of humans, not god. It was clearly constructed to control through terror, in accordance with long antiquated rules obsolete & extinct.

          Such a faith could never be created in the present paradigm and almost entirely doesn’t apply. It is clearly not universal, clearly a product of its era and therefore clearly a creation of man, not any sort of all-knowing deity.

          Scriptural mythology is not just nor fair nor founded in love nor faith. It is a divine dictatorship, a tyrannical, fascist construct, a totalitarian despotic autocracy ruled by an uncompromising, ruthless, vengeful, terrifyingly tyrannical villain whose wretched subjects must live by an unreasonably cryptic and restrictive, misogynistic, abusive code the details of which they’re left to guess at in a constant panic lest they err or deviate and face total & certain condemnation to unending nuclear incineration in a volcanic inferno for all eternity with no chance of parole.

          Any idea why such a construct would seem unattractive at least & highly dubious at best?

          Any clue why one might look askance at its adherents who would have one believe ‘god is love’ (and you better believe that exactly as dictated or you’re gonna spend eternity in a crucible of molten slag…)

          Any acknowledgement why someone spouting this kind of cruel concept as ‘love’ might be looked upon as possessed by a deranged, psychotic cult??

          This system was not designed to enlighten anyone, it was designed to terrify subjects into submission for earthly control, which has been levied by Christianity with impunity for centuries.

          Such a structure has hideous human fallings written all over it, not love, wisdom, divinidty, nor compassion of any god let alone a good one, not even the wisdom of a well-meaning mind.

          These are my personal opinions & observations.

          Aristotle declared, “The rule of law is better than the rule of any individual”. Biblical Judgment is made by an uncompromising individual, a ruthless deity who doles out eternal damnation by divine decree & who only knows two extremes which he dictates destiny to all those whom he unilaterally decides aren’t quite pious to his inhumane and unachievable standard.

          (luckily some who made enough dirty money in this life could still buy off their sins at the collection plate, and get out of hell through confession!)

        • Ah but have there been any resurrections since jesus?
          These 9 ‘resurrections’ could be interpreted as a general psychological deficit in the entire tradition of Abrahamic Monotheism.

          The whole concept of bodily resurrection defies the point of the soul rising from a body that remains in the ground to rot. Why would jesus have needed his body? Maybe to come up with the Trinity and add a few more pages to an already incongruous myth.

          The claims of christianity withstand not a single logical analysis. Whether truth or fairtale, ‘believers’ don’t validate a story, any more than than Madoff’s investors made him a brilliant trader.

          Faith and proof or logic simply do not exist in the same sphere. One simply cannot use logic nor precedent to validate faith. Either the proof is unanimously undeniable or it’s hearsay & conjecture. Christ has certainly NOT bothered to make his presence known in any genrally convincing way or we’d all have been believers from the outset and rocket wouldn’t be spending his days admonishing us from his soapbox that the end is neigh, repent.

          Dying for belief is absolutely no evidence of validity. How many died in Vietnam, believing they were fighting for a valid cause, later to be shown a useless and groundless fabrication? How many died in Iraq for same?

          Once again, neither Jesus nor the Martyrs died by choice, they were tortured & killed by earthly forces outside of their control.

          A more pertinent portrayal of sacrifice to become a powerful spiritual force for the living would be Obiwan Kenobi striken by Dark Vader to guide the struggle of Skywalker. That story seems to represent what Christians wish would have happened… but didn’t.

          It’s all a silly discussion if the New News by Stephen Hawking is true. But who am I to say? I’m not here trying to vconvince you of either, why do christians find it so important to convince others?

          People believe in christ purely out of fear of hell. Unless you can terrify someone with the preposterous concept of eternal damnation in the afterlife, you won’t be able to get them to believe in your ghosts.

          ~

        • why do we christians keep insisting upon telling the world ? before i was a christian i had some real cool musician christian freinds. but they would never confront me about christ. i thought ”now that is open minded”. only to realize after my conversion that it was the most unloving act they could do .
          so , after my conversion i vowed to never shut up about christ. and i have seen lots of good results becuase of it .
          so , why do we not shut up –becuase that is what love requires.

        • Stephen Hawking sits in the chair of Sir Isaac Newton. Isaac Newton wrote more about Christ than he did about Science. It’s Newton’s faith vs Hawking’s unbelief. In a debate, it’s pretty obvious who would win.

        • For many years, Hawking’s History of Time would stop at the big bang, for if we knew why the universe was born we’d ‘know the mind of god’.

          I’ve not read his latest thinking, but it seems he’s transcended even that problem. Hawking is not ‘unbelieving’ he’s just showing that creation need not a god for a universe to be born.

          We’re WAY beyond Newton, though physics is eternally indebted to him. A great irony if his efforts to prove the existence of god may have been god’s undoing!

          Your faith is full of dogmas disproved by basic observation, from Gallileo to evolution.

          Dig down far enough & you find not hell nor devil but the molten remains of the formation of a planet, without which life on earth would cease to exist.

          Fly high enough and you find not a bearded man in a robe, but the vastness of an uncaring universe.

          Your ‘holy land’ is destined to crash tectonically into Asia and be sucked into Hades by subduction.

          As it turns out, a single living cell is far more complex than anything that goes in your ‘heavens’

          And yet your colleagues still insist adam walked with dinosaurs and the earth is 18,000 years old.

          Christianity need not be so terrified of knowledge and progress. Unfortunately for your faith, the pillars of its basic myths are crumbling faster than ever.

          You will indeed be left with your god, your comforting idea of your afterlife if you are a good boy. If that helps you deal with the finality of death, go for it.

          Just don’t believe anyone else has any reason or compulsion to believe it, or that it should possibly be real for me the way it is for you.

        • Natureboy, you are still lumping all people who believe in Jesus together in a negative manner. A whole lot of Christians do accept Evolution and are indeed Scientists. Why do you continue to over-generalize all Christians? How are you any different than those who you are bashing? Closemindedness isn’t restricted to only one group of people; both politically conservative and politically liberal have closed minds to many issues of the day.

          Exactly where do you get these notions of Christianity, from the words of Jesus or some of His current followers?

        • I’m referring to the concept of heaven & hell, your afterlife. Jesus wasn’t the only cult of the afterlife in his time. His version is hardly humane. But who even knows what his version was?

          Consider how many of those who enlisted and kill in Iraq are devout christians. Consider how many who supported and still excuse these wars are devout christians. Hoards. Yet not a single hoard in all the horror done in the name of Christ has ever been a GOOD hoard fighting for peace & justice?

          Over & over all you are able to supply as good christians are Dorothy Day & MLK. The vast majority, the great hoards of Christians soldiers are now, and for all history, bloodthirsty arrogant hostile people.

          Now we deal with the huge problem of child rapists in the clergy.

          The ratio of good people to bad in the faith or without it are probably similar, with the vast majority being selfish, bigoted, nationalistic and hostile.

          In this sense christianity has NOT been a force of good on this earth, likely the opposite.

          While christ may bring out your good, it is likely because you are good, not because of christ.

          No I don’t believe Jesus has been a force for good, in fact if anything the opposite (through no fault of his). A problem I see in the Jesus doctrine is that the actions of followers are then done in the name of someone else, they are not responsible for their actions.

          The interpretation of god’s will remains so broad and nondescript, that almost any transgression can be justified as an act of god’s will, from Manifest destiny & the Black Robe to the crusades & the inquisition, to electing Raygun & Botch & invading Iraq.

          Christianity, like it or not, has been used by vast hoards to do unspeakable things. We would have been better without it.

          You will have a hard time telling me that all the native american animists, for whom there was a spirit that moved in all things, all went to hell.

          Yet that is exactly what christians will say. You would call them Pagans, in need of being changed (or ‘saved’, a process that was one of the most horrible tragedies of all time.

          In that light, it is an ignorant, abusive faith. More proof that its adherents are as human (and replete with human failings) in their transgressions as any, if not worse, hardly enlightened, hardly godly, hardly ‘saved’.

          These are my personal opinions & observations.

        • Aha! I knew you’d find a caveat to protect me from eternal damnation!:

          “…This would not include people who have no beliefs in God whatsoever.”

          So it seems I won’t face judgment, having no beliefs in god whatsoever?!?

          Thank god on behalf of us both!

          Now you can stop trying to ‘save’ me, and I can stop trying to convince you that your christian vision of god is simply not something that could possibly pass my gag-reflex!

        • You need to learn about Christianity from the scholars, not from mainstream media. That’s why I post what I do here.

          Hell is for those who have known Jesus and accepted Him as their savior than rejected Him. You have to know Him first. Obviously you and Muslims and many Jews and lots of other people around the world do not know Him personally. What does the word “know” mean in Judaic terms? Intimacy. A man knows a woman, for example, after the wedding. Accepting Jesus in one’s life is having a personal relationship with Him. He is the bridegroom to all the believers.

          There are a few reasons that I want to share the Good News with my friends and readers beyond the obvious. I was 42 years old before becoming a believer. Very few people really told me about Jesus. They accepted that I was Jewish and went on with their lives, leaving me out of this knowledge. I was a practicing Jew, although a Reform Jew, not Orthodox or Conservative. I thought I had God in my life. I was so wrong. I was as anti-Christian as one can be, probably more than you, Natureboy. I used all the excuses to not look into who Jesus really was.

          Accepting Jesus changed my life. That is the proof, imo. I had no idea what “sin” really meant. It means missing the target. Well, I missed the target throughout my life and I had to repent (acknowledge that fact and sin no more). Those Christians who continue to live in sin are the ones that have to worry about Hell. And it’s between God and that person. It’s not us as Christians to judge others. We can help our friends out though and tell them that we think they are going astray. And of course, Thank God for Grace.

        • Glad to know my afterlife is safe!

          Not knowing god, I’m in no danger of rejecting him, therefore the worst that can happen after death is death itself. Heaven forbid if I’d taken jesus to be my savior, believed he died for our communal atonement, spent my waking hours proselytizing, but had done some small part of it wrong, and ended up in hell anyway!

          I still think you’re wrong about hell and playing with fire. Jesus was perfectly clear.

          If you believe the quotes attributed to jesus in Mathew & Genesis, you’d better take them at face value, for in knowing god as you claim, you run the risk of being condemned at judgment for heresy, regardless of your good intentions.

          God wants you to be very afraid. Be afraid, or you’re not being godly. Personally I’d rather die, forego the fairytale of heaven than risk burning in hell. My death is not the end of the world!

          If you believe, it’s too late for you, you know have to believe every word, memorize them, follow them to the letter, learn them in Hebrew, Greek & Aramaic, and hope you’re learning the proper translation.

          You are now on the hook for the rest of your living days. Better get this right!

          One slip and you’re doomed to burn in the eternal sulfurous lake of molten slag, no parole, no mistrial, no discussion.

          Faith’s a bitch, eh?

        • Ah, but do you not see the cruelty of the trap you lay for your readers by evangelizing this way? It’s a horrible evil trick!

          Your own Rev. McGinnes in the referred piece says:

          “MARK 16:15-16 (RSV)

          15
          And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the
          gospel to the whole creation.
          16
          He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who
          does not believe will be condemned.

          The condemnation applies only to people who have had the Gospel presented to them, so that they fully understand the ideas, and then they reject it anyway. If they have never heard it, they are not condemned. And if they don’t understand it, they are not condemned.”

          So by that token, the more ‘good news’ you poison my mind with to make my life ‘better’, the closer I become to understanding ‘the ideas’, and the further entrapped I become in the merciless mandate which, upon my understanding sufficiently, I must either convert completely, or I WILL burn in hell for all eternity!

          The only way out of that horrible maze is to LEARN NO MORE OF JESUS! The risks far outweigh the rewards!!

          I am still safe/saved from any chance of burning forever, because in truth I don’t understand, I don’t believe, and I don’t buy it.

          But glad it works for you. Let us know how it turns out, appear in an epiphany and tell us: ‘Ether’ or ‘Sulfur’… and if it was worth it either way.

          “‘The Christian God is a being of terrific character – cruel, vindictive, capricious, and unjust'”
          — Thomas Jefferson (Third President of the United States, 1801-1809)

        • In regards to your diatribe on your concept of divinity being a monster, it just goes to show that you really don’t know God personally. The word “gospel” simply means Good News. This Good News is very constructive for the human race in nothing like what you’re making it out to be. The simplest way to find out if this Good News is true, is to simply cease resisting and ask for God’s love to fill up your entire heart. You will find once that happens that all the accusations and excuses dissipate.

        • Pearls before swine, brother.
          (And I like piglets much more than pearls!)

          I don’t resist god because god is not trying to compel me. It’s simply not a cosmic conflict for me.

          But if I were to choose one, the muslim idea seems to have levels of heaven & hell commensurate with your degree of good or bad in life.

          That sound a lot more humane & egalitarian than your bipolar manic-depressive nazi standing outside the cattle-car decereeing who goes directly to the ovens & who gets to live.

        • Do you feel that the Muslims we’ve invaded and occupied are ‘unsaved’ for being unchristian?
          Do you feel all Muslims will go to hell?? Do you feel their Heaven & Hell are less valid than yours?

        • The best short answer to “Do the unsaved go to hell when they die?”

          http://www.kingdavid8.com/FAQs/UnsavedHell.html

          “It depends on what you mean by ‘hell’. If you’re talking about a place of eternal physical torture, then no. I believe the ‘hell’ the Bible talks about in an absence of God. In fact, this is what I believe Christ had come to save us from. John 3:16 says that God gave us Jesus so that ‘whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life’. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death. Death, not hell or the lake of fire. Some Christians think that ‘perishing’ and ‘death’ are metaphors for hell or the lake of fire, but perishing seems, to me, to be something else altogether, a state of nonexistence. Revelation suggests, at least to me, that those who are cast into the lake of fire are satan, the false prophet, and their followers. Those are people who believe in God, yet willingly turn against Him. This would not include people who have no beliefs in God whatsoever.”

        • 70% of americans believe in Hell. 92% of weekly churchgoers believe in Hell. Rocket believes in hell, he’s your prophet, where did you go astray?

          Hell is clearly definied by Jesus in the new testament:

          “Anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Matthew 5:22, quoting Jesus)

          “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:40-42, quoting Jesus)

          “The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile…the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulpher. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

          That’s pretty ‘damning’ as far as what exactly Jesus meant by ‘Hell’. If you don’t believe the ‘Lake of Fire’, then it would seem you’re just foisting your own interpretation of Jesus and not a true follower of Christ.

          That said, and back on-topic, my original question was:

          Do you feel that the Muslims we’ve invaded and occupied are ‘unsaved’ for being unchristian?

          Do you feel all Muslims will go to hell??

          Do you feel their Heaven & Hell are less valid than yours?

        • I’m sure Islam will be relieved to know that their faith won’t land them in Jesus’ version of Hades, and that they’ll only suffer misery of being not fully enlightened by the Christian God.

          Rocket speaks very well for himself.

          If his solopsism about the right panel of The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch is any indication, he takes hell entirely seriously.

          For him, Bosch portrays the torments of damnation literalistically and accurately in all its demonic medieval detail.

          I suspect Rocket will be the only one fulfilling the requirements of properly terrified belief as Jesus required. But sadly I suspect his transgressions against mexicans & animals & his alignment with the heretics in the Tea Party will be his undoing on that Day.

          At least there’ll be less heating bills, and plenty of freshly roasting meat!

        • But you are misunderstanding Rocket’s views on immigration, while I don’t agree with him on this issue I do know that he isn’t racist, he is against the exploitation of workers, any and all workers. We differ in a political point of view: closed vs open borders.

          On aligning with the Tea Partiers, Rocket disagrees with most of their political viewpoints (he’s a socialist), what he has written about is that he supports their activism. And actually as I have posted many times here, the original tea party people were the Ron Paul supporters, the Tea Party now has been hijacked by the Republican Party and many corporations who are funding it. See my comment on this post: https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/the-truth-and-its-consequences-by-timothy-v-gatto/#comment-126900

          Jesus ate meat, so Rocket feels that it is OK to also do so. The problem is that in our society today most meat that people consume come from factory farms that indeed practice animal cruelty. It’s the cruelty that needs to be stopped. And as a vegetarian, I hope others will choose to omit meat from their diet altogether, but realistically I understand that that is not going to happen, so at least if one chooses to eat animals, make sure that they acquire their meat from local farms who do not practice cruelty. It’s a compromise, I know.

          Pointing out errors in others when one needs to look in the mirror him/herself is something we all need to be aware of.

        • I pass no judgment, and pretend no purity.
          I merely point out that neither Rocket nor possibly even Jesus would likely pass muster with God.
          That is my opinion.

          A proper Essene (nor Sufi) ate no meat. Jesus knew better:

          “Thou shalt not kill”

          “I have given you every herb bearing seed… to you it shall be for meat”

        • Life is but a dream, Lo.

          In truth our perceptions cover such a minute range of phenomena, one would not be surprised.

          Certainly it wasn’t a delusion for you.
          As I explained above I am not refuting your visions nor anyone’s.

          But many who profess their faith, indeed likely most, are indeed liars. They are not following the path of compassion & love, nor doing good works.
          They are hateful, racist, selfish violent bigots.

          I do not judge the rare soul who both believes and does good, yet that is the exception. People who call themselves christians are by & large bad. The same is true for goodness in the secular world.

          Carl Rove doesn’t believe, yet he’s evil. Chainey claims he’s devout, yet he’s also evil. Which one is lying? And all who voted for them, twice, virtually all christians, all are truthful, good & pious?

          Their constituents, millions of them, all devout christians, who have taken jesus to be their savior, who believe he died for our sins, accept the resurrection as truth, and who are certain they are living the ecclesiastical life, and yet who all whole-heartedly insisted on this war in Iraq– you’re saying they all will go to heaven?

          If they get to go to heaven, being yet more christian than even yourself, then christianity can go to hell!

          But it’s a silly debate, and silly to debate me of all people. I can only speak for myself and don’t try to change you, yet your faith requires you to try to ‘save’ me? That is an invasive, disrespectful, patronizing faith.

          A point you should ask yourself, and we’d be interested in hearing an answer, is the point of this article:

          Do you feel that the Muslims we’ve invaded and occupied are ‘unsaved’ for being unchristian?
          Do you feel all Muslims will go to hell?? Do you feel their Heaven & Hell are less valid than yours?

          I’m sure they would be eager to hear from a ‘good’ Christian on this matter.

  7. Pingback: Cindy Sheehan: I am a 9/11 Truther… I do think it was an inside job « Dandelion Salad

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  10. More diversion away from the real issues: the wealthy and corporations taking over the planet, unending war, degradation of the environment ad squandering of resources, the propagandized manipulation of the mind, et cetera.

  11. Pingback: Amy Goodman: Sept. 11: A Day Without War « Dandelion Salad

  12. Thank you for saying so many things I haven’t found the words to say yet.

    You are not alone in wanting to find a glimmer of hope in today’s seemingly hopeless society.

    –Kittie

  13. This almost had me in tears, but I’m too far gone to feel anything anymore except outrage at this nation which not only shows no remorse for its national war-crimes but girds for the mother of all false flag bloodbaths.

    Each day of these deployments has been torture, even from afar, especially watching the complicity of my country as Basra & Baghdad burned, including whole libraries containing millions of books, looting museums containing irreplaceable ancient texts from the dawn of civilization, predating all these Abrahamic & Capitalistic ideologies by millennia (“Stuff happens…”, Eh Mr. Rumsfeld?).

    I wish I could be so sensitive to everybody’s ideologies, perhaps then I could write something constructive as you have. But I’ve had it with ideas that divide, that drive otherwise identical people to nationalistic violence, religious or secular, wherever they fester, and can now only rant.

    One won’t further enumerate the crimes of combat perpetrated against innocents by all sorts of ideologues and the blind-believing hoards who march to them, nobody seems to learn.

    Islam, mostly moderate peace-loving Sunni, is fast becoming the main mythology among the global blind-believer set (to each her own, but whatever keeps one away from alcoholism & eating piglets can’t be all bad!).

    Islam is no more a mystery to a non-believer than the miscellaneous mad maze of Christians. The resurgent conflict between Sunni, Shia and these ultra-orthodox sharia Wahhabis is baffling, but none of our business.

    I’d be much more at home if everyone was going Sufi, listening to love poems by Rumi & grooving to modal music while getting dizzy on Dervishes.

    But either way, they’re not dangerous. Much of Islam is dirt poor and have other pressing problems before invading anyone. We need to pay reparations for our slaughter, rescue Pakistan, Give those settlements to Palestine (it’s the least we can do after all), be nice to Muslims, and leave Islam alone.

    (Preacher Jones, you can cross off your crazy board this myth that most Muslims are murderous. But guess what, you managed to find a few that are, & they just burned you in effigy– well done preacher! If only you’d had your Rushdie moment doing something a little less stupid before someone soon Fatwas your face off… now go on disappear like a good cretin).

    If there ever was to be a new world order, this is it (and it’s getting really old…). We have a choice to buy into this false-flag conflict with half the world of no threat to the USA, or not.

    We seem destined to buy into staged wars built around bogus belief-systems, vast armies of ideological drones pitted against each other, exploited by fat-cats for their geopolitical monopoly board.

    If we’re to again agree to be suckered into slaughtering each other over lies for the foreseeable centuries, we might as well learn what we’re supposed to be hating, killing & dying for (OR NOT!).

    If today is to be the day we start burning books again like the Spaniards, Romans & Nazis, terrified of retaliation by some roving Wahhabi, maybe the only way out of this mess is to throw a few more false prophets on the pyre.

    We might be able to even out these evangelical oddities by tossing on the grill a few copies of Gideons cryptic commandments, immolating all five books of Moses, barbeque a Mishna or two, toast a truckload of paperback Dyanetics and burn a boatload of the Book of Mormon.

    Maybe then we’d all be equally cleansed by fire without bringing on Armageddon.

    We could further choose to just keep the amazing illuminated manuscripts in museums where they belong, make monuments of the great cathedrals & mosques as we have the pyramids, the Mayan Temples & the Acropolis, and move on to more peaceful pursuits like growing up and getting along, caring for our common Mother before she kicks us all off.

    Or we could just choose to leave everyone alone to their beliefs and keep ours to ourselves, respecting all others for our common overarching humanistic humanity.

    But we the people DO have a choice. It sounds so dated by now, but we can choose not to hate, instead to tolerate, and study war no more. After all, we are the ones who fight these wars, not the Mullahs nor the Generals.

    Or we can continue to comply with the capitalists, & march off this militaristic cliff, playing at praying for Dates & Pearly Gates… (Whoopie, we’re all gonna die!)

    May these gods help us all now.

  14. Felicity,

    Beautiful, elegant writing! You have stated what needs to be said with grace and clarity. I salute your ability to face this kind of hatefulness without looking away, and support your effort to hold people accountable for shameful policies and actions.

    As an American, I feel betrayed by my country and the vengeful path of militarism it careens along. So I identified with the question raised by the widow of one of the men who died in the Russian submarine Kurske, “What happens when your country betrays you?” If the truth ever comes out of how the Cheonan exploded, I think we will find that the South Korean widows of the men who died on board while carrying out war games with the U.S. might very well ask the same question.

    I also appreciated the quote from the contributor to the Middle East-oriented website, “I am a Muslim; kill me and call it “collateral damage,” imprison me and call it “security measure,” exile my people en masse and call it, “A New Middle East,” steal my resources, invade my land, murder my wife and children, alter the leadership of my country, and call it “democracy.” I believe that you are right that he speaks for millions.

    Yes, the U.S. needs to change its attitude to one of humility instead of overweening pride and arrogance, and it also needs to engage in bridge building rather than bridge burning. Well said!

    I would take it a step further, and say that what is required to balance out the harm that has been done by the U.S. military, is a sincere confession and acknowledgement of wrong-doing, contrition for having committed terrible crimes against humanity, and reparations made.

    I loved the verse from the Qu’ran that you quoted, and I appreciate how you balanced your listing of the many anniversaries of atrocities committed on 9/11 with the account of how the First World Parliament of Religions was formed on September 11, 1983.

    More than ever, the people of the world need to reach out to understand each other’s religions and spiritual beliefs. We are going through the eye of the needle as a collective consciousness in the world today. I would add that atonement or at one-ment is the only way to make it. Your writing gives me faith. Thank you.

    • the word atonement does not mean at-one-ment . it means to atone to a deity in blood sacrifice . indigenous tribes understand this. the hebrew people practiced it just like the ancient pagans . the Greek tragedys of Euripides deals with this sacrificial theme motif extensively .

      an the early Christians claim was that Jesus of Nazareth was the ultimate atonement for all time for all people , all inclusive . the trouble lies in rejecting Christ atonement . without it there will never be an at-ONE -ment with God nor with each other .

      • So as long everybody’s (your kind of) Christian we’ll all get along?

        Your postulation is hardly the case!
        Factions of Christians who share the same belief that the torture and execution of Jesus was in some way symbolic of our collective atonement, have been at eachother’s throats for centuries.

        Seems that’s exactly what some radical Muslims would say, either you’re an intolerant devout Shia Wahabi or you get purged.

        Ironically it is EXACTLY your own theological & ideological arrogance as expressed in your contection above which is very ROOTof the theological intolerance here described.

        In any case, your particular brand of scriptural literalism could be completely wrong no matter how convinced you are (as all evangelical ideologues of any stripe are equally convinced, itself a commonnalikty among believers, hence more reason for mutul respect).

        It could indeed all be a myth (as so many historical faiths have been shown to be, from Thor to Athena regardless of your particular brand of the ‘God Part of the Brain’:
        http://www.wikileaksvideo.com/2010/09/grand-design-stephen-hawking-vs-god.html

        The point is all these faiths have equal validity to the believer as yours does to you, and you are in no position to claim unequivocally that your system that works for you is the right one for all, therefore everyone else must comply or we can’t get along.

        Have some respect.

        • Perhaps, but words are powerful in this geopolitical powderkeg.

          There is no longer any room for ideological dogmatism within abrahamic myths. The word ‘atonement’ is not owned by specific biblical cults.

          It was Rocket who ‘misunderstood’ her use of the word in his hypnotized reflex to interpret any ancient translation of Aramaic appearing in the bible as an opportunity to spout his particular cult of christianity.

          This not faith, this is not love, this is not tolerance, this is irresponsible evangelical opportunism.

          If god is love, love sometimes means holding your tongue in a time when extreme Abrahimic ideologies are being used to kill.

          Either debase all these myths & those hypnotized by them and be a completely agnostic outsider, or hold your tongue about your particular cult of abrahamic absurdity.

          People are being killed over absurd subtleties in absurd scriptures. This is not a time to be spouting off scriptural insanity as undeniable fact. Leave that to Terri Jones and the sponsors of Sharia Law.

          That is a sick, sadistic, indulgent game to be playing in this particular time. Leave it to sick people, and let them be seen for what they are, unless rocket wants to be seen as sick, in which case so be it.

          But he can’t be defended for saying what he has, regardless of whether one is sympathetic to his hypnosis or not. He’s no oracle nor divine conduit to god to be making such proclamations as if he’s delivering the sermon on the mount.

          There are responsible, intelligent, tolerant christians promoting peace, love & intelligence.
          Rocket is not one of these. Rocket is just another jesus freak, and it’s time for christians to finally be better than that.

        • Atonement is a Jewish thing, Natureboy. Judaism came before Christianity. Jesus was indeed Jewish as were most of his followers. When you call Rocket names, you are calling me and all believers in Jesus names, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dorothy Day.

          People can and should make amends to those they have need to. But atonement is to God. Ariel makes up her “religion” using Jewish/Christian terminology. It is very deceptive to think that we can have atonement without God.

          Rocket is only the messenger; he didn’t make this stuff up. Your hatred towards him is really your hatred of God.

        • Both online dictionaries list the first definition of atonement as the secular use:

          Dictionary.com:
          1: satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.

          Mirriam Webster:
          1: obsolete : reconciliation

          The latter points out the the difference between Atonement & atonement. It would appear that the comment referenced intended the latter.

          It also specifies the origin of the word:

          “Origin:
          1505–15; from phrase at one in harmony + -ment, as trans. of ML adūnāmentum; cf. ME onement unity ”

          “At-one-ment” would appear closer to the etymology and also the era of the word than either the jews or Christ.

          One doesn’t ‘hate’ god. If god keeps Dandelions growing & going, that is reason enough to appreciate god.

          Perhaps some of us prefer to appreciate god through his great works, such as dandelions & Dandelion Salad.

          My problem is in speaking of beliefs in the absolute as a proclamation or decree.

          To the ‘unsaved’, the story in all these faiths, from the Bodhi tree to the virgin birth is like saying Thumbelina and Tinkerbell really are examples of an as-yet undocumented species of miniature gurl who can fly.

          I don’t say Jesus didn’t appear to those who saw him as a vision, nor do I say the visage of the Virgin Mary didn’t appear in a slice of toast.

          To you it’s sacred, to me it’s a fairytale, I’m fine with that.

          But to some Muslims, whose entire identity is under attack, proclaiming the only true way to atonement is through Jesus alone, is just another attack.

          Islam is clearly feeling besieged with good reason.

          Perhaps now is not the time to be making absolutist statements proclaiming that the only real truth is the very faith they feel is crusading against them.

        • I don’t ‘hate’ rocket!
          We just profoundly disagree.

          He thinks the Amendment 2 means we should have right, even an obligation to own rocket launchers;

          I think it just as well means we should roll up our sleeves.

          He thinks animals are put on this earth for the sole purpose of being tortured in life, brutally exterminated & ground up into goo for his dining pleasure;

          I’m quite certain many of the species he eats are full of love & feelings and individuality & struggle just as we.

          He thinks nationalism is a requirement to protect freedom;

          I think it is a prime characteristic of fascism and that borders are lines in the sand that divide and emprision.

          He thinks all respectable mexicans should be driven back to the hell we made for them, and that they should be happy to work in NAFTA US factories at $1.00/hour south of the border, and that somehow this is more humane than offering a largely indigenous population free access to stolen lands which they were formerly able to roam;

          I think his attitude is tantamount to closet bigotry and that we should be a lot more generous to Latinos in light of the centuries of abuse we colonists have put them through.

          He is a philosopher, forever quoting fascinating secular thinkers in brilliant detail, yet he defaults at every opportunity to absolutist proclamations in faith that requires no thought only belief, and proselytizes relentlessly on-topic or off;

          I find scripture-spouting prophets suspicious, generally wrong, and sometimes dangerous.

          It’s a complete divergence of Weltanschauungen, but not the first time he, or I, have run into opposition.

          But if my comments are deemed unconstructive or obnoxious, by all means they shouldn’t be allowed to soil this beautiful blog and anything offensive or irresponsible should be deleted.

          I am FAR from always right, wise or constructive. In fact I am mostly under-informed, hot-headed & impulsive, and altogether too long-winded.

          Remove anything I say that is objectionable, I will forgive & take no offense.

          And I will always love and in any way encourage Dandelion Salad!

        • what is sick and sadistic is this constant stubborn obdurate rejection of the blood atonement of christ for you . but , it wont last long . you will either convert , or die and face judgement .
          i am predicting the former. no one i know of personally object to the good news more than you . God can use that kind of passion . after your conversion of course.

        • If I am to sacrifice my soul to eternal damnation in death, may it be for the peace & justice of the living.

          I regret that I have but one afterlife to give for peace on earth!

        • Regarding Atonement in the Biblical sense:

          An excellent article in Tikkun details the Theology of The Rev. Martin Luther King.

          For those who draw their progressive activist inspiration from Christ, and who correctly call on Dr. King as a singular example of the good in Christ, it would be enlightening to study his views on the fundamentalist tenets of Christianity.

          Indeed the very issues which cause me so much difficulty about the literal interpretation of scripture that so many Christians seem to still follow, are exactly the issues that Dr. King addresses so eloquently.

          Specific to this topic of Christian Atonement Dr. King is eloquent:

          “Any doctrine which finds the meaning of atonement in the triumph of Christ over such cosmic powers as sin, death and Satan is inadequate…. If Christ by his life and death paid the full penalty of sin, there is no valid ground for repentance or moral obedience as a condition of forgiveness. The debt is paid; the penalty exacted, and there is, consequently, nothing to forgive.”

          http://www.tikkun.org/article.php/nov_dec_09_scofield

        • natureboy , had you read carefully what i said you would understand that not only what i said was respectful but also in context with the interfaith dialogue i have been involved with way before you were born .

          read it again . i mentioned the definition of atonement in all cultures . for people to twist that word around shows that they dont respect the indigenous cultures who have practiced it all over the world . my statement was ALL inclusive with Christ as the final inclusion .

          read the Greek tragedys of Euripedes . this goes way beyond noble death motif to the sacrificial death motif for the greek gods done voluntarily as one for another.

          Alcesist says to her husband ”i am going to die in your place”. this mentality came into judaism and became hellenized judaism . so by the time Jesus used the language of commerce to say that he would be a ransom , they understood what he meant .

          the problem with voluntary sacrificial death is that it is limited to tribe against tribe . with Christ , it is universal –it is for ALL. that my friend is called Evolution .

        • I think He was put in a position of having to sacrifice his life because of a brutal occupation by a gruesome, violent oppressor.

          He should not have been put in that position, it was an atrocity.

          His teachings did not necessarily predict his demise under those circumstances, though Christians seem to find it the only fitting end to his story, (or they designed his story to fit that end).

          My point is that the commentator did not use the word in the Christian sense, the word does have a secular definition, and this is how it was used.

          I may be wrong, but it appears to me that Jesus was simply not part of the intent of the writer.

          Legitimate, proper Secular use of a word that happens to have a related, alternate theological definition is not necessarily an opportunity to lambaste the writer for not using that alternate theological definition which you hold sacred.

          It is a language, words are tools and can be used to craft different expressions. Always defaulting to the theological so adamantly is a bit extreme, IMO.

          ~

        • natureboy , there is little we have in extant lit on the person of jesus of nazareth, and it would be foolish to see him as compound character. the reason i say this is because his disciples, especially Paul were a known quantity in the ancient world .

          i think that maybe the blockage in your view of who or what jesus was is that when he died he remained dead. but the early christians claimed that he was raised from the dead. so now the whole game changes and gives hope to all.

          now , claiming that he raised from the dead is not proof . but that is what they claimed. are they bearing false witness? they were all martyred for their witness . again , this is not proof . but a witness in a court of law is evidence in u.s. courts . the burden of proof does not lie with the one who bears witness but with the one who seeks to discredit the witness of either lying or being insane . since the early christians were neither , their witness stands.

          by the way –i am not a typical jesus freak . and dont try and put me in a right wing corner pal , saying that i torture animals , and thing we should have rocket launchers , and that i hate mexicans . that is bullshit and you know it . i am a christian humanist and you know it . i believe in civil libertys , i dont like how we exploit workers in this country , and i am not a vegetarian . so what ? i am against colonialism , but i sure as hell dont want another oppressors language like the one of the conquistadors ( spanish ) crammed down our throats. its bad enough we had to learn english .( the language of the colonialists) . and while you are pointing out my sins , dont forget i cant spell worth a shit .

        • I forgive your spelling because I know you are smart as hell and communicate brilliantly.

          I learn much from reading you, many thoughts and research are provoked, deepening & defining my own convictions.

          But about witnesses, the biblical testimony is not on the stand, it’s been transcribed, transliterated for millennia.

          A court in this country has a jury, which must be convinced unanimously for there to be a conviction or acquittal. The evidence presented is inconclusive & circumstantial, and would likely be objectionable in a court. But proof is not what religions are about.

          Obviously there is value to some in the accumulated contributions of the text, but the vast amount of abuse by Christians is reason for skepticism of those who preach.

          One doesn’t blame the book for their actions, but the sheer volume of transgressions by Christians is reason to suspect that this faith is not all good if it brings out so much bad. Buddhism, for example is not nearly so rife with abuse.

          Martin King, whose technique and style are very much a product of his church, rarely if ever spouted biblicalisms in his most important speeches.

          If the bible was the source of his politics & passion, he didn’t wear it on his sleeve and instead promoted a secular vision of peace & justice in an effective way which all could understand.

          That is the kind of christianity that unites not divides.
          This my personal opinion & observation.

          I don’t pass judgment on meat-eaters, most of us will be reincarnated as a chicken in a slaughterhouse.

          But we are wrong to not realize that most animals are a lot more than their meat. Certainly the way their flesh is produced, packaged and consumed is a profound dishonor to all life on earth, even the eater. This appears to be another suspicious product of the bible, known as Dominionism, where it is Written that god gave you dominion over all that crawleth & squirmeth over the earth

          It is not patronizing to point out that this attitude is not only abusive, but betrays the very love & compassion spoken of by Christ.

          Religions EVOLVE, this is one way in which Christianity must, since our survival depends on it (unless of course life on earth is only a buss stop on the way to heaven, which will be burned & ‘cleansed’ anyway, so why not consume, abuse, destry everything on it?). All more reasons why tenets of this faith are dangerous, abusive and anything but compassionate.

          That is my personal observation, and that of countless others. But if we are not Christian or Muslim, then it hardly matters, does it?

          I don’t think you’re right wing, right-wingers these days are mostly intentionally arrogant & ignorant.
          Christians are hardly by definition right wingers.

          I don’t often even agree with leftists, because they tend to be unrealistically idealistic and dogmatic about their highly intelligent, visionary ideas which in this day don’t apply to the society we’ve created.

          But you have very strong, contestable opinions which you’re quite precocious about publishing, which implies that you would need to be prepared for a counter-argument from those who profoundly disagree.

          My arguments are a sign of respect. If I thought you were a right-winger I would simply spit verbal phlegm at you and call you a brain-dead ghoul as I do them. I wouldn’t bother countering your published positions.

          Anyone Lo respects is already by definition worthy of reading.

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