THE KORAN CRISIS: MAKING A POINT

 

In 2007, Muslims in Gaza went on a rampage against Christians destroying crosses and burning Bibles. There are 2.2 billion Christians in the world. Those who knew about it were certainly offended. Yet, the world of Christianity did not whoop and holler like screaming jungle monkeys threatening to riot and kill innocent people.

Click here: Christians in Gaza Fear for Their Lives

Approximately 10,000 Christians were killed by Muslims in Indonesia — that “moderate” Islamic country — between 1998 and 2003, and about 1,000 churches were burned down — including their Bibles — all for no other reason but that they were Christian. It barely made the newspapers. Christians were appalled. Yet, the world was not held hostage by threats of violence against Muslims.

Click here: Christians face jail for giving treats

In 1987, an eccentric artist of questionable character dunked a crucifix complete with the image of Christ, into a jar of urine and took a picture for all to see and admire. Christians everywhere were aghast. I don’t remember that artist being subjected to pleas by national leaders to refrain, because Christians would erupt into violence.

Click here: Piss Christ – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In 2006, an Italian nun in Somalia was shot in the back numerous times by an Islamic gunman, along with her bodyguard (why a bodyguard?) and another person. All for being an active Christian.

Click here: Michelle Malkin » Italian nun killed;

In 2005, artists in Denmark created cartoon pictures depicting the prophet Muhammed. Not smart, perhaps. Not respectful, perhaps. But, artistic? Yes. Did the publication have a right of free speech and expression? Yes. Meanwhile, Muslims broke out in riots all over the world, killing Christians in Nigeria and burning flags, desecrating embassies. A Pakistani put out a $10,000 reward for anyone who will kill one of the artists. The entire world of Islam went into an uproar scaring the heck out of non-Muslims globally and threatening any governments who did not denounce. It was an international crisis. Check the time line:

Click here: Timeline of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In 2004, Dutchman Theo Van Gogh produced an eleven minute documentary movie, “Submission,” depicting the lives of women in strict Islamic countries. He was murdered in retribution by an Islamic gunman in the streets of Amsterdam, shot multiple times and then stabbed and partially decapitated. The screenplay was written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born apostate who had to go into hiding after receiving death threats.

 In 2002, Islamic terrorists holed up in Bethlehem’s Church of Nativity reportedly used the bible for toilet paper. Hello?

Click here: Palestinians used Bible

By now you get the point.

 Then comes Pastor Terry Jones. In the week prior to the 9th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on America, the eccentric preacher of questionable mentality announced that he was going to burn copies of the Koran on his property. Most anyone with a civil mind thought that was a very dumb idea.

What happened in the wake of Pastor Jones’ announcement was a calamity of humongous proportions. One would think that the Pope was about to be raped, or that Iran had announced the delivery of an atom bomb on Israel. It set off a firestorm of fear and intimidation.

The media went frenzy. Muslims throughout the world, and in the United States warned of the violence and insurgency that would follow, not only in Afghanistan, but virtually everywhere, all because Muslims would be offended. Politicians, clergy leaders and citizens in general begged and pleaded with this insignificant figure who led a small church of less than fifty congregants in Gainsville, Florida. The State Department put out a travel alert warning to American citizens abroad.

All because, the world is scared to death of the religion of peace. All because, the world is held hostage to the religion of peace. All because freedom of speech and expression is forbidden — defacto — to express displeasure or to criticize the religion of peace.

If the religion of peace were truly peaceful, they would have laughed at Preacher Jones and dismissed him as the radical nutball that he is. They would have briefly stated their objections, then turned their attentions to more important matters and ignored him. They would not have made it a colossal media event. By doing so, they would have shown us all — the world of non-Muslims — that Islam, in fact, really is a religion of peace.

But they failed.

And Preacher Jones, the nutball from Gainsville, after cancelling the event, said on NBC’s Today Show, “I accomplished the mission.”

Maybe the preacher wasn’t such a nutball after all.

Click here: Theo van Gogh (film director) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Click here: New Prophet Muhammad cartoon riots kill Christians in Nigeria

Click here: Islamization Watch: Pakistan: Punjab, Muslim extremists

 

MICHAEL JACKSON: DANGERS OF IDOLATRY

My cranky old stepfather had a way with words. Back in 1955, I was but a 16 year-old lad when we were engaged in a conversation about movie idols. I shared with him my admiration for Elizabeth Taylor, who I considered to be the most gorgeous human creature ever to walk the face of the earth. In the middle of my blathering over her, Bernie interrupted, and in his inimitable Brooklynese, said, “Listen kid. Think about this. What if Elizabeth Taylor is out hiking in the woods. She’s gotta take a …she’s gotta go, you know…real bad. What does she do? She lifts her f ——g dress, pulls down her panties and squats…just like you and me.”

Fame and fortune doesn’t make anyone more or less human than you or me.

The current news blitz about the life and death of Michael Jackson is a good example of off-the-charts idolatry. Despite his wealth, (or because of it) it ultimately served as a virtual prison within a secluded world. Such was the case with Elvis, and others, who could not walk the streets, attend a public function, go to a movie or eat in a restaurant without throngs of worshippers crowding, begging, drooling and kissing his feet. If I were given the choice between the fame and fortune of a Michael Jackson, and to have what I have now, it would be a no-brainer. Michael Jackson wasn’t free. He wasn’t happy. He had not achieved the pinnacle of life. Sure, he was loved my millions, but was he really loved…as a man, as a human being, as a partner? So, what good the money?

Americans have a way of idolizing entertainers, religious figures and some politicians, ad nauseam. So much that no matter their foibles, no matter their transgressions, forgiveness is automatic, forgiveness that would be unthinkable if the transgressors were you or me. The media, and the general public, turn a blind eye for every indiscretion, crime, sin, character flaw or act of deceit they may engage in. It doesn’t matter. Idols are above morality. They are above decency. In some cases, they are even above the law. They can even be dangerous. Idolaters trust the untrustworthy, even if it means following them like sheep over the cliff. They can do no wrong.

Such was the case in Guyana in November of 1978, when a charismatic preacher named Jim Jones convinced 909 of his religious followers — supposedly intelligent and educated human beings — to kill themselves, including over two hundred children, by drinking Kool-Aid laced with cyanide. Unbridled worship is the seed for ominpotence.

Click here: Jonestown

Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard, Peter Popoff, Robert Tilton and Kent Hovind are but a few American evangelists who found gold by mesmerizing congregations into dutiful worshippers, gaining riches at the altar of ignorance then bilking their people for millions upon millions of dollars by lying to them. There’s really no one to blame but the gullible, for they buy into every word, because they are words they want to hear to begin with.

Besides corruption, the sheer and blatant hypocrisy of these supposed mouthpieces for God never cease to amaze me, yet their followers continue to ignore and buy into the excuses. All the while Jim Bakker spent twenty years being revered from his PTL broadcasts, spewing goodness and morality, he was bilking his donors for millions of dollars, not to mention an extra-marital affair. His exploits landed him in prison for five years. But, not to worry, Bakker’s ministry is alive and well again — after a mea culpa apology of course — broadcasting the word of God to many millions of those same followers who just can’t get it.

Jimmy Swaggart was another idolized preacher who spent much of his off-pulpit time hiring detectives to spy on other evangelists, including Jim Bakker, in order to expose them as sexual deviants unworthy of a ministry. Then, the tables turned, as another detective — hired by one of those ministerial enemies — caught him in motel room with a prostitute. From there, we all remember the televised crying jag begging for forgiveness for spending his congregations money toward sexual favors. Three years later, he was caught again, with another prostitute. But that didn’t phase the blind followers. Today, Swaggart heads up a world wide ministry staffed with his new wife, and many of his family members, while the sheep continue to drop over the cliff. Amazing, what charisma can do when people hear what they are predisposed to hear.

The idolization of O.J. Simpson earned him a Not Guilty verdict for the cold-blooded, premeditated murder of two people, in which the evidence of his guilt was overwhelming. Had someone named Willie Jones had a mid-level lawyer, considering the same evidence, he would have been convicted and executed by now.

He’s not the only celebrity who managed to escape prison because of fame and wealth. There was Robert Blake, star of Baretta, who allegedly killed his wife, but despite hard evidence, managed an acquittal.

Michael Jackson, the current epitome of idol worship, is said to have settled with no less than three accusers over a period of fifteen years, 1988 – 1993, one for $20 million, to drop charges against him. In each, the alleged victims were children and the alleged crimes were sexual molestation. His criminal trial for similar charges in 2005 resulted in — what else? Not guilty.

Some say, all those charges were trumped up. Yet, these were the cases that reached public scrutiny. I ask, how much is out there, that we do not know?

That also goes for politicians, probably more so than entertainers and preachers. For we — the people in general — are gullible enough to vote them into public office where they are not only held in high esteem, they hold power over our very lives.

American voters trusted Rod Blagojevich, the man who allegedly sold an Illinois senate seat to the highest bidder. Americans trusted Jim McGreevey, governor of New Jersey, until it turned out he was having gay affairs behind his wife’s back. Americans trusted Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, never thinking he was the ilk to abandon his post for four days to have an affair in another continent. Americans trusted Eliot Spitzer, governor of New York, until a sting caught him commiserating with prostitutes. Rep. William Jefferson, of Louisiana, stashed $90 thousand in his freezer. Yet, he ran for office again, and 47 percent of Louisiana’s voters cast their ballots for him. They didn’t care.

These are the ones we know about. What don’t we know?

In 1990, Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington D.C., was caught in an undercover operation using crack cocaine with a woman. He served a federal prison sentence, and — get this — ran for mayor again and got re-elected. If a police or fire applicant had such a record, he would be laughed out of the testing room.

Unfortunately, people get what they ask for…and deserve.

And so, contrary to the days of Lincoln, Taft, FDR, HST, and LBJ, we now live in the age of idolatry, where the beloved can do no wrong and otherwise intelligent people continue to turn a blind eye to thieves, liars, cheaters, dopers, molesters and corruption in general, because — well, they are all so cool.

Despite his foibles, Michael Jackson was certainly talented. For that, he deserved plaudits. But we have known others equally talented, today and yesteryear, (Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman, Gene Kelly, Ella Fitzgerald, Liza Minelli, Madonna, Elton John, et al), but were never raised to the levels of such adulation that they had to be relegated to self-imprisonment.

To those who still think Michael Jackson walked on water, may I refer you to the words of my old stepfather, Bernie, who had a way of putting it all into perspective. Just re-read the first paragraph of this blog.

And that goes for the unnamed herein.

SOLUTION TO WORLD PROBLEMS: ABOLISH RELIGION

I’ve concluded that at least 90 percent of the world’s conflicts are directly or indirectly related to a single establishment: Organized religion.

Thus, my recommendation to the human race is: Abolish all religious institutions.

Some will say that’s idiotic. Implausible, perhaps, but not idiotic. Without organized religions, people could still adhere to divine beliefs of their choice and worship to their hearts content. But the concept of “organized” religions, which are essentially sub-governments consisting of rules designed to regulate behavior, would be rendered obsolete. Therefore, without a pope, or a high rabbi, or an ayatollah, we wouldn’t have to worry about conflict, war, death and destruction. Maybe…just maybe, people would start getting along.

For all the good we like to think religion has brought the human race over the centuries, it has probably served to thin the world’s population more than old age and more than epidemic disease, thanks to wars and killing.

I wonder how many Jews there would be today, if there hadn’t been a holocaust or an Inquisition, when they were forced by the millions to convert to Christianity or face death. I wonder how many more Christians there would be if rival faiths hadn’t slaughtered them by the millions, starting with early Rome, until now with radical Islamics.

What I see, is three thousand years of people fighting over whose God is the right God. What I see is a vast history of church leadership who have not been so much bathed in the love of God, but intoxicated with power and an obsession to control the masses. The edicts have often been clear: Believe as we believe, or you’re dead. No wonder there were so many converts.

And just when we thought the world had modernized with the threat of Nazism crushed, and a United Nations that had convened to keep peace on earth, along comes a sect of power mongers within radical Islam telling us their God is best, and if we don’t conform to their beliefs, we are all going to die. And…they mean it.

The world has 1.3 billion Muslims and two billion Christians, plus hundreds of million Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist, Jew, and whatever. Many think that the adherents to religion is a matter of choice. Except in rare cases, that’s simply not true. The overwhelming majority of Muslims and Christians, Jews and Hindu are born and brainwashed from birth by family and culture as to what they must believe and how they must worship. Kids born into religious families do not have an option. By the time they reach adulthood, they’re loaded up with divine convictions and all the guilt associated with conformity and non-conformity.

I am among the rare lucky ones. Born of a non-sectarian Norwegian mom and a Jewish father I never knew, I was raised with no specific religious affiliation, no church or synagogue, and no indoctrination. I didn’t miss a thing, other than the Sunday picnics.

At age ten, I asked my widowed mother what religion we were. “There are many religions,” she answered. “Learn them all. Then choose.”

I later realized the profound nature of her words, for she had endeavored to educate her son with a broad understanding of faith, rather than brainwashing me with her own dogma.

She bestowed confidence that I would have the initiative to learn and make an intelligent choice. She truly loved me.

In my growing up, there was no right God or wrong God. No denunciations. No prejudice. I never felt a pang of guilt for failing to pray, failing to attend church, or failing to light candles on a Friday night, or to acknowledge what others acknowledged — just to belong. My mother had set me spiritually free, but not free of spirit.

I do feel a cultural tie to Judaism, not only because it was my father’s faith, but it is a religion that does not evangelize nor demand others to convert. But after years of learning what was offered in the vast world of religious domination, and all it’s hypocrisy, I made a decision. No organized religion. Not for me.

Today, my beliefs pertaining to the divine are a private matter. I don’t need to pray among masses. I don’t need a church to sing along, to be a good person. Thanks to a loving and able parent, I am as moral as any average Christian or Jew, yet filled with my share of imperfections. I taught my kids moral values and to be thoughtful of others. I truly love my fellow humans. Though I do not read ancient edicts or listen to sermons, I have no compulsion to covet, steal, malign or kill anyone. Neither do I insist that others to believe as I do. I am completely at peace with my convictions. I deeply respect the religion of all my fellow human beings, so long as they promote peace and harmony. I expect the same in return.

I am aware that these thoughts will not be welcomed by all and the tongue-in-cheek concept of abolishing organized religion is completely unrealistic. But if the world did adopt such an idea, wars would become obsolete and we would get overpopulated pretty quick.

Something to think about.

Christians Who Spread Hate

“God Hates Fags!”

These words top the home page of an Internet web site.

Is it the American Nazi Party? No.

Radical Islam? No.

Ku Klux Klan? No

Good Christians? Why, yes.

This despicable message comes from a standard bearer of Christianity, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. Check out: http://www.godhatesfags.com/main/index.html

We all know that this particular church is an exception that does not represent the majority of Christian churches across America. But it sure leaves a bitter taste for Americans who are caught up the winds of bigotry, as it did Albert Snyder, the father of a fallen soldier in the Iraq war. Here’s how the gospel-spreading evangelicals of Topeka caused misery to one innocent victim of religious fanaticism.

Matthew Snyder was only twenty when he died in Iraq in March of 2007. The funeral was held near his home in Westminster, Maryland with all military honors. But there were some additional attendees that the family had not counted on.

Representatives of the Westboro Baptist Church saw fit to travel all the way to Maryland, not to show respect to a young American hero, but to march, protest, shout and hold signs that read: “Thank God For Dead Soldiers” and “Semper Fi Fags.”

The church’s founder and pastor, Fred Phelps, has led his membership of seventy-five on numerous occasions throughout the country to picket funerals of military personnel killed in the current wars, claiming the deaths are punishment for this country’s tolerance of homosexuality.

This time, Pastor Phelps ran into a Fred Goldman-esque victim who said, enough! The demonstration caused so much grief and misery to Albert Snyder and his family, he filed a law suit against the church claiming mental and physical sickness as a result of those actions. He told Fox News, “They turned this funeral into a media circus and they wanted to hurt my family. My son should have been buried with dignity, not with a bunch of clowns outside.”

The defense, of course, is unapologetic as the worms of ignorance hide behind the First Amendment’s right to free speech. On the witness stand, Pastor Phelps said it was important to warn this country, “that your wicked ways are going to be your doom shortly.”

Not this time. On October 31st, the jury decided that free speech has it boundaries and awarded the Snyder family $11 million. As a result of hate activities spawned by Pastor Phelps, at least twenty-two states have enacted laws that limit the rights of protestors at funerals.

Until now, the Westboro Church web site posted a list of scheduled military funerals which they intend to picket. Under the heading:”Memorials”, they refer to the military dead with such loving terms as “Matthew Shepard has been in hell for 3302 days. Diane Whipple has been in hell for 2465 days.”

I’ve studied radical Islam and wrote a book about it. I’ve written about Nazis, Communists, barbarians and radicals from all sides of the planet. Those who espouse or defend the wretchedness that emanates from the Westboro church wallow in the same pit of hatred and intolerance as the Nazis and radical Islam, only they use the Bible as justification.

Can Christians, in general, allow this stain — or the perception of such — upon their religion? Can Christians stand by and allow this to continue, unabated, unchallenged? Should the Albert Snyders of America be left to go this alone?

More is needed to show disdain for the Westboro church fanatics, and those like them. The American Baptist Churches of America, and all Christian denominations throughout the land should stand up and speak out against these contemptuous cretins to show unified rejection of bigotry and hatred. Nothing would please the Snyder family more, than to see thousands of letters pour into Topeka, Kansas, denouncing their lurid practice.

There will always be bigotry in this world. There will always be people who oppose homosexuality, or abortion, or people who are black, yellow or red. Opposing is one thing, but to single out and deliberately bring misery to families of fallen soldiers who have had nothing to do with a specific cause, is nothing short of criminal.

I don’t believe homosexuality to be a sin. Even if it was, the good members of the Westboro Baptist Church might look into the mirror before casting those stones.

Hate crimes are becoming a major element of the nation’s justice system. The Snyder family of Westminster, Maryland, were the victims of a hate crime at their son’s funeral in March of 2007. Their crime is no less egregious than those kids who hung nooses from the tree in Jena, Louisiana, or anyone who draws swastikas on synagogue walls.

Reverend Jesse? Reverend Al? Pat Robertson? Joel Osteen? What say you?

Let’s hear your voices.