Posted by: mystic444 | November 24, 2015

Ignorant anti-Muslim nonsense again becoming popular

Anti-Muslim propaganda has never been absent; but recent attacks allegedly committed by “ISIS” and al-Qaeda affiliates (whether the attacks are real, false flags, or completely fraudulent) have produced a huge uptake in the nonsense being spouted. Presidential candidates, Congress people, and other leaders – as well as bloggers and commenters – are going crazy with their anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant proclamations and legislation.

A Syrian passport was ‘found’ at one of the Paris attack sites – therefore all Syrians must be ‘terrorists’ or at least suspect. Never mind that the supposed passport was in fact a fake, and there is no real evidence that any of the attackers were from Syria. Because of that fake passport, we must stop accepting Syrian refugees – though perhaps we can accept “Christian” refugees!

Again, never mind that those Syrian refugees are in fact fleeing from the atrocities committed by those very terrorists who supposedly carried out the attacks in Paris. Somehow we must conflate the terrorists with those who are fleeing the terrorists! How nonsensical can people be???

Actually, though, I can’t help but suspect that the real reason for opposing those refugees is the same as the reason our U.S. Government leaders are angry at the Russians for bombing terrorists in Syria. How dare those evil Russians bomb the terrorists whom the USA (and its allies) are training, funding, and otherwise supporting? And how dare anyone try to flee from those terrorists that the USA trains, funds, and supports? They must be “evil terrorists” themselves – as opposed to the “good terrorists” we support!

One of the Republican Presidential candidates (Donald Trump) is advocating such things as putting Muslim mosques under surveillance and perhaps closing “some” mosques, and suggests the idea of requiring Muslims to ‘register’ and carry Muslim IDs. A Muslim lady named Dalia Mogahed, in an interview with Chuck Todd from MSNBC [1], gave a perfect response to Donald Trump’s idiocy, though. When asked what Trump could do to better understand Islam, she replied: “I don’t want him to understand Islam. I want him to understand the Constitution.”

One of the main problems is that many people still imagine that terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS are true representatives of Islam, and almost all Muslims agree with them and support them. This is despite the loud outcries of mainstream Sunni and Shia Muslims – as well as other Muslim groups such as the Ahmadiyyans – condemning terrorism and showing from the Qur’an and the sayings and practice of the Prophet Muhammad that terrorism is completely contrary to Islam. It is simply long past the time when the public should have come to recognize that terrorism is a vile perversion of the actual teachings of Islam; there is no excuse for the continuation of these anti-Islam attacks.

One delightful article showing the highly un-Islamic character of ISIS (and similar groups), which I saw recently on the Yahoo News site, was written in the form of a “letter” to Muhammad [2]. The author pointed out that when a man named Hurgoos ibn Zuhair accused the Prophet of stealing from his own people, and then stormed out of the mosque, Muhammad said: “From this man will come people who recite the Quran but they will not understand Islam. They will apostate due to their random killing of people. If I were to live, I would fight them.” That is certainly an apt description of our modern ISIS, al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda! They quote the Qur’an, but have no understanding of Islam. Their apostasy is characterized by randomly killing people. If Muhammad were alive in today’s world, he would be fighting such terrorists. The overwhelming majority of those today who call themselves Muslims agree with that evaluation and decry terrorism.

TV show host Bill Maher believes that it is “bulls**t” to think that Muslims share “American values” [3]; or at least “many” Muslims, including Muslims from Syria, don’t share those “American values” since they come from countries that practice Sharia and they themselves wish to follow Sharia. Of course everybody must understand that Sharia is absolutely incompatible with “American values”!

There are problems with this strongly held viewpoint of Mr. Maher, though. Although he apparently recognizes that not “all” Muslims have ‘un-American’ views, he still maintains a very monolithic view of “Sharia”. One would think from his statement that there is only one understanding of Sharia; and that the whole of this “Sharia” is unequivocally anti-American. That of course is pure silliness. Sharia is a large and complex system, covering all manner of different life-related subjects. Most of Sharia, from any viewpoint, is in fact quite consistent with “American” law and culture.

Of course, there are some aspects of some views of Sharia which conflict with “American” or “Western” ideas and laws; and there are “some” or even “many” Muslims who will share those views of Sharia which conflict with our ideas. What Bill Maher and those who share his outlook need to realize, though, is that a very important aspect of that Sharia which they so despise says that when a Muslim lives in a non-Muslim country, he must obey the laws of that country even if they conflict with Muslim law (Sharia)! He may truly believe that “Sharia” is the right and proper way of life; but if it is contrary to the laws of the country in which he resides, then he has no choice but to obey that country’s laws rather than “Sharia”. What’s un-American about that???

So let’s say that some Muslim immigrant to the USA believes that all “infidels” deserve to be killed. No matter how strongly he believes that absurd notion, he nevertheless is not allowed (even by Sharia) to follow through on that belief so long as he is living in the USA or some other country where freedom of religion is the law. If he takes it upon himself to kill non-Muslims, then he is not only in violation of the country’s laws, but also of the Sharia which he claims to love. Of course, even in Muslim countries the enactment of capital punishment is in the hands of the Government and its judicial system – not in the hands of individual citizens. Sharia does not allow for individuals to become ‘vigilantes’ and be “judge, jury, and executioner” of anyone they consider to be a ‘criminal’ or ‘heretic’ or ‘blasphemer’.

As I said, though, there are many different ‘understandings’ of Sharia, just as there are widely varying viewpoints among US citizens on the meaning of the Constitution. Supreme Court cases usually end in ‘split’ decisions. A majority of 5 or 6 of the Justices will come to one conclusion, while 3 or 4 of them reach an opposite conclusion. So in Islam, there are conflicting ideas about what Sharia teaches. There are some (or “many”) Muslims who believe that adulterers should be stoned to death and apostates should be killed. However, there are many others who strongly deny that such abhorrent ideas have any place in Islamic law. From my reading of the Qur’an, I have to agree with those who deny that those vicious practices are part of the “Islam” that Muhammad taught and practiced.

In an article entitled Challenging the ISIS and Islamophobe Narrative on Islam [4] Kashif N. Chaudhry shows that Islam is actually quite compatible with “American values” and does not need to be ‘reformed’ to achieve that compatibility. He is writing from an “Ahmadiyyan” Muslim viewpoint, but the views expressed in this article are precisely the same as taught by very many of the more ‘orthodox’ Muslims (Sunni and Shia). There is nothing distinctively “Ahmadiyyan” in the views in this article.

So please, let’s jump off this ridiculous anti-Islamic bandwagon. Islam and ‘Sharia’ as understood by very many Muslims is quite compatible with ‘American values’; and even those who do adhere to some abhorrent views of ‘Sharia’ still have to abide by U.S. law if they live here – ‘Sharia’ requires it.

[1] A very simple explanation of why it’s wrong to demand that Muslims condemn terrorism

{2} A letter to Prophet Muhammad

[3] Maher: Liberal Idea That Muslims Share American Values Is ‘Bulls**t

[4] Challenging the ISIS and Islamophobe Narrative on Islam

Posted by: mystic444 | October 22, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu: Holocaust Denier???

While it is very understandable that Palestinians would be outraged over Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement that it was the Mufti of Jerusalem who put the idea of ‘burning’ the Jews into the head of Adolf Hitler, the outrage of many Jews is absurd and humorous.

Netanyahu has claimed that Hitler only intended to expel Jews from Germany, until the Mufti objected that if he did that the Jews would just immigrate to Palestine – which of course the Mufti did not want. So when Hitler asked what the Mufti would suggest instead, he replied “burn them”. Hitler, according to Netanyahu’s version, obviously thought that was a great idea and proceeded to issue the order for the extermination (rather than deportation) of the Jews. But some outspoken Jewish voices have exclaimed in horror that ‘Bibi’ has joined the “Holocaust” deniers by making that statement.

How is this in any way a denial of the “Holocaust” or any major part of the “Holocaust” story/myth? Netanyahu’s narrative affirms: (1) that large numbers of Jews (6,000,000) died in German “death camps”; (2) that most, if not all, of those deaths were deliberate murders – rather than being from disease (Typhus) and, particularly toward the end of the war, starvation resulting from “allied” bombing of German supply routes; (3) and that the order to ‘exterminate’ the Jews came from Hitler himself. These are the major contentions of the “Holocaust” myth. To say that someone else originally suggested the ‘extermination’ to Hitler does not deny any major tenet of the story.

Many Jews, though, cannot stomach even the suggestion that Hitler did not ‘originally’ intend to murder German Jews – he only intended to deport them. However, that is simply fact. In fact, the Zionists themselves had ‘collaborated’ with Hitler many years prior to his 1941 meeting with the Mufti, seeking to have German Jews deported to Palestine (“Israel”). These Zionists were well aware that Hitler’s “Final Solution” was deportation of the Jews, not their extermination; and they welcomed the idea. There is in fact good evidence that the Zionists had themselves instigated the “Jewish troubles” in Germany in order to provoke German hatred for Jews and desire to see them expelled from Germany. Hitler did indeed work out a deal with the Zionists to deport German Jews to Palestine.

The Mufti simply sought to dissuade Hitler from that deal (to deport Jews to Palestine). He essentially was saying: “if you want to deport Jews, for Allah’s sake please don’t send them here!” There is simply not one shred of evidence that the Mufti suggested extermination (‘burning’) as an alternative to deportation.

So Netanyahu is correct in saying that Hitler ‘originally’ only intended to deport Jews from Germany. Where he errs is in the assertion that Hitler ever deviated from that intention (whether or not someone else suggested the deviation to him). Hitler’s “Final Solution” was always deportation. It was called the “Final” solution because he felt that he couldn’t fully implement the plan until the war was ended. In the interim, the Jews (as well as non-Jewish communists, homosexuals, gypsies, etc.) were to be placed in labor camps (not “death camps”, contrary to popular myth).

The deaths in the camps were largely due to lice-spread Typhus. There was an epidemic of this disease in Europe at the time, and the Germans were in fact taking every precaution available to stop the epidemic and prevent deaths – yes, even in the labor camps. Even if there were no other reason, the German leaders did not want to be deprived of the labor of the detainees. The Zyklon-B gas alleged to have been used in murdering people in “gas chambers” was actually used to kill lice in clothing and bedding. The only actual “gas chambers” ever found in those labor camps were those delousing chambers – which were much too small to have ever been used to gas and kill humans. The human “gas chambers” are pure fiction. The Germans sought to preserve the lives of the detainees by gassing lice – not kill the detainees by gassing them.

Yes, many detainees did indeed die in the camps – but the deaths were due to the unfortunate ineffectiveness of the measures taken to prevent disease and death (such as the delousing “gas chambers”, shaving the hair off incoming detainees to get rid of any lice embedded in the hair, etc.). In addition, the intensive allied bombing of German supply routes toward the end of the war prevented supplies of food reaching the camps, and this resulted in starvation added to the Typhus (hence the extremely thin starved bodies seen in propaganda pictures). Hitler and his underlings, though, never deliberately sought the genocide of German Jews. Again, his “Final Solution” was deportation, not extermination.

Netanyahu has not denied any major tenet of the “Holocaust” myth; he rather affirms the whole thing. He merely shows his hatred of all things Palestinian by seeking to make a Palestinian Muslim man the originator of the idea for the alleged deliberate murder of Jews. Had it been true, it would not have taken away in the least from Hitler’s abhorrent willing implementation of the idea. However, none of it is true – except that Hitler ‘originally’ (and always) intended the deportation of Jews, not their extermination. The labor camps were the immediate/interim solution; deportation was the “final” solution. The Mufti simply did not want the Jews deported to Palestine.

Posted by: mystic444 | September 18, 2015

Did they think Ahmed had a bomb?

The following short article appeared in The Daily Kos on September 17 – entitled “They didn’t think he had a bomb”. It of course concerns the case of Ahmed Mohamed, the High School freshman in Irving, Texas (USA) who was suspended from school, and arrested by the police, for bring a CLOCK to school – which they supposedly thought was actually a bomb.

Great Post Sent to Me Today

I said: it’s sad they thought that kid had a bomb. 
She said: they didn’t think he had a bomb. 
I said: yes, they thought he made a bomb and even called the police. 
She said: They just wanted to humiliate a little Muslim boy. They didn’t think he had a bomb. 
I said: Don’t be a conspiracy theorist. They might be a little prejudiced, but I’m sure they thought he had a bomb. 
She said: OK. 
But they didn’t evacuate the school, like you do when there’s a bomb. 
They didn’t call a bomb squad – like you do when there’s a bomb. 
They didn’t get as far away from him as possible, like you do when there’s a bomb. 
Then they put him and the clock in an office: not like you do when there’s a bomb 
Then they waited with him for the police to arrive, and then they put the clock in the same car as the police. 
Then they took pictures of it. 

I said: Damn…..They never thought he had a bomb. 

The Irving PD, & the School Admin will be rightfully sued.
They can now pay Ahmed’s way to MIT.
“They never thought he had a bomb”

About two weeks ago, the Huffington Post published an article by a Christian pastor named Adam Phillips entitled The Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality. Why Does Franklin Graham Not Get This?. The character and quality of the arguments in this article are evident by the very first sentence: “The word “homosexuality” didn’t even show up in English translations of the Bible until 1946, so why do we say the Bible condemns it?”

That is such a ludicrous question, that it’s hard to believe that an intelligent and educated person could ask it. The absence of the word “homosexuality” makes no difference, when the thing which that word indicates is clearly expressed in clear words (both in the “Torah” and in the “New Testament”). The Bible is not condemning a word, but a thing. Leviticus 18:22 – You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. Leviticus 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them. Romans 1:26 and 27 – For this reason [that they “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator”] God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

Using the same argumentation, one could claim that the Bible does not condemn “bestiality” because that word does not even occur in the Bible. Yet Leviticus 18:23 says And you shall not lie with any beast and defile yourself with it, neither shall any woman give herself to a beast to lie with it; it is perversion. The word itself is absent, but the ‘thing’ is present and condemned.

Adam Phillips does in fact realize that condemnation of the ‘thing’ itself may be present even if it is not mentioned by ‘name’; so he devotes a good portion of the argument seeking to explain how such explicit statements of condemnation for homosexuality do not really mean what they ‘seem’ to say. In reality, he simply asserts that those verses “have nothing to do with homosexuality” without dealing with the actual wording of the statements.

For instance, concerning the verses in Leviticus, he approvingly quotes someone else as saying: “This is not a verse about homosexual love, or being gay. This command is there with all kinds of connotations of adultery, promiscuity, and idol worship from the surrounding nations.” So because there are prohibitions of other things also within the contexts of the Leviticus verses, we can somehow pretend that a man lying with another man as with a woman has nothing to do with homosexual sex??? What kind of reasoning is that?

The Leviticus passages claim to be forbidding the “Israelites” to do certain things which the nations around them do; and homosexual sex is one of those things (as well as sex with animals, heterosexual adultery, sex with a woman while she is in her menstrual period, and idolatry). The very act of homosexual sex is itself forbidden; it simply doesn’t matter whether the homosexual couple claims to desire to have a ‘committed, loving’ relationship. When the act of sex itself is forbidden, the continuing ‘committed’ relationship is also obviously forbidden.

The Torah (Leviticus) only forbids male homosexuality, though; for whatever reason female homosexuality is not mentioned (although females having sex with animals is forbidden). I have been told that the Talmud runs with that and maintains that female homosexuality is perfectly legitimate, because only male homosexuality is specifically forbidden. The Christian ‘apostle’ Paul corrected that oversight in Romans 1, though, where he castigated both male and female ‘unnatural’ acts of homosexuality.

The problem is not that the Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality – it most certainly does. The problem is a dishonest and lying “Christian” who doesn’t want to accept and obey the Biblical prohibitions, but still wants to convince himself that he is being ‘serious’ about the Bible and accepts its supposed ‘authority’. He agrees with the prohibition against sex with animals, so he feels no need to explain away that prohibition. But he doesn’t agree with the Biblical statements about homosexual sex, so he performs amazing acts of mental contortion to deny that those statements mean what they plainly say. Really, for him the simple assertion that “this has nothing to do with homosexuality” is sufficient; and he can’t understand why other people can’t see that.

The second sentence of Mr. Phillips’ article says this: “Billy Graham’s son is terrified that President Obama and a whole host of us have chucked out our Bibles in order to support marriage equality.” Well, in practice that is precisely what such “Christians” have done (“chucked out our Bibles”); and they ought to have the courage to openly acknowledge the fact instead of trying to hide in dishonesty. Adam and other “Christians” of like mind openly proclaim that they feel no need to practice certain other ‘Biblical’ requirements (thus ‘chucking out their Bibles’ in regard to those ‘laws’); why can’t they just say “yes the Bible does say that homosexuality is a major sin, and worthy of capital punishment; but we don’t give a hoot what the Bible says about it. We consider that ‘outdated’ at best.”

They certainly do this with other things. For instance, in the section dealing with the Leviticus prohibitions, the final paragraph (apparently still approvingly quoting someone else) says: “And if we want to get all Levitical about it, the same laws dictate that shellfish cannot be eaten (there goes Boston clam chowder and Willapa Bay oysters), mixed fabric garments cannot be worn (I guess I need to burn my Portland Timbers jersey), and sex with animals is strictly forbidden (yep, I totally agree).”

There are very few “Christians” today who accept Jesus’ strict teachings about divorce – that divorce is absolutely sinful except in the case of ‘fornication’. Those who divorce, and those who marry divorced people, are guilty of the heinous sin of ‘adultery’.

The Roman Catholic Church, I believe, still pretends to take a strong stance against divorce; but with casuistry worthy of the Jewish Talmudists, they get around it by ‘annulment’ of marriages. Instead of granting a ‘divorce’ to married couples, they just declare that the marriage was invalid from the beginning. Logically, of course, this annulment means that the couple was living in ‘fornication’ during their ‘invalid’ marriage, and any children they have are ‘bastards’. I’m sure they have some ingenious way to avoid that logical conclusion, however.

I’m not going to get into the other passages which Mr. Phillips explains away. The passages produced in Leviticus and Romans are so clear that it doesn’t matter whether the Biblical myth of Lot in Sodom is actually dealing primarily with homosexuality; or whether a couple of Greek words in the New Testament actually refer to homosexuality. While I don’t buy Adam’s explanations, I’ll let him go with them for the sake of the argument. As I said, the other passages are so clear as to not leave any doubt that the Bible explicitly condemns male/male and female/female sex, even though it doesn’t use the word ‘homosexual’ or ‘homosexuality’.

The point of my article is not to defend Biblical injunctions; I hope that is obvious. As I said in my last article: “For an ‘infidel’ such as me, though – who believes that the Bible is at best the teachings of men, and in fact much of it is more worthy of being labeled “doctrines of demons” than “the word of God” – the fact that the Bible teaches something is not at all a favorable recommendation for that teaching.” My point is that one needs to be honest with him/herself and others. Don’t be dishonest about what the Bible teaches in order to defend your own position; acknowledge what the Bible says, and have the courage to say you simply don’t care what it teaches (like I do). Why should anyone accept something just because some Jewish or Christian writers fraudulently put forward their beliefs as being “the Word of God”? We ought to just laugh at their presumption and would-be tyranny, and go on our way.

Posted by: mystic444 | July 2, 2015

Poor arguments for and against homosexual marriage

Debate over the issues of “gay” rights and “gay” marriage have been going on for some time; but since the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling making homosexual marriage legal in all States, my Yahoo News pages have been overflowing with articles both vilifying and celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision. Some of the arguments (both pro and con), however, have been extremely poor. Although perhaps you’re (justifiably) tired of reading rants on the issue, I would still like to look at a few of those poor arguments.

First, though, let me try to briefly give my own thoughts on the issue. Back in the late 1980s when I abandoned “Biblical Christianity”, I abandoned much of “Biblical” morality almost as a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction. Biblical views on homosexuality were among those things I abandoned. However, regarding homosexuality at least, my beliefs were in fact rather conflicted. Intellectually, I fully embraced the “gay rights” movement; but emotionally (or ‘in my gut’) I remained repulsed by the very thought of homosexual relationships. Nevertheless I sought to subdue my emotional abhorrence, and publicly denounced ‘homophobia’.

In 2010, when I began investigating Islam to see if it really was as horrible as so many people were saying, I was so overwhelmed by how totally opposite the teachings of the Qur’an were compared to the accusations that it is a hate-filled book calling for the murder of everyone who doesn’t embrace Islam, that I began to ‘fall in love’ with the Qur’an; and consequently I also allowed myself to fall under the influence of the anti-homosexuality statements in the Qur’an. I again succumbed to my emotional (or ‘gut’) feelings; hence my “I Agree With Phil” article of Dec. 21, 2013.

Recently I have once again begun to rethink this issue, and have regained my ‘conflicted’ state. :roll: I still have that automatic feeling of disgust and revulsion when I see pictures of two men or two women ‘lip-locked’; but intellectually I see flaws in the arguments I had against homosexuality and ‘gay’ marriage.

Now I’ll examine some of those faulty arguments that I’ve been reading in the news. From the side of those celebrating the Supreme Court decision, there are those who seek to show that homosexual rights and homosexual marriage are perfectly consistent with Christianity and the Bible. Some say that the Bible never condemns homosexual marriage – to which I respond, “well, Duh!” When the Bible condemns homosexuality itself, and says that those who practice homosexual acts should be killed, why would you imagine that it would be necessary to specifically condemn homosexual marriage??? Can you imagine someone saying that although pedophilia is a major crime, if the law does not specifically forbid pedophiles to marry the children they ‘love’ it mean that adults marrying young children must be acceptable, and we must open ourselves up to ‘love’? What nonsense! The Bible (both ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Testaments) considers homosexuality to be a major ‘sin’, worthy of death; so the Bible obviously is not compatible with homosexual marriage!

In An Open Letter to Franklin Graham Paula Garrett castigates Franklin Graham for saying that the Bible is clear about homosexuality and homosexual marriage. She says that although a few passages here and there can be cherry picked which indicate that marriage is between a male and a female, there are other passages in the Bible that have other views of marriage. The Bible allows for polygamy, concubines, and even the forced marriage of a rapist to his victim. The obvious problem with this argument is that all of those instances involve heterosexual relationships. There is simply not one hint in the Bible of an openness to homosexual relationships (including marriage). Although I have little to no respect for Franklin Graham, he is most certainly right that the Bible is quite clear as to its view of homosexuality.

If Paula Garrett had been arguing that the Bible is unclear with regard to the “Church” doctrine that marriage is between one man and one woman, she would of course have been correct – and quite justified in bringing up the many passages about polygamy and concubines. But when the argument is concerning heterosexuality versus homosexuality, the Bible is quite clear about its position.

The question then is whether or not the Bible is right in its position. But for a “Bible believing Christian” such as Franklin Graham, who believes that the Bible is infallibly inspired by God, this is not even debatable. Of course the Bible is right, and homosexuality is a great evil. Repent and be converted, you vile homosexuals, lest you be consumed by the fire of God’s judgment! :lol: For an ‘infidel’ such as me, though – who believes that the Bible is at best the teachings of men, and in fact much of it is more worthy of being labeled “doctrines of demons” than “the word of God” – the fact that the Bible teaches something is not at all a favorable recommendation for that teaching. :smile:

Now I’ll refer to unsound arguments from the anti-‘gay’ marriage side. In an article in “National Review” Dennis Prager argues that the Supreme Court decision legalizing homosexual marriage has completed the undermining of the USA as the ‘Founding Fathers’ envisioned it. He maintains the fallacious viewpoint that the USA was founded specifically on “Judeo-Christian” principles of morality and law, as contained in the holy book of “Judeo-Christianity”: the Bible. And of course, the Biblical (“Judeo-Christian”) view on marriage is unquestionably heterosexual, as mentioned in previous paragraphs.

Of course, this view of the “Judeo-Christian” and Biblical foundation of the USA, as envisioned by its “Founding Fathers”, is simply a falsehood. The “Founding Fathers” themselves were quite explicit about this. In the Treaty of Peace and Friendship with Tripoli of Barbary (ratified in 1797, only approximately 10 years after the ratification of the US Constitution), Congress unanimously agreed in article 11 of the Treaty: As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, [Muslims]-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan [Muhammadan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. That is why the Constitution states emphatically that Congress can’t make any law establishing religion, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion. And that is why the Constitution insists that there may not be any religious tests for prospective members of Congress or any public position.

Christianity is simply not the foundation of our nation (nor is any other religion). The Government was clearly intended to be ‘secular’, with religion and morals left up to the individual citizens and their churches. [For more complete discussion of this subject, see Are the United States a Christian Nation? and More Falsehoods From Franklin Graham.]

Mr. Prager then argues that the “Fathers” sought to base the laws and morals of the USA on the Bible because they realized that otherwise everything would be purely subjective. We would be left to what we ‘feel in our hearts’, rather than having objective ‘truth’ as a foundation. However the most famous of those “Fathers” – such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Paine – in fact realized that the Bible was so full of errors and contradictions that it could not possibly serve as an authoritative source of ‘objective truth’. On the contrary, the only ‘infallible word of God’ available to men is written not in a book, but in “Nature”. “Nature” speaks to men of every language all over the world. This is why the Declaration of Independence stated that true Government is founded on the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God – not the Bible and the Bible’s God.

This means that the “Fathers” believed that laws and morals are not just derived from what we feel in our “hearts”, but also (and perhaps more so) from reason and logic as applied to what can be observed in nature. Intuitive feelings are not to be overlooked or derided; but reason and nature are at least as important.

But this appeal to nature and reason might seem to in fact be the strongest argument against homosexuality. Isn’t heterosexuality ‘writ large’ in ‘nature’s book’? Isn’t it ‘obvious’ in nature itself that sexual relationships and marriage are intended to be between male and female – not male and male or female and female? This is the argument that I have used; and in point of fact it was no doubt just as clear an argument to Jefferson, Madison, and Paine.

This is an argument that Mike Huckabee used in his repudiation of the Supreme Court decision. Laws of nature – such as the law of Gravity – cannot be annulled by a fiat of Supreme Court Justices; and he feels that heterosexual marriage is as much a law of nature as the law of Gravity.

The problem with such an argument is, first of all, that laws of nature are not necessarily absolute. It is true that we can’t annul the law of Gravity (or haven’t been able to so far at least); but we can counterbalance it by exerting a force greater than Gravity’s force. That’s how we’re able to get airplanes and spaceships to fly. Even jumping up in the air illustrates a very temporary overcoming of Gravity’s force. The ability of birds to fly shows even in nature (without the addition of human technology) that one law of nature can be counterbalanced by another law of nature.

So while I don’t believe there is any ‘natural’ way to reproduce apart from ‘normal’ male/female sexual activity, we have discovered ways to impregnate a female without sexual intercourse with a male (in vitro fertilization, I believe it is called). Two males can get a female to agree to bear a child for them; and two females can get a male to provide sperm without actual sexual intercourse. Of course, there is always adoption also (though of course the adopted child could not have been born without a male and a female contributing).

As a matter of fact, though, there is nothing in nature to dictate that sexual activity must be limited to the ‘normal’ male/female relationship. Instances of homosexuality have long been observed in nature; and like it or not, homosexuality has existed ‘naturally’ among humans also throughout recorded human history. It may not be the ‘usual’ or ‘normal’ natural order, but it is nevertheless a real part of that order. Homosexuality can’t produce offspring; but who will be so foolish as to say that the production of offspring is the only reason for sexual activity? It is a reason, but certainly not “the” reason.

In fact, marriage itself is not a ‘law of nature’; it is simply a human arrangement (despite religious myths that declare that ‘God’ decreed the marriage contract and granted his priests – and government agents – the authority to supervise the making of such contracts). And human arrangements are subject to change. So I suppose that it’s perfectly legitimate for modern society to ‘redefine’ marriage to include homosexual unions. I still have my automatic ‘gut’ reactions to the concept of homosexuality and the sight of two males or two females kissing, etc.; but I have to submit to my intellect and reason telling me that it really is acceptable –and such arguments as given by Paula Garrett and Dennis Prager are decidedly poor ones.

Freedom of speech and religion are two of the most fundamental ‘rights’ protected by the Constitution of the USA. The very first article in the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) enshrines them: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Yet it seems like there are always people and groups who in fact seek to undermine those liberties by means of laws passed to limit them (despite the clear statement that “Congress shall make NO law…”). This is particularly evident these days with attempts to prevent so-called “anti-Semitic” speech and “homophobic” speech. Many even here in the ‘free’ USA wish to legally enforce ‘politically correct’ standards.

No doubt we are all aware of a number of legal cases in which the Supreme Court has overturned State laws enacted against homosexual ‘marriages’; and legal cases being brought against businesses which refuse to act in support of homosexual ‘marriage’. One business which prints messages on T-shirts is being sued for refusing to print a “gay-pride” message; and a cake maker is being sued for refusal to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual wedding.

It should be noted in those two instances to which I referred that it is not a matter of the business refusing to serve homosexuals as customers. Neither of them requires prospective customers to sign an affidavit that they are heterosexual before allowing them into the shop; nor do they exclude anyone they think “looks like” a homosexual. The T-shirt company would be quite willing to print a shirt with an ‘ordinary’ message (“Dinosaurs Rock” or “For Pilots, the Sky’s the Limit”, or any other such humorous or serious message), without regard to the sexual persuasion of the customer; and the cake company likewise would be quite willing to make a birthday cake, or a cake for any other occasion which did not involve support for that which the owners believe to be either ‘ungodly’ or ‘unnatural’ (or both). The businesses have not rejected the persons, but the behavior.

It seems to me like a ‘no brainer’ that those business owners are squarely within the ‘rights’ protected by the Constitution. The requirement that freedom of speech may not be restricted obviously includes not only the right to say and support what you believe, but to not say or support what you don’t believe. And freedom of religion not only protects the right to believe, but to freely exercise those religious beliefs – with the recognized qualification that my freedom is limited by “your nose” (that is, my freedom does not include the right to do you physical harm).

It may be legal to sell alcoholic beverages and pornography, but store owners have the right to decide for themselves whether they will sell them. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean they’re required to sell them. Just so, homosexual ‘marriages’ may be legalized, but that doesn’t mean that people who believe homosexuality is morally wrong may be required to promote or support it. The cake store owner doesn’t have to sell homosexual wedding cakes just because homosexual ‘marriages’ have been ruled ‘legal’.

I have freedom to say and write what I believe, even though someone else may strongly disagree with me and find what I say offensive. On the other hand, I have the freedom to not say or write what I don’t believe or what I find offensive, no matter how much someone else may want me to do so. Just so, the T-shirt business owner has the right to set his own standards as to what he/she is willing to print and sell, and refuse to print or sell that which he/she finds morally wrong and offensive.

To seek to compel people (legally or otherwise) to participate in, support and promote what they believe to be ‘evil’ is to practice tyranny – quite the opposite of freedom.

However, there are people who are ‘liberal’ or ‘libertarian’ enough to be willing to advertise both sides of an issue. As an example, Yahoo News this morning printed a Huffington Post article about an anti-homosexual billboard in Dearborn, Michigan. The sign says that homosexuals are not born that way, and that homosexuality is a behavior, not a right.

Many people are complaining to the advertising company that owns the billboard, and to the Dearborn Chamber of Commerce, about this billboard ad. They apparently believe that freedom of speech is only for those who agree with their position.

The owner of the advertizing agency, however, maintains that he believes firmly in the First Amendment protections of freedom of speech for all, no matter how offensive such speech may be to some. So long as people can pay the advertising costs, he is open to print their ads. So he has offered to host an ad for another local man who is seeking to raise money to counter the anti-homosexual advertisement. As the ad agency owner is quoted as saying: “I’m happy to foster debate on both sides of the issue,” he said. “That’s what freedom of speech is for.” If he had a T-shirt company, he would no doubt be willing to print shirts reading both “Gay-Pride” and “God hates homosexuality”.

Interestingly, however, he probably would be open to legal charges if he had refused to host the anti-homosexual advertisement. People can complain about it all they want of course; but due to certain fairly recent legal precedents, it would appear that businesses no longer have the right to set standards about what they are willing to sell or promote. Courts have ruled that New York City Transit Authority may not refuse to place viciously anti-Muslim “hate speech” ads on their buses; and I believe a similar ruling was made in California.

So one can only assume that if the advertising agency had refused to host the anti-homosexual billboard ad, the “Restrain the Judges” group which bought the ad could have sued and probably won based on “Free Speech” principles. I, of course, believe that to be tyranny, not freedom. I can choose not to publish what you say, while still supporting your right to say it. I can choose to publish, or not publish, speech which some may consider ‘hate speech’ and beliefs which others may consider offensive. What I say or publish is determined by my standards, not someone else’s.

Posted by: mystic444 | March 22, 2015

Do members of Congress have First Amendment rights?

Idaho Senator Sheryl Nuxoll is being castigated for refusal to attend the opening prayer of the Idaho Senate when it was recently led by a Hindu man, and then publicly stating that Hinduism is a “false faith with false gods”. Many people are calling for her to issue a public apology; and some believe she should be censured by the Idaho Senate.

I maintain that this is absurd – not because I agree with her evangelical or fundamentalist Christianity (I definitely don’t); but because the Constitution, including the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, applies to all citizens of the USA, including members of Congress! Additionally, Article VI section 3 of the Constitution provides that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

That Constitutional statement I quoted means that Senator Nuxoll may not be ‘tested’ as to the “liberality” of her religious beliefs in order to speak publicly or serve in the Congress. She can be as narrow-minded as she pleases, and publicly state her narrow-minded beliefs, and may not be subject to censure for doing so. (At the same time, she may not seek to ‘legally’ prevent from serving in Congress anyone whose religion she believes to be ‘false’. Such people are also covered by the “no religious test” clause).

If non-Christians (such as Buddhists and Hindus) feel ‘hurt’ by what she said, that is not her problem; it is theirs. When the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights states that Congress may not pass any law restricting freedom of speech, it does not qualify that statement by saying something like “so long as that speech does not hurt anyone’s feelings”. If such a qualification existed, “free speech” would be non-existent. Virtually anything anyone says will probably hurt the feelings of someone.

My personal religious views – such as they are – are much closer to “Eastern religions” such as Hinduism and Buddhism than they are to “Western religions” (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – although I have been known to say that I am “Muslim in spirit”). I’m not a bit ‘hurt’ by Senator Nuxoll’s statement and actions (though I think they are ridiculous and laughable); but it wouldn’t make a bit of difference if I were. Her liberty is not restricted by my feelings. On the other hand, I feel quite at liberty to ridicule her ‘Christian’ belief – and call it a ‘false belief with a false god’ – and it won’t matter a whit if she is offended by it.

The Senator, and any other Congress person, is quite at liberty to absent herself from religious prayers which she believes to be ‘evil’. An atheist or agnostic is free to absent him/herself from all religious invocations and prayers. If that offends someone, that’s just too bad for the offended party.

As a matter of fact, it is my conviction that there should not be any religious activity in meetings of Congress. To open sessions of Congress with prayer constitutes a violation of the First Amendment insistence that Congress may not establish religion. Note that – at least technically speaking – it does not say Congress shall make no law establishing “a” religion (that is, no particular religion such as Christianity may be established); rather, religion itself may not be established. Opening with prayer – no matter how generic and inclusive that prayer may be – is to establish religion.

Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison opposed the official proclamation of a National Day of Prayer because they found it to be a violation of the “non-establishment clause” (AKA “the separation of Church and State”). I believe they were correct; and the same principle applies to Congressional opening prayers.

However, if prayer is permitted at all, then all religions must be allowed equal representation in leading those prayers (while no one who finds them ‘offensive’ should be expected or required to attend those prayers).

This is the one point on which I believe Senator Nuxoll is worthy of censure. She maintains that the US and Idaho constitutions “are based on Christianity”, and that therefore Christian prayers should be allowed (perhaps even required) – but only Christian prayers.

I don’t know anything about the Idaho constitution; I can only assume she is wrong about it being “based on Christianity”. However I know for a fact that the US constitution is not “based on Christianity”; and I find it repugnant that someone so abysmally ignorant of the US constitution and history should be able to be elected to serve in Congress (whether State or Federal).

In 1797, just 10 years after the US Constitution was ratified, the US entered into a peace treaty with the Muslim people of Tripoli of Barbary. In stating why this treaty was acceptable to the US, the treaty stated …the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion. I am fully convinced that the President and Congress who unanimously ratified that treaty (including that statement of the treaty), being just 10 years away from the ratification of the US constitution, knew much better what served as the foundation of US government than do the ‘Christian’ falsifiers who are more than 200 years after the event.

Because the ‘founding fathers’ did not see Christianity as the foundation of our constitutional government, the Declaration of Independence said that government is founded on “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” rather than “the Bible and the Bible’s God”; the “no religious test” clause was placed in the Constitution; and the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights provided that Congress may not establish religion (which Thomas Jefferson noted meant that it provided for a “separation between Church and State”). Other than those two clauses in the constitution, that venerable document does not mention God, religion, or Christianity at all.

I question Senator Nuxoll’s qualifications to serve in Idaho’s Congress because of her gross ignorance of basic constitutional principles; but not because of her religious beliefs no matter how narrow-minded, bigoted, and ridiculous. She has the absolute right to hold to those beliefs, and speak about them publicly. She does not have the right, though, to impose her beliefs (no matter how correct they may be) on others who disagree with her. To say what she believes is one thing; to seek to require others to submit to her ideas is another.

Posted by: mystic444 | March 7, 2015

The Source and Solution of Anti-Jewish Feelings?

This article contains my reflections on an article by Dr. Michael Laitman published in the Huffington Post, entitled The Simple (and Unwelcome) Solution to Anti-Semitism.

Dr. Laitman is a Jew who was born in Belarus in 1946. Growing up in the aftermath of WWII and “the Holocaust”, he was constantly asking himself why his people (the Jews) are so hated by other nations. (He wrongly labels this hatred of Jews “anti-Semitism”; but that is common since most people have ‘bought’ the arrogant Jewish propaganda that only Jews are “Semites”). He says that he searched for the solution to this puzzling question in science, religion, and philosophy – but never found the answer until he started studying “authentic Kabbalah” in 1979. Then suddenly the lights came on.

Let Dr. Laitman explain this in his own words:

In 1979, I began to study authentic Kabbalah with the Rabash, the firstborn son and successor of Rav Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag, known as Baal HaSulam (Owner of the Ladder) for his Sulam (Ladder) commentary on The Book of Zohar. Here, in Baal HaSulam’s final pages of his “Introduction to the Book of Zohar,” I finally learned why there is so much antagonism toward Israel, toward Jews in general, and what we need to do about it.

Anti-Semitism, so I learned, is a sore in the heart of humanity, an echo of an unhealed pain that the world has been carrying for many centuries. Baal HaSulam’s texts, and the explanations of Rabash, gave me a complete answer, but initially, I could not reconcile myself to it. I resisted it with all my heart because it held me accountable for the hatred toward me, and stated that I could reverse it. (Emphasis mine).

Well, that certainly sounded promising! It is generally considered “anti-Semitic” to claim that the Jews themselves are to blame for “anti-Semitism”. If the Kabbalah actually leads Jews to recognize their own accountability, then perhaps it’s not such a bad thing!

Unfortunately, as I read on, I came to realize that this supposedly humble acceptance of accountability was just a backhanded way of complimenting the Jewish people. You see, their ‘fault’ is that they have failed to live up to their responsibility and mission to serve as instructors and examples to the nations. Prior to the destruction of the Temple by the Romans at least, the Jews were a warm and cuddly people, intellectually and morally superior to the poor benighted non-Jewish nations; and this superiority carried with it a great responsibility and mission toward their inferiors.

Unfortunately they have failed in this responsibility, and the poor inferior Gentiles are aware of this (even if at an unconscious level). The Gentiles realize that they are morally inferior to the awesome Jews, and are angry that those Jews are not altruistically helping them out. If only the Jews would fulfill their mission, everything would be wonderful and the Jews would be beloved by the whole world!

The wonder is that Dr. Laitman is apparently completely unaware of the supreme arrogance of his idea. He can’t see that instead of being the ‘solution’, this is one of the major causes of what he calls ‘anti-Semitism’. Many of us metaphorically ‘gag’ when we read such ‘chutzpah’; and we simply can’t generate a high regard for those who spout such nonsense.

I am reminded of what I have read about anti-slavery activists in the USA prior to and during the ‘Civil War’. Many – if not most – of them did not for a minute believe that the African slaves were truly ‘equal’ with white people. They considered it obvious (and scientifically provable) that black people were intellectually and morally inferior to white people. Even “the great emancipator” Abraham Lincoln believed this. But they believed that superior people ought to act in a superior manner; and enslaving and mistreating their inferiors was definitely not superior behavior!

Those anti-slavery white supremacists were completely unaware of their abysmal hubris; and Jewish supremacists such as Dr. Laitman are just as unaware (I presume) of their hubris.

What truly makes the situation both humorous and disgusting, though, is that the supposed wonderful moral and spiritual history of the Jews is purely imaginary. The Hebrew ‘scriptures’ (the ‘Old Testament’ in the ‘Christian Bible’) are readily available in most places; and all it takes is a little bit of reading in that book to realize how horribly atrocious Judaic morals and ‘history’ are. So far from having ‘great light’ to give the nations, there is almost complete ‘darkness’ in that book of law and ‘historical narrative’ they have composed for themselves! They call darkness light, and light darkness. They call evil good, and good they call evil.

In this vile book, the “father of the faithful” – Abraham – is said to have lied to an Egyptian Pharaoh about his wife Sarah, claiming she was only his sister, because he was afraid for his life. This would have allowed Pharaoh to take Sarah for himself, had not God intervened (according to the story). Abraham’s son Isaac later did the same thing, according to the Jewish narrative.

This supposedly ‘faithful’ Abraham was also quite willing to murder his son Isaac because he imagined God had commanded the murder. It’s a good thing the ‘immutable’ God changed his mind, or the Jewish people would not have existed! (This story contains one of the many contradictions in the Bible. The son to be sacrificed is said to be the ‘only’ son of Abraham; yet at the same time he is said to be Isaac, who was Abraham’s second son and never at any time Abraham’s ‘only’ son.)

Abraham’s grandson Jacob stole the birthright belonging to his twin brother Esau, by lying to and deceiving his father Isaac. This lie and deception is whitewashed by talking about how much Jacob ‘valued’ the birthright, while Esau ‘despised’ it. The end justifies the means, right? [This theft of ‘the blessing’ is said to have been the fulfillment of a promise given before the birth of the twins, that ‘the elder will serve the younger’. However, despite the fact that Jacob got ‘the blessing’, he was never served by Esau; and the descendents of Esau were never servants of the Israelites. In fact, ‘King Herod’ – the ‘king of the Jews’ at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ – was said to be an Edomite (descendant of Esau); so “Esau” ruled over “Jacob” at that time!]

Under the ‘Law of Moses’ a man could be put to death for ‘violating the Sabbath’ by gathering sticks on that ‘holy’ day. The God who commanded “you shall not kill” commanded “His people” to murder whole cities of people – men, women, and children – as well as the livestock owned by the doomed people; and when the people were allowed to live, they were to be enslaved.

People who had physical deformities were to be ‘cut off’ from the congregation of the Jewish people; people who were determined to have committed adultery were to be put to death; people who were guilty of worshiping a ‘god’ other than Yahweh/Jehovah – or who sought to lead any of the Jewish people into such worship – were also to be put to death. Practitioners of ‘witchcraft’ likewise were to suffer the death penalty. (There was certainly no ‘freedom of religion’ under Jewish law, was there?)

That’s just the ‘tip of the iceberg’, as there is so much more putrid nonsense in this supposedly ‘holy’ book. Those of us with “eyes to see” say “no thank you; we have no desire to share your so-called morality and ‘wonderful’ culture!” Please continue to fail to fulfill your responsibility and mission. It’s not your ‘failure’ that angers us; it’s your vile attempt to shove your darkness onto us that makes us angry.

We find much better spirituality and morality in such people as Plato, Pythagoras, Aristotle, Socrates, the Buddha, etc. Although you may call this ‘darkness’, we far prefer such ‘darkness’ to what you call ‘light’.

The ‘solution’ to ‘anti-Judaism’ is for the Jews to give up their “Jewishness” – their ‘identification’ as Jews – and join the human race. Renounce the arrogant sense of superiority to the ‘goyim’, with the ridiculous notion of a mission to ‘enlighten’ the nations (or alternatively, to enslave the nations).

Renounce the idea that ‘the Holy Land’ belongs by ‘divine right’ to the Jewish people, and return it to the possession of the Palestinians – who lived there for hundreds of years before European Jews stole it from them, murdered or drove out the Palestinian inhabitants, demolished their homes, and destroyed their agriculture.

As long as Jews consider themselves superior to everyone else, they’re not going to be liked by people who have not been brainwashed by Jewish mythology (or who have recovered from such brainwashing).

In a previous article I pointed out that the charge of “anti-Semitism” is absurd and meaningless unless one is actually maintaining that the accused ‘anti-Semites’ are actually ‘anti’ all Semites – that is, not only Jews but also Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, Iraqis, Arabians, and others. The Jews have arrogantly, but falsely, claimed for themselves alone the classification of ‘Semite’.

However, apart from the fact that the real charge should be “anti-Jewish’ or ‘anti-Judaism’ rather than ‘anti-Semitism’, another article I saw 2 or 3 days ago illustrates that even taking the meaning as ‘anti-Jewish’ leaves the charge completely meaningless. It’s just a ‘dirty trick’ of the Jews to attempt to demonize those with whom they don’t agree.

The article, entitled Ukraine run by ‘miserable’ Jews: rebel chief, says this in the very first sentence/paragraph:

Ukraine’s pro-Russian rebel chief on Monday branded the country’s leaders “miserable” Jews in an apparent anti-Semitic jibe. (Emphasis is mine – SGP).

Now if you’re like me, when you just read the headline and that first sentence you probably think that the Ukrainian rebel leader’s statement called the Jewish people ‘miserable’, and said the Ukraine’s leaders belonged to that ‘miserable’ people. That would in fact appear to be what the writer intended us to think. Therefore the statement would properly be labeled “anti-Jewish” (though not “anti-Semitic”).

However, for those who read beyond the headline and first sentence, what the ‘rebel leader’ actually said is given in the next sentence:

Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, claimed that Kiev’s pro-Western leaders were “miserable representatives of the great Jewish people“. (Again, the emphasis is my doing – SGP).

Now when one reads the actual quotation, the rebel leader’s statement turns out in fact to be very pro-Jewish; how else can one interpret the phrase “the great Jewish people”?! Mr. Zakharchenko only criticized some Ukranian leaders, not the entire Jewish people. He said the leaders were “miserable representatives” of that ‘great people’; not that the people themselves were miserable.

There are ‘left-wing’ Jews, including within “Israel”, who believe that Benjamin Netanyahu is a ‘miserable’ representative of “the great State of Israel” (or of “the great Jewish people”); yet they are certainly not anti-Jewish (or anti-“Israel”).

Here in the United States, there are plenty of U.S. citizens who believe that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were (and are) miserable representatives of the great American people; but they are very much pro-American. There are also plenty of people who believe that President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are miserable representatives of the great American people. In fact many of them are the same as those who feel that way about Bush and Cheney. But that doesn’t mean that they are ‘anti-American’.

But suppose you heard someone say that Bush and Cheney are miserable representatives of “the great white people”. How would you react to that? Would you think the person was ‘anti-white’ because he attacked 2 white men as being miserable representatives of white people? Or would you think the person was a ‘white supremacist’ because he spoke of “the great white people”? Unless I miss my guess, I bet you would think that the statement reflected “white supremacism”.

I wonder why Alexander Zakharchenko is not being accused of being a “Jewish supremacist” (or “Semitic supremacist”) for referring to “the great Jewish people”!! :lol:

Examples such as this one illustrate the complete meaninglessness and absurdity of the charge of “anti-Semitism”; and it is quite appropriate to laugh out loud when you hear the charge.

Posted by: mystic444 | January 25, 2015

More Falsehoods From Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham, son of famous ‘evangelist’ Billy Graham, has been in the news a good bit recently. He just keeps spewing out ludicrously false religious and political statements. Today I’m going to comment on statements found in this article: Rev. Graham: ‘This Country Was Built on Christian Principles’ Not Islam.

The article quotes Mr. Graham as saying this: “This country was built on Christian principles, it was men and women who believed in God and believed in His Son Jesus Christ who built this country,” said Rev. Graham. “We’re the greatest nation in the history of the world. It wasn’t built by Islam, and it wasn’t built by any other group. It was those who supported and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

There is much that can be said about the supposed “Christian principles” on which the USA was allegedly built. First, there is no doubt that the original European settlers of the various portions of this continent which have now been joined into one nation were “Christians” of various sorts. Almost certainly, those original settlers would not have had much sympathy with any would-be Muslim settlers – they couldn’t even get along with each other (other “Christians”), much less people from other religions.

When we think of the original settlers of the “American colonies”, we usually think of the “Puritans” and “Pilgrims” who settled New England (Massachusetts particularly). These were Presbyterians and Independents (Congregationalists) who were fleeing from oppression and persecution by the Church of England. They were seeking ‘religious liberty’ supposedly; but in actuality that ‘liberty’ was only for themselves. They were naturally convinced that their form of Christianity was “the correct” form, so of course they should have the right to practice it. However, those whom they didn’t consider to be correct in their form of Christianity didn’t deserve any ‘right’ to practice their ‘falsehood’ – at least not in Massachusetts which the “Puritans” had claimed for themselves. Baptists and Quakers wound up being publicly punished if they didn’t flee to some other area of the country. And of course those Anglicans (Church of England) would not be welcome, since the Puritans had to flee from them in the first place. Roman Catholicism was not even considered to be “Christianity” by most Protestants (whether Anglicans, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Lutherans, etc.)

However, in Virginia the Anglican Church actually became the “established” church – which I’m sure didn’t make the Puritans of New England very happy. A number of the ‘founding fathers’ at the time of the War for Independence (Revolutionary War) in the late 18th century were at least nominal members of the Church of England. The Anglicans didn’t like the Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Roman Catholics, Baptists, and Quakers.

In other areas which today are included in the United States of America, Roman Catholics from Spain and France were the original European settlers – particularly across the southern portion of the country, from Florida to California. The Protestant Anglicans, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists considered the Papacy to be “the Antichrist”, though – not at all “Christian”. (Of course the Catholics ‘returned the favor’ by considering Protestantism to be the ‘Antichrist system’.)

So it’s fairly certain that such religious bigots would not have been happy about Muslim settlers. However, Muslims were actually brought to the colonies (and later the United States) by those bigoted “Christians” by means of the importation of African slaves. Some of those slaves – if not many of them – were Muslims, since Islam was quite prevalent in Africa.

So much for the “Christian principles” of the original settlers of what is today the USA. By the time of the American Revolution, with its Declaration of Independence and subsequent Constitution of the United States, though, things had changed quite a bit. ‘Liberalism’ and ‘Rationalism’ had made quite a bit of headway into religious and political thinking; many were ‘skeptics’ concerning the Bible and Christianity as ‘Divine Revelation’. Some of the ‘fundamentals of the faith’ were being denied by leading thinkers in religion, philosophy, and politics. Certainly many people were getting very tired of the bigotry and persecution among the different “Christian” sects.

The most well known of the ‘founding fathers’ (such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Adams) would not even be considered “Christians” by today’s outspoken fundamentalist religious-political leaders like Franklin Graham, Steven Emerson, Bryan Fischer, etc. They were generally Deists – or at least, in the case of John Adams, Unitarian. They weren’t in the least bit interested in establishing a “Christian” Government, since they themselves either did not consider themselves “Christians” or were not recognized as “Christians” by ‘orthodox’ Christianity.

Let’s briefly look at these ‘founding fathers’. Benjamin Franklin was very liberal minded, and a Deist. I have had the good fortune to read his autobiography, written when he was 80 years old (or a few years older). Although it’s been many years since I read it, a few things stand out in my memory. He commented that he had his doubts concerning the Deity of Jesus Christ, though he didn’t consider it worthwhile spending time investigating the matter since at his advanced age it was certain that he would shortly be able to prove the matter through first-hand experience. :grin:

He was a great fund raiser, and being a good friend of the famous evangelist George Whitefield, he willingly lent his efforts to raising money for Whitefield’s Tabernacle. He did so particularly because he felt that the wording of the constitution of the Tabernacle would even allow a ‘Mahometan’ (I believe that was the word he used – meaning Muslim) to come and preach there. (Take that, Franklin Graham! :lol: )

Benjamin Franklin liked to attend George Whitefield’s outdoor sermons – not because he favored the evangelical theology of Whitefield, but because George Whitefield had a very powerful voice and Franklin liked to see how far away he could stand and still hear the ‘evangelist’. Mr. Franklin also humorously commented in his autobiography that he understood his friend George Whitefield was praying for his (Ben Franklin’s) conversion; but thus far the Almighty had given no indication of an intention to ‘answer’ that prayer!

I also read a few years ago someone’s comparison of Ben Franklin to John Adams. Both were ambassadors to France, and neither knew any French when he first went to that country. John Adams learned the French language by reading and memorizing funeral orations; but Franklin learned the language by ‘pillow talk’ with his French lovers!

George Washington is frequently considered to be a pious Christian. As a matter of fact, however, though he didn’t speak much publicly about his religious beliefs, those who knew him personally did not consider him to be a “Christian” in any ‘accepted’ sense. He rarely – if ever – referred to “God” or “Jesus Christ” in his public speeches, generally preferring to speak in a general way of “Providence”. His pastor at the Anglican/Episcopal church he attended with his wife (Martha), and others who knew him, said that at best he was a Deist.

The story was told by his biographer that it was his practice to leave at the end of the regular service on those Sundays (once per month) when “Communion” (the “Eucharist” or “the Lord’s Supper”) was being observed. (Communion was served after the regular service ended; those who didn’t wish to partake would leave between the two services). He never partook of Communion. One Sunday the pastor publicly admonished Mr. Washington (without actually mentioning his name, however). He said that it was the practice of certain prominent persons to leave the service without taking Communion, and this set a bad example for the congregation. George Washington realized that he was the actual public person being referred to. Therefore he later wrote the pastor a letter humbly acknowledging the justice of what he had said; from henceforth he would simply not attend services on Communion Sunday. Thus he would not set a bad public example by walking out before Communion! :grin:

Thomas Jefferson was also a nominal member of the Anglican/Episcopal church; but his “rationalistic’ approach to Christianity is fairly well known. He did not believe in ‘supernatural revelation’ and ‘miracles’. Jesus Christ was a pious man and a wonderful teacher of moral truths, but not ‘Deity’. Jefferson famously compiled his “Jefferson’s Bible”, which consisted of the four ‘gospels’ consolidated into one. He deleted from this “Bible” anything which he considered to be contradictory or unscientific – for instance the miracles of Jesus, including his virgin birth and resurrection. When he was running for President, American clergymen were issuing dire warnings that if Jefferson were elected people would have to hide their Bibles to keep them from being confiscated by the Government! Of course those ‘prophecies’ did not materialize; Jefferson was too much a lover of liberty to do such a thing.

Thomas Jefferson had his own English edition of the Qur’an (Koran), and in fact had a good bit of admiration for the legal and governmental aspects of Islam. (Oh my God! Jefferson admired Sharia Law!) In fact, the Islamic legal and justice system was one of the sources of his own governmental theory – along with Greek and Roman legal theories. Naturally he was not a ‘blind follower’ of Muhammad; he didn’t hesitate to make suggestions as to improvements to be made. For instance, he felt that it didn’t make much sense to cut off the hands of thieves; leave their hands intact so they could work and make restitution to those from whom they stole.

John Adams was one of the most “Christian” of those early ‘fathers’; he was definitely the most “Christian” of those who later became President. He was not a Deist, inasmuch as he apparently did believe in ‘Divine revelation’, and that the Bible in its original form was probably ‘revealed by God’. He believed in the miraculous, and considered Christianity to be the most pure and perfect of all religions. Nevertheless, even he falls short of being ‘truly Christian’ by fundamentalist standards, inasmuch as he was a Unitarian – he believed God is a Unity, not a ‘Trinity’; and Jesus Christ was therefore not “God” but a ‘creature’ of God like all other people. In other words, he was surprisingly close to the Muslim faith in certain aspects which ‘orthodox’ Christians consider ‘heresy’!

These men were not “Christians” themselves, and were certainly not inclined to establish the US Government on “Christian principles” – at least on principles that were distinctively and exclusively “Christian”. The reference in the Declaration of Independence to Government founded on “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” – rather than “the laws of the Bible and the Bible’s God” – was deliberate. “Natural law” is universal, not restricted to Christianity. Much, at least, in the laws of all religions (including Islam) is consistent with “the laws of Nature and Nature’s God”. That which cannot be derived through logical and reasonable study of nature, and requires ‘supernatural revelation’ in order to be known, is to be rejected so far as State Government is concerned (even though it’s in the Bible and is “Christian”).

They knew what they were doing when they stated in the Constitution that no religious tests were to be required of Government officials; and when the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution they said in the very first Amendment that Congress cannot make a law ‘establishing religion’. This not only meant – as some ‘Christians’ would have us believe – that no Christian denomination may be ‘established’ as the official State Church; it meant that no religion may be established (including any form of Christianity, even a generic form), thus protecting the religious liberty of all citizens of whatever religious belief (or non-belief).

The preamble to the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom – written by Thomas Jefferson – which preceded the US Constitution and served pretty much as a prototype for the US Constitution, was Jefferson’s pride and joy. He said this about it in his autobiography: “Where the preamble [of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom] declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting the words “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read, “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.” It was this same universal religious protection which was guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. It was truly a “separation of Church and State”, as Jefferson himself stated, providing that State Government would not rule on religious matters and religious Governments would not rule on matters of State.

Having spent so much time on the alleged foundation of this nation on “Christian principles”, I’ll try to briefly comment on one or two more of Mr. Graham’s statements. Concerning the Islamic terrorism which he claims the USA has been fighting since 9/11/2001, he had this to say:

When asked about Muslims who have condemned Islamic terrorism, Graham said, “First of all, you don’t have condemnation outside of this country. You’ll have clerics in this country who’ll condemn these acts. But these acts of terrorism are not condemned by the mullahs in Saudi Arabia or in Egypt, or Iraq or Syria.” “The reason is,” he said, “is because the Quran teaches this and so, if they condemned it, they would be condemning the Quran, and they’re not going to condemn the Quran.”

Here again, Franklin Graham is either outright lying, or he is displaying his amazing but willful ignorance. The Qur’an does NOT teach terrorism. If it did, then those American Muslims who condemn the actions of terrorists must be condemning the Qur’an! Have they then invented a new “Islam” based on something other than the Qur’an?? Of course not. American Islam is the same Islam as found in other more explicitly “Muslim countries”. It is founded primarily on the Qur’an, and has no need to ‘condemn’ that “revelation”. It is the terrorists who trample on the Qur’an by their outright violation of its explicit precepts, and their twisted distortions of its verses.

As to the allegation that it is only ‘American’ Muslims who denounce terrorism (as does the Qur’an itself) – “you don’t have condemnation outside of this country” – that is an absolute lie (or willful ignorance). Muslims in large numbers all over the world decry the distortion of the Qur’an which terrorists espouse, and denounce the terrorist actions they perpetrate. Just go to this site at The American Muslim to get an idea of how widespread the condemnation of terrorism is among Muslims.

Here are just four of the many links found at that site:

Fifty Muslim scholars issue fatwa against Taliban”.

165 Somali religious leaders issued a fatwa condemning al-Shabab”.

Abu Dhabi conference – 500 Muslim scholars challenge extremist “fatwas””

6,000 Indian Ulama Islamic scholars endorsed a fatwa, called the Hyderabad Declaration, that declares that all forms of terrorism are against the spirit of Islam. 2008”

Here are some statements from the “Abu Dhabi Conference” link: Last year, a prominent Muslim preacher from Qatar issued a fatwa allowing the killing of Israeli pregnant women and their unborn babies on the basis that the babies could grow up to join the Israeli Army. He also said that killing “all Americans, civilian or military” in Iraq was allowed.

Condemning such fatwas, the scholars also emphasized that the declaration of Islamic legal opinions and fatwas should be left in the hands of experts. … There have been other campaigns against such fatwas. A petition sent to the United Nations by over 2,500 Muslim intellectuals from 23 countries has called for an international treaty to ban the use of religion for incitement to violence. It also calls on the UN Security Council to set up a tribunal to try “the theologians of terror.” Most of the signatories are from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states plus Iraq, Jordan, and Palestine.

Hundreds of Arab writers and academics are collecting more signatures to the petition, including Jawad Hashem, a former Iraqi minister of planning, and Alafif al- Akdhar, a leading Tunisian writer and academic. The signatories also described those who use religion for inciting violence as “the sheikhs of death” and asked the UN to order its member states to stop broadcasting the “mad musings of the theologians of terror.”

Here is one final quotation from the Franklin Graham article: “So, the teaching of the Quran permits slavery, it permits the killing of Jews, permits the killing of Christians, and it’s a very, very dangerous world in which we live and we need to be aware of the truth,” said the reverend.

If he is going to castigate the Qur’an for permitting slavery, then he needs to look at his own Bible. The ‘Old Testament’ specifically allowed – even commanded – the Israelites to enslave people from other nations. The ‘New Testament’ itself never attacks slavery, but also permits it to continue – though Christian slave owners are exhorted to treat their slaves with kindness. Christian slaves are exhorted to always obey their ‘masters’.

Christians defend this by saying that the ‘New Testament’ couldn’t just abolish slavery; but it did place regulations on Christian slave owners to keep them from mistreating their slaves. In one instance, Paul requested a slave owner (Philemon) to free his slave Onesimus. Onesimus had run away, but became a Christian believer after meeting Paul. Paul then sent him back to Philemon, acknowledging Philemon’s right to Onesimus’ service – and indeed his right to punish Onesimus for running away. But Paul requested that Philemon set Onesimus free.

The Qur’an also does not outright abolish the slavery which was prevalent in the time of Muhammad. However it goes further than the Bible toward that goal in that: 1) the requirements for how slaves were to be treated were such that the slaves were to be treated as family members; it was hardly slavery at all as we normally think of slavery. 2) Believers were frequently exhorted to free their slaves as a good deed which would receive a reward at “the judgment”. Sometimes those who were guilty of a sin were required to free slaves as an act of penance – a good deed to offset the evil of the sin. 3) One of the uses of the ‘zakat’ tax (similar to the ‘tithe’ many Christians pay) was to free slaves. In other words, though the Qur’an did not outright condemn slavery in so many words – even permitting it to continue in a very regulated way – it strongly emphasized that freeing slaves was much to be desired.

As to permitting the killing of Christians and Jews, that’s just pure nonsense – except for any Christians or Jews who themselves first attacked the Muslim community and sought to kill Muslims. Muslims were certainly permitted to kill Christians, Jews, and anyone else in the case of self defense. The idea, though, that the Qur’an exhorts Muslim believers to kill people just because they’re not ‘Muslims’ is an outright lie. Franklin Graham has no excuse for not knowing better – if in fact he doesn’t know better and is not just deliberately slandering Islam.

Thus again, Franklin Graham is either woefully ignorant or a deliberate liar. He is certainly not worthy of the respect of anyone.

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