I have been astonished to read the savage comments on Facebook about the ‘mosque’ that is being planned a couple of blocks away from what is called ground zero of the 9/11 incident. What was apparently planned as a conciliatory gesture was turned into an insult by the spinners.
This is the sacred month of Ramadan when many Muslims do what many Americans couldn’t do, go without anything but water from dawn to sunset. Part of the process is so that the worshipper has the experience of what it is like to be poor and short on food. Some of the creeps in our government who left the unemployed and foreclosed in the lurch and went off on a vacation might well learn from such a tradition.
In my Christmas series I suggested that you remember that the Pilgrim Fathers whom we are supposed to honor, kept Christmas as a fast day, and no celebrations were allowed. The –ism worshiped today in this country is Commercialism, the God of which is money and its derivative, power.
When talking about religions other than the Christian one, now plugged as a money making reflex into commerce and politics, one of the major problems that Wiccans, Muslims, Buddhists, healers, pagans of all kinds, and occultists have is that just about everything the general public knows about them from the media is untrue. And often the only things that people know about them come from the media, which sees no virtue in truth if sensation and lies sell more copies or draw more viewers.
But the misunderstood ones also have lots of unexamined data that they take for granted, mainly because so many get their knowledge too from the media. We who are misunderstood and lied about by the media must be careful not to do the same to others.
For instance, the media hardly ever uses the word witch without the word Satan somewhere in the sentence. Yet all who know anything about the matter know that Wiccans don't even believe in a Satan and so don't worship it. Satan is an invention of Christianity, a religious perversion. The persecution of millions of innocents was based on a Church lie, and still is. But constant repetition becomes the reality of the duped. As I recently demonstrated, reality is not based on fact but agreement.
We are just as easily fooled as everyone else if we hear and see only what the media gives us about others. What can fundamentalist Christians know about the Bible if it’s the only book they read? Nearly every time we hear about Muslims on the news we hear the word terrorist, activist, or rebel as well. And some of us believe that propaganda and yield to its unrelenting pressure. Like the German people and the 'filthy Jew' of Hitler’s machine or the 'dirty Red' here of McCarthy.
One would think we misunderstood ones might have learned the lessons of official propaganda from the centuries of misrepresentation by government and Church that most of the groups named have endured. The traitor and the freedom fighter are often the same person talked about by different media.
Let's have a look at how these ‘terrorists’ regard Jesus. Everyone who gets his data from the media knows that Muslims call Christians 'infidels' and are always looking to declare war on them, don't they? They must obviously think Jesus is bad news. Well, that's the media on its relentless search for selling more magazines or papers or acquiring more TV watchers, or politicians seeking votes among the ignorant. Here are some FACTS.
The Koran is the holy book of Islam. Have you bothered to read it in any language? Will you take Rush Limbaugh’s bellowing nonsense without checking it? If so you are as guilty as the cub reporters adding Satan to the witch article to spice it up a bit. The mother of Jesus, as Mary, is mentioned about TWICE as many times in the Koran as in the New Testament, and always with great respect. The mystics of Islam are the Sufis. There is one order of Sufis dedicated to Mary the mother of Jesus. I wonder how many evangelicals know that. How many Christian sects are dedicated to Amina the mother of Muhammed?
Islam does not consider Jesus to be the only Son of God, but then neither did the original followers of Jesus. That was Paul's notion, and he never met the living Jesus.
The Church pushed this idea after the Council of Nicaea to keep power as being the only path to salvation…more propaganda. People of every faith and no faith have achieved enlightenment.
Islam does not acknowledge the Trinity either, but that too was an invention of the later Church. Unity and the Unitarian Churches, probably the most intellectual of the sects of Christianity in America are thus named because they don’t acknowledge the Trinity.
The greatest genius of his age, Sir Isaac Newton was not allowed to be the Chancellor of Cambridge university, because he did not believe in the Trinity after studying the Bible very thoroughly, and only people who believed in the Trinity could become high officers in the University. Newton was called a Unitarian as an insult by clerics with less than 1% of his brain power or integrity.
Indeed overlapping the time of my own birth one could not take even a mathematics degree at that university without being a member of Holy Orders, of the Church of England i.e. a Reverend. Look at the best late 19th and early 20th century text books in England. It looks as though they were all written by Reverends. But as Newton pointed out, the very word Trinity does not occur anywhere in the Bible that the Church uses to justify it. Of course it’s a mystery. They made it up.
Islam also denies that Jesus died on the cross. It thinks that Allah, the compassionate, the merciful, rescued him. Many Christian scholars think that Jesus didn't die on the cross either, but the Church as a whole is still dogmatic about having people believe in the death, whatever the clergy think or know. The high scholars of the Church know things that they cannot tell their congregations. The sacrifice concept keeps the original sin nonsense alive to have an unjust father sacrifice his blameless child for the misdeeds of people to come hundreds of years later who have no option but to be born guilty. God is Love? Not that one.
As a bit of relevant trivia while we occasionally mention Allah, Jesus spoke the Aramaic dialect of Galilee. The word Jesus used for this being was Allaha, the Oneness. It's only speakers of English who say God. Egyptian Christians would say Allah. They aren't heretics or Muslims. They are speaking Arabic. And the ‘Allah’ actually means something central to the spiritual life. ‘God’ doesn’t do that to the same extent.
The Koran honors the virgin birth of Jesus, and states that only two people, Adam and Jesus were created directly by God. Look at that for a second and you will see that there are probably more Muslims than Christians in the world who believe literally in the virgin birth of Jesus. The Koran also endorses the second coming of Jesus and says that he was a greater worker of miracles than Muhammad, and in the scale of sanctity puts Jesus above Muhammad.
How many Christians know that, or would even consider it as a possibility from the reports of the terrorists in the media? When our soldiers kill civilians it is not reported as Christians killing people, yet way more than half a million Muslims have been killed in the insanity of the Iraq situation. Are their deaths reported in the media as being due to Christians? Could there be a bit of bias here when only the religion of Islam is mentioned when killings occur?
The four major dictators during World War II were all from dictatorial Christian Churches. Hitler, Mussolini and General Franco were all Catholics and Stalin spent two years in a theological seminary learning the ropes. Hitler, like G.W. Bush considered himself chosen by God to lead his people. Comparing the speeches of the two men is very interesting in that regard. Was the Holocaust labeled as a Christian versus Jew event?
The Koran was written in Arabic, a language which most Christians do not regard as their native tongue. Nor do they even think for a moment that Jesus is present in the writings of Islam.
Yet there are more sayings attributed to Jesus in Arabic than in any other language. You may have encountered this one from the poet saint Kabir: "Said Jesus, blessed be his name, 'This world is a bridge; pass over but build no house upon it.' " Kabir is honored by Muslims, Hindus and Christians as an enlightened being.
Muslims never mention Jesus without the phrase "May peace be upon him." Muhammad is the only other human being given that automatic honor. How many Christians automatically honor Muhammad when they speak of Islam. Is it mere bias or ignorance? Whichever it is it is dangerous. Read Karen Armstrong’s book Muhammed. Moslem scholars have praised it.
If the Muslims judged Christianity by the Farwells, the Robinsons, the abortion clinic fanatics, the Creationists, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the Crusaders, they would be in the same state as most people here who judge Islam by its fools and fanatic fundamentalists.
Shake loose from the bonds of the media this year. Do your own thinking, and for the love of God or Goddess, of Allah, of Muhammad, blessed be he, and Jesus blessed be he and Truth blessed be IT, switch off the hate media propaganda and the incessant trivia on the TV and read some books about things that matter.
The feelings aroused by such matters are because of an ignorant assumption that there are only two options. There are always three, though the third may be unthinkable to the prejudiced. It isn’t true that everybody is pro-Islam or anti-Islam, or pro-guns and anti-guns. There are some who step out of the reactive stance expected and pushed by the media and look at more of the facts.
If the American people were judged by the actions of the insane and sociopathic previous administration they would be judged incorrectly. There are hundreds of thousands in Europe who can and do separate the horrendous deeds of the administration from the will of the American people. Though it gets harder every day. Do the same for them. Keep the number of fanatics versus the non-fanatics in proportion in your thinking. Happy Trails!