Category Archives: Christianity

Iran’s Seven Year Itch For Peace

There is some good news coming from Iran, or at least any sensible person would interpret new Iranian proposals as constituting good news. Then again, when US Secretary of State John Kerry has to conduct foreign policy negotiation with one eye focused on Congress, is it at all possible that he can succeed in anything related to the Middle East, Asia, Europe or Africa? Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif offered a deal. Iran would freeze its current nuclear program for seven years on condition that after that moment, it would be free to conduct the same nuclear programs as found in other nations. At this point, Kerry and his allies in negotiation have been demanding a ten year freeze. In simple, clear English, both sides ARE close to an agreement. So, let us propose a compromise:

1. Iran freezes its nuclear program for eight years!

2. Israel agrees to reduce by a factor of 20% the number of atomic bombs in its facilities.

3. Israel and Iranian leaders agree to establish a joint commission which meets on a regular basis to discuss issues between the nations.

4. America returns to Iran money that was frozen after the Shah was overthrown in 1979.

Believe it or not, peace IS possible in the Middle East!

Online Love -Hate

Even as I write there are millions of young Americans whose face, mind, and soul are fixed on something they are seeing on the Internet. There are millions of young Americans who spend their days “talking” with people they have never met, nor have they ever had a meal with, but who are now their “friends.” Their inner world, their inner thoughts, their inner fears, and their inner hopes are openly shared with people about whom they know only what is read in an Internet connection. These young people do not read books, all they need is the Internet or watching YouTube videos in order to understand the complexity of what transpires in the world. They have never studied history, they do not even know what expressions such as: international relations, political systems, or the Middle East actually mean. Such was Shannon Conley, a young nurse who went online and met the man of her dreams who hailed from Tunisia. Such is modern life, to fall madly in love with a “person” who only exists on your computer.

Shannon decided to abandon the Christian religion, convert to the Muslim religion, and decide to embark on a jihad against evil Americans. Since this is the good old USA or should I say, the good old, NRA, this twisted, confused young women readily got access to guns and training in the fine art of Death. She even stalked a church and made drawings for who knows what–a shooting? Anyway, Shannon purchased a one way ticket at the airport in Denver, Colorado, was seized by federal agents, and, most probably is headed for a jail cell.

Shannon, I hate to inform you, but your “lover” will NOT be launching an attack on the prison. Frankly, who knows if this “lover” is actually a real person. The only certain thing is that he exists on your computer. The isolation of the computer only leads to weird behaviors.

CATHOLIC CHURCH TORN IN CONFLICT!

I am able to confirm from very reliable sources the presence of a potential split within the Catholic Church over an important theological conflict between former Pope Benedict and current Pope Francis. No, it does not have anything to do with gay rights or abortion of female priests, it is a more pressing issue that threatens to divide Catholics throughout the world. I recognize differences between Catholics over church ceremonies, I recognize differences about how to handle allegations of clergy misconduct, but these topics are not of the gravity as the current impasse between the two Popes. It points out that once a former Pope was allowed to retire and live on while another man assumed the position of Pope, fears this might result in conflict are now confirmed.

Pope Benedict will be supporting the German soccer team while Pope Francis will support his native Argentine team as they fight for the championship of the World Cup. The major theological issue is: how does God handle a prayer for victory from a Pope in Argentine while he receives a prayer for victory from a Pope in Germany? If God can solve this one, rest assured we humans can resolve any and all theological disputes!!

Sort Of Cease Fire

Every so often in the Middle East there arrives a moment, just a moment, when one is capable of considering the possibility that some sort of quiet might reign in the region. In Libya, they are firing rockets into cities, in Egypt, missiles are being fired by Islamists who hate the Islamist government of General Sisi which has imprisoned members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Of course, under President Morsi, the Brotherhood imprisoned Islamists who did not agree with the other Islamists. Anyway, the Egyptian government persuaded the Israel government to hold off on further bombings that have left hundreds dead or wounded. The Arab League accepted the cease fire, Egypt supported the cease fire, Israel said OK to the cease fire, but Hamas continues to insist that firing rockets which result in the deaths of hundreds somehow, in some way, furthers the cause of Palestinian independence. Hamas leaders think something like this:

“If we can get Israel to kill a few thousand people in Gaza or in other parts of Palestine, the people will reject President Abbas and come running to us. Who else but we can guarantee that people die? The more who die, the more families that become radicalized, and the more followers flock to us. So, please Israelis, continue to kill and kill and help us recruit more fanatics filled with hatred. We of Hamas believe the road to heaven is filled with bodies of the dead. Just heap up the bodies and we can climb on them in order to reach Heaven.”

Leave it to Hamas and no one will be left to live in Palestine.

Are We Americans Racist?

Attorney General Eric Holder when assuming office back in 2009 made some comments that continue to infuriate members of the Republican party. He was commenting on attacks made on the new president. He said that “in things racial we always and continue to be in many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.” He was recently asked if this view continues to be held by him. Holder responded, “there’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some there is a racial animus.” There is no doubt that racism continues to dwell in the hearts and minds of all too many Americans. But,the question as to whether or not Barack Obama has fostered these ideas is another question? Could he have handled the racial aspect of assuming the presidency in other ways than how he performed? In defense of Obama, there is no question whatever and how ever he handled anything as president, X number of Americans would have responded with hate and venom toward him. They would have accused him of not being a “real American.” Certainly, that has been the main focus of Fox News. Their commentators continue to raise the issue of “patriotism” and his alleged hatred of the US Constitution.

However, there is no doubt in my mind, regardless of which Democrat became president in 2008, a similar response would have emerged. Republicans of the 21st century are filled with incredible anger and hatred toward anyone who suggests sane policies. They are convinced that terrorism is the main enemy of this country and Obama has failed to halt its spread. They also are convinced this nation depends for its economic survival on our top 5% of wealthy people. During my 84 years as an American I have never witnessed such a love of wealthy people and dislike of poor ones. Frankly, this is the confusion that drives me crazy. Why do so many Americans adore those who have rather than those who do not?

We are less racial and more stupid is the problem. I suspect when unions left the scene we lost an institution that provided education and realism to the average American worker. Today, they rely on things like Fox News.

Warehouse The Kids!

Members of the Republican party have finally identified the real threat from terrorists, and they are furious at refusal of President Obama to respond to a potential influx of thousands of militants who pose a real and present danger to our nation. No, these are not Muslim terrorists. No, these are not members of violent members of Boko Haram from Nigeria. No, they are not coming from eastern Ukraine with guns in hand. Thank God, we have Republican Congressman Michael McCaul who has identified the most important threat to our survival as a nation. So, who are the terrorists seeking to dwell within our midst while they employ their weapons of horror? If you go to our border with Mexico and gaze outward it is possible to see the advancing hordes descending upon our border. They are children fleeing beatings, rape and murder. And, now, according to the Republican party they intend to enter our hallowed grounds and commit horrors unknown to Americans. They intend to go to school, do their homework or work in our fields picking peaches and strawberries. Imagine the mayhem that will emanate from these actions?

Congressman McCaul has a plan. “I think we have to have a deterrence, and if we are to build facilities, we should build them in countries of origin in Central America.” He wants to construct warehouses for the children. Talk about a man who loves Jesus Christ. There is no doubt if Jesus was alive today he would be standing on the border line with gun in hand aiming at—? Who is the question?

Women Move Bishop In Chess Game Of Religion

I have often wondered how the history of this world would have progressed if a group of women were the ones who wrote a Bible that explained the origin of we humans? Alas, men wrote the Bible, and men decided how God thought. Of course, it was their assumption that God was a man, and there was some divine reason why a group of men wound up writing a Bible. The Church of England for the past twenty five years has been confronting pressures to allow women in the Church to possess equal powers to those enjoyed by men. Yesterday, the Church of England national assembly that is known as the General Synod voted on a motion regarding the status of women. The vote was 351 in favor of allowing women to become a Bishop with only 72 against the motion. Thus, the necessary two-thirds vote changed church regulations. Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby welcomed the vote, although he acknowledged that all were not happy at the outcome. “As delighted as I am by the outcome, I am also mindful of those within the church for whom the result will be difficult and a cause for concern.”

Frankly, I have never figured out why this issue causes division. I assume if one is a member of the clergy getting people INTO the church is the issue, not keeping them outside. Does anyone really believe the Big Guy up in the sky gives a damn if He is speaking to a man or a woman??

Just A Matter Of Time

At this moment that I write there are about 200,000,000 people on this planet who reside in a country that was not their native land. In other words, there are hundreds of millions who fall into the category of being An IMMIGRANT. My parents fled eastern Europe after the end of World War I seeking a place of safety and refuge from war or poverty as well as the vicious anti-Semitism that prevailed in their native lands. As I write, there are at least two million people whose native land is in Syria, but have fled because of war or religious hatred or not particularly enjoying life in Assad Syria. The majority who have fled are Muslims, but there begins the problem–which type of Muslim? Shiite or Sunni or whoever? The overwhelming majority are now in a Muslim nation. Alas, that is where the problem begins. Muslim nations in the Middle East never cease complaining about the evils of Israel, but when it comes to welcoming their fellow Muslims, the end result is anger, discrimination and refusal to offer assistance. No Middle Eastern nation has allowed refugees from Israel-Palestine– to become citizens. So, why should Turks behave any different?

There are over a million Syrians in Turkey whose government has responded to the crisis with care and concern. But, to the average citizen, an immigrant is “not one of us.” Over a thousand people in the province of Kaharmanmares rioted against local Syrian refugees and chanted words of hate and violence. I live in America, the land which is 100% made up of immigrants. Which nation of the world surpasses us in expressions of hate toward immigrants? Turkish demonstrators said immigrants were –criminals– words that flow from Tea Party followers. To be an immigrant is not to be a person who will get a welcome wagon greeting.

Marry When Old Enough?

Mehemet Gormez, head of the Turkish Religious Affairs Directive is very concerned about the issue of child marriages. Many mothers and fathers decide to marry off a daughter for financial reasons, for fear they will select their own groom or because they seek to please some male in search of a wife. Gormez challenges those of the Muslim faith who believe their religion urges them to marry off young girls. He denies there is any evidence that the Muslim religion sanctions such actions. “Those who attempt to find evidence of such mercilessiness in Islam are doing an injustice both to the religion and to the girl.” He insists it is “unacceptable” to connect the Prophet Muhammad to such behavior.

Gormez correctly insists that child marriage is a crime. But, then again, many countries in Africa and Asia also believe in child marriage. Just check with Boko Haram in Nigeria. In fact, they kidnap children and deliver them to some old fart who needs a young woman to do the dirty work of life.

War Knows No Respite In Gaza

The latest example of Middle Eastern madness began when some thugs murdered three innocent Jewish boys who lived on the West Bank. Their deaths on the West Bank is symbolic of what has happened between Israel and Palestinians. The West Bank was won from Jordan in the famous Six Day War in 1967. Israel leaders at that time wanted to return the West Bank in exchange for peace with their Arab leaders. If there is one thing that has rarely changed in the Middle East is the reality no Nelson Mandela or his equivalent can be found in the Middle East. The subsequent half century have witnessed an ever growing anger and failure to compromise over the issue of the West Bank. Three Jewish boys died. The latest count of Israel’s murderous bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip is that 156 Palestinians are dead and over 1,000 thousand wounded. Certainly, this has gone beyond an eye for an eye. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has never been guilty of the crime of softness in the face of danger. He has shouted for revenge, and he has gotten revenge. Of course, the revenge began with three Israel Jews murdering an innocent Palestinian boy and it has escalated and escalated from that moment.

The problem with bombing revenge is that this is a TACTIC, this is not a plan nor a solution. I assume Israel can bomb and bomb and bomb. At some point in time, the bombing must cease. Then, what? PM Netanyahu has not presented any idea for a long term solution that would end the murders and bombings in the region. The UN has called for a cease fire. Netanyahu rejects it because more bombing must ensue. As I recall, Israel decades ago bombed, and Jewish Israelis(20% of Israelis are Muslim or Christian) were promised peace would result. Actually, since the bombings began Hamas and other groups have received thousands of more missiles. There is no evidence that bombings will bring peace.

Uman Omar,a Gaza woman summed up the problem of bombing when she saw her home destroyed by bombs. “Am I a terrorist? Do I make rockets and artillery in my home?”" Of course not, but to cease bombing such homes would get in the way of bombing.