‘Nuff Said!


I have the “No Comment” section but this video deserves a comment and an ‘attaboy. Cardinal McCarrick has gone on record, when others have shirked the responsibility of calling for justice, in calling for the equal rights of  Muslim Americans like any other religious group in America.  His statement was clear and unequivocal in asserting that Muslim Americans have the same rights as any other religious group.  For many that statement is a given, but in today’s America hatred has relieved people of their moral compass and courage and too many have decided to stay silent in the face of bigotry’s steamrolling over the American conscience.  I am happy that there are still a few people who, to paraphrase Sarah Palin, have decided to ‘put their man pants on’ and face the problem of religious bigotry head on.  For that reason merely posting this video under the No Comment doesn’t do  justice to the Message.  The Cardinal deserves a heart felt thanks from the rest of us who have decided to sit this battle out; perhaps what he says here will give one the push they need to join the fracas.  There’s a lot of work to do before we can say America has realized its potential.

America’s corrputed notion of Christianity


The Founding Fathers wanted government to  make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof prescient in their vision that doing so would lead to a fragmented Nation, but racism has driven those who aspire to power to insist that their religion should reign supreme in the body politic of America because it’s what this country was founded on.  We’ve disputed that notion a time or two here.

ConsortiumNews’ writers have weighed in heavily on this subject in a series of thought provoking articles.  This one examines how Christianity has morphed into something that allows its followers to wage war, death and destruction on enemies real and imagined and in the process stray far away from its core values.

The first Christians tried to be faithful to Jesus’s commandments to “put away the sword,” ”do not repay evil for evil,” “do unto others that which you would have them do unto you,” “do good to those who persecute you,” “pray for those who despitefully use you,” “love your neighbor as yourself,” “turn the other cheek,” “love your enemies” and “love as I have loved you.”

Jesus’s earliest followers regarded the human body as the holy temple of God here on earth, and, knowing that violence to a holy place was considered an act of desecration (and therefore forbidden), they refused to kill or maim other children of God, and therefore they also refused, out of conscience, to become killing soldiers for Rome.

Martyrdom, in the first three centuries, was regarded as the ultimate act of social responsibility. And the church flourished!

The Roman Emperor Constantine first recognized Christianity as a valid religion around 311 CE and he made Christianity the official state religion within decades.

He showered the now-legal church with the goodies of the Empire and the Christians accepted them, not aware that property, dominative power, wealth and the tight connections to militarism were eventually to become curse for the church.

Before long Christians began endorsing, and then participating in, un-Christ-like acts of homicidal violence in war.

n 311 CE, you could not be a Christian and be a killing soldier in Rome’s army. By 416, you couldn’t be in the Roman army unless you were a Christian! It had all turned around in 105 years, and Christianity has been a war-tolerating religion ever since….

Massacres of non-Christian “infidels” in the Crusades were soon followed by massacres of fellow Christians. In the Middle Ages, the organized church actively persecuted, tortured and murdered millions of women who were feared as intellectuals, midwives and “witches.”

The use of atomic bombs against the civilian targets of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was perhaps the spiritual low point in Christendom’s history of un-Christ-like cruelty and inhumanity to man.

It is a little known fact that Ground Zero for the second bomb was the largest Christian church in the Orient. The Nagasaki Urakami Cathedral and most of its members were vaporized in nine seconds by an all-Christian bomb crew on Aug. 9, 1945. American Christianity remains unrepentant.

And then there was the horrific example of German Christianity, easily Nazified because of its historical connections to Prussian militarism, and therefore allied to Hitler’s policy of perpetual war.

Many “good Germans” had good-paying healthcare-related jobs but they found themselves obediently participating in the extermination of the mentally and physically deformed “useless eaters.”

Many “good Germans” earned their livings participating in the oppression and extermination of gypsies, homosexuals, trade unionists, liberals, communists and Jews; and many churches consented to those atrocities by their silence.
The Jewish Holocaust occurred in part because the German churches had, for centuries, falsely blamed the Jews for killing Jesus (a myth), ignoring Jesus’s commandment to “love as I have loved you.”

The movements of Gandhi, King and Jesus, as well as a multitude of other examples of successful nonviolent, faith-based resistance movements throughout history, are proof that nonviolence can work, but they are only for the faithful and the courageous.

Far more courage is demanded of unarmed resisters who may be forced to jail or to their deaths, than is asked of modern super-patriotic warriors who do battle using highly lethal, high-tech weaponry that almost guarantees their physical survival.

 

Most likely the founding fathers were good students of history.  They realized that if the State endorsed one religion, Christianity for example, over another it would lead to the corruption of that religion which could be easily pliable in the hands of the omnipotent state and thus loose its religious character and meaning.  Maybe that’s why they weren’t too keen on insisting that America was to be a Christian nation; they possessed crystal balls that allowed them to peer into our future and see how religion could metastasize into large mega churches with their own television stations that would swindle people out of their money and their souls while feeding them into the meat grinder of an expansionist state that needs bodies to fight wars of empire.  This might be one of the endearing legacies of our founding fathers, that in refusing to refer to America as a Christian country they hoped that would make us  more Christian. Sadly, such is not the case.

Another one who got away


‘Not all Muslims are terrorist but all terrorists are Muslims’, so goes the ‘phobes chant when talking about the dangers of an imagined enemy, the Shariah welding Muslim fanatic.  What they don’t say is all non-Muslim terrorists aren’t categorized as such.  Rather they are given more inert sounding names like manic depressive and charged not with terrorism, but with ‘placing a bomb’ inside a federal building and thus fall beneath the terrorist radar.  Such is the case with this guy, Gary Mikulich.  His bomb sat in said federal building for over a month, is that fodder for a conspiracy theory or what, before it was discovered, which goes to show you all the money you can squeeze out of everyday working Americans and  give to Homeland Security can’t buy security if people don’t do their jobs.  This electrical engineering genius made a bomb and put it in front of a federal building with the intent to kill people, yet he’s not charged with a terrorist related offense.  So what good are the terrorism laws if we don’t apply them equally to all?  It should be apparent that the law is designed to single out a group of people , not law breakers, in order to effect a blanket condemnation of all members of that group.  Shame on you America….you’re still as bigoted as ever.

 

Kudos


Give credit where credit is due for leadership to Democratic Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois for his principled stand on the rights of Americans of the Muslim faith to equal protection under the Constitution.  Remember his face please….it’s the new face of LEADERSHIP in America where everyone else seems enamored with bigotry and demagoguery, for now, Durbin has refused to give in to that.

During the course of our history, many religions have faced intolerance. It is important for our generation to renew our founding charter’s commitment to religious diversity and to protect the liberties guaranteed by our Bill of Rights

Various and sundry news


First the “good” news. The folks in Tennessee are removing religious references from the bill they wanted to introduce regarding foreign laws not being applied in state matters which would amount to treason and a 15 year jail sentence.  It was obviously designed to persecute Muslims.  The state’s lawmakers were too dumb to realize they are  pawns in a much bigger battle between American jurists who assert the right to reference other countries’ laws in their decisions and those xenophobes who vigorously opposed that idea.  More on that later.

But, and there’s always a “but” isn’t there?  For every step America makes forward they seem to take several back.  Check out this story of a true blue American Muslim who was put on the no-fly list because he refused to cooperate with federal officials who want to infiltrate America’s Muslim population.  Seems his refusal to do so was based on his family situation, he’s married with 4 children and probably doesn’t trust the government to help support his family while he’s out and about spying on people…….isn’t that the kind of self-reliant, no trust government but do for self citizen the “Right” and their neo-con allies wanted?…….and most likely he’s not too keen on the idea because he doesn’t feel comfortable being around Muslims, since according to him he’s gone to church with his Christian wife more times than he’s been in any mosque.

Finally there’s this bit of crab barrel politics of an aspiring politician who wants to make a name for himself on the backs of America’s Muslim population.  A black David Duke or a blacker Allen West, the Florida congressman of the same political bent, Herman Cain has taken his Godfather’s Pizza moniker a bit too seriously.  You remember the one don’t you, ‘the pizza you can’t refuse’ slogan that rocketed that franchise onto America’s consciousness back in the 80s.  He thinks that the idea of religion and not being able to choose extends to America’s Muslims as well.  What’s more dastardly about Cain is he joins a long list of former slaves who now want to be slave owners, emotionally and mentally that is.  He hasn’t learned anything from the history of his people or his country; he’s too drunk with success and money to realize the error of his ways, but he wants to be president of the United States.  The more things change…….the more they remain the same.

Farrakhan Warns, Advises Obama on Libya


 

I should have titled this ‘birds of a feather’ because Louis Farrakhan has joined the ranks of such notable Islamophobic bigots as Pamela Geller in support of Libyan president Ghadafi against the dissidents in his country who are seeking to oust him, but for entirely different reasons.  Geller seems to think that Ghadafi’s opposition is encouraged by the omnipotent Muslim Brotherhood or other similar “islamists” who want to devour the world by killing and or converting all one person at a time.  She’s cast her net therefore with the Libyan president who  she claims, ‘not that Libya has been good under Gaddafi – hardly. But there are degrees of evil. The situation can always be worse, and little matches the anti-human brutality of Islamic regimes in the twenty-first century.’

Farrakhan, equally vitriolic when it comes to racist tendencies, therefore seems to share a common interest with Geller and I find that mildly  amusing in an ironic and unexpected kind of way.  Both will adamantly disavow one another but one can see where there is divergence in goals there is usually divergence in means or opportunity.  Geller and Farrakhan, two peas in a pod, nurtured by the same soil, nationalism and racism.  They should both go center stage, join hands and bow; they deserve one another.

Ron Paul mocks ‘fiscal conservatives’ who cut NPR but approve Afghan war 


 

 

It’s a shame Ron Paul isn’t more popular among conservative voters who claim to be real conservatives.  I know the reason why he isn’t is beccause he’s against wars of aggression and believes in the principle of blowback which states America should expect consequences for infringing on the territorial integrity of states it unilaterally condemns.  That doesn’t make him very well received among those in the war party who claim  America has the right to go wherever it wants.  It’s very likely his pointing out the hypocrisy in the GOPs desire to cut the budget by defunding NPR and not stopping another one of its wars for empire isn’t going to land Paul any friends in his own Party either.  Take a look.

 

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