Honest Reporting recently rounded off an examination of instances of YouTube banning content by saying:
“To paraphrase a quote wrongly attributed to Orwell but which resonates strongly today as we seemingly edge towards the dystopian society that he predicted: ‘In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.’”
We are living in a time of “universal deceit”, this is exactly what the Lord Jesus said it would be in Revelation 16. Jesus specifically warned his servants who would be living just before his coming, that it would be a time of deceit and falsehood.
Media Bias and against Israel
The protest staged for the media near Nablus.
An image of the staged protest available on Getty Images.
During the recent war when Israel was attacked by Hamas in Gaza, there were many examples of deceit in the media. The mainstream media as usual, emphasized Israel’s operations in Gaza against the terrorist organization Hamas, over the 4300 + rockets fired by Hamas at Israeli civilian centres. Here are some examples of deceptive media reports during the conflict.
A CNN analysis was entitled
“Hell has been unleashed in Gaza”
and is typical of the type of the reporting on Israel in the mainstream media. Reading the analysis any logical person would think that Israel had unleashed hell on Gaza. However, Hamas had started the war and by the time of the “analysis” had fired well over 1000 missiles targeting Israeli civilian centres. In order to find this out, you have to read to about halfway through. Seeing that on average only 16% of people read a webpage word for word and seeing that readers will on average only read 20% of the text on a page, most CNN readers will never know this. The analysis does state near the beginning that,
“Since Monday evening, Israel’s aerial operation has left more than 60 Gazans dead, militants among them, but more civilians, according to figures from the Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry. More than a dozen of them were children.”
A few crucial pieces of information are missing from this sentence. First the “Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry” is operated by the terrorist group Hamas — their numbers simply cannot be trusted. Secondly at least half of the quoted number of casualties of children were killed by a rocket fired by Hamas that didn’t reach its target. The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza documented a Hamas rocket that fell short of its target and killed 8 civilians including 6 children.
Another one of the images from the staged protest on Getty, notice the ambulance in the background taking away the “wounded”.
Seeing that the terror organizations fire their rockets from civilian areas away from the periphery of the region, the rockets have to travel over civilian areas in Gaza before reaching Israel. During the war in Gaza, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired, as already stated, 4,300+ rockets, targeting Israeli civilian centres. 680 of these misfired and exploded inside Gaza, killing and injuring the civilian population of Gaza.
The analysis also misrepresents the blockade of Gaza, stating,
“Cut off from the rest of the world by an Israeli blockade of Gaza’s land, air and sea dating back to 2007, many of Gaza’s inhabitants are dependent on foreign aid to survive.”
It is true that Israel blockades Gaza to stop them acquiring arms, and the tools and materials to manufacture rockets. However, Gaza borders not only Israel but also Egypt. Egypt imposes the same blockade on Gaza. Israel lets a constant stream of aid material into the strip.
The New York Times is an influential newspaper with a circulation of about 375,000. On May 28 the cover of the New York Times featured pictures of children that were killed in the Gaza conflict. The headline was “They Were Just Children”. The introductory text reads,
“At least 67 people under age 18 in Gaza and two in Israel were killed during this months conflict according to initial reports. They had wanted to be doctors, artists and leaders. Read their stories.”
How much information the New York Times had unearthed to report on their stories is doubtful. The third picture on the top row featured a picture of a little 6 year old girl. However, doing a search by image on Google of her returned results back in 2018 when she had apparently been killed also. The anonymous girl has been used countless times to falsely accuse Israel of killing children. Again one of the main sources for the article was the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. One of the “children” was a 17 year old fighter in the Hamas terror organization. Not readily apparent, but once again, a number of the victims were killed by Hamas terror rockets that did not make it. There is only one answer for such shoddy biased reporting and that is that it is not shoddy, but carefully crafted in a way to make Israel into the aggressor.
During the recent Gaza conflict there were demonstrations elsewhere in Israel in support of Gaza. Two Christians who do a podcast called the Joshua and Caleb report came across and documented a staged demonstration near the large Palestinian city of Nablus. There were a couple of Israeli soldiers quite far away casually watching, but otherwise there was no Israeli presence. Only a number of the press and many protesters throwing rocks at no one except an empty road. Yet there were constant “protesters” being taken away in Ambulances. The pictures from this staged protest are now available for sale on Getty Images, one of the largest suppliers of news images in the world. The Getty caption says,
“Palestinian protesters confront Israeli troops at the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus city in the occupied West Bank on May 18, 2021, during a demonstration in support of those under bombardment in Gaza.”
This is a total fraud. There were no Israeli troops being confronted. There were no Israel defence forces or riot police to hurt protesters, yet the “wounded” were being taken away in ambulances. The press knew this was the case, but reported a complete fraud.
At the root of this bias is a believe that the Palestinian Arabs have a moral right to the land of Israel. That justice is on their side. It is believed that the Jewish state is a result of “colonialism” and that the Jewish people have no right to the land. Any historical connection of the Jewish Hebrew people to the land is denied. This is in effect calling the God of Israel unjust, unjust for bringing the Jewish people back to their ancient land. This is the spirit will bring the nations to Armageddon.
The trending hashtag on social media during the conflict was #freepalestine. What this means as seen on placards at demonstrations all over the world, is to “free Palestine from the river to the sea”. This is a call for the total destruction of the state of Israel. It is in effect a call for another Holocaust of the Jewish people. It is the hashtag of Armageddon.
This has been David Billington with you for this week’s Bible in the News. Come back again next week God willing to www.bibleinthenews.com
Every generation has to undergo some turnovers on one or the other factor.
What is to considered to be normal at one time in another generation can be “not done”.
The last few years it seems like we are living in a society which wants to overcorrect itself. It wants to break with previous passages in history. In several countries suddenly a lot of words may not be used any more because they are considered wrong or unjust to certain groups of the population. Often then there are created new words to substitute the older word, but then they forget that happened in the past already with several words as well.
With the “Black Lives Matter” movement this seems to have arrived in a roller-coaster or rapids. It looks like when you do away with all monuments and all related words that part of history shall be made away with and forgotten. Instead of thinking about the value of keeping also the wrong things in memory.
Even the prestigious London university got caught in a row with some of its students who have repeatedly demanded leading philosophers, whose ideas have underpinned civilised society across the Western world. It might well be that a lot of philosophers their writings students may have to cover, come from Europe and as such from white people. Instead of studying the European Enlightenment figures, the students have insisted the majority of philosophers should be from Africa and Asia, and white thinkers only to be studied “if required”.
People often forget that they when being part of a certain culture should learn about their own culture first. If one wants to learn the other culture(s) it should also be possible but in another curriculum. It is wrong to exclude European thinkers, because they are part of our world mindset and provided the patrons with our wisdom, morals and ethics.
What we can see today is that lots of youngsters are trying to desacralise European thinkers, stopping them from being treated as unquestionable. We should not stop studying them, but should be able to look at them critically.
For sure, we may question what should be the place of European philosophy, and European philosophers, in an age of globalisation and of a shifting power balance from West to East, but we should recognise that they are essential to our insight in the construction of our society throughout the ages.
The argument for a more diverse curriculum seems reasonable, indeed unquestionable. After all, philosophers and thinkers come not just from Europe. There are great non-European intellectual traditions, a myriad philosophical schools from China, India, Africa and the Muslim world, many of which have shaped European philosophy as well. It would be good to see that there is made more place to look at the works of Mo Tzu, Zhu Xi, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Sina, Anton Wilhelm Amo, Frantz Fanon, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Feng Youlan, just to call a few.
It is wrong to think that all European philosophy would be tainted by racism and colonialism. Several people are now falling in the same trap as racists, suggesting that because one possesses a particular identity, so one’s ideas are necessarily distinct, and linked to that identity.
A philosopher is white so his or her ideas are contaminated.
John Locke is widely regarded as having provided the philosophical foundations of modern liberal conceptions of tolerance. Yet he was a shareholder in a slaving company.
Immanuel Kant, often seen as the greatest of Enlightenment philosophers, clung to a belief in a racial hierarchy, insisting that
‘Humanity is at its greatest perfection in the race of the whites’
‘the African and the Hindu appear to be incapable of moral maturity’.
Sian Hawthorne, convenor of the undergraduate course in ‘World Philosophies’, the only philosophy degree that SOAS provides, observes:
‘Enlightenment philosophers make arguments about knowledge and reason setting us free, and laud the values of liberty, at the very moment that colonial enterprises and the slave trade are expanding. Those very same arguments are summoned to justify Europe’s so-called civilizing mission and make claims about European superiority.’
Jonathan Israel, now Professor Emeritus of History at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton, lauds the Enlightenment as that transformative period when Europe shifted from being a culture
‘based on a largely shared core of faith, tradition and authority’
to one in which
‘everything, no matter how fundamental or deeply rooted, was questioned in the light of philosophical reason’.
Yet, Israel is also deeply critical. At the heart of his argument is the insistence that there were actually two Enlightenments. The mainstream Enlightenment of Locke, Voltaire, Kant and Hume is the one of which we know, and of which most historians have written. But it was the Radical Enlightenment, shaped by lesser-known figures such as d’Holbach, Diderot, Condorcet and, in particular, the Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, that provided the Enlightenment’s heart and soul.
The two Enlightenments, Israel suggests, divided on the question of whether reason reigned supreme in human affairs, as the Radicals insisted, or whether reason had to be limited by faith and tradition – the view of the mainstream. The mainstream’s intellectual timidity constrained its critique of old social forms and beliefs. By contrast, the Radical Enlightenment
‘rejected all compromise with the past and sought to sweep away existing structures entirely’.
Israel finds the argument that the ‘Enlightenment is racist’, coming from a one-eyed view, the selective picking and choosing of certain individuals and quotes.
Such critics see only the more conservative mainstream figures, such as Locke, Kant and Hume, and ignore the thinkers of the Radical Enlightenment,
an approach that Israel calls
The Radical Enlightenment, he observes,
‘was condemned by all European governments and by all churches, because in principle it insisted on the universal and equal rights of men and the full emancipation of the black population.’
Israel is sympathetic to the demand that university curricula be diversified.
‘There is a strong case for studying non-European traditions as an essential part of any philosophy teaching course.’
But, he points out, such a global view began in the Radical Enlightenment itself.
‘Many radical enlighteners believed their anti-Christian naturalism had powerful roots in medieval Islamic philosophy. They also had strong affinities with Chinese Confucianism. They were free of the Eurocentrism that marked the mainstream Enlightenment of Voltaire, Montesquieu, Hume and Smith.’
All human beings are created in the image of God. This makes that we are or should be, all accepting the other as being allowed to be here by God and to be co-images of God and ourselves.
The Divine Creator, Jehovah, the God above all gods, did not create more than one race. Of the kind that now usually walks on two legs, God created only one kind: a man taken from the red earth, hence his name “A·dham“.
Racism, implies that our Creator made more then one race of people. There is but one race the human race. Get use to it people and stop using the word Racism. One Blood, One People, One set of Parents, Adam and Eve.
He has good reason to call for stopping to divide people in races or a sort of brands. We all come from the same original human beings, who probably were not white at all. The first man and mannin Adam and Eve (Chavah or Isha) got children and their children got again children and in the end we come from those children their children.
William D Tillmansays
the majority of people have bought into the false construct of color/ethnicity equals – species (sic race). This is really a question of supremacy – white supremacy in particular. The dividing walls of “race” were erected to not only keep “the races pure” but to subjugate all to so-called white people. My real concern is how silent the church is on this.
“let no man think more highly of himself than he ought to think…”
is a principle that is espoused but today’s rhetoric indicates it’s one that rather needs to be lived. The statement,
“I don’t see race”
is another method to dismiss the systematic denigration and disenfanchisement of a whole sector of the population because it places the blame of perception of the suffering and relieves the “race-blind” of the guilt of apathy.
We always should remember we could be born in another region, another culture, or we could have been born with either lighter or darker skin, God chose what we are on the outside but the inside is the same. The inside is the most important factor of our being.
In the life and teaching of Jesus we nowhere can find that he had a particular predilection for a sort human being. The places he went to had Hebrew, Palestinian, Arab and other Eastern people walking around and also listening to him. Never gave he a sign to have a certain preference for or over one or the other person. In Jesus’ teaching is no such thing as racial preference. He teaches that all people are the same. Also for God everybody is equal and shall be equally judged.
President Trump, long a trafficker in anti-Semitic stereotypes, treated American Jews to a classic anti-Semitic canard Tuesday afternoon. When asked about two Congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who had been barred from Israel at Trump’s own behest, he broke out an oldie but a goodie from the closet of anti-Semitic tropes.
“Any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty,” President Trump told reporters.
Per Trump, Jews are and should be loyal to Israel rather the United States; to show their loyalty, they should vote for a Republican.
British author Thomas Suarez in his 2016 book, State of Terror: How Terrorism created modern Israel, has claimed that World Zionist movement lied about the true agenda of British notorious Belfour Declaration (1917), and used fellow Jews as canon-folder to achieve its dream of Greater Israel over not only historic Palestine but also parts of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.
“Much of the sufferings we witness today can be explained by, and connected to, this formative period covered thoroughly in this book,”
On December 21, 2016, Thomas Suarez delivered a speech (here, here) at British House of Lords at the invitation of Baroness Tonge.
“I thought I knew a fair bit about the Middle East after all the years I have been involved in its politics but this book came as an eye opener. I realized how ignorant I was, not of the events since the establishment of Israel but of the Jewish terror campaign that led up to it. Everyone who has ever accepted Israel’s own account of its history should read this book. It should change them forever,”
said Baroness Tonge.
“In this fresh and compelling new book, Suarez cut through the lies that shields Israel at America’s expense, exposing the reality of the conflict through simple act of documenting why a tolerant, multicultural Palestine became the battleground what it’s today,”
reacted Cynthia McKinney, six-term member of the United States House of Representatives, and 2008 Presidential candidate of the Green Party.
“Both before and after 1948, hundreds of thousands of people in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East became fair game for Zionist violence because they were Jewish, since Zionism depended not just on the transfer of non-Jewish Palestinians out of Palestine, but also on the transfer of Jews into Palestine. Anti-Jewish tactics included manipulating the Displaced Persons (DC) camps, thwarting safe haven opportunities in countries other than Palestine, kidnapping Jewish orphans, persuading Jewish children of non-Zionist Jews to betray their parents, and after 1948, destroying Jewish communities in North Africa and the Middle East through propaganda and false-flag ‘Arab’ terrorism — all to ship ‘ethnically correct’ people to Palestine in the service of the settler state.”
In November 2016, while speaking at the SOAS University, London, Thomas Suarez described the creation of Israel as a ‘racist’, ‘fascist’ endeavor, and linked the ‘cult’ of Zionism to the Nazis.
Zionist Jewish terrorists didn’t spare even their British benefactors. They kidnapped and murdered hundreds of British civil servants and soldiers in the British mandate Palestine before 1948.
Israel-born professor Ami Pedahzur (University of Texas) in 2009 book, Jewish Terrorism in Israel, is worth studying to understand Israeli addiction to murder of Palestinian civilians. Author claims that in the 20th century, to facilitate their escape from centuries-old antisemitism in Europe, European Jews committed acts of terror against British soldiers and Palestinian civilians. More recently, Yigal Amir, a member of Jewish terrorist cell, assassinated country’s prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, a terrorist himself in the past, to express his opposition to the so-called Oslo Peace Accords which benefits the Zionist entity the most.
On June 2, 1980, Jewish terrorists tried to kill three Palestinian mayors of West Bank cities. The cars of Karim Khalaf of Ramallah and Bassam Shakaa of Nablus were blown up by bombs hidden on them. Khalaf lost a foot and Shakaa both legs. A third bomb planted in the car of El Bireh Mayor Ibrahim Tawil was discovered before it could go off. The terrorists wreaked havoc among the Palestinian community for the next four years before they were arrested (here).
The “WEIRD-people” from the Weird world may have very weird ideas loving to belong to the Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic world but seem often to be blinded by their politicians, like the present presidents of the U.S.A., Turkey and Russia, who are of the same breed and love the tyranny of a dictatorship where they must play the lead, over a a group of people who are caught up in human doctrines of one of their religions, be it a very conservative form in Christendom, or in Islam, or in Russian Orthodoxy mixed with Stalinism.
We may be asked to calm down, but what happened to our family members, our teachers and friends in the 1930ies and 1940ies is clearly printed in our heads and here in Europe we see history repeating itself.
Our best hope should not be on that sort of community but should direct with open eyes for a better world where people of all sorts of culture, colour or race can live together in a global community of loving and sharing people.
We all have friends who believe things that seem crazy, but we don’t think our friends are crazy.
People adopt beliefs based on several factors. If those factors are different, then the people tend to adopt different beliefs.
Differences in factors as: region, economic class, ethnicity, social circles, information sources, + life experiences lead people to different beliefs.
differences show up mainly in emotion + intuition, which influence our political + moral judgments.
perhaps half of Americans accept utilitarian + universalist ideas, but also value loyalty, respect for authority, respect for the sacred, individual liberty, + support for the common good.
disagreements exist + also a few genuine crazies + haters: in a population of over 300 million, that’s inevitable.
Don’t let a tiny minority of crazies and haters blind you to the fact that most people want to be good and to do the right thing – even if their idea of “the right thing” sometimes clashes with ours.
Screaming at people, calling them names, and dismissing their concerns as unworthy of consideration => on-going conflict + social disintegration.
After a bitterly divisive election season, there’s one question on everyone’s mind:
“How can people possibly believe that?”
What “that” is depends on who’s doing the talking. It means one thing to Trump supporters, something else to Clinton supporters, and who knows what to third-party supporters.
We all have friends who believe things that seem crazy, but we don’t think our friends are crazy. So we’re completely baffled. Are the people who disagree with us ignorant? Stupid? Hyper-emotional? Or – this seems to be the favorite – are they just plain evil?
It’s usually none of those things. The true answer is simpler and more innocent.
People adopt beliefs based on several factors. If those factors are different, then the people tend to adopt different beliefs.
In 2016 America, those factors differ a lot – by region, economic class, ethnicity, social…
Whatdoes Donald Trump want for America? His supporters don’t know. His party doesn’t know. Even he doesn’t know.
If there is a political vision underlying Trumpism, however, the person to ask is not Trump. It’s his éminence grise, Stephen K. Bannon, the chief strategist of the Trump administration.
Bannon transcended his working-class Virginia roots with a stint in the Navy and a degree from Harvard Business School, followed by a career as a Goldman Sachs financier. He moved to Los Angeles to invest in media and entertainment for Goldman, before starting his own investment bank specializing in media. Through a combination of luck (a fallen-through deal left him with a stake in a hit show called Seinfeld) and a knack for voicing outrage, Bannon remade himself as a minor luminary within the far edge of right-wing politics, writing and directing a slew of increasingly conservative…
Views which do not fit the ideas of Bannon and his entourage are considered by them from the devil and seen as an attack on the liberty of religion, though it are they who want to muzzle those who have an other opinion than they, and are aiming at restrictions in freedom of thought, freedom of religion, and many other liberties our forefathers fought for.
enemy for Bannon = secularism = responsible for progressively diluting pure Christian ideals with all sorts of modern + postmodern ideologies
White House = Steve Bannon’s >Bannon world view > world is in the midst of an epic battle between good + evil,
force of pure good = Christian civilisation > Christian society = greatest civilisation known to man
At the time of Trump’s unexpected election victory, there was much speculation over who would really run the US Government, given the incoming President’s notorious lack of patience and attention to detail. Now that question has been answered: this White House is Steve Bannon’s.
The one element that unites every executive order and every speech the President has given since assuming office is theBannon world view. So if we are to understand the trajectory of this new American administration, we need to invest some time in trying to understand Bannon, his outlook, and where he plans to take us next.
Having studied radical Islamists for more than a decade, as I started to look into Bannon’s perspective and philosophies I started to…
In the United States we not only see that religious groups become endangered. Also the female person seems to be placed in a secondary role. We see the growing tendency by several American citizens to consider the female being as second-class citizen whose place belongs in the kitchen and by her kids. the woman according several man should be subject to a strict social hierarchy. This hierarchy can be observed in every stripe of fundamentalism, from Islamic fundamentalism to Christian fundamentalism and it goes like this:
God/Jesus is the head of the man
Man is the head of the woman, subject only to God
Woman is subjugated to a status which is wholly reliant on having “faith” that her husband will do the right thing because he is specially influenced by God by special decree of the Bible.
Fundamentalist website after website counsels women that if her husband does wrong that the only thing she can do is pray that God will guide him to a different decision, that she is not to disagree with him publicly (or in front of children). She is free (sometimes) to give an opinion, but the ultimate decision is the man’s, because he has special dispensation by God to be in that position. The equal status of women is a threat to this hierarchy, and thus, a threat to God.
According to several writers on the net there is “Anti-intellectualism” at the base of the extremist behaviour of so many evangelicals and for others it is a matter to have everything in control. In order of occupancy of the Oval Office, there is an inverse relationship between the number of Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist presidents of the United States and the percentage of each of those denominations in the broader population. As if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, there are no evangelicals among the current justices of the Supreme Court!
In fact, there aren’t even any Protestants these days!
Dakota O’Leary believes this is why America is seeing so many attacks on women, from trying to pass laws that undermine Roe v. Wade (personhood laws, restrictions on abortions, waiting periods, attempts to push laws to punish abortion doctors, restrictions on being able to get birth control, etc), to going to the trouble of redefining rape as being the woman’s fault, even part of God’s plan, while pushing to give rapists parental rights, to the unfortunate proclamations of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, et. The present president of America even boasted that girls love it to receive the male’s attention and being the prey man has to conquer. Nobody called yet to bring him before court for molesting women, though several women came forward with their story and some even with proof what this man had done to them in the past. To no avail…. He seems to be untouchable.
Many (conservative and evangelical) Americans are convinced that women dress in such a way they demand to be played at and to be raped and that babies born of rape are either a penalty for their attitude or are a blessing from God, (that the female body shuts down its reproductive system when a woman is being raped, etc.).
Controlling women’s bodies while at the same time denouncing “big government” is the popular meme of the fundamentalist mind. Women are simply not meant to destroy that Godly hierarchy set up by the Bible, and in their minds if you can control women, you’ve got half the populace conquered for God.
Fundamentalist anti-intellectualism often manifests itself in a sort of “pseudo-intellectualism” by which those with little or no educational background read a few articles or watch a few videos about a particular subject (usually published by their own religious compatriots, particularly about what a scientific theory is and evolution), and consider themselves “educated” because what they read agreed with their worldview, or, if being highly educated, usually get that education in a fundamentalist educational setting. They even go so far to say that scientists forge or falsify research to mislead pepole and to bring them away from God’s Word. They will then take that “evidence” and proceed to use it against empirical evidence that directly contests and even eviscerates the arguments they have carefully set up around what they have read or seen, and the argument invariably ends with ad hominem attacks against reason, facts, and education — because they have no actual evidence outside of the Bible to use to “win” the argument. A favourite tactic is to call the opposition an “atheist” (or a “liberal”) if someone disagrees with their worldview.
Richard John Santorum
By the extremist evangelicals we also may see that education is then “demonized” as being a covert movement to “indoctrinate” the masses in the secular worldview, and thus, part of the forces of Satan. The American attorney, author, and politician Santorum demonstrates this principle admirably. Although he himself is highly educated, with a bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and JD from Penn State, his Biblical worldview clearly trumps his empirical education and allows him to disregard it as a fly in the ointment in the “light of Biblical truth,” which is, of course, only empirical in that it is in print, in black and white, not empirical that it can actually be proven.
Faith is evidence enough, and reason becomes a threat to faith, thus, reason is from Satan, not God.
A good case in point is the persecution of Copernicus and Galileo by the Catholic Church, regarding the revolution of the Earth around the sun. This old argument, which has been proven in favor of Copernicus and Galileo, has arisen once again to haunt us.
According to a recent National Science Foundation survey, over twenty percent of the respondents believed in the geocentric model popular during the 1500s, that the sun revolves around the earth instead of the other way around. This is old, disproven thinking that comes from the idea that since humanity is God’s creation, naturally, everything revolves around humanity, with humanity at the centre of creation.
Humanity is thus, special. Anything that challenges the idea that humanity is special is thus a threat against God. After all, you can’t feel the earth move, so it must be stationary. You can’t see the stars move (well, you can with a telescope, something called parallax), but you can’t see it with the naked eye, so thus, the earth must be stationary with the sun moving around it.
This is an example of pseudo-intellectualism. You know what you see, but you don’t investigate to see if your assertions are valid under close scrutiny. Fundamentalists cannot afford to indulge in close scrutiny of their ideas, because close scrutiny would most certainly disprove most of what they believe, and they fear, more than anything else, of the erosion of their own faith.
Susan Jacoby, author of “The Age of American Unreason” and “Freethinkers” sums up the problem of fundamentalist anti-intellectualism succinctly:
This mindless tolerance, which places observable scientific facts, subject to proof, on the same level as unprovable supernatural fantasy, has played a major role in the resurgence of both anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism.
Copernicus and Galileo were persecuted by the Catholic Church for suggesting that humanity on earth was indeed not the centre of the universe. Copernicus did not suffer much persecution while he was alive, but after he was dead, his hypothesis that the earth revolved around the sun certainly did. Galileo dared to revive Copernicus’ idea, and packaged it in a mock debate between characters in a book he wrote called Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo) in 1632. The Catholic Church’s militaristic arm, the Inquisition, caught wind of what he had written, and banned his book, and placed Galileo under house arrest.
Now, the Catholic Church’s disagreement with Galileo and Copernicus did not make their ideas less true, which the idea certainly was, and revealed to be true through empirical scientific investigation over a period of years. Instead, the Church deflected the facts as “heresy,” which is something fundamentalists are particularly adept at doing. Ken Ham’s Creation Museum is a testament to this deflection of scientific facts as heresy.
By dismissing evolution as nothing more than a “theory,” (which goes to show pure, deliberate ignorance of what exactly a scientific theory is), we see again the application of the ad hominem attack Christian fundamentalists so love to employ when inconvenient facts get in the way.
Their view of a Christian nation is a very restricted view where there is only place for their Christian conservative doctrinal teachings and where there can only some place for other trinitarian christians as long as they do not go against their views.
Never mind they are not Constitutional scholars. The Constitutional scholars are a threat to them because even though scholars have differing opinions about interpretation of the Constitution, any opinion that differs from the fundamentalist worldview is a direct attack on God. Never mind that the fundamentalist that lives in the general population is not a scientist.
They know better, because the Australian Christian fundamentalist and young Earth creationist living in the United States, Ken Ham and the Bible tell them that there is No Way God would use evolution to create (even though the Bible says nothing on the subject of evolution)
The Bible is black and white. God created the world as it is now in six days, and rested on the seventh.
You will rarely see a fundamentalist in a secular college or university because secular universities and colleges do not agree with their worldview (logically). This is why for the most part they are homeschooled, and go straight from homeschool to fundamentalist universities that teach their worldview.By presenting homeschooling by the parents themselves, who did not receive any educational formation to be a teacher, the kids are squeezed the truth and deprived of sound formation. Opportunities to go to a proper high school or to a good university is taken away. For such children is there only an opening to universities and colleges churned out fundamentalists who are schooled in law, but only an interpretation of law that fits their Biblical worldview. Lawyers or judges who disagree with them, particularly in Supreme Court cases are dismissed ad hominem as “activist lawyers” and “activist judges” (i.e. enemies of God).
This lack of empirical education is changing American society into one that has eroded science education, particularly with their attempts to force the school voucher issue, which is nothing but a bid to get taxpayers to fund fundamentalist education, yet they object to taxpayer funded public education because “secularism” is persecuting them for their beliefs by simply disagreeing with them (because again, nothing they believe is based on empirical evidence).
The lack of empirical education is eroding American society in favour of a “faith based” education that has nothing whatsoever to do with facts that threaten their worldview. Liberty is something they interpret as the freedom to live in a society based solely on their Biblical worldview and does not at all give any liberty to free expression or freedom of thought. Freedom of religion for others in an inclusive society is anathema to them, because such freedom threatens to sideline them to the fringes. Individual liberty does not exist except for them, because they have an inherent distrust of the individual to make reasonable decisions, unless those decisions are based on their interpretation of Scripture. Thus, mainstream Christians are not their brethren; mainstream Christians are simply misinformed individuals who have deluded themselves into believing they are of the family of Christ, and only the clear lens of fundamentalism can see that mainstream Christians have been deceived by the enemy of God which is secular society. In this lies a big problem. They think they have to spread their ‘true religion’ all over the world and consider themselves as the chosen people of God and therefore they also consider themselves as the connected with the Zionists aiming to have peace in the Middle East. Though they do forget that by their refusal to see and understand that Jesus was not his real name, but that is was Jeshua and that he spoke Aramaic and as such used the word “Allah” for “God” plus that in the present day still millions of pepole use that word “Allah” which disgusts those American fundamentalists. And by their action against that word they bring resentment in several believers their heart. Their action against the use of non-english words for “God” gives not only peevishness, but lets many wonder if they belong to the right Christian religion of worse should not become a worshipper of the Only One true God and have to become Jew or Muslim and leave the Christian Trinity doctrine aside. A pity not more by those extremist Christians offended Christians go looking for an alternative Christianity where there is praised the God of Jeshua (Jesus Christ (Allah, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah) and where they still can use their Catholic or protestant Bibles with that word “Allah” in it when it talks about The God.
The extremist fundamentalist Christians say their sole aim is to “obey” God in creating conditions favourable to the return of Christ – and this one thought, this one design drives American foreign policy with Israel (they believe that when the Jews all return to Israel and the 3rd temple is rebuilt that Christ will return, (but not without sacrificing 2/3 of the Jewish people in the process), then all the remaining Jews will become Christians.
American fundamentalists are only interested in Jewish people and Israel insofar as it furthers the return of Jesus Christ. That is all.
Dakota O’Leary is convinced that because fundamentalists are engaged in the idea that they are warriors in a fight for God, (something Christian fundamentalists hold in common with Islamic fundamentalists), and says
Aimed at conservative Christians, the game’s story line begins in a time after the “rapture”, when fundamentalist dogma contends that Christians will go to heaven. The remaining population on earth must then choose between surrendering to or resisting “the Antichrist”, which the game describes as the “Global Community Peacekeepers” whose objective is the imposition of “one-world government”.
“Part of the object is to kill or convert the opposing forces,”
This is “antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said, adding that he was dismayed by the concept in “Eternal Forces” of using prayer to restore a player’s “spirit points” after killing the enemy.
In the game, combatants on one side pause for prayer, intoning, “Praise the Lord”. A player can lose points for “unnecessary killing” but regain them through prayer.
But Simpson counters,
“The idea that you could pray, and the deleterious effects of one’s foul deeds would simply be wiped away, is a horrible thing to be teaching Christian young people here at Christmas time.”
Troy Lyndon, CEO of Left Behind Games Inc., which is promoting the new video, has defended the game as “inspirational entertainment” and said its critics were exaggerating. The game is based on the popular “Left Behind” novels, a Bible-based end-of-the-world-saga that has sold more than 63 million copies.
Dakota O’Leary reacts
Now, while this is a disturbing element, and the Left Behind books have genocidal scenes that seem to justify killing masses of unbelievers because they are incorrigible (not ever going to convert to the fundamentalist mindset), it should be reiterated that fundamentalists are not yet at the point in the US where they want to kill people, so let us not be alarmist. However, that being said, the way some fundamentalists are choosing to portray institutional racism and genocide (as punishment for sin and disbelief) to school age children is disturbing, and it is the belief of this scholar that the elements for radical action portrayed in the video game are there – but would need utter desperation in order to explode into being. It is the opinion of this writer that fundamentalists are not yet this desperate, but attempts to normalize killing for God are disturbing, to say the least. The Guardian had this to say about the subject in May of 2012:
The story of the Amalekites has been used to justify genocide throughout the ages. According to Pennsylvania State University Professor Philip Jenkins, a contributing editor for the American Conservative, the Puritans used this passage when they wanted to get rid of the Native American tribes. Catholics used it against Protestants, Protestants against Catholics.
“In Rwanda in 1994, Hutu preachers invoked King Saul’s memory to justify the total slaughter of their Tutsi neighbors,”
writes Jenkins in his 2011 book, Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses (HarperCollins).
In the fall of 2012, more than 100,000 American public school children, ranging in age from four to 12, were scheduled to receive instruction in the lessons of Saul and the Amalekites in the comfort of their own public school classrooms. The instruction, which features in the second week of a weekly “Bible study” course, came from the Good News Club, an after-school program sponsored by a group called the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). The aim of the CEF is to convert young children to a fundamentalist form of the Christian faith and recruit their peers to the club.
There are now over 3,200 clubs in public elementary schools, up more than sevenfold since the 2001 supreme court decision, Good News Club v Milford Central School, effectively required schools to include such clubs in their after-school programing.
The CEF has been teaching the story of the Amalekites at least since 1973. In its earlier curriculum materials, CEF was euphemistic about the bloodshed, saying simply that “the Amalekites were completely defeated.” In the most recent version of the curriculum, however, the group is quite eager to drive the message home to its elementary school students. The first thing the curriculum makes clear is that if God gives instructions to kill a group of people, you must kill every last one:
You are to go and completely destroy the Amalekites (AM-uh-leck-ites) – people, animals, every living thing. Nothing shall be left.
“That was pretty clear, wasn’t it?” the manual tells the teachers to say to the kids.
Even more important, the Good News Club wants the children to know, the Amalakites were targeted for destruction on account of their religion, or lack of it. The instruction manual reads:
The Amalekites had heard about Israel’s true and living God many years before, but they refused to believe in him. The Amalekites refused to believe in God and God had promised punishment.
The instruction manual goes on to champion obedience in all things. In fact, pretty much every lesson that the Good News Club gives involves reminding children that they must, at all costs, obey. If God tells you to kill nonbelievers, he really wants you to kill them all. No questions asked, no exceptions allowed.
Dakota O’Leary writes
Educating Christian fundamentalists simply doesn’t work. They do not accept any education that is in direct conflict with their worldview. What remains is to educate the rest of the American populace about Christian fundamentalism and dominionism, educating the American populace about the David Bartons of the world, so that when elections occur, an educated populace can reject the infiltration of fundamentalism on the rest of American society, which will, given the right opportunity (usually in a climate of fear like 9/11), erode American democracy entirely and push our nation into the fringes of the world into irrelevance.
Every American should know that Anti-intellectualism – as advocated by large and vocal elements within the Republican Party is dangerous to the future of their nation. but they also should know that those fundamentalist Christians threaten world peace, by their continuous actions against Muslims and against people who use the word “Allah”.
For the future of the States there is also the education danger, by having the students not to see how the world evolves and how everything is related with each other. Students who are protected from “globalist” views and real science will not grow up to be leaders. If the Americans themselves do not take care of providing a sound education to their children and to give them an understanding of other peoples and other languages they shall have to face a downfall of their nation.
Dakota O’Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week.
Dakota O’Leary agrees that America has an infection. We would even say a serious problem, which did not become a lesser problem with the new president. Though that 45th president of the U.S.A. may have Jewish family, he has a racist tendency on some strange and dangerous facets, which seemed to be very much liked by neo-Nazis and extreme right Christian fundamentalists.
From certain reactions on our writings and on what we came to see in certain articles talking about Christian faith and Muslim faith we only can come to the conclusion that there are many extreme conservative and right-wing Christians blogging. A big problem with them is that they do not seem to want to listen or to accept certain things, like matters of language. For example not willing to come to understand that “Allah” is a word which is used in many languages to denote “God“. As such there are many Catholic and protestant Bibles with that word in their printed editions, but those Americans refusing to see that and to see that “Allah” is not a false god but the God of Abraham and the God of many Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Some American writers see in that attitude of their compatriots the lack of their education and give the impression we should feel sorry for them. But than you could wonder why they not adjust their thinking when others do not mind to spend time to react to their wrong ideas and want to give them more correct information. Dakota O’Leary thinks such conservative Christians are infected with the consequence of anti-intellectualism, a steadfast refusal to acknowledge that one’s worldview is mutable, a worldview in which facts are only facts if they fit that worldview, and that anyone who disagrees with a Christian fundamentalist worldview is an “enemy” of God.
The infection has taken hold in conservative politics, where it has spread to a significant portion of the American population, and even into a significant amount of the Canadian population. Though the Religious Right lost some ground in 2000 and in 2008 the Time Magazine dared to declare “The Religious Right’s Era Is Over,” having the Republican party platform containing only two references to God and reaffirming its past positions on issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage and gays in the military but not expanding on them. Four years later the party’s platform contained again more references to God (10) and 19 references to faith, but also the first reference to a “war on religion.”Because at that time it really seemed that certain American citizens had declared a war on religion. The first and worst victim of that war were the Muslims and the second victim the true followers of Jesus, who do not worship their Trinity. Clearly we in Europe saw their battle against president Obama, some even claiming he would be a Muslim, and their battle against anything which had a social flavour, loathing it as ‘communist’. Normally one would expect from a good Christian that he is willing to share with others and to help those in need, but the American Christians with a big mouth are not at all prepared to share anything from their wealth with the needy or to contribute to a healthcare system when they are in good health.
Citing what it calls the Obama administration’s
“attempt to compel faith-related institutions, as well as believing individuals, to contravene their deeply held religious, moral, or ethical beliefs regarding health services, traditional marriage, or abortion,”
the platform accused “liberal elites” of trying to
“drive religious beliefs — and religious believers — out of the public square.”
From many writings on several blogs we in Europe could only conclude that several Tea-party members and extreme conservative Christians, mostly Creationists, wanted to gag the more liberal or freethinking Christian authors.
I don’t believe for a moment that this hysterical voice [Christian fundamentalism] that screeches in America’s political sphere is the authentic voice of religion in America. Most religious Americans want to mix it up at lunch! They want to make friends across party lines, and they want to help people who are less fortunate. A survey by the Public Religious Research Institute, released on 24 October, reveals that 60% of Catholics believe the Church should place a greater emphasis on social justice issues and their obligation to the poor, even if that means focusing less on culture war issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Earlier this year, in response to the Ryan budget, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops joined other Christian leaders in insisting that a “circle of protection” be drawn around “essential programs that serve poor and vulnerable people”.
So why is it that the so-called “values voters” are urged to vote against the politician who supports choice, not the politician who wants to shred that “circle of protection” for the poor and vulnerable? Why is it that when politicians want to demonstrate just how religiously righteous they are, they talk about banning same-sex marriage and making contraceptives hard to get, instead of showing what they have done to protect the weak?
There is an obvious answer, and it is, in a sense, staring you in the face every time you watch a political debate or read about the latest antics of Focus on the Family and the AFA. The kind of religion that succeeds in politics tends to focus on the divisive element of religion. If you want to use religion to advance a partisan political agenda, the main objective you use it for is to divide people between us and them, between the in-group and the out-group, the believers and the infidels.
The result is a reduction of religion to a small handful of wedge issues. According to the religious leaders and policy organizations urging Americans to vote with their “Biblical values”, to be Christian now means to support one or, at most, a small handful of policy positions. And it means voting for the Republican party.
Dakota O’Leary says
Christian fundamentalists are not to be confused with mainstream evangelical Christians.
and he might be right because it seems to apply mainly on principally North American evangelicals. But we must be aware their language or their voice is spreading as a virus, and could come to infect several European, African and Asiatic evangelical and Pentecostal churches, coming to brew mischief between all the denominations who have people who in their language have “Allah” for the English word “God”. They also stir up trouble in regions where there are many Muslims who than find a stick to throw at the Christians. It gives than reason for Muslims to get on the wrong side because it makes it clear that Christians would prefer to worship an other God than the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus and his disciples. In Christendom and in Christianity there is already the problem that those words gets mixed up and that the majority of people who call themselves Christian worship three gods instead of the One God, like real Christians worship the God of Abraham, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah Who is Only One. But those real Christians also come into problems by those extremist Christians who claim they are worshipping Satan or Baal, and as such give every Muslim reason to believe so.
One good thing about is is that several trinitarian Christians are noticing to Whom Jesus prayed (“Allah” Jehovah God) and that they are seeing that the doctrine of the Trinity is a false human doctrine. Bad thing or a regrettable matter caused by those North American writers is that they are pushing away many Christians in the hands of Muslims teachers so that they become Islamic converts, instead of coming to non-trinitarian Christian groups which there is choice enough here in our regions. We encountered already many previous Catholics who now became Muslim and to whom we try to show that Jesus is the way to God and that real Christianity is the following of Jesus as the son of God and not as a god son.
Not only on the level of loosing Catholic and protestant believers to the Muslim Faith because of those Christian fundamentalists we also see that the position of our teachers and preachers gets undermined. The symptoms of the infection of anti-intellectualism brings an erosion on education, not only in the States but also in the Old World. Escalating attacks on teachers as bad citizens, teachers’ unions as greedy “takers”, the evolution vs. creationism debate, resistance to stem cell research (or any kind of scientific research that conflicts with their Biblical worldview), fundamentalist emphasis on voucher system to create taxpayer funded fundamentalist schools, fear of a changing, increasingly pluralistic society (the current face of which is the extraordinary power fundamentalists give to the LGBT community as the force eroding American morality and bringing down the entire nation), and a negative economy which is generating public support by those who consider themselves members of the Religious Right by demonizing public education as a “liberal conspiracy” to take their children away from God. Many who see how those extremist want to have their will also on educational matters, prohibiting children to learn about the normal evolution in this world and coming to accept that dinosaurs really existed and that our world still evolves, makes many now wanting to be part of a religion that prohibits to see the reality of our world.
Calling anything that disagrees with a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible a product of Satanic manipulation makes many religious people to doubt their faith and to abandon it.
Today we also might find an oversimplification by the idea that there is a clear right and wrong (based on Biblical laws, or cherry-picked verses), the universe is either moral or immoral, and that so-called “assaults” on religious “freedom” of fundamentalists signify an invisible war between the forces of God (or “good”) and the forces of Satan (or “evil”).
American essayist and Federalist politician of the 1790s who was an archopponent of Jeffersonian democracy Fisher Ames.
According to the North American extremists there may not be such thing as Religious Freedom or Freedom of belief, because every one all over the world has to come to speak English and using their words and terms on all levels and should come to believe that what they believe. Lots of Americans do forget many of their ancestors just left the Old Word to get more freedom. They also seem to have forgotten that the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was signed January 16, 1786, and is commemorated each year on National Religious Freedom Day. Thomas Jefferson’s landmark statute became the basis for Congressman Fisher Ames’ establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Consitution.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
Today the majority of North Americans seem to want against that idea and do not want to leave other people enter their nation and want to make sure no person shall have an other faith than they.
Those who want prayers being said in class should remember that all religious people should be respected and in such instance should have prayers according to their faith too. If they want certain specific prayers being said they should do that in their own private schools, like Catholic Schools, Anglican Schools, Presbyterian, Evangelical etc religious schools, like there should also to be the freedom to have a Muslim or a Hindu school. But the State School should be open to everybody, allowing people to wear their own religious symbols, be it a little cross, a fish, a Davidstar, a yarmulka or other head covering. Each government all over the world should take care that every person can feel himself or herself happy in an environment where there is no discrimination for skin-colour or religious affection.
Some Americans do forget that they want to limit freedom of speech and freedom of religion by demanding to have only their religion presented in public schools.
Breitbart News’s Senior Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour goes so far to say taht
“The symbols and celebration of Christmas have shaped our history [and] Western Civilization,
having so called christians to think that she noted Christianity’s “transformative” impact on the old pagan world and the culture of Germanic barbarian warrior tribes, forgetting Christmas is totally a presentation of all the pagan elements, and is even an abomination in the eyes of God.
Christianity and broader Judeo-Christian values, suggested both Bannon and Mansour, reinforce Western Civilization’s sense of purpose in the face of internal and external threats.