A Spot at the Kotel Won’t Save Us: A Crisis in American Judaism

Like there are many denominations in Christendom as well in Christianity, man’s world got also so many different divisions in the Judaic world as well people who call themselves Jewish, meaning the race but not being religious and acting against Torah, outsiders should recognise that difference between secular, Zionist-, devout and less devout religious Jews and fundamentalist Jews.

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To remember

  1. In August 2017:  eyes of liberal American Jewish world were fixed on the Kotel.
    leaders of the Conservative, Reform + Reconstructionist movements banded together to demand a mixed-gender space at the Western Wall > clear pushback against  institutional power of ultra-Orthodoxy in Israel.
  2. prominent liberal American Jews threatened to boycott Netanyahu’s government over its refusal to recognize the liberal diaspora.
  3. liberal American Jewish world remains more divided than ever
  4. more American Jews publicly opposing Israel’s occupation of West Bank + Gaza.
  5. masses of Jews are embracing intermarriage + abandoning Israel = death-knell of Jewish peoplehood in America = threaten to dissolve the very ties that make a Jew a Jew.
  6. massive drop-off in support for Israel among American Jewish college students
  7. J.J. Goldberg laments
    “strange metamorphosis of the Jewish spirit over the past century, from hopeful optimism in the face of great suffering to bitterness and suspicion amid plenty…[if], for a half-century after 1917, the dominant mood among Jews in America and Israel alike was one of optimism…in the half-century since 1967, the mood has been increasingly gloomy and cynical.”
  8. Am. Jewry in transition towards a future where communal identity will not be defined by support for Israel, nor will it rest primarily upon markers of blood > decades-long fixation on Israel + endogamy sapped American Jewish identity of the vitality and dynamism it needs to survive.
  9. For too long, mainstream Jewish America turned dictum of Rabbi Hillel on its head
  10. beginning to shake loose inherited normative frameworks +evolve in exciting new directions => New American Jewish identity
  11. Jewish college students supporting BDS + identifying as anti- or non-Zionist.
  12. IfNotNow + Open Hillel publicly + proudly oppose Israel’s occupation as Jews.
  13. Mirroring trends across the Jewish world, many from mixed families + having non-Jewish partners <= no less Jewish than predecessors = product of American Jewish assimilation

Doikayt

(originally published in Tikkun)

“Remember the days of the world; understand the years of each generation” (Devarim, 32:7)

“…that [we] may turn the heart of the fathers back through the children, and the heart of the children back through their fathers” (Malachi, 3:24)

Last month, the eyes of the liberal American Jewish world were fixed on the Kotel. In a rare display of unity and resolve, leaders of the Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements banded together to demand a mixed-gender space at the Western Wall, in a clear pushback against the institutional power of ultra-Orthodoxy in Israel. So deep were we stung by this bitter betrayal, that for the first time in living memory, prominent liberal American Jews even threatened to boycott Netanyahu’s government over its refusal to recognize the liberal diaspora.

And yet, even as we are united in condemnation of ultra-Orthodox fundamentalism, the liberal American Jewish world…

View original post 4,472 more words

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Grootste misverstand over de islam

In de Volkskrant kwam de Iraans/Amerikaanse Reza Aslan aan het woord. Hij kreeg grote bekendheid in 2013 toen hij op Fox News geïnterviewd werd over zijn bestseller De zeloot – Het leven van Jezus van Nazareth en de geboorte van een religie. Presentator Lauren Green vroeg zich af waarom Aslan, een moslim, in hemelsnaam een boek zou schrijven over Jezus. Hij legde uit dat hij een godsdienstwetenschapper is en gespecialiseerd in het Nieuwe Testament, en dat hij toevalligerwijs ook moslim is. Maar de Fox-presentator was nog steeds niet tevreden:

‘Maar waarom zou u geïnteresseerd zijn in de grondlegger van het christendom?’

‘Omdat dit mijn werk is’,

reageerde Aslan verbaasd terwijl hij zijn handen op zijn borst klemde, alsof er sprake was van een pijnlijk misverstand.

Indien er een atheïst een boek over Jezus of over God zou geschreven hebben zou niemand er van opkijken, maar een moslim blijkt toch iets heel anders te zijn.

Na dat interview schoot Aslans populariteit omhoog en belandde hij in het centrum van het Amerikaanse islamdebat. Hij werd de knuffelmoslim van Amerika.

Aslan kijkt naar onze wereld en stelt:

‘Er bestaat het idee dat de beleving van de islam op de een of andere manier fundamenteel anders zou zijn dan de beleving van het christen– of jodendom. Dat is niet alleen het grootste misverstand over de islam, maar ook de bron van islamofobie, zowel aan de linker- als de rechterkant van het spectrum. De islam wordt behandeld alsof die uniek is, niet divers en eclectisch, alsof deze religie niet onderhevig is aan verandering en ontwikkeling. Alsof de islam niet bestaat uit duizend variëteiten.

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Vindt ook:

  1. Godsdienstwetenschapper: “Religie is geen keuze, geloof is een keuze”
  2. Mensen zijn gewelddadig niet religies
  3. Gelijk gelovenden
  4. Lees meer in de Volkskrant: Religie is geen keuze, geloof is een keuze

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Gerelateerd

  1. Nieuwkomers, nieuwelingen, immigranten, allochtonen en import
  2. Is Islamfobie uitgevonden door fundamentalistische regimes
  3. De massale immigratie in West-Europa onder de vlag van de Islam gaat steeds meer aanleiding geven tot een etnische burgeroorlog!
  4. Islam is bezig Europa veroveren met “Al–Hijra” migratie(“stealth jihad”)!
  5. Links neo- Marxisten willen zo snel mogelijk een Islam staat van Europa maken
  6. De stand na vijf dagen
  7. ‘I Could No Longer Live According to the Principle of ‘Schein und Sein’ – Pretending to be a Muslim and Free as well’
  8. Reza Aslan
  9. “Fresh Bread” Book Discussions
  10. Review: Zealot. The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth – Reza Aslan
  11. A Life of Pretending: Being Egyptian and Atheist
  12. God-Reza Aslan
  13. God: A Human History, by Reza Aslan
  14. God: A Human History, by Reza Aslan (All American)
  15. God by Reza Aslan
  16. “God: A Human History” by Reza Aslan (Buried Bibliophile)
  17. “You Are God.” – A Review of God: A Human History by Reza Aslan
  18. Reza Aslan’s new book, in which he becomes a pantheist
  19. Sam Harris versus Reza Aslan
  20. Garry Wills whitewashes the Qur’an
  21. Fired CNN host Reza Aslan: “It’s time to treat Donald Trump as an enemy of the state” | Salon.com
  22. Religionship
  23. A “Dear Reza” note from a Bangladeshi woman

Why are we surprised when Buddhists are violent?

Dan Arnold & Alicia Turner, New York Times, 5 March 2018

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The Nya Thar Lyaung reclining Buddha is an important religious site in the Bago region of Myanmar. Credit, Frank Bienewald/LightRocket, via Getty Images

While history suggests it is naïve to be surprised that Buddhists are as capable of inhuman cruelty as anyone else, such astonishment is nevertheless widespread — a fact that partly reflects the distinctive history of modern Buddhism. By ‘modern Buddhism,’ we mean not simply Buddhism as it happens to exist in the contemporary world but rather the distinctive new form of Buddhism that emerged in the 19th and 20th centuries. In this period, Buddhist religious leaders, often living under colonial rule in the historically Buddhist countries of Asia, together with Western enthusiasts who eagerly sought their teachings, collectively produced a newly ecumenical form of Buddhism — one that often indifferently drew from the various Buddhist traditions of countries like China, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Japan and Thailand.

This modern form of Buddhism is distinguished by a novel emphasis on meditation and by a corresponding disregard for rituals, relics, rebirth all the other peculiarly ‘religious’ dimensions of history’s many Buddhist traditions. The widespread embrace of modern Buddhism is reflected in familiar statements insisting that Buddhism is not a religion at all but rather (take your pick) a ‘way of life,’ a ‘philosophy’ or (reflecting recent enthusiasm for all things cognitive-scientific) a ‘mind science.’

Buddhism, in such a view, is not exemplified by practices like Japanese funerary rites, Thai amulet-worship or Tibetan oracular rituals but by the blandly nonreligious mindfulness meditation now becoming more ubiquitous even than yoga. To the extent that such deracinated expressions of Buddhist ideas are accepted as defining what Buddhism is, it can indeed be surprising to learn that the world’s Buddhists have, both in past and present, engaged in violence and destruction.

There is, however, no shortage of historical examples of violence in Buddhist societies. Sri Lanka’s long and tragic civil war (1983-2009), for example, involved a great deal of specifically Buddhist nationalism on the part of a Sinhalese majority resentful of the presence of Tamil Hindus in what the former took to be the last bastion of true Buddhism (the ‘island of dharma’). Political violence in modern Thailand, too, has often been inflected by Buddhist involvement, and there is a growing body of scholarly literature on the martial complicity of Buddhist institutions in World War II-era Japanese nationalism. Even the history of the Dalai Lama’s own sect of Tibetan Buddhism includes events like the razing of rival monasteries, and recent decades have seen a controversy centering on a wrathful protector deity believed by some of the Dalai Lama’s fellow religionists to heap destruction on the false teachers of rival sects.

Read the full article in the New York Times.

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Related

  1. Is the Buddha really a Warmonger?….
  2. Hardline Buddhist Clergyman Released After Serving Time For Inciting Unrest
  3. Sri Lanka declares state of emergency after Buddhist-Muslim clash
  4. Sri Lanka declares state of emergency after Buddhist-Muslim clash
  5. Moral quandary in Myanmar studies: Looking at the Rohingya crisis as an outsider
  6. State of emergency declared in Sri Lanka after Buddhist-Muslim clash
  7. Sri Lanka lifts nationwide state of emergency
  8. 3Novices:Ultra-nationalist Myanmar Buddhist monk freed from prison
  9. Buddhist nationalism burns as Pope visits Myanmar

Karen Langton on “What makes a good Biblical Scholar or Theologian?”

Always be willing to see your own weaknesses and strengths and know when to seek help.

Always be willing, hoping, to have your argument proved false, but don’t give up.

Reconsider, redesign, and rediscover.

~Karen Langton, Postgraduate Researcher, University of Birmingham

These are the alarming parallels between the views of Steve Bannon and those held by Islamist jihadis

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.

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To remember

  • 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

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Preceding

Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #1

Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #2

The Muslim Times

The enemy for Bannon is secularism. This, he believes, is responsible for progressively diluting pure Christian ideals with all sorts of modern and postmodern ideologies

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…

View original post 135 more words

Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #2

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.

Rick Santorum by Gage Skidmore 12.jpg

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.

In 1982, forty-four per cent of Americans held strictly creationist views, a statistically insignificant difference from 2012. Furthermore, the percentage of Americans that believe in biological evolution has only increased by four percentage points over the last twenty years.

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.

The fundamentalists of today are a hardy lot, and they will use anything to win this battle for God — the Bible, which is the ultimate authority, the Constitution, revisionist science textbooks, and revisionist American history (a la David Barton) that “proves” America was a nation founded to be their brand of a “Christian nation.”

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).

Jerry Falwell Jr. has ambitious plans to affect life, law and culture in America, and it’s all being germinated at Liberty University, the fundamentalist bastion his father founded. (Source: Americans United)

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

they have the sort of mindset that if it came to it (which it has not yet, I do not think), they would not afraid to die for their faith. Proof of this idea was given a disturbing form by a video game “Left Behind: Eternal Forces,” which advocates killing anyone who doesn’t agree with them (i.e. can’t be converted to their idea of Christ):

Katherine Stewart writes

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,”

Simpson said.

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.

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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.

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Preceding

Act of Faith held on February 6, 1481

American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder

Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #1

Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism

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Additional reading

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. Migrants to the West #1
  3. Migrants to the West #2
  4. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  5. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
  6. A last note concerning civil rights
  7. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  8. Religious Practices around the world
  9. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World
  10. 60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century
  11. You might be an extrimist if …
  12. Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians
  13. Liberal and evangelical Christians
  14. Christians fail there where Muslims succeed
  15. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  16. Back from gone #4 Your inner feelings and actions
  17. Full text of Pope Francis’ Interview with ‘La Vanguardia’
  18. Consequences of Breivik’s mass murder
  19. A New Reformation
  20. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  21. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  22. Catherine Ashton on the EU annual report on human rights
  23. Where is the USA wanting to go with the freedom of their people

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Further related

  1. On Biblical inerrancy and the priorities of fundamentalists
  2. Are there dividing lines between Mainline and Evangelical?
  3. How America’s Endless Civil War Between Protestant Sects Is at the Heart of American Identity
  4. Where Is Reality, as Fundamentalist Christians Think They Are More Discriminated Against Than Muslims?
  5. Christian, Jewish and Muslim Fundamentalists Agree that Natural Disasters Are God’s Revenge on the Modern World
  6. MainlineDecline, Decline-Talk, and Decline-ism — Sightings (Martin Marty)
  7. Sorry LGBTQ People and Fertile American Women
  8. Hate speech is acceptable in Trump’s America – as long as it comes from Christian fundamentalists
  9. Are Christian Fundamentalists Driving Our Country into the Dark Ages?
  10. Christian fundamentalists are driving our country into the Dark Ages…
  11. More about Christian Nationalism and President Donald J. Trump
  12. Hate speech is acceptable in Trump’s America – as long as it comes from Christian fundamentalists
  13. Trump is not a nativist
  14. Party Like It’s Armageddon?!
  15. Chris Hedges: Home Grown Hatred–Anger and Alienation in the US (2009)
  16. Christopher Hitchens and Michael Parenti Debate: Iraq and the Future of US Foreign Policy (2005)
  17. Betsy DeVos and The Christian Right’s “Big Ideas”
  18. Abby Martin and Chris Hedges: Donald Trump and Christianized Fascism
  19. These are the alarming parallels between the views of Steve Bannon and those held by Islamist jihadis
  20. Adsorbing/Deflecting a curse
  21. Satan Sprinkles A Few More Stegosaurus Bones Across Nation To Test Christians’ Faith
  22. The Handmaid’s Tale – An American Dystopia?
  23. Typical Examples of Christian Fundamentalist and Conservative Evangelical Hate Mail
  24. The Evangelical Identity Crisis
  25. Jordan Peterson – Atheist Researchers vs Christian Fundamentalists

Christian fundamentalists feeding Into the Toxic Partisanship and driving countries into the Dark Ages… #1

At The Mendocino Humanist – Cheerfully Contrary there is an article which required our attention but can not reblogged, like the original article at Church and State from 2013 by Dakota O’Leary , which on its turn a review of the article by Katherine Stewart in the Guardian entitled “How Christian Fundamentalism Feeds Into the Toxic Partisanship of US Politics,”

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.

ipg1That refusal to understand or to know that the English word “God” means “Allah” in many other languages gets such articles as “Muslims bow and worship allah / satan Everyday!!” or often repeated and reblogged (a.o.) Muslims bow and worship allah / satan Everyday!!, , Blasphemy!! Florida City Council Meeting Opens with a satanic prayer to satan and allah!!, Ungodly!! House of Representatives allows the sworn enemy of America to pray to allah-satan Baal on the House floor!!, with people not listening to others who dare to react to such stupid indications. They forget that such articles not only set bad blood by Muslims but also by devout Christians and by Jews who dare to speak out a tittle, because “God” or “Allah” is a title and not a name. But many American writings in the ‘Bloggosphere’ have authors who even do not seem to know the difference between a name and a tittle.

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.

In Katherine Stewart’s article in the Guardian entitled “How Christian Fundamentalism Feeds Into the Toxic Partisanship of US Politics,” Stewart notes:

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”).

Ames, Fisher

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.

The migration of tens of millions of Muslims to Europe in recent decades, said Bannon, is an existential threat to Europe and modern iteration of aforementioned civilization conflict between Western and Islamic societies: “The entire situation with this mass migration and refugee situation, which is really, there is no doubt, is starting to destroy Europe.” {Judeo-Christian Values essential to Victory of Western Civilization vs. Islamic Invasion of Europe}

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Preceding

American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder

Governments need to be more proactive to ensure racism is kept in check

Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms

You are what you wear

Allowing dress code according liberty of religion

Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”

A British judge rules that mother can’t indoctrinate son with religion

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Additional reading

    1. Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians
    2. You might be an extrimist if …
    3. Religious Practices around the world
    4. Religious Freedom in a Multicultural World
    5. Christians acting towards filmbusiness
    6. Being Charlie 8
    7. Coming closer to the end of 2015 and the end for Donald Trump as presidential candidate
    8. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
    9. >The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
    10. Silence, devotion, Salafists, quietists, weaponry, bombings, books, writers and terrorists
    11. Preventing conflicts and war
    12. Don’t be Muslim
    13. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
    14. Where is the USA wanting to go with the freedom of their people
    15. Migrants to the West #2
    16. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
    17. Who is a Jew?
    18. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
    19. Being in isolation #1 Baptists making an important choice
    20. Couple Ordered to Stop Holding Bible Study at Home Without Permit
    21. Cambodia: A land where the Gospel is taking root
    22. Lack of religious freedom South Sudan
    23. People of Faith for Obama video
    24. Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised
    25. 34th World Congress of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF)
    26. ank” rel=”bookmark noopener”>Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
    27. 60 years after creation of European Economic Community, Europeans skeptical about one of their biggest achievements this century

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Further related

  1. Religious Freedom
  2. [Review] Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future, by Donald R. Prothero
  3. Christian values; Porn stars and religious freedoms
  4. Violent extremists up to interpretation by homeland security chairman Mike McCaul
  5. The argument for deluded losers
  6. Great Thor they are at it again. They seem unable to understand secular country and religious freedom for religion and from theirs. Hugs
  7. On religious freedom
  8. Where Does It End???
  9. Catholic radio priest admits “250 popes were wrong about union of church and state and religious intolerance”
  10. Submission: Religious Freedom
  11. January 16, 2018 – National nothing-day – national without a scalpel day – national fig Newton-day -national religious freedom dayAttorney General Jeff Sessions scores 8 out of 20 on Religious Freedom
  12. Religious Freedom in an Emergency Department
  13. Is the Separation of Church and State Even Possible?
  14. Freedom from Religion coalition warns Colorado school that evangelical program could have “legal ramifications”
  15. Julian Mann: Make no mistake. This Ofsted plan is a threat to religious freedom. — Conservative Home
  16. Clergy uphold full “religious freedom” at Bethesda abortion clinic
  17. First Amendment Issues: Islamic Prayer Allowed in Schools, but War against Christianity
  18. Radical Muslims, Environmentalists, and the Green Jihad