Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms

Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms

1. Clarification

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We love to clarify some expressions and make it clear what our thoughts are on the present subject of the Clinton-Trump matter.
It looks like the article A Progressive Call to Arms made some Hillary Clinton fans angry taking we are attacking her and in favour of Donald Trump. The other way round we also had reactions from people who found we attacked Donald Trump and where in favour of Hillary Clinton, gay marriages, paedophile acts, free sex, abortion a.o..

As editor of this site I noticed that out of the very good founded negative reactions, there where also ones where the accuser could not see the difference between what our writer wrote and what the writer of the reblog article wrote.

2. Ways of reaction

First of all, please do know that all who want to react on an article may do that straight onto the particular article and do not have to use the personal e-mail addresses of the authors of this site. All reactions shall be published as long as no abusive language is used, and for this above mentioned publication some heated minds used not such nice words, not to be presented in public. F- words and swearing can be censured and replaced by dots ….., but we would prefer not to have such words being used.

Normally we also do not like it when replies are given anonymously, and if so we shall answer them if we have the impression it is not spam or phishing. For those who become marked as Spam by the WordPress Spamfilter Askimet we do not bother to reply.

3. Concerning opinions of us and of the writers of the original blog article being reblogged by us

Please do find some words here to bring clarity on some reactions to us as well as on the article A Progressive Call to Arms presented.

On November 11 “No” reacted on the site of The independent thinker’s article A Progressive Call to Arms which seem some others might think the same of us.

You preach about love and acceptance, but you gloat about how happy you are that people who voted for Hillary are crying and upset about this election.

As editor of this site I noticed that out of the very good founded negative reactions, there where also ones where the accuser could not see the difference between what our writer wrote and what the writer of the reblog article wrote. Please always keep in mind that when we reblog an article and present the short overview of it, it does no have to offer our view, or we do not have to agree with everything what is written in the reblogged article.

4. Concerning the given links to other articles

We also want to make it clear that only the heading “Additional Reading” presents articles of which we mostly totally agree with, but when they have reblogs in it, the same applies like in this sites opinion, to present a view from someone else who does not have to have totally the same views as us.

Under the heading “Further related articles”, as the title indicates, we do want to give our readers a list of some interesting literature around the spoken off subject. Though that list may have contradicting articles in it. Because we do prefer to bring an objective overview of what is thought about the subject.

To be as objective as possible for all discussions we want to present different opinions. We do believe objectivity for selecting the articles is a necessity also to keep credibility and not to come over as biassed and brainwashing.

5. Our or/and my personal opinion

Hillary Rodham Clinton, January 2007

Hillary Rodham Clinton, January 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is not because we do not like it that Donald Trump became president-elect that we would not present articles in favour of him. From my point of view he can well be a very dangerous candidate, or not the one who would be stabilising the country, but more the opposite, could bring more division in the United states of America, what the heated debates already proof. For those who follow my personal blog (or My space) and “Our World” it is also no secret I admire the work Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and if they would have read my opinions on different matters they also could know that Bernie Sanders would be some one whom I wanted in the running for president. Others break me off being a communist, though I would say to them I am more an Utopist who can live with social democrats.

6. Attacked from four sites

Funny though that, from the two sites we got criticism hating the particular person (Clinton and Trump) and people calling us names because we would be for abortion and other things they are against (homos). On the other hand we also got reactions from transgender who were not pleased with certain links we placed.
We understand that these might be people who are worried about their loved ones, worried about the future of their families, and their healthcare, and the state of their country. They also seem to give the impression to be worried about their rights, but then we do wonder if they are also worried about the rights of others. That is one facet we want to come up for, for all people their rights. Good people but also bad people have their rights … also criminals do have their rights (many seem to forget that, or not want to give them rights). But in the heated debate about the controversy around Trump-Clinton many seem to considers other citizens as criminals though they are not.

A lot of people also want to see the world in black and white and do forget that there are shades of grey. In a way have received remarks from the different camps to be in favour of the other camp might proof we were not so bad with our remarks, being somewhere in the middle, showing different aspects of one or the other group which should be under consideration.

7. LGBT, Transgender people versus Eunuchs and Androgynous persons and sexism

Violet Velvet has good reason to be upset with some writings in the articles we presented in our selection on the reblog A Progressive Call to Arms. Certainly when she looks at an article of Florence Selvan, who lives in Bangalore, India, who claims to like woman as a beautiful creation of God.

Though this Florece Selvan, writing “Perceptions” under Flo Sel on WordPress, when she writes over transgenders does have a weird look on such other creations of God. Where did she get it from to speak about eunuchs and having it about transgender people as if they are both the same, plus writing it in a very negative way?

The Kızlar Ağası, head of the black eunuchs of the Ottoman Imperial Harem. The title literally means “Chief of the Girls”.

Violet Velvet and others may not forget that though in their region there may not exist eunuchs any more, they still exist in the world. Though Florence Selvan and others should also know that transgenderism has nothing to do with eunuchs as such (except when you limit it to the idea of a man who has had his sexual organs removed, what some might do) or people taken away (like a castrate) deprived or losing the testes or external genitals, having made incapable of reproducing his species..

In this time and age people have to come aware that “Transgender persons” may include transsexuals, transgenderists (in one usage of the term, persons who gender-identify with the opposite sex but who choose not to undergo sex-reassignment surgery or hormone treatments), and androgynes (biologically or psychologically androgynous persons), among other groups. In its broader sense, transgender is closely related to the more-recent term genderqueer, which is self-applied by persons who are either transgender or who have no gender, a third (neither male nor female) gender, or a fluctuating gender, but which is a term which I would not prefer to use because they are not “queer“, though some of them might be eccentric, or unconventional. They might be odd in the eyes of many but have not to be unbalanced mentally and they too should have the right to live in our society.

LGBT publications, pride parades, and related events, such as this stage at Bologna Pride 2008 in Italy, increasingly drop the LGBT initialism instead of regularly adding new letters, and dealing with issues of placement of those letters within the new title.

Sel Flo wrote pehaps with good intention, under the heading “love Others”

There’s so much more to learn about eunuchs and LGBT, but for now, I choose not to ignore them but be nice to them whenever I get to see them and make them know their life is respected and valuable. {Love others – Transgenders}

but does not comprehends what a transgender really is and what such a person often has to endure. The same with several people in the United States being against those male and female people who find that they are not sitting in the right corps, and want to change that situation, transferring their (sexual) outlook. Though people who are feeling offended by her article should not take it so personal and perhaps better try to give that writer a better insight in transgenderism.

“No” in his/her reaction may think we are not in the knowledge

They’re worried about whether or not they could possibly be deported, or that they may die without access to health insurance. People who are afraid because of the racism and violence surrounding them, about what might happen to their children.

and asks

Are you pleased and proud when you read news stories today about little girls getting their pussies grabbed in school? People scrawling racist messages on people’s lockers in school, on the outside of buildings? Children being told by other children that now they’re going to “go back where they came from”? This is what makes you happy? This has made you smile for the last three days? Really?

By placing the link to the reblogged article and to the one on transgenders we did not want to hurt people, though we might have stepped on many toes (hence the name of this site).

The unknown reactor (who reacted on The independent thinker 2016 a progressive call to arms under the name “No”) like others who accused us for agreeing with the awful actions of Mr. Trump, should know that we detest such sexism from any person and do not find it acceptable in our civilised world. (In case they would have read our other articles that sexist attitude was one of the elements we put in the spotlight as one of the reasons not to vote for Trump.)

LGBT flagWe are totally against the sexist attitude to value one or an other person of one or another sex as less valuable. But as such we also demand people to accept people who changed their sex or who have same sex relationships, as long as they do not harm others with it. We also complained that too many American voters seem to think that all homophiles or male gay are paedophiles, and that certain people think or find it justified that males in higher functions just can do whatever they like with people from the other sex. Those Americans who think transgender are people who have a psychosexual disorder which creates for them  an obsession with children as sex objects and would have them to overt acts, including taking sexual explicit photographs, molesting children, and exposing one’s genitalia to children, have really no idea what transgenderism is and should be educated to understand such people.

Many also seem to overlook that those now having come in charge already passed laws making it legal for businesses to discriminate against members of the LBGT+ community and that Mike Pence passed laws discriminating against a woman’s right to choose.

8. More than one community targetted

Black Lives Matter die-in protesting alleged police brutality in Saint Paul, Minnesota, September 20, 2015

We also may not forget that Donald Trump has not limited his hate-speech to members of just one community. People may not think we would also be blind for several crimes done by people from the black community. We can understand the ex-schoolmaster who wrote

The problem is that certain segments of our society are in denial about some of the crimes committed in our country. For example, the Black Lives Matter supporters blame the police for the killing of a few black people some of whom had criminal records.  But they ignore the fact that the greatest killers of black people are other black people. In Chicago, the murder rate of black on black is greater than the casualties we suffered in Afghanistan. So why doesn’t the Black Lives Matter supporters focus on the greatest killer of young black men? {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

kkkThough since Trump was chosen the extreme right parties and the KKK think they have again ground to stand up and to bring actions against coloured people. Just a few of the spate of racial incidents are given in the article The Great Divide Widens.

Even when there may have been blacks who voted for Trump they are warned that their votes do not matter. When in schools youngsters may find again on the toilet doors “Whites only,” “White America” and “Trump”, plus see everywhere slogans who should remind people to whom America (so called) belongs “#Go back to Africa” and “Make America great again,” the whole world should look in agony to that state which calls itself a free country. And for American Christians it should be reason enough to ring the alarm bell.

9. Rage against Jews, Marxists and communists

Camden41, the retired public school administrator who wrote

The inference here is the Nazis Party coming for the Socialists, etc. Well the word Nazis is an abbreviation for Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei.  The translation is National Socialist German Workers Party. Notice the second word is Socialist and the forth word is Workers. If you read about Germany from 1917 to 1920 there were a host of new political parties competing for power in German. Street battles were fought between competing left wing groups and between competing left and right wing groups. In 1919 two Jewish Marxists, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, tried to overthrow the Weimar Government through violent revolution. It was brutally suppressed and Luxemburg and Liebknecht were executed. Because of this event and others, Hitler as a World War I soldier considered Marxists, Communists and Jews to be traitors.  This is what fueled his rage against them. {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

He should know that the ideology of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP, the political party of the mass movement known as National Socialism was “own people first” and that their hate for Jews did not arose from the attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic. The leadership of Adolf Hitler, brought a totalitarian regime in Germany in 1933 and its methods brought not only Europe but the whole world in turmoil until 1945 and even several years after World war II.

Some of us having remembrances of those years and we having been imprinted very much by our family how such attitude of mind could bring terror on a whole society, even having had family members also been victims of the camps, do know what agony such attitude of a dictator and of a swept away people can mean.

That we compare what is happening in America to that person is because we have felt it ourselves what happened so many years ago and saw how many people were blind or did not want to see it what was going on or what was going to happen.

The hate for the Jews had much deeper roots and in a bad economical situation in many countries those masters in finances always have been the easy target, because they mostly seemed to have it better than the poor locals.

Bijbelvorsers writing

In Europe we have seen the vitriol and hate spreading of Donald Trump and how he created division. As such we can understand people over there now are afraid of violence under a Trump presidency. {A Progressive Call to Arms}

is a general impression of many Europeans, but got the American reaction

What nonsense! You are either a victim of propaganda or ignorant of what is happening in this nation. {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

It can well be w e do not know enough what is happening in the United States, but than that would come of not enough information or the wrong information reaching us. He writes

We have had a crime wave from illegal immigrants.  Murders, rapes, etc. in such numbers that many Americans voted for Trump to stop the violence and return our nation to law and order. Fueling the crimes are the drugs flowing over our unprotected open southern border.  Are you not aware that our Border Patrol police fully supported Trump?  Are you not aware that police forces throughout the US supported Trump?  Are you not aware that over 200 generals and admirals supported Trump? {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

In case, like you say and like we know that many from the police-force voted for Trump, it also can mean that the U.S. of A. has become a police state, which should have us worrying as well.

That

Only the ignorant would associate the KKK with the Republicans. It was also Eisenhower, a Republican President, who used the law to enforce the integration of schools in the 1950s. {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

is not taking into account, or even ignoring, that the weapon lobby and several racist groups and Neo-nazis as well as the Ku Klux Klan gave money to support the Republican Party candidate. In case police, other armed forces and KKK where so eager to vote for Trump that does tell a lot to us about the agenda of Trump in which those people could find themselves. for us in Europe even a more clear signal that we do have to be very careful about that person who became president elect recently.

10. Winners and losers

Obama-Biden Transition

Obama-Biden Transition (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We accept that the American people have chosen and for a system (Electoral college) and for a person who by them could be nominated to be the next president of the United States of America. that we call all Americans to their senses and to respect the outcome of the voting, not going on the streets to fight for it, does not mean we agree how everything worked out or that we would stand behind one or the other without seriously taking into account what they want to accomplish and even more important How they want to accomplish something.

For the ones, like “No” who think we do not realize that the States has come into a difficult situation whereby many people are not just upset because their candidate lost, they should know we are very aware that their fear might be very legitimate and real. (They also should now that Trump never has been our candidate to become the president of such International important state.)

No writes

Most of these people just wanted to live in a place where they didn’t have to worry about being assaulted for their religion, or race, or gender. They do not deserve this condescension and smug attitude.

But than he totally goes wrong saying

They do not deserve to see people like yourself bragging about how they had this coming to them because they voted for Hillary, and this is their punishment.

We advised people not voting for Trump and if No would have read our material much better he would have seen that after Bernie Sanders was out we also advised his voters And republicans to go for the safety of the country and as such to voter for Hillary Clinton.

Many of these people, like myself, were Bernie supporters, trying to stop what they thought might be the end of their civil rights. They wanted to do the right thing. They wanted to see this country united in love, not in hate.

It makes me sick to see posts like your most recent one, gloating about people being upset with the election results. Have some empathy. Have some compassion for these people. They voted for a candidate that you didn’t like, but now many of them are suffering the consequences of seeing millions of racists emboldened because their candidate won. This is what you want? This fills you with joy?

For the record, as said above we have nothing at all against Hillary Clinton nor Bernie Sanders (we like him very much), and for the Republican lovers we have nothing against several party members and even could have found Carlson a good candidate.

But to say that those who vote for Hillary Clinton would be helping her with her criminal activities {Hillary is the only candidate with this record…} is to take short views. And to say because we advised to vote for the Democratic Party’s candidate Clinton does not mean we do not like many of Bernie Sanders his iedeas, which are more in line with my political thinking.

11. Time for additional parties in the United States of America

We are aware of the diversity within the Republic Party, also in the Democratic Party. We even would find it much better that several who are now still belonging to those parties would go out of those parties and create some new parties to give a better balance in the American politics, offering so much more choices for people to vote for, and having a better representation of the diversity in the population.

Do not think we are not aware of some other parties in the U.S.A. The liberals and Green party being the more usable acceptable political parties, but we also have seen the guy with his cowboy hat defending all the weapon carrying, and then also some girl (of which I forgot the parties name) who did not seem to live in a realistic political world. But please enlighten us and give an overview of all the political parities on which the American population can vote for a president, and tell us how the ones who have not enough money would be able ever to go for president candidate.

The retired public school administrator and history professor who taught Western Civilization, American Civil War, United States History, Economic History, Ancient & Medieval Foundations, American History Since 1945, commented

I can supply a list of people of different minorities who are Republicans and Republican supporters.  Also are you aware that Elbert Guillory who is a Louisiana State African-American politician switched from being a Democrat to a Republican two years ago?  When he was asked why he switched, he said, “I was tired of the same old false promises of helping my constituents by the Democrats.  My constituents are worse off today than 50 years ago.  The only thing the Democrats have done is given us a government plantation.”) {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

It is also known and shown to Europeans that many Democrats after so many generations and years being for the one group went to the other camp wearing the Trump gadgets, proud to go for change. But is it not that many citizens just had to switch from the Democratic party to the Republicans because there was no other valuable alternative.

The U.S.A. like Great-Britain shall have to come to learn that countries in the present time may better be governed by more than two political parties. A legislative power vested in both the government and a chamber of parliament, Senate and a Chamber of Representatives, having a variety of parties making coalitions.

12. Workforce and Feeling for others

Camden 41 asks us

If Trump is so much a bigot why does he have so many minorities working for him even in executive positions {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

In the lower echelons he used lots of people, he wants now to put out of the country, because they were cheap labour for him and he knew they would not protest, because then they would be nowhere. For the executive positions it would not surprise us that Mr. Trumps shall use any body as long as he or she is usable for him. It looks a person who is willing to go over corpses to get his goal. In the end it shall be a person who shall not show any compassion for anybody. At his campaign he showed already how he could make use of people and how he could abandon them.

For those who called us names and did find we do not have compassion for people, we want to assure them we just feel for others and try to have empathy with many.

If you truly cared about love and acceptance, and were a compassionate person, you would feel a sadness for these people, not happiness at their despair. {wrote No}

We are not at all

gleeful about the outcome of this election. {No}

Though No’s reaction may not be directed to us, but more to the writer of the reblogged article, I found it important to react to some of his words, because our readers coming to the reblogged article and coming to read further, should know clearly where we stand in all this, and what our opinion is.

13. Not spreading hate nor killing

We do not want spreading hate, but would like to shed light on the circumstances we all have to face. Only by open debate, willingness to listen to all parties involved, analysing all things said, and having the will to understand the way of thinking of the other, willing to show empathy, we shall be able to come to know more, to enrich one another and to come to live together in peace.

Not only racism is ingrained in several societies, also prejudice or partiality and short-sightedness create a lot of unnecessary problems in many countries and many societies. Everywhere people should come to understand that liberty and freedom can only be fully existing there where people are willing to respect the freedom and choices of others.

Progressives and Hillary supporters are hypocrites!  On the one hand they say kill fully formed babies but spare murders the death penalty.  They also support sparing animals from being killed for furs but kill babies. {A Progressive Anti-Trump View Point With My Rebuttal}

We, like many other Clinton supporters never said to kill fully formed babies. We are even not for abortion, but do defend those who would like to undergo an abortion.

In reaction to Make Religious Freedom Great Again I also expressed my self for myself and for my Christian community, saying that in a democracy, those who believe in the Most High Divine Creator should have full respect for their Maker as well as for the one God Who allows to be in charge of the nation.

Like Jesus taught his followers to have respect for the Caesar and the system which was ruling over them, we too should be humble and accept the vote of the majority. We also should know that real believers in God are the minority and that those who are children of God would have to follow their heart but also have to protect and come up for the weaker ones and for those who are at the marginal site of the society (tramps, transgender, psychopaths, criminals, the ill and poor). As Christians, i.e. following Jesus Christ we may not exclude any one, even not our worst enemy. For all people around us we should have an open hand, an open heart and a listening ear. For all around us we should be prepared to help and to be ready to come to be there for them.

Papapound and others, may think I would be ‘for’ abortion; Not at all.

We are against any necessary killing, be it plants, animals or people.

I am against abortion. But I do know that in certain cases choices can be made which we would not prefer. We always have to take into account the circumstances a person came into such situation, she has to make such a difficult choice … because do know often it is not such an easy choice. When a person is a victim of rape, who are we to going to decide that woman does not want any remembrance of her rapist facing her every day of her further life?
I know she could have taken the ‘morning after pill’, but that is by many also already considered ‘abortion’ or something ‘not to be done’. I my self would not like to see some needing or willing to take such a drug. Also a a contraceptive women do not have to use chemical medical drugs, but can use other preservatives or methods for not becoming pregnant (e.g. temperature methods). But in a society where there should be freedom of thought I should respect the choice of the other person. I have no right to decide over the body and/or mind of others. As such it is also not to me to judge those who are born in a body and afterwards do feel like it is not their body nor their personality. What right do have hetero’s to cast away gay, transgender and other people who are not like them and whom they often may not like?

The person going to lead the country should be there for all sorts of peoples and all sorts of men and women living in his nation. He should be the protective ‘father’ of all in the nation.

If a boy feels he is really a girl, wants to be recognised as a woman and finds in the medical world the solution to help him to get a body that feels like ‘her’, who I am or any body else, to forbid such a choice? The same for a girl who has the feeling she is a male being and wants to take part in the male activities as an equal?

God has given man talents and the medical profession is one of the higher goods God provided for man. In case the medical world can bring solutions for people who are not feeling right in their skin, why should they not have the free choice to get what they want with and for their body and mind?
Also those, who have part of their body male and part of it female, why should they stay excluded from a normal life in our present society? I do agree two centuries ago those people could only survive by acting in circuses and to be a rarity on fairs. Did we not come more civilised?
Have we no better feelings for such people who are confined in a tortured body and soul?

For homosexuals, transgender and other people, they should be able to go to places for care where there is no objection to their choice of being or against their longings, like having children and caring for a family. Many Christians in America seem to have lots of difficulties with that. Perhaps they better ask themselves what would Jesus do and what would Jesus expect me to do?

14. Political correctness and free choice

I am against a state pampering and overruling everything and everybody. Also the ‘overcorrection’ and absurdities like not allowing schools to use the word ‘mother’, ‘mom’, ‘mams’, dad’, papa’ is just absurd, the same as those who do not want that we use the word “zwarte piet” (black Pete) and may not have those helpers of Saint Nicolas have black painted faces.

But I also disagree with the state ruling that Catholic or Protestant hospitals have to do things against their faith. If people want to have something done to them of which we religious people would not agree to, they should have the right to go to other places where such things can be done to them. But for general state hospitals everybody from whatever religion or class should be helped in the way that person would love to be helped, and as such when an abortion is required in that state hospital or in any neutral clinic such people should receive help in this difficult matter.

The same for the uniforms in schools. I totally disagree with states who (like the Belgian government) forbid in state schools that children wear any religious symbol. That goes in against the freedom of choice and against the respect of man himself and of his religious choice. In a state or provincial school each pupil should be free to wear any religious symbol, be it a cross, a fish, a David star, a yarmulke, a headscarf, a long dress, cloths which cover arms and legs, decent shorts or trousers. But when a Muslim wants to go to a Christian school he or she can not complain about the uniform he or she has to wear and has to go swimming with both sexes in the same swimming pool (though I can accept they can demand separate clothing rooms for male and females). It is their free choice to go to whatever denominational or non-denominational school. When somebody goes to a Bible-school he or she can not complain that before classes start there is been read from the Bible and been said prayers and that even at times they have it about a three-headed god. Those who only want to worship The Only One True God (like me) should make their choice in such a way that the children are brought up in a Christian, Jewish or Islam way, respecting that Oneness of God.

Having religious/and/or ethic or liberal education an obligated subject, all schools in Belgium are obligated to offer 5 main religious denominations plus ethics or morals. I do know in the United States of America they still do not have such a provision, mainly because conservative Christians would be against such a system, but also one may find such education is not at all the task of the governement and that should be something each individual family should have to decide for themselves. But then this would create that children do not know about the other religions. Like in our country all children have to learn about the other religions and about the other philosophies, as such avoiding that the citizens would grow up with wrong ideas about the other religion, something which we can clearly see in the United states. In the U.S.A. lots of Americans have a totally wrong concept of the other Christian denominations and, even worse, about the other religious groups, in particular the Islam. Because in the States at school nobody was obliged to read the Bible nor the Quran they can not openly properly discuss with each other and see where certain groups claim things which are not written in those holy Scriptures.

15. Freedom and Knowledge safeguard for the future

Featured Image -- 7136Only knowledge can safeguard the future of a state and not like we can see the bad evolution now of many states (even the Belgian state) trying to keep their youngsters dumb and not thinking for themselves. A really dangerous evolution. (As a teacher I myself had the last ten years of my career, to lower the level of the courses each subsequent year and had to see the degradation of the bachelor, Licences and Masters degrees, not only until I retired, but saw it continuing and schools aiming for better evaluation marks and more people coming out with so called high cyphers but less knowledge.)

The freedom spoken off in the constitution of France, America and some other countries based on the French revolution was made to guarantee each individual’s freedom. Each citizen of a state should have the right to make his or her own choices concerning the own body and concerning himself or herself. If we want to belief in One True God, that should be our right. If we want to worship that Maker of the Universe, that should be our right. But others who want to worship a tri-une god, trees, planets or do find such things rubbish should have the right to worship those or not to worship anything.

Also for what people want to eat, all should have the freedom to eat and drink whatever they want, like for all things, as long they do not hinder other persons with it. If you want to eat pork meat or blood, that is your full right, but if a Jew, Christian, or Muslim does not want to eat pork that should be his or her right too, and nobody may force him or her to do so. The same for people like me, who prefer to eat more vegetables and prefer to eat natural non-tampered foods, we should have the right and the possibility to have vegetarian or vegan or kosher or halal meals. Also me not wanting to eat blood or having contributed blood, should be in the liberty not to have a blood-transfusion.

It looks like such allowances to others seems to be something very difficult to cope with by North Americans. When I hear certain Christians talk about the amendments and their freedom, they often only think about their own denomination and their own particular choices. A great example is the use of weapons. How can it be that a Christian would carry or would use weapons and even teach their children to use guns? Though those so called Christians living in the United states of America call it their inexorable law.

16. Right to kill or to wear weapons

The papist and editor of the WordPress blog The Good News in the reactions on his article Make Religious Freedom Great Again writes

“Carrying” a gun is NOT the issue in America. Of course hunting is not the issue. If caught killing in wanton waste, there are high fines. If it continues, you go to jail. We have laws for all your concerns. Not sure where you are getting your data on gun use and waste in America. {comment on the carrying of guns}

America has a different cultural heritage and Constitution than other cultures. I don’t believe that there is no hunting in Belgium. There is lots of hunting in America. Hunting is a big sport. That is the main purpose for the love of guns. Also it puts meat on the table (I eat meat–I used to be a vegetarian). Are guns used irresponsibly–every day. I put that mostly to lack of guidance from elders and the welfare state. {Good news now WordPress 2016/11/11/ Make religious freedom great again/#comment-3443}

In Belgium, like in other countries in Europe we do have hunting under strict laws, but that does not comprehend having people carrying weapons just like that or for their own defence.

In Belgium people also do eat meat of untamed animals or venison, brought on the table because there where hunters killing those animals. But those in charge of the hunt have to go through a selection and have to pass the exams for hunting. But when they are Christians they too should keep in mind what God expects from us how to treat the things we want to eat. We may not kill animals nor plants just for pleasure and may not waste food, as such only do it out of necessity and for necessity (e.g. keeping a balance).

But such weapon-carrying should never be for carrying it as a defence weapon or to use against human beings, and that is what many Christian Americans learn. In Europe we have seen lots of examples where the target when practising is a figure of a human being. We also hear enough of innocent killings in schools, because youngsters could have access easily to such deathly tools.

Christians always should promote life and should be ready for those who have problems concerning life matters. Anti-conception is also part of such life matters, to avoid worse decisions. Every civilised country should make it that there should be no reason to discuss abortion. The same every country should protect its citizens that no accidents or no crimes can be done by dangerous tools, like all sorts of guns.

Why should a citizens being able to buy war guns, or even pistols (which are not much use for hunting I think), but also why would people have to be allowed to wear certain knifes when they are not working on the field or in the wild or on hunt?
Certain knifes can well be accepted in certain occasions but not in others, the same for certain rifles.

But as Christians we should not carry guns at all. Even if you want to eat wild flesh, the hunting can be done by others, let them do it. Plants, animals, human beings are all creatures of God we should respect. We may not tamper with our food and may not spill or kill living things unnecessary or for fun.

All those American Christians should remember that

“Freedom means not limiting the freedom of others”

and that they themselves should also always keep to the teachings they so call promote. So often we hear Americans shouting to “Love the Lord” and saying that they are Christian and that others should become Christians.  As such they and we, as Christians, should promote Life (and not death by the use of weapons or by medical tools) and should promote peace and respectfulness for all around us, even when they are not of the same opinion like us.

17. Conclusion

calltoarms7All are welcome to react on certain situations and certain sayings. Such reactions should always happen in a civilised way. What we see and hear happening in the United States of America, protestors not happy that Trump became the president elect, protesting in a violent way never can receive our approval. But certain sayings and action of that political figure who in the coming four years has to lead an enormous nation can’t receive our approbation either. Also us giving our fiat for one way of thinking does not have to mean we exclude all other ways of thinking of the counterpart.

Life is never build up on only two colours black and white. Luckily there may be lots of variations in shades and in colours but also in opinions. Having different opinions on different subjects can only enrich our society and make us to think continuously about those matters discussed. Together we all should construct a society where as many people as possible can live in peace.

People need to find ways to live with each other in a situation that can be pleasant for all parties involved. They should look for ways to be united, not divided.

I thank all people who took the time to read this article and who are willing to take time to read our other articles. I am also very grateful for those readers like papapound and camden41 who were willing to spend time in reading our material and to comment on it, at their own sites (though pity Camden 41 did not make our replies public on his site).

Marcus  Ampe
Founder and editor of Stepping Toes and From Guestwriters

Peace Love Write

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Preceding articles

Islamophobia Must be Fought and Defeated

Stand Up

God Isn’t a Republican

American Christianity no longer resembles its Founder

A Progressive Call to Arms

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Additional articles

  1. Mass Media’s Deception Causing Division
  2. American Senate ignoring many voices and tears of their own people
  3. The twist of politics and expression
  4. Where is the USA wanting to go with the freedom of their people
  5. Walls,colours, multiculturalism, money to flow, Carson, Trump and consorts
  6. Coming closer to the end of 2015 and the end for Donald Trump as presidential candidate
  7. Looking at an American nightmare
  8. Fearmongering succeeded and got the bugaboo a victory
  9. Blinded crying blue murder having being made afraid by a bugaboo
  10. Some quotes Americans should remember when going to the ballot office
  11. When so desperate to hold onto power
  12. The clean sweeper of the whole caboodle
  13. A strong and wise fighter who keeps believing in America
  14. Brexit No. 2 Blow-up
  15. Voted against their system
  16. Nigel Farage called Donald Trump’s victory ‘bigger than Brexit’
  17. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  18. About lions and babies
  19. Youngsters, parents and the search to root in life
  20. Westboro Baptist Church and Catholic Truth against Nelson Mandela
  21. Always a choice
  22. Human relations 2013
  23. 2014 Culture
  24. 2014 Human Rights
  25. 2015 Human rights
  26. From Guestwriters 2015 in review
  27. Same sex realtionships and Open attitude mirroring Jesus
  28. Tony Campolo Calls for Full Inclusion of LGBT Into the Church
  29. Cincinnati outlaws quoting the Bible
  30. Study says highlighting gender leads to stereotypes
  31. Roman Catholic Church in the United States of America at war
  32. The Catholic synod on the family and abortion
  33. Two synods and life in the church community
  34. Need to Embrace People Where They Are
  35. Belonging to or being judged by
  36. Trump et al.— The Global Storm
  37. A strong and wise fighter who keeps believing in America

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  6. America’s #1 Thug Said WHAT???
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  8. A Liar in the Oval Office Could Threaten the World’s Order
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  13. Donald Trump meeting with old nemesis Nikki Haley about cabinet positions
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  36. Baptized Out Of Tradition
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  38. We Need to Be United, Not Divided
  39. California Teachers Offered “Anti-Hate, Trump Teaching Plan” To “Empower Students”
  40. On gestures, meaningless and otherwise
  41. Gender Roles and Binaries in Julianna Baggott’s Pure (Deanne B. and Laura M.)
  42. It is vital we talk about the welfare of trans kids
  43. Week One in Trump’s America
  44. #NotMyPresident
  45. The Curse of the Alpha Female
  46. Donald Trump Tells Supporters to Stop Hate Crimes: Don’t Give Him Any Credit
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An anarchistic reading of the Bible—(1) Approaching the Bible

As human beings we do have to make a lot of choices in our life. the first one is who we want to follow and trust. First of all those we consider our parents, but next we can see many human persons asking for our attention. People have written loads of books, but none of them can really compete with a master-work which has different styles of literature bundled together to offer us a lot of knowledge and advice for life.

Many do ignore it and neglect what it can bring to them.

Believer or not a believer in the Most High Divine Creator of all things, that book which Christians consider to be the infallible Word of God, has a lot of knowledge, wisdom and idioms we should look at, in it.

The Bible actually presents itself as a very non-authoritarian collection of writings. It never pushes its ideas on others, contrary it tells itself that people are free to take it or leave it. It gives us one of those choices in life about which it speaks thoroughly. It let us see what happens if we go through life without seeing the many opportunities, without making use of the different choices laid in front of us.

The Best Seller of all times does not demand that we follow this or that rule or saying but it presents openly the different possibilities, the many choices we can make in our life and tells us also what the consequences are of our choices made freely or deliberately.

One of the difficulties of the Book of books is that in some way it can not be taken up passively. It is impossible to read or to go though it without having questions posed to yourself.
This amalgamation of works from the very old times is still accurate and actual, an authority that requires the participation of the reader — and, actually, the participation of many readers.

That it has certain powers can be seen throughout history. Many people tried to destroy it but never succeeded. Lots of people tried to break it down and bagatelle it, but did not succeed and even several negative people reversed their standpoint and became a believer in God, became Jew, Christian or Muslim.

This collection of books, as no other, can transform people. It has so much power, never seen by any other peace of literature or any written work of human beings.
Yes “Its power on its own terms—different from the power that comes from being expropriated by human authoritarian institutions — is power than empowers the reader. It is not power that lends itself to being concentrated in top-down structures but the power that enhances diversity and decentralization.”
The book of books breaths the Power of a much more higher Supreme Being, that surpasses all modern technology and human knowledge.

*

To look at:

How the Bible works as an authority is a complicated and contested issue.

approach Bible as source of absolute truths that simply need to be heard and followed

“the house of authority” => three authoritative presences:

Bible revealed truth from God, official doctrinal statements (creeds, confessions, etc.)

Bible actually presents itself as a very non-authoritarian collection of writings.

pick up Bible and read from it =>one will be struck by what we could call an epistemological humility.

Bible makes few claims for its own truthfulness.

gives us a bunch of stories that upon reading together, numerous times, does seem to have a kind of coherence

Bible’s message is invitational. The reader can choose to enter the story or not.

The characters in the Bible are quite human— sometimes strikingly so.

an on-going conversation within the Bible where different points of view challenge each other.

Beyond the internal dynamics that humanize the Bible and present a non-authoritarian kind of authority, we need also to recognize that the humanness of the text for us is reinforced by the fact that what we have in our English Bibles are translations made by human beings from ancient languages that at best provide us with what has been called “dynamic equivalence” where the translators can do no better than approximate the meanings of the original.

authority of the Bible =anarchistic = requires participation of the reader

Its power on its own terms = empowers the reader = enhances diversity and decentralization.

reader of the Bible, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, may read the Bible and find direction from it for oneself

 

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Find additionally: Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform

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  • Food for Thought-3 Things to Remember Before Starting a Lenten Bible Study (richardsfoodforthought.com)
    The Bibles we use emerge from two distinct ancient communities. The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) comes from the history, people, and traditions of ancient Israel. The text of the New Testament first originates in the early Christian church. When I say, “the Bible is the product of well-intentioned human beings”, I’m not denying the existence of God. Nor am I disputing the idea that God inspired humanity to do certain things then record those events for posterity. I am saying the Bible isn’t a divinely created product in the way Islam regards the Quran. The Bible is a collection of many different types of writing (politics, history, theology, poetry, genealogy) which tell the history of how people understood their relationship with God.  Fallible people wrote our holy book.  God didn’t write or dictate words to a scribe.  There are contradictions and errors throughout the Bible.  Once we realize that God works within our mistakes, we can read scripture with fresh eyes.
  • Think Einstein believed in God? You probably haven’t read this letter he wrote in 1954 (deadstate.org)
    Some religious figureheads such as Ray Comfort claim that Einstein believed in some form of God and acknowledged a higher power’s presence.

    “Although he clearly didn’t believe in a personal God [like the one in Christianity],” Ray Comfort says in his book Einstein, God, and the Bible.

    “Einstein wrote that he wanted to know ‘His’ thoughts, referred to God as ‘He,’ and acknowledged that He revealed ‘Himself.’”

    But in contrast, vocal atheist

  • Christianity book speaks ‘with conviction and eloquence’ (gospeak.org)
    On their Facebook page, the Jundiaí School of the Bible wrote Feb. 10 about our new book, Cristianismo Original (=Original Christianity), by Joel Stephen Williams
  • Did Plato influence the Book of Genesis? (lionoftheblogosphere.wordpress.com)
    Now the belief among Orthodox Jews is that the book of Genesis is very old, but as the web page points out, there are no outside historically dated references to the book of Genesis until the second century B.C., which is two hundred years after the founding of Plato’s Academy. This all fits in with a general pattern I’ve pointed out before that Judaism isn’t as old as people think it is.

    Thus it’s likely that Genesis was not influenced by God dictating Genesis to Moses (who probably never existed as a real person), but rather by the scientific research and philosophy of Aristotle, Plato, and other ancient Greeks scholars.

  • A Unification of Creation and Evolution (robertjrgraham.com)
    When people say that “god created the heavans and the earth in six days and on the seventh he rested”, who can say how long one of god’s days is. Why are we so egotistical as to believe that his day is the same as our’s. We don’t know god (Most of us who believe in god do so because we want to not because we have proof.) but if there is a god why can’t his, her or it’s day be a thousand or a million or even several billion of our years.

    Chapter 2, verse 7 of the book of Genises states “then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” It does not state how long this took or what form the being we call man originally took. God’s image can be many things. We have no way of knowing. Additionally, although the bible is supposed to be the word of god, it was written by humans and therefore subject to human interpretation.

  • Big Brother has a lot to offer (georgehach.wordpress.com)
    We all have a big brother who would like to help us have a better quality of life.  His name is Jesus.  He inspired 4 books in the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  They will give you great insight into how to live better.
  • A Conversation About The Nature of God (thehardincrowder.wordpress.com)
    God doesn’t need us in any way, shape, or form. God would still be God if no human being ever worshiped Him.

    I do, however, believe that human beings (and all of creation for that matter) were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. As John Piper would put it “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”

    God cares about what we think about him because:

    1. God is worthy of worship
    2. God loves us and knows that there is no lasting joy, fulfillment, or life apart from Him.
    3. God loves us and knows that apart from His love there is only wrath, destruction, and death.
  • Zionists Have Used Evangelical Christianity To Cheat Christianity (thetotalcollapse.com)
    It’s no coincidence that the rise of Zionism, that is: the impulse of the Jews to seek a homeland for themselves, began not long before the Scofield Reference Bible was published. In the late 1800’s, England is where Zionism first found political support. England was already awash with the erroneous “Christian” doctrine of British-Israelism, wherein the British Christians were taught that they were of the lost tribes of Israel; therefore they should support the Zionist Jews venture to create a Jewish state: Israel.

Thinking Pacifism

Ted Grimsrud—January 25, 2015

[This post is a continuation of the conversation about anarchism that I have started in this blog in months past—the most recent post was “More thinking about an ‘anarchistic’ Christianity” on December 15, 2014. It’s an introduction to a series of seven or eight posts that give a quick survey of some anarchistically-inclined dynamics in the Bible.]

I have become motivated to pursue, as a thought experiment, an anarchistic reading of the Bible, for several reasons. For quite some time, probably going back to my discovery of Christian pacifism now nearly 40 years ago, I have found the Bible to be a great resource for thinking politically. However, it has been rather difficult to find connecting points between biblical politics and our current political landscape. I don’t find attempts to link biblical politics with liberal democracy all that attractive; likewise with Marxism. Yet, I also am…

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Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism

Since Stepping Toes was placed from Xanga onto WordPress we had a look at the relationship or coexistence of Science and the Bible.

America’s leading publisher of dictionaries, Merriam-Webster, chose “science” as its 2013 word of the year. Merriam-Webster’s editors cited a 176-percent increase in searches for the word and cited

“heated debates about ‘phony’ science, or whether science held all the answers.”

In the United States we also could notice many bloggers went on about Creationism and ideas from scientists and what would be possibly been written in the Bible. We can not deny we find it strange that such an industrious and very developed country can have so many people who are sceptical about key tenets of scientific orthodoxy. On such issues as human evolution, the formation and age of the universe and, more recently, climate change, many Americans reject the dominant views of the scientific community.

In a 2008 survey of Floridians by the Tampa Bay Times, only 22 percent of respondents said public schools should teach an evolution-only curriculum, and 50 percent wanted only faith-based theories, such as creationism or intelligent design taught. {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science}

On Christadelphian World I discussed already the strange evolution we can see in the U.S.A. of people ignoring how the world evolved and how we have proof certain animals existed. There I also mentioned the Pew Research Center poll from 2009 which found fewer than a third of those sampled accepted the idea that humans evolved through natural processes, while 31 percent rejected the theory of evolution outright.

Top climate scientists issued a report in September saying the evidence that climate change is a real, man-made threat is as convincing as the evidence that cigarettes cause fatal illnesses. Yet a Pew poll from earlier that year found only 42 percent of respondents believed the earth is warming mostly as a result of human activities that produce greenhouse gases.

Some scientists and cultural critics see a dangerous trend at work. Science journalist Michael Specter wrote a book called “Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives,” criticized such disparate tendencies as claims that vaccinations cause autism, bans on genetically modified foods and the embrace of supposed herbal treatments over traditional medicine. { in Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p2}

What most people could see is that it does not originate in the classroom, but that most children get their conservative and creationist ideas imprinted at home.  We also can see that certain people can find themselves at ease by a certain political party because it brings so fervently those conservative ideas which although seem not to do anything with reality can bring people a very strong mood, active to out their voice loudly of what they believe everybody should believe.

A poll in 2011 found that roughly 50 percent of those identifying themselves with the tea party rejected the science behind both evolution and global warming.

from The Ledger tells us that The Ledger requested Gov. Scott, who is aligned with the conservative tea party political group, his personal views on evolution, the Big Bang theory, the age of the universe and human-caused global warming.

The governor said:

“We don’t need a lot more anthropologists in the state.”

but did not answer the questions. Instead, a spokesman emailed a general statement reading in part:

“In order to grow more opportunities for Florida families to succeed, we must invest in programs that will diversify our economy and create jobs for future generations. Governor Scott has been a consistent advocate for STEM education as a path for Florida students finding great jobs.”

Those conservative Americans let it look like believers may not believe anything what science present to humankind, because otherwise they would deny that they could be a “a walking miracle”. They started doing like the Muslims which always say ‘Inshallah’ ‘If God wants it’ and say “it’s God’s will.”

I shall not deny that it will be God his Will when he lets something happen. But when something happens it is not because God wants it to happen that way. We can wonder if God wanted the Holocaust to happen. Though He might have let it happen because it bringing a good lesson to the people of God. Though God has given the world to man. In case He would intervene every time, it would not exactly given to man to do like he wants. Than God could again be accused of what He was accused in the Garden of Eden, namely having the sole Power to rule the universe and giving man no right to think and handle for himself.

Carol Murray (62) of Winter Haven roundly rejects the notion that humans evolved over millennia from ape-like ancestors. The theory of evolution, developed over a century and a half by scientists through observation and research, has consensus acceptance in the scientific world and is part of the required science curriculum in Florida’s public schools.

“On the one hand, you’ve got kids going to Sunday school, and they’re telling them that God created them, and then they go back to public school and they’re being taught that man evolved from an ape,”

Murray said. “No wonder the kids have problems.” {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p2}

I think the problem lies more in the hands of the parents who can not explain enough people might have different opinions and can themselves not accept that others might have an other opinion. In case several opinions may exist next to each other they will not create so much confusion. Than every person shall be able to feel more at ease to find they have an other idea, but which many others would also agree with.

An other problem is that many people consider that the first man and woman looked the same as we do now. This concept of having a Caucasian Adam and Eve and a Caucasian, instead of a Palestinian Jesus, is distorting historical reality. A few years ago there was a heavy reaction when there was placed a brown baby Jesus in a Belgian manger. Lots of people could not accept that Jeshua from Nazareth, better known today as Jesus Christ, was brown skinned. In most countries the Christmas scenery is almost always placed in a European environment with fir trees and snow, having nothing to do with the place nor the time that Jesus was born.

Academic figures say scepticism toward science reflects misunderstandings about how science works and confusion about the way scientists use such terms as “theory” and “hypothesis.”

Russell Betts, dean of the College of Science at Illinois Institute of Technology, said hostility toward science often comes down to questions of “thinking versus believing.” Whereas science ideally is a dispassionate quest for understanding, Betts said those who attack scientific theories usually have differing agendas.

“The general public often takes scientists’ willingness to change their viewpoint as a weakness, as if that means they are fundamentally not reliable,” Betts said. “But science doesn’t claim to be absolute.

“It’s always open to change as new and better results become available. Largely, these changes are incremental; but sometimes, there’s a paradigm shift, often dramatic, as new evidence becomes available. Versus belief, which is what it is — unchangeable. That’s one of its characteristics.” {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p4-5}

Young-Earth Creationism: The Flintstones for G...

Young-Earth Creationism: The Flintstones for Grownups (Photo credit: PatinaLatina)

As a teacher I, by the years also noticed that many children and parents did not like it when others got to say how things where. They did not want to listen to others and where not interested in details or broader information. You can see that in the latest generations, just looking at the headlines or Tweeter messages, but not going further to click and look at the tweeted article.

Cottle, the FSU professor, said reactions against science reflect a more general backlash against intellectualism in America.

Scientists say the absence of complete proof does not disprove a scientific theory, whether it’s evolution or another matter. Cottle said a lack of absolute certainty is part of science, but he said scientists get defensive when sceptics cite uncertainties as proof the entire theory is wrong.

“When scientists feel that they are being attacked from the outside, they tend to get into a mode where they deny that there are open questions,” Cottle said. “In all our science, we have open questions. …

“I think it’s just one aspect of a broader problem — that we have lost respect for expertise. The idea that somebody else might be an expert and you should listen to them is simply not in vogue.” {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p6}

“The big mistake scientists make is when they’re being attacked by somebody from the outside that they don’t feel is informed, a politician or somebody else, they can throw their back up and say, ‘No, no, all the questions are answered,’ when in fact that’s not true. I see it in evolution all the time.”

The other great great problem is that several people do want to see the Bible as a literal text and do not understand the descriptive and idiomatic language of it.

In the world we can find many Christians who regard the Bible as a literally accurate description of history. They see a direct conflict to their faith in what are now accepted as scientific truths and do not want to accept that the universe and the earth might be billions of years old and had primitive life forms which evolved through natural selection over millennia to become modern animals and humans. they do not want to see the changes which have been taken place by the years, though if they would look in their own family they could already see great changes of length and form by their own children opposite their ancestors.

A poll by the Pew Research Center from 2009 found that 55 percent of evangelical Protestants said humans have existed in their present form since time began, and only 10 percent of them said evolution has occurred through natural processes.

The poll found that 26 percent of mainline Protestants and 27 percent of Catholics agreed that humans have always existed in their present form. Only 11 percent of Americans with no religious affiliation shared that outlook, the Pew Research Center reported.  {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p7}

Like Gaylord Paul Garcia writes in his blog: Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist:

Science and religion are publicly viewed as two different entities that will never reach a connection point where both will agree. They will never harmonize with each other because it has been a withstanding public truth that these two groups see each other’s views as either fantasy or fiction.

But I do not agree with what he considers to be the popular belief, that science and religion are ultimately incompatible – they cannot coexist. He himself knows that such is misguided.

Whether firm believers of this public truth decide to stay loyal to this belief, the truth is science and religion can coexist, it has coexisted, it coexists now, and it will continue to coexist in the future. {Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist}

The belief that the universe has an Author Who created everything, Who is all-knowing, and Who has everything planned for us, does not have to mean that He would not have given man the ability to think for themselves and to find many things out how the world was created and developed. It is wrong to think that scientist would work against the Creator or not believe in a or The Creator. It is not because a person believes in the Big Bang that he can not accept that the Cause of that Big Bang was a Divine Creator. To have something happening there should come something in action by something. That something could be that Eternal Spirit who also let the world know that He was and is the causer of everything “I am Who is”, “I am The Being”. Without The Being there can not exist a being or something that is.

Problem with several scientists and many atheists is that they have a generalised idea about Christians and never came to read what the Bible says and compared it what several churches made of it. When they would have done such a study they would have come to see that there are many churches who teaches other ideas than presented in the Bible.

Many Christians, in their turn, may forget that the Divine Creator is the One Who gives knowledge to man and Who has given also scientists the possibility to use their brains properly.

The 18 years old, undergrad at American University, Gaylord Paul Garcia, let us known what Abdus Salam, a physicist born in Pakistan thinks about this situation.

His father was an official for the department of education and because of that, schooling became a major factor in his life. Abdus Salam got his PhD in theoretical physics from Cambridge University at the young age of twenty-five years old. From then on, he received a Nobel Prize in physics for his work – Unification of Fundamental Forces – and created the International Center for Theoretical Physics. What is important of his work is that all of his scientific work has been epitomized by a quote from the Quran. The Quote is from Allah, that says,

“Thou seest not, in the creation of the All-merciful any imperfection, Return thy gaze, seest thou any fissure. Then Return thy gaze, again and again. Thy gaze, Comes back to thee dazzled, aweary.”

As said by Abdus Salam, his religious spirit made him understand that there is a divine creator that created these unique systems and they are were created for a reason. He understood that this knowledge is for him to share to those who did not know about their workings. {Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist}

People should understand that the Most High has given different gifts to different people. We should trust the Creator and accept that He knows best whom may have which knowledge and whom might be the best one to share the knowledge with others. We all can not have the same knowledge about all the subjects this world has to offer; So there shall be people who are better in mathematics, geography, history, archaeology, anthropology, physics or an other subject we need to put all things together and to let this world turn reasonably well.

We do need chaos. God is a god of order. We should be pleased we can deserve somewhere a place in that universe created by the Almighty God.

Like Abdus, we should trust Allah, God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, and be pleased that we can find so many people who are willing to   contribute to the people who are less fortunate. Like he did knew what his role was in life, we should come to get to know our position and be satisfied we can play a role, be it different, in this community.

Abdus Salam did not lose his morals because of his faith and religion.

That despite the amount of knowledge or truths people attain, they are grounded by their faith and it keeps their ethics straight. Like Abdus Salam, he used and shared his knowledge to those people who are less fortunate because of his faith. Hence, science and religion in perfect harmony advances the human race in peace, while science without religion or religion without science may not produce something to that effect. In the words of Albert Einstein himself, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” {Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist}

In our trust in Jehovah we should share our knowledge and be content others have the willingness to share their knowledge about subjects we know less. Like he shared his knowledge to those people who are less fortunate because of his faith we should be sharing our knowledge and have others also to see that science and religion in perfect harmony advances the human race in peace, while science without religion or religion without science may not produce something to that effect. In the words of Albert Einstein himself,

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

It is wrong to think a Christian might not have critical thinking. Religious and scientific descriptions of the world do not in essence require a certain leap of faith. they only need a clear investigating and wondering mind.

Granger, a former Marine who works for a building-supply company, makes a good point when he considers science essential to progress and generally accepts the determinations of scientists.

“If somebody were to truly disregard science and evolution, that would limit what kind of advancements can be made with medicine and understanding the way the human body works,” he said. {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p9}

Therefore it would be best for schools to include alternatives,

not just one (theory), and they should get into discussions of it and not just say that theory is it,”

Geraldine Watson of Bartow said. At 78 she teaches a Sunday school class once a month at St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church in Bartow, and she regards the passages in the book of Genesis as literally true.

The Florida Department of Education, which sets the curriculum standards for public schools, does not include those alternative theories in its science benchmarks. Biblically based narratives are incorporated into science teaching at some private, religiously affiliated schools, such as Lakeland Christian School.

Lithia resident Jonathan Smith, vice president of Florida Citizens for Science, said some Americans are illogical in rejecting certain elements of science while accepting the rest.

“You don’t hear people talking about, ‘We don’t believe in gravity; we don’t believe in germ theory,’ or stuff like that,” Smith said. “But evolution probably conflicts with people’s religious beliefs, and so does climate change. …

“We use our cell phones, we drive in our computerized cars, we rely on antibiotics — anything science can provide for us, as long as it’s convenient. If it’s anything that might alter your view of the world, particularly from a religious perspective, they reject it.”  {Science and Skepticism: Amid a Push for More STEM Training, Many Reject Key Elements of Science p10}

Dewey Funkhouser correctly says:

Religion is probably the largest business in America and the Bible thumpers want to bad mouth science as much as possible. So-called religion has done more to set America Back than any other thing. If you think the Tea Party movement hasn’t hurt America, you must be a kook.

We should be very careful before we accuse the schools of brainwashing the children. The schools should give a wide or broad margin of subjects and should teach the children the necessary things they should get to know, based on facts and science. Schools and educational programs do have the task to prepare people to stand strong in the world-community, being able to investigate and think for themselves. They should prepare them to compete in life, the world economy, college and anywhere else in life.

Schools in democratic countries also should learn that no religion may be allowed to oppress anyone, and that everyone should be allowed to believe and adhere whatever they want. Freedom of thought should be in the first line of duty.

Let us always remind:

“To think without believing disregards many possibilities, but to believe without thinking disregards more certainties.”

Religion and science are not mutually exclusive, to the contrary. Those who are Christian should not be afraid of science when they are standing straight in their shoes. When our Christian faith is strong enough and we are willing to use our heads properly, we shall get to find out how things really work and we shall overcome our challenges without fearing us.

Don Gifford says it nicely:

You should have enough faith in godless humanistic doctrine not to fear me. If we can agree to respect each others rights we can get along just fine and our children will be all the better for it.

Yes, Science and Religion can Coexist notes:

The greatest thinkers and contributors of science have been men and women of faith. The bible or other religious texts should not ever be taken literally as it is not based on scientific evidence. However, religion should not be brushed off. Religion in itself is a way of discovering meaning and purpose, to ignore it means to ignore morals and ethics. To most people, to have religion is to be grounded and a way to not forget to be selfless. Likewise, science is also not optional. Science explains to us the physical universe and how it functions and come about.

The last few weeks people could find a lot on

the much-ballyhooed debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye on creationism versus evolution (“Ham on Nye”), which only served the purpose of giving Ham’s ridiculous beliefs attention they did not deserve. And, it got Ham enough money from donors an taxpayers to complete his theme park. {How to Debate a Christian Apologist}

A writer/virtual assistant living in the Philippines writes:

I believe, as a scientist, if you go into science with unshakable, preconceived notions of what is and what should be (creationism), when you insist that only one theory, one thesis is correct, then you’re not being a good scientist. {Science, As a Christian – My Thoughts on the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate}

as a Christian, it goes against one of our main virtues: humility. Even with the Bible, we cannot assume to know exactly what’s God’s plan is and how he created the universe. He leaves clues and we follow the clues. We can’t just insist that just because it’s in the Bible it’s fact. {Science, As a Christian – My Thoughts on the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate}

We never may forget that:

God uses science as a tool for us to appreciate the glory of his creation, not to exclude or persecute. And that regardless of whether the universe is young or old, humanity hasn’t existed long enough for us to understand and appreciate it.

All the complexities and inconsistencies that we see serve a purpose we do not understand but can only attempt to comprehend. After all, life’s much more fun if we have a few surprises. {Science, As a Christian – My Thoughts on the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate}

Science seems to deal often with objects, such as quarks and black holes, that have not been directly detected.

Since multiple universes are strongly suggested by modern cosmology, they must be considered when we debate theological questions. As long as they are not ruled out, they cannot be used as a god-of-the-gaps argument for the necessity of a creator. What’s more, other universes are in principle detectable by their effects on the cosmic microwave background. {How to Debate a Christian Apologist}

Atheists as well as Theists do have to recognise that both have their dogma‘s. Both are”believers“, be it in having a god or gods or not existing gods or not having a Divine Creator God.

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This article is made possible by using material from a.o. who can be reached at gary.white@theledger.com or 863-802-7518. He blogs about tourism at http://tourism.blogs.theledger.com and about books at http://ledgerlit.blogs.theledger.com.

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Bible and Science: Scientific Facts and Theories
  2. Reconciling Science and Religion
  3. Bible containing scientific information
  4. The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (1)
  5. The mythical conflict of science and Scripture (2)
  6. Science and the Bible—Do They Really Contradict Each Other?
  7. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  8. Science and Religion Harmonized (Once and For All…)
  9. Book Review: Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe & Casey Luskin, Science & Human Origins. Seattle: Discovery Institute Press, 2012.124pp.
  10. God’s design in the creation of the world
  11. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  12. Incomplete without the mind of God
  13. Belief of the things that God has promised
  14. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  15. Stand Up

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In Dutch:

  1. Wetenschappers, filosofen hun zeggen, geloven en waarheden

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Map of the world, showing percentage by countr...

Map of the world, showing percentage by country who believe religion is important (2002). Data by the Pew Research Center. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • GOP is increasingly anti-science on climate change, evolution: Editorial (nj.com)ed0103editAbox.jpg
    Forty-eight percent of Republicans now say they believe that humans evolved over time, either with or without help from a supreme being. The numbers of Democrats and independents who believe in evolution, meanwhile, have held steady, and reflect the population as a whole: Six in 10 Americans believe that humans have evolved.

    One can simultaneously believe that God created life, and set in motion the process of evolution that Charles Darwin described — even Darwin made that point. But to flat-out deny the undoubted changes that scientists have found in the study of fossils and life forms is just ignorance.

  • Public, Private Schools Diverge in Handling of Biology, Cosmology (theledger.com)
    Wasemann said he knows a certain segment of his students — and their parents — reject the prevailing scientific theory that modern humans evolved from lower life forms. Aside from the fact that evolution is crucial to a scientific understanding of the world, Wasemann tells his students, it’s also a subject required for high school science teaching under the Sunshine State Standards, the Florida Department of Education’s curriculum guidelines.

    That means it must be included on the exam that comes at the end of the term.

  • Republicans Reject Evolution in Favor of Devolution (planetpov.com)
    Many religious people expressed a belief in evolution, seeing God’s hand in it. Science and religion can indeed coexist for some but unfortunately, not for the extremists. 64% of White Evangelist Protestants (and 50% of Black Evangelist Protestants) don’t believe in evolution.

    The political breakdown…and breakdown may be the right word when one considers the deterioration in Republicans’ belief in science…is most interesting. In 2009, when Pew held a similar poll,  In 2009, 54% of Republicans and 64% of Democrats supported evolution. In this week’s poll, those numbers have changed to 43% of Republicans and 67% of Democrats.

    So in just four years, there are almost 20% more Republicans disbelieving evolution, the 10% gap with Democrats in 2009 has ballooned more than double to a 24% gap (meanwhile, there was a gradual increase of 3% more Democrats believing in evolution).

     

  • Conservatives (including Christian conservatives) aren’t anti-science as much as they’re anti-hectoring and unpersuaded by naked appeals to authority delivered with maximum condescension (climber.wordpress.com)
    First, let’s be clear that there’s very little quality scientific education in the United States (and that applies to liberal citizens as much as conservative).
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    Second, daily life teaches us that public scientific declarations are uncertain, debatable, and often wrong. Parents, for example, get bombarded with competing theories over their child’s intellectual and emotional growth, their diet, and their physical health — with incompatible opinions delivered at high volume and with absolute certainty. When it comes to our own diets, how many competing scientific voices are screaming for our attention? And that of course doesn’t count every other aspect of life where scientific certainty shifts, changes, is hotly debated, then changes again.
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    Of course, one can be Christian and understand that evolution could be one method of God’s creation, and one can be conservative and completely buy the “consensus” arguments surrounding global warming, but the debate has not been fought on those terms, and the other side has made effectively zero effort to meet Christians and conservatives where they are to make the consensus case.
  • A Move Is Afoot to Keep Climate Science Out of Classrooms (scientificamerican.com)
    For decades objections to the theory of evolution have bedeviled individual teachers, school boards, state boards of education and state legislatures. Educators fought to keep evolution in science classes and creationism out. We resisted intelligent design, the notion that natural selection alone cannot explain the complexity of life-forms, which served as a way of getting creationism through the back door. We are now fighting legislation that encourages teachers to teach the “evidence against evolution”—facts found only in the creationist literature.

    The consequences of antievolutionism are felt in many American schools: evolution is not taught or is taught poorly. Yet evolution is one of the most important ideas in human intellectual history, and students have a right to learn it.
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    Some political conservatives claim that global warming is a liberal plot to increase the power of the federal government, which if it reduces our reliance on greenhouse gas–producing fossil fuels, will jeopardize national security and threaten our individual freedoms. Some libertarians believe that policies such as carbon taxes are a socialist plot intended to cripple capitalism. True, some political and economic views cannot accommodate policies associated with combating climate change, but we should not let the ideologies of some prevent or distort the education of the many.

  • [Review] Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future, by Donald R. Prothero (kestalusrealm.wordpress.com)
    Reality Check goes in-depth into antiscience in general, as well as specific varieties of science-rejection.

    Prothero’s book begins a discussion of antiscience, its strategies and its tactics, moving to a description of science and it’s fundamental importance in our modern world, insights into its process and thinking, and then an expose of scientists who’ve betrayed professional integrity as paid shills of those with a vested interest in attacking science on financial and political grounds.

  • Creationism vs. Evolution: Where Does Islam Stand? (meditationsofamuslimah.wordpress.com)
    Muslims believe in a Creator, God, who created the universe. But on the other hand, most Muslim scholars do not throw out the entire theory of evolution, but do clearly discard the well-known piece that claims humans have evolved from apes (or ape-like creatures), as well as ideas that one species can evolve into another.
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    Regarding dinosaurs, Muslims generally believe that if science and fossil records prove that the earth is billions of years old, then it must be true. This is not a contradiction to Islamic belief, because Muslims believe that when God created the universe in “6 days,” this mention of time does not mean 6 earth days. God cannot be restricted to time as we on earth know it. In fact, the Quran specifically states that sometimes God’s “days” does not mean earth days, but can mean other periods of time such as thousands or tens of thousands of years. So we don’t know what actual unit of time it took, but 6 days most likely refers to 6 distinct phases of creation. In this view, it is permissible to believe that the dinosaurs were created along with other animals, and may or may not have gone extinct before humans were created.
  • Creationists Can’t Be Scientists (huffingtonpost.com)
    William Saletan sees creationism as “harmless” because scientists who espouse it can “compartmentalize” their beliefs. He recognizes its absurdity, but writes that, “You can be a perfectly good satellite engineer while believing total nonsense about the origins of life.” But creationism is part of the larger crusade within the religious right to make “biblical literalism” Christian doctrine and federal law. To espouse it is to preclude practicing science. Saletan believes that a distinction between historical science and modern science is what exculpates the creationist:
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    What should make us terrified of the creationist movement is this political mobilization. The movement is deeply intertwined with right-wing fundamentalism. Among the terrors Ham worries about are abortion and gay marriage.  Across the country creationism has tried to force itself into science curriculums, with political maneuvering and outright lies. But Saletan glosses over this concern, mentioning only briefly that seeing creationism as harmless “doesn’t mean we should teach creationism in schools or pretend it’s a scientific theory.” I agree we shouldn’t, but the creationist movement is trying to do exactly that.
  • Religious and scientific communities may be less combative than commonly portrayed (psypost.org)
    The NSB 2014 Science Indicators study, released earlier this month, found that roughly seven in 10 Americans believe that the effects of scientific research are more positive than negative for society — a number that has remained roughly the same since 1979.

    Other recent surveys show a partisan political gap, however, in views on scientific topics such as evolution and climate change.

    Between 2009 and 2013, the gap between Republicans and Democrats on the question of evolution grew by 11 percentage points, said Cary Funk of the Pew Research Center. “There had been a partisan gap before, but the size of the gap is now bigger. And what happened is that fewer Republicans said humans and other living things evolved over time.”

  • Why Climate Change Skeptics & Evolution Deniers Joined Forces (motherjones.com)
    anti-evolutionists and climate deniers were both getting dumped on so much by the scientific community that they sort of naturally joined forces. And that makes sense: We know that in general, people gather their issue stances in bunches, because those stances travel together in a group (often under the aegis of a political party).But there’s also the “declining trust in science” theory, according to which political conservatives have, in general, become distrustful of the scientific community (we have data showing this is the case), and this has infected how they think about several different politicized scientific issues. And who knows: Perhaps the distrust started with the evolution issue. It is easy to imagine how a Christian conservative who thinks liberal scientists are full of it on evolution would naturally distrust said scientists on other issues as well.
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Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious

Today lots of youngsters their understanding of their faith is the faith that was “once for all entrusted.” This makes that often the “spiritual but not religious” group can be the most difficult to work with, primarily because they believe they have found a personalized expression of faith. But their faith was not placed in a seed that could grow in fertilized ground.

This painting is on display at the Kunsthistor...

Religious men and their actions because of their faith- Painting is on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna, Austria (site). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Church should bring in the fertilisation for its members to grow, be it slow but strong.

Much has been made about the growth of “nones” in the past few years, the group who consistently checks “none” on surveys about religious faith. As with all surveys, how questions are shaped determines how good the data is. If a question is multiple choice, the answers must fit within the parameters of the possible responses. For example: What is your faith? a. Christian b. Buddhism c. Islam d. Judaism e. Hindu f. none.

Clearly, that’s a poor question. It assumes the five major faiths are the primary conduits for the transmission of religious frameworks. While I believe that is largely true, there are other factors at work culturally right now. What does none or spiritual but not religious really mean?

writes a teacher of a Teaching World Religions summer term. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

In such courses about world religions or religion tous-court, you can see that lots of people want to restrict their idea about their god on others. They may say

I just believe in God

But then we should ask which God? Most people do take only a story from the four Gospels, one that is canonized by Church Councils, propagated by ministers and missionaries, and communicated to them through Christian denominational speakers. They are brought up with the religious concepts of their family idea and than they believe that their story is just one wherein they simply believe in God.

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith

Vermeer The Allegory of the Faith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The radical individualism and consumerism in our culture makes a personalized faith seem perfectly normal. In Belgium, which is considered to be a Roman Catholic Country (though only 6% of the population still go sometimes to mass whilst 25% of the population visits the mosque very regularly), when you would ask what they believe and whom they think Jesus or God is, you would find very individual interpretations of the person Jesus, which some Catholics say is the son of God and do not believe he is God, though the godhead of Jesus is part of the Trinitarian dogma of the Catholic Church. But most Belgians want to believe their own thing and do not bother what the church may say. Lots call themselves Catholic or Christian (meaning the same for them) but do not follow the rules of the Pope and their church, not bothering to use preservatives or having abortions, having sexual relations than the own ‘regular’ partner, etc. Their religious life is standing far away from a spiritual life and from church life. The church is mostly only used to have a child baptism, a first and second communion, a wedding service and a funeral. That is what church stands for in Belgium, when they are not talking about all the abuses in that church.

According to some

All the new Christian categories — Christ follower, Jesus follower, follower of the Way (hell, just pick one)—are all concepts that are used intentionally to avoid the unhappy conclusion that the follower is really a Christian, but a Christian who doesn’t like the Christian tradition or church or some doctrine. Better to own the word Christian than have me interrogate you only to discover that you are actually a Christian. At that point, I think you’re dishonest, disingenuous, ignorant, narcissistic, or confused. None of those are good. {Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide}

Wherever you may look you shall see that many of your spiritual but not religious acquaintances have no genuine framework for their faith. Lots of the people who say they are religious or spiritual, are mostly enjoying some trend which is popular at the moment, and go from one fling into the other, but never stick to one ‘faith‘ for a long time.

The writer of The Parish believes that it’s a completely self-serving construct that allows them to believe, in the words of Christian Smith,

“God loves me and wants me to be happy.”

What that requires is no commitment to a larger tradition, and a radical internalizing of metaphysical assumptions, all of which are exempt from criticism.

Do you pray? Yes. Do you attend worship services? No. Do you have a sacred text? No. Will you go to heaven? Yes. What will it be like? It will be what I make it. How do you know there is a God? I just do. What’s he or she like? He loves me. He’s kind and forgiving and gracious. Why should he be those things and not angry, vengeful and capricious? He’s not. How can you know this? What tradition taught you this? I have no tradition. I just know this. I’m not a religious person, just spiritual.

Faith

Faith (Photo credit: sspantherss)

Often when you will present students of religion or people on the street and you

talk about all the Saturnalia and pagan syncretism you like, talk about substituting one pagan holiday for a Christian one, talk about borrowed symbols and commercialism, talk all you want about it; at its core, theologically (for Christians), Christmas is the coming of Messiah, and therefore, a religious high, holy day. It’s a celebration day, much like Easter (another holiday about which I’m weary of hearing stories of syncretism. One thing is clear, however it started, the Christian narrative won.), not a fast day like Good Friday. It is, by my estimation, the second most important day on the church calendar, following Easter, of course. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

The great church institutions by the years have mixed their theology with philosophical and pagan teachings so that that more became  “great pagan institutions” which allegedly “pickle” children’s brains by pouring “paganism” into them. We can see a society in decline where parents do not to set any more good religious examples for their children. It is time they will concern themselves with their offspring’s spiritual state, and again “plead God’s promises” to their children. We should long to do well by our children and grandchildren, striving to raise them well and encouraging other parents to do the same.  Parents should come to teach their children spirituality again. That spirituality must also include empathy, humanity, and critical thinking. Piety without these elements can devolve into fanaticism, with unsettling results.

Lots of people may know that lots of elements in their celebrations are from pagan celebrations, but they do not want to change their similar manner of celebrating what they want to place on that day the heathen use for their celebration. It does not matter for them that Jesus was a Jew who is not born on the 25th of December (Christmas-day); It is just a lovely time for them to be together and have everybody having a good time, giving each other presents and enjoying some nice food. Why should they change the tradition of their forefathers? And why should churches abandon such a festivals when those are the few occasions that they can get some people in their churches and get some more money in the till?

Almost all American and European forms of Christianity are first cultural, traditional and secondly theological. In the capitalist countries the people are more concerned with their material wealth than their spiritual wealth. Europeans like

Americans are largely shaped by consumerism, individualism, and materialism, the three idols of the market that serve to make all of us mini-narcissists. {Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?}

They want to enjoy their life with good food and lovely goods for their enjoyment. Fairy tales and mythical stories, ‘little lies for fun’ seem to be harmless for them and to create the mysterious atmosphere which attracts them and their children. The unknown and mysterious has always been an attraction.

The Knights of Columbus exhibiting their group identity in American society

In the United States some Christians do not want to know about the ‘unknown’ and do think the bible has to be take literally on all fronts. Their creationist and revisionist education might leave children ill-prepared to integrate into American society, and failed to grasp that some children might reject their fundamentalist upbringing altogether. For this reason it is important that God-loving people make it clear how we do have to interpret and follow the Bible. God loving people should be challenging historical revisionism. By remembering that history encompasses many narratives, not just one. By demanding accuracy in home school curricula. By reaching out to current and former home-schoolers and making accurate information available to them. And finally, by educating ourselves on the past and recognizing its impact on the present. Home-schooling and schooling at the church (Sunday school, Bible Study or Children’s Bible class) are powerful, useful tools. It represents a democratic approach to educational progress, innovation, and creativity. It allows a child’s learning environment to be tailored to individual and personal needs. When home-schooling or Sunday-school is done responsibly, it can be amazing. We should oppose irresponsible home-schooling or church training, where the educational method is used to create or hide abuse, isolation, and neglect, and where the child is not educated to go and search, to explore the world and to explore the Bible. They should train the children to read and study the Bible thoroughly and to go deeper into their own soul, learning them to meditate about everything they learn, be it in their daily school or at the church. The trainees at the church should make sure that social contact outside of church, family, and the home-school umbrella group is provided so that children do get to know the outside world and are aware of the world its ideas and way of living. Only by growing up in a church which is open to what is happening in the world the children would not become what we can call socially retarded to use the pedagogical technical term.

In certain developed countries we see a growing tendency to protect church life and to get the children away from what is really happening in the world. The religious sheltering of such a childhood in recent years has come more extreme and miserable by greater institutions and international homeschool conglomerate cults. Those groups not only present childish stories in which all do have to believe and activities everybody has to follow with the right dress-code, otherwise they are considered to be against the group. More attention is given to the outside appearance of the persons gathering than on the inner spirit. Often it is all about the creationist teaching and opposing scientists, not willing to see archaeologist their findings, which are all considered as contra-actions of the evil world.

They often try to drive home to their ‘trainees’ (typically 16-18 years old) that no matter what adversity or difficulty they are facing, either physical, mental, or spiritual, all they need to do is cry out to God and He will get them through it. But they forget that we did have received the responsibility to become resourceful fellows who should try to grow from the understanding of the Scriptural knowledge and use it in their daily life. To be able to stand strong in that daily life there should be a good relationship with the Supreme Being.

Most people are not interested in a good relation with their god, but with themselves. It has become already very difficult to build up a good relationship with one partner in this world which can be seen and touched. So who would try to have a good relationship with somebody who can not be seen nor touched, and who nobody has ever seen, or when it is Jesus who is already long ‘dead and forgotten’?

Dr. Tom Kennedy does find that correct religion, like bones, provides the proper structure for spirituality.  Spirituality grows in distorted ways without religion.

Imagine reaching over and grabbing the child’s head.  Then imagine lifting up the skeleton out of the imaginary child.  What would happen?  Spirituality would collapse to the floor. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Religion, like bones, also provides much of the immune system for spirituality.

It helps to fight toxic influences that may corrupt one’s spirituality.  Two of the most toxic influences are the individual’s own selfishness and the willingness to let other people control one’s spirituality.  Of course, if religion itself becomes corrupt, one’s spirituality also becomes corrupt. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

Like the religion can be corrupted we should know that spirituality is not always so ‘clean’ as it may seem.

Many people think of spirituality as perfect and incorruptible.  Unfortunately, that is not true.  Non-religious spirituality emphasizes special experiences, something you feel.  If there are no feelings to this kind of spirituality, people would not pursue it. I have heard of many strange experiences that were labeled ‘spiritual’ just because there was a burst of pleasant feeling involved. {Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?}

03.365 (02.08.2009) Faith

Faith in words from a Book of books (Photo credit: hannahclark)

Religion in the Bible is a catalyst for our relationship with God, to Whom we have to bring a spirit which is pure and not hiding things for God Who sees everything, so that would be useless to hide something for Him. Our state of mind we do have to build ourselves. Others may help us but they can not do it for us or make it work for us. We ourselves our responsible for the way we want to think and the way we want to use the knowledge we receive by the years.

Jesus died on the wooden stake to make God’s religion and spirituality alive, dynamic and interactive with each other. He opened the way for humankind to come directly to the Creator God. Today Jesus sits at the right hand of God to be the mediator between God and man. by the brothers and sisters in the church we should be exhorted therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made not only for ourselves but for all men. We should know we live in a world where there are kings, presidents and members of parliament who have to make decisions for the community. So we better also pray for them that they may make the right decisions. Yes we should have our thoughts also at all that are in high place and pray for them and for that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity.
Each of us should look to find in himself or herself the way to become acceptable in the eyes of God. He that provided the human Saviour, who could understand his fellow man, who wanted that all men should be saved, and will come to the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, one mediator also between God and men, himself man, Christ Jesus,  who gave himself a ransom for all; the testimony to be borne in its own times;  where-unto several people like the apostles and religious men were and are appointed a preacher and a teacher of the Gentiles or those who are not in the faith in Christ Jesus, in faith and truth.

” I Beseech you, therefore, first of all to offer to God, petitions, prayers, supplications, and thanksgiving for all men,  (2)  For kings and for all in authority; that we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all purity and Godliness.  (3)  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour:  (4)  Who desires all men to be saved and to return to the knowledge of the truth.  (5)  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;  (6)  Who gave himself a ransom for all, a testimony which came in due time.  (7)  For that testimony I was appointed a preacher and an apostle; I tell the truth and I lie not; and I became the teacher of the Gentiles in a true faith.  (8)  I wish, therefore, that men pray everywhere, lifting up their holy hands, without anger and doubting thoughts.” (1Ti 2:1-8 Lamsa NT)

Religion, Catholic Community

Religion, Catholic Community having prayers and meditation together at a meeting (Photo credit: Parker Knight)

Lifting up the hands or going in prayer can be done on our own. But to come to a good prayer we better also do come close to ourselves. Be it also becoming in a more concrete relationship the world can offer. Away from the materialisation of things we can come in a transcendent form.

Where Transcendentalists assert their natural right to an individual relationship with God, defined only by one’s own will and a communing with nature, Puritans “sought both individual and corporate conformity to the teaching of the Bible, with moral purity pursued both down to the smallest detail, as well as ecclesiastical purity to the highest level. They believed that man existed for the glory of God, that his first concern in life was to do God’s Will and so to receive future happiness”. Puritans were largely responsible for amendments that mandated public education inspired by their belief that children could only conform properly to biblical and legal tenants if they could read them for themselves.

To come to the Truth, each person has to make the free choice to study the matter. Without reading the Bible and without the will to think about what is written a person shall not come to the Truth. No matter how he may be active in doing things for his church, how religious he  or she may look for the outsiders, when their is no burning spirit in the soul of that person, no willingness to go deep in him or herself, there shall not come an opening to the real faith Jesus had in front of his eyes.

Jesus was also brought up in a world full of traditions. He was a boy living in a Jewish cult and learned from the Torah, which was his guide. He looked at the different religious groups and dared to question them. He looked at the way they interpreted the Holy Scriptures, how they lived their faith and how they were are were not prepared to go into the mystics of faith.

In most spiritual traditions, mysticism lies at the heart of spirituality. ‘‘Mysticism’’ refers to transcendent, contemplative experiences that enhance spiritual understanding. Mystical experiences can occur during intentional practices designed to create openings for transcendent experiences, such as Christian contemplative prayer, Zen meditation, movement or dance meditation or Sufi dance; or they can occur in the process of living a lifestyle that is conducive to transcendent experiences, as in contemplative gardening. In either case, contemplative or transcendent knowing is associated with spiritual experience.

‘‘Transcendence’’ refers to contemplative knowing that occurs outside the boundaries of verbal thought (Wilber). Although transcendence can refer to increasingly abstract thought, contemplative transcendence involves transcending thought itself. Mystical experiences of transcendence can be brought into thought, but they do not originate in thought or sensory perception.

The spiritual person can become a transcendental person, going into mystical contemplative experiences. He either may become religious with it or stay out of religion. But this kind of spirituality, set apart from religion would be weak and might be directionless, or worse, narcissistic.  Jesus wanted us to have a vibrant faith that focuses on his Father and he wants us to use the teachings of the Bible to shape both our religion and our spiritual interactions with him and God. Our spirit has to become connected intimately with Jesus, God but also with our brethren and sisters in the community, plus feeling a love for the full creation of the Supreme Being, Jehovah God. This includes a good relationship with the animals, plants and all sorts of people, no matter which religion they may belong to. A good Christian should be a good follower of Christ, sharing the same love Jesus had for all people, no matter what they had done or how they felt about him. Jesus loved also his enemies, so we should do likewise.

Our religious and spiritual practices should focus on that relationship with creation. The spiritual practices should not merely be productive in a narrow sense but should be disciplined, creative and committed. The regularity of a spiritual discipline like meditation may give shape to what may otherwise be a fragmented life. as such it can enrich the religious life. Over time meditation may facilitate a growing freedom from destructive energies that inhibit healthy relationships. Such a growth in inner freedom makes us more available and effective as compassionate presences in the world.

As the great traditions emphasise, spirituality is actually concerned with cultivating a “spiritual life” rather than simply with undertaking practices isolated from commitment. It offers a “value-added” factor to personal and professional lives. So, for example, in a variety of social contexts spirituality is believed to add two vital things.

  • First, it saves us from being purely results-orientated. Thus, in health care it offers more than a medicalised, cure-focused model and in education it suggests that a holistic approach to intellectual, moral and social development is as vital as acquiring employable skills.
  • Second, spirituality expands ethical behaviour by moving it beyond right or wrong actions to a question of identity – we are to be ethical people rather than simply to “do” ethical things. Character formation and the cultivation of virtue then become central concerns.

Current evidence suggests a growing diversity of new forms of spirituality as well as creative reinventions of the great traditions. The language of spirituality continues to expand into ever more professional and social worlds – for example urban planning and architecture, the corporate world, sport and law. Most strikingly there are recent signs of its emergence in two contexts that have been especially open to public criticism – commerce and politics. Equally, the Internet is increasingly used to expand access to spiritual wisdom. So, on current evidence, spirituality appears to be less of a fad than an instinctive desire to find a deeper level of values to live by. As such, it seems likely not only to survive but to develop further into many new forms. {Is spirituality a passing trend?}

Church HDR

Church HDR (Photo credit: I_am_Allan)

The church community should not be afraid of those people who also want to be spiritual people. Every religious person in a way should be a spiritual person. Faith without works is dead. Each person believing in Jesus should know he should undertake efforts to understand those teachings, knowing the Torah and following the commandments of Christ and the commandments of God. Each follower of Christ should not only go out in the world on his own, no he should make efforts to meet regularly with other like minded people, considering them as his brothers and sisters in Christ. Gathering together they should ‘make church‘ and be united in the religion of the Body of Christ. In that Body or Church they should undertake actions, like reading the Bible, exhorting each other and Breaking bread with each other. This would mean they are have do do religious actions and to be religious in the tradition of the faith of Christ Jesus. But without their pure heart they would not be honest to the others in that community. So first of all each individual has to purify himself or herself, to which she or he can use meditation or spiritual exercise.

Religion and spirituality are complementary and should go together, uniting each of us in the name of Christ.

Bible School, USA

Christadelphian Bible school meeting.
United brethren and sisters in Christ.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one

Next: Points to remember of philosophy versus spirituality and religion

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Find also to read:

  1. Human nature
  2. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  3. Only One God
  4. God’s design in the creation of theworld
  5. God Helper and Deliverer
  6. Gods hope and our hope
  7. God’s Will for Us – Gods Wil voor ons 
  8. Gods hope and our hope
  9. God’s measure not our measure
  10. God’s promises
  11. Gods Salvation
  12. Full authority belongs to God
  13. Preexistence in the Divine purpose and Trinity
  14. Jesus Messiah
  15. Servant of his Father
  16. Incomplete without the mind of God
  17. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  18. Faith
  19. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  20. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  21. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  22. Faith antithesis of rationality
  23. Faith is a pipeline
  24. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  25. Are religious and secular ethicists climbing the same mountain
  26. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  27. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  28. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  29. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  30. Fellowship
  31. United people under Christ
  32. Parts of the body of Christ
  33. What part of the Body am I?
  34. Communion and day of worship
  35. Church sent into the world
  36. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  37. Teach children the Bible
  38. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  39. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  40. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  41. Peter Cottontail and a Bunny laying Eastereggs
  42. Fr Paddy Byrne finds First communions and confirmations should be delayed
  43. Are Science and the Bible Compatible?
  44. The Soul confronted with Death
  45. Is there an Immortal soul
  46. The Soul not a ghost
  47. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  48. Dying or not
  49. What happens when we die?
  50. Dead and after
  51. Destination of righteous

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Additional reading:

  1. Spiritual but not Religious, or A Disconnect on the Faith Divide
  2. Is spirituality a passing trend?
  3. Christian Identity, or Can Baby Jesus Get Some Love?
  4. Rewriting History — The History of America Mega-Conference: Part Three, “Religious Liberalism” And Those Magnificent Mathers
  5. Rewriting History — History of America Mega-Conference: Part Eight, Closing Thoughts
  6. Can You Be Spiritual and Not Religious?
  7. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them About God
  8. Let The Children Come ~ Teach Them God’s Word « An Imperfect Life
  9. Let The Children Come ~ Be An Example « An Imperfect Life
  10. Let The Children Come ~ Pray for Them

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  • I am Spiritual but not Religious (passionistpartners.com)
    “I am spiritual but not religious.” This is the mantra voiced by a number of people, Catholics included. It means that such people savor the inner qualities of their faith in Jesus Christ but not the outer framework in which those qualities are contained.

    They respond warmly to the Christmas scene of Mary and Joseph kneeling close to Jesus as a newborn infant. They may resonate with the teaching of Jesus on the beatitudes, describing the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers. They may treasure His words on loving one another as he has loved us.

    But when it comes to graphically depicting these sentiments in ritual, music, art, architecture, vestments, ceremonies, processions, incense—this is a different story. They find such a discrepancy between thoughts and feelings, and the attempt at giving tangible expression to them fails miserably in the opinion of some people. The sermons are boring, the collection is scandalous, the singing is outdated, the prayers formulaic and out of touch with people’s needs and desires.

  • The one religion that’s not part of my spiritual quest (roguepriest.net)
    Jesus is central in one out of 16 or five out of 43 major religions practiced in the world today. (In the first list I’m excluding “no religion,” “new religions” and “other” for my count, and in the second list I’m pointing to Christianity, Christian Science, Jehova’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and Rastafari.) By that count less than 6 – 11% of religions consider Christ important. With nods from Baha’i, Islam and Unitarianism, the figure rises to a max of 25%.
    Likewise, the majority of people in the world today do not follow any branch of Christianity.
    Yet the teachings of Christ loom large.
  • Religions and Spirituality (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
    diverse ethnicities and faiths from Passaic County gathered for one hour at Pa… SPARTA, NJ
  • Picking fights over religion and the separation of church and state (santamariatimes.com)
    how this kind of free-floating rage differs from Bible-beating preachers who blame earthquakes and tornadoes on other people’s sexual sins escapes me. The main characteristic of the fundamentalist mind is an inability to refrain from expressing contempt for beliefs different from one’s own — whether one’s spiritual example is Pat Robertson or Christopher Hitchens.
  • Spiritual Well-Being (casapalmera.com)
    piritual well-being is an integral part of mental, emotional and physical health. It is considered to be a primary coping resource on the journey of recovery and healing. This healing takes place in drug treatment centers, eating disorder residential programs and at trauma recovery. Spiritual well-being can be associated with a specific religion but does not have to be. This practice is merely one’s own journey to discover things of importance in life as well as one’s place among them. It can be practiced in numerous ways, with its main purpose being to find purpose and meaning in life. Spirituality and faith provide an opportunity to detach from circumstances and observe life with clarity and integrity. Spirituality can either be positive or negative. Spiritual well-being is a state is which the positive aspects of spirituality are shown. How the effects of spiritual well-being impact you is greatly determined by each individual.
  • My journey of faith (brynsthoughtsonfaith.wordpress.com)
    What might have happened if I was baptized into the Church of England, for instance? Would my faith have been stronger as a teenager? Would I have still gone down the route to the Catholic Church, given the opportunity?My early upbringing was, as such, not massively religious one way or the other. We did not go to Church (Anglican or Catholic) on Sunday, so as not to sway me one way or the other.
    From what I remember, my Primary School was Church of England in all but name, we had Assembly every morning, sang hymns and when Christmas and Easter came, we would sing in the local Anglican Church, St. Nicholas.
  • Obama Spiritual Advisor: President Very Religious (peacemoonbeam.typepad.com)
    President Obama’s spiritual adviser says the leader of the free world is more religious than most people think.
  • Enriching Your Spirituality: Famous Christian Quotes (quotes.answers.com)
    A poignant quote can have a profound effect. The simple truths contained in only a few lines have the power to inspire, calm, and encourage someone in need. This is especially true for Christian quotes. Whether you are struggling to find God’s purpose in your life or seeking comfort in a time a duress, these famous Christian quotes offer great help in times of need.
  • 10 Religious Quotes to Make You Think (quotes.answers.com)
    It seems that no matter what breakthroughs science makes in explaining the world, people will always have a need for spirituality and religion. Indeed, it seems that the only area with satisfying answers for many tough questions is religion. These religious quotes are collected from thinkers, writers, and lay people from a wide range of religious faiths and creeds. What they all have in common is that they are guaranteed to make you think.
  • Religious Rites: An Overview of Christian Funeral Services (christianity.answers.com)
    Regardless of your religious persuasion, a funeral service is one of the more somber rites that you might attend. In the Christian faith, even though death is seen as a passage to eternal life, saying goodbye to a loved one is very sad. This article details the common elements of most Christian burial services.

 

Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe

For some years now in Belgium we see a bad evolution, similar as the trend was evolving in the 1930s Berlin.

Media creating an idea of danger

Once a world full of entertainment and “joy de vivre”, without financial restriction the people loved to have their freedom, going out until late in the morning.  Being drunk they passed others, but found themselves, by their anti-social behaviour more looked at. This annoyed them. with the financial crisis they also saw that they could not any more enjoy their going out “a volonté” and could not have so many trips to other countries any more. Aannoying as well was that some cheaper regions became more dangerous because of Muslim Fundamentalists. Those also came more in the news and tried to get more Belgians involved in their ‘road to Damascus’. Sharia for Belgium took care that the Muslim community came in a worse picture, and the media did the rest to present all those Muslims as a danger for our community.

The banks corrupting and the financial market bringing down the people with the little savings while the Jews still kept the thriving market of jewellery. Seeing those sometimes ‘poorly’ black dressed Jews was a sneer in the face of those who envied their money.

Antisemitism is one of the most alarming examples of how prejudice can endure, lingering on for centuries, curbing Jewish people’s chances to enjoy their legally guaranteed rights to human dignity, freedom of thought, conscience and religion or non-discrimination. Despite European Union (EU) and Member States’ best efforts, many Jews across the EU continue to face insults, discrimination, harassment and physical violence that may keep them from living
their lives openly as Jews. Nevertheless, there is little concrete information available on the extent and nature of antisemitism that Jewish people encounter in the EU today – whether at work, in public places, at school or in the media – information critical to policy makers seeking to craft effective solutions to bring an end to such discrimination.

Nazi Anti-Semitic propaganda at Yad Vashem

Nazi Anti-Semitic propaganda at Yad Vashem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Data by European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has reported on the available official and unofficial data on antisemitic incidents in its Annual report on Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements, as well as in a separate annual working paper – Antisemitism: Summary overview of the situation in the EU – which presents trends on the available data covering up to 10 years. This provides a long-term view of the developments concerning
antisemitic incidents. These reports are part of FRA’s body of work on hate crime, shining light on the experiences of various groups such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons, immigrants and ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities.

The available data fail to answer many questions, however, which are of keen interest to policy makers looking to improve responses to antisemitic acts. Effective solutions require information on the types of antisemitic incidents, the context in which they take place and the reasons why many incidents are not reported at all, indeed, why official statistics markedly underestimate the number of antisemitic incidents and the number of people exposed to these acts.
Furthermore, even the most basic official statistics on antisemitic incidents are not available in many EU Member States.

Need for rallying against something

For some it might be clear that people need something to rally against to stay united. A good example of that we could see in the ‘Cold War’ where we had the West against the East, the Americans against the Soviets. Many do think it was the best time when they had the USA to rally against the USSR. Several Americans do find they have come to sit in a slow-motion train wreck of a divisive, culturally degenerative society ever since the Soviet Union ceased to give them purpose and unity.

Others consider that certain people are looking for it by placing themselves as a separate people. They are convinced that the Jewish religion encourages a separate identity for Jews, asking them to keep themselves apart in certain respects from the cultures they live within. That naturally can lead to conflict. People hate certain Christians for much the same reason. Those who want to follow the Only One God undergo the difficulty of ‘not being of this world’ and still having ‘to be part of this world’. Non-trinitarians are as ridiculed and confounded as the Jews who have the same God of Abraham. (Check in your own environment how people do think for example of Jehovah Witnesses.)

Blamed for suffering

It's not a question of religion, the Jew is of...

It’s not a question of religion, the Jew is of a different race and the enemy of ours. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Historically, Jews have had religious traditions and doctrines that have allowed them to thrive (or at least survive) where others have struggled. Because those people did follow the Laws of the Divine Creator somehow they also where protected and blessed by this Creator God. They also seemed to cope better with their struggle for life and their suffering, which was a thorn in the flesh for the people around them who underwent more difficulties with the same problems.

During the Black Plague, Jews washed themselves more often than once a year, which reduced their infection rate; they were blamed.
Due to Christian bans on usury, they were inevitably the money lenders; they were blamed.

Having been able to cope with many diseases, many terrible incidents, every-time springing up again, like not destroyable weed, always forming one union with their community, combined with being members of a highly visible minority where race and religion are not equal but intermingled, is sufficient to trigger envy by others who also look at the actions taken in Israel where walls are build and Palestinians provoked.

2012 Survey

5,847 self-identified Jewish people (aged 16 years or over) in eight EU Member States – Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the
United Kingdom gave their answers for the survey which was carried out online during September and October 2012.

Two thirds of the survey respondents (66 %) consider antisemitism to be a problem across the eight EU Member States surveyed, while on average three quarters of the respondents (76 %) also believe that the situation has become more acute and that antisemitism has increased in the country where they live over the past five years. In the 12 months following the survey, close to half of the respondents (46 %) worry about being verbally insulted or harassed in a public place because they are Jewish, and one third (33 %) worry about being physically attacked in the country where they live because they are Jewish. Furthermore, 66 % of parents or grandparents of school-aged children worry that their children could be subjected to antisemitic verbal insults or harassment at school or en route, and 52 % worry that they would be physically attacked with an antisemitic motive while at school or en route. In the past 12 months, over half of all survey respondents (57 %) heard or saw someone claim that the Holocaust was a myth or that it has been exaggerated.

Protecting Jewish people from discrimination

About one quarter of respondents (23 %) said that they have felt discriminated against on the grounds of their religion or ethnic background in the 12 months preceding the survey. Specifically concerning discrimination because of being Jewish, the respondents in all eight EU Member States indicate that they are most likely to experience discrimination at the workplace (11 % of respondents who were working during the period have experienced this), when looking for work (10 % of respondents who have been looking for work) or on the part of people working in the education sector (8 % of respondents in school or training or whose children were in school or training have felt discriminated against by people working in this area). More than three quarters (82 %) of those who said that they have felt discriminated against during the period because they are Jewish did not report the most serious incident, namely the one that most affected them, to any authority or organisation.

Antisemitism on the internet

Antisemitism on the internet – including, for example, antisemitic comments made in discussion forums and on social networking sites – is a significant concern for a majority of respondents. Overall, 75 % of respondents consider antisemitism online to be a problem, while another 73 % believe antisemitism online has increased over the last five years.
More than 80 % of the respondents living in Belgium, France, Hungary and Italy are concerned by the level of antisemitism on the internet which they say has increased either a lot or a little. Antisemitic hostility in public places and antisemitism in the media are the next two manifestations that respondents are most likely to perceive as on the rise.

Meeting the needs of Jewish victims of hate crime

Antisemitism in Budapest Gyermekavasut

Antisemitism in Budapest Gyermekavasut (Photo credit: Yigal Chamish)

One quarter of respondents (26 %) experienced some form of antisemitic harassment in the 12 months preceding the survey – including various offensive and threatening acts, for example, receiving written anti-semitic messages, phone calls, being followed or receiving offensive antisemitic comments in person or on the internet, according to the survey results. Overall, 4 % of respondents experienced physical violence or threats of violence because they are Jewish in the 12 months preceding the survey. Of all respondents, 3 % on average said that their personal property has been deliberately vandalised, because they are Jewish, in the 12 months preceding the survey. A majority of the victims of anti-semitic harassment (76 %), physical violence or threats (64 %), or vandalism of personal property (53 %) did not report the most serious incident, namely the one that most affected the respondent, in the past five years to the police or to any other organisation protecting Jewish people from discrimination The relative position of antisemitism on the list of other social and political issues varies slightly among the EU Member States surveyed. When asked to consider whether each of the items presented is a problem or not in the country where they live, the respondents rated unemployment (85 % saying that it was ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’), state of the economy (78 %) and racism (72 %) ahead of antisemitism (66 %) in terms of the present magnitude of the problem. Anti-semitism was followed as a problem, respondents said, by crime levels (62 %), immigration (59 %), religious intolerance (54 %), state of health services (51 %) and government corruption (40 %). In contrast with other countries, in Germany antisemitism was regarded as the greatest problem (61 %) in comparison to the other issues listed in the survey, such as unemployment (59 %), racism (57 %) or others.

Respondents from all the EU Member States surveyed except of Germany – consider unemployment to be the most pressing issue facing the country where they live.
Over 90 % of respondents in five countries (France, Hungary, Italy, Latvia and the United Kingdom) saw the state of the economy as ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’. Respondents in Germany and Sweden seem less concerned with the state of the economy – 41 % and 25 % of the respondents, respectively, said it is ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’.

Most pressing social and political issues

Antisemitism was rated among the three most pressing social and political issues in France, Germany and Sweden (85 %, 61 % and 60 %, respectively, considered it ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’). In a pattern that differs slightly from the other survey countries, respondents in Belgium viewed – besides unemployment – crime levels and immigration as the problems which most affect the country where they live (81 % and 80 %, respectively).

Respondents in Hungary and Italy alone considered government corruption to be among the top three problems in the country where they live (94 % of respondents voiced this opinion in both countries). A notable share of respondents in Latvia and the United Kingdom identified the state of health services as a problem (92 % and 69 % of respondents, respectively).

Respondents were also asked whether they felt that antisemitism has increased or decreased during the past five years in the country where they live. Antisemitism is reported to be on the increase – having increased ‘a lot’ or increased ‘a little’ – by a majority of respondents in all eight EU Member States surveyed . The percentage of respondents indicating that antisemitism has increased over the past five years was especially high (about 90 %) in Belgium, France and Hungary. These are also the countries, as shown earlier, where the respondents were most likely to say that antisemitism is ‘a very
big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’ today.

Manifestations and Attacks to affect community

Antisemitic attacks have a profound impact not only on the individuals concerned and those close to them, but certain manifestations of antisemitism also affect the Jewish community as a whole.

Among the specific manifestations listed, online antisemitism is seen as a particular problem: three quarters of all respondents (75 %) consider this either ‘a very big’ or a ‘fairly big problem’, and almost as many (73 %) believe that it hasincreased over the past five year.

59 % of the respondents feel that antisemitism in the media is ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’, while 54 % say the same about expressions of hostility towards Jews in the street and other public places. Half (50 %) consider desecration of cemeteries to be a problem.

The majority of the respondents in France (84 %), Belgium (74 %) and Hungary (72 %) consider expressions of hostility towards Jews in the street and other public spaces to be ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’ in the country. In Sweden (51 %) and Germany (48 %), about half the respondents consider it a problem, while in Italy (30 %) or the United Kingdom (35 %) one third of the respondents do so.

Arena’s

Regarding the four arenas where antisemitic comments may occur and comparing the eight survey countries, respondents from Belgium, France and Hungary indicate in particular antisemitic reporting in the media (64 %, 70 %, and 71 %, respectively, to be ‘a very big problem’ or ‘a fairly big problem’) and antisemitic comments in discussions people have (69 %, 72 %, and 76 %, respectively). Respondents in France and Hungary (87 % each) highlight political speeches and discussions. Respondents in Latvia were less likely than those in the other countries surveyed to highlight any of the four arenas as very or fairly problematic with regard to spreading antisemitic content. In Sweden and the United Kingdom, less than half of all respondents consider that  antisemitic content is ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big problem’ in three of the four arenas, with the exception of antisemitism on the internet, for which respondents living in those two countries also give a higher rating, seeing it as a problem.

Prevalence and context of negative statements about Jews

Hearing or seeing statements that offend human dignity by assigning fictional negative attributes to individuals as members of a group can be detrimental to Jewish people’s sense of safety and security and undermine their ability to live their lives openly as Jews. The FRA survey addresses this issue by asking respondents to what extent they have been exposed to certain statements selected for the survey, and whether they consider these statements antisemitic. The statements selected cover various issues including the role of the Jewish community in society, their interests and distinctiveness, attitudes towards historical experiences and current issues. These statements do not necessarily reflect the whole spectrum of antisemitic views or connotations. They were used to guide the respondent into thinking about situations where they may have heard negative comments about Jewish people, in order to identify the contexts in which Jewish people hear these comments and to describe the person or persons who made the comments.
Respondents’ assessments concerning these statements offer an insight into the issues which they consider antisemitic. Respondents’ sensitivity to all things (perceived as) antisemitic has an impact on all of the other survey results.
First, the survey respondents were asked how often they have heard or seen non-Jewish people make these statements, in what contexts they have heard or seen them, and respondents’ perceptions concerning those who made these statements. The information concerning the medium used for making these statements and the context in which they are made can help the EU and its Member States in designing measures to counteract the use of such statements, for example, through awareness-raising and education campaigns.

Worrying level of discrimination

Antisemitism casts a long shadow on Jewish people’s chances to enjoy their legally guaranteed rights to human dignity, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and non-discrimination. The daily insults, discrimination, harassment and even physical violence, with which Jewish people across the European Union (EU) must contend, show few signs of abating, despite EU and EU Member States’ best efforts. Nevertheless, little information exists on the extent and nature of antisemitic crimes to guide policy makers seeking to effectively fight these crimes. This FRA survey is the first-ever to collect comparable data on Jewish people’s experiences and perceptions of antisemitism, hate-motivated crime and discrimination across a number of EU Member States,  specifically in Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Its findings reveal a worrying level of discrimination, particularly in employment and education, a widespread fear of victimisation and heightening concern about antisemitism online.
By shining light on crimes that all too often remain unreported and therefore invisible, this FRA report seeks to help put an end to them.

More to be done

John Mann, chair of the UK’s all-party parliamentary group against antisemitism, said he was shocked by the survey’s results.

“It is extraordinary that 75 years after the terrible events of Kristallnacht, Jews are again living in fear,” he said. “The inaction of the European commission in combating antisemitism is inexcusable.”

Mann said the EU had to do more to co-ordinate Holocaust education work and to crack down on online antisemitism.

“The internet is a classic EU territory because it crosses borders and the EU could have a huge impact – if it had a thorough approach to antisemitism and other hatred and abuse on the internet,” he said.

A spokesman for the Community Security Trust, which monitors antisemitism and provides security for the UK Jewish community, said the research showed that much more needed to be done to protect Jewish people across Europe.

“In some countries, including Britain, politicians and police are trying to deal with the problem, but these efforts are sorely needed everywhere,” the spokesman said.

“Jews also require basic anti-racist solidarity in all of this – solidarity that has been partial, or deliberately denied, far too often since the year 2000.”

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Please do find also to read:

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  3. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  4. Pupils asked ‘why do some people hate Jews?’ in GCSE exam
  5. What Are The Sources Of Anti-Semitism? or Why do people hate Jews?
  6. Stand Up
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  9. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
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  11. A world in denial
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  13. Anti-Semitic incidents in Australia in 2012 highest ever on record

In Dutch:

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To me, it demonstrates the outdated mentality of a post-war generation. Too many of us are trapped in an anachronistic mind-set, always looking out for examples of antisemitism, always trying to “catch it on the edge of a remark” (as Harold Abrahams put it in Chariots of Fire).
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Being Jewish today can be a lot of fun. I work and socialise primarily with non-Jews, so I milk the Jewish angle whenever possible. I wear a chai necklace, drop Yiddish words into conversation and grow a beard and a Jewfro during the winter months.

Jews could hardly be better-positioned in our multicultural society, part of the mainstream but retaining a crucial bit of edginess. It’s a good place to be. The same goes for America, where the pollster Mark Penn now uses the voter category, philosemite, to describe people who either wanted to marry a Jew or emulate Jewish values.

Of course I’m not suggesting antisemitism is dead. It is an ancient and insidious prejudice that will exist as long as we do. There is still plenty of antisemitism in Britain, whether it’s troglodyte football fans chanting about Auschwitz or belligerent anti-Zionists obsessing over Jewish media influence.

 

  • EU Study: Jews in Germany Fear Rising Anti-Semitism (spiegel.de)
    The survey’s results provide insight into the perceptions, experiences and self-conception of European Jews. Rather than supplying absolute figures on anti-Semitic attacks, the study focuses on the perceived danger of such attacks and how much the anxiety this causes affects their lives.
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    In Germany, the KPMD, a service for registering crimes, has recorded a decline in anti-Semitic crimes since 2009. However, by itself, that says nothing about the perceptions of Jews living in Germany. According to the FRA report, 63 percent of the Jewish respondents in Germany have avoided “wearing, carrying or displaying things that might help people identify them as Jews in public,” such as a skullcap (kippa). Likewise, 25 percent of them claimed to have considered emigrating from Germany in the last five years because they don’t feel safe there.

 

When it comes to the relative seriousness of anti-Semitism, Germany was the only country in which a majority (61%) of respondents said it was the greatest problem. Respondents from the other seven countries believed that unemployment was the most pressing issue.

 

  • Alarming early figures from Euro antisemitism poll (thejc.com)
    In France, thousands of Jews have moved to Israel, North America and Britain. In Hungary, the situation is also very concerning, but very different, deriving from far-right nationalists. Then, there is Malmo in Sweden, widely regarded as the worst example of a local community living in fear.

 

In Britain, we are relatively fortunate. CST and the police have had excellent relations since the 1990s and, over the past decade, our politicians have taken antisemitism increasingly seriously.

Many of our continental cousins look on with envy, and really need this survey to kick-start better responses from local officialdom.

  • Poll: 76% of European Jews Believe Anti-Semitism Is On The Rise in Europe (jpupdates.com)
    On the 75th anniversary of Kristelnacht, the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has released the results of their first poll ever that they conducted on Jewish people’s experiences of antisemitic harassment, discrimination and hate crime in the EU. This report, which covers responses from 5,847 Jewish people in the eight countries in which some 90% of the estimated Jewish population in the EU live, will thus be a vital tool for EU decision makers and community groups to develop targeted legal and policy measures.