Nov. 27, 2006
Nov. 29, 2006

Nov. 28, 2006


Some bad ideas just refuse to die. A Hitler wanna-be was just arrested for vandalizing a Jewish school in Austria.

* * *



Click here for a story about the pope's first day in Turkey.


Today marks the start of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to predominantly Muslim Turkey.

Pope_4And I thought it would be helpful to link you to some stories and other resources that will help all of us understand what's at stake on this historic trip.

First, click here for a story about what Benedict's visit to the Haghia Sophia might mean. The varied history of this structure provides an opportunity for the pope to mess up big time. My guess is he won't.

How warm will the welcome be for the pope? For one clue, click here for a story about 25,000 people in Ankara protesting his visit.

The Turkish man who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II is calling Benedict XVI a "Nazi remnant," another strange echo of dischord as this visit is about to unfold.

Turkey's prime minister has agreed to meet the pope when he arrives. This would seem to be a routine bit of diplomacy, but I'm not sure there's any such thing in regard to this trip.

The Vatican is worried enough about Benedict's security that it has ruled out use of the popemobile, it's reported.

Catholics in Turkey are preparing for the pope's visit. There aren't many of them, but there are some.

This visit raises the question of how much religion freedom there is in Turkey. Click here for one answer.

And for heaven's sake, let's not forget that the pope is to meet with the head of the Orthodox Church, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. Click here for some resources on that from the Orthodox Church. The church split asunder, East from West, in 1054 in what is called the Great Schism, or Great Divorce. Efforts continue to repair this broken family.

Finally, if you want to re-read the speech Benedict gave in September in Germany that made Muslims angry, click here.

To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.

PS: Special thanks to all readers who left comments yesterday. A particularly enlightening, helpful, engaging batch.

Today's religious holiday: Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Baha (Baha'i)


Dave Miller

The beautiful Hagia Sophia was the largest domed structure in the world for centuries. I have never seen it, and would love to. I'm fascinated by the way the sun's light moves through the windows around the top of the dome as the day progresses. The pictures I've seen remind me of a prism, with the light somehow breaking into colors.

According to legend, an Orthodox priest was celebrating the eucharist as Ottoman troops entered the church, to capture it. The priest disappeared into one of the columns. The hope of the Orthodox is captured in the legend that on the day the church becomes a house of Christian worship again, the priest will emerge from the column and continue the celebration of the eucharist.

The embers of hope have continued to burn through the centuries since Constantinople fell in 1453. An onlooker can see that it wouldn't take much to re-ignite them!

Dolores Lear

It is time to try to figure out how all the different interpretations of religion began, and the Pope getting together with another Catholic leader of the different denomination of Catholic. Will not solve the man-made customs?

What have meetings with different Protestant divisions helped? Agreeing on some rites, but not changing the different denominations?

They are either about One God that no one has ever seen, called a Higher 'Spirit Being' or a Higher 'Being'. What is a 'Being' except a Human?

Or about Gods, Goddesses, Angels, the One Trinity God in Three Persons of Father, Mother, Son. Or a Trinity of a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Three "Persons" In One God.

There is also a Daughter of God called Wisdom. Why not have her in the Trinity God Head, or is she the mother/daughter God?

How and When did all these religions get started on Earth?

What does 'supernatural' Gods mean? Flying in fiery chariots and sitting on thrones up in the air? Do we have any idea what the translations of these events mean, except supernatural?

Where or When did the teachings begin of a Killing Angry God, that guides people to Kill, and a Loving God that declares "Thou Shalt Not Kill" begin?

How can we have any kind of understanding between all the religions on Earth unless we understand, what a 'supernatural' and Killing/Loving God means? j Are they different Gods or One God?

Is the One GOD that Created Life in the Universes, the same as the Man Gods that Kill Life on Earth? Why would God want to Kill Life he created? Why do Humans want to Kill Life they have created?

To me 'super'natural means High Tech Science, and High Tech Science can explain the Man God's supernatural powers of creating Life on a plant and creating perfect people.

High Tech Science can explain the Killing and a Loving God, with a High Tech Science translation with the Myth of the Noah/Atlantis High Tech Society.

What does God And Angels, riding fiery chariots and thrones up in the air mean, since we have High Tech Science Knowledge?

Today, we have the supernatural High Tech Science Knowledge on how to Colonize a planet and how to reproduce in a High Tech Science Lab.

We already correct Body Birth genetic inherited diseases in the fetus, in a dish in a High Tech Lab, and then insert it into the female womb. Is this an immaculate conception because no sex act is involved?

We do have the High Tech Science to have fiery chariots when our space shuttles launch. The glory light of the Lord that shines brighter than the sun, is seen when they launch.

We do not have flying saucers yet, that we know about, but we do have helicopters, and our space people do have back packs that they can fly about in space. Are they flying Angels/Messengers? Angel means messenger from God.

Our High Tech Scientist are working on back packs for people on Earth to use.

So what are all the ecumental meetings about? Who has the best translation of Scripture and Myth? This has been going on ever since religion began. And all it does is make more denominations.

It is time to translate the Christian Bible and all Scripture and Myth with a High Tech explanation and see if it does not reveal the mysteries of the 'supernatural' Gods, Goddesses, Angels, Lords, Satan/Devil, etc.

Peace and Jesus' Asexual Agape Love.

Joe Barone

I always harbored a nagging belief that Osama Bin Laden was just a psychopath who used religion as an excuse to kill people. Whether or not that is true, you have to wonder how much killing in the name of God is really done just for the fun of it.

Joe Barone

PS The above thoughts were generated by the thought of another anti-Semite.


Joe's comment - Osama using religion as an excuse to kill...

As I read this, I instantly recalled the lyrics of a song by Holly Near. I find it most apropos not only for this thread, but so many others we've shared on this blog.

The song is called "I Aint' Afraid" and the first time I heard this was in the DVD of "All God's Children" performed by the Heartland Men's Chorus.

I ain't afraid of your Yahweh
I ain't afraid of your Allah
I ain't afraid of your Jesus
I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your God

I ain't afraid of your churches
I ain't afraid of your temples
I ain't afraid of your praying
I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your God

Rise up to your higher power
Free up from fear, it will devour you
Watch out for the ego of the hour
The ones who say they know it
Are the ones who will impose it on you

I ain't afraid of your Yahweh
I ain't afraid of your Allah
I ain't afraid of your Jesus
I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your God

I ain't afraid of your churches
I ain't afraid of your temples
I ain't afraid of your praying
I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your God

Rise up, and see /find/ know/ hear a higher story
Free up from the gods of war and glory
Watch out for the threats of purgatory
The spirit of the wind won’t make a killing off of sin and satan

I ain't afraid of your Bible
I ain't afraid of your Torah
I ain't afraid of your Koran
Dont let the letter of the law
Obscure the spirit of the your love--it's killing us

I ain't afraid of your Yahweh
I ain't afraid of your Allah
I ain't afraid of your Jesus
I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your God

I ain't afraid of your churches
I ain't afraid of your temples
I ain't afraid of your praying
I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your God

I’m afraid of what you do in the name of your God

I’m afraid of what you do in the name of your God

I’m afraid of what you do in the name of your God double

I’m afraid of what you do in the name of your God

Rise up to your higher power
Free up
Rise up to your higher power
Free up
Let's try to be highly evolved
I aint afraid

Donna - not afraid

Dave Miller

Thanks, Donna.

Ruth from Tucson

Pray hard for the pope's success easing the anger between people of different cultures and faiths. He has a chance to make a big difference in the world.

I look on his visit with hope. It is love that makes the world run right..... we need to spread it.


Well, good morning. Here is Acga, the Turkish assassin, calling Benedict a Nazi remnant. A resurrected Hitler on the loose. Glenn Beck on morning news-talk in a debate with an Iman that polarizes down into Beck's assertion that most people don't "get" that we need to go in and just wipe out all these Muslim extremists. The Iman asserting that foreign policy should not be based on Christian belief in End-of-Days, which tries to create Apocalype in the Middle East.

And then there is the Pope in Turkey. The most intelligent analyses of his trip urge him to be prepared and able to make amends and build bridges. Love the NYTimes article title that notes Benedict is landing in a political "cloud". I wish him well. I don't really understand the long rift between Catholic and Orthodox but do think the Pope would look good in the basic black cassock and Jackie-O-pillbox-hat-gone-skyscraper.

"Popemobile"? : )

Incidentally, KC has its own papal wannabe visiting this Thurs. Rusty Humphries, Pope of the Wrong, travels to spread a little of his Christian-based-bile and push his "satiric" song, "Thank God I'm a Jihad Boy".


Thank you, Donna, for the lyrics. Always a nice reminder.
And thank you, Dave, for the description of the Hagia Sophia. I have thought of you often during the last week as there is a running discussion on my Pommeranian(German) listserve on the persecution of Lutherans in Germany. Which most of us did not know of. Apparently it happened around 1830 when the Lutheran church was merged with Reformed Calvinist. "Old" Lutherans often emigrated as a result. This is as close as I've found to a description:
And if you know all about this, I will not be surprised.

Dolores Lear

A comment of David J. Fahey on the Common Ground Blog.

"I do believe in a Creator. To know God, all I have to do is open my eyes. I don't complicate and therefore deny my rapturous felling at the sight of a beautiful sunset or the wonder of a star-filled night. It is enough to know that they are there for me now, not in some weird paradise where I have to die to be a member. How silly."



"There is also a Daughter of God called Wisdom. Why not have her in the Trinity God Head, or is she the mother/daughter God?"

Dolores, I think you should read "The Gnostic Gospels", if you have not. One thing it postulates is that the reason that there was a bodily resurrection of Jesus, as opposed to spiritual, was to give power to the individuals who claimed to have seen a real person. It just so happened that those people would be named apostles and be designated to create the power structure of the Christian Church(bishops, etc.).

There were also power plays to supplant Mary Magdelene, who should rightfully have been named an apostle, since she was the first to have seen the risen Christ.
Joe, I somewhat agree with you. I do think that some people kill for pleasure and will use any reason to do so. Killing is power, after all. I do not, however, think this is always the reason for killing in the name of religion.

Dave Miller

Patricia, thanks for the link! Some of it I knew, but most of it was new to me.

Yes, the article says, "Of this first wave, some went to St. Louis, mostly Saxons, while Pomeranians and Brandenburgers went to Buffalo, New York."

Those who settled in St. Louis became what today is the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, which is headquartered in St. Louis. As the article said, they emigrated from Saxony to escape the "Prussian Union" of Lutheran and Reformed churches. That's why even today (or at least when I left it in the 1970's) there was great concern within the LC-MS about "unionism." This unionism is seen as "pretense of union where it does not actually exist." An abiding concern in the LC-MS has been to keep its doctrine "pure" and join only with those where there is doctrinal agreement. This, I would say, is imbedded in the DNA of the LC-MS.

I'd be happy to have an LC-MSer jump in here and add to or correct what I've said.

The ELCA, where I'm now a member, does not share this concern about "unionism." In fact, the ELCA is in "full communion" with the Presbyterians! The very situation which the LC-MSers came to this country to avoid!

The irony is that, while the ELCA has declared itself in communion with any and all other Lutherans in the world, the LC-MS has not reciprocated, and does not see itself in communion with the ELCA...out of a concern about unionism and maintaining purity of doctrine (which they have officially declared the ELCA does not have). you see a bit more of our Lutheran "dirty laundry," eh?

Dave Miller

P.S. This will be my last posting today. Gotta get some work done around here!

Dolores Lear

Thanks for the Gnostic information on the false teaching that Jesus was Alive when he went up into space, but that he really went up in the spirit.

I probably have something on it, but cannot recall. I have been at this since 1971, so all the stuff I have accumulated is recorded but at 84 I do not remember all of it.

This may have happened but I still accept that the physical Pure-bred Jesus, is Alive and in space with our HTA.

When it is time for Man to know all the mysteries, all the knowledge that used to be stored in libraries, is now on the net, so will be easier to check to find what is real and what is fiction.

I just have to remark on the main steps that was given to me, about the Colonization, the Fall, the Noah/Atlantis Society, the physical resurrection of Jesus to Pure-bred, and the Judgement Day 'Arm'ageddon and Fire.

Hope it about time for this to be proven by our Scientists in natural and supernatural/High Tech knowledge.

Religion, Science and Myth are all about 'literal' Life on planets and in spaceships.

Peace and Jesus' Axesual Agape Love.


Dave: more from the listserve. A personal account of the persecution and ensuing emigration:


Regarding Patrica and Dave's comments regarding the LCMS, many of us who are members of LCMS congregations do place a great emphasis on unity in doctrine before there can be unity in worship/communion. Unfortunately, the leadership of the LCMS has become so smitten with the idea of ecumenism and church growth that they would likely paper over many doctrinal differences to achieve some sort of false unity, if they could get away with it. In fact, some LCMS churches have begun to have open communion, contemporary worship services, particpate in joint worship services and prayers with ministers of Reformed churches, etc. but are rarely or never disciplined for it.

There is a wide gulf in the doctrine of LCMS and Reformed, and even the LCMS and ELCA. These groups are moving away from each other, not toward each other, insofar as doctrinial agreeement/church unity is concerned.


Just drove back from St. Louis, heard an interview with Karen Armstrong, a marvelous student and writer on religion, talking about her new biography, "Mohammad-A Prophet For Our Time." It's a half hour long, worth every minute. You can listen at


Keith, thanks for the link to the NPR interview with Karen Armstrong. It answered a lot of the questions I had about the beginnings of Islam


Bill, thanks for the link about religious freedom on Turkey. A somewhat different perspective than I've heard and read over the last couple of weeks.

I know Ataturk established a modern Turkey based on European models, pushing religion, (especially Islam) out of control of government while largely allowing freedom of religion. It is, none the less, 99% Muslim, and the Pope's visit after the Regensburg speech is not being well received by the Turkish public. Thus the Pope's meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan will occur in the airport-away from the public eye. It would be politically dangerous for Erdogan to do otherwise.

Given the reaction to Benedict's lecture in the Muslim world, I think the Pope is getting a lot of attention from Erdogan.


An interesting discussion of the Pope's trip to Turkey in terms of secularism, go to and click "Listen." It's 8 minutes long.


Killing for "God" is an old tradition - as old as religion it seems. I suspect that if you are a hateful person to start with (and we all have that capacity) and you figure out a way to continue hating by killing or rejecting the one you have declared profane, then - well - then you can do it for God and feel pretty darn righteous about it. John Brown, Osama Ben Laden, whoever the guy was who bombed the Atlanta Olympics and a couple of abortion clinics, the list goes on and on. I'm pretty orthodox - at least as orthodox as one can remain and still think - but there is a guy in Oklahoma who was declared heretical by a group of Pentecostal churches because he quit believing in hell. Just didn't think God was about that kind of thing. When you quit believing in hell- apparently you also quit believing people should be there. Kind of a two/fer conversion. I find it interesting to say the least to see that so many people are so angry at him.


"a guy in Oklahoma who was declared heretical by a group of Pentecostal churches because he quit believing in hell. Just didn't think God was about that kind of thing."

What would make someone think that they can just "decide" for God that there is no hell? Pretty presumptuous, don't you think? Does this guy in Oklahoma think his ethics are superior to God's?

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