Our presidents and faith: 1-29-09
New books on faith: 1-31/2-1-09

Saving Jews in Poland: 1-30-09


As some of you know, I (and my co-author, Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn) have a new book coming out this year from the University of Missouri Press about Jews in Poland who survived the Holocaust with non-Jewish help. (For details see the link about the book under "Check this out" on the right side of this page.)

One of the agencies that helped us locate survivors was the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, which is based in New York City. In addition to its educational programs, JFR, an excellent organization, currently provides financial support to some 1,100 people, mostly in Europe, who risked their lives to help Jews survive.

At the annual meeting this week of the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, the woman who directs JFR, Stanlee Joyce Stahl, spoke about rescue in Poland, making many of the points that we'll be making in our book, They Were Just People: Stories of Rescue in Poland During the Holocaust. (We don't yet have a specific publication date for the book but we'll keep you posted about that on the book's Web site and here on the blog. The illustration here is from our book's Web site.)

Stahl noted that when the Germans occupied a country, they instituted a four-step program directed at Jews: 1. Identification (this included making Jews wear distinctive markings) 2. expropriation of property owned by Jews and removal of Jews from work locations and schools 3. Isolation (this included placing them in ghettos) 4. Annihilation (for this murderous work, the Germans set up six death camps in Poland).

She also noted that Polish Jews were the least assimilated of any Jews in Europe and were often easily identifiable by their dress and language. Thus, she said, for the most part Polish Jews and Polish non-Jews felt like strangers in each other's worlds.

That made rescue more difficult and problematic, though so far the agency in Israel that recognizes non-Jews for this work, Yad Vashem, has honored more than 6,000 Polish non-Jews for saving Jews.

Stahl also noted that although individual nuns and priests have been honored for saving Jews, the institutional Catholic Church in Poland (Poland is predominantly Catholic) did little or nothing to save Jews.

In the end, she asked a question that we think our book will pose: What would you do if you were faced with a murderous regime that wanted you dead and what would you do to save people whom such a regime targeted?

* * *


Enough seriousness for a bit. How about a little satirical piece about God and football, with the Super Bowl fast approaching? I always wondered what God thought about this. Now I know. Maybe.

* * *

P.S.: War inevitably produces widely and sometimes wildly varied versions of what happened. And often there is truth in all such versions. The recent fighting in Gaza between Israel and Hamas offers an example. Click here for a version told by an Israeli soldier. Then click here for a tale told by a Gaza resident who felt misused by the Israeli military. And then, if you can, pray for peace.


Dolores Lear

{Israel and Hamas Pray to Same God?)
Bill. "And then, if you can, pray for peace."

What good does Prayer for Peace do Anytime, for either side, especially in War? Do both sides have the same God? How can God answer both Prayers, when God said 'Thou Shalt Not Kill'?

Who started the belief that God Chooses between Humans? How do Humans get the Nerve to ask God for Peace, when they are Killing Each Other?

It is up to Humans to stop Killing, not for God to Choose Sides.

Just as in the USA Civil War, both sides had Jesus for their God. Did Jesus help the North Win? Or, the USA in WW1 and WW2? Who was the Loser God for Japan?

How brainwashed can Humans get, when it comes to Religious Beliefs? Is this all there is to Godly Living: Greed, Inequality, Inhumanity, and Killing Each Other and War?

Where did Religion come from on Earth? Was Religion on Earth before God made Humans? Or did Humans make God and Religion?

Where did all the Life Species on Earth come from? Somewhere else? The Universe? Who made the Universe? A Human God in our Image?

How could a 'He' God in our Human Image, make the Atom and ElectroMagnetic Force that makes Life As We Know It, with our High Tech Science today?

With our High Tech Science, it is Time to Translate all the Writings and Myths about GOD, God, and Life on Earth, and see which came first Creator GOD, God our Human Ancestors, or Humans on Earth.

Man-Made Religion teaches about Eternal Life After Death in Heaven. What is that?

With High Tech Science, we now Know Eternal Physical Life After Birth on Planets and in Spaceships, is by High Tech Science, the Supernatural Power of the Man Gods of Religion.

The Gods in our Human Image, did start Life on Earth, did fly in fiery chariots like we do today, did Reproduce Humans without Heterosexual Body Birth.

Those Human Gods, 'Our High Tech Ancestors', do have Scientific Eternal Physical Life on Earths and in spaceships.

GOD, God nor Jesus, favor one Group on Earth over Another, when writings are translated by High Tech Science.

The Scriptures, Myth, and High Tech Science tells us so.

Will Graham

Interesting info on non-Jews helping Jews; and of course many non Jews perished in the Holocaust as well.

Hitler was strongly anti Christian, as even Richard Dawkins admits in this discussion in his Delusional book.


Will Graham

The Atheist Law Center and Larry Darby, Holocaust Denier.


Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

APRIL 9-12, 2009
The 35th National Convention of American Atheists

Get ready for a weekend of blockbuster speakers, panels, dinners, social events and much more, all headlined by Dr. Richard Dawkins and
* Dr. Ed Buckner, President of American Atheists
* Michelle Goldberg, Noted author and journalist
* Mike Malloy, nationally syndicated talk show host
* Jim Morrow, Award winning novelist
* Dr. J. Anderson Thompson, Psychiatrist, researcher, author
* Nate Phelps, Estranged son of notorious pastor Fred Phelps ("God Hates Fags")
* John Lombard, Beijing Secular Activist

And entertainment by the (D)evangelical Comedy Troupe...

featuring the insights and antics of Edwin Kagin and Frank Zindler!

Register on-line now at

Dolores Lear

This week's Daily promise, 1/30/09: Overcoming discouragement brings great blessing
Have you been able to lift up a discouraged leader?
"Commission Joshua and encourage him, for he will lead the people across the Jordan. He will give them the land you now see before you." Deuteronomy 3:28 NLT"

Joshua took over for Moses. How did Humans lift up a Discouraged Leader, in the Past? By Complaining to their Rulers and then Praying to the Same God?

Does Palestine and Israel have the Same God to Pray to? Or different Gods. Which God will win?

President Obama came into Office with High Expectations. How can we Lift him Up, when Opposition to his Plans is already started? Will his God answer his Prayers?

He seems to have many Good attributes, of Love of your Brothers/Sisters of Life, no matter what color skin or God they have.

Will the Higher Father, that guided President GW Bush for 8 years, also guide President Obama? Is the Republican God, and the Democratic God the Same God?

How many Gods do the Citizens of the USA have? Can they all be Prayed to, to help President Obama?

Will President Obama ask his God, to help in the Palestinian/Israeli Dispute? President GW Bush asked God for his help in Iraq. The Answer was go to War, when God Commanded Humans, 'Thou Shalt Not Kill'.

So how do we work all the Man-made Gods of Humans,into our Divided Living Lifestyle? Or do we just continue Killing Each Other, and our Home Planet Earth?

Praying for Peace on Earth, means All Humans are Equal Sharing of GODs Resources, with No Killing of Any Life, for Havenots as well as the Haves.

Otherwise, the One GOD of the Universes, cannot give Peace to our Earth Home.

Dolores Lear

Second Thoughts.

Is there a War in Heaven also, among the All the Human Man-Made Gods, as who gets to be the One Highest Man-Made God on Earth?

There is Only One Creator GOD of the Atom and ElectroMagnetic Force Universes, that made and makes Elements that makes Life as we Know it.

This GOD, is not a Human Man-Made God in our Image. No Human can Know, See, or Speak to this GOD of the Elements of LIFE.

Will Graham

William Lane Craig debates coming up in Missouri! Fulton and Maryville.

The Master Debate will be able to give rides to a couple of people if you want to call.


Lynne - www.kcfreethinkers.org

ALL holocaust/genocide deniers are wrong, I don't care if they are religious or atheist. I don't care if they are denying the Jewish holocaust or the Armenian genocide. They are all wrong.

Bill, I hope you'll continue to keep us posted on the book. Sounds like it will be really good! I have always been fascinated by Stanley Milgram's experiments on obedience, which of course were inspired by sadness that so many people did not speak out against the holocaust during WWII. But I wish more information had been collected on the people who refused to obey. Why do some people follow their conscience instead of authority? Why did those Polish families (and some German families) risk their lives to save the Jews, contrary to what they were being told to do? What made them different from everyone else? Were they nonconformist in other ways and if so, does society risk its conscience by not being more open to nonconformity in general?
And the football-God satire was hilarious!I never did understand the concept of sports prayers...I mean, aren't BOTH teams praying and if so, by what criteria is God supposed to pick a side? And if God existed, why would God care about a football game when there is war in the middle east? Which brings up another question - why do people always assume God is on their side during war? Although I'm not Christian now, I was as a child, and I remember being taught that "we are all God's children." But when my kids argue, I don't pick sides or provide weapons, I stop them from fighting. I mean can you imagine, "Mommy! Help me defeat my brother in battle!" "Uh...no. Go to your room." I can't remember who wrote it, but I read somewhere that sports games are symbolic of war. If that's true, then sports prayers are not just silly but sad.

"Atheism as a challenge to organized religion has a worthy vocation to fulfill."

Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

There have been psychological experiments in prisons and also pain threshhold and authroity. People were told that "experiment must go on" and they would shock wiht electricity imaginary someone on the other side. When someone as a person of authority tell you to do it a huge percentage 70-80% would inflict pain on another person just because they are told. They will also increase the level of pain when they are told to do so. This is where irrationality of dogma comes in and this is where Nazis succeeded - propaganda and brainwashing using the intrinsic human nature of submission to authroity.

The same goes to Jews who. According to my wife's parents accounts, some Belarusian Jews refused to display Russian Orthodox icons in the windows of their homes given to them by their Slavic friends and neighbors. My father told me the same story in another area of Belarus. Their dogma and sense of "communion with god" prevented them from survival though they could have. The authority of god was the all powerful figure for them and having been brainwashed some chose not to fight and adapt to environment.

Others in Poland and Belarus and the Ukraine left and joined the "partisans" (Soviet civilian/military resistance fighters).- there is a great movie out there right now about this "Defiance" - based on a true story when Polish Jews moved from Poland to Belarusian forests and joined up with Soviet partisans to fight Nazis.

Who is right and who is wrong among the Jews? Who am I to decide in a dire situation like this? It's all wrong... I don't need space daddy Jesus to tell me that either choice is unbearable.

You make your own "moral relativism" call as any human would based on the situation and just make the best of it.

Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

Re: Jews and what would you do in WWII...

On a few occasions I asked Christians to run a mental experiement to see what they'll do. Let us drop you in Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan and let you go and 'testify' about your faith like many religioius "crazies" do here. Let us see if your will profess 'absolute truth' onto others when it is in a totally different environemnt. Let us see if you would last a day or a week there without any protection. I even offered to pay for the trip to any Christian who would want to do it on his/her own. I've made this offer to dozens of Christians and perhpas hundreds have read it on this blog - not a single answer.

Apparently, Christians today are way different from Christians in the Dark Ages times who wold go and die for their god in Jerusalem and Crusades. I think that Christians today enjoy "suffering" comfortably for Jesus during Superbowl and eating Doritos. He already died for me and paid for my sins, so it's all over. I wonder if someone put a gun to a Christian's head, and told them to convert to Islam or Atheism for that matter - would they?

I bet you a huge number would. I bet it would be just as high as in the 70-90% as with pain and electric shock experiments. There have been similar studies recently that woudl confirm the same results again - people will do stuff unthinkable when under stress and under authority of someone who will tell them to do things or else.

I believe, deep inside, religous people understand they live in a natural world. Even if they don't understand or "know it in their heart" their basic instincts will do the job for them.

The inner workins of our psychology will to a large degree dictate that. All depends on if you have odds of escaping it or not - like Jews in Eastern Europe who were basically walled out and had no choice but to die at hands of the Nazis. Some chose to resist, but it was a minority. What is interesting that the church in Eastern & Western Europe was virutally silent on the Jews - this is really phenomenal to me when it comes to Christianity. They perhpas realized that htye had to survive themslves for the glory of Jesus - "moral relativism" at its best.

Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

Some Jews in Kansas City I know are totally secular and only identify themselves as "cultural Jews". To them idea of 'god' is as crazy as to me idea of counting on stars guiding my destiniy.

It is unfortunate that during WWII people had to make a choice between their faith and survival. But this is moral relativism at its worst - German soldiers who had "Gott Mitt Uns" (God with Us) on their belt buckles also had to make the same choice. German officers at concentration camps and doctors would go to church with their families or others and pray to the same god who's chosen people they had in the barracks.

Compartmentalizing their priorities and being under the spell of a "magic dust" by Hitler and Nazi regime was nothing more than just another way, just different from Jewish being under the "magic spell of the god's dust" . The Jews just had no choice and were completely overwhelmed by the "destiny" of god's plan for them and the covenant they had with him.

Very few Jews were able to move before they knew about what was coming to them. Had there been open borders then like in Europe today, mass communication like Internet, cell phones and TV, people would have been able to move en masse avoiding problems. But again, in an open society Hitlers are virutally impossible, so this would not be an issue.

Nazis and the plight of Jews/Slavs/Russians and Europeans who were masacred was a powerful call to stop "magic man did it" talk in Europe and concentrate on "today and tomorrow" wihtout thinking about space daddies.


It's pretty tough to pretend that there are two equitable sides to a conflict, when one is poor and starving and the other has every weapon and resource at its command. A bully's thrashing is exactly that: a bully's thrashing. The death of 1000+, with over a third children, does not compare to the deaths of soldiers in the teens.

Israel has now worked its way through the first through third step of Stahl's list:
1. Palestinian construction workers marked with a red cross inflamed the world three years ago, but we barely notice that their autos, which are denied "the best" license plates, label the Palestinians as unfit to travel freely to their homes or on good roads.
2.Palestinian lands and homes have systematically been expropriated. Settlements exploded, supported by the Bush administration.
3.Isolation. Palestinians have been systematically ghettoized and have no freedom of movement. Israel passes into their ghetto to take more lands or kill, at will.

"What would you do if you were faced with a murderous regime that wanted you dead and what would you do to save people whom such a regime targeted?"

I have faith that I would have fought for the Jews in Poland and elsewhere. Hiding them in my home, protesting and perhaps even bearing arms. But I would also march for the Palestinians, because Israel is moving closer and closer to genocide, as it performs genocidal acts.

What would you have done, Bill? And why aren't you doing anything now?

Lynne - www.kcfreethinkers.org


Just wanted to point out that we're talking about the same experiments: the ones in which people were asked to "shock" other people for wrong answers (there were no real shocks administered but the test subjects did not know that) are the Stanley Milgram experiments. And actually, the percentage who agreed to give what they thought were harmful shocks was 65%.

If anyone wants more info, check out the Stanley Milgram site at:

The question is, how do we teach people to be a 35-percenter?

Will Graham

Patricia, your Jew hating smear of Israel is absurd and a vicious lie.

Israel has done nothing close to genocide; there are almost a million Arab citizens of Israel with full rights.

In which other of the 22 Arab countries, and expecially the Arab countries with virtually ALL of the oil wealth in the Middle East, could Jews have that level of full participation?


You are a liar.

The world needs to learn, if you attack Jews, the Jews will strike back. The days of hiding in cellars and attics are gone with World War II.

Never Again!!!

Will Graham

The Wehrmacht, the regular German Army did have "Gott Mitt Uns" on their belt buckle, but so what? This was a tradition from the nineteeth century, established by Bismarck.

The tradition had no ties to Hitler, who hated Christians as much as Jews. Richard Dawkins points out that Hitler considered both Judaism and Christianity Jewish inventions.

The S.S., the true military/political enforcers, had no such label on their belt buckles.

Iggy - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

Suprisingly, in Eastern and North Eastern part of Belarus pockets of Jews survived. When my father retired from Soviet miltary after 27 years in the service we moved to the city of Vitebsk in Belarus from Russia where his sister lived. I recall that in 1980's when I was in middle and high school we had a few Jewish kids in my class. One of them Michael was my buddy and we shared a desk. We had a good time together in classes, he was excellent in math and phisics and I copied answers to quizzes from him every now and then. We'd spend time at each other homes, go skiing, hang out with friends. Jewish identity in Belarus was diluted to the point of "natonality" rather than "Jewishness". Everyone had a passport with their nationality written in it and you could have chosen nationality of either of your parents (don't know if you could have chosen the nationality of the republic you were born in if your parents were not from there). Either way, "Jewishness" of Russian/Soviet Jews was I think a secondary factor, they identified themselves more by a "geographic" factor in each republic than being Jewish.

Many "Russian" Jews from differnt part of the former Soviet Union in Kansas City call themselves "Russians" or "Soviet" even talking to each other - they refer to themselves as "iz Rossii" "from Russia" or "iz Sovdepa" - "from Soviet Deputies land" - especially mid age, older generation or from the republic they are from.

Moral relativism again at work - you call yoruself whatever you want to call yourself. Absolute Truth of god has nothign to do with it - it is "relying on your own understanding" though it says in Luke I think "Do not rely on your own understanding". How can you not?

This would be delusional.


From my studies of Hitler: he was an opportunistic fiend who played both sides to get what he wanted. He was a lunatic! Who I think was and is despised by christians and atheists, and especially by jews. Good riddens to him. Arguing over his beliefs I feel is fruitless. Like I always say about the natural world and the supernatural world: Lets get on to the natural world. That’s where we live and on this natural world there is no formula for supernaturalism.

This god and sports thing is truly a riot! Half a page! was given to this subject yesterday in the KC Star. Please. God is concerned about one team or player over another?! Children are laying in the streets with their bellies exploding from hunger and god is listening to a football players’ prayers? If people actually think this, then they need help from a shrink.

It seems religions screws up more than it helps.

I Know More Than God. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qymoktf0wY

O.T. verse of the day: Genesis1:31
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

N.T. verse of the day: Revelation 8:7
The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

Gospel according to Woody Allen: I don't want to achieve immortality through my work ... I want to achieve it through not dying.

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

adam harrison

Cole, we are not going to let you forget that Hitler was an atheist.

Further proof of this was his admiration for Nietzsche...also a Christian hater who was famous for declaring God is dead. Of course no he is dead.

Ideas matter. And every officially atheistic government, like the one Iggy left, has been a cesspool. The fact that he could not learn this does not reflect highly on his intellectual ability.


adam harrison

Iggy's speculations about putting a gun to a Christians head and wondering what would happen should be reported Bill.

See his third paragraph on the 11:10 post.

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