When the subject is death: 6-17-09
Congregations big and little: 6-19-09

A new Jewish voice: 6-18-09

If you've signed up for my class at Ghost Ranch next month (it's full; sorry), you know that we'll be talking about ways in which our prophetic voices can help repair the world.

Jewish-symbols

Today that means using blogs and such social networking sites as Facebook to engage the world on issues that need attention and to offer your own faith-based perspective on them.

With that in mind, I was intrigued recently to learn about a new online Jewish publication called Tablet Magazine.

Here is its creators' description of this e-zine: "Tablet is a daily online magazine of Jewish news, ideas, and culture. A newspaper-magazine-blog hybrid, we offer up-to-the-minute reactions to the day's news, sophisticated cultural coverage, and in-depth investigations of broad trends in Jewish life."

Surf around at Tablet, whether you're Jewish or not, and I think you'll find a useful and quickly responsive site that will help you understand the world from a Jewish perspective. Yes, of course, I know that there are lots and lots and lots of Jewish perspectives -- even on the same subject. So over time I think you'll find a good variety of voices there.

Faith communities that don't learn to communicate effectively using up-to-date technology may well find themselves shrinking into obscurity. The trick is to maintain a consistent and authentic message no matter what means are used to communicate it.

* * *

BETTER RED THAN GOD-IS-DEAD?

The Communist Party USA has created a new Religion Commission, the "On Faith" blog of the Washington Post reports. Apparently the goal is not to work to do away with religion but to attract people of faith to join the party. Hmmm. Wonder why I would join a sunken ship that, when it was sailing, wanted to haul me off to oblivion.

* * *

P.S.: I take it as a hopeful sign that the senior cleric in Iran says nobody believes the recent presidential election there wasn't rigged. Good for him for not being afraid to speak out against what many see as an obvious injustice.

Comments

Susan

http://www.tabletmag.com/news-and-politcs/a-man-of-the-past/

Above is a link to an interesting article at the Jewish Tablet Magazine Bill linked to. The author shows support for our President's approach to negotiations, and feels Israeli Prime Ministser Benjamin Netanyahu is stuck in the past. Another article there seems more favorable to to the Israeli Prime Minister, though, so Bill is right that this magazine shares diverse perspectives. I'm glad you've told us about it, Bill!

I sure hope Iran has a re-election ... and I also see Communisnm as a sinking ship.

From yesterday -- don't worry, Red Biddy, I found a place online where I can read Mein Kampf for free, and I'm just doing it a little at a time. As rare as it is that we can afford to buy books, you can bet Mein Kampf is NOT a financial priority!

IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

I am surprised that the Communist party still exists in the US, Bill. However crazy the Communist experience has been in the world one cannot but equate Jesus with Communism on Earth (fathers' kingdom) or at least very communistic socialism - his treatment of the poor and rich and "redistribution" of wealth in the New Testament.

I think "religous crazies" (sorry, I have to include you into this category today) don't have the bird's eye view on it and will overlook what Jesus was - a mear mortal in a materialistic world who had a grandiose narcistic picture of himself as a "Communist/communal" leader calling for the Jewish vote and for people of faith around the little dustry desert region of the world known to him to unite.

He actually used the "dictatorship of proletariat" idea (the kingdom is my fathers) with "religion as opium of the people" and getting rid of the ideological competition (overterning tables in the temple with all the while he scared people sh.tless with the whip used by Romans for torture) and substituting "from everyone according to his abilities, to everyone according to his needs" by "don't think about the future, give up all your possessions, hate your family, monther and father and join me".

I don't know what the fuss is all about - Communism as we know it today through the failed Soviet, Cuban, East European experience was "predicted" and already demonstrated in the Bible by Jesus - the guy miserably failed then - i.e. died for a kibutz idea, so the whole communist ship (in the shape it was practed in the Soviet Union) could not have survived with the freedom of expression practiced in the world at that time.

Capitalism is really the only foundaiton as I see it that will provide both the means of prodcution and abilty of people to get what they need to live on. As a capitalist myself I know the drill, but one can clearly see that virtually every developed country in the owlrd (inclduing US now and towards the end of the GW presidency) are heading if not already in the semi socialist/communist state already.

And I say - who cares what you call it? - the same way I don't give a hoot if you are a Xian or a Muslim or an atheist. The qeustion is are you a "crazy" one and what you do with your beliefs.

Jesus as a communist? - THINK ABOUT IT...

IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

J in Mission,

The space alien Yahweh (aka Gawd, the fatehr of Jesus) must have spoken to me through you... I could not but start reading the Proverbs... Some more pearls of wisdom from the Proverbs - nothing is taken ou of the context here and Yes, I agree with you - the context is pretty straightforward.

I wonder why the hell would god inspire anythign of this kind? - Oh, I get it... These parts were never meant to be permanent. OK, makes sense... Thanks to Just Thinking for clarifying it.

*******YOUR DAILY NON SENSICAL BIBILICAL QUOTES********

18:6 "A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes."
Fools are meant to be beaten.
19:18 Beat your children and don't stop just because they cry.
19:29 - "Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools." Scorners (skeptics?) should be condemned; fools should be beaten.
20:27 "The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly."
******ARE YOU CHRISTIANS READING THIS???***** Searching parts of the belly? - WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO FIND IN THE BELLY THAT IS OF THE LORD?******
20:29 "The beauty of old men is the grey head."
20:30 - "The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly."
******WHAT??????????????????????????????********** Is there Voodoo in the Bible or somethin'?

Will Graham

Prime Minister Netanyahu is not stuck in the past...because he knows that Hamas still wants to destroy Israel...as does the leadership of Iran, soon to have nuclear weapons.

Amd the Charter of Hamas has been posted here repeatedly, and their positon is clear. To continue to pretend like this is not happening is willful ingnorance.

Will Graham

I find it somewhat ironic that Susan praised the Presidents approach to negotiations in the same paragraph that she talks about reading Mein Kampf.

Chamberlain...look him up...used the same approach, and showed "respect" and "understanding" for Herr Hiter at Munich; we now call it appeasement and the result was World War and Holocaust.

IN reading Mein Kampf, you will be delving into the mind of a psychotic liar.

Of course, Red Biddy told us yesterday that when Hitler claimed to be doing the work of the Lord, he wasn't lying!

Wasn't lying?!? You mean he was doing the work of the Lord?

Of course he wasn't, Red Biddy is not making sense.

And in fact she gives away that fact that she knows other forces were at work, as she mentions the treaty of Versailles.

To continue to label "Christianty" as reponsible for the Holocaust is just ANOTHER form of bigotry.

Red Biddy theories as recently expressed are flawed because Hitler didn't just kill Jews...he killed millions of others including Three Million Catholic Poles and had targeted the slavs of eastern Europe, over TWENTY MILLION OF THEM, for destruction.

Eugneics was about eliminating the weak and unfit...completely in line with the Atheistic Philospher Nietzsche, whom Hitler praised.

"Elimination of the weak and defective. the first principle of our philosophy! And we should help them to do it!" Nietzsche, The AntiChrist, sec. 2

Dolores Lear

Bill's Referral:
"On Faith" blog of the Washington Post reports...Bob Avarkian, is author of the book "Away With All Gods! Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World."

Me:
I am also about Unchaining the Mind, with High Tech Science, about Pagan Religions and Modern Religions in Temples made by Human Hand, that Humans are taught as a Child.

The High Tech Events to Natural Humans, were Supernatural without High Tech Science.

The Past 100 years the Natural Human Civilization, had a High Tech Science Revolution.

Now High Tech Humans project Colonizing a Null and Void Watery Planet like Earth was, 'in the beginning'. Venus is like that today.

High Tech Humans today, do fly up in the air on Thrones, Airplanes and Helicopters. Humans fly 'supernaturally' in Fiery Chariots/Shuttles, into Space. So did the Noah/Atlantis Society.

The Lord God in Genesis had other non-polluting power to fly in the Universe, possibly Electro-Magnetic.

Humans today make a Human Fetus in the Lab, without the 'natural' sex act to the female. Humans have made many immaculate conceptions, and put the fetus into the Female, like Mary, mother of Jesus.

Adam and Eve were Reproduced Supernaturally in a High Tech Lab, not by 'natural' Body Birth.

Today Humans Know if we had a High Tech womb, we could also Reproduce without Body Birth, like the Lord God in Genesis.

A High Tech Translation of all Religious Scripture and Myth could Solve many of the Past 'Supernatural' Mysteries, and Unchain our Minds from Hate to Love.

And Radically Change the Human Lifestyle, that has Humans Killing Each Other, Polluted our Home Planet, and making Nuclear Bombs on Land and Sea.

This Killing Lifestyle is called the Religious Love of God, and Love our Brothers/Sisters of Life? Actions speak louder than Words.

Dolores Lear

Will:
"...the leadership of Iran, soon to have nuclear weapons."

Me:
Who says so Will? The USA was wrong about Iraq. Nine countries already have nuclear bombs, including Israel, and Muslim Countries. Why not Iran?

Revelation 13:1. KJV. "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy."

My interpretation is the beast with seven heads is our Planet's Seven Continents. The ten horns are Ten Countries with Nuclear Bombs.

We now have nine countries on the 7 continents that have the Nuclear Bomb/Horn. What will happen when 10 countries, Iran or Korea have them?

The USA used two Atomic Bombs, when no one else had any. So No Armageddon War at that time.

With so many countries having Nuclear Bombs now, what would happen if a country used them today?

It would seem the more countries that have them, would be better control, so that No One would use them now.

Would the other countries use them, on the country that dared to use them? Would this cause the War to End All Wars? The Last Days 'Arm'ageddon War?

This would Not only Destroy the Human Enemies, but All Life on Earth. Who would Dare go against, all the other countries with Nuclear Bombs, and Commit Country Suicide?

The General Opinion in the USA, seems to wants God to Bless America, and let the USA be the First Again, to use the Bomb.

Susan

Iggy, the difference between what Jesus was advocating, and the practice of Communism in the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Eastern Europe, is of course that Jesus never advocated FORCING people to give up their money and live the Communist way. Following Him was a CHOICE.

This (embracing coercion) is where Hitler turned ugly, too. Yes, his growing anti-Judaism was ugly -- but if he hadn't started to glorify the use of force, he may very well have been a young man who lived some more and realized everyone didn't fit into these neat little compartments that he'd created to make sense of his experience living in Vienna in poverty.

However, when he had Marxism literally rammed down his throat at his labor job, and his arguments were met with the threat to throw him off the scaffolding if he didn't leave ... and after spending considerable time persuading colleagues of the errors of Marxism, only to have them revert back to believing in it the very next day --

Hitler very sadly started believing in the coercive TACTICS the Marxists were employing. He just thought their message was wrong -- so he decided what was needed was for his "truer" message to be propogated using the same tactics of fear and coercion. He'd determined that the working classes weren't capable of deep thought about anything, and you just had to meet force with force. (Continued)

Just Thinking

The unnatural hatred of Christians by atheists is amazing. It seems that atheists cannot promote their agendas without constantly attacking Christians. They are hate-filled, venomous and angry. But, Jesus said to expect it. Whenever they think of Christians, they're reminded of their sin.

Their problems with authority start with their denial of conscience. They'll do what they *want* to do! Christians are nagging reminders of their unsettled consciences. Atheists desparately want to silence the voice inside which declares their sin to be WRONG. Instead they lash out at the authority that declares sin wrong. There's no relief because they REFUSE GRACE.

John 15:18-25 -- The World Hates the Disciples
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.'"

Susan

(Continued) If Hitler hadn't decided force was necessary, he may very well have lived to realize that truthseekers spend their whole lives endeavoring to get closer to the truth, and the main way they do this is through eliminating their own errors. To be a truthseeker, it's essential to be open to the possibility, and actually the likelihood, that you are in error about some (even all) things, and also you need to realize your knowledge is always incomplete: you always have so much to learn.

Hitler, the free-spirited young man who resisted his father's attempts to map out his life for him, grew into a million times more of a dictator than his father ever was. Because he became so sure of the rightness of his opinions, he stopped listening -- and equally because he gave up all confidence in his fellow men, and their ability and right to be self-determining as he was.

But of course he could never have acheived the horrors he acheived, without the help of Christian anti-Judaism, and the Eugenics movement also helped set the stage for the atrocities of the Holocaust. There is obviously not a simple X caused Y explanation: And the more you study it, the more complex you realize it was. But, bottomline, prejudice was the thread that ran through the whole ugly garment.

adam harrison

Well put. JT.

What I find ASTOUNDING is that someone who received their "education" under that system, when it was still in control in the eighties, would come on this board using the same tactics of ridicule and intimidation (threats to call the police, notices that the police are watching this blog, statements that they like to photograph and track people and "gaze into their eyes, etc.) thinking that such tactics would work here.

I guess, to be fair, in the old country that they couldn't wait to get out of, the suggestion that the POLICE was the ultimate intimidation.

Here, of course, we have as different tradition of religous freedom that they don't understand...they seem to think it means beleivers have to be silent and SHUT UP in public.

adam harrison

Susan, I am amazed that you actually think that "freethinkers" don't use coercion.

You have seen it demonstrated on this blog.

And trying just talking about Intelligent Design, for example, in a science class...not advocating it, just talking about it...and see how long that lasts! My own experience and that of my cousin and a couple of others from church was eye opeining.

This was futher demonstrated to us at some freethought meetings. Your suggestion that they would not use coercion is ludicrous.

adam harrison

Susan, your continued references to "Christian Anti Judaism" are just another form of bigotry and prejudice in itself.

Historian Richard Overy has demonstrated that Christianity was severely weakened before the Nazis even started their rise to power.

Richard Dawkins has demonstrated that Hitler hated Christianity and considered it a Jewish Invention, like Bolshevism

Edwin Black has demonstrated the force of the Eugenics movement, and the complicity of the scientists of the day.

You have the facts...they are undeniable.

Just Thinking

Are you starting to see, Susan, how Hitler's blame game worked? How he began to blame the Jews for his inability to achieve what he wanted?

About ten years ago I read an article about how professional jealousy is the worst kind. Even if someone has no other jealous bone in their body, they may well be fiercely jealous and competitve in their occupation. A person may be kind and nurturing in personal relationships and yet cut-throat in their business relationships. It's because working people invest so much of their waking life in their work that professional achievement can become so critically important to some. Some people's self-esteem is directly tied to what they do, how they are perceived, and how much they make. They are what they do.

Hitler's professional disappointments were an incredible driving force in his hatred of Jews. Hitler had a severe personality defect that made his professional jealousy erupt into hatred: Hitler had an incredibly egomaniacal, arrogant view of himself that would not allow him to accept failure. His enormous book "Mein Kampf" (i.e., my struggle) explains what I'm saying. Anything that Hitler could not achieve was someone else's fault; it could never be his. He believed that the Jews were in control of the arts, where he so desparately wanted to achieve. So he came to hate the Jews. This professional hatred became the seed of all of Hitler's wrath and destruction.

One blogger here blamed Christians for keeping him down. Because Christians were the bulk of his customer base, he blamed Christians. Rather than analyzing the economy or *his* *own* *jerk* *behavior*, he deluded himself into believing that Christians rejected/oppressed him because he was an atheist. Like Hitler, I believe that these crazy, unfounded resentments became the seed of his wrathful Christian hatred.

adam harrison

Susan's idea that the truthseeker must accept that they could be in error about all things is of course irrational and self refuting.

How so? Susan makes a statement, that she could be in error about all things.

But if she could be wrong about all things, then maybe she is wrong about the statement that she could be in error about all things.

And if that statement is false, then she is not in error about all things.

Q.E.D.

Her position of course leads to moral relativism, whether she will admit it here or not. Further, she seems to think her position is somehow courageous, when in fact if reflects a lack of courage to stand up for what you know is right.

adam harrison

Who is really to blame for the Holocaust?

Atheist Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, gives us the answer!

http://atheismisdead.blogspot.com/2009/06/holocaust-and-blame.html

Susan

adamh, there is a huge difference between moral relativism and fallibilism. Moral relalativists don't believe in absolute or universal truth -- whereas we fallibilists DO believe in universal truth: we just believe that we, as humans, are fallible and therefore need to remain open to the possibility, indeed even the probability, that we are wrong, and also that our understanding is incomplete. I've linked to this article on fallibilism by physiscist David Deutsch here before -- but I think maybe it's time to do it again.

http://www.takingchildrenseriously.com/node/16

Some interesting facts about David Deutsch: he was born in 1953 in Haifa, Israel, and he is an Atheist. I've been surprised that none of the Atheists here have ever mentioned him, or if you guys have I haven't noticed. He has built much of his philosophy of science and learning, on the ideas of Karl Popper.

About whatever Sam Harris said about the Jewish people being to blame for the Holocaust (though I noticed one of the blog commenters said the quote was taken out of context, so I'm not actually sure what Harris meant) -- Harris is just one Atheist. Just as one or some Muslims denying the Holocaust doesn't lead me to assume they are speaking for ALL Muslims -- so one Atheist making what seems to be a derogatory comment about the Jews, doesn't lead me to assume he is speaking for ALL Atheists.

If anyone here is assuming that whatever Harris said, speaks for all Atheists everywhere, I sure as heck hope Red Biddy will set them straight. (Continued)

Susan

(Continued) More about Hitler: It's really too bad he wasn't a fallibilist: he just had this strong urge to figure things out and fit everyting and everybody into neat little explanatory boxes -- and then he just left everything where he put it. His real downfall was that he wasn't open to ever being wrong.

I can somewhat understand his shock when he came to the big city, and saw all kinds of diversity and behaviors that he was totally unfamiliar with. And of course he was a lot younger than I was when I came to live and work in Kansas City, after growing up in Shawnee, Kansas. I experienced some things that made me think I'd been awfully naive to think we were all the same, and the only differneces were "skin deep." And some of my experiences of being the minority for the first time, made me wonder if maybe it really was just "us" against "them."

And I felt this even though my experiences were overwhelmingly positive: that's the funny thing about prejudice -- those isolated experiences can loom up really big in your mind if you let them. So ... all I can say is I'm thankful that I'm a fallibilist. I can have all kinds of angry thoughts, or even go through a phase of feeling some prejudice -- but since I'm open to being proved wrong, and actually WANT to be proved wrong (about my negative assumptions) -- I've been able to come full circle and outgrow these ugly phases.

Of course, the more I mature, the more I realize I have layers like an ogre, I mean onion, so I am forever learning to lay aside my assumptions in various situations, and just get to know the people.

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