Wednesday, March 18, 2015

An Ex-Jewish Camel's Sad Epiphany on Israeli Fanaticism

As some of my readers may know, I was raised in an upper middle class Jewish family. My parents were  reformed Jews, as secular as can be, although my father  had in his bedroom closet a velvet pouch containing his prayer shawl and  phylacteries, a leather strap with two leather boxes containing scripture from the Torah that one wrapped around one's forearm during prayer.  I actually saw him don the shawl and phylacteries only  once in my life during attendance at some high holy day service at temple.  Family attendance at synagogue trickled down to never once my older brother was bar mitzvahed and before I reached my teens.

By that time I had already begun to question religion and the existence of God, although it was only a casual perception and did not occupy my preteen mind.  I opted out of Hebrew school and the offer of a bar mitzvah

I did however retain a very strong identity with the Jewish people, and empathy for their two thousand years of persecution and injustice heaped upon them by the Christian world. My mother lost some distant relatives to the Nazi extermination camps.  I could easily personalize the fear of the European Jews. The horror of the holocaust and pictures of the victims, children and adults, both the dead and survivors, easily brought me to tears.    Given this background it's not hard to imagine that my support for a Jewish homeland  has been adamant and unwavering for my entire life. 

Fast forward to the fifteenth year of the 21st century ...

Today I received an invitation to "like" a facebook page entitled "JEWS NEWS".  I followed the link to that page and immediately realized I cannot in good conscience endorse it. Not only because  it dishonors and demeans President Obama, implying he was an enemy of the Jewish state at worst, or a Neville Chamberlain to Israel at best; and not only because the "news" it reported was tantamount to  FOX News with its politics being so far right and  with a pro-Israel / pro-Jewish slant so steep that it was no better than propaganda thus making impartial reporting utterly impossible; but because in the last few weeks I've come to reconsider my half century of undying and unshakable support for Israel born of my upbringing and empathy for my distant kinsmen.

I have come to realize that the Israeli Jews have more in common with fundamentalist Dominionist Christians, and Jihadist Muslims than they do with me.  They share the commonality of extremism.

I can not ignore the mindless fanaticism of Netanyahu's disavowing the thirty-five year understanding of the West's and  Israel's commitment to a Two Nation solution to the never ending Palestinian/Israeli conflict.  I can no longer support a people who, by their vote for Netanyahu's hawkish and uncompromising mentality, endorse that reversal and who insist that continued conflict with the Palestinian authority and all out war with Iran is the only path, let the peacemakers be damned. 

No longer does this reality permit me to keep on the blinders of the history of Jewish victim-hood, with clean hands and in search of peaceful co-existence. They destroyed that facade forever now that their partnership with the End Times Prophecy seeking Christian money men in the US Congress has been openly declared.   

This epiphany was long in coming, but for the first time in that over half century of unyielding and uncompromising support for everything Israeli, I see them in the same light as I do any other flavor of  religious and nationalistic fanaticism, and it disgusts me.  Times have changed, and so too have the Jewish people of Israel. I'll have none of it anymore.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

“Don't judge people who believe in God." Don't get me started!!

If there’s one way to get my hump in a twist it’s to tell me "...don't judge people who believe in God.", as though they are due some special exemption from criticism and derision. .

What exactly does that even mean? That we shouldn't pass judgment on Pat Robertson, Rev. Hagee, Joel Osteen and his wife, or Ray "Banana Boy" Comfort, and their ilk who spread hate and lies and steal from the religiously afflicted - unencumbered by either a conscience or reality?

Nor should we judge those who kill abortion doctors in the name of their man-god; or those who decree that gays are not full citizens due equal rights because the bible says they should be killed? That we shouldn't judge those who want this to be called a "Christian Nation"; reject the “separation of church and state” as some kind of liberal ploy; and  who would deny the full rights of atheists? 

Or shall we ignore those who demand Creationism be foisted on the young instead of the scientific reality of evolutionary theory? Or those who kill apostates in the name of their god? Or those who let their children die from curable disease by withholding medical science, preferring prayer? Or those who would elevate to sainthood an old woman when in reality she was an abusive, sadistic, demented, money grubbing witch (Mother Teresa)? 
Why the hell should we not judge people who believe in god? Why are they exempt from being judged as imbeciles, ignorant throwbacks, and sheeple who are deluded by superstition and who follow the precepts of pre-scientific bronze age nomads and 2nd century cultists if it is to the detriment of freedom, reason, equality, and scientific advancement and discovery?

This is not to imply I endorse judging people simply because of their belief (or non-belief) and nothing more. To do so is to make snap judgment, prone to mis-characterization. I have been guilty of this myself.

We must judge people based on their actions and their speech. We do it every day. If their actions trespass on the rights, freedoms and equality of others, on the intent of the founding fathers, on scientific advance, on educational advancement then their actions should be judged and judged harshly - their invoking “God's intent” or citing their book of horrors and fable doesn't insulate them from judgment. To do otherwise would be to relinquish ones right to condemn those who make this world "less' ...never mind if they believe in a God or gods or not.
To hell with those who think they are somehow above criticism / AKA being judged. It is not only our right, it’s our obligation. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Amputating one’s genitals for Jesus: The godly thing to do?

The man pictured above cut off his penis.  He is a devout Christian, a member of the   Redeemed Christian Church of God in Lagos, Nigeria. His reasoning…if one can call it such…is that his penis was a distraction, leading him astray from God.  He expects it to grow back in three weeks. I’d proffer that he is in for a disappointment.  The whole story here:

There is a passage in the bible about plucking out ones eye if it "offends thee" or dismembering a part of the body that is doing evil. It’s a parable. Here's the preferred Christian explanation that evidently no one mentioned to this fanatic:
"The cutting off of the hand or foot, or the plucking out of the eye will not solve the problem of sin. Since Satan uses these avenues to make us commit evil and sin, Christ was advising us not to give the members of the body to be instruments of the devil. Our hands, our eyes, our feet, our tongue, our ears, and all our body parts need to be guarded and protected from the evil one as he uses these avenues to make us corrupt."


But there is also Matthew 19:12 in which Jesus is purported to have said:
For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.”

Uh-oh! Sounds like an endorsement of genital amputation to me. Origen, a 2nd Century CE Christian and scholar, is purported to have castrated himself for the faith based on this verse.

Now some people would take a sympathetic view point on this unfortunate’s action.  I cannot.  People blow themselves up in the name of their god, they kill others in the name of god, and they initiate wars in the name of god.  Many obscene and tragic things are committed in the name of god/religion. My sympathy is reserved for their innocent victims, not for the religiously inspired / driven / obsessed perpetrators of religious horror.

Some would say that those who are entranced / deceived by scripture and who thus hurt themselves are also victims. Perhaps so. But then, shall we also shed a tear for the third generation adult Christian Snake Handler in the Appalachians, who after seeing his father and grandfather die from venomous bites, knowingly and gleefully takes up the cult practice because he was deceived by his progenitor and the scripture they embrace in spite of what his own eyes tell him? I'll shed not a tear for his demise. His religious affliction is ostensibly terminal. I will only hope that his child can avoid it, and that the cult will eventually die out either via extinction from snake bite, or abandonment through the recovery of long lost common sense. 

I'd rather 10,000 hyper-religious neurotics or psychotics castrate themselves than for one child to be born to them and be subjected to the madness inherent in fanatical superstitious belief - not only for the child's sake, but for the sake of civilization which will benefit from the prospective parent not procreating and thus contributing to the eventual demise of religion and its hurtful, often insane, practices.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In Rememberence and disgust.

Seventy years ago this week, the Soviet army liberated Auschwitz -exposing the undeniable evidence of the atrocity of the Nazis and the most grotesque aspects of the curse of religion ever perpetrated on mankind. 

The hideousness of the Holocaust begs the answer to the eternal question posed by the Greek philosopher Epicurus:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Believers will deny Christianity and their obsession with "Christ killer Jews" is to blame. They will move to avert placing the blame on their god for this inhumane obscenity. They will say "God gave man free will", as though it gives their god a pass.  They will invoke the "
theodicy problem", the defense of God's goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil, which they will claim is "still unanswered."

But in fact the theodicy problem
has been answered ever since the first atheist existed ... religionists simply don't acknowledge that answer.  To do so would kill their god, just as sure as their insane religious affliction killed the Jews.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Why [some] Liberals are in Denial about the Threat of Islam: The Camel explains it all.

 “Hatred And Stupidity Killed 12 People, Not Religion”

That’s the headline PoliticusUSA  ran last Friday in response to the Muslim terrorist attack in France. They go on to say blaming Islam for the acts of these bastards is unfair. That it is tantamount to blaming Christianity because of Timothy McVeigh’s murderous demolition of the Federal Building in Oklahoma years ago.  To which I respond:  BULLSHIT!

Here’s the whole story, if you can stomach it:

What a silly, unthinking, dishonest and utterly misguided article. McVeigh didn't kill in the name of Christianity, or in the defense of his God or Jesus.  Just invoking McVeigh in some kind of perverted attempt to diminish the role of Islamic religious fervor in the Paris tragedy is the worst kind of grotesque false equivalence.

These Muslim fanatics killed specifically because their interpretation of the Koran demands they defend Muhammad's honor. Pictures or ridicule of Muhammad demand the offenders’ deaths.  Period. Without that religious imperative it never would have happened and seventeen innocent people would be alive today. 

When is Liberal America going to stop pretending that Islam / Muslims and the Koran had no part in this and every other Islamic attack the world over?  Did Islam also have no part in the killing of that journalist cartoonist Theo Van Gogh in Amsterdam a few years ago, or the death fatwa still in place against the author Salmon Rushdie for his book "Satanic Verses"?  What drove those acts of violence and incivility if not religion?  When a Muslim apostate is murdered by a Muslim believer; or a “blasphemer” in Saudi is given one-thousand lashes for his “crime” is it because of hate and stupidity, or is it because Islam and the Koran demands it ?

Now, had they suggested that religiosity makes people haters and stupid, then they’d be on the right track. But to deny Islam’s role and responsibility for the acts of these fanatics is either the highest level of stupidity or gross dishonesty - overt denial out of some misguided attempt to placate Muslims and paint a pretty picture of “the religion of peace.”   It fails on both counts. At best it succeeds in putting lipstick on a pig.  It doesn’t fool anyone who possesses eyes, ears, a brain to process fact and reality,  and who is not cowed by Islamic threats of vengeance.

Islam is where Christianity was eight-hundred or so years ago. Anyone who is not a follower of the pedophile Prophet is “the other”, someone to hold in suspicion and a potential convert.  Anyone who opposes Islam, or who leaves Islam, or who offends Islam is the enemy to be dealt with as prescribed by the Koran, a preferred Hadith verse, or by a vengeful and maniacal Imam. How many more times do we need to see it repeated before we call it what it is: religiously instigated psychosis?

The Liberal press’ tendency to deny the truth, to sugar coat it, to cloak it in secular terms in an effort to spare Muslim’s feelings, or to appease those Muslims who stand ready to kill en masse at any hint of disgust and rejection of what Islam stands for, is an act of appeasement at best, or out right dishonesty at its worst. It’s time to wake up and call Islam what it is: a potentially infectious disease steeped in medieval ignorance and vengeance. To deny it will be Western culture’s death knell.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

'Je Suis Charlie' : In solidarity with the French who stand against Islamic Intimidation

Blasphemy?? Too damn bad!

The freedom of expression will never be crushed by mindless religionist fervor. 

I stand with the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. Let the jihadists, and their child molesting prophet be damned.