Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Peace elusive, wonder why?

November 20, 2012

Israel once nurtured Hamas as an alternative to the PLO.  Now the John Hageeites, who have sworn fealty to the Bebe bomb bomb man, want to ban Hamas from Twitter.  There are those of us who will persistently seek knowledge and will expose the Taliban emulation of the Israeli tyrants.

American politicians have kowtowed to TelAviv despite its aggressive settlements and its excesses like torpedoes into our USS Liberty.  The long range interests if Israel and the world would be better served by moderation and compromise but Bebe is now up for reelection and serves his root constituency with murderous behavior.  On radical right radio I recently heard a Hageeite preaching the clear choice between “good and evil”.  His listeners of course must’ve soaked it up having been shielded from the facts of decades of offenses against Muslims and Palestinian Christians by Israel and harangued with anti-Palestinian stories.  The U.S. must scold its unruly ally before it is too late.   Those of the John Nelson Darby “faith” may seek to destroy the world precipitously, but many of us want reconciliation and healing.

Cacaphony of Catholic cant

November 12, 2009

The news today focuses on the Catholic diocese of Washington, DC and its threats to cease its charities to locals if DC oks gay marriage and protects gay rights. The position seems to be we reserve the right to refuse compassion to people based upon the way they are born (God created & not aborted, we presume). The obvious politics of this and the ludicrous illogic overwhelms me. Of course, anyone who’s seen the movie The Mission knows callous politics has a long history of eclipsing mercy and justice from the authorities of the church.

Jimmy Carter

July 21, 2009

While I had ambivalent feelings about Jimmy Carter during his presidency, I have come more and more to appreciate and admire him. His frank analyses of the mistreatment of Palestinians, his constant missions to insure peace & fairness in many places, and now his denunciation of the SBC. The Southern Baptists have, in my opinion, been too far from the heart of Jesus revolutionary message. I’m impressed that President Carter has spoken out on their misogyny.

the threads & the tears in the fabric

July 3, 2009

Somehow I missed the news recently that Salvador Allende’s widow Hortensia Bussi, also known as Tencha, had died. A post by Johann Hari discussing the recent coup in Honduras and comparing it to the overthrow of Allende allerted me to this obit news and dramatically also to the fact that the US orchestrated overthrow of a democratically elected head of state in 1973 occurred on September 11 of that year.
The death of Allende and the horrific atrocities that followed have been a thread in my political conversion through the years. I was first aware that the 1973 events were not as Nixon & Kissinger would have us believe when good college friends who had relatives in Chile tried to explain the situation to me. Then I read Missing and saw the movie about the US journalist Charles Horman kidnapped and murdered because he stumbled onto the conspiratorial connections to Washington.
All the news in years since about Orlando Letelier and the horrific dictatorship of Pinochet opened my eyes to the realities of the military/industrial complex and the false facades of justice in the world. I learned about the martyrdom of Archbishop Romero and the nuns murdered as Liberation Theology sought to serve the poor and oppressed in Latin America.
Recently I watched director Andres Wood’s film Machuca about the 9/11 of Chile. And I’ve seen Luis Mandoki’s Innocent Voices, based on the heartrending events of the Salvadoran civil war.
The oft spoken phrase “Never Forget” should be applied to more than the Holocaust or our US 9/11/2001; it should also apply to the attention of our citizenry to stories like that of Mrs. Allende. History will indeed judge.

blog name

June 23, 2009

I rather liked leaving my blog name slightly obscure. I figured it was one of those “if you don’t get it, then you don’t get it” things. But some have suggested I explain. It is in reference to scriptures in Matthew 7:4-5 and in Luke 6:41-42. One is advised to avoid judging others. Being judgmental is an insidious sin.
One should maximize their concern over their own transgressions and minimize their observance of others faults (this from observations by the Rev. Gregory Boyd). So choosing this blog name was a way of reminding myself to be careful in my criticism and also my admission that my opinions are just that, my opinions. Hard as it may be to visualize washing my adversary’s feet, that is what I must contemplate, as we are all part of the great Creation.

Balancing Act

June 8, 2009

Like John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt I know that by speaking my mind and speaking the truth I will be vilified. I grew up with the Holocaust victims/Sal Mineo Exodus imagery. I have seen and been aghast at the British films of just liberated concentration camps in conquered Germany. I am a Christian versed in the Old Testament stories. I have visited a synagogue but never been in a mosque.
Until my mid-twenties I was totally oriented in my sympathies to Israel and the Jewish people. The pogroms in Russia, Anne Frank’s diary, Corrie tenBoom’s story were all part of my indoctrinations. But after the traumas of the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War I began to investigate the plight of the Palestinian refugees.
More and more I discovered that the U.S. public was wearing blinders and our Congress nearly subservient to the AIPAC lobby. I learned the story of the U.S.S. Liberty. My reading list expanded as I supported AMEU (Americans for Middle Eastern Understanding) and read their literature.
Recently I’ve read The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy by Mearsheimer & Walt. I’ve been enlightened by Sari Nusseibeh’s Once Upon a Country and I’ve found myself fascinated by Joel Kovel’s Overcoming Zionism. I’ve come to realize that the Zionists and their agenda are not the same as Jewish justice & heritage. We have Muslim extremists partly because we have Zionist Zealots. I was prompted to begin this posting by observing a YouTube clip titled Israel-Drunk Teenagers in Jerusalem.
The drunken teens were infuriated at Obama’s visit to Cairo and his reaching out to the Islamic world. Balance in U.S. policy is not something to which they’re accustomed. We’re supposed to tolerate & cover up an attack on our ship during the Six Day War which seems to have been an effort to hide Israeli army atrocities in the Sinai (see James Bamford’s Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultr-secret National Security Agency / chapter seven titled Blood). We provide weapons, we finance their military, we blink away their spies in D.C. We remain ignorant of the arrogant bias against Palestinians or indeed any gentile as sub-human. Why would we be upset that a tank driver smashed Rachel Corrie to death? Why would we care that Israel has no constitution yet masks itself as the only real democracy in the Middle East?
Personally I (and indeed many peace seeking Israelis) believe Israel’s long term interests are ill served by their roadblocks and walls and destruction of Muslim homes for Jewish apartment complexes and other persecutions. Just as the Bush administration won no hearts and minds with a unilateral death & destruction approach called shock and awe, Israel must end the perpetual feud. The world knew the injustice of displacement and destruction as Zionist terrorists physically wiped out villages of Palestinians and made every effort to wipe them from history. U.N. ambassadors were assassinated and British hotels bombed by the various units of the Haganah.
Yehoshua Zettler, who just died, committed crimes. John Demjanjuk in old age is brought to justice. Two opposite sides of an era. If we are to walk humbly and seek mercy and justice, then we must consider all sides of the coin (makes me think of some right wing U.S. groups recently ranting about elimination of “In God We Trust” from coins, when in fact the phrase could be found on the rim of the newly minted coins embracing the sparkling worldly wealth).
Barack Obama is seeking a balance, a path to peace, justice for both sides of an old rivalry. So he is addressed with racist epithets by the drunken kids in Jerusalem (YouTube item I referred to). Yes there are the wrong minded Muslims like Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Osama BinLaden and the suicide bombers, but we must still seek to resolve the worlds’ dilemmas by a dialogue, by diplomacy, by compromise and by seeking peace minded persons across the borders and barricades. Covering up history and facts will not help, but clinging to vengeful policies will not bring peace or justice, just more pain and misery. Both Avigdor Lieberman and Ahmadinejad are wrongfully directed.
The road ahead is long and difficult. May peace be our destiny.

not simple

May 31, 2009

The murder today of Dr. George Tiller prompts me to speak on the abortion issue. Having just finished reading Michelle Goldberg’s The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the future of the World I know how opinions can shift from one phase of a persons life to another. I recall watching the movies Alfie and the The Cardinal many years back and being mindful of the depth of the issue. Yet I have persistently felt it is a much more complex consideration than the political right wants to admit. As a male I feel I have limited rights to speak emphatically.
Jesus was a great example for women’s rights, for in an age when they were either ignored or treated as virtual slaves he spoke out against divorce and was persistent in recognizing women. He counseled the woman at the well, he indulged and emphatically included Mary and Martha in his circle of intimates. He protected the woman about to be stoned for her indiscretions. He defied the establishment and its rules. Women were movers and shakers in the early church which might have never grown had it not been for them. For all of Paul’s biases we cannot ignore the women’s liberation early Christianity provoked. Mohammed too challenged the female infanticide occurring in his times.

In ancient Greek/Roman cultures siliphion/silphium was harvested to extinction as an abortion herb.  In Appalachian folk culture Queen Anne’s Lace was made into a tea for teen girls, probably to help avert unwanted pregnancies. (see John M. Riddle’s book Contraception and Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance)
Biblical times were very different from today. Medical science has brought elements to the human health and body never imagined even a few decades ago. While medicine has a tradition of sanctity of life, everyone can witness to the bizarre possibilities of extended life as well as to the mercy in “pulling the plug.” The shades of gray in when life begins and ends are presently a labyrinth of genetics, chemistry, artificial organs, etc. Test tube babies (the womb with a view) are nearly as common as Aldous Huxley ever dreamed. Surrogate mothers and “octo-mom” have occupied the attention of attorneys and media ad infinitum. The potential of medical science to provide all sorts of cures through stem cells is astonishing and not to be ignored.
While I adore babies and believe abortion is a choice to consider with only the most careful sober meditation, I think it is more than a simple issue that can be dismissed as never permissible. There are so many considerations for the health of the mother, who may already have numerous children for whom to care. In many cultures husbands expect &/or coerce their wives’ sexual subservience (discussed in Goldberg’s book). It is not a simple issue as some right wingers declare that the “bitches need to keep their legs crossed”.
I tire of seeing antiabortion bumper stickers all over a car with no baby-seats. There are families that adopt handicapped babies and adopt babies of another race. There are also ranting extremists who say there is no instance acceptable for abortion but turn around and fume over welfare costs. Opposing abortion means, in my opinion, being delighted to provide largesse to the born children who need our attention through welfare and CHIPS, etc. If one opposes abortion totally then Moses laws and child care programs are essential. Loving the born is every bit as morally imperative as loving the sacred zygote, if that what it boils down to.
All too often men like Randall Terry write or speak too glibly of family values. One has to wonder if James Dobson’s transition from usually wrong to always wrong on abortion was prompted by personal or political meditations (read James Dobson’s War on America by Gil Alexander-Moegerle). Judging others (as my blog name Moteeye implies) is a slippery slope.
My main point being that the issue of abortion is not a simplistic black/white thing. Never is not an appropriate term to apply. And murdering George Tiller is not the way to address the concerns.