Hate Vs. State

Hate Vs. State

Does religion teach us to love hate?Israel is under constant siege.  And I’m not referring to the over 1,000 rockets fired at it or the axe-wielding murderers in the neighborhood.  Amazingly, despite the day and night contrast clearly visible in the region, there is a rising global tide of so-called anti-Zionism – or anti-Israeli sentiment.  The drumbeat is growing so loud, and becoming so persistent, against the world’s only Jewish state, that it brings to mind the Anti-Semitism that led to pogroms in Russia and eventually the Holocaust.

In honor of the Jewish Sabbath, I decided to write on this topic today. The random Virtues card I came up with was Courage.  How apropos for this young nation which is establishing itself in the most volatile region on earth. Kudos to them for expressing this virtue.

I understand fully that the plight of the Palestinians is a major reason given for an Anti-Israeli stance.  Here’s an article that illustrates the not-so-subtle bias that Israel is responsible for the Statelessness of the Palestinians.  The article, however, sets out a clear premise that if more Palestinians were focused on building a state for themselves, vs. destroying Israel, they would long ago have achieved this goal.  The absence of a Palestinian State is clearly not Israel’s fault.  A better case could be made for the opposite, that Israel is more interested in a stable Palestinian State than the Palestinians themselves. So why is everyone against Israel?

Flag of Tel AvivNumerous prophecies call out that in the “last days” or the “end time” Israel will stand alone, with armies gathered against Jerusalem.  Have you considered that Modern day Israel might just be a fulfillment of these prophecies, including  Isaiah 11:11-12?  The one about the “Ensign to the Nations”? “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Do you have the courage to take a step back and consider the global situation today in the light of Biblical Prophecy?  Do you have the courage to cast away hate, and replace it with love?  A love for all peoples, and a desire for peace, along with a desire for truth and justice, will provide a path forward.  Focusing on Virtues will open our hearts to that which will lead us forward.


Recognizing Hate

Recognizing Hate

A few days ago I blogged about Sweden’s decision to recognize a Palestinian State.  Now a non-binding British vote delivers a crushing majority for recognition of what Gatestone calls a “Racist, Terrorist, Apartheid State”.

Meanwhile, $5.4 Billion in reconstruction aid has now been promised to the Gaza strip with no requirement to disarm, nor any legitimate controls to ensure it won’t be used to rearm for war. Au Contraire – Iran is broadcasting its intentions to continue arming the Palestinians for more wars against Israel.  This linked article labels recent attacks from Gaza “the start of the ‘divine promise’ of destroying the Jewish state.”

And to complete the picture, Abbas promises a period of peace which dovetails nicely with Iran’s successful negotiations to buy the time and space that it needs to create nuclear weapons.

Recognizing hateRecognizing hate should lead to condemning and counteracting it.  Instead, when it comes to hatred against Israel, we recognize it as legitimate.  We fund it.  We give it statehood.

How on earth did we as a species arrive at an insane condition in which millions of fanatical people have become intent on destroying a tiny nation built by survivors of one of the most, if not the most, horrifying genocides ever committed?  And if that wasn’t enough, millions of “enlightened moderates” blame the victim as justification to support, arm, fund and thereby encourage the hate of the fanatics!

The short answer, imho, is that human hypocrisy is a primary source of all evil.  I like to define hypocrisy as the creation / acceptance of false equivalencies and the application of double standards.  These subtle manifestations of bias and duplicity aggregate up with horrendous results.

There are longer answers, which also provide insight into the aggregation of such hypocrisy, and also the antidote to it.  If you are interested in my take on this topic, please cast your vote for my upcoming book The Rod of Iron which provides a more complete answer.

Do Religions Love Hate?

Do Religions Love Hate?

Does religion teach us to love hate?

Many religious zealots love to hate

Yesterday’s Apes, Pigs & the Sabbath blog caused a small stir in a few discussion groups.

Some deleted it because I dared to raise the topic of Islam in “Christian” or “Biblical” discussion groups.  Others launched into a tirade against religion, with some advising that we “rewrite” the Holy Texts to get rid of the evil they represent.  All this in reaction to a simple request that  “As we go to war against Islamic extremists, be aware of the religious roots!”

My editor (for The People of the Sign Trilogy) asked me why I left the topic so open, for people to draw their own conclusions, vs. clearly stating the outcome of my analysis.  My answer was that it is more important to me for people to draw their own conclusions, vs. telling them what I think.  But apparently a primer is needed.

ISIS/ISIL is driven by religious fundamentalism – but fundamentalism is a misnomer.  It implies that they literally follow the Koran.  They don’t.  If they were to actually READ the texts upon which their love of hate is based, they would come to see that what they are doing is wrong – by their OWN moral code.

My blog dipped into the source texts, an advisable direction, as education is surely a major part of the solution.

The idea of re-writing the Koran, which a billion people fervently believe in, is in my view not only unrealistic, it is wrongheaded. These millions are already killing people for disrespecting their prophet – far better to understand and teach that the writings of their prophet condemn their actions.  This is the approach that Jesus took with the Pharisees of His day, for example.

What I found most discouraging were the attitudes of condescension, ignorance, and frankly arrogance, from materialists insisting that there is absolute and conclusive proof against all the claims of those who believe in anything not easily measured by science.  One would think that understanding where other peoples and cultures are coming from, and building reasonable bridges, would be an approach embraced by those who profess objective science to be a better path to truth.

By investing even a few minutes to read the blog, and discuss the topic as presented, we can be better armed for the next time the “Apes and Pigs” epithet is thrown down.  We can see that there is no need to react like a pack of howling dogs to the poisonous red meat, whether in offense at the Antisemitism in evidence, or  in disdain at the inhuman ignorance.  One would be empowered to clearly show that the Source Texts which are being used to hurl this epithet say the opposite.

Darkness is the absence of lightThe Koran insists that Muslims show the utmost respect to Jews and their beliefs. The “Apes and Pigs” epithet originated as a description of the hypocrisy of Jews who claimed the benefits of adherence to the Sabbath law, while actually breaking it. Thus the Koran indicts anyone who would criticize a Jew for being Jewish – the exact thing extreme fundamentalists are doing.  This would apply even more strongly to those who oppose a “Jewish State” – one that esteems the Sabbath command, against which the comments in the Koran clearly do not apply.

And this is but the very tip of the iceberg. If we were to study the historical roots of Islamic Antisemitism we find that a large share of the blame lies at the feet of the Christian community, for introducing such ideas FROM THE WEST into the Arab Muslim community.  A key quote from the wikipedia article on Islamic Antisemitism sums this up with “Initially these prejudices only found a reception among Arab Christians and were too foreign for any widespread acceptance among Muslims.”

If we wish to work for peace, and promote the growth of a better society we cannot ignore, dismiss or demonize the beliefs and practices that led to our modern day.  For those who do reject religion entirely to do so could be likened to trying to proclaim that you believe in evolution while rejecting the fact that we descended from inferior species, including pigs and apes.  Instead of knee-jerk condemnation and uninformed reactions we must understand and overcome the negative trajectory of those elements of society with intelligence, detachment, and love.  Educating the fanatic masses as to what their Holy Book actually says would begin to undo the appeal and power of ISIS/ISIL.

And we should make this a priority, because even though we should defensively resist such murderous cancer with force, we are not generally in a good position to be casting the first stone.