Monday, December 29, 2008

World Reaction to Israel....The TRUTH

12/30 UPDATE: Germany's "Frankfurter Allgemeine" newspaper, a centrist paper, asked about this situation. 30,000 responded and, 2 to 3, Germans believe Israel is in the right for protecting herself against Hamas.

'WAR TO THE BITTER END' Please read the article...looks like NOWHERE do they mention what the Palestinian woman I heard on CNN admit, that "the Hamas safe houses are situated in our residential neighborhoods..." Yup. Hamas deems it just fine to have their fellow Palestinians killed as long as it makes Israel look worse.

I am hoping you all tune into CNN today to see the coverage of the Hamas/Israel situation. I heard Octavia Nash, the Arab Affairs editor for CNN in Atlanta, talking about how "the youth in London are protesting the Israeli bombings of Palestine" and the CNN host said this to her: "Well, I THINK that's a very GOOD thing that they're involved, they should be......if this demonstration stays peaceful, maybe that will help the situation." (WHAT?) No mention of Hamas' actions. Arabs get the free ride. Again.

NEVER ONCE were the 400 missiles Hamas has lobbed at Israel in the last few weeks mentioned. Not ONCE.

By the way, Germany's Merkel is solidly with Bush on this. The headline in Die Welt is "Merkel Makes Hamas Responsible for Escalation." She adds that "the military action of Israel is a legitimate right." Find THAT information in the American television media, folks. Let me know. Other politicians in Germany are also saying nothing can be done until Hamas stops its actions.

Our media makes it appear that only America "doesn't understand how Israeli's actions are provoking the Arab world" (that was insinuated on CNN, too, by the way). Apparently, righteousness doesn't matter; but we MUST NOT provoke the "Arabs".



Ducky's here said...

It's become obvious to me that the only way Israel can prevail using their current strategy is to eliminate the Palestinians entirely.
If Israel thinks that to have peace they must completely stop all Palestinian aggression, even relatively insignificant aggression like the recent rocket attacks from Hamas, then Israel will never have peace as long as there remains a single Palestinian living under current conditions in Israel.

It's easy to say that, like any other country, Israel shouldn't have to put up with rocket attacks and should be allowed to retaliate. But Israel isn't like any other country, the enemy they are fighting is in a unique situation, and it will not be resolved into peace by force.

What is the goal of Israel's current strategy? Get Hamas to stop attacking Israel? How will Israel know when that has been accomplished? Only if there are no Palestinians left.

No matter how justified Israel's actions may be, to me they don't seem likely to lead to peace. They know that so what's their goal?

Z said...

What do you suggest, Ducky? Just keep taking it..? 400 missiles only in the last few weeks?

Does it ever occur to anyone that Israel's given land away, more and more, and there have been peace treaties and it's always the 'Palestinians' who break the peace?

Does it ever occur to anyone that all rich Arabs have to do is help their brethren build a country like Israel has with the same kind of dirt, ocean front and sun? Somehow, Israel can build a thriving society but PA's CAN'T?

How about PA cartoons for their children pushing them to hate Jews?

What do you suggest? Because PA's will never stop pounding Israel, ISrael ought to just call it quits?

How many ways must Israel try to solve the problem with peace treaties which are constantly broken?

Their goal is to keep their people safe. How's that so difficult to understand? Tell me this: Don't they deserve it? Or do the PA's deserve to treat Israel like this, which is pretty much what CNN's been inferring most of today?

I.H.S. said...

Ducky, I think the idea isn't necessarily about their actions leading to "peace" with Palestine, but rather more of the fact that "when we say stop shooting rockets over here, we mean it."

Now, I believe what the lord says about turning the other cheek, and if you ask me I believe Israel has done just that and now it becomes a matter of protecting the citizens of Israel; which is the governments responsibility, right?


Ducky's here said...

A million and a half human beings, most of them downcast and desperate refugees, live in the conditions of a giant jail, fertile ground for another round of bloodletting. The fact that Hamas may have gone too far with its rockets is not the justification of the Israeli policy for the past few decades, for which it justly merits an Iraqi shoe to the face.

As I said, unless Israel desires to wipe out all Palestinians, given the conditions under which the Palestinians are living it is irrational to expect all attacks will end.

I don't suggest using cluster munitions and repeating the Lebanon fiasco of a few years ago which did so much to perpetuate this situation.

There are going to have to be genuine negotiations and an acceptance that those negotiations will generate attempts to disrupt them. I suggest that the attempts would be less dangerous than the ones that will arise from this latest insanity.

If you see God's hand in this I have to question your wisdom. Just more killing and nothing resolved.

Ducky's here said...

I. H. S. I stop short of an outright condemnation of the Israeli actions and I am absolutely no supporter of Hamas.

But it's easy to see where Hamas is going to generate support when you have the conditions that have been created by the Israeli blockade.

Is Israel really protecting itself with these hamfisted actions? Seems like a blind man with a gun to me.

Z said...

Ducky, you never answer my questions.

Why do YOU think Arab brethren who champion the PA's so soundly when they're killing Israelis (and finance cartoons supporting the hatred of Jews) stop short at actually helping Palestinians grow their 'fertile land', the same land Israel has?

What's your justification for that?
Why do you think Jordan expelled them all?

Why do you not understand there have been peace treaties and PA has broken them and gets no criticism for that? Any thoughts?

those "Desperate and downcast refugees" can become citizens of Israel and work in Israel! Not in any other Arab lands, by the way.

Of course it's sad that people have to live like that, but how about settling on the area you're given and make something of it? Ask Saudis for help, they're your people, no?


I.H.S. said...

I totally disagree with you Ducky. Israel has purposely targeted known Hamas structures, is it Israel's fault that Hamas insists on placing their structures next schools, etc. As far as Hamas generating support; you'll always have people supporting those that are totally in the wrong, however I belive and hope that the people of Palestine realize rather quickly that they need to condemn the actions of Hamas because it's their actions that have caused and will continue to cause the sufferings and loss of life of the Palestinian people.


Z said...

I.H.S...I'm hoping so, too. Even Egypt is condemning Hamas.

And yes, it's known by those who really seek the information, that Hamas safe houses are placed within the population so the population will get hit and public opinion will be on their side. This happened with Jenin, too...Israel got slammed for hitting Jenin so hard when it came out that the PA's had even boobytrapped buildings there to explode and look worse than it was.

Some day, people will understand who's righteous here. Thankfully, Germany is, but I hinted at that in my last article on this subject, two days or so ago; Germany may become Israel's most steadfast friend. The irony is a good thing...A God thing? Who knows.

I.H.S. said...

Also, Ducky is it not Hamas' desire to wipe out Israelis? But I guess that's alright with you because of Israel's policies over the past decades.


Ducky's here said...

Ducky, you never answer my questions.

Why do YOU think Arab brethren who champion the PA's so soundly when they're killing Israelis (and finance cartoons supporting the hatred of Jews) stop short at actually helping Palestinians grow their 'fertile land', the same land Israel has?


Alright z, here's an answer but don't censor me.

I despise the idea of "a chosen people". No one is chosen and no life is more valuable than another.

Israelis die, Arabs die in this mess and I don't hold either side blameless.

I am more inclined to blame American eschatologists who see Gods hand in this disgrace and prevent an two state solution.

Ducky's here said...

I. H. S. it most likely is Hamas' desire to wipe out Israel and that desire has intensified with this action.

I think most Palestinian Arabs would be more inclined to voice a more centrist peaceful resolution if they had a voice. Same with the average Israeli.

Anonymous said...

If I got a rocket through my front door, I doubt I would consider it "relatively insignificant."

Anonymous said...

Hey, Ducky:

My father was born in '27 in Austria and heard mobs shouting at him and his people: "Get out of here and go back to Palestine where you belong!!"

Now, folks like you shout at him (he lives in Jerusalem now): "Get out of Palestine!!"

Were he suddenly to move to the moon, methinks you'd be squawking about blocked moonlight, right?

Anonymous said...

Ducky says: "It's become obvious to me that the only way Israel can prevail using their current strategy is to eliminate the Palestinians entirely."

You are right. My patience would have run out long time ago, if I lived in Israel. I feel for the Palestinian population - but if they continue to support the Hamas terrorists, they get what they deserve.


Anonymous said...

"If Israel thinks that to have peace they must completely stop all Palestinian aggression, even relatively insignificant aggression like the recent rocket attacks from Hamas, then Israel will never have peace as long as there remains a single Palestinian living under current conditions in Israel."

Ducky, your remarks above reveal your dismissal of innocent Israeli deaths at the hands of Hamas.

Relatively insignificant aggression? What would be significant aggression be, a nuclear attack? Is that what it would take to get your ire up?

Furthermore, it seems to me that Israel will never have peace as long as there is one Israeli still standing. How does one fight utter hatred Ducky?

What this conflict exemplifies, is Islamists' hatred of "infidels", in this case, Jews.
So, the choice of the Jews is to surrender or fight. Or to tolerate their people be killed at the whim of terrorists.

Tell me Ducky, what country would tolerate that, and why do you on the left think it's acceptable for Jews to die amd not their attackers?

This is the choice of "infidels" everywhere when dealing with the hatred of Islamists.

The law of the jungle is survival of the fittest, and the goal is to be the survivor, whatever it takes.

No matter how distasteful this reality is, this is what the enemy has wrought, and the only answer is to bring them to their knees and surrender.

Israel has to make the cost so great for Hamas and the PAs, that they decide it's not advantageous for them to continue this madness.

The Islamists live the law of the jungle. That's what they live and die for. It's a culture which lauds death not life. They cannot be allowed to prevail.


Anonymous said...

Here are some rules for those of you who don't understand where folks like Ducky come from:

1. All nations have a right to a homeland -- except for the Jews.
2. All nations have a right to self-defense -- except for the Jews.
3. The fact that the Moslems have 50 nations and 1/4 of the Earth compared to the Jews having one country the size of one of our smallest states (NJ) -- means zilch.
4. The fact that the Arabshave 25nations and 1/6 of the (inhabitable) Earth compared to the Jews having one country the size of one of our smallest states (NJ) -- means zilch.
5. The fact that the Israelis shoot with their women and children behind them and the PaliNazis do it with the women and children in front of them means nothing -- everyone is still shooting!
6. The fact that Israel withdrew from every inch of Gaza and even handed them their famed greenhouses capable of bringing in millions each year in dollars -- means nothing.

Anonymous said...

Hamas and other such organizations rely on liberal rhetoric to sustain and justify terrorist acts. The UN does more to create these conditions than does Israel; it would seem to me that if they cannot call a terrorist act a terrorist act, they should at least adopt of portion of the Hippocratic Oath: First, Do No Harm. In other words, the UN should just shut up.

I agree with Ducky that conditions among many of the Palestinian people are deplorable. But let us recall that the people “democratically” elected Hamas to positions of power and authority within the PLO, and no Palestinian is foolish enough to stand up to terrorists. And yet, for as long as all actors are willing to maintain the status quo, then we should assume that negotiation is a pipe dream. Meanwhile, the Israeli government has the responsibility for protecting its citizens; my only surprise is that the Israelis haven’t acted before now.

This is the land where “an eye for an eye” has cultural significance. Fine. This is the region where Arab Muslims are engaged in a “holy war.” Fine. Let Israel therefore engage Hamas on their own level. Send me a rocket in the name of Allah, I’ll send you one in return . . . only one that is significantly more powerful. This is what Muslims understand; it is their self-imposed reality. But we all should dispense with this poppycock idea about sitting down and negotiating “in good faith” with a people who do not exude good faith. That said, I do believe that if the Israelis turned Muslim-occupied Palestine into a wasteland, there would be a massive exodus of Muslims away from that gosh-awful sandbox and maybe that is the only solution to a 2,000-year old conflict.

Z said...


Yes, you who are a practicing Roman Catholic, the Bible being the ONLY thing that informs our Christian faith, do not believe the Jews are THE CHOSEN PEOPLE though it's everywhere in the only book that informs your faith.. Super. thanks.

I.H.S...excellent point. YES, not only Hamas, but islam in general wants to destroy Israel...Check out Ahmedinejad, Jewish Larry King's big friend, right? Apparently, a 'good story for King' trumped the safety of his own PEOPLE!?

Great points, PRIS...thanks SO much. The problem is the world media doesn't BROADCAST the Hamas attacks on Israel. How can Ducky or anybody else know what's happening when they choose not to investigate? Germany's media's covered it almost daily..We heard it here about a week ago when it got particularly 'bad'. I guess we can't blame people who aren't curious and actually believe Israel's wrong at every turn suits their agenda, somehow..?

And thanks, Mr. Z...and now take me to the great hamburger joint we love...

We'll see you all later; Please continue. This is exactly why I blog.

Z said...

ANONYMOUS: WHO ARE YOU? Please keep it up. I only have time to scan what you wrote but it looks exactly right to me....I'm very grateful to have you here..

Mustang..we're outta here..darn! I'll read you when we're back, but thank so much for commenting. Good to see you back! xxx

Anonymous said...

Even the Pseudostinian news outlets charatcerized the initial Israeli offensive as motivated by "revenge"...

So something must have justifiably provoked the "retaliatory" strikes.

And yes, most non-partisan countries who received 400 incoming missiles from their neighbors territory would feel perfectly justified in conducting disproportionate acts of lethal "retaliation".

CJ said...

Oh Duckywucky. The only thing preventing a two-state solution is the Palestinians. Israel has agreed to it many times. But the Palestinian leaders don't WANT a state of their own -- they want the entire region, with Israel wiped off the map altogether. They draw their maps showing this, Israel simply not there at all. Their real aim to destroy Israel completely have been announced by them, they themselves, SO many times, why are you deaf to it? In fact why has our government, both left and right, been deaf to it? The Road Map to Peace is impossible because the Palestinians DO NOT WANT PEACE!!! THEY THEMSELVES HAVE SAID SO many times. The Palestinian situation was engineered in the first place by the Arab states to put Israel in a bad position. It could have been solved many times over by now by the Arab states but they will not sacrifice its usefulness as propaganda and leverage against Israel.

As far as Christian eschatology goes, they've accomplished nothing it seems to me. All we can do is sit back and watch as the forces of darkness and duplicity win the day. That's going to usher in the end days for sure, but without anybody's help from the Christian side of things.

Anonymous said...

Want to end the madness? STOP the UN from propping up the Pseudostinian welfare state. Kill UNWRA and the Pseudostinian "problem" would practically disappear overnight as the trouble makers would no longer get paid for making trouble.

Joseph said...

Ducky states that >I despise the idea of "a chosen people". No one is chosen and no life is more valuable than another.<

It might be news to you, Ducky, but the Moslems claim (and shout it from every rooftop with megaphones yet) that they are 'chosen' (and, as we see, feel that anyone who disagrees, should be murdered, join them, or -- in some case -- live as a humiliated dhimmi.

Why don't you just come right out and honestly assert that you have a problem with Jooooooooooos?

Ducky's here said...

Well the thing is Mr. Z, the world isn't going to allow that destruction to happen.

So we can watch these two sets of fools play F*** - F*** or tell them they have to be a little more constructive. Unless you have a vested interest in supporting one of these moronic cults, Hamas or Likud.

Since neither side is capable of managing their affairs there needs to be international intervention.

Ducky's here said...

Joseph, from the great Joseph Campbell:

"It's time to admit that the idea of a chosen people is just something that primitive tribes used to give themselves a leg up in the days when the snake could talk".

I don't care which culture, Jewish, Arab, Japanese or whomever is pushing it. It's useless in the modern world.

Joseph said...

Thanx for the shoutout.. Connie dragged me here kicking and screaming... ;)

What the 'problem' really comes down to is this: 'Can two nations (and I'm being kind to the Palistinians by refering to them as that as they have never been considered one until the Jews showed up) claim the same land?

And if not, which one should go and why?

I believe that anyway you look at it: Morally, Historically, Biblically, and even Militarily, Israel deserves to be the one to stay.

Ducky's here said...

Great points, PRIS...thanks SO much. The problem is the world media doesn't BROADCAST the Hamas attacks on Israel. How can Ducky or anybody else know what's happening when they choose not to investigate? Germany's media's covered it almost daily..

Germany's media? Hell, this one was covered on Mars. Hard to miss.

What you object to, z is that I don't hold Israel completely blameless and think they often act as if they don't have the brains they were born with.

Ducky's here said...

Pris, you've committed the fallacy of the excluded middle.

Surrender or bomb the crap out of Gaza? That's it?

Joseph said...

Ducky knows damned well that most Israelis, being irreligious to a great degree, would scoff at the 'Chosen' concept. Besides, being 'Chosen' has nothing to do with whether the Jews are in Israel or not.

You stil lhaven't answered why the idea of Islamic chosenness doesn't seem to bother you.

And don't RC's also believe that only they are 'saved' (ie chosen). At least the Jews believe that all decent people have a share in Eternity.

You obviously have a problem with Jooooos. Did one hurt you while you were in your formative years? Did one forget to hold a door open for you one day?

Ducky's here said...

As I said Joseph, I don't care for the idea of choseness at all.

The Japanese believe they were created first among races and are superior.

It's all myth.

My personal opinion on the state of Israel, not that it matters: Two state solution with Israel at the 67 boundaries with Jerusalem as the capital. Some boarders may have to be expanded for security.
The Heights must be returned to Syria.

Ducky's here said...

And don't RC's also believe that only they are 'saved' (ie chosen).


You obviously are completely ignorant of Catholic doctrine. There is salvation outside of the Church.

Sounds as if you choked on a communion wafer at some point.

Joseph said...

Perhaps it's all myth, Ducky. But you have to answer for all the exceptionalism that seems to associate itself with the Jews.

You talk about '67 borders, etc. Then pray, tell us, why the Arab nations attacked Israel in '67 (before the 'Occupation' began!)???

Could it be that ANY Jewish country in the region is an affront to the Arabs and its lackeys (I'm looking at you!)?

CJ said...

Hey I agree that Israel acts brainless a lot of the time. Every time they make a concession to the Peace plan, to Hamas or any of them -- giving over Gaza (oy)!! -- they show their brainlessness. Good thing they have some firepower to make up for it occasionally.

CJ said...

Joseph: just to keep you up to date. The RC church -- since Vatican II rewrote everything -- now allows it to be possible for people to be saved outside of their power structure. Anybody. Heathen. Buddhists. Big proof they aren't Christian. Before Vatican II yes, only Catholics could be saved. My Catholic friends said so.

Joseph said...

Thanx for the update, CJ... Guess the Vatican forgot to send me the updated memo!

Ducky: What is it about the Massachutes air/water that affects so many who live up there on so many core issues?

Also: When you're judged one day, what will you say for backing Evil? (And if you don't think Hamas and the rest of their like-minded friends aren't evil, how do you explain their summary executions of couples whose only crimes were holding hands or kissing?)

(I already know that killing innocent Israelis, dipping their hands in their blood, passing out sweets when innocents in Jerusalem or NYC are murdered, etc. don't count in your book)

shoprat said...

Civilized nations can talk things out and negotiate and barbaric nations fight it out. Sadly when civilized and barbaric nations clash it has to be on barbaric terms. Too many civilized children don't understand that. Israel must either fight or die.

The Arab nations should have dealt with the Palestinian refuges decades ago but they needed a group of victims to whip up hatred against the infidel Jews and so they kept the Palestinians poor and angry. They could have provided every one of them with a home. Shows how much Arab brotherhood there is.

Joseph said...

Arab brotherhood?

They're more often than not slaughtering each other!

Z said...

Ducky...The "GREAT" Joseph CAMPBELL? Are you kidding? Peace/love/dove/hippie cool GREAT. I'm so not surprised you're a fan.
i'll bet you adore Deepok, too....
SO damned wrong.

Joseph, very happy CJ dragged you here...excellent input.
No, 2 countries can't occupy the same land; what the Left doesn't understand is that Israel has the right to that land. Doesn't fit the Left agenda, I guess....

Everyone: NOBODY HAS TO BE A CHRISTIAN, right? NOBODY"S holding a gun to anybody's head (unlike some religions we know, come to think of it)...but DO NOT....DO NOT call yourself a Christian and feel you need to mischaracterize or reinvent the only book that informs that faith..the Bible.
The Bible says ONE THING about salvation and we all know what that is.
Whether God changes His mind upon the death of someone who didn't believe, who knows? I hope so, frankly.

I don't know how Catholics feel about everyone's salvation, I wish Law & Order Teacher was here, he could help on that, I think. I hate to say I have been looked down upon for not being Catholic, but that's never turned me from anyone who's Catholic. Unlike Ducky, I don't slam other peoples' religions...unless it's a religion which wants me dead for not adhering to it, of course.

The bottom line is..don't believe the Bible..NO PROBLEM! WE didn't make the rules HE DID. But, to NOT believe the words in the Book and call yourself a believer? HOW???WHAT?? Be something ELSE if something ticks you off but don't claim a faith you don't believe!!!

OR...don't BE a Christian! FINE.

ISRAEL'S LAND IS THEIR LAND. They are fighting to keep their people safe...WHY is it always okay for the LEFTIST CAUSES to take care of themselves but let Israel or America protect ourselves and we're barbaric imperialist war mongers? Stupid...just plain stupid.

I'll just ask DUCKY one more thing, though he usually leaves when people are making too much sense and doesn't return:

WHY DON'T THE FELLOW ARAB MUSLIM BRETHREN HELP THE PA's..WHY NOT? (except to arm them and train their children to fight Jews, too?)

Z said...


Shoprat...I just saw your comment; You answered my last question.

Exactly right. But, nobody sees that but us. WHY?

Brooke said...

Reading the farcical AP piece this morning was enough to make blood shoot out of my eyes.

In two separate paragraphs the story mentioned the poor Paly children, but not one single mention of the Israeli casualties that brought on the strike.

The world expects Israel to just take it and take it and never complain or fight back. It is ridiculous.

Chuck said...

Z, you are dead on about the lack of news coverage. I am ashamed to say I didn't even realize that Hamas was lobbing missiles at Israel to this extent. The reality is that Israel needs to end this now. Hamas is not going to stop until they are gone. CHase them out. It is no longer about peace, these people have shown they are not civilized enough for peace. It has now become a matter of survivial for Israel.

Z said...

Chuck, sad that our news is keeping things from us, isn't it? And what do we do about it? zilch

Brooke..I heard one of those quick "between radio show and commercial ABC news tidbits" today .. the implication is SO pro Palestine even in those little news bites.."While Palestinians are suffering, Israel continues to........"


Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, ministers/clerics of the religion of peace rattle their sabres...

About 3,550 people registered Monday with the Combatant Clergy Society's Web site. The weeklong online campaign gives volunteers three options on ways they can fight Israel: military, financial and propaganda.

The group, which has considerable political and economic power in Iran, did not provide further details on the program including how it would contact the volunteers or implement the program.

The conservative clerics decided to sign up volunteers after Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a religious decree on Sunday that said anyone killed while defending Palestinians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip against Israeli attacks would be considered a martyr.

Khamenei's religious decree was not considered a government decision and did not oblige the government to launch attacks against Israel.

...but of course, the IRANIAN government disavows any and all responsibility for sponsoring "state terrorism", too.

Z said...

FJ...typical, isn't it? The muslims get perturbed and the world shakes from the threats, but this is ALL ISRAEL'S fault..right? Sickening.

Let's see what happens next. We have to know that Israel had more information than they're letting on for them to have gone to this newest "assault until the 'bitter end'" that I just added to my original blog piece as an UPDATE. They had to know something BAD was coming to use this language..they're sending a very important message...probably not only to Hamas.

This could be IT. Iran gets involved...2009 is a very short one. For us all.

I'll be praying this isn't IT. God help us all.

And, God, don't forget who started this, okay?

Anonymous said...

Good for Merkel AND Bush! It's nice to say something good about our President on occassion, he's done nothing but make me mad for the last five weeks. We need to support the people of Israel as they fight the pali savages. Thanks for your wonderful post Z!


Anonymous said...

ducky blurted:
"It's become obvious to me that the only way Israel can prevail using their current strategy is to eliminate the Palestinians entirely.
If Israel thinks that to have peace they must completely stop all Palestinian aggression, even relatively insignificant aggression like the recent rocket attacks from Hamas, then Israel will never have peace as long as there remains a single Palestinian living under current conditions in Israel."

Good idea, eliminate the pali stench from Gaza entirely, force march the animals into Jordan and Egypt! I'll forward your brilliant analysis to Tel Aviv pronto!


Z said...

Morgan! You are SO welcome!

And, OH, did you make an excellent point! IF Israel marched the Palis into Egypt and Jordan they'd be killed tomorrow..ALL of them. Heck, that already started in Jordan years ago.

Yet, Israel gets blame for fighting back?


David Wyatt said...

Wow. All of this is so amazingly true-to-life to what the Bible has said all along! The world contineus to hate Israel. Yes, they have rejected their Messiah for the most part, & of course that is tragic. Yet, the world hates them becuase of the fact that they are God's chosen nation from which the also-hated Messiah came from! (Jn.15:18) Keep looking up, especially in these days! (Lk,21:28)

Anonymous said...

"Pris, you've committed the fallacy of the excluded middle."

The excluded middle? What middle? What you're seeing today and the last thirty-odd years, is the middle. How do you like it so far?

"Surrender or bomb the crap out of Gaza? That's it?"

That's it!


Law and Order Teacher said...

One of the reasons I continue to read your blog is the respect you show to those with whom you disagree.

It was never my intention to engage in a discussion of the relative rightness of someone's religion. I respect that you, too, do not denigrate others. Others should not do the same to you.

As for my religion, it is a Christian religion with the same beliefs as other Christian religions. As for salvation, my understanding is that the church recognizes all Christians as being saved. There is salvation outside the Catholic Church as long as, as my priest puts it, we live a God-centered life. I'm comfortable with the teachings of the church.

I agree with you and Shoprat in your statement that the Arabs in the region could put an end to this immediately by joining together to economically support their Arab brothers thereby bringing them relief. They remain, however, a convenient victim for the Arabs to use in their hatred of Israel. That's the only way I can see it.

Z said...

Law & Order..thanks so much. I really appreciate your comment and your input, as usual.

Yes, the "Pseudostinins", as my buddy Beaker (on my blogroll) calls them, are exactly that.."convenient victims" of the Arabs..........and they don't get that ..yet.

By the way..John Bolton was excellent tonight on Hannity & Colmes; This ridiculous concept of "disproportionalism" in war was well exposed. As he said "Only the elitist academic Left could come up with something like that..we don't count missiles and lob over exactly as many as which came over, that's nuts; Israel's retaliating in a way to END the terror, the constant torture, the continuing breaking of peace accords, which Hamas has constantly done (as well as Fatah), etc." I almost always think Bolton hits it out of the park.

Law and Order Teacher said...

To take it a step further, I think the whacked out notion of limited warfare is bankrupt.

We went down that road in Vietnam and you see where that got us. Once the bullets fly it should be all in. The military should be allowed to take whatever military measures it takes to win. If airstrikes alone work, great.

I think GWB got that one right when he said he would allow his commanders on the ground to dictate strategy. His mistake was listening to Rumsfeld and Cheney and their limited warfare nonsense. The success of the surge gave the lie to that strategy.

The military should never be engaged when there is a question of "proportionality" in the use of force. The military is trained to break things and kill people. If they aren't going to be allowed to do that, don't use them. Diplomacy is then your option.

The military is under civilian control and rightfully so. But the civilian authority should never forget the purpose of their existence. Professional military people don't do politics, they do war.

A political military is scary indeed. The Prussian power structure of pre-WWI Germany, gained too much political power. The results were cataclysmic.

However,once the military is deployed, the civilian authority should allow them to do their professional duty.

That from an indoctrinated militarist.

Law and Order Teacher said...

I didn't notice I mistyped the beginning. I don't even know what that means.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, Ducky...I think the average Israeli does care. From what I understand they all have to serve in the IDF. I could be wrong.

It doesn't help the situation that Jerusalem has VERY liberal leaders.

In the U.S. we've got a one-sided media making the pali's out to be innocents and the high school and college kids eat it up like baloney. They buy their keffiyehs to look cool and send their money to The Holy Land Foundation.

I wonder if they'd be so progressive and open-minded if they could see pictures of slaughtered Israeli students, women and children in cafes??

I think not.

Z said...

L&O: "However,once the military is deployed, the civilian authority should allow them to do their professional duty."

And, if our liberals had, maybe we'd still have some respect from the world around us after having cleared Iraq of a mad dictator and freed the people. As it is, our libs painted us as imperialists and war mongers and they've created a world against us, one where they themselves constantly ask "WHY DO THEY HATE US?" (Answer: because YOU libs hated us FIRST)

Pinky..good points, but I think nothing would change our indoctrinated lefties at this point. Funny, it used to be unpopular to slam the Jews, now the left has made them open season; Odd, too, that as that happens, so go the slams to Christianity.

I think God's up to something. Yikes.

Anonymous said...

Z, just something of interest...

and another from this good blog...

Z said...

Pinky, thanks for those links. WOW.
Poor's so Biblical, too.
What's happening now is foreshadowed many times in the Bible....

Poor America...muslim groups posing as charities but raising money from well meaning Americans and financing terror. WHEN are we going to learn? Thank GOD these people got handled, huh?

WomanHonorThyself said...

yay Z!..IDF is rainin rockets down..booyah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Culturist John said...


You and Joseph Campbell assume a universal sameness. He says that heroes are the same in all cultures over all time. Well, irrationality exists. In fact, most people do not question the assumptions of their society.

Even worse, there is no such thin as universal rational objectivism that you posit. Yes all people are the chosen people. That is they "choose" to favor their side. Well, the Muslims totally own up to it while we try to try to find rational solutions that would appeal to a neutral observer. Bah and Humbug.

We need to take a culturist perspective. We are for us. They are for them. They do not believe in individual rights and human rights. We do. But we tie our hands behind our back when we are the only ones playing by our rules. Our standards apply to us. In international conflicts, it is no holds barred. Because they do not abide by geneva's international conventions we cannot either.

Z said...

Oh, Culturalist, you are so smart. Thanks for coming by. Great comment.

Anonymous said...

Richardson, TX is a hotbed of muslim extremism, and so is Houston, TX.

A little too close for my comfort.

Ducky's here said...

I'm also curious where Hamas gets the rockets if the tunnels from Gaza to Egypt are supposedly shut down.

If Isreali intelligence is as good as it's made out to be I would expect it could target the stockpiles also.

For a country virtually surrounded by Israel and under blockade there seems to be a very porous border.

Until this question is resolved the Israeli bombing seems pointless.

Frasypoo said...

Hi Z
We were out of town and I just caught the headlines but it proves again how biased the media is

Ducky's here said...

Pinky, slaughter is slaughter. I don't dwell on the useless descriptive variables. The ethnicity of the victims clouds the real issues as we pick sides.

Nothing is pure. Nothing is innocent. At least nothing human.

Jungle Mom said...

Ducky sounds so pious. Go live in Palestine Ducky! See how long you last.

Anonymous said...

Since the MSM won't report favorably on Israeli military activities, the IDF has started it's own YouTube Channel in an internet PR end-run.

Anonymous said...

Of course, YouTube is taking down the IDF's best video's....

So even the internet gets censored.

Anonymous said...

You seem to be the epicenter of much of the conversation taking place. I see where you reject the idea of a chosen people, but do you agree that one culture may be superior to another?

I think there are varying opinions here on whether the Jews are a chosen people and for what they were chosen to do; however, I think most would agree that a society that upholds individual rights (such as Israel) is superior to a society of oppression (such as much of the Muslim world).

If you see no moral distinction between Israel and Hamas, I'd guess you subscribe to one of the following statements:
(1)No society/culture is superior to any other,
(2) freedom v. oppression is not the criterion you use to deciede, or
(3) Israel cannot legitimately claim to be freer and less oppressive than Hamas.

Those of us who see a moral distinction between Israel and Hamas might be able to better articulate our point of view if we knew which premise was the point of divergence between you and us. (If I mischaracterized your point of view regarding lack of moral distinction, let us know. If that is the case, I apologize.)

--Tio Bowser

Z said...

Pinky.....I believe islamic groups are EVERYWHERE. You have no reason to be more worried than anyone of us... Though I can imagine it's not comfortable actually KNOWING this exists nearby. The rest of America's in total denial, in my opinion.
My buddy moved to Anderson, Indiana and tells me there are muslim slaughter houses there...beautiful farms that were American owned and now have small buildings where muslims can butcher their meats. EVERYWHERE. He was stunned.

Ducky: So what you're saying is there IS no right or wrong? Just pity for the beleaguered? And, as usual, those with less MUST be right? Is that correct? PAs are more pitiable because they're poorer? That's the "underdog" mentality many people have and it's just plain silly.
I heard a PA spokesman this morning saying it's all israel's fault and if they stop, the PAs will stop.."give BACK the land", etc. This shows the bias; a total inability to recognize truth.
And the very idea of "if Israel stops, WE WILL" is silly....EVERY SINGLE treaty's been broken by the PAs.

FJ...are you kidding? YouTube's at it again, huh? I'm frankly surprised they still have the videos of Obama flipping off McCain and Hillary by running his middle finger across his face JUST at the moment he mentions their names in two separate occasions. NOBODY I've mentioned that to even is aware of them..Says SO much about his character I'd have thought YouTube would have got rid of those ASAP.

I think it's a pretty fascinating point about underdogs and that sense that THEY have to be the beleaguered because they have less?: Are Americans so indoctrinated with this kind of thinking that some of us can't see truth?

Z said...

Ducky left this at Culturist John's blog (See my blog roll..he has a very good blog):

"Have you come to grips with the idea that Jews are not the touchstone for the misery of much of human experience and people do get tired of them constantly trying to validate that nonsense?"

I wonder why Ducky didn't respond here to John. this the crux? "Jews are just tiresome?"

highboy said...

I started reading the comment section but couldn't get passed the first couple of lines in Ducky's original response: "even relatively insignificant aggression like the recent rocket attacks from Hamas,"

That has to be the most ignorant, uneducated and inhumane statement I've read in years. You are no longer to be taken seriously. You are only a troll blogging from his mother's basement, laughing at your attempts to annoy. There is no other rational excuse for such claptrap to be posted, and I refuse to believe someone with an evolved brain would actually make that statement and mean it.

Z said...

Tio...great point.

Highboy, you're right..thanks for coming by.

Z said...

FJ..I'm surprised YouTube allowed the IDF site. Thanks for that info

Average American said...

Let's hope that Israel finally realizes that hamas is just like a cancer. Cut some of it out and maybe you get a remission--for a little while--and then it comes back. You have to completely kill the cancer or it will be back!

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Well....I'm late to the party and don't have the patience to go through all the comments. Looks like Ducky's been ruffling feathers, though.

Anonymous said...

75 Comments! Wow.

I.H.S. said...

"Egypt, which has been blockading Gaza from its southern end, has come under pressure from the rest of the Arab world to reopen its border with the territory because of the Israeli campaign. Egypt has pried open the border to let in some of Gaza's wounded and to allow some humanitarian supplies to enter the territory. But it quickly sealed the border when Gazans tried to push through forcefully." Now, this is very interesting to me that Egypt can blockade Palestine and Hamas not send rockets over there but Israel has to stop the air assault and the blockade in order for Hamas to"consider" stopping the rocket attacks. Somebody help this poor preacher understand the logic.


Z said...

I.H.S., I'm wondering if Israel's considering stopping the barrage because the world will then see who IS at fault. Nobody in their right mind thinks Hamas will stop battering Israel for long. They never have.

I.H.S. said...

Z, from what I've been reading the talk is out there about a 48 hour truce to allow in humanitarian aid, but it's not concrete.

How can someone not recognize someone else's existance especially when the one that "doesn't exist" keeps putting the smack down on you? HELLO?

I never really had in tolerance for stupid people, and I know that may sound harsh coming from a preacher but I mean come on.

No, Hamas will never keep their word.


I.H.S. said...

oops, that's "any tolerance"

ghostwriter said...

So, is Israel a victim, or a bully??

Make your voice heard!!

Z said...

WOW, Ghostwriter...57% of your poll says Israel's the BULLY, huh? 57% of your voters don't know the facts, I guess.

But, you can't blame people...
DO NOT FORGET, FOLKS: I know REALLY smart people (Chuck our terrific blogging friend included) who had NOT HEARD HAMAS WAS HITTING ISRAEL FOR THE LAST FEW WEEKS...400 MISSILES AND GRENADES INTO INNOCENT PEOPLES', how can people make informed opinions?

THIS is what I pray changes in 2009; An American media as honest as Europe's (yes, don't kill me for that..they get NEWS, not EDITORIALS and they get REAL NEWS, I've lived there, I know). might be a preacher but you know STUPID when you sees it, right?!! LOL!

And, re: Israel, I'd heard it's kind of a 'dare'..."We'll stop and see what Hamas does". And, we all know what will happen......maybe they'll stop...for a month.

Anonymous said...

I think the poll reflects that the antisemite press is very successful convincing Americans that Arab terrorists are simply victims. As you point out, Z ... it is a pity that most Americans don't know the facts; and can't be bothered with them either.

Gayle said...

I hope you see it before You Tube get's rid of it, Z. Here's a link to the Hamas Headquarters going out of business, so to speak:
attack hamas hq 301208

The reason I say it may disappear is because some other videos posted by Israel have disappeared. Seems someone doesn't want Israel to tell it's side of the story!

I.H.S. said...

Z, you are correct I do know stupid when I see it. And, there is a certain ex-Con gresswoman who is from this region with initials...Cynthia McKinney that attempted with others to run an Israeli blockade and of course tried to flip it to say the Israeli Navy rammed their boat trying to sink it. Where was the humanitarian outcry for those killed by Hamas during their firing of rockets and the damage they caused to Israeli citzens, not military, but CITIZENS.


Z said...

Thanks Gayle...FJ had commented on that very subject.'re so right...we're not doing anything about this, though!

WE MUST get an honest media...This isn't America anymore...not like WE knew her. I hate to get dramatic, but this is important stuff.

Gayle's right...FJ was, too...."SOMEBODY" is removing pro Israeli information.

We all know there's a lot of Arab money in our textbooks and our media, but HOW MUCH? DO WE EVEN KNOW? ANd, of course, we're HAPPY to sell ourselves as long as there are big bucks for our advertisers, right? sickening

Z said...

IHS! I'm eating my lunch right now and this:

".. there is a certain ex-Con gresswoman who is from this region with initials...Cynthia McKinney"

made me practically spit Coke across the keyboard it was so funny!! Thanks for a good laugh..I needed it!!

AND OH, are you SOOO right. What a piece of work SHE is. What's she doing now, by the way?

I.H.S. said...

Anything she possibly can to regain the pseudo-spotlight she once had.

Even to this day I'm trying figure out how she avoided going to jail for assaulting a Capitol police officer?

Now she's travelling over there trying to get into Gaza to help Hamas, I mean the Palestinians.


I.H.S. said...

Oh, and sorry for the Coke incident. Nothing worse than spitting out a good swallow of ice cold Coca Cola. Now that says America!


Z said...

If you didn't see my newest UPDATE, please know that Germany's centrist paper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine, did a poll which found that Germans find Israel in the RIGHT for protecting herself against Hamas at a ratio of 2 out of 3. I think that's pretty great.

Sure would like to know what America's thinking.

Z said...

Well, I.H.S., looks like Ms McKinney, whose Dad said she lost the last election because "Jews own EVERYTHING" is definitely in the Middle East and her boat bringing supplies to Gaza's been hit by Israelis!

Check it out! GeeeeeeeeZ!!

Z said...

My buddy James Taranto writes this today:

"The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the world's population at around 6.75 billion. By our back-of-the-envelope calculation, the protesters in CNN's report accounts for roughly one-millionth of that number, and about half of them are in countries ruled by autocracies that use anti-Semitism as a tool to preserve their power.

Yet the network headlines the story "World Rallies Around Palestinians Amid Gaza Offensive." This is an enormous exaggeration. Or maybe it is a small world after all."


Anonymous said...

"Hamas deems it just fine to have their fellow Palestinians killed as long as it makes Israel look worse."

That's not surprising, what is surprising is that the leftie MSM also seem just fine with it.

I.H.S. said...

Z, tried to pull up your New Years Eve post. It shows you have one on my follow listing but not pulling up, I'm sure it's good and can't wait to read.


Z said... know what happened? I put tonight at midnight (my time) on it and it published anyway! So, I took it right off..I want it to wait for the morning.

I hope it's a good one, I.H.S., thank you for's a pensive one...not a barrel of laughs, not very me, I must say!

MK...isn't it horrid? How's this playing in Australia? And Happy New

I.H.S. said...

Z, I'm certain it's good. I'll be waiting. Well, I'm outta here for a few hours taking the Mrs to the movies...dollar movies, you know got to stimulate the economy.


Anonymous said...

Yes Ducky. Innocent children die on both sides of the conflict. However, to my knowledge Israel NEVER STARTS the bombing. Am I right? And of course I recognize that there are no pure people on earth. I realize that there are terrorists among the Israelis, too.

What should Israel do? I read your comment regarding talks. Oh my. That has worked so well in the past. Terrorism should not be bargained with. Israel has had to be forceful because their enemy knows no other means of communication. Surely you know this. The Jewish people aren't exactly violent by nature, Ducky.

My questions are rhetorical. No need to answer. I know how I feel about it. Actually, I don't know the answers. It distresses me a bit. More than a bit. But I know that it's in God's hands.

Anonymous said...

The animosity between Jews and their fellow Semites goes back to ancient times.

Apparently, Semites have the capacity to hold grudges and nurse grievances for hundreds, possibly thousands, of years. Others seem better able to forgive, forget and move on.

Before anything constructive could be done about resolving the situation between Israel and her neighbors five questions should be asked and answered with complete honesty.

1. WHEN did this conflict begin?

2. WHY did this conflict begin?

3. WHO began it?

4. WHO gains from sustaining it?

5. WHAT is gained from sustaining the quarrel?

I am not talking about the present skirmish, I am talking about the very deep ROOTS of the animosity The Jewish people have attracted since before the birth of Christ.

I do not know the answers to any of those questions. They all need to be answered from both the Israeli and the Arab point of view.

Unless we make every effort to confront basic truths and look them squarely in the eye, as it were, all the weeping, wailing, railing and gnashing of teeth will come to nought, and violence will persist till the end of time.

Let us pray for ENLIGHTENMENT in the New Year. Circular motion, even at very high speed, gets us nowhere.

~ FreeThinke

Elmers Brother said...

May I suggest some reading here

Elmers Brother said...

In 1947, the UN partition plan mandated the creation of two states on the remaining 20 percent of the Palestine Mandate: the State of Israel for the Jews, and another state for the Arabs. The Arabs rejected their state, and launched a war against Israel. This is the primal cause
of the Arab refugee problem.

The State of Israel was created in a peaceful and legal process by
the United Nations. It was not created out of Palestinian lands. It was created out of the Ottoman Empire, ruled for four hundred years by the Turks who lost it when they were defeated in World War I. There were no “Palestinian” lands at the time because there were no people
claiming to be Palestinians. There were Arabs who lived in the region of Palestine who considered themselves Syrians. It was only after World War I that the present states of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq
were also created – and also created artificially out of the Turkish Empire by the British and French victors. Jordan was created on about 80 percent of the Palestine Mandate, which was originally designated by the League of Nations as part of the Jewish homeland. Since then,
Jews have been prohibited from owning property there. Two-thirds
of its citizens are Palestinian Arabs, but it is ruled by a Hashemite monarchy.

Had there been no Arab aggression, no war, and no invasion by Arab armies whose intent was overtly genocidal, not only would there have been no Arab refugees, but there would have been a state of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza since 1948.

Israel passed a law that allowed Arab refugees to re-settle in Israel provided they would sign a form in which they renounced violence, swore allegiance to the state of Israel, and became
peaceful productive citizens. During the decades of this law’s tenure, more than 150,000 Arab refugees have taken advantage of it to resume productive lives in Israel. Jews do not have a similar option to become
citizens of Arab states from which they are banned.

It should be completely obvious to any reasonable and fair-minded
observer of this history, therefore, that it was not Israel that caused the Arab refugee problem, nor Israel that obstructed its solution.

On the contrary, the Arab refugee problem was the direct result
of the aggression by the Arab states, and their refusal after failing to obliterate Israel to sign a formal peace, or to take care of the Arab refugees who remained outside Israel’s borders.

Z said...

FT...thankfully, these good commenters have done a good job in the discussion and I direct you to Elbro's excellent piece after helps explain WHO IS RESPONSIBLE. It's really not at ALL as two-sided as many like to suggest. The facts speak for themselves.

Thanks, Elbro...good stuff there. It's just so simple, the facts are SO 'there' and yet the Left and anti-Semites will continue to paint the "poor Palestinians" as the victim when, really, all they need to do is start living. All they need to do is go to their very rich Arab brethren and say "Look, we love our children and we're tired of the fighting and we'd now like money, instead of for suicide belts, missiles, and anti-Jew indoctrinating cartoons, for economic help. Let us build an area for our children to live peacefully."

"Take the guns from Palestinians and there will be peace...take Israel's guns and there will be no Israel"

Was it Meir who said Israel will only be safe once the Palestinians start loving their children more than they hate Jews? I believe it was. Whoever said it, it's right.
And so very sad.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate all that information very much, EB. Thank you for taking the time to present it.

It explains very well what has happened since the end of World War Two, but gives no clue as the very ANCIENT roots of all this ill will.

Also, has no one ever written anything scholarly and well-researched from the ARAB or SEMITIC point of view?

I'm not suggesting that the violent opposition to Israel is justifiable, but there must at the very least have been some RATIONALE for it, else it wouldn't be happening.

I think it's too facile to dismiss the whole thing with the simplistic claim that "Islam is a religion of hate and intolerance." I'm sure it's a great deal more complicated than that.

Also, most of us conservatives and libertarians roundly despise the UN, so why are we expected to blithely accept a UN MANDATE that once again --- as Britain and others did in the days of empire building --- muscles in on Arab lands and divides up the territory according to the arbitrary dictates of WESTERN powers?

Why is that all right?

As I see it, in many ways Britain, the US and probably much of Europe are the architects and engineers of the present situation.

This kind of meddling is taboo today, and was discouraged if not absolutely forbidden by the UN Charter, itself, so why is it okay in THIS particular instance?

Perhaps might really does make right and that's all there is to it? Or because WE want it and DEMAND it, it's HAS to be the right thing?

By the way, I totally agree with Z's assessment of the so-called Palestinians' behavior. Their inability to "make lemonade" when the powers that be handed them a lemon shows a self-defeating stupidity of stupendous proportions.

The American Indians, a people who have a similar right to feel disgruntled, have shown a great deal more sense than that.

Sometimes the only way to achieve true victory is to surrender to the inevitable.

~ FreeThinke

CJ said...

FT, it seems to me that the main answer to your question about the historical roots is in the fact that the Jews claim legitimate descent from Abraham and to be the Chosen People according to the Biblical revelation of their descent.

The Arabs on the other hand are descended from a variety of the out-groups as presented in the Bible, from Abraham's illegitimate son Ishmael, or various of his offspring, or other tribes of the region. They are all genetically related but God chose only the children of Abraham's son Isaac to represent Him so envy is the cause of much of the conflict. Whether you believe the story or not, everything hinges on it in the Middle East.

The religion of Islam set in concrete this historical conflict, rewriting the Bible to make Ishmael and his descendants the true Chosen for instance. You can say it is the claim to chosenness itself that is the problem, but if you believe that God did write the Bible you have to accept that God did choose the Jews and that the Arab "cause" is based only on envy. Now it is also based on the lies in the Koran.

Z said...

Cj..thanks. exactly

Anonymous said...

Thank you, EB, Z and CJ for taking the time to share your understanding.

~ FT

Z said...

FT..what's your 'understanding'? I'd love to know!
I think the quotes from Golda Meir are pretty compelling and show a trend nobody can deny...tried and true, sadly.
And, the history from the Bible might not be digestible to everyone, but it IS what motivates the Arabs as well as Jews and Christians, so it can't be patently written off as "well, that's the Bible.." (though I know you'd not do that)

I'm just curious!! ?!! xxx

CJ said...

FT said: By the way, I totally agree with Z's assessment of the so-called Palestinians' behavior. Their inability to "make lemonade" when the powers that be handed them a lemon shows a self-defeating stupidity of stupendous proportions.

Since I went back to reread some of this thread I find I want to say more. Once Israel was there, FT, it would have been wrong of Britain or the UN to take away the right they had done their best to earn fairly in order to be there, whatever you may think of British or UN involvement in the abstract. The only way the "powers that be" were handing the Arab population a "lemon" was in terms of the Arab hatred of the Jews to start with. They had NO right to the land. They had NOT occupied the land themselves. It had no formal existence, being just a wilderness territory in the Ottoman Empire. It had been pretty much a no-man's land since the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans in 70 AD. Mark Twain reported on its sad desolation in the late 19th century. It was a nonentity. There was NO such thing as "Palestinians" until after the Arab states attacked Israel.

The whole idea that there should even BE a Palestinian State has been manufactured to be a thorn in the side of Israel. Period. Let them have it, but they have no right to it. And they don't even want it. The whole thing is nothing but lies and smoke and mirrors to put Israel on the defensive.

I gather you think there has to be some provocation on Israel's side to make sense of this -- where there's smoke there's fire? Since both sides are human I'm sure there's plenty of provocation of a human sort on both sides, but this situation is way bigger than those petty causes. In this case Israel's mere existence is provocation enough to the jealous shame-driven Arab mind and their growing anti-semitic support across the world. To paraphrase what Joseph said, if they'd founded Israel on the moon there'd be an outcry against their interfering with moonlight.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

"Anonymous" has provided some rather salient information here. And Highboy appears to be spot on: I suspect ol'Ducky throws in a few comments as Devil's Advocate then sits back and awaits the fireworks for, in my opinion, no logical or educated person could make such illogical statements and otherwise be so ignorant of the nature of humans.


Joseph said...

FreeThinker asks what it is that makes Arabs (and others) hate Jews so much.

I don't really see the question, since only EVIL people hate Jews.

In any case, what makes the Hutus slaughter the Tutus (or is it the other way around?). What makes the Shites HATE the Sunnis and vice versa? What caused Europe's long and bloody religious wars of Christian vs. Christian? What made Congolese hack 300 fellow Congolese to death the other day? What made Germans slaughter peaceful Anabaptists for slightly different beliefs?

So keep your foolish self-serving questions to yourself or just take your not-so-hidden hatred somewhere else.

Anonymous said...


Such acrimony is unnecessary. I can't understand why you limited your condemnation by saying "only EVIL people hate Jews."

The point we need most to understand is that the overt expression of hatred, ITSELF, is evil no matter WHERE or to WHOM it is directed.

The capacity for irrational hate-based behavior seems endemic to all mankind. I know of no exceptions.

There is no one on earth who should not regularly examine his conscience and pray for the forgiveness of the sins we commit many times quite inadvertently.

I don't think it's the least bit foolish to consider what it might be that prompts destructive passion. It may very possibly be The Central Problem of Existence.

You asked excellent questions, yourself, --- questions that merit a great deal of discussion, I should think --- but instead of attempting to answer them, you chose to attack me, personally, instead.

I can't imagine what could be "self-serving" by my having (quite unintentionally) prompted your wrath. Why make this personal? We don't know each other, so we're not qualified to make personal remarks.

On the strength of your uncharitable outburst it seems that you, yourself, have a problem controlling the expression of unseemly rage. But, perhaps, this was a singular occasion?

I'm sorry you feel the way you do. However, it is your problem not mine.

Meanwhile, let me wish you and everyone else a very satisfying, rewarding, peaceful, contented and hopefully prosperous New Year.

And may we all soon learn to be less suspicious, less resentful, less judgmental, less spiteful, less ego-centric and less apt to jump to unpleasant conclusions about one another.

The New York Philharmonic just gave a concert of hoary old chestnuts in celebration of New Year's Eve. The playing was highly competent, of course, but the interpretations seemed humdrum --- almost perfunctory.

The evening was saved, however, and made thoroughly delightful by the splendid American mezzo soprano, Susan Graham, who sang everything from Mozart and Lehar to Bizet and La Vie en Rose with elegance, ease, stunning accuracy and a great sense of joie de vivre. Rarely have I seen a performer have such a good time in front of a certainly jaded, highly sophisticated New York audience.

May God forever bless Art, but damn the politicians.

Happy New Year and Good Night.

~ FreeThinke

CJ said...

Hello FT,
I can see that Joseph understood what you were saying as I did also. it was obvious what you were getting at and that's why I answered as I did, to pre-empt your argument. Israel was NOT planted in "someone else's country." There WAS no country there, it was wilderness with a sparse scattering of nomadic Arabs and some residents including Jews, few and far between. Long-time Arab residents were compensated for any land they were willing to sell to Israel. But the area itself had NO national identity whatsoever until some Jews managed by tremendous commitment and hard work to build a state there.

What I said about it is the truth. The conflicts in that part of the world are 99% one-sided, being based on the Arab mindset and not on Jewish provocation other than their mere existence and success at building their state.

Incognito said...

Believe it or not even Mahmoud Abbas blames Hamas as do some people in Palestine, though not many.

Israel has every right to defend itself.. I wrote a post about this on instablogs, a global site that has many muslims there, and the one comment was representative of all muslim/palestinian apologist..

pathetic so few can see the truth.

Anonymous said...

Most often we seek to prove OURSELVES right instead of trying to learn what IS right. The two are often at odds,

You and Joseph are incorrect in your perceptions, CJ. I was trying to move the discussion toward an abstract examination of the source and nature of hostility, itself. That I was targeted and attacked personally for so doing is, itself, sad evidence that the desire to lash out and wound others who are not in harmony with our beliefs and suppositions is stronger than the desire to search for Truth,

Dealing solely with ancient doctrine, dogma and long-held, culturally established beliefs --- things others have told us we should or must believe --- instead of examining those things in the light of personal experience and understanding, skims lightly over the surface of Reality and completely misses any and all opportunities to probe more deeply into the human psyche and deal with our strange compulsions and unconscious motives --- rather like admiring the beauty of a hand-chased gold watch case while remaining ignorant of the complex works inside.

When one depends solely on ORTHODOXY of any kind and insists on dealing only with what appears obvious, one becomes robotic --- “programmed” --- an essentially mindless automaton --- an obedient slave to the notions, ideas and manipulative techniques of OTHERS. In short one ceases to use God’s greatest Gift to humanity --- our INTELLIGENCE --- which soon atrophies with neglect.

If mankind had stuck with slavish devotion to this authoritarian model of Obedience to Tradition and Accepted Norms, we would never have gotten beneath the outward and visible appearance of anything. The world would still seem flat. The sun would still appear to move laterally across our sky, The world of microbes, molecules, atoms and sub-atomic particles would have remained closed to us. The Western Hemisphere would have remained undiscovered and unexplored. None of the great labor-saving devices and modern modes of transportation and communication would have come into being. In fact no one would ever have been moved to paint pictures on the inside of caves, build fires, eat cooked food, develop language, music, architecture, science and all the rest of it.

Instead, we would have been mired in what was already known untold thousands of years ago, and life would still be “nasty, brutish and short.”

I do not believe that the Jews were “chosen” by God or that ”God wrote the Bible.” I believe that God is eternal and ever-present. He is the embodiment and perfect expression of Spirit, Truth, Love, Principal, Intelligence, Character, Beauty and Life, itself. He is the Source of all wisdom and all knowledge and the inspiration for all that is great in Art, Literature, Science and Technology, et al.

The ancient Jews discovered within themselves much of the Truth that is God, and had the wisdom to write down their convictions and impressions gained from extraordinary insight. However, there have been other peoples and other civilizations who have had similar insights into the nature of Truth that deserve study, understanding, acceptance and credit too.

God, the Author of the Cosmos, belongs to all of Creation and should be regarded as The Universal Source of Truth and Light. It is the ancient tribal claims of EXCLUSIVITY, SUPERIORITY and SUPREME VIRTUE that persist in the modern world that are in my view the primary reason we are addicted to relentless antagonism, instead of living in harmony with one another expressing curiosity, admiration, affection, encouragement and support, as I’m sure the One True God would have us do.

The more we cling to antique notions of truth and falsehood, the more we draw into warring factions that claim it is RIGHTEOUS to indulge in destructive passion. If we do not stop our endless self-justification, our stubborn willfulness and hold our passions in check, this pursuit of violence will surely will bring about The Reign of Endless Night. It is imperative that we get wise to ourselves, and stop the nonsensical insistence that WE and ONLY WE should be regarded as RIGHT.

That “we” could and should apply to any and all identifiable factions on earth that seek to dominate humanity with THEIR particular vision of Truth.

May we all have a BLESSED NEW YEAR.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

Good morning and Happy New Year, FT!

You admit you don't believe God wrote the Bible, then what do you believe informs Christians?

And, if he didn't, how do you, or anyone else, know that he's the "Author of the Cosmos"? That's fascinating.

Who says..? Just a 'feeling' you get...a 'feeling' billions have had since Christ died?

Do you believe Christ died for our sins? How do you know?

This is a very fascinating conversation..thanks.

CJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CJ said...

Good questions, Z, I hope FT comes back and answers you.

Z said...

FT: reading my questions over, it sounds very attacking and I absolutely don't mean it to be. NOT AT ALL.

I'm hoping you do come back and fill in the blanks.

We're all adult and we're all perfectly entitled to our opinions, aren't we?

YOu are, I am. I'm sorry that every time faith comes up, everybody goes haywire and can't answer questions or we feel attacked.

I was surprised with how confrontational my questions sound now that I read them again after having gone to the beach for a few hours.....

And I'm sorry if they put you off...z

Anonymous said...

Hi, Z,

I didn't feel "attacked" by you at all, but your questions made me think, which I believe is always a good thing. It seems to me that you and I have known each other so long, and understand each other so well by now that we SHOULD be able to take it for granted that neither of us ever means the other any harm. That said, I don't believe one should ever take friendship for granted --- it's much too precious for that.

I agree that these discussions can too easily become heated, because we are all sensitive about our convictions and the things that give us a sense of identity.

Today was New Year's Day, of course, and I've been very busy making and answering phone calls, which is a traditional New Year's Day practice where I come from. Also, I was fortunate to have been invited to join friends for dinner --- an unexpected treat --- so that too took up a good deal of time too.

I'll try to be brief which I hope doesn't appear flippant.

I believe that EVERYTHING comes from God. I believe in Intelligent Design. I think that just one remarkable phenomenon --- the incredible beauty, unity and variety of snowflakes for instance --- each one hexagonal, lace-like, perfect, yet each one unique --- is clear and convincing evidence to me that a Designer of astonishing, incomprehensible brilliance is at the heart of Creation. The structure of atoms too --- each one very much like a tiny solar system --- provides more evidence.

There is ORGANIZATION and UNITY in all natural phenomena. CHAOS is not a legitimate part of the Cosmos.

Where do I think the Bible come from? I think it came from the same place that Beethoven's music came from or Shakespeare's plays, the interplay of patterns in Geometry, or the Laws of Physics and Chemistry.

God is All in All --- He is inescapable, except in the realm of our (often vain and foolish) fear-based fantasies. He has made us in such a way that some of us are able to DISCOVER or INTUIT great truths about His Creation ---albeit very slowly over millennia.

So, I think the insight and inspiration that came to Moses and the saints and prophets came from God in the same sense that the inspiration for their symphonies, sonatas, concerti and string quartets came to Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, et al.

HOWEVER, each of us is very limited by our culture, background, the time in which we find ourselves and by many fears and false ideas put into our heads by elders who may mean well, but don't know any better.

Therefore, even our most remarkable geniuses and our greatest mystics "see only in part." No one has ever seen Truth in it's entirety. "No man can look upon the face of God and live." Our vision is always clouded in some way and our scope narrow, because our earthly position is one of limited perspective.

The study of how we learn and know is a tremendous field about which we still understand very little. I think it's called epistemology.

In the end everything we know and all that we've produced was first an idea that came into someone's imagination. Things have been made manifest, because someone had FAITH in what they saw in their Mind's Eye.

I don't believe that God talks directly to us, but I am almost certain that He has created us in such a way that some of us are able to see and occasionally capture little GLIMPSES of Him --- like tiny fragments of a great mosaic whose ultimate picture still remains unknown to us.

What we know as The Bible is a great part of that picture, but by no means all. God is STILL revealing Himself to us and HAS BEEN all along. The trouble is that few of us have eyes that can see and appreciate the significance of what He is telling us in myriad ways.

I hope this makes some sense to you, but if not I can't possibly feel offended or take umbrage. No one can legitimately force his convictions on others, and I am willing to admit that I could be wrong. I just wish more people felt that way.

This is hardly a complete answer to your questions, but at least it's a start.

~ FreeThinke

CJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z said...

FT (I almost typed your real name! OOPS!)...FT: (ahem!!!)...


What you wrote is very beautiful and very all encompassing. Buddhists, Hindus, Mystics, ...Deepok Chopra, etc etc...ALL of them believe exactly that.

Is it by nature of your birth to Christian parents that you choose to identify with Christianity?

In other words, if the Bible is what tells us, informs us, of the Christian faith, but we don't really believe it's God's word and don't go for all of it (and so many don't..), then how can we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born of the virgin birth, to come and save us from our sins?

This is fascinating....I SO appreciate your responses.
And, go away at me, too! This makes me focus and hone my thoughts!

CJ said...

Again, Z, you did it better than I did so I'm deleting my own and pulling up a chair with a bag of popcorn.

I.H.S. said...

CJ, Z, What have I missed? Too much to read. Can someone bring me up to speed.


Anonymous said...

Shepherd, show me how to go
O'er the hillside steep;
How to gather, how to sow
How to feed Thy sheep.

I will listen to Thy voice
Lest my footsteps stray;
I will follow and rejoice
All the rugged way.

~ Mary Baker Eddy

It's time for breakfast now, but I shall come back. I'm not particularly interested in putting on any kind of "show" or "spectacle," as bringing a bowl of popcorn to the computer seems to suggest, nor am I interested in "converting" anyone to my point of view. I am, however, interested in trying to answer these (very challenging) questions to the best of my ability, as long as anyone is sincerely interested and not merely eager to mock.

I believe we should be able to share different views and ask questions without either feeling personally attacked, OR giving way to the impulse to insult and badger those whose ideas we instinctively do not like, cannot fathom, or find in some way threatening to take us out of the comfortable cocoons we all tend to build around ourselves.

Jesus was not a meek traditionalist, you know. He was an Upstart, a REVOLUTIONARY, a threat to established power structures and an immense challenge to the conventional wisdom and settled beliefs of the day. Jesus did not encourage complacency. His career was very upsetting to the Establishment of His time.

See you later, perhaps?

~ FreeThinke

I.H.S. said...

Again, from reading FT's comment that I missed something rather poignant, what was it, please someone bring up to speed.

CJ said...

FT, all I meant by the bag of popcorn was that Z was doing a better job of holding up the discussion from our point of view than I was, so I was going to withdraw and watch the debate.

IHS, I'm not sure how to explain. We were talking about Israel. FT appears to believe that it is a mistake that Israel exists at all, that the problems in the region have to do with their simply being there, and he suggested various mistakes that led to their being there, on the part of the western powers and Israel herself. Joseph was offended and accused FT of hating the Jews. I agreed that seemed to be implied in what FT had said, but then he explained that his point was more general than that -- there are always reasons and he's only looking for the reasons in this case for the conflicts. I for one take the position that whatever mistakes were made, for the most part Israel was founded fairly and honestly, and all the problems are caused by ancient irrational Arab hatred of the Jews, most of it based on envy that has been formalized in the Koran. It goes back to God's choosing Isaac, so the Koran was written to make Ishmael the chosen one.

FT puts the blame then on the ancient texts themselves. Z then asks him some questions about his beliefs about the Bible, which has been the topic for the last few posts. I think if you start back about 20 posts you can follow along with the whole discussion. Most of them aren't long. I hope I got all this straight.

I.H.S. said...

CJ, which happens to be my initials, thanks for the update and I will attempt to go back and see where I can pick up and perhaps be able to join in the discussion, because what peek with me was the comment on FT generalizing and thus negating the Deity of Christ. I hope I'm on the right course. Give me a little while to read, digest and then input. Thanks CJ.


CJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CJ said...

I hope you will join in, IHS, that would be interesting.

FT says very clearly that he does not believe in the Deity of Christ or the inerrancy of the Bible or its being God's word. He believes the Bible once had some truth value but has been transcended by greater truth or something like that. So people are backward and unenlightened who believe it as written, and a belief that God chose a particular group of people to represent Him is an antiquated notion that interferes with true knowledge and prevents peace in the Middle East.

I.H.S. said...

I guess to start then FT needs to check out this, "Deu 7:6 For thou [art] an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that [are] upon the face of the earth."

I.H.S. said...

What truth can possibly transcend The Truth?


CJ said...

Good question. I'd like FT to answer that and also be specific about just how he knows for sure what in the Bible is true and what not true.

Elmers Brother said...

If one seeks the truth you will always end up at the cross of Christ.

Z said...

Here's the deal, folks (am having trouble with my computer and I'm on dial-up I was delayed!)..

FT, as you all will agree, has every right to his opinion and I very much like having it here because it makes for excellent conversation;

My question is one I ask many people who say they are Christian but don't buy that the Bible's God's word....then why be CHRISTIAN? What INFORMS one of Christianity if we're not even sure of Christ's divinity, if the Bible's not God's word? Is it then a fun and lovely philosophy written by guys named John, Luke, Matthew, Paul, etc. who had some weird conspiracy agreement?? Why did most of the followers of Christ die martyr's deaths instead of saying at the last minute "I WAS KIDDING! Come ON, you guys, this has gone FAR ENOUGH! HEY! Get me DOWN from here RIGHT NOW!! It was a JOKE!! heheh!!"

Is Christianity just Peace/love/dove, so to speak? Because THEN we're saying "Yes, I love Jesus, I celebrate Christmas!..what a wonderful philosopher..what a great teacher/rabbi"...BUT, then we stop believing what He says is beneficial when he's angry, or demands from us something, or when he has the audacity to tell us something like what the Left in particular hates to digest "YOu will always have poor among you"...UHOH..If HE says THAT, how can we try to solve ALL POVERTY?

I'm not necessarily talking to FT here because I happen to believe he DOES believe in the divinity of Christ, but it sounds complicated when he sounds more like he is enchanted with the teachings of someone like Deepok Chopra more than God's...NO PUT DOWN here, just a question. FT's not alone...he represents millions...and I say only for the desire to rile and examine thoughts and feelings!

Is the Bible, then, just another interesting book to some Christians? I do believe there are liberal churches who Do feel this way. But, then can one call oneself Christian?

If anyone's read the Bible, one would see that it's almost impossible to associate and accredit to the fishermen and untrained followers of Jesus the amazing INCREDIBLE prose, the 2 line parables that say more than Deepok Chopra can say in four volumes, don't you think? I often wonder, also, if the Bible is NOT God's word, if it was, indeed, an attempt by Constantine to rally the troops (!), wouldn't you have the gospels exactly match? Oops, TWO angels came to Luke and only ONE to Mark? Some would look at that and say "See? it's not true" I look at it and say "WOW, it MUST be true, because if you're trying to pull something on people, you'd never risk any discrepancies!"

But, read it, to really study and have your eyes and heart opened (as I never thought COULD happen until 8 years or so ago, and NEVER happens with any other books) does something to you that's SO powerful that I can't deny it anymore.

But, some intellectuals might find me simple minded: "easier to just BELIEVE without questioning. How can ANYONE think God wrote a book!?"

OH,'s FAR more difficult to believe than not to believe AND I DO QUESTION! OH, brother, DO I! And it helps me learn more and more.

Chime in, folks....tear me apart if need be! I'm ready!

I.H.S. said...

"Is the Bible, then, just another interesting book to some Christians? I do believe there are liberal churches who Do feel this way. But, then can one call oneself Christian?"

Yes, there are churches like that and they call themselves believers of God. Now, the problem with that is; it doesn't mean you are Christian to say you are a believer, because if you recall the Bible says clearly that demons believe and tremble, the question isn't the believing per se, but the accepting. If any one comes to God he must first believe that he is and that He is a rewarder of them that dilligently seek Him. The seeking is the acceptance of who God says He is and everything God has had written, and what He is continuously revealing to us even today.


Anonymous said...

This exchange was sent to me earlier today by a lifelong friend who has always been deeply concerned with the relationship between God and Man.

••• Jay Tolson, in U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, says that the numerous branches of Islam in America today are pondering the compatibility of Islam with democracy and the basic rights and freedoms established by international law. Puritan strands wish to establish Islamic law wherever they live. Secular strands affirm the separation of mosque and state, gender equality in personal and family law and unrestricted critical study of Islamic traditions.

••• When freedom of worship is challenged by a view that religious law trumps democratically generated law, what principles would you want to guide your political leaders? •••

••• REPLY:

••• This raises the major issue which appears to separate and alienate so many of the world's people. I fear it always will, unless and until both advocates of puritanical religious law and those devoted to democratic law discover their commonality (well articulated in Paul Tillich's "Ground of All Being," which characterizes God as the universal force that gives life, energy, intelligence, insight and creativity to all people --- even those who appear unaware of the inter-connectedness of all life to the Divine).

••• Every one of the great religions of the world is already rooted in the "Ground" or Universal Divine Authority and Motivating Force of which Tillich writes, but throughout history a few authoritarian individuals wanting to lay personal claim to Divine authority and preserve for themselves a special exalted status have profited by keeping human beings ignorant and suspicious of one another, and therefore always at odds.

••• The power-seekers have done this by editing and reshaping legitimate insights into the nature of God to serve their insatiable hunger for the power to dominate, control, and bend others to their will.

••• I believe Jesus came to set us free by correcting that distorted thinking, but the falsely pious, self-serving politicians of His time had Him killed, because they (quite rightly) perceived Him as a threat to their privileged, exalted status.

••• The Good News is that He still lives eternally in the hearts of those who Love Him. •••



Now, all, of that makes a great deal of sense to me, although I take great exception to the idea that "International Law" deserves any credit at all for "establishing the basic rights and freedoms of mankind."

That aside, I believe that what many here see as a threat to "true" Christianity is actually awakening more and more people to an understanding that in Truth God is both Father and Mother to all of humanity, and that all people are in fact brothers and sisters who live on common ground.

This is a metaphysical truth the temporal world is not yet ready to accept, and so we live still motivated by bitter, divisive, fear-based passions instead of accepting the dictates of Divine Love. Our, apparent, preference for remaining separate and above all others --- a throwback to our early animal existence that persisted as we evolved into warring tribes and then into aggressive, acquisitive empires.

Clinging to the animal side of our nature and the trappings of ancient tribalism keeps us forever in conflict.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

NOTE to I.H.S.

I can see you are a sincere, well-motivated man, sir, but please let me suggest that it's not a good idea to ask others to read, interpret and summarize the words of others FOR you.

CJ is by now an old friend of whom I am very fond on a personal level, but as you can see we are far apart theologically. Her attempts to explain me, while always intelligent, may seem plausible, but they are not strictly accurate.

I ask no one to abandon his convictions and adopt mine. My wish would be that we could stop being rude, sarcastic or condemnatory when we don't agree. (That would not be you, sir.)

Z, who is also an old friend of mine, has the right idea when she says we are all adults and should be able to express our views freely without attempting to force them on others.

I think too we should try to avoid labeling each other, attempting to definine each other, and accusing each other of being this or that --- even by inference.

I do realize that's a lot to ask, since it's impossible to know precisely how others may react to any positively stated ideas, thoughts and feelings, but I think it's worth a try.


~ FreeThinke

CJ said...

Dear FT,
I realize you don't like discussing these things much, but you do rather of preach your point of view from time to time and it only seems right that you be asked to defend or justify it occasionally, show why you believe it etc.

If I misrepresented your beliefs in anything I said, PLEASE show me where so I won't do it again. You are implying I or others here have misrepresented you or "labelled" you falsely, and it's really not fair of you to say such a thing in such a general way. You really ought to be specific so a person can answer you or apologize or whatever is required.

Wouldn't a friend do that?

Your friend,

Anonymous said...

Hi, CJ,

I didn't meant to cast any aspersions on you, although I felt you were putting words in my mouth here and there. I wanted to emphasize to I.H.S. that I think it's better if you want to understand what someone like me is saying to read what I've actually written, instead of depending on someone else to digest it for you.

I don't like to think of the observations I make as "preaching." I prefer to think of it as "sharing." I do know that you and many others have an entirely different perspective, and don't admire my way of believing, but I don't post to arouse antagonism. I don't think you do either, but such feelings are bound to arise when something positively stated strikes another person as "wrong-headed."

I feel its our duty to remain cordial--- if not necessarily receptive ---to the views we'd probably prefer not to see published. And if someone waxes trollish or arbitrarily belligerent and unkind, I think it's best either to ignore that, or refer to it obliquely rather than directly.

I, personally, have enjoyed this "exercise" a great deal, because it has made me think through these issues and examine, refine and re-evaluate my beliefs and convictions.

I don't believe any of us needs to "defend" himself. I believe our thoughts speak very clearly for themselves. As you know I have turned away from the confrontational approach, because of the ire it's bound to arouse.

At any rate, I am glad you are reading what I write. I take it as a sign of respect if not agreement.

I'm off for the night now. Going to watch a movie and hopefully go to sleep soon thereafter.

Did you see Barenboim conduct The New year's Day Concert from Vienna with Julie Andrews hosting? I always enjoy that event. It was rebroadcast here this afternoon. Barenboim is one the "la creme de la creme" --- truly a great master. I remember his days as a child prodigy. It's rare for a wunderkind like that to mature so exquisitely.

Hope your days are bright if not necessarily merry in 2009.

~ FT

Beamish said...

Why is it that every time that Israel gives the Egyptian expatriates in the Gaza Strip the war they want they start crying for it all to stop?

Z said...

FT..I think I.H.S. just wanted the crux of your discussion, your opinion..made sense to me!

What doesn't is why you won't address my points...!!? I really would like to know for my OWN edification. You're articulate and smart and I thought my questions were pretty valid.....just hoping to hear your opionion...mostly on why someone would call themself CHRISTIAN when their philosophy seems more like Deepok Chopra, for example.

This isn't about trying to fit a round peg in a square hole...there are all sorts of denominations and I hate that the Christian church is pulled every which way with differing viewpoints, especially now that we should all be together and against the branch of islam which wants us dead......So, what I'm trying to say is I'm not pushing Lutheranism or Presbyterianism and "WHY DON"T YOU SEE WE"RE RIGHT?" Not at all....I'm wondering, in general, why would one identify with Christianity if one doesn't believe in the divinity of Christ, for example.

Anonymous said...

WHOOPS! Just checked back after the movie and before bed.

Hello, Z. I'm sorry I thought I had explained myself probably TOO fully.

Why do I consider myself a Christian?

Well, I grew up in the bosom of the church. Attended Sunday School faithfully from early childhood through Junior High. Sang as a paid member of an Episcopal boy's choir from age 8 to 12. Started playing the organ for services as a summer substitute at age 12. Worked with great enthusiasm and a genuine sense of personal dedication as an organist and choir director for several denominations over a forty-year period. I mean it was never just a job for me. I LOVED it with all my heart.

I have prayed earnestly and benefited from long talks with God --- really confessions yo Him, I suppose --- since I was a young boy.

After college the Sick-sties came with a vengeance and all the religious traditions and societal norms I'd held dear --- and foolishly had taken for granted --- were suddenly under vicious, relentless attack.

Probably BECAUSE the Church was being mocked, openly scorned and continually undermined in the media, rock music, by hideous stand-up comedians like Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce, and in more subtle ways in movies and television, I felt very protective of the Church and began to defend the Church which effectively got me out of some of the crowds with which I'd been running.

I identified with the church a helluva lot more than I ever identified with the popular culture, so while my peers were growing away from it, I grew to embrace it more and more.

I am the product of a Christian CULTURE. The church was a large part of the social and community life where I grew up. My mother taught Sunday school. My father was a deacon and later an elder. Church was a home away from home for me.

As I grew older, I began to see that there a lot of vain, foolish, nasty-minded gossips and self-righteous, power-mad boors in the churches where I worked. I saw up close and personal that many people who called themselves Christian were anything but, even though they attended faithfully and contributed regularly to the coffers, etc.

Dana Carvey's hideous caricature called "Church Lady" was so uncomfortably close to the truth I found it upsetting, while most people laughed their fool heads off. The majority found Church Lady funny. I found it creepy and almost obscene.

Also, I am very respectful of the Old World Culture of Western Civilization. Had there been no Christian Church we would have enjoyed no such culture. I truly believe that Western civilization reached higher peaks of development and greater advancement tan any of thee other world cultures.

All the great stuff that really turned me on had been either directly ir indirectly in some way fostered and influenced by the Church.

If you really want to know it's the total package of what Christendom has PRODUCED both liturgically and culturally that persuades me beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christianity is the way to go,

I spend a lot of time searching within for reasons to maintain, strengthen and increase my faith. If I lost it or let go of it I know I'd go mad.

As I practice it, it's a faith I can live and grow with and keep expanding my horizons.


Z said... few words, SO true (again!) you're sublime.

FT...thanks. I appreciate your taking the time. It's very interesting to see your reasons.

Have you spent much time studying the Bible with people? I don't mean alone, that just plain doesn't work...just wondering.


CJ said...

FT, you've now made it very clear why you consider yourself a Christian, but really, unfortunately, you didn't answer any of Z's questions, which were about the beliefs that make up Christian belief.

I hope she won't mind if I copy out the central parts of her posted questions to you:

Good morning and Happy New Year, FT!

You admit you don't believe God wrote the Bible, then what do you believe informs Christians?

And, if he didn't, how do you, or anyone else, know that he's the "Author of the Cosmos"? That's fascinating.

Who says..? Just a 'feeling' you get...a 'feeling' billions have had since Christ died?

Do you believe Christ died for our sins? How do you know?

January 1, 2009 10:15 AM ,

She then decided those questions were too confrontational, but you accepted them -- you just didn't answer them.

Then she went on to say:

What you wrote is very beautiful and very all encompassing. Buddhists, Hindus, Mystics, ...Deepok Chopra, etc etc...ALL of them believe exactly that.

Is it by nature of your birth to Christian parents that you choose to identify with Christianity?

In other words, if the Bible is what tells us, informs us, of the Christian faith, but we don't really believe it's God's word and don't go for all of it (and so many don't..), then how can we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, born of the virgin birth, to come and save us from our sins?

This is fascinating....I SO appreciate your responses.
And, go away at me, too! This makes me focus and hone my thoughts!

What you DID answer shows that it is because of your birth and upbringing and appreciation of the cultural effects of Christianity that you regard yourself as a Christian.

But what needs answering is how you can identify your particular beliefs about the Bible and about Jesus Christ and the nature of God with the teachings of Christianity. As Z says, what you claim to believe sounds more like all the other religions.

You said to me that we shouldn't need to "defend" ourselves but we SHOULD be able to defend our beliefs, show why they are worthy of belief. There should be objective reasons for our beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Good morning!

I believe that to the best of my ability I gave truthful, detailed responses that should have answered everyone's questions quite fully. I'm afraid I just didn't give the kind of responses my interlocutors particularly wanted to hear.

For the record I do not think Joseph Campbell or Deepak Chopra should be cast as villains. They are very different from one another, and should not be lumped together, but I think each in his own way has been very helpful in the quest to understand Christianity and Judaism from a global perspective. This shows how the Judeo-Christian tradition relates to the origin and development of other faiths and primitive religious practices in an historical context. We like to think we are The One and Only, but in fact we are but one of many. I know that rankles, and I'm sorry, but I believe it to be true.

This is not an Ecclesiastical Court, and I am not on trial. This is a very nice forum for discussion for which I am grateful. I am not eager to see it turn into a battlefield.

I do not believe in driving subjects into the ground, as my father would have put it. I have said what I felt I needed to say to make myself clear. I'm sorry if I have annoyed, upset, or offended anyone along the way, such was never my intent.

At this point I am ready to move on, because I feel I am apt to be asked the same questions again and again in the hope that I will eventually give the "right" answer --- the one that is wanted instead of the one given.

I'm sorry if I've disappointed or confused anyone, but I've said what I had to say, and don't want to repeat myself any more than I already have.

May God bless and keep every one of us.

Respectfully submitted,


Anonymous said...


It seems very clear to me that all knowledge and belief is derived from a process of discovery and intuition based on FAITH. God (the embodiment and perfect expression of Truth, Love, Beauty, Mind, Soul, Principle, Spirit and Life, itself) always has and always will exist.

He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to show us how best to LIVE not how to DIE so as to be safe in the afterlife.

I believe we are supposed to learn from Jesus that by living according to the dictates of The Golden Rule, the Ten Commandments, and The Sermon on the Mount we may live with confidence and joy, instead of fear and anxiety, and we may be sure that it doesn’t matter how others treat us. Even if we are betrayed by our friends, imprisoned, tortured and brutally murdered in the end --- as He was --- we may die knowing we have done the best we could given our level of understanding of Truth and Principle.

That is how I strive to live. That is what I believe. I wish to offend no one, and if you think that I am not a Christian because of what I have said, that is your right and privilege.

Rejoice in the Lord alway
And again I say rejoice
Be careful for nothing
But in everything
By prayer and supplication
With thanksgiving
Ket your requests
Be made known unto God

And the peace of God
Which passeth all understanding
Shall keep your hearts and minds
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.



~ FreeThinke

Z said...

FT..thanks very much. CJ, too.

Nobody ever said Deepok or Campbell are 'villains'! I'm very curious about Deepok helping people understand Christianity or Judaism. he's pretty rough on both, actually, fairly disdainful...taking the stuff he likes and dumping the rest.

HOW can giving an opinion "offend" or "disappointment"? This isn't the inquisition! I thought my questions were good ones and you haven't really answered them, but started to in your second response. But, you certainly don't have to! I'm just glad you're here, as well as CJ and I.H.S. and Joseph.....

Yes, Jesus being the Son of God is certainly the crux of the Christian, he explicitly says "I AM the way and the life...No one gets to the Father (eternal life)but through me.." ( paraphrasing, of course, as usual!)
That kind of ticks off the Deepoks of the world "too EXclusive.." When, really, it is an invitation to EVERYONE.

Well, just as the Deepoks and others of the world think that's's probably something that niggles at the back of their minds that it very well could be right! I think that's why simple nativity scenes bug atheists so much...why wouldn't they just laugh and keep walking if something, somewhere, didn't say "you know this could be true, you maybe need to pay attention!"?

I love that Scripture from Phillipians but my version starts with "The Lord is near." I LOVE that.....thanks for the reminder, FT! I could only REJOICE in Him if I knew he was right. Otherwise, i'd think he was a huge scam and I couldn't.

I guess my biggest point is that Christians go to the Bible because it IS the ONLY thing, ONLY, which informs us....not Deepok or Campbell...our whole faith is based only on that. Reading the others can be a lovely experience and we can learn things from them, too, but it pretty much all comes from the Scriptures, anyway! just said in different ways....easier to take when CHRISTIANS aren't behind it, I think! Because CHRISTIANITY holds our feet to the an effort to keep them OUT of the fire, come to think of it. Hey! I LIKE THAT! !!

Whatever..I've enjoyed this and am so glad to have had good participants to talk with.......z

I.H.S. said...

Sorry I've been away from the computer for a couple of days.

FT, you said..."NOTE to I.H.S.

I can see you are a sincere, well-motivated man, sir, but please let me suggest that it's not a good idea to ask others to read, interpret and summarize the words of others FOR you."

If I'm correct I asked that I be informed what the conversation was about, and if there were words that you wrote then it would seem to me that you would bring me up to speed on what you said just like just like CJ would bring me up to speed on what they said.

Like I said it seemed like a great conversation developing, but after I got back I see that you seemed to have gotten a tad bit defensive from the posts I've read and to be totally honest you never fully answered the questions that have been posed to you, but you feel you have so I'm through with it, too.

Much love to you FT, CJ and of course Z.


Anonymous said...

I've never been able to say what I thought others wanted to hear when it has run contrary to my deepest convictions.

I'll be 68 on my next birthday, and am sure by this time that I know my own mind.

I have no idea how I could have answered anyone's questions any more fully, honestly or completely than I have.

I've spent hours on this thread, and did the best I could to make clear statements. It was helpful to me to have made the effort. I can only hope it was of some use to others.

Thank you, Z, for giving us this opportunity.

All the best to everyone always.

~ FreeThinke

CJ said...

FT, You're very rude to suggest that anybody here has something in particular we want you to say.

It is a fact that some of the questions that were asked were simply not answered by you. It is hard to see how you think you answered them, but I suppose we can only take your word for it that you believe you did.

You are not obliged to answer any questions, FT, you can simply beg off for whatever reason you like; and you are CERTAINLY not obliged to make up something you falsely think anyone else wants to hear; but you ARE obliged to try to be fair.

You never said where I was "putting words in your mouth," you merely let the accusation stand. I did my best to present to I.H.S. what I thought was your point of view.

I'll be 67 two days before you are 68, which you never remember although we've supposedly been friends for half a dozen years.

Z said...

But, FT! One of the easiest answered questions was about having read the Bible and you didn't even answer that! You don't HAVE to answer ANY of them, but please don't think that your not responding to so many questions and our questioning it means you didn't give answers WE want!

I don't want a blog like that and it's NOT like that. We differ, we discuss it....

Well...we all learned something about where we stand, that's a good thing.