Friday, July 21, 2006

God doesn't take sides

It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of organized religion of any kind, or the preachers that push them.

So it's with a certain perverse amusement that I note that preacher Omar Bakri, the fundamentalist wacko Muslim cleric who urges children to become suicide bombers, is begging the British to transport his sorry ass out of Lebanon before the country gets blown to bits.

He was barred from England a while back, forbidden to re-enter the country, but that didn't stop him from trying to stow away on a British ship leaving Lebanon recently.

Sounds like a bit of Universal Justice, some real Instant Karma.

Telling 10-year old British Muslim kids they must sacrifice themselves for Allah is sick.

From, referring to an event in 2004:
Muslim extremist Omar Bakri — speaking in London’s East End — said suicide bombers were assured a place in paradise.

Bakri described such bombings as "self-sacrifice operations."

An example would be to crash a plane on to 10 Downing Street or the White House, he told a cheering audience of Muslims, including around ten young children.

In one outburst he raged: "You must fight for the way of Allah, for the sake of Allah, to kill first and to be killed."
About now is where many people would somehow feel superior, and maybe even start chanting "U. - S. - A." and running outside to put "God Bless America" bumper stickers on their cars.

For some reason, we — Muslim, Christian or Jew — always believe:
  1. We are right.
  2. God is on our side.
But the Bigger Picture is this: God is God is God. The Muslims' Allah is the Christians' Jehovah God is the Jews' YHWH G-d. All three religions descend historically/traditionally from Abraham.

So now that World War III is moving into high gear we've got Muslim people doing what they think God wants, Jews doing what they think God wants, and Christians rushing into wars shouting "God Bless America," believing that only they have God's favor.

Something's wrong here, fundamentally, instrinsically, deep-down just plain wrong.

If God is on everybody's side, then I'm sure He'd appreciate it if we'd all stop fighting, or at least fighting in His Name.

I've posted it here before, and I'm going to do it again. We've got to change our perception, not only of God, but of humanity, or we're going to blow ourselves up, maybe a few at a time at the hands of suicide bombers, or maybe all at once with a Mushroom Cloud, but it's gonna happen if we don't change. Soon.

The following words are from God, according to Neal Donald Walsch. From my point of view, Walsch is as valid a spokesman for God as Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, Mohammed, Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Or Josh the Baptist. Or Pat Robertson. And certainly more valid than Omar Bakri.
You are facing now a new and startling danger — a danger posed to your entire species. A threat to your very survival posed by the combination of a split in ideology and an advance in technology, which makes it possible for you to seek to resolve your differences with tools of human destruction unlike anything you may have heretofore dreamed of in your worst nightmare.

There are five things you can choose now if changing your world, and the self-destructive direction in which it is moving, is what you wish to achieve.

1. You can choose to acknowledge that some of your old beliefs about God and about Life are no longer working.

2. You can choose to acknowledge that there is something you do not understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which will change everything.

3. You can choose to be willing for a new understanding of God and Life to now be brought forth, an understanding that could produce a new way of life on your planet.

4. You can choose to be courageous enough to explore and examine this new understanding, and, if it aligns with your inner truth and knowing, to enlarge your belief system to include it.

5. You can choose to live your lives as demonstrations of your highest and grandest beliefs, rather than as denials of them.

These are the Five Steps to Peace, and if you take them, you can shift everything on your planet.
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  1. Here's the thing:

    God isn't causing these problems. He's being used as a justification for whatevers going on.

    If God didn't exist, we'd have to invent him just to give us something to fight about.

    People fight, and kill each other. Sometimes, it's folks who don't deserve it, and that sucks.

    We need to realize that it happens, and it's going to keep happening.

    Those 5 steps to peace are very neat, but they're very individual. It's not going to change things overnight. (The first one is the hardest to swallow, for some people's ideas about God and Life ARE working, and it's when new ideas come in that they react badly). I don't disagree with the points, simply that it requires people to do stuff, like change and take responsibility. Most people I know, even good people, don't want to do that. They'd rather hand over that responsibility.

    Most people are fundamentally satisfied with their lives and their petty hatreds. It sucks, but the only way to unsatisfy them is sometimes to thrust things in their face, and make them uncomfortable. Problem is, some people react to discomfort with violence.

    I'd prefer to see more outlets for violence. Professional sports serve a very important role in that sense.

  2. Perhaps we can open a Fight Club franchise in your city.

    That's just it, Scott. We have invented all these God-things and then that's what we fight about. That Old Testament wrath of God thing, where Yahweh smote Philistines and Canaanites and other people who got in the way of the Israelites... that wasn't "God," that was reconstructed fables to make it seem like what happened was God's will or by God's action. Total made-up B.S. It was just the "happy face" the Israelites put on a very unhappy time.

    Of course the Five Steps to Peace won't change things overnight, because like you say, people resist change. People will fight and even kill just to avoid change.

    But someone must still cry out in the wilderness and point the way, or else, we will blow ourselves up. No amount of Rollerball and Fight Club will release enough pent-up anger to defuse the situation.

    — W.S.

  3. Belief in God is precisely what is causing these things, Bro. Scott. Or rather, the particular way we think of God.

    Jews and Christians and Muslims all believe in the God of the Old Testament, who smote thine enemies, killed babies, and made ridiculous demands of His people(s).

    People think God is actually like that, that He needs us to act a certain way "for His glory" or to "honor Him."

    So they obey these rules He (His prophets and priests, actually) gave.

    Basically, no matter which religion you subscribe to, you think God laid down certain laws and rules which, all across the board, teach you to be hateful to your enemies because they don't believe the way you do.

    THAT is the point of the Five Steps to Peace... changing those ingrained beliefs which aren't, and never were, reflective of the real God or about how we should treat each other.

    — W.S.

  4. Widow's Son... My esteemed literary brother. Let's not forget about Siddartha Gautama. Buddhism in it's purest sense espouses detachment from all ego. I think that ego is the cause of all this violence. My God can beat up your God" mentality. Of course, I've been wrong before, often!


  5. Did Wilson ever discover exactly how big, well, theologically, any of the great He-Gods' --you know... is suppose to be?

  6. You masons are sinners!!! talking abotu other gods there are not any othre god just ONE GOD!!! and he did'nt right no new books!!!!!


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