Monday, October 08, 2007

A rose is a rose is a rose

In the ridiculously titled article "Bush reveals his Freemasonry — again," blogger John Parsons calls Pres. Bush to task for saying, "...I believe that all the world, whether they be Muslim, Christian, or any other religion, prays to the same God."

I don't often agree with Bush, and as far as we know, Bush isn't a Freemason, but his statement is factually true.

Assume that God exists, and, as Muslims, Christians, and Jews believe, there is but one God. Logic dictates, then, that no matter who is doing the praying, and no matter what religious label they've taken upon themselves, the prayers are directed to the same Deity.

No matter what name you call him.

My son calls me Dad. My Masonic compatriots call me Brother, or Widow's Son. My parents call me Son. And my ex-wife calls me "you son of a bitch." But no matter what name I'm called, the name refers to me. There's only one me.

Ditto for God, as far as Muslims, Christians and Jews believe. There is only one God.

Why do the Christians who get upset at Bush for saying what he did think they own exclusive rights to "God"?

The Old Testament deity of the Jews was known by many names — El, Elohim, Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh, Adonai, Yahweh, etc. And Arabs, who typically believe in Allah, traditionally have their origin in Abraham's son Ishmael.

And of course, Christians co-opted the Jewish god as their own, confused things by also calling him Jesus, and then repeatedly translated most of the names of the deity into "Lord" or "God" when they printed the Bible, thus masking the many names of the Great Architect of the Universe.

"Official" spokesmen for God didn't like what the president said.
Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, was quoted in the Baptist Press as saying the president "is simply mistaken."

According to a Washington Post account, Land said in an interview: “We should always remember that he is commander in chief, not theologian in chief. The Bible is clear on this: The one and true god is Jehovah, and his only begotten son is Jesus Christ.”

The Rev. Ted Haggard, then-president of the National Association of Evangelicals, also contradicted the president in a press statement. "The Christian God encourages freedom, love, forgiveness, prosperity and health," said Haggard. "The Muslim god appears to value the opposite. The personalities of each god are evident in the cultures, civilizations and dispositions of the peoples that serve them. Muhammad’s central message was submission; Jesus' central message was love. They seem to be very different personalities."

In November 2006, Haggard was forced to resign from NAE following allegations of drug use and sex with a homosexual prostitute.

Gary Bauer, former presidential candidate and president of American Values, said Bush's comment was "not helpful to the president. Since everybody agrees he's not a theologian, he would be much better advised to punt when he gets that kind of question."
I think Haggard, with his statement about the "personalities" of God, not only shows his ignorance (the Old Testament God rarely exhibited "love" as a trait, but instead was murderous and vengeful), but actually makes a case for the non-existence of God by showing that the traits we attribute to God are man-made. Both individuals and entire cultures create their own visions and versions of what God is to them. We see in God what we want God to be.

Perhaps Bush was being Masonic after all in his words, being tolerant of all religious viewpoints.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

— From Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

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  1. This is the same can we've been kicking around the sand lot. I just happened to pick up a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, and it says "the God preached by the Gita is universal and inclusive.

    Even if Bush was mistaken, what he said is more universal than he knows.

    Maybe it was a Freudian slip...

    But then the game of my god is bigger than your god sells more bibles.

  2. Its very amusing. As a Masonic Apologist that has argued with "Christian" fundamentalists for years, the whole "there is only one g-d" issue is one they hang onto like a pitbul.

    You see, according to these folks, if you don't worship in "jaysus" name, you are worshiping the devil, or a demon, or a sprite, or something, but not gawd...

    And since it IS all about "My g-d can beat up your g-d", if you say: "There is just one g-d, so no matter what name you use, you are still talking to the one true g-d..." you are in essence, to them, questioning their view of gawd.

    Because, and I have seen men like W.D. Rice and Michael Gentry and Thomas "Skip" Sampson actually say that g-d doesn't hear the prayers of anyone that does not use Jaysus name amen...

    arrognat, one way...

    anyway, G.W. was right on this.

    but he is not a mason.

  3. I am curious about the symbology of your image. A five pointed star associated with hebrew is unique. Do you have a description of its intent?

    As a Muslim I have to make it clear.
    There is only one God.
    Is there no help for the Widow's Son?
    Muslims are being compared to heathen Pagans.
    The brethren should know better about the ways of the East!
    There seems to be a lot of debate here in the United States. Many people are trying to suggest that the God Allah of the Muslims is not the same God of the other monotheistic religions. This is a very serious misunderstanding of Islam and I am surprised it is so common in this society. The very essence of the message of Islam is that there is no other God than Allah. The God of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad.


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