The Crisis with ISIS and the Terror in the Mirror

coexist

The Crisis with ISIS and the Terror in the Mirror
I watched a documentary relating the conditions within Raqa since the hostile takeover of ISIS. I was surprised to realize that not everyone was in agreement with the acts of their oppressors. The man being interviewed was so despondent and fearful that he requested a voice alteration and a fictitious name. To my amazement, it revealed an entire community of innocent people living in fear and anxiety – no different than any neighborhood in America that might have been conquered by a terrorist regime. These are the people we forget as we clump them all together as one fanatical unit.

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This frightened man described his indignation towards this uninvited religious terrorist regime. He openly discussed the significant impact their presence has brought upon his community: issues like the price of food going up 300%, children being exposed to public executions, and longing for the day when he could again walk down the street without fearfully looking over his shoulder. He also mentioned the minor implications as well, like how disgruntled he was for being forced to grow the religiously mandated beard. ???????????????????????????????????????

 

The camera crew interviewed shop owners who were implicitly informed that certain woman’s clothing could no longer be displayed in their stores, but had to be kept in the storage areas; and anyone who bought those particular outfits was prohibited from wearing them in public.

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They showed some explosive footage of ISIS demolishing a mosque. It struck me as odd that a Muslim group would destroy a Muslim edifice – that is until the narrator explained that it was constructed by a divergent Muslim faction. “Oh, if it was built by those dissenters, than it’s nothing more than a slaughterhouse for pigs. Blow it up for Allah!”

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Another disparaging aspect of this unfortunate crisis is that ISIS is constantly proselyting their innocent children. They advise these naive children that they’re their brothers, and give them the impression that they’re the heroes of the world – fighting the bad guys. Their ultimate goal is to supply fresh recruits for their religious, militant faction; but they’re just as happy creating spies, as well. They offer money to any child with information against anyone speaking ill of their organization.

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As I witnessed an ISIS execution taking place in the street, the question struck me: “Who does this remind you of: ‘the Spanish Inquisition’? The more I considered it, the more it rang true. Consider it, if you know anything about that disparaging period of our history. The church of the Dark Ages not only dictated dress codes and demeanor, it eventually overpowered and usurped the authority of most European kings. Talk about I.S. (a religious Islamic state), three hundred years ago, our civilization had a C.C. (not just a state, but a religious Christian Continent).

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Ask yourself why Napoleon asked the pope to be present at his crowning ceremony, but wouldn’t allow him to preside over it – as was customary? Right in front of the pope, Napoleon crowned himself as if to say, “I don’t need your sanctioning approval.” Because, for the pope to crown the king or emperor, at that time, signified the power thereby was granted through the authority of the church. This little symbolic act gave supremacy to the church over the temporal throne. And should the church decide to, they had the divine right to revoke that authority.

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The church even waged war against their own countrymen for dissenting from conventional religious views. The church of Medieval times would accept no other interpretation of their religion; hence, they had no apprehension destroying a church built by a dissenting sect. The Christian chant of the church at that time was: “to kill an infidel is not murder, but the pathway to heaven.” This related to Muslims, Jews, and any Christian with divergent views.

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As John Draper reported, “With such savage eagerness did [The Spanish Inquisition] carry out its object of protecting the interests of religion that between 1481 and 1808, it had punished 340,000 persons, and of these, nearly thirty-two thousand had been burnt.1” These were not outsiders, these were fellow countrymen and women.

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Thousands were publicly executed for disagreeing with the supreme power of the church. Innocent people burned alive at the stake with the same compassion as today’s ISIS executioners. And many of these poor souls were the result of a Spanish Inquisition informant. But they didn’t do it for the money; no, they did it for absolution of their sins, and even sometimes just out of pure selfish motives, like jealousy.

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Once someone rolled-over on you, you were abducted from your family and placed in a dungeon for months, or even years. Your family would be left destitute, as the church refused to aid the devil’s offspring. You weren’t allowed to know what you were being accused of, or even who accused you. The Spanish Inquisition would just continually torture you until you finally admitted to anything which would bring about an end to the anguish they were inflicting upon you. But this only led to the next step in the judicial process: public execution. Can you start to see why our Founding Fathers laid provisions against such practices in our Bill of Rights? I guarantee you this despondent history was weighing heavily on their minds as they crafted our Constitution, as well as, the Bill of Rights.

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http://www.dreamstime.com/-image3328672The only difference between the I.S. of Raqa and the S.I. of Europe – besides the use of machineguns – is really just a few meager centuries. The Spanish Inquisition didn’t have modern weapons of warfare; and they didn’t have video recorders to document their cruelties. But had such things been available, they would’ve utilized them for the same reason ISIS uses them today: to impart the kind of fear which promotes adherence. And just like ISIS, the Spanish Inquisition believed God had sanctioned them to execute these cruelties on His creation and they would’ve also enjoyed documenting it as well. Just like many of the Nazis cruel human experiments were filmed.

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I’m not making light of the atrocities taking place on that side of the world, they are horrific and shameful; and I’m not saying we shouldn’t get involved. I’m saying, we should remember where we came from. These people are simply three hundred years behind us on the Evolutionary scale. You know, if we’re honest with ourselves, we would admit that we too have a long ways to go in our social development. If history repeats itself, and it usually does, there exists the possibility that somewhere around the year 2076 some non-conforming, intellectual Muslims will unite together and initiate a new country with its own constitution based on the principles of Democracy. They will rise up and overthrow the tyranny of these oppressive fanatics just like our ancestors.

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This is just something for us to reflect on, instead of mindlessly chanting the ol’ cliché, “All they understand is violence; so bomb them back to the stone ages.” Where would we be if some culture more advanced than our own had decided to destroy us before the birth of Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Paine, and all the other great Founding Fathers? Imagine where we’d be if, during that long, dark period of the Spanish Inquisition, some alien race, superior to our own, had decided to turn Europe into a ‘parking lot’. America wouldn’t exist if some civilization, grander than our own, had taken the primitive approach of solving everything through violence and blowing Medieval Europe off the map.

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So what is the answer? I don’t know. But I know it resides on a higher plane than primitive, simplistic, imprudent violence. A friend of mine, Steve, came up with the best solution I’ve heard so far:

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“Do not bomb the hell out of them. Contain them until the innocent people get tired of this oppression and rise up and overthrow this terrorism – just like the American Revolution of two hundred years ago. We would set up boats and anti-aircraft all around the area and not allow anyone out until the issue was resolved internally. Certainly, we would be humanitarians and allow aid, food, and medical supplies through the barricade, but no one comes out until the violence has ended.”

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As I said, it’s the best answer I’ve heard yet; however, I’m not sure it covers all the issues. For example: I don’t think it’s very humanitarian of us to sit on the sidelines like ‘Hunger Games’ watching innocent people die, while waiting for the outcome. I think as the more advanced and ‘civilized’ culture we have a moral obligation to God and humanity itself to make an attempt to save the innocent victims. What if the revolutionists fail? What then? Do we resort back to the old ‘bomb the hell out of ’em decree’?

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I’m not pretending to have all the answers; it’s a precarious situation to say the least. But we should keep an open mind and an optimistic view of the future. We should be on the look out for victims – like this unnamed, innocent man – who desire to get out from underneath the terrorist regime, and who only desire to live in peace. We cannot call ourselves the more civilized and better culture if we’re OK with killing innocent people along with their perpetrators like collateral damage. In all the years of senseless violence, the ends have never justified the means.

 

Michael Blakeslee: Never accept limitations in an unlimited Universe.

 

Footnotes:
1. ‘History of the Conflict between Religion and Science’ by John William Draper pg. 207

Tired of Dogmatic Intolerance

Recently, a friend sent me a link (at the bottom) to ‘Biblical Meditation’; and I thought, awesome, finally someone was talking about meditation from a scriptural perspective – especially since it’s mentioned so frequently therein. However, I was very disappointed to discover the author bashing Eastern traditions. Why couldn’t he just say what he had to say without attacking someone else’s beliefs?

But OK, now he’s said it, let’s get on with it; however, no, the author couldn’t stop blaspheming Eastern traditions – in fact, he attributes Eastern meditation to the work of the devil on four occasions. You already proved meditation is scriptural, so why the extra attack on Eastern philosophy? Evidently, you must still expect to find some members of your faith bucking your novel concept, so you go the extra mile to reassure your readers it’s not the devil’s meditation from those evil Eastern philosophies. What scripture is it again where Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world and condemn every faith that differs from your own”?

If your simple-minded belief structure requires you to have an antagonist – which is no different from any Hollywood movie – in order for you to feel coerced into being good little boys and girls so Santa Claus brings you more presents, so be it; however, you needn’t project your primitive superstitions on a culture that was established over a millennium before your own.

Mr. J. Hampton Keathley, you obviously don’t know much about Eastern meditation. that’s OK, since you’ve probably never studied it; however, don’t you think it wise to do some research before you make such outlandish statements. I’m sure your answer would be, “It didn’t come from my faith, which is of the only true God; hence it must come from the devil!”

This is nothing less than the ignorant mentality of the Spanish Inquisition – which cost thousands of good people their lives – passed down as a legacy from your predecessors. I’m certain your response to this would be, “Oh; that’s the Catholic Church; I’m a narrow-minded bigot of another Christian faction!” Well, funny how much you all think alike my friend, but regardless of what you may think those are your religious ancestors.

I believe religious intolerance is just as potent today as it ever was, the only difference: The church is no longer more powerful than the government. In fact, I believe the Constitution and the principle of ‘separation of church and state’ is the core blockade preventing religious bigots from burning innocent victims at the stake again. I firmly believe there are still radical fanatics who would, if they could. It’s only been a decade since Christian Serbs established rape camps for Muslim women, and when they had Muslim men bite the testicles off of other Muslims in an attempt to commit religious genocide. Why, because I’m sure that’s what Jesus would’ve wanted, right?

When normal secure people are in possession of the best car – government – or what have you, they don’t feel the need to bad mouth someone else’s stuff just to make theirs appear superior – it simply just is. You don’t see Mathew McConaughey talking down other actors of lesser quality – there’s no need for it; it merely reveals one’s ignorance and insecurities. If you want to believe your unique branch of Christianity is the only real religion having God’s approval, then go right ahead; but please don’t do it at the expense of other’s beliefs and long standing traditions.

It’s been 2000 years since Jesus tried to teach us how to love and forgive one another, including our enemies, not withstanding, “He who is without sin may cast the first stone.” How long before we start practicing these primary principles? If you want to proselyte other faiths, that’s fine; however, please do so without belittling them. Have you ever wondered why Christianity is on the decline? It’s time to put an end to religious intolerance once and for all.

Having been born again and having studied Eastern meditation, I feel compelled to end this with some constructive information: If you practice your Biblical meditation, and only that, you will do yourself a world of good – I promise you. However, know this: Among many of the several versions of meditation found in the East, they also teach, focusing on one good moral quality – like focusing your mind on peace.  It will teach you how to master the 10,000 screaming voices in your head, which is a major culprit hindering us from hearing the voice of God. Try it sometime.

If their meditation is from the devil then where does yours come from? Especially when you consider; Christianity traces its roots to the East. Jesus wasn’t born in Mississippi, you know.

As far as other meditations, which focus on ‘clearing your mind entirely’ being a dangerous practice, opening your mind to the wiles of the devil: First of all, it’s merely an advanced stage of the meditation we’ve already been discussing – you should try it also. And, most importantly, if you – who were created in the image of God – are in possession of such a weak mind that simply clearing it will create an open invitation for the devil to move in, may I suggest you toss it out! Because that kind of concept is as ludicrous as saying, “I have to keep my garage full of junk in order to prevent my neighbors from parking in it.”

Thank you for doing a much-needed  piece on Biblical meditation; it is an exceptional piece which is very informative. However, please remove the derogatory remarks on Eastern philosophies, such as:

“In Scripture it does not mean to sit and ponder infinity or to empty the mind so some force can fill it by repeating some chant or mantra. Such is dangerous and opens the mind to demonic attack. Just as meditating in a vacuum or to empty the mind as it is done in eastern religions is dangerous and may open the mind to demonic attack”

Michael Blakeslee “Never accept limitations in an unlimited Universe”

http://bible.org/article/biblical-meditation

Drew Gerald I think his criticism was very well articulated, open-minded, mature, non-dualistic, valid, and well-deserved. I think more people should voice such opinions in a peaceful and humane way.