The Crisis with ISIS and the Terror in the Mirror

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

Will God really destroy the wisdom of man?

I posted a comment to someone on Amazon and received this comment from a person who refers to himself as the ‘Voice of truth’:

“Look Michael, or should I say ET?? Do you also believe in UFOs and there’s a strong possibility that you idolize Stephen Hawking as well…Allowing your intelligence to lead you in matters of faith and/or spirituality is mistake number one. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”(Cor.1:1-19)
Bottom line, be real careful about who or what you place stock in, it’s your eternity that you are taking chances with.”

I’m not relaying my original post here, because I failed to make the correlation between my first comment and his unsolicited response. However, I do want to share my response to this post which he has failed to comment on yet.

So can you give me a rough idea of when God is going to – as the scripture indicates – “destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate?” Incidentally, did you know we’ve been living in the ‘end times’ for two thousand years? – A third of our existence. Any ways: I know the church tried to fulfill this prophecy by killing as many intelligent men as they could during the Dark Ages, any man who claimed the Earth was round and not the center of the universe. (Hmmm, I wonder why they called the era which the church dominated “the Dark Ages”)

Even after Magellan physically proved the Earth was indeed round; the church still resisted the Truth of it for another five years. Truth is truth my friend, whether you discover it by your heart or your brain. Science fought hard to bring us indoor plumbing and other means of sanitation in order to help eradicate the black plague, even though the church insisted it was the wrath of God. Now we’re building space stations and creating the big bang on an infantile scale proving the existence of the God particle, which is holding this entire thing together; so exactly when will God stop the evolution of intelligence? You make it appear as though God is against wisdom; if you do a search of the word, you’ll find it 222 times in the Bible. Knowledge shows up 169 times.

First of all, if you go look up that scripture (Isaiah 29:14), you’ll find Paul doing what so many modern people like to do: dramatizing and overemphasizing the point. It’s not a global prophecy; it’s a very specific prophecy directed at a certain city.  And Paul, what it actually says is “Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.”

Go read I Kings chapter 3 entitled “Solomon’s prayer for wisdom” sometime.

How about Luke’s 1:17 prophecy of how John the Baptist shall make the people ready for the Lord: “And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Why did James 1:5 say “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraided not; and it shall be given him.”

Here is the beauty of an infallible ancient text: We can contradict each other all day long. In rebuttal to your scripture, I could quote, Luke 2:40 in reference to Jesus as a child: “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.”

Luke 2:52 “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”

When is God going to destroy the wisdom of Jesus as Paul has either misquoted or has been misinterpreted at some point over the last two thousand years?

And Here’s some more fun we could have: You might say Heli was the name of Jesus’ grandpa (Luke 3:23), but I would say his name was Jacob (Matt 1:16). Before you dismiss this as a simple misprint, run a name by name Bible study comparison between these two gospels. You’ll discover one list is mysteriously longer than the other, and aside from David and Joseph, there is only one other name who matches between the two.

You may say, “Big deal!” You’re right it is a very big deal. The anonymous writers of these two gospels were well aware how vital it was to trace the heritage of Jesus back to King David in order to substantiate the Messiah claim. And both did a great job of validating this important prophecy; however, since they both contradict each other, you have to wonder, which is inspired of God and, which came from His nemesis.

And if one were proven to be uninspired, would we remove it from the canon? Would they shorten it to a three-way  gospel or would they want to continue in the tradition of the early fathers who believed they had to narrow the eight gospels down to 4 on account of the four corners of the Earth, hence adding one back from the apocrypha writings?

Alternatively, with the new-found wisdom of science proving the Earth has no corners; would they narrow it down to one gospel? I think we all know which one that would be. The only one which speaks of ‘being born again’; the only one containing the one phrase, “I am the only way to the Father” – the only one where Jesus continually contradicts the other three gospels by saying believing in Him is the only way to salvation; when in the others, Jesus tells people “go sin no more, sell all you have and give to the poor, pick up your cross and follow me” as well as other requirements placed on the believer, which many today would call ‘works’.

You see; we believe there was a tree of some kind of knowledge, and the releasing of this knowledge into the world was a very bad thing. Hence, knowledge=sin=bad=going to hell. However, the interesting thing is this: The clergy, the monarchs and the politicians who have all profited from keeping us shackled to this archaic superstition have never stopped seeking knowledge and wisdom; they just don’t want us finding for it. Because on the day we do, they shall surely die. Why do you suppose the church fought so ardently to oppose translating the scriptures into the common language?

So perhaps now you can begin to understand why the clergy have pushed for unwavering and unquestioning faith for two thousand years. I’ll leave you with a quote from one of those ancient supposed religions of the devil:

Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you, yourself test and judge to be true… Buddha

Was I defending the devil? You decide:

I met an eccentric hard core Christian, who surprisingly considered dating me. But she just couldn’t get around the fact that I told her honestly; “I don’t believe Jesus is the only way.” She had agreed to go on a date with me after making this statement, but as that fateful day approached; she had a change of heart. The following is a hilarious rendition of our text messages about it. It is quite comical, please enjoy.?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Her:      I’ve been thinking about this all day & we CANNOT date.

Me:      Ok, can we at least be friends?

Her:      We can be Friends, I Won’t Sleep With You!!! But we can hang out at the pool but as far as Dating, I just Don’t See That Happening we are Different People & It Just Wouldn’t be Right the Fact that You Don’t Believe Jesus is the Only Way Is Something We Don’t Have In common & for me that Is Something HUGE!! JESUS Should Always be #1 & you don’t see things the same way as I do.

Me:      I don’t blame you. When I was hard core like you, I was the same way. But why do you have to assure me you won’t sleep with me? Did I come across like that? Did you act like you would?

Her:      Well I am a Hardcore Christian & I Want a Solid Rock Christian Not someone who Is Lukewarm you’re either in All the Way with Jesus or you’re Not. I’m just making it Clear; I’ve been Talked into it Before & I Need to Stand My ground about it!! No Offense, just Want to remain Celibate for The One.

Me:      Good luck…

Her:      I don’t need Luck, I Know that The Right One that comes Along Won’t Push the Subject or Push me to do Something that is Not Right In Gods Eyes.

Me:      I’m sorry I meant to say good night.

(This is where it gets really juicy! I couldn’t let it rest; so I kicked it off the following day with the following)

Note for future reference: she was always referring to “the enemy” or the devil using people; she even mentioned that “the enemy used my mom to cause an issue between us.” The devil didn’t use her in his fiendish plan, only her mother.

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Me:      Hey queenie, just so we’re clear, contrary to your narcissism; not every guy is trying to sleep with you. And just so you’re aware, if some smooth talking guy schmoozed his way into your pants once, I’m certain it’ll happen again. As for me, if “the enemy” wanted to “use” me to cause you to fornicate; don’t you think, between him as an angel of light & my past experience as a born again Bible thumping Christian, together we could have come up with all the perfect Bible phrases so “the enemy” could weasel his way into your panties again. But no, I told you the basic truth about my beliefs because like you, I am zealous about them.

Also another psychology lesson: I’m not surprised to hear you were tricked into pre-marital sex. Aside from the fact that you’re bubbling over with sexuality & I can virtually smell your pheromones – the basic fact that you have to fight so hard against it is a dead ringer. Your response to my “do you wanna be friendly” question sounded as if I asked to be fuck buddies; however, primarily what gives you away is, like I told you the other day; “whatever front someone puts up, you can be sure the opposite is lurking beneath the facade”; even more so when you work so hard to convince someone of it. So, what is the opposite of a pious, reserved, prude front? Hmmm…

Carl Jung said “What u resists persists!” When you fight something you send it energy & help it grow, when you turn your back on it & say I don’t even acknowledge it, you stop feeding it. The truth is; we’re all born with base survival & procreate drives put in our brains & who did that – not the devil? The problem lies when we act like animals over these instincts because we have something they don’t – a rational brain. This is the part that tells your primitive brain “don’t sleep around” or “I know you’re in survival mode because my job is in jeopardy, but it’s still not right to lie your way through it.”

The sooner people stop blaming the devil & start taking responsibility for their own issues, the sooner they will discover the inner strength of God to overcome their personal issues. But as long as they continue to point the finger at the devil & say he made me do it; they will forever remain a victim of circumstances outside of their control – constantly begging God to give them the strength to overcome “the enemy” out there. God bless you in your endeavors & I hope we can be friends.

(You wouldn’t think she would have the gumption to respond after that but she did and it gets even better.)

Her:      I don’t know what u want to hear Plane n Simple U don’t Believe Jesus is the Only Way & as Far as Sex goes I Do Make it Very Clear Whether or Not I Discern That The guy I’m Speaking to Has that urgency or Not!! & as far as The Enemy is Concerned He Will & Has Used People to Do Things They Shouldn’t Do & Yes We Are to Take Responsibility for Our Own actions & Of course The Enemy is Always Pointing Fingers. I’m Not Friends with the Enemy & I Hate Him!! You don’t Believe Jesus is The Only Way & Quite Honestly You’ll Have to Answer to That just like we All will Have to Answer for Our Lives & Accounts held.

Me:      I don’t understand why you keep judging & holding that against me. I never said Jesus wasn’t the way for you & countless others; I just believe this excludes a lot of people & I believe they deserve an opportunity just like those of us who were fortuitous enough to be born in a Christian nation & were programmed to be believe a certain thing before we were old enough to question it. It’s just not fair, so if I wanna believe those who are excluded have an alternative option; why should your judgmental God send me to hell for being an optimist?

I believe Christianity is good & all Christians are saved & going to heaven. I also believe it helps millions of people; it helps people be more loving, it helps drunkards put down the bottle, it’s even helping you curve your sexual addiction. But please stop judging me for your own sake. Jesus said with the same measure you judge it will be judged back on you. Besides, I could say that when a Christian sins he is crucifying the lord again & you would say; well Jesus said a righteous man falls 7xs & gets up 7xs, but then I would say Heb 10:26 says “after knowing the truth & sinning again there is no more forgiveness.” So you see; we could contradict each other all day from scripture. Why do you think there are 20000 different Christian factions, all who claim to be the only true church, while all others are destined for hell?

(She still doesn’t quit)

Her:      I’m not judging you just stating facts.

Me:      Well, let me tell you about another faction who was also just stating facts; they were called the Spanish Inquisition & God granted them the right to torture & murder thousands upon thousands for simply questioning things. People like myself who held beliefs outside of conventional views of the time & who felt the need to question those long standing views which were strangling the people. But seriously, again I never want to dissuade you from your beliefs; I truly believe God has called me to encourage people to be more accepting of others beliefs. & in all sincerity I really like you, if you don’t want to date that’s cool; but I enjoy your personality & these lovely discussions; so I would really like to remain friends.

Her:      All I’m saying, is I stand My Ground about my Belief. It Took A Man to Lay His Life Down for me & I am Forever Going to Remember Him, His Name Is Jesus!! & No one can Make Me Change How I feel about that!! & His Sacrifice, No Buddha Or Yoda or Sasquatch can Make me Feel how I feel about My Jesus And I will! And Honestly I just Can’t Wrap my Head around why you or any one would say Jesus isn’t the Only Way.

Me:      Think about this: what might your mother’s beliefs entail, had it not been for the Spanish conquest of the 16th century? (Her mother is a direct descendant of the Mayans) What would her religion be if those righteous men hadn’t crossed the ocean, murder 2 million Mexicans, stole their religious artifacts, to be melted into gold coins, burn their religious books, & force the love of Jesus upon them?

Her:      Well we live what we learn & if we walk away from what we were taught then that’s something we will have to be accountable for And Again had it Not been for God the Creator of All Things None of Us Would be here & if it weren’t For Jesus I WOULDN’T BE A FORGIVEN SINNER!! AND THIS GOES FOR ANY ONE ELSE WHO WANTS TO SAY THAT JESUS ISN’T THE ONLY WAY! JESUS WALKED ON WATER BUDDHA, YODA & MOHAMMAD ALI HAVEN’T, NOR DID THEY. I’m just letting it be known I won’t let my guard down when it Comes to My Jesus.

(Not once in this babbling did she even remotely come close to answering my question. We are all now dumber for having read this rebuttal.)

Me:      Oh I am well aware, you have been more than sufficiently clear with your proclamations. I promise I won’t take your Jesus away from you.

Her:      Were u trying to say your jobs in jeopardy? (Wow, how far back was this comment of mine; but more importantly: how did she miss the point?)

Me:      No, just an example of an unfortunate event which might provoke a person’s subconscious to enter the “fight or flight mode” causing one to freak & contemplate the idea of lying. Then it’s up to said person’s frontal lobes to rationally say “no, lying is wrong in the eyes of the Lord.” What you might call “the temptation of the devil” & the battle between darkness & light. But I would draw your attention to James 1:14-15 “each one is tempted by his OWN EVIL DESIRE (not Satan)”

Her:      Well, yes Sin is In Nature because of Our Imperfections but we are to Look out for the Enemy, Satan, he isn’t a Friend; Therefore the Enemy who is Out to Kill Steal and Destroy. I don’t know why You’re Defending Satan!! You’re either for God Or Against Him! & from the Looks of it; you want to Quote Scripture & Yet Jesus isn’t #1 in Your Life Sounds Like Pharisee to Me! I’m Being Honest & Calling It Out! Called Rebuking in Love; as we should do with each other.

Me:      I love you; you make me laugh so much.

Her:      We can’t Know what Love is Unless We Know Jesus First! I’m just saying you keep saying that it’s no big deal; but seriously it is a big deal LIVE FOR CHRIST NOT SATAN!

Me:      Ok, but seriously I will never forget being called the avenger of Satan. God love you. I think that actually made my entire year. I can’t stop giggling. Your right, we can’t date but I hope I never piss you off enough for you to ever stop rebuking me.

Her:      YOU MUST LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART ALL YOUR SOUL AND ALL YOUR STRENGTH. DEUTERONOMY 6:5 You Said You DON’T BELIEVE JESUS is The ONLY WAY!! Did you Not?!

Me:      And somehow that implies, I no longer love the lord my God with all my heart, soul & strength & that somehow I have put another god before my God?

Her:      Well Yes, I mean Why Else Would You Say Jesus Isn’t the Only Way??? We Can’t Go Thru Buddha to get to God, we Go Thru Jesus We Don’t Go Thru Yoda to Get to God. Therefore Who have you Placed before Christ Jesus Who Died For You?! If He isn’t First in your Life?!

Me:      I hate to have to recapitulate; but I said Jesus is the way for Christians, but I believe God makes other arrangements for other belief systems. It doesn’t negate the salvation offered through Jesus, nor am I saying that Buddha replaces that salvation; I just believe that for the millions of souls that were never offered a legitimate knowledge of Christ, God makes a way for them. That is of course, up to God, but it’s just something I believe now. I just refuse to have an exclusive religious mentality any longer. That’s just me & I don’t want, or expect you to agree with me. It’s my personal belief & that’s it, it’s not that I think anyone else replaces Jesus; however, if something they said makes sense, I accept it; just like you might accept something a pastor says even though he never wrote a single sentence in the bible.

Her:      As far as religion, that’s All Man Made & Yes I was Once a Catholic; but I came to Understand a True Relationship with Christ & What it Entails its Work. But I’m Not given any more than I can handle & I’m Not Trying to Change your views & if you believe what you believe then That’s Between You & Jesus.

Me:      Perfect, thank you for allowing me to have my own relationship with Jesus, that’s all I want. You don’t have to agree, just give me the space to love & worship Jesus in my own unique way. You can say what you will; but obviously there are many ways to worship Jesus. If there was only one way, there would be only one universal (catholic) Christian church; not 20,000 – 38,000 different Christian churches. Thank you so much for accepting & respecting my views.

Her:      The Point is: There is One God and One God Only! That’s what I’m saying.

Me:      And I completely agree with you; so why are we arguing?

Her:      You can’t say One Minute, I Don’t Believe Jesus is the Only Way & then turn Around & be all Like, well I do Believe Buuuuuut….. it doesn’t work that way.

Me:      Never mind!

Her:      See, Now Who’s Getting upset? I’m Just Trying to Prove a Point apparently You Don’t Get It. (Ah yeah, it’s me who doesn’t get it!)

Me:      I’m not upset. Holy shit woman, you accused me of being an attorney for Satan himself & I laughed my ass off! Most insecure, ego oriented, jack asses would’ve been outraged at you. Unfortunately, I was excited because I thought we had come to a mutual agreement to respect each others different views; but now it appears we are back at the beginning again & I must prepare for bed, so I am now a little discouraged.

Her:      I’m just stating my Views, Its That Simple You have yours I have mine one day we will find out if how we lived was Pleasing To God the Father And We are to Rebuke in Love & If Satan isn’t An Enemy What is he?! To Me he is an Enemy & Discouragement comes From The Enemy. Pray that the Lord Help You.

Me:      I’m willing to bet my soul, we are both children whom are pleasing to our same Father. Ok, I’m going to bed; but since you can’t let it rest, I’ll give you something else to get your panties into a bunch… There is absolutely no possible way I could be the attorney for the devil. It would be as if you were to defend a ‘foogle knocker’. Because you cannot defend something you believe to be fictitious. God love you my dear, I hope that doesn’t keep you up all night; but unfortunately I drive a gas truck & hundreds depend on me to get a good night sleep. Good night my friend.

Was America founded by religious fundamentalists or those escaping religious fanaticism?

Thomas Jefferson said, “Educate and inform the mass of the people… They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

 

In answering this query, I would like to employ an old, yet highly significant topic as the cornerstone of my debate – a subject few of us give much consideration to; and yet, it effects us daily:  our Constitutional Bill of Rights. Just ten little important principles which entail so much of the wonderful freedoms we take for granted today; and many of us can’t even recite them from memory. I’m just as guilty.

What makes this integral element of American history so profound is not only the freedoms it ensures; but principally how novel a concept such as a truly ‘free country’ was at the time. Unfortunately, the Bill of Rights is primarily utilized by criminals – especially those visiting from outside the country. Nothing warms the cockles of my heart more, than to see people enter this country, refuse to learn the language, refuse to adopt the customs, yet when it comes time for an unfortunate run-in with the law, suddenly they become as proficient at our criminal protection laws as they are at committing crimes.

First, I intend to draw your attention upon some critical concepts from history, like the antics of the Spanish Inquisition, which I believe was a major contributor inspiring our Constitution and the addition of the Bill of Rights. I would also like to consider the question: “What kind of men would flee domestic life in Europe, sail across an uncertain ocean in leaky boats, to rough it out in an unknown world?” (Today it would almost translate to a human colony on Mars.) After laying this groundwork, I’ll list each Bill, along with some brief personal commentary. I’ll conclude with several quotes from the founding fathers, which explicitly answer the question, in my opinion, quite candidly.

What would cause the founding fathers to consider it necessary to guarantee the establishment of these inalienable rights? There must’ve been something more disturbing than ‘Taxation without representation’ – some monumental proceedings, which provoked the fathers to introduce these profound, yet very novel concepts of public protection. In fact, most people were quite happy under the reign of England, even the taxation issue didn’t seem to be too disturbing to people. It took a great deal of propaganda to sway the people towards a revolution. (Look into the writings of Samuel Adams)

First of all: Do we truly understand what it means to be born with rights of which we cannot be alienated from? Merriam Webster defines inalienable as: incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred. Hell, you can’t even give them away, they are as much a part of you as your very soul; and bestowed upon you simply as your birthright, recognized only in few other countries besides American now. Today, it’s difficult for many of us in this country to even consider people born without these freedoms. And yet, a mere two hundred years ago, when the world was filled with rampaging tyrants, it was a relatively unheard of concept. Yet a small number of men held a vision of a free nation.

I believe in order to understand the mentality of the founding fathers, we need to reflect on the era leading up to ‘The Great European Exodus’; a span of several centuries leading up to the yearning of a repressed people desperate enough to do anything to abandon everything familiar to them and start a new life anywhere but there. You think you’ve got it bad? You don’t have to study history long before you’ll discover a healthy appreciation for today’s lifestyles. So when the word got out that the church was wrong in propagating a ‘flat Earth’ many of the disgruntled people made great haste finding an escape route to a better way of life. What were they fleeing from?

During this time, Europe was left in shambles from the black plague, which took a quarter of a million lives – a third of the continent’s population. The church was frantically thwarting the advancements of science; such as, apposing the use of anesthesia during child birth – as it robbed women of the curse, God in His mercy had bestowed upon them in Genesis. The Spanish Inquisition, in their mercy, who killed or imprisoned thousands upon thousands of unfortunate souls; they even dug up two thousand corpses and burned them as well.

The Ottomans were zealously attempting to make Europe a Muslim continent. The Protestants (or protesters) finally began the long overdue dismantling of world domination by the Catholic Christians, with the indirect help of the Ottomans – a sort of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’. It appears the Protestants preferred not being persecuted by the Muslims to being hunted by the Catholics. In fact, had it not been for the invasion of Hungary by the Muslims in 1526 – a time when the Reformation was still in the infantile stages – the Catholics might have had enough free time to eliminate the rebellious uprising.

You non-Catholic Christians might want to shake the hand of a Muslim; for without them, Catholicism might have abolished the Reformation movement, leaving the western world with only one Christian religion. However, I would also like to add, few of these Reformers could find any common ground amongst themselves either. The Reformers started killing each other in bloody battles as well, even dabbling in the art of stake burning a bit – Calvin caused Servetus to be roasted to death over a slow fire. Why? Because hey, that’s exactly what God expects when others disagree with our superior point of view.

In Europe, the papacy had an engrossing power that was even above temporal governments. The papacy used an amazing institution to control the masses, which implemented the humanitarian tools of fear – intimidation – spies – torture – seizure of property – imprisonment – and murder. The name of this holy institution: ‘The Spanish Inquisition.’

We have little understanding today just how ‘Nazi-like’ cruel this order was to other human beings. Nor do we grasp the incredible number of people slain in the name of keeping the peace of God in Europe. Between pestilence and righteous murdering, it’s lucky anyone survived at all. “With such savage alacrity did [the Spanish Inquisition] carry out its object of protecting the interests of religion, that between 1481 and 1808, it had punished three hundred and forty thousand persons, and of these nearly thirty-two thousand had been burnt.” J. W. Draper.

The Spanish Inquisition utilized the most honorable and holiest of means of extracting information from their prey; for example: a woman married to a suspected heretic comes to confession. The clergy, ever so piously, informs her, God is unable to grant her forgiveness at this time. In order to obtain it, she must return with some incriminating evidence against her husband. (You were unaware God was in the business of extortion, eh?) Well, usually her first report isn’t sufficient to appease absolution from God, so she is instructed – before God can grant her forgiveness – she must return with some juicier info. Can you imagine how many spouses may have lied on one another, as an apparently innocent means of dissolving their marriages?

Once the Inquisition got their hands on you, you were usually never heard from again unless you were honored as the star in the next stake burning; then the whole town came to witness this horrific and gruesome debauchery of our pious institution. It was a community entertaining event. (And you thought the violence depicted on TV was making our kids desensitized; imagine what it took to arouse interest in a child of the ‘Dark ages.’ “A pillory, is that all you got? Aw, that’s a doddle; last week alone, I witnessed fourteen stake burnings, three be-headings, and twenty-six decaying bodies in the street!”)

You would usually be dragged to another country, and you might spend several months in a cold dark dungeon before you even discovered what you’d been charged with. Then you will stand alone before the holy judges – never knowing who your accusers were – no witnesses – no lawyer – no one testifying on your behalf – just you at the mercy of these pious men.

These blameless judges would use verbal assaults to coerce you into a confession. If that didn’t work, they would torture you into bearing witness against yourself. Many innocent ‘heretics’ confessed to whatever folly they’d been accused of just to end the torment and suffering. Sometimes these gracious tormentors would give the body repose for a few months, only to start the torture afresh once the body was healthy enough to endure a few more rounds. If they allowed you to live, you might be so excessively fined, it alone would be the ruin of you and/or your family. Many an unfortunate mother with children was left destitute as the clergy took possession of their land and property on account of the husband being found guilty of heresy. What a great time to be alive.

This constant repressing and barbarity of the church to keep all the good little boys and girls in check was really pushing the people into a frenzied state of rebellion. They flat out had had enough. If you think, atheism is in full battle array against the church, it’s my opinion, this is nothing in comparison to the disdain, the Reformers and the intellectual held against the church during the ‘Dark Ages.’

I hate to even imagine what the world would be like today, had it not been for those heroic ‘heretics.’ We, Christians have the Reformers to thank for our ability to worship Christ in our own unique style; and we ought to remember; it was also the Protestants who removed the barriers blocking the advancement of science – science, which put an end to the Black Plague. It was their research, which led to the advancements in medicine, helping us live longer, healthier lives – science has done more good for this planet than any other field – so we need to remember that the next time we feel inclined to criticize their research.

Let us consider a little deeper the battle raging between religion and science of that era; and the incredible suppression constantly applied to science by the church – the countless men who were imprisoned and murdered for their belief in the globular form of the Earth. Yes, incredulous, I know, but true nonetheless. These great intellectual pioneers – who incidentally happened to be RIGHT – were ridiculed, labeled as heretics, imprisoned, or even murdered. This, in my opinion, is exactly why science blossomed in America; a place where they had the freedom to work without hiding or lying about their research. And the primary reason, I believe, so many great scientists lunged at an opportunity to come to a country where they could pursue their research unencumbered by the meddling of a self-righteous institution.

I believe without the Reformation in Europe and the independent spirit which ignited the birth of America, we would be hundreds of years behind, rather than hundreds of years ahead of our time. It’s my firmest belief: If not for the revolt of the Protestants we’d still be living in the ‘Dark Ages.’  Literally, without electricity had those brave ‘heretics’ not had the courage to stand against the tyranny of the church. Read John W Draper’s insightful book entitled ‘History of the Conflict between Religion and Science’ for a detailed account – it’s a free download.

Can you appreciate the immense fear and acute apprehension running rampant during this dark time? Never knowing who is going to throw you under the bus – get mad and make some preposterous allegation against you – or the clergy lying on you out of greediness for your possessions. I believe there’s a commandment or two for this, oh yeah: thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, and thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s stuff.

What many of us fail to realize is that our forefathers had damn good reason for risking life and limb to cross an uncertain ocean for a fresh start in a hostile uncharted world. They put it all on the line just to flee from kings and mostly the out-of-control, overbearing, power hungry church. They had innumerable legitimate reasons – based on a thousand years of tyranny – for establishing a government built upon the principles of ‘Separation of Church and State’ and the rights of all men. Our government has remained this way since day one, 1776; however, believe it or not, most European countries were still battling to get out from underneath the oppression of church dominance even into the latter part of the 19th century.

Now, bearing all this in mind; our review of ‘The Bill of Rights’:

  1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This is, by far, my favorite of all our protections. Obviously, the protection of free religion was established to put an end to the righteous bloodshed over the centuries by conflicting religious bigots. The freedom of speech and particularly the freedom of the press – to the point of not even allowing the abridging of material – is a total stripping of the church’s power, which was in absolute despair when the printing press was invented. They knew; prior to this, it was a simple process to suppress any opinions, which differed from theirs. However, the printing press meant mass marketing. Once a book containing ‘heresies’ was printed and distributed, they would never be able to gather all the copies from around the continent for burning.

The church found a means of restricting the power of the press by implementing a parliament of clergy, which scrutinized all writings prior to printing, looking for anything that might contradict their established opinions. This simplified most of the early author and book burning parties. Thank God for this bill, as it brought this practice to a standstill.

It’s interesting to note: “The first printed work to be so treated was actually the Gospel. On two occasions, Tyndale’s New Testament in English was burnt before Old St. Paul’s. But in pausing to reflect that the book which met with this fiery fate, and whose author ultimately met with the same, is now sold in England by the millions, one can only stand aghast at the irony of the fearful contrast, which so widely separated the laborer from his triumph. But perhaps we can scarcely wonder that our ancestors, after centuries of mental blindness, should have tried to burn the light they were unable to bear, causing it thereby only to shine the brighter.”… James Anson Farrer ‘Books condemned to be burnt’ 1892

2. A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. – I’m sure there’ve been many exhausted hours paid out to lawyers in painstakingly searching for loopholes around this one.

3. No Soldier shall, in times of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. – This was a direct result of what the king of England was practicing; it’s hard to conspire against the king when you live with his soldiers.

4. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. – I believe this was instituted just as much in regard to the practices of the church as it was for the tyranny of kings. There may be a greater amount of despicable stories of clergy acting in this imprudent way than all the kings of Europe combined.

5. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be witness against himself, (I presume this leaves out the implementing of torture to force someone into confession) nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation. – I have written a sufficient amount in regard to the church’s practice of the opposite in these affairs.

6. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed… and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. – Again, I have already written a complete chapter in regard to the church of Medieval times practicing the very opposite in these matters.

7. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right to trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. – Possibly instituted to limit the church from re-investigating any issue that has already been tried in a court of law.

8. Excessive bail shall not be required nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. – As was a common practice imposed by the Spanish Inquisition upon supposed ‘heretics’ after release, or even after life imprisonment or a death sentence.

9. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others by the people. – No one, not even the church can use these rights as a means of oppressing others.

10. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. – Making provisions for the people to be involved in affairs.

I’m of the steadfast opinion; these precious rights were implemented as a direct means of abolishing the ghastly and despicable antics of the church once and for all. God bless all the great men who painstakingly labored over these issues until at last they devised such a magnificent governing set of rules for this great country.

These profound and well educated men, who formed our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, were well aware of the chaos we were escaping from, and wanted to establish a solid means of circumventing it from our future. I’m also fairly certain, the Salem witch trials, from less than a century earlier, was another sound reminder of how easily this dormant behavior lying under a superficial appearance of piety, could sprout back up at anytime, anyplace. The only ingredients needed to foster such ludicrous behavior is: one part fear and superstition – one part chosen of God, superior, separated, and called to kill in His name – and a whole lot of ignorance among the masses, which seems to have always been in great supply.

According to Max Farrand’s book ‘The fathers of the constitution; a chronicle of the establishment of the union’ “When independence was declared, Congress recommended to all the States that they should adopt governments of their own… Each state adopted a written constitution.” One profound excerpt found within these constitutions goes as follows: “Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscious, and reason.” Now I ask you: would a devout fundamentalist ever make such a permissive proclamation? I think not, especially based on thousands of years of global religious history; they most certainly would not. Fundamentalists are always reminding us just how jealous and intolerant their God is, and how we mustn’t deviate from the explicit mandates outlined in the Bible, Quran, or other ancient manuscript. So again I say no, a thousand times no; these founding fathers of our country were not religious fundamentalists at all.

Here are some provocative and interesting quotes from our founder fathers:

  • George Washington said, “The United States is in no sense founded upon Christian Doctrine” http://www.skeptictank.org/files/atheist/foundr0g.htm
  • Thomas Paine said “Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.” http://www.skeptictank.org/files/atheist/foundr0g.htm
  • James Madison said, “During almost fifteen centuries the legal establishment known as Christianity has been on trial, and what have been the fruits, more or less, in all places?  These are the fruits: pride, indolence, ignorance, and arrogance in the clergy.” http://www.skeptictank.org/files/atheist/foundr0g.htm
  • John Adams said, “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.” – “The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded upon the Christian religion.” – “The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity” – and yet he also said things like “There is no such thing as human wisdom; all is the providence of God” and “I cannot conceive such a Being could make such a Species as the human, merely to live and die on this earth” http://thinkexist.com/quotes/john_adams/
  • Thomas Jefferson said, “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites” – “The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves…these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ.” – “[The apostle] Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.” – and “The common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced or knew that such a character existed.” http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Wolves/thomas_jefferson.htm
  •                In 1825, when Thomas Jefferson was hiring faculty for the University of Virginia, John Adams wrote to him with some controversial advice. It read, “Do not hire any European professors. If you hire a European professor, they are liable to believe in Christianity, and that is a very dangerous doctrine that we should stay far away from.”

Visit the site, http://jeffersonbible.tripod.com/index.htm for a complete overview of Jefferson’s opinions as well as the Bible that he pieced together from Greek, Latin, French, and English extracts which he cut and pasted together.

  • Benjamin Franklin said “Here is my Creed: I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable Service we can render to him, is doing Good to his other Children…. I think the System of Morals [devised by Jesus] and his Religion as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw, or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his Divinity.” http://www.beliefnet.com/resourcelib/docs/44/Letter_from_Benjamin_Franklin_to_Ezra_Stiles_1.html

Judging by the disdainful tone of these remarks, I’m inclined to believe the founding fathers would concur with my deduction. I’m not saying these prominent men were atheists – as some might like us to believe – they were good, moral, godly men who probably called themselves Christians, but most importantly – in my opinion – they ardently sought and desired to see a new era in this world – an era of explicit tolerance for all faiths. Maybe these great men were the founders of what many fundamentalists call the ‘Emergent Theologian Movement’, where a person is free to incorporate doctrines from unlimited sources into his or her personal faith.

I think most people would our founding fathers were indeed Freemasons. Freemasonry is an organization where the only stipulation of membership by the initiates,(at least of a religious aspect) is a simple belief in God. No specific religion, creed, or dogmatic view required, just a simple belief in God – sounds quite reminiscent of the phrase quoted earlier from the State Constitutions

Suffice it to say: No, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and America were not designed by religious fundamentalists, but by well respected, educated men, who were determined to prevent the history of religious bigotry and intolerance from ever prevailing again – at least not in this country. These were men who even long before the ‘Civil War’ had the foresight to implement regulations prohibiting slavery on all newly formed territories in the west. These great men had incredible perception into the future. In fact, when they first convened for the creation of the Constitution, they so recognized the significance of the task at hand, it prompted Madison to say, “Now to decide forever the fate of Republic government.” And Governor Morris to declare, “The whole human race will be affected by the proceedings of this Convention.”

Michael Blakeslee

“That might be some of the best reading I have enjoyed in a while…  It’s an honest perception without actually bashing organized religion. Great history lesson too.” …Heath Roy Chapman

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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.