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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

As Goes Israel, So Goes America, the Western World, and Civilization

This May 5 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah, as designated by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 60/7(Link). Which is ironic, because the UN now actively supports countries - Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, United Arab Emirates - that proclaim their intention to annihilate the nation of Israel; which is also a legal entity ratified by UN votes.

Israel is under attack every day by knife-wielding Palestinian men and women, weaponized automobiles, and bus bombers, but these attacks are rarely reported  (Link) and (Link). Hamas and Hezbollah jihadists are planning another war on Israel (like the one in 2014) and could start firing their massive stocks of missiles at any time (Link).

Why Israel? Because it's the only true democracy in the Middle East, and an American outpost, militarily and culturally. We are welcome there anytime. Israel honors the same rules of law that we in the West honor, derived from belief in individual human rights and the intrinsic value of individuals; regardless of wealth, class, race, or gender.

(In fact, the Temple of Solomon was erected by Kings David and Solomon to honor human dignity under God, and to cement the Covenant given us by God to all humanity. All our laws are rooted in the Covenant and the Temple, which was an inspiration to the ancient Greeks and Romans). 

Again, why Israel? Because these values and laws are exactly the opposite of Muslim theocracies, where Sharia Law-based religion is inseparable from government (Link). Israel is rich, militarily strong, and productive beyond all measure - compared to its enemies. Whoever conquers Israel will gain high technology, nuclear weapons, and enormous wealth they otherwise will never have. These nations have promised to annihilate all Israelis as well, over eight-million of them. Success always breeds envy and jealousy (Link).

Anti-semitic countries have always paid a heavy price for their ill treatment of Jews. Spain, in its Golden Age, initiated the Inquisition and began driving Jews from their territories in 1492. Their decline began immediately, as banking and management expertise went away with the Jews. Nazi Germany expelled or murdered scientists, bankers, artists, doctors, and teachers. America received these refugees and profited hugely. Our development of nuclear energy depended upon many Jewish scientists: Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and Niels Bohr among them. Jewish comedy has been an extraordinary gift to America and the world: Jack Benny, Sid Caesar, Danny Kaye, the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Gilda Radner, Rodney Dangerfield, Joan Rivers, Alan King, Jerry Lewis, and Jerry Seinfeld are just a few of these Jewish greats.

The Arab world persecutes its women, female children, those who aren't of Arab descent, and "apostates"; that is, anyone who won't become Muslim and embrace Sharia. The Arab world will never escape its backwardness and poverty until - and unless - it changes its mind about women, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, scientific thought, the rights of all people, civil law, and separation of church and state.

We Americans will suffer the same fatal decay if we don't make a stand to defend Israel, as we've promised to do since the United Nations ratified that nation in 1948. If we won't help Israel to defend itself - which it wants to do - we won't defend ourselves either. Once dominoes begin to topple they can't be stopped.

We are in a holy war now, and not by choice. September 11, 2001 was the formal beginning, when New York City, the Mecca of  western culture, was attacked by jihadists. Why? Two reasons: we support Israel, and we also have been so successful that we make our enemies feel naked, jealous, and poor. Osama bin Laden was always very clear about his motives, and he published them. Al Qaeda and ISIS share the same goals.

ISIS is a direct creation of Saudi oil money. Since 1973, they've spent billions funding madrassas; schools that teach only Koran memorization, Sharia, and hatred of the West. All the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis.

Today. people barely remember or discuss the importance of 9/11. Globalization is erasing our identities and our civilizations. The suicidal destruction of Venezuela caused by its own citizens embracing Castro-style communism isn't even discussed. This once-rich and productive nation is on its knees, with barely a pulse. The same goes for Greece, Argentina, and Brazil, and the world seems not to notice. But radical Islam notices.

Radical Islamists around the world - probably 20% of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims, or 300 million  - are calling for the violent overthrow of every nation that doesn't follow Sharia Law. All throughout the Middle East and Indonesia, Muslim governments are teaching their children to hate and fear westerners and all other peoples (Russians and Chinese included) who don't agree with them completely, on every social and political issue:




We, as citizens of the non-Muslim world, regardless of our religion or lack thereof, are seen as blood enemies of radical Islam. Only our total submission to Islam, and our agreement to take up arms for their radical cause, can ameliorate our danger. We will have to kill Christians, Jews, and other "apostates" to prove our loyalty.

For thirty-seven years Iran's leaders, beginning with Ayatollah Khomeini, have dubbed America and Israel "The Great and the Little Satan" (Link) . It's almost funny, the paranoia of radical Islamists and their leaders. When the Shah of Iran - a longtime American ally - was overthrown by the students and followers of Khomeini in 1979, the new government invaded the American Embassy in Tehran, and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. This was an act of war according to international law, and President Jimmy Carter could have declared war on Iran with complete justification. America's armed forces could have destroyed massive amounts of property in that country from the air, without losses, until the hostages were turned over alive and healthy.

But Carter didn't do that. He bowed and apologized, pleaded and bargained with the Iranian authorities, who extracted every bit of advantage they could from America's humiliation. Until President Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980. Fearing Reagan's new policies - justifiably - the Iranians panicked and sent them home. Since then, Iran has fomented terrorism, death, and destruction throughout the world. They probably assassinated an Argentine prosecutor, in 2015, who was helping the families of people killed by Iranian terror bombings.

Fact is, the nation of Iran as it exists today has been allowed to exist and has prospered because of the pathetic weakness and fecklessness of all the western powers. Today they have a nuclear bomb factory, and are constructing intercontinental ballistic missiles that will be able to reach any country in the world in 25 minutes.

All of the countries in the European Union, too, are seen by radical Islamists as tools of America and Israel. This is why the Brussels Airport was bombed this year, and why Paris has suffered two mass-murder bloodbaths in January and November of 2015.

Consider joining this organization:  Christians United for Israel and look at this.




Monday, April 25, 2016

Can Our Flawed Human Nature Be Changed?

If human nature as a whole were capable of change, then Zeus, the ruler god of all gods in Greek mythology (by Homer, probably 2,900 years ago), wouldn't behave exactly like former President Bill Clinton. Zeus cheated on his wife Hera, seduced every maiden he could lay his hands on - using every trick and lie he could think of - and gleefully drove Hera insane with jealousy. Hera abused and wreaked vengeance on all who took Zeus's affections from her, or who got in the way. Hello, Hillary Clinton. 

Likewise, President Richard Nixon behaved like Richard III in Shakespeare's play. Even after Nixon won his landslide second-term victory in 1972, he acted in paranoid, wounded, and vengeful ways that eventually brought down his entire presidency. His enemies in the Democratic Party and national press behaved just like the raging crowds depicted in plays written in ancient Greece, Rome, and Europe, right up to our present day. 

The social media mobs of Facebook, Twitter, and MoveOn.org. use the same tactics and methods to threaten and destroy people that we've seen since humankind invented the first alphabets. The mobs rebelled against Moses, called for the release of the murderer Barabbas, and the crucifixion of Jesus. They fueled the witch hunts and the Inquisition of the past. 

Every person who ever lived recognized at one time or another that our human weaknesses must be dealt with, and that we're flawed beings; prone to rage, greed, vindictiveness, violence, and sloth. Among other things. 

No wonder, then, that we want a better world. But how? Childhood education has been worked, reworked, and reformed, since time immemorial, to weed out anti-social behavior at the outset, before it could become habitual. How's that working out for us?

Most of our world politics is socialist and communist, consumed with and dedicated to social justice (actually social engineering), which promises that human flaws can be trained, bred, or punished out of us. Over two-hundred years ago, beginning with the French Revolution, radicals threw out religion, believing it was the cause of human suffering. The results they sought never appeared, and a descent into mob rule and mass murder abated only with the dictator Napoleon. When he collapsed, France reverted to the monarchist and Catholic country it was before. 

Karl Marx, through his pamphlet The Communist Manifesto, succeeded in provoking a string of bloody communist revolutions throughout Europe in 1848-49, known as the Springtime of the Peoples. Every one of these upheavals promised peace, prosperity, justice, and a better life. But they all began and ended violently, collapsing within a year (Link)

Great Britain was the only European nation that didn't suffer revolution, due to her strong emphasis on individual human rights, Protestant religion, the rule of law, veneration for Queen Victoria, and the rising middle class of prosperous citizens with social mobility. Charles Dickens brilliantly chronicled the hunger and suffering of the poor, and was rewarded with great wealth. Countless charities were formed to relieve or mitigate poverty. 

The siren song of social "leveling" sung by Marx had been tried once before, during and after the English Civil War (1642-51) (Link). The war's provocateur, Oliver Cromwell, chopped off King Charles the First's head and ruled as a dictator until 1658, producing mayhem and misery unparallelled in British history up until then. 

Ironically, Marx found refuge in Britain, and lived there for 34 years. It was the only country with genuine rule of law; and where he was free to speak, publish, drink, and sponge off his followers. 

You would think by now the alluring tune of Marxist/socialists - with only centuries of failure to show for their efforts - would be ignored. But you'd be wrong. Now labelled Progressivism, it flourishes. Most recently Venezuela's late dictator, Hugo Chavez, engineered a Marxist coup that overthrew the elected government. Chavez handed out money to everyone he liked and while the money lasted, people were happy. But when he died of cancer the bankrupt state slid into chaos. Chavez's hand-picked successor, Maduro, is a clueless bully. Today Venezuela is in a state of collapse (Link).

Tragically, the one proven system that has never failed as long as the rule of law prevailed - free markets run by free people - is under constant attack by Progressives. Why? Because it closes off the possibility of dictatorship. Free peoples periodically desire changes and adjustments in their politics, and old power-hungry politicians are voted out of office. Tyrants hate this flushing action which removes waste and fraud. 

So what has changed in all of civilization's tumultuous existence? The wheel of history proves that, "what goes around comes around." We're stuck in an endless global cycle of repetition, and only the names, places, and costumes have changed. Funny how prophetic the Hindus have been in describing their Wheel of Life (Link). They see no beginning or end, except for the individual, who can escape by awakening to it.  

This is what the Western Tradition of Judeo-Christianity offers. Permanent escape from death and misery. But you and I must act alone to seek God and escape. We can help each other, but we can do it even without human assistance by acting with love, charity, forgiveness, and generosity (Link)



                              
                     Homer, writer of The Iliad and the Odyssey, whose 
                         insights into human behavior dazzle us today. 




Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Why Is Judeo-Christianity Different From Other Religions?

Buddha (who lived between the 6th to 4th Centuries B.C.E.) sought to eliminate human suffering caused by ignorance and craving. He discouraged speculation about life after death, saying, "It is like asking where the flame went when it is blown out." He believed such speculation led people into fruitless arguments and power struggles. 

Buddhism teaches its followers to meditate and cleanse the mind of "desire, aversion, and delusion"; to achieve "stillness of mind", or Nirvana (literally "blown out").  (Link)

Hindus believe there are many gods, and they worship those they like as guides for their future incarnations. While they believe in a unifying creator, Brahman, they also believe this creator is unknowable. Because Brahman is expressed through all creation, you can worship creation.  (Link)

Muslims believe in many tenets of the Jewish Old Testament, but consider Jews apostates, or deniers of the one God, Allah (literally "the God"). They believe Christians also are apostates, and say Jesus was not the son of God, and was not crucified or resurrected. Jesus was only one of many messengers sent by Allah. (Link)

While the majority of Muslims are peaceful, the modern resurgence of Islam's Sharia Law (Link) is drenching the world in blood. Sharia is merciless and extreme. Thieves have hands chopped off. Adulterers, deniers of faith, or those who become members of other religions are stoned to death, hung, or have their heads chopped off. Sharia dictates that only devout Muslims such as the Sunnis or Shi'ites will be given salvation and Paradise. Ironically, Sunnis and Shi'ites each consider the other to be apostates, and violators of Sharia, so they've been at war since Islam (literally "submission") started, in the mid 7th Century. Today, ISIS is a Sunni army, and Al Qaeda is Shi'ite.  
The Muslim Paradise, Jannah, is purely material, a Garden of Eden, that guarantees all the pleasures we have known on earth. Sixty virgins are the reward for jihadist martyrs.

Judeo-Christians believe that the Creator of the Universe is knowable, and wants us to know Him. He favors those who seek Him, like Jacob (Genesis 32:22) and Job (The Book of Job). We are rewarded and brought into God's presence when we question the meaning of our existence, mourn for those who are suffering - including ourselves - and plead with God for answers. The word Israel means "who prevails with God". (Link)

Faithful Jews still wait for a promised Messiah, and don't believe Jesus was it, even though Jesus was Jewish. But they place a high value on laws, compassion, and love, which they believe are the primary aspects of God. Christians carry this a step further, and Jesus said the whole point of our existence was to, "Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:37). 

These words from Jesus are unique among all religions, and would turn the world upside down if they were honored: "He that is greatest among you shall be your servant, and whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted" (Matthew 23:11-12).

Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). He asks us to worship the Creator, not the creation, which is beneath us. The Christian heaven is far beyond the material world, and infinitely more fulfilling; an eternal existence of joy, love, peace, glory, and honor. (Link)

Who will be going to heaven? Those who seek it, and who do God's will. What is God's will? Everyone who believes in God must find out for themselves what God wants them to do. Don't be concerned if you have neglected God previously. What you have done doesn't count. What you do from this day forward does count. A lot. 

To a group of worshipers at Solomon's Temple Jesus said, "There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go to work today at the vineyard.'
'I will not', he answered. But later he changed his mind and went.
"Then the man went to the other son and said the same thing. Then the son answered, 'I will, sir.' But he did not go.  
"Which of the two did their father's will?"
'The first', they answered. 
"Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God ahead of you. For John [the Baptist] came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him. But the tax collectors and prostitutes did..." (Matthew 21:28). (Link)

We are all different, and even when we agree on the nature of God, our personal gifts, talents, temperaments, and skills equip us to do different things. The above is a road map for you to choose which path to take. Know that the stakes are huge, nothing less than your existence through eternity. 


                               The words of Jesus regarding the End Times,  Matthew 24:3

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Consider Sources, and the Ends Can Be Predicted

"A tree is known by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thorn bushes, nor grapes from brambles." Luke 6:44

Good intentions are never powerful enough to bestow good outcomes in life, or on a nation in revolution. There never was a political or religious leader who didn't promise peace, prosperity, and health to his or her followers. Usually this is a 'bait and switch' technique, where people are 'baited' into tyranny and oppression by false images and promises, enough to lure them into the trap before they discover the 'switch', the pit they've fallen into. If those desiring a good outcome thoroughly investigated and knew their leaders ahead of time, they would see the path ahead and know the inevitable outcome.*

The prime example of failed revolutionary ideals is the French Revolution of 1789, which was also the first clearly anti-religious one. (Link) 

It began with the slogan, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity", and called for the elimination of cruelty and poverty. The Catholic Church (to which 95% of the people belonged), together with the French aristocracy, became target number one for murderous mobs bent on revenge. When it was over, tens of thousands - including children - were beheaded or otherwise killed. Almost three-fourths of these victims were commoners accused of collaboration with the church or aristocracy. The French Revolution ended in 1801, but not the war it started in Europe. Napoleon arrived on the scene, and France became intoxicated with world conquest. When Emperor Napoleon was finally defeated in 1815 the death toll of French citizens and their allies exceeded three-million. It was an exhilarating ride up to the peak of global power, and an unprecedented catastrophe on the way down. 

Examples of revolutionary success are far fewer, but they rise like the dawn in the annals of human civilization. The American Revolution was by far the most successful, for several reasons. First, it was dedicated to a Supreme Being, as the Declaration of Independence states, proclaiming the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God... all men are endowed by their Creator [not "the Creator" of any religion] with certain unalienable Rights..." [which cannot be taken away by any person or government].  America's Founding Documents were the pattern adopted and endorsed by the United Nations upon its founding. Few questioned the validity of these principles until a few years ago. This speaks volumes about our world's decline. 

Second, it recognized that people are flawed, and they desire power over others. For this reason, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights divided up the government into competing factions that would "check and balance" one another. There was no over-arching person, title, rule, or law that everyone swore allegiance to. The American Republic - not a democracy - was an ongoing argument that guaranteed the right of free speech and open debate. It could never be perfect because people are imperfect, so it was designed to be flexible enough to adjust to every new challenge or global development. As Abraham Lincoln warned, "As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." More and more we appear to be suicidal; too weak to resist the corruption of our own fellow citizens. 

Success always generates envy and animosity. For this reason the United States and the Western Tradition of civilization itself is now mercilessly attacked, daily, by the Satanic forces of global jihadists (Link) and Marxism-Collectivism. Atheists and anti-theists in global media loudly proclaim that America is an evil nation, and they enforce the idea that only powerful governments can grant human rights, dignity, and prosperity to their people (but the attacks on Brussels and Paris prove this is a lie). They are baiting us with sweet promises of abundant fruit, but the tree from which they claim this fruit will come is the poisonous tree of totalitarian government, which deprives us of every God-given right. Including the right to go out on our own, to try new things, to fail - sometimes - and learn from our experiences. No successful person ever escaped failure, at times, but they learned from failure, and tried again and again. Don't be tempted by lies, the promises of comfort and free benefits.  




                      Satan tempts Jesus in the wilderness, Matt 4:1-11


*The U.S. government spent $799 billion in 2012 on welfare and other handouts to the needy, (Link) and $22 trillion since President Lyndon Johnson launched his War On Poverty in 1964. (Link)  Yet poverty is still the endemic problem it was over 50 years ago, afflicting the same percentage of the population.










Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What Is Truth? Can We Know Ultimate Truth?

"Beyond a doubt, truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness." - Leonardo DaVinci

Pontius Pilate famously answered Jesus, "What is truth?" after Jesus said, "I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth listens to me." John 18:37

It's natural to question the nature of truth, but by the time we reach adulthood the issue should be settled. Pilate was morally stunted, as many of us are today. Powerful people face a blizzard of lies, from flatterers who want favors, to rivals trying to tear them down or wear them down. Fatigue leads to corruption of one's principles, and this is the price of power for most. Pilate was caught in a terrible trap, knowing he had become a tool of evil. His wife dreamt of Jesus, and prevailed upon her husband to, "Have nothing to do with that innocent man, because in a dream last night, I suffered much on account of him." - Matthew 27:19

If the words of God were not spoken by Christ, why is He so visible everywhere? And why have His words been so enduring and successful? They're 2,000 years old, and over two-billion people, globally, say they are Christians; in spite of persecution. Many more believers read the Old and New Testaments even if they're not affiliated with any particular church. This author included. 

Liars crucified Jesus then, and they would crucify Him now, just as quickly. Pontius Pilate knew Jesus was innocent and intervened to stop the mob, but they demanded crucifixion and the Romans were afraid of a riot. Nobody could have stopped this fate. Jesus had to endure God's plan for the Resurrection.  

There are those who say, "There is no truth." But that itself would be a truth, so it is a false statement, a lie. If there is one truth, there can be a million. Natural laws such as gravity, inertia, time, and death are obvious truths that rule the world. And not just our world, but every other world we see with telescopes probing deep space. Natural laws hold the entire universe together, as astrophysicists and others attest. Who else but God could have created the laws of the universe?

Many in our modern world, including scientists, believe all Creation is an accident. "Where is the proof of God? He's invisible to us. Therefore, God is nonexistent", they say. But we reply that this makes no sense. God has very good reasons for wanting to remain invisible, though millions throughout history have testified to visions of angels and heaven. This author too. We don't see these things with eyes of flesh, but eyes of spirit, and faith. Those with no faith are likely to be stuck forever in a drab, dull, and colorless world which no man, woman, or child could tolerate for long. 

Earth is a school and a testing ground. We have free will to craft ourselves and our characters according to the desires of our heart and mind. How we act when we think we're not being watched is critical to our understanding of ourselves. If we're honest and kind when we think nobody is looking, it speaks volumes about who we really are. 

Isn't it clear that our belief in - or rejection of - truth is bound up with our notion of God? God is the only entity capable of pure truth, recording and judging everything that happens on earth. By any measure this requires divine intelligence beyond human understanding. And every serious religion teaches faith in the truth of Karma; that is, "You reap what you sow". The world would be transformed if we all had such faith and truth in us.

We know our modern world is flawed, and tolerates lies and dishonesty. Much commercial advertising distorts the truth even if it's not lying outright. We know when to take such things seriously and when not to. Who could live in a world of complete honesty, anyway? If a friend asks you, "Do I look fat?" Or, after spending hours on a project that comes out badly, asks, "Pretty good, eh? I did it all myself!" We know when to be kind with a 'white lie'.

There are hierarchies of truth. If a cop pulls you over and asks, "Do you know how fast you were going back there?", and you lie, saying, "No, sir. I don't think I was speeding", God will forgive you. 

But if we witness a mob brutally attacking an innocent person, and we fail to speak up, it will damage our character forever unless we make amends. Conscience will make us pay. What if we joined in with the mob, hurling lies at someone innocent, then beating and killing him, or her? This is an attack on the Holy Spirit, the dove of purity and innocence. It's the only unforgivable sin - if we're aware of it. But if we believe we're doing God's work, as St. Paul did before his Damascus road vision, we can repent and be saved. Paul grieved that he had a hand in hunting down and murdering Christians. By founding the early
church he did more than just make amends. His experience of the truth, his guilt, and his vision of Christ in heaven gave him fiery motivation. His evil was turned to good. 

Where do lies come from? Jesus was clear. The father of lies is Satan himself: "He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44

Our ultimate test will come when speaking the truth will get us punished or killed. Millions face this daily, especially in the Middle East and Africa. Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and others are being murdered in the thousands by Islamist fanatics. The long-prophesied Armageddon is upon us now. Be prepared. We can know the ultimate truth, the honor, power, glory and goodness of God, in eternal life to come.

"Truth is the highest thing that man may keep" - Geoffrey Chaucer


 

Excerpt from The Passion of the Christ, (2004). Jesus confronts Pontius Pilate. Spoken in Latin, with English subtitles. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Globalization Equals Cultural and Spiritual Destruction

We live in an age of so-called globalization, defined as "The development of an increasingly integrated global economy marked especially by free trade, free flow of capital, and the tapping of cheaper foreign labor markets." (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)


But globalization is much more than an economic force. Cultural and political globalization is going on also, due to media of all kinds; movies, television, internet, and social networks. Fashions in clothing, language, and politics are advancing with the world's youth at high speed. This causes many political leaders in the West - and the masses they influence - to think we will eventually live in a borderless world with the same ideas and ideals governing us all. Bill Gates has spoken, "The internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow." European Union-style socialist government will provide for everyone. Peace will reign. The Dalai Lama says, "we'll all be one global community." (Link)



This is a dangerous delusion. Do you want to be just like everyone else? And your family to be like all others? Do you want all nations to be reduced to a bland sameness? Cities like Vienna, Prague, London, and Budapest are already becoming very much alike, and boring. The same global corporations splash their logos everywhere, and the tourists and residents look more and more alike. Their unique qualities are being swallowed up. The same ugly, nonsensical graffiti and Guy Fawkes images predominate. (Link) 

There is resistance to this outside of Europe. The cultures of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa differ profoundly from the West and from each other. In Africa, Boco Haram and ISIS have linked up to take that continent, bathe it in blood, and purge it of Western influences. Bill Gates didn't ask Africans and others outside his elite orbit what they thought about his global village idea. 

China is never going to accept Western laws and ideals as we know them, nor is Russia, nor any dedicated Islamic nation. Sunni Muslims have battled Shia Muslims since Muhammad died in the 7th Century. They both agree that non-believers - the other five billion of us - have no right to live. All these ethnic groups have radically different expectations and customs of life and family to which they're loyal, and they virulently hate contrary ways of life, such as the LGBT community's. Their Sharia Law is entirely different from ours, and it tells followers to eliminate us.

We in the West treasure our principles of individual freedoms and rights, along with legal principles like the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven; and the differing degrees of criminal intent, or lack thereof. Also, God's grace, our ideal of generous forgiveness, rankles our enemies. These are alien ideas to many Easterners. There are exceptions, of course, but they're small. 

The two Koreas are prime examples of global East-West tensions. Korea after WWII was a single, backward, and poor land of peasants until it was partitioned by the U.S. and the Soviet Union along the 38th parallel in 1945. American resources, ideas, and culture poured into South Korea; while Marxist-Stalinist communism and collectivist ideals inspired a government in North Korea. 

In 1950, the North invaded the South, murdered tens of thousands, and nearly crushed it. The Korean War began with American troops and UN assistance reinforcing the South, and the Russians and Chinese pouring into the North. A stalemate was reached. A treaty was signed in 1953 ending the war, but numerous peace proposals have been rejected by the North. Since then North Korea has publicly threatened the South with death, almost monthly. Now they loudly threaten the West and Japan with their nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles. 

The two Koreas today are like night and day, literally. Night video taken by satellite shows South Korea as a carpet of colored lights, while the North is a black hole with only a few glimmers in Pyongyang, the capitol. South Korea's average wage is over $20,000 a year; the North's is a tiny fraction of that. A huge prison population toils as state slaves. (The view from space)

Much of the violence, murder, and mayhem in the world is caused by Medieval religious beliefs and atheist communists clashing with our modern Judeo-Christian foundational principles. The West's successes only fuel the rage and envy of those who hate those principles. Our belief in the equality of the sexes and races, children's rights, separation of church and state are anathema to more than a billion Muslims. Hundreds of millions of them have declared war on the West. Whether they personally want to pick up arms or not, they've agreed with each other that a final conflict is inevitable. We must submit or perish. What will you do?
The idea that all citizens of the world should be equal in status, wealth, talent, and health is terribly wrong-headed. We have free will, and that means we often make bad decisions. We learn from them, too. 

We self-select, and those of different talents, temperaments, levels of intelligence, and personalities want to be with those of like mind. We're happiest when we're free to use our God-given talents and abilities along the lines of excellence. 
Look at the animal kingdoms of land, sea, and air. Nature is filled with variations, and hierarchies are woven into all the patterns of life. Societies that enforce conformity and their own twisted notion of equality are unnatural, have been tried throughout history, and have failed every time. 

There will never be a foolproof, one-size-fits-all world system, and misery will be the result of all attempts to create one. Charity is Godly when we do it freely out of love. A threatening state that takes your wealth and distributes it in the state's name is evil. Jesus said, "For the poor you will always have with you, and you can do good for them whenever you desire, but not always will you have me." - Matthew 14:7

A government big enough to give us what we want is strong enough to take it all away, like a parent. Do we want to live like children?



Propaganda poster showing a North Korean soldier side-by-side with a Chinese, expelling the imperialist Americans.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Hypochondriacs Are Demoralizing Society

Have you ever seen an illustrated medical book that shows the hundreds of diseases and maladies that afflict the human race? It's unsettling, and can be frightening if you have the least sense of being unwell. You may begin to feel symptoms of cancer, heart disease, or plague. Our minds are designed to respond strongly to images and words, and are vulnerable to hysteria; which is contagious. When large numbers of people begin thinking a funny smell may be toxic, and respond to each other's fears, panic often takes hold, and fleeing people can be injured or killed. Hence we have a legal definition for criminal incitement: "Never yell 'fire!' in a crowded theater."  Mass hysteria can kill. (Link)

Similarly, the more people begin to believe in the hopelessness of our present global situation, the rampant murder and mayhem we see in failed states of the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere, the more we may suffer a form of hypochondria (the belief that all humanity is doomed to misery and death); even if we're personally healthy. Hypochondriacs become alarmed at the most minor symptoms and suffer panic attacks, thinking they have, or are about to be diagnosed with, a serious illness. (Link)

Our present global dilemma is indeed very serious, but the peoples and cultures causing terror, chaos, and war are a minority. If the sane and intelligent majority of global citizens put aside their selfish, petty rivalries and worked in unison, the situation would improve. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke

The ability to be faithful to your principles of moral right and wrong, regardless of the danger to your life, limb, or fortune, has always been the mark of the heroic individual. From the beginning of civilization, such heroes have been celebrated and honored. Even today, films like Star Wars, The Avengers, and The Hunger Games, are the highest-grossing global hits. Regardless of culture, humankind has recognized courage and honor. Until now. There are powerful, global cultural currents today that want you to believe someone else, the government usually, will take care of you. They're telling you to disarm and surrender. (Link)

Societies globally are becoming more hysterical and fearful every day, thanks to radical politics, the internet, and social networks. Many politicians are masters of crowd manipulation, and know how to provoke and exploit a crisis and the hysteria that follows. They will invent a crisis if one isn't available, and the media will parrot it. Additionally, there are countless thousands of delusional web sites and videos on the internet which appear genuine to the young and gullible. Did you know the Nazis set up bases on the moon in 1942? (Link) Or that the CIA created Al Qaeda and ISIS to divide and conquer the oil-rich nations?  (Link)  Many people believe these nightmare fantasies because the internet says they're real. "You can't believe everything you read on the internet." - Abraham Lincoln, 1868. (Link)

Exposure to mentally unhinged people and bizarre conspiracies can shape our minds at the unconscious level, and influence our dream world in negative ways. All of us have nightmares on occasion, which often feel very real, and they're made worse by societal decay. They may then become reality. Whole nations can suffer nightmares, and many are suffering now.

Renowned classical historian Alexander Pope said in 1711, "A little learning is a dangerous thing." Education is a lifelong pursuit, not a quick-fix. Unless we master critical thinking and the skill to ask intelligent questions that challenge false and idiotic ideas, we will succumb to dangerous and deadly beliefs. The witch hunts of past centuries, the Spanish Inquisition, and the Terror of Revolutionary France in the 1790's are indelible examples. In our so-called 'modern world', Communism, Nazism,  and other forms of religious fanaticism have killed hundreds of millions. (Link) Mass delusion stems from ignorance, pride, and frailty.

Human nature changes only glacially, as shown by the Bible, Homer, Livy, and Shakespeare. The Pharaoh Ramses, King Minos, and Richard III are separated by millennia, but think and act similarly. Knowing this eases our minds, and the myth of 'progressivism' in human nature is put in its place. Our attempts to reform government - no matter how well-intended or executed - will never replace God in our lives. Reading the great works of past ages is healing, and it puts our lives in perspective like nothing else will:

 "What has been will be again,
  what has been done will be done again,
  there is nothing new under the sun"  (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Our unraveling world with all its chaos and violence is just a large-scale rerun of human history. People aren't behaving any differently than they always have. A wise individual once said, "Never blame malice for what can be easily explained by conceit." (Link) People are self-absorbed to a large extent, and don't consider the consequences of what they do. Empathy is not a common virtue, and those who have it use it sparingly. It takes real effort, and often expense, to extend our compassion in that way.

Even Jesus was irritable and short-tempered some of the time. In the New Testament, John 2, there's a scene known as the Wedding at Cana. Midway into the celebration, Jesus's mother tells him that the party's wine supply has run out, a Jewish cultural faux pas that will haunt the betrothed couple for the rest of their lives. Jesus snaps at his mother, "Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour is not yet come" (referring to his crucifixion, and calling her "woman"). Soon, though, Jesus recovers his empathy and instructs the servants to fill the many wine jars with water. He transforms the water into wine that's as fine as anyone has ever tasted. (Link)

All the extreme behavior we see in the world today, good or evil; no matter how inspiring, shocking or disgusting, has (on a small scale) happened before. Our present crises were foretold long ago. The enduring, root cause of most suffering is selfishness, pride, and a lack of faith in God. But this world will be transformed. Our present nightmare, like all nightmares, we will awaken from.