I have always imagined that Paradise would be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges

So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Saint John, Letter to Galatians 4:16

Freedom of Religion - Freedom from Religion - Freedom of Public Display of Religion and Traditions

We establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever. We command no worship. We mandate no belief. But we poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings. We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief. All are free to believe or not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not. But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief.
Ronald Reagan (Temple Hillel Speech, 1984)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Through the Looking Glass: Religious Perspective

The classic literature of Lewis Carroll (birth name: Charles Dodgson) has gone down through the ages reprinted into books, plays, and films. It began with the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865, which was followed by Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There in 1871. Through the Looking Glass was about a world beyond a mirror (looking glass). If one looks into a mirror one sees a reflection that appears reversed; however, if one was looking from within or the other side of the “looking glass” it would be a natural view. As with the mirror, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is filled with symbolism – a world remarkably different than reality, and a world where nothing is as it seems. 
So it is for the so-called Religion of Peace ...

Religious tolerance has been a hallmark in America, but not always practiced within our society (see Jewish persecution); and after becoming democracies, so have nations in Europe. The object was for people to live in peace and assimilate as citizens of a nation to live together in harmony and live in a nation that promotes rights and liberties.
Christians have learned through the ages in history to become tolerant, a long process over centuries. When the disciples of Jesus became apostles to spread his message after his crucifixion, they did so by establishing a missionary program, a program where apostles and their assistants gathered among Christians and converts, who preached among the pagans in various cities of the ancient world that recruited Christians from unbelievers and those ignorant of the Holy Bible and the message of Jesus the Christ.
About 600 years later, a prophet emerged who claimed that he was a divine messenger, to set the Arabian world on the right path out of the chaos of various pagan religions that had congregated in a city called Mecca, where merchants profited by selling religious paraphernalia like statues for home shrines. Mecca had become a holy place because of the Ka'aba, (Qaaba - الكعبة) what would become the most sacred site in the Islamic religion. The word translate to “the Cube” in English, whose name is derived from the cubical-building which was built around it. Mohammad established and spread Islam, and authored the Holy Qur'an as the book for Muslims to follow Islam.
As the Muslims gained power and the thirst for conquest by its leaders grew, Islam spread by the sword, instead of by preaching. The other difference was that the Muslims, unlike the Christians, did not deify their prophet. i
Muslims reached their peak of western conquests which enriched their kingdom through plunder and slavery by 732 AD. Those territories were held for 500 years until the Crusades.
While the Crusades ended and the 20th century marked a period of peace with Arabs and Muslim states, toward the end of that century, beginning in the 1980s, a fanatical movement was initiated focused upon the annihilation of Israel and the Jews in a nation they re-founded surrounded by hostile Islamic nations. The western nations that represent freedom and prosperity have been a target ever since, and culminated into a global war that has reintroduced the Crusades into modern civilization.
StandPoint, an online magazine, published an anonymous letter describing the issues concerning Muslim immigrants who have developed cultural areas within the United Kingdom, in this case, Birmingham, England that has been on the news various times depicting the violence of the Muslims that live there and an example of how they do not integrate into a nation, but instead, promote the institution upon the western world Sharia Law. Excerpts from A Stranger in My Own Land: (writer now lives in London) -
I have just returned to London, where I have lived since I was 11. I have been away for four years, living as an ethnic minority in a mono-cultural part of the world, amassing a host of stories to tell to disbelieving friends. … I shan't miss some locals' assumptions that, being a white woman, if I was outside after dark, as I occasionally was, usually to walk the few metres between my house and the church, I must be a prostitute … I shan't miss the abuse my priest husband received: the daubing of "Dirty white dogs" in red paint on the church door, the barrage of stones thrown at him by children shouting "Satan". … For four years, we lived in inner-city Birmingham, in what has been a police no-go area for 20 years. We know that because some plain-clothed cops told us when they asked to use our vicarage as a stake-out to bust drugs rings that pervade the area. … When we arrived, the population was predominantly Pakistani. Now Somalis are there in equal number. Most of the run-down Irish pubs were turned into mosques during our time. … opposite our vicarage there is a "library" which has some computers, some burkas and occasionally tracts that say offensive things about Jews and Christians.Well, there must be many places in Europe where Muslims are entirely free to practise their faith, but I suspect there are few places in which they can have so little contact with the civic and legal structure of a Western state if they choose. It seems to be particularly easy to "disappear" if that is their intention. … my husband frequently chatted to a neighbour who could be described as one of the more questioning Muslims, and who has often provided an insight into the locals' mindset. Even this man, however, believes what the whole community thinks: the 9/11 planes were organised by Jews.When I recently told a friend how a large Taliban flag fluttered gaily on a house near St Andrew's football stadium for some months, her cry of "Can't you tell the police?" made me reflect how far many of our inner cities have been abandoned by our key workers: our doctors and nurses drive in from afar, the police, as mentioned before, have shut down their stations and never venture in unless in extremis — they and ambulance crews have been known to be attacked — even the local Imam lives in a leafier area. … The Muslim community in Birmingham, for instance, is made up of people from many continents and races, including Afghans, Yemenis, Pakistanis, Indians and Somalis.  … It is time to rub the rime from our eyes and to look clearly at the shape of Britain today. Everyone living here needs to be able to talk about what they see, without the lazy or fearful, but certainly paralysing, accusation of racism. Only then will we be able to discern what is best for the future.
This could be a vision of America in the future, for we also are experiencing problems of Islamic fundamentalists working their way into our infrastructure to change our way of life instead of assimilating into our constitutional republic system and society. They have and are taking advantage of our tolerant views about religions and using the First Amendment against us – only because the political “progressives” are not only allowing it, but advocating it. It is permeating into our educational system, judiciary, and even into the legislative at both state and federal level. It is part of the illegal immigrant movement as well, which in turn is not only harmful to our traditions, but our national security as well.
This is not an article to promote panic or movements to repeat what occurred during FDR's administration that put Japanese-Americans into camps “for their protection”. I do not, nor ever will, promote vigilante actions or promote intolerance against any religion. However, the First Amendment provides ALL religions freedom of faith and practice thereof, but the social climate instituted by the political climate proves otherwise.
It is true that our nation was conceived in the principles of liberty, but it was also established under the concepts of Judeo-Christian theological thought – without promoting a specific religion through any government mandate.
Today, Christians are being persecuted. They are singled out, while the transgressions against our traditions, society and principles that established and made our nation great are being promoted. Christians are not allowed to profess or practice their faith or beliefs in public, like in public educational systems; but Islam and its Muslim followers are left to do what they will – even, in some cases, actually inserting upon the school curriculum classes that teach about Islam. Murder and torture against Muslims who convert to Christianity is not uncommon.
The progressive-socialists within the political system of our nation has been promoting propaganda that sides with the enemies of free nations; and while insisting that the First Amendment and the traditions of religious tolerance only be enacted at certain levels and only promoting those who are enemies of liberty and freedom.
When any immigrant arrives to a nation they choose to live, away from whence they came with the major incentive of living a better way of life in freedom; that immigration should be based upon assimilation of that nation's laws and respect for its traditions and culture. No one asks any immigrant family to do away with their family culture or their ethnic background; but that nation has the right to expect them to learn and use that nation's language as well as abide by its laws. America and other free nations scattered around the world are based upon the democratic principles, in varied degrees – and not theocracy. Islam promotes theocracy and expects everyone else to comply – or suffer the consequence.
That is NOT religious tolerance; therefore, any free nation can readily use its constitutional laws to reject those people who refuse to assimilate or especially to not recognize the rights of other religions and the people of that nation to exercise it – privately or publicly.
Human rights, specifically that of women, are also a concern for any free nation – and Sharia Law ignores those rights and promotes medieval ways of thinking as well as actions that are against the basic principles of human rights. This does not mean that Muslim women do not have the right to practice their religious doctrine/faith by covering their heads and faces; but what is a concern here is that they expect other people of that nation to comply with their beliefs.
That is intolerance, and therefore must not be tolerated.
Our early history as a nation with England has not been a good one; however, today, the United Kingdom made up of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland are our honored and true allies; a relationship cemented during the hard times of the 1930s and 1940s - and beyond. Therefore, we, as Americans, should be concerned with their plight in fighting against those that would subjugate their way of life and liberties. We must also look upon this situation that is sweeping across Europe concerning socialism and theocracy as a guideline of what not to do in America.
We should not nor cannot allow a specific entity, group or people to violate our traditions, culture, or abuse our tolerance of religions in the United States.
There are good people within the Islamic religion who are appalled at violence committed in the name of Allah; however, the fundamentalists of Islam recruit people into their violent advocacy through fear, guilt, and coherence.
Past history has proven that by complying with bullies or those who promote violence as a means to their end, does not appease them or change their violent views and tactics of conquest.
In view of that, we must not be tolerant of such actions from any entity, organization or individual who wants tolerance but also is intolerant.
American society can help in this situation by no longer advocating narrow mindedness in respect to geographical area (like states), ethnic backgrounds, race, or religion – but instead look upon other citizens (and ourselves) as Americans.
We must shun any radical of any religion or entity that promotes the transgression of rights of others in the name of promoting their rights. That is NOT what America or any free nation is about.
We must address the issue here and support our British counterparts and valued ally concerning this important issue. Political correctness is a hypocrisy because it is not free speech for all; and multiculturalism is not in tune with a cohesive and free nation.
The Muslim Brotherhood is moving to leverage its political gains in the recent Egyptian parliamentary elections in order to establish oppressive Islamic law (Sharia) on Egyptian soil. At a conference attended by some 5,000, senior Muslim Brotherhood leader, Dr. Essam el-Erian, Vice President of the "Freedom and Justice" party, the Brotherhood’s political wing, declared that "No one in Egypt—not a Copt, a liberal, a leftist, no one—dares say they are against Islam and the application of sharia."
Author's Note
Burning Qur'an (we should never fall to Nazi book burning) or any other practices not conducive towards the the establishment of coexistence, nor becoming intolerant towards Muslims who are against principles of jihad and other violence and human right violations like genital mutilation is not promoted here.
NOTE: Some of these links show that Muslims against violence and the medieval practices of Sharia Law are advocating against radical Islam at the peril of their lives.
The Constitution and the Crescent by Eileen F. Toplansky
Honor Killings Grow in the WestWarning: some gruesome photos.
Britain's Determination to Self-Destruct – What Will Happen When Islam Takes Over (video) … Is this the future of America? Watch the video, it has Christian overtures; however delivers an important message.
i This brief description of Islam only provides a rough summary. To read more about the religion and what Muslims believe, visit my website whose theme is theology: Veritas et Theologium – I am presently working on an article that is a digest of the chapter about Islam and Muslims entitled as a series at the website as Phenomenology of World Religions. © - which is an examination upon the philosophical concept of examining religions within the context of phenomenology
VIDEO: What the West Needs to Know About Islam ...

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