VerMeer's Geographer

VerMeer's Geographer
The Geographer, by Vermeer, c. 1669

23.10.14

Wake Up Christians!

By Robert A. J. Gagnon
Sadly, most Christians in the United States, when it comes to recognizing the dangers to their civil and religious liberties, sleep the sleep of ignorance that the disciples slept at Gethsemane before the arrest of Jesus. It ought to be obvious by now how "sexual orientation" laws and "gay marriage" are used to subvert the civil and religious liberties of those who view homosexual practice as sinful, contrary-to-nature conduct.
Our children in the schools are taught (with our tax money, incidentally) that their parents are bigots for opposing homosexual unions. Teachers who don't tow the line are threatened with dismissal. They must teach about "Stonewall" and other occasions of homosexualist advocacy as positive events in history, irrespective of the fact that such readings are at odds with reality. They must lift up people like Harvey Milk, who bedded many an underage boy and lived a sexually promiscuous life, as heroes of history or be fired.
For example (as Mass Resistance reports), "in 2011, California passed Senate Bill 48, the Orwellian-labeled “FAIR Education Act.” It requires that the 'historical contributions' of 'lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans' be included in courses, instructional material, and textbooks in California Public Schools. Furthermore, the law includes prohibition of any 'materials that reflect adversely' on LGBT persons or the movement....This was such an abrupt change that Grades K-8 have been given until July 1, 2015 to comply, but high schools are required to move as fast as possible. Many California high schools are rolling out their new 'gay' curricula this month – September 2014."
Christian colleges like Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., are now being threatened with loss of accreditation and/or loss of federal funds if they have moral standards that prohibit all sexual conduct outside of marriage between one man and one woman, including homosexual intercourse.
Bakers are being fined as much as $150,000 if they refuse to letter a "gay wedding cake" (even if they are willing to sell cakes to homosexual couples, just not specifically design it for a wedding). Photographers are fined for not wanting to contribute their gifts of artistic expression to further what they regard to be immoral sexual unions. Florists unwilling to provide floral arrangements for "gay weddings" are likewise being put of business. A civil rights commissioner has found that a Kentucky Christian T-shirt company that refused to print shirts for a gay pride parade is guilty of discrimination, calling for its employees to attend diversity training, with fines to follow if the violations continue. Religious liberty does not even exempt religiously affiliated associations, like retreat centers connected with denominations that forbid same-sex marriage, from renting its facilities out for homosexual "marriages."
Increasingly, Christians in "white-collar" positions who don't support homosexual indoctrination at the workplace are being fired. Some have been fired simply for expressing the view on Facebook and other social media outside the workplace that "gay marriage" is immoral.
You'll recall how the Obama administration revoked an invitation to a Black pastor to say a prayer at Obama's 2nd inaugural when it was discovered that he had once, a decade earlier, given a sermon where he expressed the view that homosexual practice was sin.
At Dartmouth College, my alma mater, an African Anglican Bishop who was appointed to lead the Tucker Foundation, which oversees all social justice and religious ministries on campus, had his appointment terminated before he even arrived on campus because it was discovered that a decade earlier he had expressed disappointment over the appointment of Vicky Gene Robinson to be the first "gay" Episcopal Bishop. Even though the African bishop protested that he was now affirming of "gay marriage" they terminated his employment because at some point in his life he had expressed opposition to this idolatry of homosexualism. Dartmouth went on to hire as the moral overseer of the campus a lesbian Episcopal minister.
In most mainline seminaries today candidates for faculty positions who are known to have published in favor of the scriptural and orthodox position on male-female marriage will not be hired. It is even less likely that candidates for faculty positions in secular colleges and universities will be hired. After all, institutions of higher learning can tolerate the hiring of "bigots."
Against parental protests and concerns for safety in many jurisdictions "bathroom bills" have been passed that allow boys who identify as female to use girls' rest rooms. Men who identify as women must be allowed to use female changing rooms and rest rooms. In these jurisdictions it is the "civil right" of persons who regard themselves as the sex opposite of the one given to them at birth to force all the rest of us to participate in their sickness for which they should be providing appropriate therapeutic help.
In many states, even if an adolescent and his or her parents wants to receive help in managing homoerotic urges and experiencing some reduction in intensity of urges, that adolescent is forbidden to do so because, allegedly, it confirms the adolescent's "internalized homophobia." So much for the self-determination of the client.
Most recently the lesbian mayor of Houston had subpoenas issued to some Houston pastors compelling them to produce transcripts of every sermon in which they discussed the issue of homosexuality or face contempt of court. Two ministers who for a fee conduct Christian weddings for Christians are being forced by the state to participate in same-sex marriages or face a $1000/day fine until they do comply. A professor of English at a Christian school (Robert Lopez) has been harassed by persons in and outside of his institution simply because he shared the story that his upbringing by two lesbians was less than ideal.
It is not a question of "live and let live" when it comes to a homosexualist agenda. It is a question of homosexualist advocates doing their best to drive out of the public square with abusive rhetoric and the teeth of "sexual orientation" laws anyone who calls into question their agenda.
So, no, I'm not willing to support ridiculous construals of the Constitution that codify me and other believers who adopt the view that Jesus held about marriage and sexuality generally as bigots and the moral equivalent of racists. Surprisingly, I'm not willing to supply the legal bat with which to beat me senseless. Imagine that.
On top of all this is the absurdity of arguing that a "gay marriage" is comparable to an interracial marriage. As someone in an interracial marriage I resent the comparison to an immoral unnatural relationship. Racial differences in marriage do not represent any kind of conflict with nature. Homosexual unions do. If the logic of a heterosexual union is that the two halves of the sexual spectrum reunite to form a single sexual whole, moderating the extremes of a given sex and filling in the gaps of the sexual self, the logic of a homosexual union is that two "half-males" unite to form a single whole male; two "half-females" unite to form a single whole female. That is what Paul referred to as a self-dishonoring, self-degrading act, where it treats one's own sex as only half intact, not in relation to the other sex (in accordance with truth) but in relation to one's own sex (in accordance with falsehood).
It is not "discrimination" to say that such a union is not a true marriage, any more than it is "discrimination" to say that adult-consensual incestuous or polyamorous unions constitute a true marriage. Persons in polyamorous and incestuous relationships today suffer from far more public hostility than persons in homosexual unions. What are you not advocating for their "civil rights"? And, as noted above, in most areas of the country today, Christians who have spoken publicly at some time in their life about the immorality of promoting homosexual relations are more likely to be discriminated against then persons openly expressive of their homosexual behavior. Do you know that most colleges today give an affirmative action bump to applicants who identify as "gay," lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or no gender at all?

16.10.14

The Savage Lands of Islam

by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia ruled that ten year old girls can be married off, because in his words, "Good upbringing makes a girl ready to perform all marital duties at that age."
The Grand Mufti
The Mufti, who also called for destroying churches in the Arabian Peninsula, is descended from Mohammed Wahhab who gave birth to Wahhabism and whose descendants have controlled the Saudi religious establishment, and through it Islam around the world.
However for all his power and influence, the Mufti is blind and hasn't seen a thing in the last half century years; an apt metaphor for his entire religion.
Saudi Arabia, the heartland of Islam, still tries and executes witches. What sort of religion can come out of a place that marries off ten year old girls and murders old women on charges of witchcraft? The sort that flies planes into skyscrapers, murders teenage girls for using Facebook and bases its entire society on a ladder with Muslim men at the top, Muslim women a few rungs below and everyone else somewhere at the bottom.
The Saudis are not an aberration, they are Islam in its purest and truest form. That is why Al Qaeda was founded by a Saudi and why Saudis, the wealthy citizens of a wealthy kingdom, are its best recruits. It is not poverty or oppression that moves them to kill, but wealth and privilege.
This is where Islam originated, whose brutality and cunning spread it across the world, whose clans killed each other, then killed or enslaved minority groups, and then embarked on a wave of conquest that destroyed countless cultures and left behind the seeds of hate of the wars we are fighting today.
Unlike Egypt or Syria, they were never colonized by European powers and the impact of Ottoman influence was limited. Oil has brought in massive amounts of money, but it has changed very little. There are limousines instead of camels, the slaves have foreign passports, though they are often still slaves, there is still a brisk trade in imported luxury goods, harems for princes and clans staggering under the weight of their indolent progeny.
Religiously, Wahhabism has done its best to recreate the "pure" Islam of its origins. Economically, oil has allowed the Gulf Arabs to prosper without reform or change. And if Mohammed were to ride out of the desert tomorrow, he would have little trouble fitting in, as soon as he developed a taste for Porsches. Anyone who wants to see the world as it was in Mohammed's day can visit Saudi Arabia and see inbred clans, slave labor, veiled women and thugs enforcing the will of Allah on every corner.
But you don't even need to visit Saudi Arabia because diluted forms of it can be found everywhere from Cairo to London and from Islamabad to Los Angeles. A hundred and fifty years after the United States freed its slaves, Muslim immigrants have brought back slavery, importing young girls to live as their slaves. Ninety years after American women won the right to vote, the ghosts of Islam tread the streets in sheets that hide their personhood and mark them as property.
The religious wars of the desert have not stayed there as the immigration Hegira has brought them here and everywhere. And that is the source of the Clash of Civilizations. Immigration has brought Muslims into closer contact with different cultures and religions who don't defer to them or give Islam the privileged status that its adherents are used to enjoying.
To know the truth of this all you have to do is measure the respective tolerance levels of America  against the average Muslim country. There is no comparison with even the more secular Muslim countries, not in law and not in public attitudes. The sole benefit of the Arab Spring has been to expose the fraud of the moderate Muslim country. Egypt's transition to theocracy reminds us that a moderate Muslim state is a completely unrepresentative dictatorship. The alternative is majority Muslim rule.
The endgame of the Arab Spring and the immigration Hegira is to reduce the entire world to the level of Saudi Arabia. And that means eliminating outside influences in a long march to purification.  Islamists know that they cannot enjoy complete cultural dominance over their own people until their rivals in the West are obliterated. To turn Egypt and Malaysia into Saudi Arabia, and to purify Saudi Arabia, the infidels must be brought down, their religions subjugated and their nations replaced with proper Islamic states.
Islamic leaders are under no illusion that religion is a spiritual matter, they know that it is a numbers game. Wage enough wars, terrorize enough nations, marry enough barely post-pubescent girls and use them to crank out an endless supply of babies, intimidate or trick enough infidels into joining up and you win. That was how Islam took over so much territory and spread around the world, that is how it is doing it again now.
Islam is not a spiritual religion, even its paradise is a materialistic place, a fantasy harem where the physical pleasures of life can be enjoyed without restraint. That gives it an advantage over Judaism and Christianity, just as it gives the Saudis and the Pakistanis an advantage over the Americans and Israelis. There is no angst in Islam, no spiritual seeking and no room for doubt. The marching orders are always clear and individual deeds and thoughts matter less than a willingness to always obey.
Islam came out of the desert and it has never left the desert, instead it has brought the desert with it along with its codes, its deep hatreds, its constant deprivation, its deceptiveness and its nomadic expansionism. Where Islam goes, the desert rises, its tents, its red knives and its insecurities. It was backward even at the time of its birth and it has only become more so, but its singlemindedness is an advantage in an age of effete leftectuals and eurocrats dreaming of a transnational world.
While the leftectuals dream of windmills, the Saudis hire foreigners to pump their oil and then sell it to them, the money goes to fund the Hegira, its mosques in every city from Dublin to Moscow to Buenos Aires and Toronto, the fatwas, the bombs, the websites where the masked faithful hold up AK-47's, the Islamic science courses and sessions on learning to love the Hijab and then the Burqa,
The Saudis just want what everyone wants, for everyone to acknowledge their greatness and live like them. They can hardly be blamed for that when the West spends almost as much money promoting democracy and its own way of life to people who still execute witches and blasphemers. They may be savages, but they fell ass backward into enough black gold to fuel a global religious war, and they're using it cleverly and cunningly to transform our societies and wage war against us even while attending dinners at the White House. It's smoother work than our diplomats are capable of.
You can hardly blame the desert bandits for being what they are, but you can blame the apostles of reason for preaching about a golden age of tolerance and enlightenment from every purloined pulpit and then turning away the heartland to a religion that is nakedly brutal and intolerant at home.
An honest look at Saudi Arabia, at its cruelty, its slaves, its intolerance of other religions and even of women, should be enough to tell even the dimmest Eton or Harvard grad exactly what the West is in for. No matter how many specialists in Muslim tolerance show up at universities, there is the Grand Mufti explaining that Mohammed commanded the eradication of Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula, and therefore there can be no churches allowed there.
Even few apologists for Islam will defend Saudi Arabia for the simple reason that it is indefensible. The media will run the occasional story about the House of Saud's commitment to reform, much as Charles Manson keeps committing to becoming a better person, but even they don't really believe it. Yet even though Saudi Arabia is the heartland of Sunni Islam, and its fortunes shape and control mosques and teachings around the world, they insist on treating Islam and Saudi Arabia as two separate things.
It is brutally telling that the two centers of Islam, Saudi Arabia for the Sunnis and Iran for the Shiites, are genuinely horrifying places. Neither can remotely be associated with tolerance or human rights. It is simple common sense that the spread of Islam will make Western countries more like Saudi Arabia and Iran, rather than less like them.
If Saudi Arabia is not an example that we wish to emulate, then why must we bodily incorporate the religion of Mecca and Medina into London and Los Angeles? What other possible outcome do we imagine that there will be but fewer rights and more violence, dead women, abused children, bomb plots and polygamy?
There are two Islams. The real Islam of the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and an imaginary Islam that exists only in the mosques of air and card table Korans of academics apologists and political pundits who have decided that Islam cannot be bad, because no religion can be bad, not even one which kills and kills, it must just be misunderstood.
But then why not tell the Grand Mufti that he has misunderstood his own religion, the religion that he and his ancestors have dedicated themselves to purifying and reforming back to its roots? Telling him that would be a dangerous thing on his own turf, but it would also be foolish. The Grand Mufti's controversial statements contain nothing that Mohammed had not said.
Can the founder of a religion misunderstand his own teachings?
Islam is savage, intolerant, cruel and expansionistic, not due to a misunderstanding, but an understanding of the worst aspects of human nature. It is what it is and no amount of wishing will make it otherwise.
We have opened the door to the desert and a hot wind blows through into the northern climes. Either we shut the door or get used to living in the Saudi desert.

30.3.14

DAILY EVENTS FEATURED STORY: IS ‘MODERATE ISLAM’ AN OXYMORON?


Is ‘moderate Islam’ an oxymoron?
At a time when terrorism committed in the name of Islam is rampant, we are continuously being assured—especially by three major institutions that play a dominant role in forming the Western mindset, namely, mainstream media, academia, and government—that the sort of Islam embraced by “radicals,” “jihadis,” and so forth, has nothing to do with “real” Islam.
“True” Islam, so the narrative goes, is intrinsically free of anything “bad.”  It’s the nut-jobs who hijack it for their own agenda that are to blame.
More specifically, we are told that there exists a “moderate” Islam and an “extremist” Islam—the former good and true, embraced by a Muslim majority, the latter a perverse sacrilege practiced by an exploitative minority.
But what do these dual adjectives—“moderate” and “extremist”—ultimately mean in the context of Islam?  Are they both equal and viable alternatives insofar as to how Islam is understood?  Are they both theologically legitimate?  This last question is particularly important, since Islam is first and foremost a religious way of life centered around the words of a deity (Allah) and his prophet (Muhammad)—the significance of which is admittedly unappreciated by secular societies.
Both terms—“moderate” and “extremist”—have to do with degree, or less mathematically, zeal: how much, or to what extent, a thing is practiced or implemented.  As Webster’s puts it, “moderate” means “observing reasonable limits”; “extremist” means “going to great or exaggerated lengths.”
It’s a question, then, of doing either too much or too little.
The problem, however, is that mainstream Islam offers a crystal-clear way of life, based on the teachings of the Koran and Hadith—the former, containing what purport to be the sacred words of Allah, the latter, the example (or sunna, hence “Sunnis”) of his prophet, also known as the most “perfect man” (al-insan al-kamil).   Indeed, based on these two primary sources and according to normative Islamic teaching, all human actions fall into five categories: forbidden actions, discouraged actions, neutral actions recommended actions, and obligatory actions.
In this context, how does a believer go about “moderating” what the deity and his spokesman have commanded?    One can either try to observe Islam’s commandments or one can ignore them: any more or less is not Islam—a word which means “submit” (to the laws, or sharia, of Allah).
The real question, then, is what do Allah and his prophet command Muslims (“they who submit”) to do?  Are radicals “exaggerating” their orders? Or are moderate Muslims simply “observing reasonable limits”—a euphemism for negligence?—when it comes to fulfilling their commandments?
In our highly secularized era, where we are told that religious truths are flexible or simply non-existent, and that any and all interpretations and exegeses are valid, the all-important question of “What does Islam command?” loses all relevance.
Hence why the modern West is incapable of understanding Islam.
Indeed, only recently, a Kenyan mosque leader said that the Westgate massacre, where Islamic gunmen slaughtered some 67 people, “was justified.  As per the Koran, as per the religion of Islam, Westgate was 100 percent justified.” Then he said: “Radical Islam is a creation of people who do not believe in Islam. We don’t have radical Islam, we don’t have moderates, we don’t have extremists. Islam is one religion following the Koran and the Sunna” [emphasis added].
Note his point that “Radical Islam is a creation of people who do not believe in Islam,” a clear reference to the West which coined the phrase “radical Islam.”  Ironically, the secular West, which relegates religious truths to the realm of “personal experience,” feels qualified to decide what is and is not “radical” about Islam.
Consider one example: Allah commands Muslims to “Fight those among the People of the Book [Jews and Christians] who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day, nor forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, nor embrace the religion of truth [i.e., Islam], until they pay the jizya [tribute] with willing submission and feel themselves subdued”  [Koran 9:29].
How can one interpret this verse to mean anything other than what it plainly says?  Wherein lies the ambiguity, the room for interpretation?  Of course there are other teachings and allusions in the Koran that by necessity lend themselves over to the fine arts of interpretation, or ijtihad.  But surely the commands of Koran 9:29 are completely straightforward?
In fact, Muhammad’s 7th century followers literally acted on this and similar verses (e.g., 9:5), launching the first Muslim conquests, which saw the subjugation of millions of Christians, Jews, and others, and the creation of the “Muslim world.”  Such jihadi expansion continued until Islam was beaten on the battlefield by a resurgent West some two or three centuries ago.
Western scholarly works, before the age of relativism and political correctness set in, did not equivocate the meaning of jihad.  Thus the authoritative Encyclopaedia of Islam’s entry for “jihad” states that the “spread of Islam by arms is a religious duty upon Muslims in general …  Jihad must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam … Islam must completely be made over before the doctrine of jihad [warfare to spread Islam] can be eliminated. Islamic law expert and U.S. professor Majid Khadduri (1909-2007), after defining jihad as warfare, wrote that “jihad … is regarded by all jurists, with almost no exception, as a collective obligation of the whole Muslim community.”
(As for the argument that the Bible contains similar war verses, yet Jews and Christians are not out to conquer the world—so why say Muslims are?—see “Are Judaism and Christianity as Violent as Islam” for a detailed breakdown of the similarities and differences.  Also see “Islamic Jihad and the Doctrine of Abrogation” to understand how the Koran’s more tolerant verses have been abrogated by its more militant ones, such as 9:29.)
In short, how can a sincere Muslim—by definition, one who has submitted to the teachings of Allah—“moderate” verses like 9:29?  How can he “observe reasonable limits” vis-à-vis these plain commands to combat and subjugate non-Muslims?
Must Muslims not, at the very least, admit that such teachings are true and should be striven for—even if they do not personally engage in the jihad, at least not directly (but they are encouraged to support it indirectly, including monetarily or through propaganda)?
Just recently, reports appeared telling of how Islamic groups in Syria were following Koran 9:29 to a tee—forcing Christian minorities to pay them jizya, i.e., extortion money, in exchange for their lives.  In fact, all around the Islamic world, Christians and other minorities are regularly plundered by Muslims who justify their actions be referring to the aforementioned verse.
Are all such Muslims being “extreme” in light of the commands of Koran 9:29—which specifically calls for the taking of money from Christians and Jews—or are they simply upholding the unambiguous teachings of Islam?
One may argue that, if Muslims are to take Koran 9:29 literally, why are Muslim nations the world over not declaring an all-out jihad on all non-Muslim nations, including America? The ultimate reason, of course, is that they simply can’t; they do not have the capability to uphold that verse (and Islamic teaching allows Muslims to postpone their obligations until circumstances are more opportune).
It would obviously be silly, if not suicidal,  for, say, Saudi Arabia, birthplace of Islam, to issue a statement to the West saying either accept Islam, pay jizya/tribute, or die by the sword.  But just because Muslim nations do not currently have the capacity to actualize Koran 9:29, does not mean that they do not acknowledge its veracity and try to actualize it in other places when they can.
quick survey of history before the meteoric rise of Western military might put Islam in check makes this especially clear.
Bottom line: If Islam teaches X and a Muslim upholds X—how is he being “extreme”?  Seems more logical to say that it is Islam itself that is being “extreme.”  Similarly, if a self-professed Muslim does not uphold Islamic teachings—including prayer, fasting, paying zakat, etc.—how is he being a “moderate”?  Seems more logical to say that he is not much of a Muslim at all—that is, he is not submitting to Allah, the very definition of “Muslim.”
It’s time to acknowledge that dichotomized notions like “moderate” and “extreme” are culturally induced and loaded standards of the modern, secular West—hardly applicable to the teachings of Islam—and not universal absolutes recognized by all mankind.

25.3.14

John Quincy Adams on Islam


From:  http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=7&article=1142

by Dave Miller, Ph.D 
.

The average American’s lack of awareness of the past has left our nation in an extremely vulnerable position. The multi-culturalism, pluralism, “diversity,” and political correctness that now blanket American culture mean that many are oblivious to and unconcerned about the threat that Islam poses to the American (and Christian) way of life. The Founders of the American Republic were not so dispossessed. They were well-studied in the ebb and flow of human history, and the international circumstances that could potentially impact America adversely. They, in fact, spoke openly and pointedly about the anti-American, anti-Christian nature of the religion of Islam.
Consider, for example, the writings of an early President of the United States, John Quincy Adams. Not only did Adams live during the founding era (born in 1767), not only was his father a primary, quintessential Founder, but John Quincy was literally nurtured by his father in the vicissitudes and intricacies of the founding of the Republic. John Adams involved his son at an early age in his own activities and travels on behalf of the fledgling nation. John Quincy accompanied his father to France in 1778, became Secretary to the American Minister to Russia, was the Secretary to his father during peace negotiations that ended the American Revolution in 1783, served as U.S.foreign ambassador, both to the Netherlands and later to Portugal, under George Washington, to Prussia under his father’s presidency, and then to Russia and later to England under President James Madison. He served as a U.S.Senator, Secretary of State under President James Monroe, and then as the nation’s sixth President (1825-1829), and finally as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was a staunch and fervent opponent of slavery.
After his presidency, but before his election to Congress in 1830, John Quincy penned several essays dealing with one of the many Russo-Turkish Wars. In these essays, we see a cogent, informed portrait of the threat that Islam has posed throughout world history:
In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust, by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE.
Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. That war is yet flagrant; nor can it cease but by the extinction of that imposture, which has been permitted by Providence to prolong the degeneracy of man. While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men. The hand of Ishmael will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him. It is, indeed, amongst the mysterious dealings of God, that this delusion should have been suffered for so many ages, and during so many generations of human kind, to prevail over the doctrines of the meek and peaceful and benevolent Jesus (Blunt, 1830, 29:269, capitals in orig.).
Observe that Adams not only documents the violent nature of Islam, in contrast with the peaceful and benevolent thrust of Christianity, he further exposes the mistreatment of women inherent in Islamic doctrine, including the degrading practice of polygamy.
A few pages later, Adams again spotlights the coercive, violent nature of Islam, as well as the Muslim’s right to lie and deceive to advance Islam:
The precept of the koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force (Blunt, 29:274).
No Christian would deny that many Christians in history have violated the precepts of Christ by mistreating others and even committing atrocities in the name of Christ. However, Adams rightly observes that one must go against Christian doctrine to do so. Not so with Islam—since violence is sanctioned:
The fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion, is the extirpation of hatred from the human heart. It forbids the exercise of it, even towards enemies. There is no denomination of Christians, which denies or misunderstands this doctrine. All understand it alike—all acknowledge its obligations; and however imperfectly, in the purposes of Divine Providence, its efficacy has been shown in the practice of Christians, it has not been wholly inoperative upon them. Its effect has been upon the manners of nations. It has mitigated the horrors of war—it has softened the features of slavery—it has humanized the intercourse of social life. The unqualified acknowledgement of a duty does not, indeed, suffice to insure its performance. Hatred is yet a passion, but too powerful upon the hearts of Christians. Yet they cannot indulge it, except by the sacrifice of their principles, and the conscious violation of their duties. No state paper from a Christian hand, could, without trampling the precepts of its Lord and Master, have commenced by an open proclamation of hatred to any portion of the human race. The Ottoman lays it down as the foundation of his discourse (Blunt, 29:300, emp. added).
The Founders were forthright in their assessment of the nature and teachings of Islam and the Quran. Americans and their political leaders would do well to take a sober look at history. To fail to do so will be catastrophic.

REFERENCES

Blunt, Joseph (1830), The American Annual Register for the Years 1827-8-9 (New York: E. & G.W. Blunt), 29:267-402, [On-line], URL:http://www.archive.org/stream/p1americanannual29blunuoft.

12.2.14

Barack Obama… A man of our time

Writer John Naisbitt once said “Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it.” I’m not sure that’s quite the right definition of leadership, but it certainly applies to Barack Obama. Just before his election in 2008 he said “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” What he might have more accurately said was “America is fundamentally changing and I’m here to speed up the process…”
America is indeed changing, and not in a good way. How far has it changed? One need only look to the President’s response to last week’s CBO report about ObamaCare eliminating 2.5 million jobs, most of them being those of low skilled and low wage workers.  White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said: “Individuals will be empowered to make choices about their own lives and livelihoods,” and that they “would have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.”
Fantastic! So now, according to the President, because of Obamacare Americans are now free to follow their dreams without having to worry about the minor issue of financial consequences. Get ready for lots more rock bands and philosophers and actors and artists. Of course this is not exactly new. American college students have been moving away from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) courses and into soft categories such as humanities, liberal arts and education for years. In those core areas, where American companies have tens of thousands of high paying jobs they cannot fill because American are simply not qualified, half the students receiving graduate degrees are international students. Add to that the 1/4 of the American students in STEM classes who are foreign born and you can see that Americans have been “pursuing their dreams” for decades. While following your dreams has its benefits – such as more time for partying and fewer late nights of studying – it has downsides too such as higher unemployment and or lower salaries that often come with humanities and social science degrees.
There is of course much more below the surface of the President’s new appreciation for pursuing dreams. Destroying another 2.5 million jobs (or full time equivalents) is exactly what the country needs with a Workforce Participation Rate that is at its lowest point since 1976, and which has been in a precipitous decline since he took office. Then there is the number of people who are claiming disability. It has skyrocketed in recent years – including under Obama. Since 1972 the number of Americans working has increased by 82% but the number of people claiming disability has increased by almost 500%. What’s worse is that America’s service economy of 2014 is a far safer place to work than our manufacturing economy was 40 years ago. And of course one can’t ignore the intersecting paths of food stamps and income tax. Today there are a record 47 Million Americans on food stamps while 47% of Americans pay no income taxes at all.
The parade Barack Obama has decided to jump in front of and lead is the shift from a society where the vast majority of people worked hard and supported themselves and their families to one where a significant number of Americans, if not quite yet a majority, are simply interested in what the government can take from others to give to them. At what point does the system become unsustainable? One doesn’t need a STEM degree to recognize that eventually the number of taxpayers paying into the system can’t support the rapidly growing number of people taking from it. An upside down pyramid can’t stand for long.
So Barack Obama hasn’t really transformed America. He’s simply made it chic to be a socialist. He’s made redistribution cool. He’s made paying taxes a fool’s errand. Like schools that award medals for participation or little leagues that ban keeping score, Barack Obama has sought to make Americans forget that success and prosperity are forged in the crucibles of hard work, investment and ingenuity and not in the halls of government. He has sought to make being on the dole just another form of pursuing one’s passion. He has sought to replace individual responsibility with government largesse as the symbol that defines our nation. Unfortunately Barack Obama is very much a man of our time. We can only hope that by the time he leaves office Americans will have recognized him for the pied piper he is, seeking to lead the nation over a cliff.

30.9.13

Atheist's View on Life V. a Christian's View on Life

An Atheist's View on Life:
I will live my life according to these beliefs
God does not exist
It is just foolish to think
That there is a God with a cosmic plan
That an all-powerful God brings purpose to the pain and suffering in the world
Is a comforting thought, however
Is only wishful thinking
People can do as they please without eternal consequences
The idea that
I am deserving of Hell
Because of sin
Is a lie meant to make me a slave to those in power
“The more you have, the happier you will be”;
Our existence has no grand meaning or purpose
In a world with no God
There is freedom to be who I want to be
But with God
Everything is fine
It is ridiculous to think
I am lost and in need of saving.
A Christian’s View on Life:

(Now…read from bottom to top to see a different view.)


4.9.13

Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack? | Global Research

Did the White House Help Plan the Syrian Chemical Attack? | Global Research

by Yossef Bodansky
There is a growing volume of new evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its sponsors and supporters — which makes a very strong case, based on solid circumstantial evidence, that the August 21, 2013, chemical strike in the Damascus suburbs was indeed a pre-meditated provocation by the Syrian opposition.
The extent of US foreknowledge of this provocation needs further investigation because available data puts the “horror” of the Barack Obama White House in a different and disturbing light.
On August 13-14, 2013, Western-sponsored opposition forces in Turkey started advance preparations for a major and irregular military surge. Initial meetings between senior opposition military commanders and representatives of Qatari, Turkish, and US Intelligence [“Mukhabarat Amriki”] took place at the converted Turkish military garrison in Antakya, Hatay Province, used as the command center and headquarters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their foreign sponsors. Very senior opposition commanders who had arrived from Istanbul briefed the regional commanders of an imminent escalation in the fighting due to “a war-changing development” which would, in turn, lead to a US-led bombing of Syria.
The opposition forces had to quickly prepare their forces for exploiting the US-led bombing in order to march on Damascus and topple the Bashar al-Assad Government, the senior commanders explained. The Qatari and Turkish intelligence officials assured the Syrian regional commanders that they would be provided with plenty of weapons for the coming offensive.
Indeed, unprecedented weapons distribution started in all opposition camps in Hatay Province on August 21-23, 2013. In the Reyhanli area alone, opposition forces received well in excess of 400 tons of weapons, mainly anti-aircraft weaponry from shoulder-fired missiles to ammunition for light-guns and machineguns. The weapons were distributed from store-houses controlled by Qatari and Turkish Intelligence under the tight supervision of US Intelligence.
These weapons were loaded on more than 20 trailer-trucks which crossed into northern Syria and distributed the weapons to several depots. Follow-up weapon shipments, also several hundred tons, took place over the weekend of August 24-25, 2013, and included mainly sophisticated anti-tank guided missiles and rockets. Opposition officials in Hatay said that these weapon shipments were “the biggest” they had received “since the beginning of the turmoil more than two years ago”. The deliveries from Hatay went to all the rebel forces operating in the Idlib-to-Aleppo area, including the al-Qaida affiliated jihadists (who constitute the largest rebel forces in the area).
Several senior officials from both the Syrian opposition and sponsoring Arab states stressed that these weapon deliveries were specifically in anticipation for exploiting the impact of imminent bombing of Syria by the US and the Western allies. The latest strategy formulation and coordination meetings took place on August 26, 2013. The political coordination meeting took place in Istanbul and was attended by US Amb. Robert Ford.
More important were the military and operational coordination meetings at the Antakya garrison. Senior Turkish, Qatari, and US Intelligence officials attended in addition to the Syrian senior (opposition) commanders. The Syrians were informed that bombing would start in a few days.
“The opposition was told in clear terms that action to deter further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime could come as early as in the next few days,” a Syrian participant in the meeting said. Another Syrian participant said that he was convinced US bombing was scheduled to begin on Thursday, August 29, 2013. Several participants — both Syrian and Arab — stressed that the assurances of forthcoming bombing were most explicit even as formally Obama is still undecided.
The descriptions of these meetings raise the question of the extent of foreknowledge of US Intelligence, and therefore, the Obama White House. All the sources consulted — both Syrian and Arab — stressed that officials of the “Mukhabarat Amriki” actively participated in the meetings and briefings in Turkey. Therefore, at the very least, they should have known that the opposition leaders were anticipating “a war-changing development”: that is, a dramatic event which would provoke a US-led military intervention.
The mere fact that weapon storage sites under the tight supervision of US Intelligence were opened up and about a thousand tons of high-quality weapons were distributed to the opposition indicates that US Intelligence anticipated such a provocation and the opportunity for the Syrian opposition to exploit the impact of the ensuing US and allied bombing. Hence, even if the Obama White House did not know in advance of the chemical provocation, they should have concluded, or at the very least suspected, that the chemical attack was most likely the “war-changing development” anticipated by the opposition leaders as provocation of US-led bombing. Under such circumstances, the Obama White House should have refrained from rushing head-on to accuse Assad’s Damascus and threaten retaliation, thus making the Obama White House at the very least complicit after the act.
Meanwhile, additional data from Damascus about the actual chemical attack increases the doubts about Washington’s version of events. Immediately after the attack, three hospitals of Doctors Without Borders (MSF: médecins sans frontières) in the greater Damascus area treated more than 3,600 Syrians affected by the chemical attack, and 355 of them died. MSF performed tests on the vast majority of those treated.
MSF director of operations Bart Janssens summed up the findings: “MSF can neither scientifically confirm the cause of these symptoms nor establish who is responsible for the attack. However, the reported symptoms of the patients, in addition to the epidemiological pattern of the events — characterized by the massive influx of patients in a short period of time, the origin of the patients, and the contamination of medical and first aid workers — strongly indicate mass exposure to a neurotoxic agent.” Simply put, even after testing some 3,600 patients, MSF failed to confirm that sarin was the cause of the injuries. According to MSF, the cause could have been nerve agents like sarin, concentrated riot control gas, or even high-concentration pesticides. Moreover, opposition reports that there was distinct stench during the attack suggest that it could have come from the “kitchen sarin” used by jihadist groups (as distinct from the odorless military-type sarin) or improvised agents like pesticides.
Some of the evidence touted by the Obama White House is questionable at best.
A small incident in Beirut raises big questions. A day after the chemical attack, Lebanese fixers working for the “Mukhabarat Amriki” succeeded to convince a Syrian male who claimed to have been injured in the chemical attack to seek medical aid in Beirut in return for a hefty sum that would effectively settle him for life. The man was put into an ambulance and transferred overnight to the Farhat Hospital in Jib Janine, Beirut. The Obama White House immediately leaked friendly media that “the Lebanese Red Cross announced that test results found traces of sarin gas in his blood.” However, this was news to Lebanese intelligence and Red Cross officials.
According to senior intelligence officials, “Red Cross Operations Director George Kettaneh told [them] that the injured Syrian fled the hospital before doctors were able to test for traces of toxic gas in his blood.” Apparently, the patient declared that he had recovered from his nausea and no longer needed medical treatment. The Lebanese security forces are still searching for the Syrian patient and his honorarium.
On August 24, 2013, Syrian Commando forces acted on intelligence about the possible perpetrators of the chemical attack and raided a cluster of rebel tunnels in the Damascus suburb of Jobar. Canisters of toxic material were hit in the fierce fire-fight as several Syrian soldiers suffered from suffocation and “some of the injured are in a critical condition”.
The Commando eventually seized an opposition warehouse containing barrels full of chemicals required for mixing “kitchen sarin”, laboratory equipment, as well as a large number of protective masks. The Syrian Commando also captured several improvised explosive devices, RPG rounds, and mortar shells. The same day, at least four HizbAllah fighters operating in Damascus near Ghouta were hit by chemical agents at the very same time the Syrian Commando unit was hit while searching a group of rebel tunnels in Jobar. Both the Syrian and the HizbAllah forces were acting on intelligence information about the real perpetrators of the chemical attack. Damascus told Moscow the Syrian troops were hit by some form of a nerve agent and sent samples (blood, tissues, and soil) and captured equipment to Russia.
Several Syrian leaders, many of whom are not Bashar al-Assad supporters and are even his sworn enemies, are now convinced that the Syrian opposition is responsible for the August 21, 2013, chemical attack in the Damascus area in order to provoke the US and the allies into bombing Assad’s Syria. Most explicit and eloquent is Saleh Muslim, the head of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) which has been fighting the Syrian Government. Muslim doubts Assad would have used chemical weapons when he was winning the civil war.
“The regime in Syria … has chemical weapons, but they wouldn’t use them around Damascus, five km from the [UN] committee which is investigating chemical weapons. Of course they are not so stupid as to do so,” Muslim told Reuters on August 27, 2013. He believes the attack was “aimed at framing Assad and provoking an international reaction”. Muslim is convinced that “some other sides who want to blame the Syrian regime, who want to show them as guilty and then see action” is responsible for the chemical attack. The US was exploiting the attack to further its own anti-Assad policies and should the UN inspectors find evidence that the rebels were behind the attack, then “everybody would forget it”, Muslim shrugged. “Who is the side who would be punished? Are they are going to punish the Emir of Qatar or the King of Saudi Arabia, or Mr Erdo?an of Turkey?”
And there remain the questions: Given the extent of the involvement of the “Mukhabarat Amriki” in opposition activities, how is that US Intelligence did not know in advance about the opposition’s planned use of chemical weapons in Damascus?
It is a colossal failure.
And if they did know and warned the Obama White House, why then the sanctimonious rush to blame the Assad Administration?
Moreover, how can the Obama Administration continue to support and seek to empower the opposition which had just intentionally killed some 1,300 innocent civilians in order to provoke a US military intervention?
Yossef Bodansky, Senior Editor, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs
Copyright Defense and Foreign Affairs and Oilprice.com 2013