I challenged my students regarding the current Israel-Palestine issue but only a handful of them took it. They have their own reasons for not doing so, foremost of which was school-fatigue. Online classes left them more than exhausted, both in body and in mind.
I challenged them to give biblical support for siding with the plight of the Palestinians caught in the conflict.
The few who responded to my challenge took not a few words to get to their point. Mostly what was mentioned was God’s gift of land to ancient Israel. Indeed, my students had a good point there.
After I heard them out and it was my turn to speak, I gave them only two short points for them to ponder on and to expound against.
ONE, that Jesus points to loving God, and to loving one’s neighbor as one loves one’s own self, as the greatest of commandments.
In the Gospel according to Matthew chapter 22: (verse 36) “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” (verse 37) Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[see Deuteronomy 6:5] (verse 38) This is the first and greatest commandment. (verse 39) And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[see Leviticus 19:18] (verse 40) All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” [NIV]
TWO, that biblical Israel was bound with/by a promise to obey God if they were to stay in the land.
“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people . . .” (Exodus 19:5).
“Then all the people answered together and said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do’ ” (Exodus 19:8).
The Israelites agreed to God’s terms, and He confirmed His commitment to them. “. . . This is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you’ ” (Jeremiah 7:23).
“But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant . . . I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you. If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over” (Leviticus 26:14-18).
❤ ((!egad! 😳 the pretty red heart has been changed to a black one! I like my hearts red!… ottoke???!!!))
————————————————- To the post now (updated with info on 2 documentary films about the First Nations):
The conclusion is this:
Thus, given current scientific data, biological races do not exist among modern humans today, and they have never existed in the past. Given such clear scientific evidence as this and the research data of so many other biologists, anthropologists, and geneticists that demonstrate the nonexistence of biological races among humans, how can the “myth” of human races still persist?
If races do not exist as a biological reality, why do so many people still believe that they do? In fact, even though biological races do not exist, the concept of race obviously is still a reality, as is racism. These are prevalent and persistent elements of our everyday lives and generally accepted aspects of our culture.
Thus, the concept of human races is real. It is not a biological reality, however, but a cultural one. Race is not a part of our biology, but it is definitely a part of our culture. Race and racism are deeply ingrained in our history.
Excerpt from: “There Is No Such Thing as Race” by Robert Wald Sussman, here:
There’s no sense in referring to persons by the color of their skin. It’s a subtle form of discrimination at the least.
On to a related topic…
This is an excellent huge documentary film first put out in 1995 in a series of parts. It was hosted by Kevin Costner and it is accessible in YouTube (just look for it); or simply buy the DVD. It has also come out in book form so you can try looking for it in your favorite bookstores.
If you hear somebody say that this or that civilization was the best ever, caution, because that person has not actually done research and so the rest of what he is saying could just be his opinion backed by half-truths (ergo, not the truth).
If you liked 500 Nations or if you are interested in the current events associated with the First Nations (American Indians) then you won’t regret seeing this documentary (it looks at the Lakota today; and please “share” it as well as download it if you can 🙂 THANKS!):
(September 20, 2021. Hello there. How are you today? I have to insert a note here, saying, that I am not “politically motivated” regarding this post. My personal sentiments here is from a person-to-person, or human-to-human, standpoint. That is, I am seeing President Duterte as a person raher than as a politician. Yepper, these are two diferent things where the Philippines (and many other countries) is concerned right now. This post may be polarizing, but I’d rather not remove it because this is true not only for me but for many Filipinos as well, especially those who have experienced the president’s heart ever since he came into the political arena decades ago. Alles gute und viel Spass! Danke!)
(Update. 14th July 2021. Good morning, Everyone. This post is five years old. I have decided to retain it. There was an update to this two months after I put it up [please see below]. I see how strongly I have put across my feelings into the title, like a battlecry, defiant and distinct. I don’t think I should put it down for now [maybe in a few more years], even after all these years of having mellowed down from such sentiments, now having more existential things to entertain in my head and in everyday practical living—all brought about by the covid-19 pandemic. I still do feel defiant whenever I see evidences of psyche-destruction that was brought to my people because of colonization. On the other hand, that there has been an evolution going on on top of these colonialism-pain-vestiges is very likely, and not always detrimental to us as a people. I pray blessings to us all. Viel Spass!)
I get negative feelings when I hear foreign journalists criticize Duterte’s speeches — which inevitabley zero in on how he wants thugs and druglords eradicated.
Not long ago I heard a discussion in The Young Turks show and that discussion did nothing for the public’s knowledge. They just chewed on how they perceived Duterte’s platform to be ‘horrendous’ and they offered nothing by way of starting on how to get a grasp of his ‘horrendous’ ideas. With the discussion is the implication that the Philippines, which overwhelmingly voted for Duterte, is composed of people majority of whom have twisted sets of values, i. e., values that are against those held by the TYT talk show hosts who were discussing the matter on air. (Okay, actually here’s what I think: These two ignorant clowns — yes, I laughed at their opinions — who are discussing the matter are arrogantly giving out their prescription on a symptom of which they know nothing of the underlying causes. They’re definitely just plain ignoramuses shooting out stupid recommendations and all based on what they read on some newspaper or such. This is altogether pathetic jounalism.)
Here’s the funny part: The stance by Duterte — forcefully going after the thugs that are wreaking havoc to so many families in my country — is precisely the reason why people, including me, voted for him. But it was clear to me that he was going to do it according to what the law allows, according to the legal police procedures plus extra caution to boot and without blind emotional-laden engagements. That was clear to me and so I voted for him. So did 16 million other Filipinos. We do know how to discern behind tall-talk, as we do know how to look behind sweet-talk.
How do I know that it could be done? Davao City is the proof. That’s number 1 reason.
Number 2 reason: no powerful clans financed his campaign. He is not beholden to the oligarchs. Number 3: he won the election without having had any agent compose a public image of him. He was not ‘packaged’ to attract voters. What one sees of Durte in public is what one gets — he talks and works for the oppressed and the marginalized in society, he has no interest whatsoever in making money out of his activities, he does not show off or market his intellect, and he does not put himself above anybody else. He is far from the proverbial white-washed tomb. Anybody is welcome to inspect the skeletons in his closet.
So, since Duterte has such ‘horrendous’ ideas and Filipinos voted for him, then Filipinos agree with his ‘horrendous’ ideas. Ergo, the Philippines is a nation of (mostly) dumb and stupid people.
One has to break down the above logic or it becomes in itself a ‘horrendous’ conclusion. Why horrendous? Because the arguments espoused by the talk show hosts mentioned above, and all other ‘foreign’ venues similar to these, are all based on assumptions the foundations of which are foreign to the Filipino way of thinking or looking at things. Hence, their arguments are invalid — null and void.
Sure, such words as killing, bloodbath, etc. are in themselves universally associated with horrendous acts. However, the “killing” that is of the talk show hosts’ perspective, and most likely the viewers’/listeners’ perspectives, is not exactly what Duterte has been talking about.
It will take a shelf of dissertations to systematize Duterte’s ideas and actions, including the legitimizing of his plans by the voters. Foremost of the discussions will focus on worldviews, on historical factors, and the contemporaneous situations. So I cannot start to give them to you here, in just a handful of paragraphs.
Moreover, the moral ascendancy that America has been marketing since I don’t know when (emphasize on the ‘marketing’, ergo, the public expressions of such that do not reflect the views of those who have no avenues for expressing what’s otherwise === remember: “History is written by the victors” — tangentially related, but you know what I mean 🙂 ❤ .) is now being put to clear light as illegitimate with all the mess that is being revealed, one after another, because of the present election season and through social media. Anyway, this isn’t a gripe about America or Americans (my best friend is American! ❤ ). This is a critique on any entity that establishes itself as superior to another.
They don’t care about research and truth-telling. They just care about the fanfare and the sales. Pathetic.
– – – – – – – – – –
Again, on the Secular Talk segment that I was referring to above: Of course I understand why the host talks that way. He’s put himself into the situation by way of the words in the news that he’s read and also inevitably bringing along with him his own (present) context. Had he immersed himself first into the situation in the Philippines, say a minimum of 20 years, then he’d be talking differently and he would not have been this horrified about the words he’s read. Similarly, had Duterte been an American, or had the Philippines been like America, then Duterte and we would never had thought that/this way (as reflected in the news). But, well, a little learning on the part of the speaker will eventually make him see how he has been idiotic in going about this topic.
But the damage is done. Duterte has been painted with foreign colors and this imposed image doesn’t look right both objectively and subjectively (…but who is the judge of both, really??) — as many other similar ‘foreign’ opinion-givers have done. But let’s say that the Secular Talk host wasn’t giving an opinion at all, merely posing a question or opening up lines for discussion, then he/they should have said more so as not to leave the air with a picture of a horrendous Duterte and the Philippines. It’s simply unfair, it’s made from an arrogant stance of moral supremacy, and it hurts us common everyday ordinary Filipinos. You are trampling on our human rights to freely choose our leader and the way we want to solve our problems.
Leave Duterte alone. He was a prosecutor; he knows the law; he will abide by the law. If you can’t say anything qualifying about him then shut the f**k up. We know he’s not a saint. He does not live like a god. We trust the people who are working with him; they know that their responsibility is primarily to the everyday person and not to Duterte. We have risked this oncoming term with him as the head of the executive branch of the government and we are willing to cooperate with his vision of a more live-able society, albeit a ‘poor’ one compared to the highly industrialized nations. But being “highly developed” is not the priority for now (and I hope it will never be (notice the quotation marks); but this is another lengthy topic). We do not need much to be happy; we just need to be assured that our families and loved ones are safe in their locales as they go along their simple everyday lives. We do not need much of the crazy and senseless commercial products flooding our dingy streets and poisoning our traditional values. We just want a safe and and dependable society for now and then we’d be able to figure out what to do next to better our children’s and grandchildren’s, and our neighbors’ children and grandchildren’s lives.
Filipinos are not idiots. We are confused, I can say, because of the combined factors of gentleness, meekness, insane colonialism, and energy-sucking globalization. (A paper on “colonial mentality”-> “Colonial Mentality: A Review and Recommendation for Filipino American Psychology” by E. J. R. David and Sumie Okazaki, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign). Greed and misinformation have muddled our value systems relative to what should have been sustaining and uplifting for us collectively. It had been a very long journey for us, of attempts at changing for the better. We have a new chapter now. We are willing to work it out. If you have nothing qualifying to say about us, then please just save your precious breath and keep your nice mouth shut.
I wish everyone an envigorating day. Thanks for dropping by.
Update September 17, 2016.
I will have to comment on the accusations tagged “extra-judicial killings”. This topic was not urgent in my mind because the deaths attributed to the police were not extra-judicial. Our police are not thugs — well, around the world some police are thugs but not all police are thugs and not all thugs are police — and they just do their duties. If a police officer perceives a threat to his life then by law he has to defend himself. Duterte’s war on drugs involves apprehension of drug addicts –> particularly those whose brains have been damaged by the LONG use of shabu, irredeemable brain material by all medical standards, and hence cannot perceive the boundary between life and death, between right and wrong, many are capable of raping children and killing their own family members, thus easily capable of the reckless use of a gun which CAN KILL and which, by the laws of ethics, society must very well see that it’s either the police officer’s life or the other’s; this argument has to apply otherwise society must conclude that the police officer should rather die than the other.
As of today around 700,000 (that’s addicts and pushers) have given themselves up to the authorities. That’s 700,000 that were not killed by the police but were taken into custody. So if 700,000 surrendered then we can safely assume that there were more than a hundred who would not surrender and would fight off the authorities. The pushers who surrendered will be dealt with by law. The addicts will be rehabilitated. Those with slight addiction will be rehabilitated in the community : religious communities and organizations have volunteered to help in this. The government is putting up several rehanilitation centers all over the country – BUT since the administration started at a point when there is no more money (extra budget) to spend for this NEWLY DISCOVERD CALAMITY OF THE TRUE DRUG SCENE OF THE COUNTRY then the rehabilitation centers will take some time to be put up, although THANKFULLY several rich people have started to donate specifically for this purpose PLUS many Filipinos working abroad have also gathered funds for this purpose, like those who are working in Indonesia.
Now, the question again: Are there “extra-judicial killings”?. Answer: Yes. Next question: Does the government have to do with this? Answer: No. And how do I know? I watch the videos of interviews with the police chief and videos on the speeches and interviews of the president and the cabinet members and senators. I watch closely, I listen to what they say, I scrutinize how they answer, their facial expressions, their body language, how they interact with the journalists, how long does it take for them to answer a question, how spontaneous do they answer a particular important question, and especially if they distance themselves from the questioning. What I see is only openness. This was how I did it so that I knew that CNN was screwing Bernie Sanders (and here’s a protest at CNN‘s in Los Angeles, and you’ll get many results if you search “mainstream media bias against sanders”) even before I discovered Democracy Now! and Sane Progressive and Lee Camp of Redacted Tonight and Tim Black and Jimmy Dore and H. A. Goodman and Jordan Chariton and and …
Again, then who are responsible for these REAL extra-judicial killings? The simple and obvious answer is this: in a war on drugs the “lords” will have to dispense with their liabilities. It’s a no-brainer!
And now there’s a soap opera of a senate hearing involving a so-called witness Mr. Matobato who could not stand even a moment’s cross-examination. He’s telling lies about the president. He may have been a gun-for-hire but certainly he’s making up stories here about the president’s involvement.
I would have gladly provided transcripts for the interviews done in Filipino with accompanying Elglish translations but I have no time as of now. I am urgently trying to finish a major paper regarding one of the statements in the Ten Commandments, of the Hebrew Scriptures ( = Old Testament).
Please, if you are rich and if you have a big heart, in behalf of my country I ask for your help so that the drug addicts can get their rehabilitation centers fast and those who can be saved will be given the attention that they need. President Duterte needs medicines, doctors, psychologists, nutritionists, and nurses, not to mention the food for all these surrenderees. If you can connect to a legitimate Non-Government Organization there, or a religious organization, then they will be happy of your help. Sorry, I do not know any of these and I have no recommendations. But if you can’t trust the organization then DON’T GIVE YOUR MONEY LIGHTLY. I do not actually know if it’s possible for foreign nationals to donate to my government.
The government is now also giving attention to the living conditions of the police officers and soldiers, giving them incentives and raising their salaries above the poverty level so that they will be motivated in going about their duties — this because their lives are at stake every hour, their wives may be widowed and children orphaned any time, what with the drug traffickers and dealers now out of their wits on how to survive this purge against them. As of now the illegal drugs supply to the country has been greatly reduced, about the level of at least 80% reduction, but still there are powerful people who are running desperate on how to cover up their involvement in the over-all drug business. The drug dependents are having a harder life becuase the price of shabu has gone up. If you say that all that I’m saying is fantastic then just look for yourself these information that I myself get from the first-hand sources, the videos that I referred to above being just 2 instances.
If indeed a certain police officer has killed an innocent person then he will be investigated, this is no big matter as it is an SOP, and it does not need the intervention of the UN. If the UN wants to investigate then it should be on where the illegal drug trade originates especially on shabu, from which countries, and who are involved in this. The use of shabu in the US is becoming higher than that of cocaine, so heads-up, UN. If you want to solve the world’s problems then go ahead, do it. Duterte is solving the country’s problems and he has results now. Don’t mess up with his job because he has 700,000 surrenderees to take care of and it’s urgent, plus eradicating the thugs who are using the southern islands as base (and thankfully Indonesia and Malaysia are helping solve this matter).
The government is exploring a railway project that would more efficiently connect the Mindanao areas to each other and to the rest of the country, and I myself am very happy with this because I can soon conveniently visit my friends there anytime I want. The areas of agriculture, public health, and social work are very busy with changes in their paradigms. People are more hopeful because many potentials may now be tapped due to the increasing empowerment of the common person. Hopefully the system of education will finally be geared towards our particular way of looking at things, contextual-existential and at the same time retaining the legacies of our historical learnings from the medieval Spanish-European influence and newly-industrialized-late-1800’s-US-supremacy. We are a democratic nation, after all.
What’s important here is to note that we are not a society of guns. We do not have a culture of wanting to have guns or finding the need of owning guns. Some have licences to own guns but they are only a very small fraction of the population, they do not flaunt this, even children of the family mostly do not know of this, they keep such things secret and well-kept. I do not know about requirements for being allowed to own guns. Such a topic never interested me or any of my many circles of friends. A friend of mine had an air-gun when he was a teen-ager but that was only an episode in his life when he was interested enough in it to buy pellets for it, to practice shooting at plastic canisters at an empty lot beside their house. He hasn’t since used it again; no sense in spending for silly pellets. Some know how to make real guns and they do not have to get a licence to own one, yet still they keep this out of the public’s eye and their neighbors’ knowledge.
We voted for a government that is of the people and by the people and for the people, and that’s how it is trying to perform its job now. So, please, UN and all other hecklers, investigate factually before you fire your guns because you do not know what you are doing by being rash, judgmental, reckless, irresponsible, and shamefully unprofessionally careless.
May God bless us all. Peace. Thanks for dropping by. Stay healthy 🙂
Hi! 🙂 Today is actually Thursday, June 9, 2016. Senator Sanders and President Obama had just concluded a short meeting at the White House. I was writing this post while waiting for the senator to come out after the meeting and speak to the journalists who were eagerly waiting for him outside. I had just finished writing when he came out to speak and so I was able to add the fresh info at the last paragraph. 🙂
First thing I did Wednesday morning was switch on the TV to check how Senator Sanders faired at the California primaries. I couldn’t believe that the difference was that big! Some things must have happened at the polls much like many things happened at the other polls previous.
I had to bear listening to CNN because I wanted to hear what he had to say. Oh boy was I rewarded! He won’t quit! I was so happy yesterday and until today Thursday I still am celebrating for this decision of his. Right now I’m waiting for his meeting with the US president to be streamed live and I’m afraid again that he’ll be pushed to quit. That will be a real downer not only for me but for the millions who are following this election process on the Democratic side.
I’ve decided to name Senator Sanders as my newest hero today. I hope I won’t change my mind in case he gives way to pressure and drop the campaign. If he does that I’d know that it was because it has become a matter of life and death for him, and not especially to his person but to the welfare of the people especially — like a sort of a hostage situation. Otherwise he’ll push through until the end of the election process.
He’s become my hero because it was though his campaign that I began to understand how immediately tangible corruption is even in the country that boasts itself as a bastion of democracy. I began to understand that ‘democracy’ can be used by an institution to describe its dynamics even though the process does not really involve the freedom given to citizens to decide collectively how they should be governed by leaders that represent their interests.
In this election season I have seen how campaign choreographers have manipulated information and rhetoric so that attention is taken away from the most important aspect of the voting process: to scrutinize the issues in a clear and systematic manner. What happened instead is that money, power, and prestige are being used so that the winner is the person who will continue to allow these very influential entities to continue with their various interests. If there were no adverse effects coming out of this then there’s nothing to gripe about. However, this activity affects in a great way those on the other end of the spectrum — residents who have no money, no prestige, no power, no influence, no education, and the worst, those who have no houses.
Senator Sanders’ platform is clear and simple: subtract privilege and power from one end and distribute these throughout the spectrum in a manner so that there is enough left until the other extreme end is reached. Does this mean that privileges and power are flattened out so that everyone will have equally the same? Nope, that’s not it. Property and privacy are maintained. What is being changed is the defective dynamics that allows uncontrolled greed to effect an unchecked hoarding of resources by an extremely few entities so that only a few individuals suctions the benefits that should have been shared at relative degrees by everyone else who have participated in the overall economic machinery.
What the Senator Bernie Sanders proposes is simply this: a clear check and balance machinery be imputed into the system so that nobody goes houseless and hungry in this beloved land of plenty. If you want the specifics then all is explained at his campaign’s website: https://berniesanders.com/issues/ .
Again, so why is he my hero? — Because he is not in this race simply for the sake of winning. He is in this race for the sake of the people and he is doing it after decades of working for the people without himself getting rich or hoarding power. In fact, he has not involved himself with the moneyed sector. This by itself is factor enough for his cause to be ignored. What appears now is that, more than just being ignored, he has been continually elbowed out of the process for months now. It does appear that the status quo is indeed very threatened by the movement that he has generated. It must be understood, though, that this “movement” had been there for almost a century now but every time its voice gets heard a bit the powers-that-be lashes back eventually if not immediately and reestablishes its pedestal. However, at this juncture of American history Senator Bernie Sanders had the privilege to eloquently utter the voice of this “movement” — which is the collective sentiments of all of the everyday working persons. Because of him millions of Americans have finally come to understand what has been happening and they have become enabled enough to make a choice on the aspects of the political and economic life within which they are a part of, within which they have invested their talents and time, and within which they will get the resources to enable them to lead a life that is compensatory to their investments.
This much information and awareness have not been disseminated to so many in a way that is happening now through the Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Many are still blind to the truth, still blinded because the ongoing information blockage by the mainstream media, but this will change. The millions of young people, 45 years old and younger, will spread this knowledge and realization all throughout their lifetime and beyond, and America will again become the land of the free.
… and!!! … woohoo!!! Nothing has changed! After his talk with the president just now his rhetoric remains and he says he stays in the race until the end!!! May God bless Senator Bernie Sanders! Mainstream media must be “seething” by now!!!
I used to feel fortunate that CNN is accessible to me for free. Not anymore. I’m talking of CNN International – Europe. I had learned to enjoy the segments, all of them, and have become familiar with the anchor persons and field reporters. All of them.
My next disappointment was when Jonathan Mann made it sound in one of his Political Mann segments that Sen. Sanders was not saying the truth when he claimed that he had been invited to the Vatican. The narrative ended by putting across to the viewers that it appears that Sen. Sanders had invited himself to the Vatican. Of course the senator was invited, by the Academy of Social Sciences that was started by Pope John Paul II in 1994 ( http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-04-08/so-who-exactly-invited-bernie-sanders-to-the-vatican ).
Today at this writing CNN International – Europe makes it sound that Sen. Sanders’ stay in the campaign is “hurting” the campaign of Sec. Clinton. It is an idiotic notion as seen from a few basic assumptions. (1.) If the election is democratic, and Sen. Sanders is winning a tremendous amount of votes, then staying in the campaign if fair both to Sen. Sanders’ aim and to the citizens who are yet to vote for him. These are both Democrats and Independents. (2.) Saying that Sen. Sanders should drop out implies that his right to try for the office of the president is not acknowledged and the right of those who are yet to vote for him is denied. (3.) Instead of being positive about the fact that Sen. Sanders is injecting vitality into the whole voting process, making a myriad of formerly apathetic voters to come out and participate, Sen. Sanders is constantly and subtly being elbowed out of the process.
Just now CNN is discussing, with Wolf Blitzer, how the senator should own up to the Nevada chaos. It’s not as if he is altogether outrightly absolutely denying responsibility for the event. He has in fact said that he will investigate. He has in fact spoken that he does not condone any form of campaign violence (here’s a news segment on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVPHNbTszUI&spfreload=10
and here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0YT03p6qqQ ). The issue is not with the senator but with the people who were directly responsible for the chaos. They are independent-thinking individuals who were witnessing a process that they perceived to be unfair. Why they were angry, why they were protesting, and why they became that passionately expressive cannot be assumed to have resulted from irrational idiotic views. It does not imply that the senator wanted the chaos to take place or that he had instigated or encouraged the reaction. It implies that there were real stimuli happening at real time that caused a corresponding reaction from those who felt disadvantaged by the process. What was the stimulus that produced this reaction? Were those people involved totally unreasonable? The other side dancing the tango has to be investigated, too. Here’s another analysis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTuH3jeIS-I
If Sen. Sanders’ voice had been largely ignored by the big media, his gargantuan campaign events not shown on air, his views sold as plain “socialism” with a poisonous tinge attached to it, and the phenomenon that millions have now become convinced of his vision in so short a time is not even a topic for mainstream-media discussion are just a few reasons why any sane supporter of his would now be calling the entire so-called democratic process nothing but foul. There are other issues that they also have the right to be angry about like the voting irregularities that are not discussed, the incidences of voting suppression, and the alleged disregard for votation laws by the former president Clinton; here: https://www.change.org/p/massachusetts-attorney-general-maura-healey-arrest-prosecute-bill-clinton-john-f-mitchell-violation-of-ma-election-laws
I have no choice now but to surf the internet for news with regards to the US elections. CNN had just made my life less easier, so to speak! 😀 The downside is that I have come to slowly un-like their entire station! After all, a human being is entitled to her feelings. 🙂
Have a great day, everyone. Thanks for dropping by. Stay healthy!
They destroyed ancient artifacts. Those were not there for the sake of art admiration. Those were not there for the sake of national pride. Those were not there to attract tourists.
Those were mirrors of humanity. Those belonged to the entire phenomenon that is human life. Those were priceless. Nobody deserves to privately own them, any of them. They were kept there, rightfully so, so that humanity does not forget who s/he is.
I join the entire collective civilization regardless of epoch, identity, worldview; I join all who choose life rather than death; I join all who take care of fellow human beings rather than those who only seek personal “salvation”; I join all who celebrate life in the condemnation of the actions that led to the destruction of the Mosul Museum today.
I am very much revolted by this document by the ISIS detailing guidelines for the enslavement or merchandize of girls.
I have several other issues to gripe about here*, but for now nothing prompted me strong enough to just break off from drinking my pu-erh + green + peppermint tea to just simply stand here and type away.
Granted that even in the Ten Commandments women are shown in there as among the properties of a man, it doesn’t follow that this topic of using women as so is (unconditionally) sanctioned by any deity in the sense that Greek-philosophy originating worldviews would interpret it from the wording in the text. Granted that you may not have any respect at all for the deity called Yahweh whose name appears in the context, it does not follow that this deity sanctions the “use” of women. (I sincerely apologize to those who are offended by my explicit spelling out of the Tetragrammaton.) The fact that you do not have any consideration for any so-called deity does not follow that you condone the use of women as commodity like you do with salt or toilet paper.
This is how the biblical text Exodus 20:17 goes, per two translations that do not use the archaic term “covet” (which means “to want something (which you do not have) very much”, per Merriam-Webster):
Per GNB (Good News Bible): “Do not desire another man’s house; do not desire his wife, his slaves, his cattle, his donkeys, or anything else that he owns.”
Per BBE (Bible in Basic English, 1965): Let not your desire be turned to your neighbour’s house, or his wife or his man-servant or his woman-servant or his ox or his ass or anything which is his.
You may argue that this text came from the very region where ISIS proliferates, the Middle East. It does not follow that this is the way the entire Middle East looks at women: as a property/commodity at par with currency exchanged.** You cannot tell me that Islam does not respect its women as much as Christianity does because my Muslim blood cousins are very much respected in their households, per my firsthand witness of it being so; on the other hand at the same time saying that Christianity itself has issues against women that are currently trivialized by so-called spirituality, per my firsthand witness of it.
So where does this violence in man stem from? Aha, this is within the realm of the problem of evil. This is a realm of complicated and long-winded arguments. I have hardly begun to step into this arena. But then my question implies the radical ingredient of the problem: the generic man, adam, the one who comes from and will return to dust. This adam decides whether to treat a girl as a form of currency or not, to treat a girl as an extension of lust or not, to treat a girl as a tool for the expression of desire for power over xyz, simply of the desire of being able, of having the capacity to be able to do anything without restraint. This adam chooses. This adam’s choice depends on the array of choices available. If this adam sees a choice that is for compassion, against suffering, for love, against exploitation, but refuses to choose it, then this adam by his/her own actions condemns his/herself. If this adam is not able to see this choice for love, then us, fellow-adam, what do we do about it?
What ISIS is concerned about is appalling to the maximum. Seeing that it is so, then what do we do about it in our own little world? You can speak about and against it. You can do a small or a big thing to fight it. But whatever you do, listen to that gentleness that speaks to you, so that you do not fall prey to the desire to have power over xyz (i.e., power over anything in any form, be it things or individual minds or massive enticements, etc.), to the strong urge to “move things” including the one that you deem “good”. Remember what Jesus of Nazareth spoke of which thing here on earth is “good”***, and start from there.
Notes: * A hugely popular actor’s pathetic power trips over desirable women who have been silenced for decades by the prevalent celebrity-worshiping pop culture and who are now gathering their voices together; the world’s incompetence at giving priority for arms race and space exploration over the education of the most vulnerable of minds — girls and children — that now is powerfully put into the limelight through the recognition of the effects of the lives of Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi by the Nobel Peace Prize; the dazed vulnerability of compassionate girls falling in love for ‘hurt’ men, not seeing nor protecting themselves against these men’s myopic self-absorbed tendencies as portrayed by the tragedy of Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius; the stupidity of the powerful few who insist that global climate change has nothing to do with man, and at the same time not being able to compassionately address the devastating destruction of homes and livelihoods and lives at the Pacific rim NOT THE LEAST SMALL (in all sense of the word) NATIONS SUCH AS THE PHILIPPINES; the ongoing exploitation of the richness of Africa in both sides of the Atlantic, both by not promptly addressing the color-divide issue (Those who say that the term “race” is obsolete, speak up!) and by mis/mal-educating Africa toward the temple of consumerism; to the lack of readily available arguments against the all-goodness of modernity, hence consumerism, hence the inevitable response to the need for “servants for the big house”, hence the callous or blind exploitation of the “household” help be it domestic, commercial, coming from the same or from a different cultural background; and for crying out loud, what’s this thing about “measuring” a girl’s morality against her state of so-called virginity as if a girl can by herself devirginize (herself) or that girls get themselves devirginized for the sake of being so??!!!!
** Though not directly in the sense of “currency exchanged”, Professor Christine Hayes of Yale University speaks of Israelite provisions (note: “Israelite” is different from “Israeli”, but I have no time to get into this here now, though I’m sure information on it is readily available in the net) in the Torah (that’s the original term for what is popularly known as the Old Testament) where vulnerable persons in the society, which invariably includes women and orphans, are expressly protected against exploitation, here: http://oyc.yale.edu/transcript/952/rlst-145. It’s a longish read, but if you’re impatient then you can look over the part within which says, “So it’s also illuminating to compare the Ancient Near Eastern and the biblical legal materials in terms of the concern for the disadvantaged, the elimination of social class distinctions, and a trend toward humanitarianism.”, which is under Chapter 4. Radical, Characteristic Features of Israelite Law [00:29:58]. This is not to pretty-up the Bible here in the apologetic sense, but just to say that Christianity and Islam originated from a way of thinking, among peoples, that took care of systematizing compassion and care for everyone and everything within their way of living.
*** Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19 : “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. […]” (GNB)
added 18th January 2015:
I’d say something similar for Boko Haram. If you wonder what a monster looks like, a hideous manifestation of evil, then it’s this group’s activities.
Take care, everyone. Go out and breathe the fresh air.Get out of the shadows and soak in the winter sun. Fall in love. Greet the elderly. Laugh until your stomach hurts 🙂 hasta la vista!
Though I haven’t gone through the entire book yet, the few parts that I have read so far are making good sense to me. For one, I can see that it’s obviously made out of love, that it’s a true labor of love, and it deserves much respect and consideration. Thank you, Francis Garfitt, for writing this fascinating and refreshing book about a living man and a living story that was calcified within just a few pages two thousand years ago.
I have always gone by the thought that if truth is in God, that if ‘truth’ is an embodiment of God, then there’s no way of disproving Him nor that our insistence on “defending” Him will add to that truthfulness. In pursuing my personal studies on that distant world of two thousand years ago when Jesus of Nazareth shook his world, I would like to listen to this particular voice that projects Jesus’ story’s context through a personal conviction using the platform of the contemporary world. ‘Evangelism’, after all, is not limited to the mainstream’s definition of it, if the reader sees it as that. A storyteller is by all means entitled to any artful way of delivering an old story with full relevance. We, those of us who want to keep on telling a story that has been stamped ‘unchangeable’, may just have to take the courage to step out of the silenced crowd and speak in a way that will make the story enabling again even to those who have been rendered numb by the challenges of everyday survival — the way that Jesus of Nazareth did. That’s love.
What I especially find refreshing among the narratives is the inclusion of the scientific perspective in order to bring about a multi-perspective handling of whatever scene is featured. In this book science is integrated as a tool for looking at what is. The outcome resonates with the Hebrew worldview where things are dealt with integrally, like for example that a human being is not allocated into body-&-soul parts. So far I can see it doesn’t pretend to know everything yet it’s a humbling book. It will make one look at things differently, make one recall the time when one realized that things are not what they are as seen on the surface. It will encourage you to love. It will confirm your simplest reasons for wishing for happiness.
(Note: Today is May 19, 2016. This was written 2 years ago. I need to update it soon. I just got to find the time. Get the book if you can. Jesus of Wigan by Francis Garfitt. You will like it even if you’re not interested in the religious side of it. ❤
Update: May 20, 2016. I edited the original script and added a few words. Still, that is not the ‘update’ that I meant. It will then look like a review of the book.)
Thanks for dropping by. Have a great day, everyone! 🙂
Revisiting Tolkien’s world. Part 1. Reflections on some quotes from the start of The Fellowship of the Ring movie adaptation. [The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien]
one ring to rule them all
…but the power of the ring could not be undone…
Whatever we do about it, whatever good the intention is, however excellent the effort is, it is not for us humans to be able to vanquish evil. Evil is part of the present, it is here, and for all those who will be born in the world that is just the continuation to ours, to the now, evil is there, too. But there is a capability that can vanquish this phenomenon and together with its coming to pass is the manifestation of humility in all of us. We all will be humbled that there is a Something beyond ourselves that could accomplish what our best efforts and intentions cannot.
…the ring has a will of its own…
Evil is a thriving phenomenon. It feeds on the will to power and it finds ways to manifest itself. When one sees evil one shouldn’t be surprised, because all things where we are now have a potential to evil.
…some things that should not have been forgotten were lost …history became legend, legend became myth…
Man did not just suddenly become smart because of the Enlightenment. Man has always been smart. He has always been highly intelligent, highly sensitive highly intuitive. There were things that he had already ascertained but which the subsequent generations would relegate to something “bygone”, hence obsolete, hence inapplicable, hence just stuff that stories are made of. Just myth and legend. Like the reverence for integral-man/soul and the numinous. What we overlook is the fact that scientists operate on the basis of theories and conjectures. Scientists have to start with faith. We are all standing on “nothing”, we are suspended on almost empty space, near vacuum, and are held in place by forces that are not obvious to our senses. We are contained within a sphere wherein we could thrive as if by “magic”. Only a minute part of the phenomenon of our existence has become describable to us, and in our exclusive terms at that, yet our discussions delude us into believing that we are now capable of talking about everything there is. Of course our scientific estimations have always come back to us as sound, precise, reliable, but that’s only applicable within the sphere we move and operate. We talk of clusters of galaxies when the actual space we have physically reached is only the boundaries of our single puny star system, only one of the gazillion that we project there is. Our existence is as ephemeral as the woodland faeries of lore.
…for the hearts of men are easily corrupted…
What more can I say to this? I can simply agree.
nine rings for the kings of men . Introducing: the 9 who become the Nazgul, ring wraiths, slaves to the evil will & are neither living nor dead
…nine rings were gifted to the race of men who above all else desire power…
My first reaction has to be on the term race. I have read somewhere that this term is now deemed invalid for the fact that there are no genetic bases for classifying the Homo sapiens sapiens into subcategories in which outer manifestations are skin and hair color. There are no notable differences in the genetic make-up of one race of humans from another, and so this way of categorizing does not make sense, unless we insist that the white-skinned is better than the brown-skinned, that the lanky-bodied are better than the bulky-bodied, that blondes are better than jet-blacks. If we insist on putting subcategories in this manner then we might as well call these as distinct species, which brings in the next point: in what sense can we say that one species of a plant is “better” than the next? In what sense do we speak of inferiority vis-a-vis superiority? Can we honestly say, even, that a child who has Down Syndrome “inferior” to a child who has not? Hence, the talk of race among humans is an uninformed discussion, invalid.
a Milky Way representation, from i.space.com. The Sun, situated at the periphery, is not distinctive, and is just one of the 200+ billion stars comprising this galaxy.
❤ “men who above all else desire power” — if it were not so then there wouldn’t be so much resources wasted on election campaigns 😛 … there wouldn’t be so much hoopla over show business, over the fashion industry, over lifestyle management, over the science for packaging, over the small and big things that affect mostly the “small ones” in the society, those who cannot afford yearly vacations, those who are hurt by the heavy taxes on almost anything, those who are blamed of having succumbed to the tiresomeness of the daily city grind, those whom society disgusts for not having enough will power to keep on a “prosperous” way of life… Modern society thrives on aggression, it favors the aggressive, and it shames those who wish to just have enough to live by. We hoard as if nothing will rot. We acquire as if we can use these all up. But we only create a disastrous imbalance. Our demand to have more deprives many, at the other side of the globe, at the side of the world invisible to us, hidden behind sweat shops and fancy talks of wage raises. Does earth, by attracting more space materials to itself and thus making it more massive, add to the security of its orbiting around the sun? Does the sun have to do anything so that it remains secured within the outer rim of the Milky Way? Does the Milky Way have to do something so that it does not get thrown off from its local cluster of galaxies?
…for within these rings were bound the strength and will to govern each race but they were all of them deceived…
The capability to move things, events, people is a hallucinogen that amplifies our narcissistic tendencies. That’s why Gandalf, Galadriel, and Aragorn are simply awesome characters. They are aware of how the ring can corrupt them by working through their good intentions for all residents of Middle-Earth. This awareness has humbled them and has led them to choose the supporting role to Frodo and the hobbits — the simple folks who, as Bilbo comprehensively describes his kin, are reputed to foremost love food but actually hold peace and quiet closest to their heart.
hobbits’ reputed passion for food. The groom quickly munches a muffin he has grabbed from a passing by tray, forgetting to kiss his bride.
a hobbit market
all hobbits share a love for things that grow ❤ Introducing: Samwise Gamgee.
🙂 I have your book today, in paper. I don’t know when I can finish it considering that I’m not supposed to do anything else besides looking for certain things in books for a year at least, but actually I’m now on John’s first baptism. I’m liking John and I can easily connect him with that John in the desert, both with passions of that intensity. But how I wish I knew more of European economy/history so that I could get more laughs out of your quirky statements — I mean, I had my first big laugh at page (though unnumbered) 3 of Introduction and I anticipate that there are lots like it in this your thickish book. Though I think I just go open some more of your book for reasons other than greed for knowledge, otherwise things will just not get right with me. One has to be ready for the things that you say in here 🙂 . What made me confident enough to get a copy was that a few days ago I finally had a gut feeling of what evil is. The subject of evil isn’t an attractive material for me and so I haven’t read up on the academic discussions on it, nor am I interested in the macabre in popular media. But recently, in a flash, I realized that I understood that evil is the attempt to choke/snuff out/strangle life, to negate life. Something happened to me and I felt like I was going to be annihilated, something is trying to deny my essence, and if I let it be I would end up a living dead, a nothing — and so it dawned on me that this, then, is what evil is. I decided to find a way to stay alive despite the presence of this thing that would callously wipe me off from existence if I let it. So I thought that a retelling of Jesus’ story like the way you’re doing is worth looking into, with the horrors of modern metropolitan living, and they shouldn’t disturb me as much anymore due to my newly found knowledge (haha looks like this leads me further into my “knowledge-of-good-and-evil” musings…). I’m wary like this because I’m not familiar with big city living, and the little that I’ve experienced of it I didn’t really like… but I do like the way you explain the will to power … I agree with what you say in there … and I can’t help wanting to catch your words at each right-hand page because they look like they might fall off any time — this was the first big laugh, actually 🙂 THANK YOU for your great effort in this book. May many people come to read it.