Category Archives: Religion

Headstones Vandalized at Philadelphia Jewish Cemetery

This is absolutely terrible. The perpetrators need to be in prison. There is simply too much hate in the US right now. This is especially cruel to the families of those that are laid to rest.

More than 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery were vandalized in Philadelphia over the weekend, adding to a recent wave of anti-Semitic acts across the nation.

Police arrived at Mount Carmel Cemetery in the Wissinoming section of the city on Sunday morning to find someone saying three of their relatives’ headstones were damaged, according to the Philadelphia police department.

The officers inspected and found dozens of additional headstones knocked over. Police said the incident occurred on Saturday night, and they are investigating the crime.

The incident comes after as many as 200 headstones were toppled earlier this month at a Jewish cemetery in Missouri.

The Real Obama Doctrine

It is clear that the president’s strategy is failing disastrously.

Since 2010, total fatalities from armed conflict in the world have increased by a factor of close to four, according to data from the International Institute of Strategic Studies. Total fatalities due to terrorism have risen nearly sixfold, based on the University of Maryland’s Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism database. Nearly all this violence is concentrated in a swath of territory stretching from North Africa through the Middle East to Afghanistan and Pakistan. And there is every reason to expect the violence to escalate as the Sunni powers of the region seek to prevent Iran from establishing itself as the post-American hegemon.

Source: The Real Obama Doctrine

I don’t believe in a religion denomination but I believe in Jesus

I don’t agree with all of this but I agree with enough to post this video.

Personally, I would rewrite this and say that I am a Christian and I tolerate the formalized denominations of Christianity. That said, I do think there are religious denominations that are closer to the Bible than others. For that reason, I am a practicing Lutheran.

I found the words for this poem here and they seem to match up quite well.

I think I could like Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi

I think I could like Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi. I will likely never meet him as he is in prison in Iran and being tortured and relatives fear he is close to death.

Mr. Boroujerdi supports the traditional Shiite view that religious leaders should stay out of politics and preach their messages to the faithful in mosques (maybe a few Christian preachers in the US could learn that lesson). In his words, protesting in 2006, “the regime is adamant that either people adhere to political Islam or be jailed, exiled or killed. Its behavior is no different from that of Osama bin Laden or Mullah Omar.”

Mr. Boroujerdi has also preached tolerance of all religious beliefs, including atheism, on the grounds that faith must be freely chosen. Perhaps nothing bothers the Iranian regime more than religious pluralism: In recent years, the country has been swept by the arrests and executions of members of minority groups like the Bahais and Sufi dervishes.

Egypt and the Islamic world have more growing to do

EGYPT-PROTEST/I am very saddened by the political happenings in Egypt right now. I was hoping the secular leaning people of Egypt could make Egypt a true democracy. I now think more pain and frustration is needed.

Muslims are very much about follow the rules and you go to Paradise when you die.  The religion is designed to be rule followers. Mohammed was the political, military, and religious leader of his time so there was no separation and that non-separation has continued.

In Christianity, it is about choice.  Granted some sects have veered from that over the centuries but for the most part it is a personal choice to believe.  In fact, New Testament actually says you cannot believe for someone else.  Therefore western culture evolved to independent choice with a respect to the 10 commandment laws.

Dominion preachers are not preaching Christian teachings

Dominionist teachings have been in the news quite often lately. The Houston based meeting, The Response, brought quite a bit of attention to this issue. Various cable TV commentators such as Matthews and Maddow ran stories on the more extreme preachers that are proponents of dominionism. They also tried to tie Republican nomination candidate, Rick Perry, to these aggressive preachings (Maddow’s clip is even called, “Rick Perry, conduit to radical Christian overthrow of US government?”).

I have no idea if Rick Perry is a dominionist. I sincerely hope not since, as you will see in this article, this is a false teaching. If Mr. Perry’s goal is to govern the US as a theocracy where punishment is delivered due to lack of adherence to biblical teachings then he would be failing to follow the teachings of Jesus. I have tried to find evidence that Gov. Perry is dominionist by his actions as Governor or scripted speeches (I try to avoid non-scripted off comments in political analysis as these are frequently misspoken, mistakes of wording, or simply out of context comments). As of this writing, while I am not sure that Gov. Perry is qualified to be the President of the United States, I find no evidence of dominionism aside from some people that are dominionists were at a religious gathering that he helped kick-start.

First, what is dominionism? It isn’t the worship of dominion. Well, actually, it is kind of close to that. According to the best definition that I can find (Wikipedia) it is:

“the tendency among some politically active conservative Christians to seek influence or control over secular civil government through political action, especially in the United States. It is also known as subjectionism. The goal is either a nation governed by Christians, or a nation governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law.”

The key point of this definition is the concept of a nation governed by Christian understanding of Biblical Law.

I will dig into the concept of Biblical Law in a bit but first a bit of understanding to the viewpoint. In a world where several influential nations are governed by Islamic Law (or Sharia), it is not surprising that in a nation that has a large population of another religion (Christianity) for those people to feel threatened and therefore try to entrench. Also, in times of hardship, it is easy to think back on younger days when everything is remembered (or rumored) to be wonderful and blame the changes in religion for the hardship. I don’t want to dismiss the frustrations of many people that feel that our government could be more ethical or more fair and think that if there was more religious observation in the world, that could be a good thing. However, the ends doesn’t justify the means – a government or a empowered constituency cannot make others be Christians. It just doesn’t work that way. Continue reading Dominion preachers are not preaching Christian teachings

Uganda’s treatment of gays is reprehensible

I once again find that I am commenting on the laws of another nation where I am not a citizen. I recently read a story that Uganda has publicly “outed” 100 gays. Not only did the paper publicize the names of the homosexuals but placed a banner on the newspaper saying “Hang Them”. At the time of the article in The Washington Post, at least 4 men on the list have been attacked.

This is reprehensible conduct. What is worse is our support of a society that allows this. The US will give approximately $400M to Uganda in aid in 2010. We need to put strings on this money. It doesn’t come free. The recipients of this aid must not have laws that will cause more hardship to some of its citizens. We can enhance the benefit of that aid to more than just children that need medicine by requiring these countries to adopt standards that approximate the realities of human rights in the 21st century.

She wouldn’t have my vote

I earlier wrote that I didn’t have an opinion regarding the Senatorial race in Delaware.

After seeing Ms. O’Donnell screw up the conversation regarding the separation of church and state in the debate with her opponent, I must conclude that she does not currently have the required skills to be a US Senator.

I encourage you to view this video from CNN if you are a citizen of Delaware. If the video doesn’t play below (CNN’s embed technique is not up to par), you can jump over to CNN and watch it directly: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/politics/2010/10/20/ac.odonnell.constitution.gaffe.cnn?hpt=C2

Traditional hymn was played by a current Muslim

Across the street from my home is a Presbyterian church. I don’t go to that church but instead attend a Lutheran church down the street.

A couple times a day, every day, the church plays a hymn or two on their carillon system. Some of the hymns I recognize as traditional Christian hymns, and some I don’t recognize at all.

This afternoon I heard the tune from “Morning Has Broken” made popular by Cat Stevens. I was talking with my neighbor at the time (we were complaining about the lack of rainfall we were experiencing) and he started to laugh saying that it was funny that a Presbyterian Church was playing a song by a Muslim (referring to the fact that Cat Stevens is now a declared Muslim and goes by the name, Yusef Islam). Cat’s original name is Steve Georgiou.

Belgium Bans People Wearing Burqas in Public

This is very bad.

I am so happy that I live in the USA where the pursuit of one’s religious belief is supposed to be accepted. I acknowledge that even in the US, it is not always easy to pursue one’s beliefs. I also acknowledge that there is still bigotry and racism, but in general, we are much more free than most places in the world.

Shame on the Belgium Parliament for passing this bill.

From FOXNews:

Belgium is set to become the first ever country in Europe to ban the burqa being worn in public places.

The vote in Parliament for a nationwide ban on Islamic clothes or veils that do not allow the wearer to be fully identified was almost unanimous.

The full-face niqab and burqa worn by some Muslim women are not a mandatory requirements of Islam, but a personal choice.