Beyond the Cusp

September 30, 2014

Is a Bloodbath Rapidly Approaching?

During most attacks and even murders perpetrated by Muslims, the perpetrator often shouts Islamic phrases and insults mixed with Quranic verses while stabbing, shooting or even beheading their victims. There are the same claims from authorities and Islamic leadership with statements released by authorities claiming the act had nothing to do with Islam and that immediate precautions are to be taken to secure Islamic neighborhoods and Mosques due to the fear of revenge attacks against Muslims. The authorities give admonitions that any violence against Muslims will be treated with the utmost seriousness. Then we are reminded that, and I quote, “Islam is the religion of peace.” Then, on the other side of the coin, often when figures are released depicting increased violence against Jews and anti-Semitism the statement is almost always accompanied by claims that there has also been a concurrent increase in violence against Muslims as if one excuses the other. All of this is probably not being done in order to show equality and equal treatment of all segments of society, even those which apparently are in need of special note whenever there might be the possibility that they might feel opposed in the slightest way. These actions treating Muslims with special kid gloves whenever an extremist Islamist acts as extremist Islamist tend to act are not having the intended effects. Actually they are having exactly the opposite effects than what I hope they are intended, namely to diminish any latent and gathering resentments and anger which eventually will cause a backlash that will be beyond any ability of the authorities to prevent or even bring to a stop once it begins.

 

It appears that the undertow builds towards a breaking point; it appears that the Europeans in numerous countries are experiencing it at a much higher level than in the United States or Canada. In England there has been a group of Christian youths who wear the Crusader’s Cross and patrol the bus, tubes (subways for the Americans) and other public transit on the routes which pass through Muslim neighborhoods, especially those which claim they enforce Sharia, and escort single women protecting them from any violence or harm. This is a laudable reaction to what had started to become a real problem but for every one taking the route of making a difference through positive actions, how many are simply not finding a constructive release and a seething is building inside? How long before such people explode in violent acts which will only serve to increase the animosities and friction between the two cultures. Such explosions when they are singular acts eventually fade except that eventually one such act will occur during a period of heightened emotions and sensitivities and lead to a domino effect which eventually explodes into a massive assault and breakdown of civility and law enforcement. The damage and other results of such a riotous explosion of violence pitting two communities against one another will result in heightened animosity and raw nerves which may never heal and simply lead to a constant and building violence erupting between the two communities eventually leading to a total collapse requiring the imposition of martial law before order can be restored. The question comes is what happens if the men and women in the military instead of reestablishing order break their ranks and instead act as individuals each joining their respected community which will add military weaponry to the violence and making it a war for the heart and soul of that nation. And the terrifying possibility is once such open warfare begins in one nation it then poses the possibility of spreading across the entire continent or even be the spark which, like the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, will be the spark which ignites the next global war with the division being down religious lines.

 

Such an explosion should be feared by every sane and rational people. How this eventuality can be avoided is something that people should start pondering and take the necessary actions and soon. The cultural differences are producing a growing emotional violence which will not remain suppressed forever and the government officials are in denial and refuse to recognize the stresses and strains which are about to tear the fabric of their societies apart, shattering the calm and pitting one side of the society against the other. For this to be avoided a path must be found to support and invigorate the reputed majority of Muslims who desire for Islam to truly be the religion of peace and desire for Islam to live in balance and peace with the other religions and even the atheists and to live and let live to take charge of their religion. If while on the path to empower the peace loving Muslims who are reputed to desire to coexist, even to the point of putting the rainbow coexiston their vehicle without fear of retribution, that their numbers are insignificant and that the Islamists extremists are a sizeable segment of the total and they are supported even if not joined by an even larger and frightfully significant percentage of the body of the Islamic faith, then we will know that there is no possibility for a reformation and transformation to bring Islam into the modern age where religions are no longer universally set on spreading their faith to all nonbelievers, even by the sword. The sooner the truth of the beliefs of the vast majority of the one to one and a half billion Muslims with whom we share the planet, the sooner we can understand what this struggle will require if we wish to retain out pluralistic multicultural world and honestly believe it is worth saving.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

September 24, 2014

Why Religion Has Started to Die in Society

Almost three-fourths of those Americans polled by Pew Research agreed that religion is losing influence in American life. This is reported to be the highest this subject has ever reached and thus begs a number of questions. The most evident question is what have these nearly three out of four Americans done to bring religion back into their lives and the lives of those around them. Religion cannot retreat from its place in society all by itself; it has to have accomplices who no longer incorporate religion into their daily lives. It is probably a fair statement to say that if only half of those who polled lamenting the loss of religion in the public square would make a personal effort to bring religion into the square that this would be sufficient to bring about the start of reversing that trend. The other truth is that there has been a concerted effort by a small but vocal and bothersome minority which have aided the retreat of religion from the realm of the American society, and they will need to be fought tooth and nail if their nefarious deeds are to be slowed and eventually thwarted and reversed, but it will take most of that almost three quarters of America. If in the words “Under G0d” could be added to the Pledge of Allegiance by President Eisenhower on Flag Day, June 14, 1954, by a Joint Resolution of Congress, then religion can be restored to its rightful place in our society if the majority of Americans wish and act in a manner that assists rather than neglects the place of religion in their daily lives.

Of course there have been other forces at work beyond the control of the average person as an individual. These are mostly societal pressures which often react to the concerted pressures made by smaller groups which are better organized and financed thus giving their views weight beyond that of any number of individual citizen even should they be part of the majority, even should that be a vast majority as long as that majority has not mobilized uniting together and financing concerted efforts to push their views before those who control the establishment of laws or their enforcement. One can place blame on those in high office who permit or even encourage such regulations and laws which work against religion but before doing so there are a few items within their own lives which they would be better served by addressing them if their efforts should prove less than helpful. Before claiming that the powers that be have acted irresponsibly they need to review whether their own actions have properly portrayed through their lives the importance of religion. The most important single item one can do to show their support for religion and their desire to have it reflected through the society in which they live would be to regularly attend weekly services and being active in the organized religious activities related to their particular religious beliefs. Nothing sends the message to those in high office that religion no longer matters to the citizenry louder than empty pews in the nation’s churches, synagogues, temples and other religious services. Holders of political office are not so well tuned and sensitive that they can divine the thoughts of the people by some extrasensory means allowing them to form opinions and impressions of the people’s beliefs in some way other than drawing conclusions from the activities of the people. Short of making decisions formed by the actions of the people they can only respond to what it appears that the people are demanding of them and that is where a small minority can sway these lawmakers simply by inundating them with calls, e-mails, letter and other forms of lobbying. The regular citizen rarely writes their representative and believes that simply by voting for a person to represent them is sufficient to have that representative actually represent them without any efforts on their behalf. So, if one’s actions such as attending regular religious services or writing and calling their representative’s offices, both in the capital and locally, then they are simply relying on exactly what to assure their representatives understand the importance of religion is in their lives and how important it is for religion to be permitted in the public square. But what are some of the other forces pressing religion into retreat from its former place of prominence in American society.

As already mentioned, there are forces at work here which have as their sole intent to beat religion out of the lives and society no matter what the cost or dangers. One such group is the Freedom From Religion Foundation. This and other related anti-religion and anti-faith based organizations spend millions and concerted efforts to chase religion from the public square by any and all means necessary. Such groups have lobbyists who press their influence personally making themselves friendly and close to your representative, make letter writing campaigns whenever legislation they support or wish to defeat inundating your representatives offices both in the capital and locally even going so far as to assure that these letters no matter where they originate are postmarked within your representative’s district for maximum influence, organize phone campaigns calling your representatives offices not only in the capital but in every community within his district, and know all the other ins and outs of pressing your ideas and opinions maximizing their influence, which is all part of the political game. The problem is that they also are minimizing your ability to influence your representatives and often doing so using people largely who do not reside anywhere near you and share none of your convictions, but they have the clout to silence your desires and press their desires squelching all others. This is the most serious problem with representative governance no matter its form, the ability of a small minority to use potentially nefarious methods and silencing a potentially vast majority in the halls of power. There is an easy and available means by which such groups can be vanquished and silenced their influence without doing anything immoral or underhanded, but it does require good people to take actions and do so under the auspices of a joint effort through an organization to which they all belong and are active in, their religious institutions where they gather and worship together. Unfortunately, the empty pews are evidence to the reason such efforts are so easily ignored; they have few who can be motivated to make the voice of the majority heard.

There is yet another problem which may be another facet of the lack of people attending services regularly, or even at all even on the most major of religious days. This next reason, next excuse, may also be a result of lack of regular attendance as by feeling that these leaders stand alone makes them more vulnerable to the malevolent forces. These leaders of our neighborhoods, or at least in better times they were our true leaders, the pastors, priests, rabbis and other clergy, other men of the cloth who have come under attack by forces within our societies. Some of these forces are the same as the ones garnering undue influence over our political representatives and others are the arms of our governance which are simply responding to what they perceive as the will of the society as well as to the dictates of the courts which are influenced by the cases brought before them. When courts see that across the lands there are cases brought demanding the ban of all religious symbols from the public square and the only protesters with numbers are supporting these legal maneuvers, they can only act to support what they perceive is the law as they witness the people interpret the law. The clergy would have a greater standing and voice if their houses of worship were filled weekly by people enthusiastic in celebrating their faith. But when they preach to a small few each week then their strength and power is reduced to a level equal to the numbers in regular attendance.

The United States is approaching the place where Europe has already reached where the clergy fear to speak out against injustices or to oppose those in the government allowing government to stifle and mute their voices. They have fallen in influence so far that they now speak for almost nobody and are thus easily pressed into a corner where they speak solely of those things which are supported by those who appear to have the hearts and souls of the majority of the people. A society is molded and formed by those who have the support and power granted by the ones willing to force their opinions onto the seats of power. That seat of power potentially is the secular governance or it can be the pulpits of the houses of worship, that choice lies with the people. Attend the houses of worship in numbers and the government will notice and adjust to that influence. This has been proven in Europe where the Mosques are vibrant and well attended while the churches in the home of modern Christianity sit empty echoing the silence, providing they have not been sold and converted to Mosques. If people desire to see the future of their communities and in turn nations all one need do is seek where and which religions hold the wills of the people and have the greatest support and there lies your future. It really is that simple.

Beyond the Cusp

April 16, 2014

Israel and America Nations Headed in Opposite Directions

Spend a good amount of time in the malls and midtown shopping outdoor malls in Israel and the United States and simply count the numbers of baby carriages and pregnant women and you will quickly see a glaring difference. In Israel you cannot take more than a half dozen steps without having to sidestep one or the other and in America you can hardly find either in most cities. These are the signs of a healthy society which is growing against a moribund society dependent on immigrations, both legal and illegal, to support the need for workers. Read the newspapers and you will see that in Israel they have built an effective barrier to prevent further illegals coming across the border from Egypt while giving illegal immigrants already in the nation seed money and a plane ticket to get them to voluntarily relocate outside of Israel while the United States political class appears to be earnestly determined to grant as many as twenty-million illegal immigrants an easy path to citizenship making them legal for employment. The United States is willing to take the workers with other illegal immigrants in order to keep population growth positive as without the influx of illegal aliens into the United States the population would be on a slow decline and accelerating. The population in Israel, particularly the Jewish population, is growing at an increasing rate to such an extent that demographics experts are now predicting that even should Israel annex all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem and grant the majority of the Arab population citizenship over time the Jewish majority would not be challenged by the so-called demographic Arab bomb.

 

But that is not the full extent of the differences between the United States and Israel. Where religious service attendance and open practice of religion are on the decline in the United States it is rapidly growing in both numbers and percentage of the population in Israel. Religious observance is being attacked by the government in the United States as is evidenced by the current hearings in the Supreme Court over the Affordable Care Act’s demand that employers provide birth control and other reproductive health services without copay including all abortifacient drugs. In Israel there is a growing movement to provide any necessary assistance, medical care, adoptive options, and support for mothers deciding to keep their child after birth providing viable options for those women who are considering turning to abortion believing they have no other real alternative. These efforts have been received and greatly appreciated with some of the mothers who were aided and had their baby saved by the efforts of these private organizations turning around and joining them in seeking out women in distress and giving them alternatives to getting an abortion. There are those in Israel who claim the trending away from abortion as a solution to pregnancies is due to the great love and respect for life that is a central theme in Judaism. They credit the increasing religious observance with being somewhat responsible for the movement away from abortion and the increase in people and organizations providing assistance and alternatives to abortions.

 

There is a general feeling of optimism accompanying the growth in faith and religious observance in Israel which is almost palpable. The Synagogues, Churches, Mosques and Temples are filled for weekly services and a growing number of Torah and Bible classes with some even being offered in languages other than Hebrew as there is a relatively large immigrant population responding to the call growing in Jews worldwide to make Aliyah and return home. There are signs that the numbers of Jews returning home to Israel will continue to increase as the world situation devolves further with growing anti-Semitism throughout the world including the Americas and Europe as well as other regions where such has long been a serious problem. Meanwhile, there has been evidence that the numbers of immigrants crossing the southern border of the United States have decreased over the past decade with some evidence of some of those who had already come into the United States, often illegally, are now returning south of the border as they have been unable to find the employment and better life they had sought. The difference between America and Israel is one is growing and vibrant and the other not so much. Perhaps this may be part of the growing troubles between the two nations who have experienced great relations that recently have turned troublesome. Such an end is sad to see, but perhaps these two friends will find a path to rebuild their relations in the near future.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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