Beyond the Cusp

April 23, 2015

Memorial Day in Israel and the Debate of Israel’s Age

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Whether you need to look up the age of Israel or believe you know it in your memory as Israel declared her independence on May 14-15, 1948 making her obviously sixty-seven years old. But then there is another age which some Israelis can attest to as their families have resided mostly around Jerusalem since the Exodus from Egypt and they might claim that Eretz Yisroel is much closer to three-thousand-five-hundred plus years in age going back even before King David. Many people would choose to challenge any such claim, but then there are just as many who choose to challenge the existence of the reestablished nation of Israel. As a matter of fact, there are people and complete organizations, many of them financially supported by the European Union and almost every European nation, which spend all their efforts on attempts to undercut the Jewish claim to the lands in which Israel currently and historically exists and who simply wish only to deny the Jewish People any right to self-rule. Their entireties of efforts are expended towards returning the Jews to all living in exile at the mercies of the nations which may or may not choose to tolerate them. Some of these organizations’ dream is to not only deny the Jews their right to self-determinations but wish to eradicate the right of Jews to practice their religion simply by destroying Israel and refusing any land for Jews to practice their Judaism such that they will finally be rid of what they see as those pesky people. This is much of what is driving both the anti-Semitism and the anti-Zionism, which is nothing more than anti-Semitism on a national level where the large NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) function as they provide a secondary method for nations to destroy the Jewish state of Israel with a fair amount of deniability. When one traces the financing of these organizations one finds that some are directly financed by governments, some even by the European Union, and then there are an entire group of NGOs which are solely in the business of providing an additional layer of deniability as they finance predominantly other NGOs which attack Israel directly but also a few, a very few, NGOs which provide human relief organizations so as to be capable of pointing to those groups as proof they are only providing human relief and other NGOs. The reality is that there are nations who budget for efforts to destroy Israel though it is a part of their “dark funding” and is often part of their military budget.

 

Still, Israel has faced a few previous efforts to destroy her and put an end to the worship of Judaism and yet we are still facing efforts to put an end to the nation and People who refuse to bow before such pressures. Modern Israel and ancient Israel have a number of items in common. The old Israel used Shekels as their currency and modern Israel uses the NIS, New Israel Shekel. Both work a six day week with the Sabbath as its day of rest. Israel continues to use Jerusalem as its capital as it has since King David conquered Jerusalem and moved the Capital to Jerusalem. It is the homeland recognized by every Jew regardless of where they reside. Israel is predicted to be the inheritance of the Jewish People upon the coming of the Messiah. Normally one might find the Jews returning to their ancestral homelands would be well received as an initial sign of the world readying for the hoped for Messianic period predicted by the Jewish Bible, the Christian Bible and the Islamic Quran though each story has its own reasoning and orders of events and the eventual results. Perhaps this is enough to make some people very nervous and have aversions to such a situation. But there are other reasons of a religious origin which might be behind the hatreds of Israel and cause the opposition to the return of the Jews to their ancient lands.

 

But the most interesting reactions are from the secularists who have probably the greatest of difficulties with the rebirth of Israel. The secularists have a problem for which their belief structure holds no solution. Their societies are dying if left to their own devices, which in this case means that they are reproducing below even replacement rates. This means that as time continues forward their civilizations would slowly reduce in populations presumably, if allowed to run to its eventual result, there would be a generation with only one person and that generation would be the last and their civilization would have completely imploded. This phenomenon of negative growth is the result of modern structures of society which scientific developments and many of the modern beliefs which have found a replacement for faith in G0d with a belief that all things have a scientific explanation which will be revealed with sufficient time and research. Their belief is there is only those things which can be proven by science which are of any real importance and that everything else is simply false or emotional irrationality. The largest origins of such thoughts are those attached to religious beliefs and since G0d and religious belief are incapable of being scientifically proven and thus simply primitive beliefs which have no place within modern scientific society. Looking at Europe one can see these results of this change in the Christian society which was predominantly what existed before and after the Holocaust and the flight of the remainder of the Jews after World War II. Some fled after returning to their homes after surviving the worst horrors of the Nazi persecutions only to be met by hostile atmosphere forcing them to realize that their home now belonged to a new family and that they no longer had any place in their home-town or anyplace else in Europe so they either left for Israel or emigrated to be with relatives in the United States if they were so fortunate. Some even moved to the United States simply from seeing that they had no real reason or future in Europe, even some who resided in England and served in the British military battle against the Japanese in Burma or against the Nazis in Europe and could have met a woman in Bombay, India or in the continent of Europe and then married and left London to finally end up living in Washington D. C. and later in the Maryland suburbs where they raised two children and eventually brought much of the remainder of their family from Britain. The young man after the war was fortunate in the fact that one of his older sisters married an American who was amongst those who were, as a description used during the war, Over paid, Over sexed and Over here. This marriage by his sister allowed for he and his wife to move to the United States where I was the son and first born child they raised.

 

The thing which has made the slow slide into extinction be European Caucasian society also is true about the Caucasian society in the United States, just at a slightly slower rate of decline. The reason behind this is partly due to the death of religion and the acceptance of certain devices by which children have become an option which some women and many men prefer to not invest the effort, riches, time and other sacrifices which are required for raising children. The ability to use birth control or to have an abortion has made pregnancy optional and sufficient sectors of our societies have chosen to opt out of the parenting investment. The one potential saving grace is there is a group amongst the Western societies which have positive growth numbers above the just over two children per woman rate, and those are the religious, a small subsection of society which is a smaller minority in Europe than in the rest of Western civilization, especially the United States. The proof of this is found in two places, the census statistics and the empty pews and seats in the churches, cathedrals, synagogues and other houses of worship. The exception is the place of worship of the immigrant populations, the mosques. There is one nation which many claim is a Western nation due to its modern appearance and a large presence of Europeans, though approximately half the population comes from Spanish roots as well as from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as a result of pogroms and other afflictions pressuring them to leave as a result of the Islamic world’s reaction to the formation of Israel over the first decade after Israel’s founding. Many the Arab and Muslim nation forced the vast majority of their Jews to leave with most heading to Israel with a smaller percentage heading either to Europe or the United States and Canada. Israel makes for an interesting comparison of the secular society and the religious society. While the secular society also suffers from the secular plague of having fewer children as a whole, their affliction is less severe than that of Europe which may be due to their being within a religious society where having children is treated as the blessing it is and thus there is some societal pressures to also have children. Even so, some of the increase in Caucasian population is also due to those Jews who have made Aliyah and moved to Israel. The other pressure which decreases numbers is the fact that Israel lives under threat of wars and terrorist attacks which more often targets young adults and those even younger within the population.

 

Still, on another front one might wonder why having Jews living in Israel would cause such dysfunctional behavior both in much of the Muslim world and so much of the Christian world? Neither the Christian Bible nor the early writings in the Quran called for the elimination of the Jews and the early writings in the Quran while Muhammad resided still in Mecca even told of the Jewish right to reside in their ancestral home inbetween the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The verses which target both Christian and Jews were written into the later verses of the Quran which were written while Muhammad lived in Medina and commanded a great army. The modern spite against Israel comes from two disparate drives which are best treated separately. Starting with the Muslim source of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism we have to look at the Quran for the answers. The problem comes from the simple concept that Muhammad was explained by the Quran to have been given the final and only true path supplanting both the Jewish and the Christian teachings which were made obsolete as they were imperfect and had drifted from the true word from Allah. Thus Muhammad had been given the Quran so that the world of Allah would supplant both Judaism and Christianity and provide the true faith for humankind going forward from that point on into the future for all time. Further, the Quran explained that Islam would be spread by its adherents to the far corners of the world and everybody would bow to Allah. Thus, the Quran told that Islam would take root throughout the world and the followers of Islam would defeat all enemies and any lands that were ever conquered by Islam would forever belong to Islam. The Medina Quran also had some explicitly violent verses against the Jewish people after the Jews of Mecca and especially Medina refused to convert or to believe that Muhammad was a prophet. After the defeat of the Jewish tribe in the battle of Khaybar it was taken as the sign that such would be every battle between the Muslim forces and the Jews wherever they would meet. Thus, the Jews returning to their ancestral lands and then defeating the armies of Islam are an anathema to Islam and thus must be defeated if Islam is to be proven a valid belief and that the Muslims are still the favored of Allah. Additionally, the Quran also claims that the Muslim Messiah will not come before the Muslims take on the Jewish People wherever they reside in the world.

 

Christianity has a similar problem with the Jews returning to their ancestral home of Israel. Christianity also was defined to serve as the religion which supplanted Judaism, though they did not claim to be the final and only version to replace Judaism which allowed for Islam to supplant Christianity, or at least claim such. After the Roman Empire dispersed the Jews to the farthest ends of their empire in an attempt to eradicate what the Romans saw as a troublesome people, after a number of revolts, some with surprising levels of success but still which simply invited ever larger dispatch of legions to squash any revolt. Once the Roman Empire adopted Christianity as its formal religion and solidified the acceptable writings that were to be included in the New Testament Christianity became the ruling force in Europe. The fighting between the monarchs and the forces of the Christian Church, which eventually would become the Roman Catholic Church, may have led to some large differences between some Monarchs and even some preachers who in turn would challenge Rome. These challenges eventually led to the Protestant Reformation where Rome’s singular authority was challenged and replaced by several new forms of Christianity which each had its own cannons and claims to the righteousness of their cause. The Anglican Church, aka the Church of Britain, was one group formed by the British monarch King Henry the Eighth who found he had the need to be permitted a divorce, after all one cannot behead every wife, especially when one is the relative of the King of Spain. The one item all the factions were able to agree upon was that the Jews were the cursed of G0d who had forgone his covenant with them and had established a new covenant with the Christians. This simply meant that the Jews lived at the behest and allowance of their bettors, the Christians as they, the Christians, were now the favored by G0d, not the accursed Jews. This simply meant that no matter what else might transpire, the Jews were cursed and thus were too impure to ever reestablish their kingdom in Israel. This meant that the Christians immediately took to persuade the leadership of the world that they had made a grievous error when at the San Remo Conference the Western powers plus Japan agreed to setting aside lands under a mandate managed by the British for the establishment of the Jewish State once sufficient Jews were inhabiting the lands of the British Mandate. Within two years of the San Remo Conference the British proposed to grant all of the lands east of the Jordan River of the Mandate area to the Arab Palestinians and placed them under the rule of the Hashemite royalty to whom the British had given promises during World War I. That reassigned seventy-eight percent of the lands leaving merely twenty-two percent of the lands west of the Jordan River for the Jewish State. The Zionists accepted as they saw themselves as powerless to prevent such a deal. The massive problem came when leading up to and throughout World War II, a time when the Jews of Europe desperately needed a place for their escape, were prevented from entering the Mandate lands set aside for a Jewish State due to the British limitation of immigration for Jews alone setting the limit at a small amount each year. The documentation required resulted in so few Jews making it into the Mandate lands, as it was near to impossible unless one took it upon themselves to enter the lands through other means, as the British had slammed the door shut. The entire hope and all the rules and efforts by the British meant one and only one result, there would never be sufficient Jews permitted to enter the Mandate lands requiring the allowance for there to be formed a Jewish state. Even when after the revelations of the camps and the extent of their toll on Europe’s Jewish Heart, the British still voted against the formation of Israel when the vote was placed before the General Assembly but still the limited resolution passed suggesting yet another Arab state be formed along with a Jewish state. The Arabs in the Arab League refused the offer which left all the lands east of the Jordan River to be made into the Jewish state, that was until the Muslim armies of several nations and militias were to assault Israel with genocidal intents. Israel survived and that leads us back to why the Christians have such a difficult time accepting the idea of a Jewish State established where the ancestral homelands existed. With the Jews returning to their ancestral lands, then the covenant which lain out and predicted their return had to also remained established and the Jews were now realizing the reinstatement of that covenant and were to now relearn and perform that which when as a people just coming out of Egypt and all the miracles of the plagues and the splitting of the Red Sea and their answer when told they were to receive the rules and responsibilities it would take to be a good Jew worthy of the covenant they had replied almost in unison, “We will obey and we will hear.” Imagine how ready they were to accept G0d’s teachings that they were willing to promise their obedience before they had heard even the first law. The fact the Jews have returned covers the initial promise that such was to occur, but not that leap but merely one step of retrieving the dry bones and to begin to connect the muscles and eventually the religious will be empower these skeletons be made real. The literal transformation within Israel will be required to endure numerous more stages before those dry bones of the Biblical analogy are to be completely renewed and have not only physical form but to have spiritual forms and have returned to being all that being Jewish implies, which is largely to be a light unto the nations of the world and give them hope by the example set in Israel which includes the great discoveries and inventions, something which is already occurring. The numbers of items in many people’s lives which are the result of discoveries made in Israel are remarkable and extensive for such a tiny nation which is about the size of New Jersey. Your cell phone’s technology, instant messaging software, security software, and too numerous medical discoveries to give them the ample recognition they deserve are all products of Israeli R&D. Still, there is one thing the world can be sure of about Israel for as long as she exists she will share her discoveries and always try to play a positive role as a nation. This is evidenced by her ready response teams which are dispatched to anywhere on the globe where tragedy strikes and they are permitted entry. Israel was among the few nations to send teams to assist in New Orleans after the disastrous effects of hurricane Katrina and also in the aftermath of “superstorm” Sandy as most believe the United States does not require the assistance of others while Israel believes that one can never have too much assistance after a disaster. The other promise Israel provides is they set up clinics and medical facilities and completely outfit them with all the modern medical systems one might envision they needing and provide people to run these for the duration of the disaster and beyond. Israel also trains native people, physicians, nurses and technical specialists on how to use and perform procedures the clinic is capable of providing. It is often two years before the Israelis finally leave the clinic with everything left with the people trained gifting the nation an additional facility to provide services. This is something Israel performs quietly without fanfare beyond maybe a local newspaper or television newscast covering a ribbon cutting announcing the full turnover of the clinic to the local people. The most recent examples of these types of gifting of structures and training were in Haiti after their devastating earthquake, the Philippines after their typhoon and Japan after the disastrous combination of almost all of nature’s fury suffering a massive earthquake just offshore and the resultant tsunami where Israel left them a health and urgent care clinic even though the Japanese did not require training to use the facility, having a place, a clinic, to provide for the people was near priceless. So, as it appears much of the world, the United Nations, NGOs with near unlimited funding continue to pressure and attempt to besmirch Israel, please also remember and point out those things Israel provides despite those working to destroy her. There is one item which is curiously missing from all the boycott Israeli products which are the advances in medicine, agriculture, electronics, software and the myriad of other benefits, their major aim is produce such as oranges and wines, something that removes some competition in the market allowing their importers and farmers another advantage. They know exactly how far to push and still receive the benefits while still making an unprincipled stand against Israel, the sole nation of the Jews. Funny that these hatreds are aimed at preventing the Jews from having self-determination and national empowerment, just Israel and her Jews must never be permitted their own destiny. And for a last piece of information, the Israeli Arab populations are granted full rights as citizens and vote in Israeli elections and the combined Arab List was the third highest vote in the last election. The Arab Palestinian have not been allowed to vote by their autonomous body as Mahmoud Abbas fears losing his positions of power thus he has cancelled all elections since approximately 2005, so if people desire to really allow the Arab Palestinians to have a vote, talk to Abbas and pressure him, not Israel which has granted them full autonomy and self-rule and their own leadership is frightened of the people and thus denies them their rights, not Israel.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 24, 2015

A Fundamental Difference

 

There was an episode of Star Trek titled “The Savage Curtain” where a molten rock creature named “Yarnek” decided to learn what the difference was between the forces of good and evil. It pitted Spock, Kirk, Abraham Lincoln and Surak representing the forces of goodness against Colonel Green, the Klingon Kahless, a tribal savage woman named Zora, and evil incarnate from Earth history, Genghis Khan representing the forces of evil. After good finally triumphs over evil Yarnek argues that it sees no difference between the forces of good and evil. The difference pointed out was what each side fought for, their root cause and not their methods of achieving victory which was defined by a base and simple reality of the contest. Yarnek is satisfied that it understand and returns Spock and Kirk to the Enterprise and returns to standing motionless happy in its new found wisdom and prepares to stand motionless is some prop room until Yarnek gets a new role in some ‘B movie’ in the future.

 

The simple premise depicted in the episode was a basic principle for the studies of history and philosophy which prepares college freshmen to critical thinking on a not so critical basis in 100 level coursework. It also can be utilized to define the root differences and similarities between Islamist Fundamentalism and other driving forces throughout human history, but for simplicity sake we might wish to limit the discussion to what would fit into a single Star Trek episode. We might even simplify the discussion to Yarnek style simplicity and examine what each driving force behind other philosophical movements in the past and present.

 

Let us first look at Fundamentalist Christianity and their desire as it pertains to the goals set for Christianity. The end goal of Fundamental Christianity is to live a life which is beneficial to mankind and to spread the words of G0d as defined in the New Testament and fulfilling the new Covenant defined within. Christianity is a proselytizing religion where they are pressed to spread the world of Christ, the sacrifice which Jesus made in the name of all mankind, and to persuade all people through their actions and the introduction to the teachings of Jesus as defined by the Apostles depiction of the teachings and life of Jesus in the New Testament. Initially the Christians were a passive force spreading their newly found faith by word of mouth and by their actions and ultimately their passivity and refusal to lift up arms against their oppressors. This changed after the Roman army fought under the banner of Christendom under the Constantine. After Constantine had his vision, his revelation, the drive for conquest, which was a Roman concept, was married to the message of Jesus and Christianity. This led to the new definition of what could be called an Imperial Christianity. Christianity carried forth with it now being the accepted religion of the Roman Army and thus its new defining principle to spread Christianity over the world and convert all to Christianity. This continued until the Reformation of Christianity which introduced those forces which introduced competing definitions of Christianity. These new and supposedly more pure forms of Christianity ended up married to governments of Christian nations and then began the attempts of each strand of Christianity to become preeminent. This continued until Christianity was purged from the political attachment it held to governance until then. Once Christianity was stripped from defining governance a remarkable thing happened, no longer were wars fought between Christian nations to impose their particular brand of Christianity on the others; Christianity now allowed for the separate forms of Christianity to exist, though the version practiced by the reigning monarch did tend to receive preference. The wars continued but were now no different in their aims, to conquer the known world and rule all mankind; it just was no longer performed in the accepted name of Christianity. The splitting religion away from the state and thus from earthly politics allowed for the birth in Christianity for freedom of religion which is the present state though the attaining a complete break from imposing Christianity rather than spreading Christianity through example and teaching and a total reliance on persuasion and devoid of the means of force is a concept still being perfected. What can be said is that Christendom has made great strides towards the allowance of freedom of religion and equality of all religions before the governance.

 

If we now investigate Fundamental Judaism, a force that likely only existed for a few short periods; we find the target of this early form of Judaism which spanned from Abraham through to the conquest of the lands which made up the kingdom of the two most heralded rulers of the Jews, King David and his son, King Solomon. The initial period of Jewish Fundamentalism was during the becoming a people through realizing their goals of conquering the lands they believed were granted them by G0d. The period of Jewish History in question stretched from the start of Judaism with Abraham, their Exodus from Egypt and their forty years of purification and change from a mindset of a people under bondage to a people enjoying freedom with Moses and on until they had conquered their “Promised Lands” under the leadership and marshalling of forces initially by Joshua. Once these lands were brought under Jewish rule their designs on the world were completed and the rest of their mission, their desire to live as G0d had intended, was to be a force for good as defined within Torah, and to study Torah and divine from Torah what being a people of goodness actually required from them and by living a life defined by Torah, the Jews were to be a light unto the nations of the world, an example of living a holy and blessed life. There were no designs or desires to rule the world or over any peoples once the Jewish state was established. The second period of Jewish Fundamentalism could be defined as the modern Zionist movement which has defined their purpose is to reestablish Jewish rule and autonomy over those same lands as are defined in Torah as the ancient homelands gifted them by G0d. There is no desire to conquer the world or to convert the world, but only to live in their corner of the world and be as a light unto the nations, a representation of goodness as defined in Torah. As above, there are no designs or desires to rule the world or over any peoples once the Jewish state has been established nor is there any desire to convert anybody. The region under Jewish control will have a religious theme and basis over the governance, or at least is supposed to have such, but is still instructed by Torah to not only allow freedom of worship, but equal treatment under any Torah ruled kingdom thus the concept of freedom of religion is one of the basic ideals of Judaism. There is no driving desire to convert others to Judaism unless a person chooses to seek conversion and even then there are stringent requirements of any convert but they would be welcome within any Jewish society.

 

Islam has a more original belief on the ideals of conversion which will ultimately lead to a world where the survivors are all Muslims as there would be no room for anything else. Islam teaches its adherents that their religion had replaced Judaism and Christianity. This is the concept of supersessionism. Christianity believed they were the replacement under G0d and they had superseded the Jews thus negating the Covenant between G0d and the Jews and Islam believes they have superseded the Christians and through that, also superseded the Jews. The Muslim believes fervently that the revelation by Muhammad to be the final revelation and that no further revelation is possible as Muhammad was actually the restatement of the Covenant between mankind and G0d and that Islam is the true path while Judaism and Christianity had corrupted the words of Allah and thus perverted religion making their versions of worship an abomination and their sole hope for paradise was through Islam. This is an important part of Islam as it is necessary in order for Islam to fulfill their Covenant with Allah. Islam tasks the Muslims to fulfill Jihad which is defined as the Greater and Lesser Jihad. One form of Jihad is the perfection of oneself under the rule of Allah and the complete and utter surrender of the self to Allah producing a perfected person. The second form of Jihad is the conquest of the entirety of the world for Allah in order to bring the perfect religion of Allah before all in the world allowing them the opportunity to realize their sins and to repent and surrender to Allah and thus become a believing Muslim. Each person is to be permitted the offer of joining Islam and surrendering themselves before Allah willingly but should they continue to reject Islam then they are to be presented with one final choice, Islam or death. This is instructed in the Quran where the Muslim is instructed to spread Islam by the sword if that is what is required. The finality defined by Islam is a world where all believe in Islam and Islam rules the world according Sharia. Nothing less than the complete subjugation of the world by Allah can be accepted as Islam is currently defined and since the Quran cannot be altered there is a point of contention which is not capable of reconciliation between Islam defined by the Quran and freedom, only one can survive. Islam defines the perfection of the world as the supremacy of Islam and the sole existence of mankind is to surrender to Allah and obey the Quran as defined under the Sharia and nothing less is acceptable and the end result is you will ultimately have a world that has been conquered by Allah forever with any person expressing even the most innocent free thought not defined as acceptable under the Quran to be defined as an apostate for leaving the true faith of Islam and who must be put to death.

 

Under Judaism the world continues as it desires with the Jews only insisting on ruling their little corner of the world which is a nation not quite the size of the Philadelphia to Boston greater megalopolis, Christianity desires to teach the world the message of Jesus and hope that their actions are of sufficient influence along with the loving words of Jesus to persuade the world to follow their teachings and Islam simplifies everything and boils it down to conquer the world for Islam and convert all to surrender before Allah. Well, at least that definition just might fit into the basis of a Star Trek episode, nice, compact and simplified to the point of absurdity. I could see Spock correct Bones and Kirk who were arguing, explaining, “Simply put for your understanding, Doctor (glance emotionless at Dr. McCoy); Jews are content in telling only those who ask, while Christians burst forth telling the world, as where the Muslims are simply commanded to conquer and purify the world of nonbelievers. (look with slight smirk at Kirk, sharply turns and returns to his station on bridge)”

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 29, 2014

Are Civil Rights for Sexual Preferences Tantamount to Civil Rights for Minority Races

Looking back to the first plaintive cries petitioning for acceptance and protection from being segregated against in life; many of their complaints revolved around workplace, refusal of housing or rental properties, refusal of service in restaurants or stores, and other generalities which today are granted without even a second thought. No longer is it acceptable or even forgivable to physically assault same-sex partners simply because they disturb your preference for a normalcy where such a situation either never exists because no one desires relations other than the norm or such relations are barred from the public realm.

The initial indications that the demands from the more adamant, some might even say militant, alternate life partners and sexual preferences began to compare their struggle to the Civil Rights Movement of a half century ago. These statements also brought to the fore the first warning protestations that the gender identity lobby was going to aim to overturn every last vestige of normal sexuality forcing their way into mainstream and eventually making their lifestyle and sexual proclivities the norm and traditional relationships the exception, or at least the perception of such. Those making these warnings were mostly ignored as paranoid extremists. Their main claim was that the alternate gender lobby would eventually demand a change in the definition of marriage and even force religious institutions to perform alternate gender weddings regardless of their religious convictions against such relations. Obviously these people were insane and had a very loose grip on reality. Nobody was thinking of challenging the definition of marriage as being a bond between one man and one woman. Such claims had to be absurd and dismissed out of hand, until when in more recent times this exact demand came to fruition. Recent court rulings have gone even further making objections enacted into laws, even those which have passed as citizen initiatives receiving solid majority backing when placed on ballots, have been overturned using Civil Rights Laws and equal access laws as the basis for striking down enacted laws which ban same sex marriages.

As I wrote back in March of 2013 in the article titled The Sane Solution to Same Sex Marriage, the easiest solution is to separate marriage and civil unions making one the purview of the state and the other reserved for religious institutions. With the individual states and other legally approved jurisdictions issuing a license for a civil union which qualifies those so joined all the benefits currently described as marriage benefits such as tax breaks, visitation in public hospitals and other similar rights while marriages will be issued through a religious ceremony and would have no actual civil benefits under the law. With such a difference established the state would still receive their revenue from issuing licenses for marriages and gain additional revenue for same sex unions without all of the aggravations and protestations from the religious and conservatives who have protested allowing marriage to be redefined by statutes or court decisions. The individual states and even more local jurisdictions such as counties, parishes, cities, towns and whatnot can make whatever allowances and combinations to qualify for a civil union without having any effect on the definitions of marriage which would remain with religious institutions. If an union other than traditional marriage of one man and one woman is permitted by any particular church, synagogue, temple, mosque, cathedral, monasteries or other religious institution desires to issue a marriage license to non-traditional couples, then that would be their right as well and they could attract such couples into their fold.

The coming disaster will be the eventuality when men of the cloth will no longer be permitted to even read scripture wherever the original scripture excludes nontraditional civil unions. Such an atmosphere has already cast a pale over the pulpits of Houston, Texas; yes, Texas of all places but such is Houston where they reelected Mayor Annise D. Parker who lives an open lesbian lifestyle. Her sexuality would have little to do with her position as mayor except that her administration recently was embroiled in a tempest over an apparent attempt to force the religious leaders to turn over any sermons or other material which they may have given, written or otherwise distributed which may have had any relevance to be subpoenaed. This action caught a great amount of indignation, challenges and even some outright refusals all basing their hesitance or resistance on religious freedoms under the First Amendment. This did force the Mayor to redefine the subpoena narrowing its coverage but the argument has been started and is not going to end soon in Houston. This was but the initial shot over the bow, given time this type of action will be repeated and slowly but surely it will become accepted and soon clergy will no longer be permitted free range of subject material and will begin to restrict their public positions to politically correct and approved subjects. This is the first step to thought crimes where people can be arrested for holding certain opinions and is the beginning of a dangerous slippery slope to slide down to a dark and hurtful place.

Meanwhile, the gender identity movement has one glaring difference from the Civil Rights Movement. While a minority individual cannot choose their minority status and in everything they do and everywhere they go they continue to obviously be that minority, they literally wear their minority status wherever they go, whether they are alone or in a group, they remain a minority. There is absolutely no choice or manner in which one can disguise or act in some manner and not be perceived as a minority. The same is not true for people with gender identity issues. A same sex couple when walking down the street would only be identified as potentially a same sex couple if they were walking hand-in-hand or with their arms around each other, though such would not necessarily always be accurate as such acts could have other motivations. Still, should a same sex couple simply be walking down the street or walk into a restaurant to have a meal they would not be depicted as such and could pass as two friends walking or taking a meal together. A minority is a minority walking down the street, having a meal with a friend and that is a simple fact which cannot be altered. That is the difference, a choice is made to announce or otherwise make known when a person has gender identity or sexual preferences which may be considered non-traditional otherwise they could just as easily pass as being no different than the next person or group, a minority individual cannot hide their being a minority, period. That is a large difference but the reasoning made by the gender issues advocates is that they should be able to announce and make their difference from the traditional majority without any reactions.

What does one believe would be the reaction if my wife and I entered an establishment which was known to favor people who live alternate lifestyles and we announced we were a traditional couple. Hopefully we would be accepted and not made to feel out of place and uncomfortable. I would hope in most public institutions that the same acceptance is shown people of non-traditional relationships or gender identities. Where the problem arises is solely when religion gets into the mix. This may be the single place where those who live nontraditional lifestyles or have other than traditional gender identities may have to found their own religious institutions or seek those which would accept them as they are. Should they instead choose a traditional religious institution they should expect to need to conceal, or at the least minimize, their nontraditional lifestyle or preferences. The same would apply to traditional individuals should they decide to become members of a religious institution which accommodates solely to people with nontraditional relations or gender identities.

Beyond the Cusp

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