Beyond the Cusp

April 10, 2017

Did Trump Just Give Putin a Way Out of Syria?

 

The article by Mark Langfan for Arutz Sheva is a good read and has some interesting propositions. His optimism and suppositions would make the world a safer place if they came to fruition but perhaps we should scale back the ideas of future cooperation and settle for the possible over the preferable. Peace and secure and unchallenged borders throughout the Balkans would be wonderful but are not exactly possible as the spirits there are too unsettled and restless. Further, it is not likely that Putin would settle for just one-third of the Ukraine plus the Crimean Peninsula as he desires the weapons manufacturing capabilities in the central regions of the Ukraine and all the wheat fields to feed all of Russia just as Stalin had done. Putin would never allow his prize to become part of NATO. But the one interesting piece from the article was the exit policy which, with the world and their condemnation of Bashir al-Assad over the release of Sarin nerve agent on a civilian population, gives Putin the perfect excuse. His theory is Putin will use this incident to pull his support for al-Assad and then working with NATO, or with Trump to be more accurate, will place an acceptable, and presumably pliable, leader in Syria in return for the two naval bases and airfield and then everyone will be free to remove ISIS, the Islamic State, working in coordination. We hope at least this part of Mr. Langfan’s exercise in a proposed future in Syria and the rest of Europe, the Balkans and Ukraine will come to fruition. It almost appears that Mr. Langfan believes that Presidents Trump and Putin are cooperating in a pact of mutual endorsement and support, likely a misconception, but still appears to permeate his thinking.

 

Unfortunately, thus far President Putin appears to be stanchly defending Bashir al-Assad and placing the blame on the munitions kept presumably by the rebels, possibly ISIS, at the targeted location. That is not the actions of a man who is planning on deserting al-Assad to replace him with anyone, especially a Sunni. Russia is not about to alter their cozy relations with Iran either. Had Russia any plans on removing al-Assad and deserting their support for Iran, the delivery early this year of the S-300 anti-aircraft batteries would never have happened. Russia is firmly committed to the Shia cause and the projected plans by Iran to spread Shia Islam across the Middle East and eventually on to Northern Africa and beyond. What the Russian plans are, is quite a mystery but the Iranian plans are an easy read as it is all in their holy books under Jihad.

 

The Mullah of Iran intend on spreading Shia Islam to every corner of the globe, including Russia. Their plan is not to accomplish this by this year or even in the lifetime of the Supreme Leader nor the next Supreme Leader or necessarily the next or the next but eventually there will be one who does finish their destiny. The leaders of Iran are assured that their viewed destiny cannot be prevented because it was written in the Quran and Allah’s will can never be denied. Of course the Sunnis, such as Islamic State or the Royals in Saudi Arabia, also believe the same verses guarantee their eventual supremacy of the entire world. I know what some are saying, both sets of what some of you are saying. One group is claiming that they cannot both be correct and there is another group simply exclaiming for us to give them a break and are we really trying to push that crazy Islam intends to conquer the world canard? The latter groups will claim that nobody still believes they can honestly conquer the world and that the idea of conquering the world went out after the death of Alexander the Great, when Rome fell, with the end of the British Empire, or when the Soviet Union collapsed. Well, here are a few little clues which may answer a few doubts. First, we are not claiming anything new with the idea that, Islam will conquer the world because it is Allah’s will, that is in the Quran. The Quran can be confusing for many reasons, first of which is it is not arranged in chronological order, it is arranged for ease of children memorizing it starting young so it is in order from shortest to longest. For more information we wrote an introductory article a number of years back which we should update when we get a chance.

 

As far as nobody thinks they can conquer the world any more, allow us to mention a few other than our Islamic friends, allow us to introduce the Chinese in command of the mainland who have yet to surrender on the concept of a world ruled by their improved version of Communism with a touch of Capitalism, and there is Putin who was sold before he became a member of the KGB that Russia must rule everything. Also, there is our chubby friend Kim Jung Un who is just insane enough to still think he will be the one though he can be discounted due to lack of sanity and we are sure there is someone else somewhere who cannot let go of the megalomaniacal hope that they will one day rule the world, if not the universe. Just because the western world reached the conclusion that the world was not capable of being conquered and it was more profitable to engage in commerce does not mean that everyone else in every other part of the world also saw such as the only sane result and still believe the best way to attain world unity is not cooperation but by their singular conquest of the world or the complete domination of their philosophy, rules and religion. The world does not run under one philosophy or one set of understandings. That has been a somewhat difficult belief to have some in the western world to understand as they honestly believe that the rest of the world has or will adopt western culture and ideas as they honestly believe that it is superior. Surprise, that is also a form of conquest of the globe through a less violent means, by cultural dominance erasing all other cultures. One of the problems with this idea is that not all of the globe has electricity and many nations closely monitor all information and even music from coming within their borders. Some manage this through propaganda or religious edicts and strict enforcement.

 

What matters is that there really are bad people by western standards of Judeo-Christian morality. Don’t start rolling the eyes at the use of the worlds Judeo-Christian morality as that has been the dominating force in the western world which allowed for the scientific revolution and the progression to the separation of church and state which allowed for the technological progress of the last few centuries. That was not universally the case and as the western world made great progress and appeared to become dominant, the Islamic world crept into their shell and believed that returning to their original roots when they were dominant, the seventh century through eleventh century when they were on their way to conquering the world (see map below). Islam has been waiting for their opportunity to return to preeminence. The Saudi Arabians believed they could buy that future with their oil wealth along with the other Arabian Gulf States, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and have been buying the necessary weaponry over the years and have been supplying much of the arms and funding, through back channels for deniability, for the Islamic State, formerly ISIS. They were the money behind al-Qaeda, provided fifteen of the nineteen hijackers on 9/11, have assisted the Wahhabi sect of Islam which have their own designs on world conquest and have expended too many American and allied soldiers fighting their wars to keep them safe. Some concepts and beliefs die hard and Islam promise from Allah of ruling the world might just top the list.

 

Spread of Islam Across North Africa and into the Iberian Peninsula

Spread of Islam Across North Africa and into the Iberian Peninsula

 

The conclusion of this is that Putin has signed on with Iran and the Shiites for better or worse as the Sunnis betrayed Russia when they switched sides changing over to American arms and protections. The odds are Putin not only remembers the betrayal but that it weighs heavily on him and is a part of his reasoning of supporting Iran. He likely sees Saudi Arabia as the leader of the Sunnis and the main reason why he will not betray Iran and thus stand by Bashir al-Assad. As for was al-Assad responsible for the Sarin Gas chemical release, that will remain something which might be discovered in whatever ensuing investigation is conducted. That also could depend on who does the investigation. It is possible there will be multiple investigations with them being at odds with one another depending on which side conducts the investigation. Such is the state of our world and it could not be more dangerous.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

March 30, 2013

The Sane Solution to Same Sex Marriage

We have written about this solution that addresses the recognition of same sex couples under the law while also maintaining the traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman that should satisfy both sides of the argument. It preserves marriage while granting same sex couples with the legal rights they claim to seek and does so by reducing the intrusion of government into what should be a religious matter decided by each individual house of worship. The answer is to allow houses of worship to issue marriage certificates and hold marriage ceremonies while for those couples who wish the benefits and responsibilities the state applies to couples can receive a civil union contract from the state which will allow their pairing to have all the legal rights which currently are restricted to married couples. The marriage the houses of worship would perform would not allow the couple to claim any of the benefits of those who have a civil union contract unless the married couple also satisfied the state requirements and received a civil union contract. This separates the institution of marriage from any entanglement within the legal workings of the state thus freeing the individual state governments to decide what will be acceptable as a couple in the eyes of the law while the religious institutions decide what defines a married couple. The two are separate from each other and though any couple married by a religious ceremony would very likely also qualify for receiving a civil union contract, not every recipient of a civil union contract would be eligible to be necessarily married by every religious institution. There are also other advantages and options which become available in defining marriage which is currently disallowed due to the state being the issuing body of marriage certificates.

The main advantage is that each house of worship would be enabled to define marriage in whatever manner their congregation decides it should be defined. If the house of worship only wishes to recognize marriages between people of their religion and refuses to allow mixed religion marriages, which would be that house of worship’s right and the state would have no problems as the state has no jurisdiction over any religious service or definition as per the First Amendment. On the other side, if a couple can locate a house of worship willing to marry them, then they can have a marriage license and be considered married. Also, if a couple wishes to be married but does not deem it necessary to have state sanctioning their marriage, they would not be forced to receive a civil union contract but by not receiving the state’s issuance of a civil union contract would negate them of the benefits of being a couple in the eyes of the state and in all state functions. They would not be able to file a joint tax return or necessarily be allowed to visit each other in a state run hospital or have numerous other benefits. They would still be able to be the benefactor in their wills but would face the taxes upon one’s death as if they were not a legally joined couple.

The reason we like this solution is not because it enables same sex unions as much as it removes the government from what should be a purely religious institution, marriage. The further the government can be removed from defining terms in our lives and society, the more free the society will become. It is necessary to have the government define legal contracts as those are enforced in the courts of the state. It is not necessary to have the state define anything that does not require a legal contract. Marriage was originally not a legal contract but was a moral contract issued by the religious culture. The interest of the state in marriage has been as a financial interest, a social interest, a contractual interest, and a left over remainder from when the state and church coexisted almost as one entity through much of human history. By granting the state the issuance of the civil union contract the state continues to have all the jurisdictional constraints which it currently possesses but allows for marriage to be returned to the religious sector of our society. This is something which is desirable as it is fitting to have marriage and civil union contract both exist as the state and religion have been divorced from their previous relationship and thus should have separate interests in the whole idea of marriage. The religious institutions would have their historic interest of defining the basic structure of family and all that entails. The state would have their rightful fee for the contractual legal aspect which has been the main interests of the state as well as defining family for tax and other considerations.

There is one more benefit with this solution. We have heard time and time again that all those wishing to legalize same sex marriages desire is to have the same legal rights as do heterosexual couples. By relegating marriage to religious institutions and removing it from legal and public jurisdiction and in the legal and public forum having the contractual part of marriage relegated to civil union contracts, then all who are accepted by the state, which would likely include same sex couples as the state should not have any legal reason to deny such and moral reasons are not the state’s purview, would have the same identical rights while religious institutions could define marriage in any manner they wish. Religious institutions which allow polygamy or polyandry could allow such and it would then be up to the state on whether such could receive a civil union contract and with what limitations or provisions. Since the state licenses separate from religious institutions such discrepancies should not make for the problems we are currently facing as each would define their own definitions. This is just another application of a kind of separation of powers where the state has its set of considerations, legalizations and limitations while the religious institutions have their definitions and preferences and the two do not necessarily have to match.

Beyond the Cusp

February 18, 2012

Absolute Truth on the Wall Separating Church and State

First, to repeat the simple truth which all too many people either honestly are unaware of or purposely deny is that nowhere in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or the rest of the Amendments to the Constitution does the phrase, or even similar phrasing, “Separation between Church and State” actually exist. Here are the actual words of the First Amendment with the sections on religious freedom and restriction of government from religion denoted in italics,

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ;or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

These concepts are divided into two components, the first being the “Establishment Clause” and the other being the “Exercise Clause”. So, what do each actually mean?

 

The “Establishment Clause” states that the Federal Government may not denote any religion to be the sanctioned preferred religion of the United States. It prevents there being declared an American Church, much like the feared Church of England or the Catholic Church served to subvert freedoms and placed those of other religions conceivably in peril of their life due to religious observance, depending which was ascendant during the period. The history of England displayed periods alternately where either the Catholics persecuted all non-Catholics or Protestants (Church of England) persecuting non-Protestants. The usual targets for Catholics were those who were leaders and congregants of the Church of England while targets for the Church of England was the same peoples who were Catholic. There were a few things which both groups agreed upon, namely that the Druids, Pagans, and Jews were nonbelievers under the persecutions of either church and thus always in fear of the State and the State Religion.

 

The “Exercise Clause” prevents the Federal government from restricting people from following and observing their religion and its dictates and customs as long as they do not harm or impinge upon anybody else and their freedoms of religion. This clause is the guarantor that the Federal Government is restricted from imposing restrictions upon religious observance nor makes demands which would force people to break with the tenets, customs and requirements of the observance of their religion. It is this section that is most often quoted when people refer to the United States providing freedom of religion.

 

The Establishment Clause is most quoted when people try to claim that it grants us freedom from religion when they attempt to claim that any public display of the Ten Commandments or a Nativity Scene on government property violates the First Amendment. Truth be told, the Establishment Clause actually forbids the exclusion of the Ten Commandments, Nativity Scenes, Chanukah Menorahs, and other such expressions of faith guaranteed by the Exercise Clause simply because forcing such from the public square is establishing an official state religion, namely Secular Humanism. Of course, when you define Secular Humanism as being a religion, the proponents of Secular Humanism cry foul and claim that Secular Humanism is actually the epitome of being the un-religion. So, who is correct?

 

Religion is defined in my dictionary as;

1) A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

2) A specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion.

3) The body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices.

So, does Secular Humanism fit any of these definitions? I doubt there can be much disagreement that it fulfills definition 2 and 3 completely thus qualifying as a religion. But what about the first definition? Secular Humanism definitely is a set of beliefs concerning and defining the cause, nature and purpose of the universe. Secular Humanism also definitively contains a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. One might even claim that it has a superhuman overriding entity which is behind all their truths, their beliefs which is called science, most often physics, astrophysics to be more specific. Their rituals are demonstrating in favor of a “woman’s right to choose”, recycling, alternate energy, and actions supporting any of the myriad of liberal doctrines. These also are the basic moral codes for the Secular Humanist. The only argument that takes a slight stretch is equating science as their superhuman agency or agencies, their deity. But would not having an actual deity actually preclude Secular Humanism from being a form of religion? What about Hinduism or Buddhism? Neither of these religions have a belief in a deity; they have the defining philosophy of the originator of their belief system. By the same definition, Secular Humanism has the same originators, namely Aristotle, Plato, Euclid, Galileo, Archimedes, Copernicus, Newton, Einstein, and Hawking along with numerous philosophers such as Hubbard and others.

 

Once we realize and get the courts to affirm that Secular Humanism is actually a religion, then we can proceed to prevent them from denuding our common areas of what the Secular Humanists currently denote are religious displays and therefore must be removed. With Secular Humanism recognized as the religion it is, removing the Ten Commandments, Nativity Scenes, Chanukah Menorahs and any other objects denoted as too religious for public inclusion, then we can also sue that displaying nothing during the many holiday seasons and the exclusion of the Ten Commandments replacing it with nothing is actually the observance of Secular Humanism. Perhaps we should begin to demand that Secular Humanism is no longer a reasonable reason for removal of community preferred displays as being the establishment of a State religion and thus forbidden by the Constitution of the United States. Maybe it’s time for a war against Secular Humanism and not make peace until the Secular Humanist followers agree to allow the display of other religious displays next to their religiously denuded spaces in front of city hall and elsewhere. Let them have their open space perhaps with a shrub or other display of Secular Humanism, whatever they might be, and we can have our beautiful displays of our love of our faiths.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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