Tag Archives: Ethical laws

Adar 6, Matan Torah remembering the giving of Torah

In the people of God their year 2448 (1313 BCE), on the 6th (or 7th) day of the third month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar, Sivan, after Moshe was called up at the mountain of Sinai, God told his chosen one what to tell to the people. With the Shemoth or  Exodus from Egypt only three months in the past, the Jews arrive at Mount Sinai to hear a terrible noise and to see flashing lights. They saw a mountain which was been touched and burned with fire and to blackness and to darkness and to tempest.

“Now all of the people were seeing the thunder-sounds, the flashing-torches, the shofar sound, and the mountain smoking; when the people saw, they faltered and stood far off.”
(Exodus 20:15 SB)

“The people stood far off, and Moshe approached the fog where God was.”
(Exodus 20:18 SB)

Moshe having entered into the thick ‘darkness’ of the clouds, came to hear the Voice of God, the Most High Divine Creator. God spoke to Moshe

“… Say thus to the Children of Israel: You yourselves have seen that it was from the heavens that I spoke with you.”
(Exodus 20:19 SB)

V11p133004 Torah

V11p133004 Torah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There God gave to the Children of Israel what is by most Christians known as the “Ten commandments” but would be better referred to as the (literal translation) ““The Ten Sayings” or Decalogue. These Sayings including more than ten actual mitzvahs. Later Jeshua would tell that he has come not to take that Law away, like so many christians think, but to explain it and to fulfil it.

“Do not suppose that I came to tear-down the law or the prophets; I did not come to tear-down, but to fulfil.”
(Matthew 5:17 MLV)

“But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one serif of the law to fall short.”
(Luke 16:17 MLV)

“Now I am saying this: the law, which happened four hundred and thirty years afterward, does not invalidate a covenant* validated beforehand by God in reference to Christ so as to do-away-with the promise.”
(Galatians 3:17 MLV)

Many thousand years ago God found it time that what He wanted people would know very well what He expected from them. He wanted to make it clear to them what His expectations were.
He made it clear what He wanted man to keep to.

For those who doubt it, or use graven images in their worship places God made it clear He does not like such things.

“You are not to make beside me gods of silver, gods of gold you are not to make for yourselves!”
(Exodus 20:20 SB)

No body, who wants to be a child of God, may have more than One God before him or may become unequally yoked with unbelievers and take part in pagan rites and pagan festivals (like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, just to call a few).

It was on Sivan 2 that the Almighty God tells Moshe that He not only wants to give the Jews the Torah, but also wants to make them His chosen, set apart or holy nation, who will follow His commandments. The Jews wholeheartedly agree, replying,

“All God wishes we will do.”

On the third day of the month Moses relays the Jews’ answer to God and then returns to the Jews to tell them that he will be the messenger for the Ten Sayings; that what God told him up high on the mountain.

This weekend, Adar 6, 5777, we remember the giving of Torah and this transitional moment in our history — a moment known as Matan Torah (the Giving of the Torah). No longer were we merely the descendants of a great man named Abraham, or simply a Middle-Eastern people known as the Israelites. We had now become God’s people, chosen to learn His Torah and keep its laws. It’s a moment we celebrate every year on the festival of Shavuot, and this year will take place from May 30–June 1.

The Torah and Talmudic sources describe the delivery of the Ten Commandments as a unique experience — complete with thunder, lightning and a smoking mountaintop — and an event of historic significance. Yet the Talmudic account itself actually makes it quite difficult to understand what was so earth-shattering about

“the giving of the Torah.”

It was not that people did not yet know God’s Will. A significant body of legislation and moral lore was already in existence long before the historic event described as “the giving of the Torah.” Indeed, even without the Talmudic tradition it would seem that all of the Ten Commandments given at Sinai are either philosophical axioms (e.g., monotheism), moral imperatives and ideals (e.g., do not murder, do not steal, honour your father and mother, do not covet), or previously received mandates (e.g., the Sabbath). In other words, not the sort of material that would seem to warrant a divine revelation — and certainly not one of such grandeur.

But we should know that it was no simple handing over a book of lore …  God gave man the basic rules to live by, the Ten Commandments.

Please do understand, though the name of the event — the Giving of the Torah — implies that the entire Torah was given that day, this is not the case. In fact, only the Ten Commandments were taught to us that day, and even they were only transmitted verbally. The physical luchot—the tablets — were not given for another 40 days.

Nevertheless, the name remains, as it marks the day the Elohim began the process of giving us the Torah. In that light we should remember this weekend which great gift we were given so that it would be much easier for us to know how to keep in line with God’s desires.

First we were taught the Ten Commandments. Then, Moses stayed on Mount Sinai to learn from God, for 40 days. We too can take such 40 days to meditate and wonder about our relationship with the Most High. You can call it a time of reflection. Also Jeshua took such a time to think about what God wanted from him and his followers. He too had gone in the desert for 40 days to contemplate. Jeshua also took time to cogitate and was not afraid to deny the requests from others to denounce God or to test God. Also God’s people had to wait such a long time before they saw Moshe back. Though they proved not to be as strong as Moshe and Jeshua, Jesus Christ, who thought it most important to do the Will of God and not his own will. Though it is clearly impossible for Moshe to have learned ‘all 385 commandments’, he did learn the rules they are based on, and so it is considered as if he actually learned them. On stone tablets the basic 10 sayings cover most rules. The rest of the Torah was communicated in stages throughout the Jews’ 40-year sojourn in the desert.

In short we could say

The Ten Commandments

  1. Believe in Only One God.
  2. Do not believe in other deities.
  3. Do not take God’s name in vain.
  4. Keep Shabbat.
  5. Honour your parents.
  6. Don’t murder.
  7. Don’t commit adultery.
  8. Don’t kidnap.
  9. Don’t give false testimony.
  10. Don’t covet another’s possessions.
The Ten Commandments, In SVG

The Ten Commandments, In SVG (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This our the basic rules for man to follow. The 4 first ones you could consider laws believers in God should follow, but the 5th until the 10th commandment form the basic rules for all people, who should take care to be able to live with each other in the best and most peaceful conditions. By obeying those given ethic laws for humanity man should be able to live in peace.

Although Matan Torah is known as the time when God gave us His Torah to study and keep, there were a few Israelites who had kept the entire Torah of their own volition before Matan Torah.

Now the moment had come that the Elohim Hashem Jehovah asked man to take the act of making a conscious choice or decision. It had become time man had to show for Whom he wanted to stand. From the beginning of times God had given man freedom to act or judge on one’s own. Now it is time for man to show that he has the ability or power to discern what is responsible or socially appropriate.

Man has to make the choice how he is going to behave in a community. He has to choose the position he is going to take opposite others and how he is going to treat them.

Before Matan Torah, those who observed Torah did so entirely of their own accord. It was their own choice and we can not tell in what way they wanted to do it. We can only guess how they saw it as a matter of having a good relationship with the Divine Creator.

Probably their connection to God, therefore, was only as deep as their understanding and feeling. Like today people who come into the faith cannot know yet all what they have to keep to and have to go on a path of learning to come to know what God really wants from them.

English: The Title page of Mishnah Torah by Mo...

The Title page of Mishnah Torah by Moshe ben Maimon haRambam, published in Venice in 1575 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For us tonight having Matan Torah in our mind, we look at the time the Elohim connected His Essence to the Torah and gave it to mankind and as such also to us. Each of us has the own responsibility now to decide to accept that given Torah or to deny it. Each of us should see how The Law of God is our safeguarding but also our inner set apart (holy) contact with the Most High. When we observe the Torah, therefore, we are connected to God’s essence, no matter who we are and how much we understand or feel. {Likutei Sichot, vol. 28, pp. 11-12.}

Fear may have seized those at the fields before the mountain of Sinai, but we should not be in fear, because “God has visited his people!” and given His instructions so that they could live according to the Wishes of God. We should know that in every place where God’s Name is recorded He will come to us and will bless us.

“Moshe said to the people: Do not be afraid! For it is to test you that God has come, to have awe of him be upon you, so that you do not sin.”
(Exodus 20:17 SB)

“A slaughter-site of soil, you are to make for me, you are to slaughter upon it your offerings-up, your sacrifices of shalom, your sheep and your oxen! At every place where I cause my name to be recalled I will come to you and bless you.”
(Exodus 20:21 SB)

“I will make a great nation of you and will give-you-blessing and will make your name great. Be a blessing!”
(Genesis 12:2 SB)

“So are they to put my name upon the Children of Israel, that I myself may bless them.”
(Numbers 6:27 SB)

Moshe wrote down the Words of God and that way even today we can read what God wants from His creatures.

“Now Moshe wrote down all the words of YHWH. He started-early in the morning, building a slaughter-site beneath the mountain and twelve standing-stones for the twelve tribes of Israel.”
(Exodus 24:4 SB)

English: Moses repeated the commandments to th...

Moses repeated the commandments to the people, detail by a Carolingian book illuminator circa 840 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding articles

Our life depending on faith

God’s wisdom for the believer brings peace

Mishmash of a legal code but importance of mitzvah or commandments

Written by inspiration of God for our admonition, to whom it shall be imputed if they believe

Whoopi Goldberg commandments and abortion

29. Laws that Value People

Responsibilities of Parenthood for sharing the Word of God

Luther’s misunderstanding

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Additional reading

  1. Statutes given unto us
  2. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  3. Necessary to be known all over the earth
  4. God-breathed prophetic words written torah and the mitzvot to teach us
  5. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  6. Displeasures and Actions of the Almighty GodJudeo-Christian values and liberty
  7. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #1
  8. Hello America and atheists
  9. 1,500 to 1,700 years old Chiselled tablet with commandments sold at auction

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Further reading

  1. Our Competition With God
  2. A Summary of Exodus
  3. February 6, 2017-The Beginning of Law’
  4. Intro to the Ten Commandments or The Ten Words
  5. Ten Commandments – Exodus 20:1-17
  6. Exodus 24:12-18 Moses was on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights
  7. The first commandment – Putting God first
  8. God verses our gods
  9. God’s nature revealed as Law
  10. The 10 Commandments
  11. The Ten Commandments
  12. The Ten Commandments and Prophesy
  13. Daily Prompt: Ten
  14. Do You Keep the Ten Commandments
  15. 10 Rules Worth Following
  16. Ten Commandments
  17. Do the Ten Commandments apply to Christians?
  18. The beginning
  19. Can the Old Covenant be abolished if the Ten Commandments are not?
  20. “The Catechism in Six Parts: The Ten Commandments”
  21. How Not to Learn from The Bible
  22. God the Father – “I did not create you so that you could do whatever you want…”
  23. Want What You’ve Got! (Lent)
  24. Christian Parenting, Ten Commandments, and Les Miserables
  25. It Depends
  26. Idolatry & The Shack
  27. Honor Your Parents
  28. What I’m Reading: Are You Normal?
  29. Simple Standard
  30. Rules of the Road
  31. Sabbath, Creation, Guarding and Observing
  32. Top Ten Secrets From The Foundation Of Our World
  33. Simply following the Ten Commandments isn’t enough
  34. Seven Fundamental Practices: Sabbath Rest
  35. Sermon: Who Do You Love?
  36. Love and the Meaninglessness of Scripture
  37. Lying
  38. Lust of the eyes
  39. Morality and neurochemical impulses
  40. Shorty*: What Ultimately Comforted Job?
  41. Jesus Christ – “Remember, you are not here to please man with your actions but God – God’s Laws never change”
  42. I’ll Do It My Way -the terrible harvest of moral relativism

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Filed under History, Juridical matters, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Of old and new ideas to sustain power and to feel good by loving to be connected and worship something

Of old, people have been looking for reasons of their existence and how everything came into being. Because there were and are so many things people could not understand they created themselves super beings, called gods, overlooking to go beyond a manifold of gods finding the Most High Supreme Being.

English: religion - composition old bible book...

Religion – composition old bible books from Hungary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Creating mysterious stories could sooth many minds. Many creation myths can be found and other gods than creating ones were also thought of by man. Around the worshipping of those gods came into existence that what we call religion. For many those religions gave some answers, although somewhat inaccurately and told people how to live and work, and they provided for many a nice and easy way for getting control over people by the stories they fabricated. As such we also find in Christendom leaders who love to control their God-fearing population.

Throughout history we can see that the worship system was used to control people and to create reasons to go against other people. Though to say

“religion has been the leading cause of war and death throughout human history.” {What has religion done for us?}

would be taking it to far. (Much more than one bridge too far.)

In this time several people also get a wrong idea about certain old books. There are even people who think the bible is only 2000 years old, like ‘counter creationist‘ gives the impression in his article “Why? just why?”. The biggest part of the book he is referring to (The Bible) is much older then the two millennia. He also seems to be very confused about the Nazarene man spoken in those books. He considers that man to be a god-man according to those books, which is contrary to everything what is written in that Book of books and Best-seller of all times, about that person, though he is called son of man and son of God. But “son of God” is totally something different than “god son“. We do agree many made that man into their god and made statues of him, where in front of them, they bow before and in certain countries is even food and clothes given to him and to his mother-statues in little chapels along the road.

In certain countries it even has become very dangerously around those religions; In that Old Book of books this is even prophesied. In it we can find it as one of the signs that the third and last World War will be coming. There is written that earthquakes and tsunamis would be more frequent and after children would rise against their parents, religions would come up against each other. Clearly we can see many religions fighting against other religions and in each religious group we can find many subdivisions which go against each other and even are prepared to kill for it.

1 September 2010. During Middle East negotiati...

1 September 2010. During Middle East negotiations, Mubarak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel look at their watches to see if it is officially sunset; during Ramadan, Muslims fast until sunset. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To say it is religion that causes the killing is totally wrong and goes beyond reality. To give one example, just for one country because we know those official cyphers, in Belgium in 2013 there were about 756 terrorist attacks. Of them there were only three by religious people. Of those religious people there was only one attack made on religious grounds, by a fundamentalist (by coincidence a Muslim fundamentalist). This means the majority was made on non-religious grounds by non-religious or atheist people. To generalise that all atheist would be terrorists would be the most stupid fault. Though we see such a thing happening in several countries, like in the United States where everybody shouts that all Muslims are terrorist and bad people.  In the same state we can see that certain people go very strongly, aggressively against people of an other faith or who do not believe the same than they. Several openly agree that they are willing to kill the other if he does not convert. The same aggression and oppression of threat for converting we see in the Middle East, but than for the Muslims.

This growing attitude

“when people disagree you have to either convert or kill them”

is an aggressive approach what led to many their wars, but when we look more closely we see that the main reason of such wars we more to have the power over people, to gain more wealth for oneself, to have a much bigger area or to create a bigger state. We can see that by the present fundamentalist groups like ISIS who do not mind burning symbols which by most Muslims are considered holy, like the Quran or mosques. Though they may not be burned ISIS does not hesitate to put fire on them.

Very few religions say: “you can believe what you want, but I think this is true”. No, they say: “believe what I do or burn for eternity.” This approach allowed rulers to keep control over their population, using the fear of punishment and the assertion that they are right and no-one else is. {What has religion done for us?}

Too many people forget that often religion is just an excuse to bring problems to others or to press ones own power unto others.

The times when people are shunned from families and relationships for having different beliefs. {What has religion done for us?}

is not what cause the majority of problems in relationships with family members or friends. Most problems of bringing cuts in family relations have nothing to do with religion. Just have a look at the many divorces. Where would you think you can find most divorces? In religious families or in families where there is no interest in God or in ethical laws? In what sort of schools can you find most problematic asocial behaviour? In religious or in non-religious state schools?

We can agree that the same as by atheist many may have found delusion, oppression and false hope in that what they believed. And please do not forget that atheists also believe a lot of things. And also by atheists there is much discussion and fighting going on about what they believe. Just have  a look at how atheists professors and scientist often go in heavy debates. In Belgium we can see that very much in the ones who believe in alternative medicine and those who say that is just bullshit and rubbish. Last week we could also see two medical groups in a television documentary about the illness of Lyme going against each other and calling each other names (really not worthy for decent educated people). Very often we can find ignorance by lots of people and mostly by persons who do not want to believe in a Higher Supreme Being. Today we also must say most people are not at all interested in the Most High God of gods and have their other gods from the sports world (mainly football and soccer) and from the moving pictures and television screen. But most of all the new god has become that more tiny screen which brings a majority of youngsters on their own created island of isolation. When you look around on the streets, you can see them walking by thousands, with their heads down and fingers (mostly dumb) going crazily fast from one side to the other of that little electronic tool.

Stephen Shaw captured it so nicely in one of his photographs and his article Format 15 were he writes:

Life is a constant war we are doomed to lose . Thus we worship  science and technology and strive towards new ways of enjoying and prolonging our life ( Cryogenics ,  vitamins , health and fitness , resurrection and downloading our souls ). The mobile phone is like the new Deity people staring into its virtual light on a daily basis like they are memorised by a newfound idol. all reality and dullness of their real life is forgotten as they live their ideal fantasy life through this ever satisfying god who grants their every wish , albeit it be only in their minds. {Format 15}

As usual we can find people looking for ways to escape the earth-life reality and to create for themselves a better life than they really have; As such you may find many presenting themselves very differently on Facebook than they really are in really life. though many want to find more friends at the social media they also seem to get the same illusion like the other religions and finding themselves even more isolated and lonely than those believers in The God and who have their church community.

Many today are also calling out

The Era of the Gods is Over. Face the Truth. Not even the Gods are without Flaws.

Throughout history people have looked for finding reasons of life, ways of life, ways how to behave, ways to construct a better world. Many seem to forget that in those systems there were many irreligious people presenting their system as the best one and forcing it on others; For those who did have to seem to have forgotten the Marxist and Leninist systems, we shall ask them to look into the history books. Lots of people did not survive communist camps, but today there are still enough people form the communist countries alive, so please do talk with them and question about the non-religous solution which was offered as the solution.

Funny thing is that most strong voices against religion come from the United States of America who have a horrible fear of everything that may smell even a little bit of socialism or communism, though those system do not have to be as based as they believe. You see there too we come at the word belief and faith. Those American atheist have also their faith in certain systems. they too seem to forget that they “believe” in other things than gods or the God.

The Three Creators with “The big Struggle of Creation!” thinks:

Greeks (k)*new, where our leaders meet and find solutions. They also found good names we all admire. (* k added by us)

What they did not figure out, is why these individuals became gods. It’s because, they are people with a strong will, fighting for the Good Side. They hate fighting, but have to do it, because there is no other way to stop evil. They are willing to learn from good and evil and keep on learning and fighting, until they find solutions, until they find better ways. They are not perfect, they do not even try to be perfect. They simply know what’s good. {The Era of the Gods is Over. Face the Truth. Not even the Gods are without Flaws.}

If we look at the many gods of today, like George ClooneyTom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, just to name only of the most internationally known American actors, we can see that the media plays a very important role in creating idols and would be alike and figures were people want to dream of and have envy of. they are not any more good ones and they not have a good attitude. The opposite can be said of the stars of today. They have not what we would call an exemplary attitude, but do not mind to have an abundant life without borders and without scruples.

People of today prefer the free inhibited lifestyle were sex and fun comes in the first place and have nothing to do any more with real love. Lots of youngsters brag about the many girls they could get into their bed. Women just have become a trophy for many, but idem dito men for women, who have liberated themselves and even got solutions to have kids without the intervention of a male being, which many do not need any more.

People want to play for god themselves instead of having them be guided by something, somewhat or Some One Who they do not understand. Problem is that most people do not want to invest time to come to understand the Most High Being, Maker of haven and earth. they are fast to blame Him for everything what goes wrong in life, but to see all the good things around them and to accept God made them possible is too much asked.

Non-physical relationships can be a real pain to figure out. There aren’t any self-help books on them, and trying to get a communication style that works well can be challenging to say the least. {Gods: More Like People Than You Think}

writes Devo on Twisted Rope whose experiences have shown him that the gods man make themselves are a lot more like humans than we typically want to admit that they are. But that is just because man wants the gods to be like him and have to face the same difficulties like him.

Yeah, they may have more power in some ways than we do. But at the end of the day, they seem to have a lot of the same basic attributes that we do, and I feel like we should be taking a closer look at that. {Gods: More Like People Than You Think}

Lots of people do not feel happy because in the big world of many gods, idols, atheists, non-conformists, egoists, they feel lost and can not find any connection with their inner being nor with some outer-being. This makes them floating in the welter.

All created in the image of God have the possibility to hear the inner voice and to hear the calling of the Most High. We only have to open our ear.

And those atheists who think it are the religious who would make most war should reconsider who are the real religious people and what people would like to do when they have certain ethics and rules for a way of living. Be it Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, Jews or religious of an other faith, when they are serious faithful we shall see they mostly will have a more peaceful character than those who do not want to keep to certain ethics. Luckilly by the atheists we may find also a lot of humanists and people who do find it very important to have human ethical rules and to keep to those ethic laws. They too shall try to avoid warmaking and propagate peace.

English: Copied from http://en.wikipedia.org/w...

Worldreligions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Please do find additional reading:

  1. Newsweek asks: How ignorant are you?
  2. Atheists, deists, and sleepers
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  4. Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists
  5. Epicurus’ Problem of Evil
  6. Economics and Degradation
  7. Evil Never Ceases
  8. Caricaturing and disapproving sceptics, religious critics and figured out ethics
  9. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  10. A world with or without religion
  11. , Being Charlie 2, Being Charlie 3, Being Charlie 4, Being Charlie 5, Being Charlie 6,Being Charlie 7, Being Charlie 8, Being Charlie 9, Being Charlie 10, Being Charlie 11
  12. It’s beautiful to watch the spread of #JeSuisCharlie across the world,Where do we stand in the backdrop of Charlie Hebdo Massacre ?, Charlie Hebdo, offensive satire and why ‘Freedom of Speech’ needs more discussion
  13. Faith because of the questions
  14. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  15. Religion…..why the competition?
  16. Shariah and child abuse – Is there a connection?
  17. Why is it that Christians don’t understand Muslims and Muslims do not understand Christians?
  18. Apartheid or Apartness #1 Suppression and Apartness
  19. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  20. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #2 Roots of Jewishness
  21. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #3 Of the earth or of God
  22. Collision course of socialist and capitalist worlds
  23. Robertson: God says U.S. will accept socialism
  24. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  25. The imaginational war against Christmas
  26. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 4 Blasphemy and ridiculing faith in God
  27. Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses
  28. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  29. 112314 – A Peculiar People
  30. Maker of most popular weapon asks for repentance
  31. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  32. Science, 2013 word of the year, and Scepticism
  33. 2013 Lifestyle, religiously and spiritualy
  34. 2014 Religion
  35. Not many coming out with their community name
  36. Truth, doubt or blindness
  37. A Church without Faith!
  38. Inequality, Injustice, Sustainability and the Free World Charter
  39. Re-Creating Community
  40. Daniel Guérin: Three Problems of the Revolution (1958)
  41. The trigger of Aurora shooting
  42. Intellectual servility a curse of mankind

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  • Denial (todayssigns.wordpress.com)
    If you wonder about the importance of evidence to secular people, think about this: A whole world full of people waits out there, lurking to pull all kinds of shenanigans to get you converted to strange beliefs and practices they uphold, or to part with your money, without any kind of demonstrable evidence. The best they have is stories some unknown talebearer told that another unknown person wrote down. You get to choose from actual thousands of those doctrines in all their variations, but most people settle for the one chosen by their family in ages past.
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    Once a person attaches dissatisfaction with faith-based beliefs to failure of their messengers to be convincing, and then sees how that failure stems from absence of any kind of real evidence, the importance of evidence becomes clear and the search for evidence-based beliefs begins.
  • An imaginary interview with a Christian… (nytimes.com)
    Honestly, since so many of my friends aren’t religious or conservative, I’ve always taken for granted that being part of their lives meant accompanying them through life choices that belong to a different worldview than my own. (And I’m very grateful that they’ve accompanied and tolerated me.) My family has its share of divorces and second marriages; my friends’ romantic paths are varied; my closest friend from high school just exchanged vows with his longtime boyfriend. I’m going to a party celebrating them next month. If they asked me, I’d bring a cake.
  • Acts of Terrorism Very Rare Among US Muslims, Study Finds (voanews.com)
    After the September 11, 2001, attacks and more recent efforts by militant groups in Muslim countries to radicalize and recruit Muslims living in the West, there have been fears among U.S. authorities and the public of large-scale terrorist strikes on home soil.Such fears, however, have been largely unfounded, because Muslims in the United States have overwhelmingly ignored the calls to militancy, said Charles Kurzman, a researcher with the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security in North Carolina.

    “We have not seen mass radicalization of Muslims in the United States,” he said. “That’s worth taking note of.”
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    Although comparisons are tricky, other studies suggest that right-wing violence claimed more lives in the U.S. than terrorism committed in the name of Islam.

    There have been serious attacks, of course.  The 2009 shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas and the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon were carried out by Muslim U.S. citizens who claimed to be avenging American military actions overseas.

    And there were also failed attempts that came close to causing massive loss of life, but the study shows that these attempts were “rare and unsophisticated.”  In 2010, an SUV with propane and gasoline canisters and fireworks, parked in New York’s Times Square, detonated but did not explode. The driver of the car, Faisal Shahzad, had received bombmaking training in Pakistan’s Waziristan region.

    Authorities say large-scale attacks have been prevented because of the extensive security apparatus that was set up nationwide in response to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001.

  • Boston Marathon bomber wanted to terrorize US (rep-am.com)
    As he planted a backpack containing a bomb near a group of children, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made a coldblooded decision aimed at punishing America for its wars in Muslim countries, a federal prosecutor told the jury during closing arguments Monday at Tsarnaev’s death penalty trial.
  • Muslim Coalition Denounces ISIS for Steven Sotloff’s Murder (pr.com)
    The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of several national and local organizations, today condemns a terrorist and anti-Islam group for a video purporting to show the gruesome beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff.The murder of innocent civilians is immoral, illegal, barbaric, and in direct contravention of the major tenets of Islam and Islamic law. No cause or purpose is served by this heinous act other than a clear manifestation of this group’s cruel and un-Islamic nature.

    “We are outraged that we once again find ourselves in the position to condemn this organization that calls itself the ‘Islamic State’, also known by the acronym ISIS, for killing Mr. Sotloff, especially so soon after its members murdered journalist James Foley,” said Oussama Jammal, USCMO secretary general.

  • DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson remarks on the Quran’s ‘quintessentially American values’ (freenorthcarolina.blogspot.com)
    Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was honored by the Muslim Public Affairs Council last week for “for his dedication to and personal investment in engagement with Muslim American communities across the United States” and this happened during his post-award remarks:
  • Is an independent Kurdistan still possible? (blogs.timesofisrael.com)
    We in the west might have missed a golden opportunity  to back and help establish a new democratic state in the Middle East with strong ties to America and European democracies. It could be a Muslim state set up along the same lines as Israel. Both peoples have had similar experiences with the larger Sunni and Shia populations that inhabit the Muslim world.
  • Construction disputes taking longer to resolve (resene.com.au)
    Internationally, construction disputes are taking longer to resolve, according to UK-based consultancy company EC Harris.The company released the results from a study at the end of last month (May 24), which compared the trend across different regions around the world including the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia.

    Titled ‘Global construction disputes: A Longer Resolution’, the report was the third of its kind undertaken by the London consultancy with research help from ARCADIS Construction Claims Consulting.

    One of the main findings showed that construction disputes in 2012 averaged more than a year in length, which is 20 per cent longer than those in 2011.

    The average length of a dispute was 12.8 months, which was up from 10.6 months in 2011, and 9.1 months in 2010.

  • The Wider Ramifications of the Ukraine Crisis (payvand.com)
    The Ukraine crisis, as well as the broader deterioration in relations between Russia on the one hand and America and Europe on the other, is not taking place in a void. Many momentous events are happening simultaneously, including growing conflict in the Middle East and elsewhere in the Muslim World, increased tension between China and several of its neighbors, and the rise of India and certain other non-Western nations. The reaction of the world outside the West and the former Soviet Union to the crisis in Ukraine has been remarkably evasive. Although Syria and Venezuela have expressed their support for Russia, many other non-Western states have adopted a more neutral stance. Several Middle Eastern governments actually seem impatient with the Ukrainian crisis for diverting Western attention from the severe crises of their region. This issue just is not as significant for them as it is for countries closer to the conflict zone. Nor do they have any desire to get dragged into it.

    Nevertheless, the Ukraine crisis may have wider ramifications. In mid-2014, Russia reacted to European moves to reduce petroleum imports from Russia by signing a deal to redirect petroleum exports to China-reportedly at a very low price. The longer the crisis between Russia and the West continues, the more likely are European-Russian economic ties likely to fray and Russia to become increasingly dependent economically-and perhaps politically-on China.

  • Recognizing and promoting religious bigots against Islam and Muslims (angryarab.blogspot.com)
    It is just amazing how much Zionist US media love to promote anyone who harbors hatred for Islam and Muslims, qua Muslims.  If this woman says about Jews what she says about Muslims, she would be shunned and people would picket all her speaking engagements.  But she speaks against Islam (as a religion) and against Muslims, and that does not in any way cause people to condemn her bigotry.
  • Christophobia, a gift to the Church?
    I believe many pockets of Christianity throughout America today still suffers from this illusion. But there is hope today in the very movement that many take as a grave attack on the faith. The modern day power grab for control over the culture has come dressed in the garb of Christophobia, i.e., that irrational and pervasive fear that if Christians have a voice in the public square the Constitution will burst into flames, civil liberties vanish, women made slaves, gays imprisoned, sea levels will rise, and 7-day young earth creationism will reign in every science classroom.
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    The Christophobia of our age is an invitation—no, a demand!—that all who would claim the name ‘Christian’ be truly conformed to the image of Christ. Those who follow Christ in this world were given the daunting promise by Christ Himself that they would suffer persecution in this world. It was a badge of honor for those apostles, prophets, martyrs and saints who came before and who faced down the challenge of their oppressors and won their own souls.

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