22 July 2017

Ten Building Blocks For Mankind - Part Two

 

Continuing from Part One.

The Ten Commandments as found in Exodus:
“I Am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 
“You shall have no other gods before Me. 
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments. 
“You shall not misuse the Name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His Name. 
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 
“You shall not murder. 
“You shall not commit adultery. 
“You shall not steal. 
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor 
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” 
- Exodus 20: 2-17
On the surface, the argument against having the Ten Commandments removed from government property seems irrefutable enough.

On the surface it reads like a religious memorial and, resembling such, has no place on government (secular) property.

The secular argument is that secular government is supposed to represent all people, even those who do not believe or follow God / a god, or identify with any particular religion or moral code.

However, the law of the government, whether interpreted as moral or ethical (or not) is not only enforced, but expected to be obeyed by all people.

THIS is that what these commandments really represent.

Most of the world's religions espouse a single 'god', and the majority of ancient cultures that have influenced modern societies always beckoned an ideology based on a god or gods (divine order), speaking to mankind's dilemma of desiring to do what is right, yet wrestling with the fact that man does wrong.

Are the commandments only an ancient religious relic needing to be buried and forever forgotten?

Although the diatribes on social media surrounding the argument are largely instigating and divisive, the world has a great learning opportunity that may bring opposing views closer together and an appreciation for what has been established on earth.

A greater understanding is at-hand.

What most ancient civilizations have wrought through their ideas of divine order is a common desire to be at peace within society, hopefully with those outside society, promoting peace and mutual respect, lawfulness and an ordered society.

Such societies, although still far from perfect today, have reasonable desires considering the manner the not too distant past was experienced in absence of a code such as these commandments.

Many places on earth still thirst for a semblance of human rights and the enforcement of what these commands signify.

This is one outcome the Ten Commandments have produced.

Where one person desires not to have a bunch of rules restricting them from living their life, one can attempt to imagine a world without rules.

Let us try to imagine a world without some of the commands mentioned.

Imagine a world where murder is not outlawed or answerable, but instead can be easily justified for many reasons.

Or imagine your neighborhood being a place where stealing was a constant reality.

Aside from you fighting to keep your home from being occupied, or your possessions from being stolen away, you have no one to help you enforce the idea that stealing is wrong and dealt with by law-enforcers.

What if whoever was in charge answered to no one, but made up the rules as they went along.

Today they decide to take your house for no reason, and all your possessions, and then your family and finally your life (kill you).

They justify this not by the code expressed in these commands, but reasons all their own.

Only a strongman would be able to possibly withstand such tyranny and arbitrary rule...unless, of course, you were the strongman with the bloody blade in your hand.

This is exactly what happens when rebellion arises and current lawful systems are ignored, abandoned or suspended.

A recipe for outright chaos and disorder is the recipe for a society without such basics as stealing and murder being held to account.

Those who have enjoyed living in a civilized society that upholds the law have an expectation of enforcement of these commandments.

In the better societies, these laws are applied equally to all people with few or no exceptions.

The idea of all people being subject-to and equally accountable under the law, and such as these commandments, is the reason law and order exists and has existed in those places the rule of law has been honored.

What do these commandments speak to if not the value of life, the respect of others, even the weak or indifferent?

This work of valuing all human life as priceless (what these commands evoke) is yet to be realized universally on earth...and sadly has been ungratefully overlooked and mocked by those who are nearsighted and have enjoyed their legacy.

Some people assume that mankind would have eventually arrived to a place of law and order without such ideas as these commands.

This is why theories are a late development on the scene of human history with reality the fact, not supposition.

What does history show?

The world has been formed by these commands, and due punishment for its violators has long been prescribed.

Yet still many people mock and ridicule the governance they are protected by.

Sadly ignorant and nearsighted are the rebellious.

Some presume that the moral code found in the Ten Commandments would have somehow developed without God...or without a mutual respect for the law.

This is why a bribe may buy certain individuals in certain places at a certain time, but will not buy all people throughout all places throughout all times, since the law of conscience has infiltrated the hearts of men by these commandments.

Some desire to remove themselves and their governments from the belief that an all-knowing Judge will condemn the wicked either on earth and / or after death.

What is unrealized is that this code has already been intertwined into society like two hydrogen molecules are attached to one oxygen molecule in forming water.

This law is the water that has permeated the stone hearts of mankind and formed a groove in such hearts to allow for proper adjustments to mankind's carnal condition.

Mankind and life on earth cannot exist without water, thus why these commandments were authored.

The two fundamental molecules that make water have always been found together, as the search for what is true from what is false (love being true, hate being false...right being true, false being false).

One cannot have water by removing either hydrogen or oxygen, thus one cannot have what is correct by removing what is right.

Today, far too many people unwittingly advocate for the removal of oxygen, thinking they'll enjoy the reality of water in some other manner, much how they desire to remove what is true in order to pursue their own definitions of truth...and societies repeat the breaking apart as in times past.

The desire for a separation of church and state can be arguably justified because of the many crimes religious institutions have caused...no argument in defending the crimes of the religious.

But let us consider: is a rudimentary code that has been the foundation of lawful and ordered societies, or the inspiration of its Author, to blame for the misdeeds of certain individuals or their defunct understanding of the code and its Author?

No.

Yet, this is what people argue against all the time, ignorant to the fallacies and nearsighted conclusions to history's message.

Notice that in Christ, the Author of these commandments has been made known.

Christ is the very definition, expression and explanation, of Love manifested.

Yeshua / Jesus is Lord.

It is Yeshua who has declared “I Am the Lord your God” and “You shall have no other gods before Me”.

Perhaps it would be easier to now look over those Ten Commandments when realizing that Christ is the One who further commands to love your enemy and bless and do not curse.

The world would look very different today if, for example, it was another ideology which came to dominate the world as Christendom has.

A simple look at any other current civilization's development that doesn't fully embrace the consciousness of Christ would reveal their shortcomings and their myriad stagnation.

It is by no coincidence or empty chance that another societal development supplanted the kingdoms of men.

Why is this?

Look where tyranny continues with an entrenchment in archaic manners...places where the God depicted (as revealed in Christ) is absent, denied, or substituted for some other idea besides Yeshua as the Lord of these commandments.

This is a clear example of Providence and Prescience.

God's protective power (Providence) and the Word (the foreknowledge) that has formed our reality (Prescience).

Some desire to remove the notion of God from everything public, or from government, and they have no idea what they are doing or who is acting in and through them...that rebellious spirit who desires to wreak havoc, not further peace.

To change this longstanding reality some of us enjoy and thrive under would be to deny the very fabric of what has molded the civilized world and made it civil and life tolerable.

21 July 2017

Mediums And Messages

These Two Images / Mediums Contain Messages.
Interpretation May / May Not Follow Intended Messages

I eventually focused on Mass Communication in college after studying music and religion and other subjects.

I decided not to retake the English writing test to receive my degree.

I failed the first and only time I took the exam, most likely due to the stress of losing the patriarch of the family; my maternal grandfather Leonardo Severo Garcia.

It is ironic that I currently write as a profession.

Perhaps in the eyes of some people, not having a degree immediately disqualifies my opinions as only that; mere opinions without substance.

I did learn a few things, like finding adequate support for any given argument.

It was more a personal political decision and an aim from pride (two less-than honorable justifications I now see as immature) not completing what I started.

I had my mind (and heart) set on starting my own business the final two years at the university and justified the eventual success of that pursuit as proof I didn't need a piece of paper hanging from a wall to qualify me for success.

A personal / political issue in my mind.

I did complete all the undergraduate work with a decent grade-point-average, so it really wasn't much of a revolutionary stance I was taking.

A braver effort would have been no college at all, but my mom begged me to go...and I'm glad I listened to her.

An education can be quite priceless.

More valuable if the teachings are learned and lessons understood.

I think lots of folks receive an education, but don't learn much.

The education I acquired developed in me its intended purpose: some competency (if I may)...and other things I'm sure.

I learned some invaluable lessons while studying media and how suggestive it can be, whether covert, overt or otherwise.

It's all psychological.

I was quite impressed and surprised when realizing how the world has been influenced by modern media for some generations now.

It doesn't take much to get the ball rolling...a gigantic snowball starts out tiny, much like a hurricane starts as a breeze.

Media has existed since ancient times in different forms and in lesser degrees.

An example of an old media form was a king's decree posted at central locations throughout the realm; public squares and similar.

Media is the manner messages are disseminated.

The “Medium is the Message” was coined by Marshall McLuhan, a professor of media and its affect on people's thinking.

Recently meeting a 12 year old grandson of a friend, I noticed this pre-teen playing a video game on his phone.

I couldn't help but notice how the game was quite political and insightful regarding Today's challenges, despite the humorous way these issues are presented.

This was the game.

Much how political realities were taught to me in junior high school through the university years, it wasn't until I tasted real life for myself that these teachings began to become lessons.

“Real life” meaning when I entered the workforce as an adult, and later starting my own businesses and dealing with adverse attitudes, prejudice, an unpredictable market, and so forth.

The profound and important issues being messaged through the medium of that game to a generation that will be managing the world very soon was surprising to me.

I wonder how long it will take my friend's grandson (or his generation) to learn the lessons after the initial teaching.

20 July 2017

Clear Waters After Confusing Currents


Love is so much more than the initial feelings one senses when seeing an attractive person.

I think far too many people never shed the fear of intimacy in reaching for the trust in weakness it takes to open up one's heart.

Nobody likes or enjoys rejection.

Many people, I think, live in the shallow end of the pool and are only getting their feet wet.

People usually mistake sexual attraction for 'love' and other such things that mislead our perceptions.

Much how financial security is misinterpreted as actual security in another person, and so on.

When I met my wife, hearing her voice was what triggered a holy notion in my heart.

It was as if the timbre of her voice resonated with the soulful strings God had formed my heart out of.

Her beauty became secondary, although it initially made me notice her.

I had prior experiences confusing outer beauty as inward goodness.

And after several dismal experiences, I began to imitate the cynical world.

Do after the initial wonder seeing and hearing my wife-to-be's voice, fear was the initial culprit that tempted me into doubting God would grant me one of His daughters.

I thought I only deserved more pain, more deceit and more stone hearts covered in beautiful flesh.

I had chased after plenty of daughters from this side of heaven.

The faith it took for me to believe His heavenly gift to me was to become the greatest challenge to my man-fashioned character, after the most impressing challenge of being holy in a fallen and deceived world.

I had fashioned a character initially after the Perfect Man, Christ Yeshua the Lord God of Israel and heaven and earth...after breaking to pieces the first man that I imitated (the sons of this world).

After falling from grace (an expression that poorly describes a time in the desert, for His grace was still all encompassing but not perceived by my fleshly eyes), I went back to building upon the slippery slopes of earthly sand.

It seems I had to go back to eating pig slop and dog vomit to once again appreciate what was good from bad.

Bitterness in order to taste what is true from false.

Emptiness after being filled once again with innocent Truth from the false gods of this world.

Those gods that men desire to call 'God', and easily submitting to...while not submitting to the Living God.

Easily is dismissed the reality that a man died and rose to life, for a semblance of spirituality that is void of anything filling the void in the heart.

When men throw to the ground anything that is strikingly true, like our mortal manners compared to His Holy Way, men are apt to think that they do not sin any longer, or than sin no longer exists.

It was death that was vanquished, but sin is still a constant for all of mankind.

It is this grip of denying His eternal Word, which would otherwise resound in all hearts the world over, willingly by both men and God.

It shall resound by His will and Way, and shall play a beautiful song in those who have been brought into His will, while sadly shattering the hearts of those who have denied His Way...which is Yeshua Christ....and called their ways righteous while mocking His Way as religious.

18 July 2017

[God Lift Us] Up Where We Belong

Love Desires To Be Found...And To Find You!

Click and listen...and read / sing along with the lyrics below.


God is Love...
Who knows what tomorrow brings
In a world, few hearts survive 
All I know...is the way I feel
When it's real, I keep it alive 
The road...is long
There are mountains in our way
But we climb a step every day 
Love [God] lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry on a mountain high 
Love [God] lift us up where we belong
Far from the world we know
Where the clear winds blow
Some, they hang onto used to be 
Live their lives, looking behind 
All we have is here and now 
All our life, out there to find 
The road...is long
There are mountains in our way
But we climb a step every day
Love [God] lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry on a mountain high 
Love [God] lift us up where we belong
Far from the world we know
Where the clear winds blow 
Time goes by, no time to cry 
Life's you and I 
Alive Today 
Love [God] lift us up where we belong
Where the eagles cry on a mountain high 
Love [God] lift us up where we belong
Far from the world we know
Where the clear winds blow 
- “Up Where We Belong”
- Sung by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warmes
- Written by Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jack Nitzsche, Jennings Will 
One of Love's definitions:
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is Love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His One and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us. 
- 1 John 4: 7-12 

17 July 2017

Ten Building Blocks For Mankind - Part One

What Came First? The Chicken Or The Egg?

What's The Big Deal About The Ten Commandments?

Recently a man destroyed a monument showing the Ten Commandments, and his argument was that it violated the separation of church and state clause in U.S. law because it was on public (government) property.

A similar incident occurred in Oklahoma in 2014.

Perhaps some people fear losing their current identity, whether it be national, religious, both, or something else.

Perhaps some people also fear intimidation or the suggestion of adopting an identity they reject or think they do not relate to.

Perhaps some people would like to form a new identity.

Are identities developed from out of the air, or derived from previous ideas?

An overtone sometimes repeated: for God and a country, is evoked by some to reflect a particular cultural identity in America...although that phrase is older than America; the ideals that formed that phrase are ancient.

Since before the reformation and the later revolutions in Europe, there has been a popular movement to remove any connection between the church and the government in western cultures, or God and the cultures that a belief in God have developed.

It is a challenge arguing either for or against any particular form of popular government since the kingdom of God is beyond human imagination.

Man has desired to manifest what is unseen - the invisible kingdom within - in material forms like a nation-state or some other thing.

Much harm has been done in the name of religion, and this is the concern the reformation and revolutions have argued.

Very difficult to justify the wickedness religious people have done in pushing their religion through a government apparatus.

The Ten Commandments were established for ancient Israel.

We can read how that ideal ebbed and flowed considerably...eventually being graduated into the Roman empire through the Christ expression, continuing to saturate the entire world Today.

What is challenging is the attempt to remove certain foundations from the world's laws.

Some people desire to extract any notion of God (or religion) from their lives, especially in the public realm.

But what is usually overlooked is the manner the Ten Commandments have influenced the entire world in ways unimaginable.

Some people argue that man's natural evolution would have led mankind to form laws preventing murder, or thievery (two of the commands).

I think this is wishful thinking and in the realm of “what if”; theories of man.

Men are free to theorize, but to rationalize outside of reality can in one instance be called creative, while in another instance an obvious form of denial.

Such a notion is nearly impossible to fully determine since culture cannot be separated from historical development.

Can an image be fully seen and understood when not having a certain piece of a puzzle?

Some people do try and argue such things.

The piece of the “puzzle” that some people desire to remove is the bedrock that all laws are derived: God.

Could the issue be that deep down in our carnal hearts, one cares not obey those ten commands?

Yet at the same time, the rational person desires most of those commands to be enforced by the state.

It is a matter of benefit to those who would desire protection, and also a moral disconnect for those who would benefit by disobeying any or all of them.

If you were being tried in a court of law, and you were innocent of the charges against you, you would NOT want someone to give false testimony in order to find you guilty.

Haven't we all been tempted to lie in even the most unimportant of situations?

How about lie to prevent severe embarrassment or humiliation to our person...or prevent a situation that would cause us great loss?

The Ten Commandments as found in Exodus:
“I Am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 
“You shall have no other gods before Me. 
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments. 
“You shall not misuse the Name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His Name. 
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 
“You shall not murder. 
“You shall not commit adultery. 
“You shall not steal. 
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” 
- Exodus 20: 2-17
Continued in Part Two

13 July 2017

A Bird's Nature Warns Of Danger

Matthew 6: 25-26, Galatians 3: 7-14, Romans 12: 9-21

The attempt of some scholars to label as “Abrahamic” the religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as sharing a core identity, is part of what can eventually bring forth a greater common ground between people who identify with these three religions.

Yet there is a misunderstanding already present when grouping together these three very distinct interpretations of God.

I personally consider the label “Abrahamic religion(s)” to be an obvious misnomer that may mislead people who are not learned regarding the details.

Yes, the three religions lay claim to Abraham in a major way.

But do mere claims legitimize, or qualify as support, an argument?

In a positive manner, the misnomer is a method to forward dialogue.

The effort is agreeable as a method towards building mutual understanding aimed at peaceful ends.

No argument with this.

From a learned Christian's point of view (if I may), such a misnomer may be confusing to the unlearned.

There is a common misunderstanding, even among certain scholars, but surely in the news media.

What is commonly assumed about the three religions is:

“all three (Abrahamic religions) allow for, or teach, killing / violence / corporeal punishment”.

Absolutely False.

This misunderstanding is only true for two of the three religions when looking at the primary sources (Old Covenant / Hebrew Bible in Judaism, New Covenant / Gospel and letters in Christianity, Quran and Hadith in Islam).

I am not ignoring the later development in certain Christian religious groups that hypocritically allowed for violence, but the fact is that no such allowance is found in the primary sources...nor founded in the first three centuries of Christian history.

I am also not blindly laying blame to Judaism or Islam.

The primary sources literally (and has been interpreted) allow for violence (even killing)...and their reasons are explicitly explained.

In ancient Israel and the primary source of the Old Covenant / Hebrew Bible, there are specific directions for violence or physical justice within and without the Hebrew community, and these can be further studied in order to be understood in context, but this is not the scope of this particular article.

In ancient Islamic culture and the primary source of Islam (Quran and Hadith), there are specific directions for violence or physical justice within and without the Muslim community, and these can be further studied in order to be understood in context, but this is not the scope of this particular article.

In ancient Christian culture and the primary source of Christianity (New Covenant and letters), there are specific directions for peace at all costs, non-violence nor physical justice within and without the Christian community, and these can be further studied in order to be understood in context, but this is not the scope of this particular article.

The distinction between the three religions that are unfortunately lumped together as a single unity is very clearly seen when it comes to violence within and without the respective community...according to the primary sources (the believed-to-be inspired writings).

Opinions vary, but the primary sources are quite explicit and clear.

People are plagued with various identities, and this plague causes crises...and interpretations can vary wildly and liberally alter the meaning of a very clear message found in the primary texts.

This, I think, is the basis of division among all of humanity; dissonance within what is supposed to be unison.

The Tower of Babel is explained to be the beginning of division between humans who previously shared a common core language.

Notice in that article the various traditional and cultural interpretations regarding this Tower, showing that either the narrative was missing or has been changed.

This can be analogous to the manner people today, although being able to once again communicate through a common language, explains how their ideas can still be in conflict.

When love and peace seem to be a basic human desire, the manner people define 'love' and 'peace' varies widely in some instances...according to identity, religious programming, political affiliation, cultural values, personal tastes, etc..

There is a logical argument that is rationally undefeated when it comes to defining love and peace according to one of the primary sources of the three religions in question.

Sadly, human logic is limited according to preconceived value sets and identity based on specific understandings.

Where do you draw the definitions of love and peace?

Is there room for violence within your definition of love and peace?

If so, how do you rationally and logically resolve the obvious hypocrisy or contradiction?

12 July 2017

Finding Friends To Serve; The Purposed Life

My Friend's Shirt

Made a new friend recently.

I take a walk down to the coastline quote often, part of my routine that includes working up an appetite or digesting a meal.

As I'm walking along the sidewalk adjacent to the sand, a distressed person is looking for a Spanish translator.

Asking what the matter is, they point to a man I saw a few days before.

The translator seeker tells me this man came up to them saying they wanted to die.

I began speaking to the man in Spanish and explained to him what the concern was.

He excuses himself and apologizes for alarming them...and walks away.

I chat briefly with those concerned

I thanked them for their concern, exclaiming that we are all God's children and need to be loved.

They agreed.

Prior to proceeding my walk we shared blessings and a few other kind words.

Minutes later I found the man and told him those people were concerned and perhaps they misunderstood his words.

He is fluent in both English and Spanish, but I spoke to him Spanish hoping to meet him where he seemed most comfortable.

He said he was looking for someone to talk to.

I asked if he would like speaking to me.

He happily obliged and we sit on the low wall between the sidewalk and the sand.

We sat for some time.

My new friend had been experiencing an unhappy outlook on life, feeling overwhelmed with his current circumstances and only being able to see the trouble.

What eventually came out was that he had been wondering why God has been keeping him alive.

He expressed he is in anguish and discomfort, suffering from Parkinson's disease.

He understands it will only get worse (more trembling and breaking down of the body).

I did my best speaking about how this world is a temporary place; our physical bodies are part of this world's material composition.

This is why we all will eventually be extinguished in one way or another, like the plants and trees and even the things mankind makes with their hands.

We shared about our lives, the good and not so good we have done.

I eventually got around to pointing out that even in suffering God is at work; that suffering is also purposed.

We suffer for making bad decisions (lying, cheating, etc.); these are the consequences of bad decisions.

We cannot blame others for these decisions and cannot blame God for the consequences.

We also sometimes suffer for making good decisions (being honest, doing what is right when others do wrong, etc.); we experience and learn what Christ went through.

I learned from the man that he has lived a decent life, and although having been focused on negative things, God has continued to care for him even in old age.

I encouraged him to set his mind and heart on things Above; God and His will.

I asked him to search for the good that God has established on earth, helping him realize with many examples how the good outweighs the bad by a considerable amount.

I was able to see his attitude changed as he reflected on this reality.

We shared much more to with one another; more intimate things of the heart I won't divulge here.

I will mention this was the second time I came across someone who was near their wits-end and contemplating the notion of ending their life, even there at the beach that beholds a beautiful view of God's vast creation; an expanse where sea blends with sky.

As with the previous encounter, God's timing was without coincidence, but quite serendipitous and full of purpose.

10 July 2017

Ideas & Words Change The World

The Breathing Under Water Idea Changed The World... Go Read Ephesians 1: 10

What would be the result of a deeper alliance and greater unity between secular states and legal fictions currently labeled “countries” and “nations” and “states”?

Imagine “Russia” and the “United States” and the “European Union” coming together as a unified legal entity.

Over two centuries ago (late 1700's), there was a sharp divide between the colonial states (what eventually became the United States) and the United Kingdom (England).

One came out of the other, rebelled over a variety of reasons (political and economic mainly), and over the years have forged a unity along political and economic lines.

Politics and economics led to war...and politics and economics led to peace.

Time and similar interests have left the previous sharp differences (and war) in the past, and unity has been the aim since peace treaties were signed.

Power, taxes and a pecking order was at issue (defined through politics and economics), and currently both countries (political and economic interests that form policy) understand that unity and friendship is of utmost importance; more important than being at odds.

It is financially beneficial to be at peace, not at war.

A human argument can be made for peace.

It is similar to neighbors resolving to always work out their differences and be at peace at all costs, since the reality they live very close to one another won't change...unless one of them moves away.

Countries, however, cannot 'move' away to another place on earth, at least not as a whole.

The ideas that form countries (policy that manages people), in contrast, can and do move from place to place.

What, then, is an agreeable policy that could be a means of unity, or something that can be adopted by a people / country that currently does not reflect such policies?

This is the aim of politics.

Could you imagine Russia being included in the U.K. and U.S. ideological unity?

I think there are more similarities than differences today than in previous history.

It is an issue of identity, pride, power and pecking order I think.

The same question can be asked of the countries currently labeled “Iran” and “Saudi Arabia” and others having an Islamic national identity?

These share more in common than in difference, I think, and if perhaps the ethnic pecking order can be put aside (as also seen in 'western' nations), a peaceful unity of sorts can be realized based on current similarities.

What about all of Europe (east, west, north and south), Asia, Middle East, Africa and the western hemisphere (rest of the world)?

Humanity, I think, has more in common than in difference.

The resolve of any evident difference will be realized through deference.

How would, or could, the world's peoples realize their common humanity, common plight and common ground that goes beyond the differences perceived through our limited perceptions and outer identities?

What about our inner identity; the dialogue between our hearts?

Perhaps identifying factors like similar religious beliefs and secular concepts stemming from our ancient pasts can be something to built dialogue upon.

Consider how some ancient peoples were bound together for a time, or had similar values despite their apparent external differences or violence opposition, eventually building a unifying basis.

The United States reflects much of the ancient Greek culture that eventually cast a broad shadow of influence throughout the world.

This influence continues still today.

Ideas last longer than military engagements.

Ideas can be adopted when they are better than current / previous ideas.

Through language, learning and linguistics – beyond military might – the Greek influence (which became the Roman influence, which became...etc..) continues to echo through the American influence of today and beyond.

One obvious influence is a common language.

Today's common language dominating the world is English.

The same residual influence through language was realized in the Middle East for a time between the empires of Assyria, Babylon, Sassanid, etc..

Despite how power and other ideas flexed and swayed into one direction or another, the lasting impressions of language and ideas made their mark...and those marks are still evident today.

Learning was, and is, in terms of media (written ideas in history, philosophy, imagery, religion, etc.).

Within learning we can find and define identity, with historical and philosophical ideas being products of religious beliefs (whether based on God, a pantheon of 'gods', or purely philosophical sans divine notions...yet they all bleed similar notions when objectively considered).

When peace treaties have been signed, lessons have been learned.

When some argue war was inevitable, another can argue war could have been avoided and never being a solution or a resolve to conflict or difference between people.

It would be highly unlikely that the U.K. and the U.S., as their current ideologies stand, would find themselves in a war conflict in the future...but ideologies, identities and ideas are in flux (always changing).

The east vs west divide (whether it is eastern Europe with western Europe), or the U.K. / U.S. vs Russia, or east vs west in terms of the religious perspective of Christianity vs Islam, can be formed into similar semblance by building upon what is common to humanity.

What is our least common denominator?

I think most humans desire to be at peace, with neighbors both near and far.

I think most humans desire to be respected and shown dignity despite superficial differences.

I think most humans have an innate desire to be loved, and to love.

I think most humans desire to get along with all others.

I think these obvious desires have already been mentioned in some of the world's cultures, and in some have been realized to some extent.

I think this effort initiated since the very beginning of humanity...and will soon conclude, like a child becoming a mature adult.

I think ideas and words such as these are contagious.

Will you catch the contagion and be transformed for the better, or will the contagion cause you sickness?

09 July 2017

Proper Profit Management Grows (& Protects) Economy

2 Thessalonians 3: 10, 1 Timothy 5: 18, 1 Timothy 6: 9

The wrestling match between labor vs capital, union vs ownership, hourly wage vs passive income, is about money; where profits flow.

Where do the profits flow, and to whom?

If a company is publicly traded (listed on a stock market), a portion of the profits flow to those who own stock (invested and purchased shares), called dividends.

This is an example of passive income.

The owners of stock can live anywhere in the world.

Such monies are extracted from where they are made, arguably causing an economic siphoning effect.

This is also an example of money making more money, or money being put to 'work'.

If the company is private, a portion of the profits go to the owner(s) of the company.

This is the incentive for those who take the risks of starting a company, either investing their own savings or that of others.

Without this incentive as a motivation, there would be no reason for a person to take such risks.

For both private and public companies, another portion of the profits usually go to growing the company.

Maybe marketing, advertising, new equipment, regular maintenance, new product development, etc..

For private and public companies, some profit may be funneled to the employees as bonuses, company cars, paid vacations, etc.; these usually reserved for executive management and possibly lower (mid) management.

Labor typically does not see any profit from their labor above their set wage / salary.

Some companies, however, do share the profits with everyone who works, labor included.

This is typically called profit sharing, and is not common.

So what about a company whose employees are the owners?

One example of such a company, redistributing its profits to all employees, is Mondragon (a worker-owned cooperative) started by Catholic priest Jose Arizmendi.

Jose inspired five students to approach business in a way that returned profits into all hands, growing local communities and eventually turning a small business offering a single product (space heater) into several international companies in four industries employing over 70,000 people.

The growth hasn't been perfect, nor great when compared to other companies of that time and still existing today, but the results are evident in the local communities the employees reside.

In order for an economy to survive, grow and flourish, the masses of people need to have enough income, above the cost of living, to buy products and services...or the simple reality this article highlights.

Mondragon and similar business models could be an answer to the phrase profits are unpaid wages, which is one response to the ancient model of labor vs capital / hired hand vs owner.

One outcome of the Mondragon business model that could be argued is the quote a rising tide lifts all boats, attributed to John F. Kennedy.

And when the economic tide recedes (as it always does), it is companies like Mondragon that do not collapse.

Nor do its employees realize devastation, nor their local communities become impoverished.

Such a business model survives when others cave-in to greed, theft, chicanery and the bitter taste many people have felt when being laid off or losing a job not from committing an error.

Read how it survived the last tsunami that swept over the world in 2008, and how it inspires an ideal that some call anti-capitalist...but is that truly the case?

It is very important that wealth is built and redistributed locally...aiming towards autarky, a step closer to full sustenance and sovereignty.

08 July 2017

Be One With Me & He Who Was, Is, Will Be

Colossians 1: 15

America is a fiction on paper and idea as Rome was an idea and fiction written down by men.

One will pass into history as did the other, with new ideals and fictions replacing them.

However, the kingdom of God is eternal and transcends the kingdoms of men.

The kingdom of God vanquishes the kingdoms of men, over and over, again and again.

When you think the world, or a government, or those who look different from you, or your very own people (ethnic / religious / nationality) are against you, and despise you...

Remember this:

No one was more despised than Christ.

I make continued efforts to not draw an identity from a previous heritage or external things, but from He who was murdered while never wronging another soul.

He did, after all, create us all.

The issue I see when people point the finger to a particular country, or ethnic group, when complaining about injustice, is they are confused.

Confused because they are following the divisiveness of politics.

This is what politics does.

Politics is a tool manufactured to divide and oppress.

But such is not the case in the kingdom revealed from Above.

What men have done in manufacturing religion and calling it the Way, is similar to political themes dominating virtuous manners and labeling it justice.

What I point out in this blog is not easily accepted, or acceptable on the surface of things, because one has to repeatedly abandon their current limited identities and suck up their mental anguish...while NOT hating on others, but understanding what we are all going through.

This is why Christ was revealed; so we may all reflect Him, relate to Him, understand Him in how He dealt with others...while never wronging others Himself, but being wronged for simply being Right.

To suspect that only the individuals you currently identify with have been more wronged than others living today is judging by appearance.

The exterior identities are the political themes, religious ideology, ethnic kindred, and other things that according to eyesight draws you close to others.

But such is not the spiritual family revealed from Above.

Following and believing the politics of a religious group, nation-state, your neighborhood, is to be caught up in the affect of politics; a victim blaming others but not reflecting on Christ.

Look beyond yourself and the surface layer of this world.

Look past at what is behind the front of the ideas that divide and confuse people.

What are we?

Are we not related by ancient ties beyond our current labels?

If we are created by God, then how can we be divided any longer?

If we are children of God, are we not called to forgive and pray for our enemies, regardless of who they are, what they look like, what they've previously done or what they represent?

Is anyone justified, in this world, by complaining about this world's manners and those who are of this world?

Are you to imitate a mere man, or the Son of God who is revealed as Immanuel (God with us)?

I am telling you: one's state of mind (and heart) will depict their life, in this life, and their eternal reality, the life (or death) yet to come.

If you see yourself as not my brother / sister, because of identities made up by men (the many labels throughout history), or because of a different skin tone, or different heritage, then you have been confused by the manipulations of this world...

Yet God desires to have your heart and for you to be one with all others and with Him.

06 July 2017

What State Are You In?

Colossians 3: 1-4

Every year we hear about the “state of the city”, “the state of the state”, and the “state of the union”.

These are speeches written by people, and where they draw their inspirations can vary widely.

Our individual “state of mind” is ours to author and authorize.

We have a choice in our state of mind's inspiration.

We choose what to input and what to extract.

My inspiration is rooted and built upon Jesus as Lord; He who revealed Himself as the I Am, the God of Israel.

It is imperative how we build, and what we build upon, in authoring our state of mind and heart.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things Above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things Above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 
- Colossians 3: 1-4

05 July 2017

Play Ground Children

Proverbs 22: 6
This world is like school children out on a playground.

Some children are cruel and the teacher doesn't always see their cruelty.

Telling on the cruel children doesn't always resolve their cruelty, but incite it further.

The teacher isn't always complete in their efforts to mitigate injustice.

After school, supervision ends and the cruel have their way; at least when on school grounds there is some notion of law and order, but not always.

The cruel are sometimes those lacking talent and gifts, while the most dangerous of the cruel are those with many talents and accolades; they are not satisfied with their high positions, they must go further.

Every so often, the peaceful child overcomes the cruel children.

Every so often, the principal gets involved and expels the cruel children.

On occasion, when the peaceful child defends themselves, it is them who are expelled.

Injustice exists although rules have been written to correct injustice.

Once the children have grown away from the school grounds, their childish manners don't always leave them.

For those fortunate enough to mature, to learn from their childhood, these continue the work of molding a just society...yet the cruel children still persist and rebel against the good work.

At the end, those cruel children who failed to turn away from their cruelty lose.

They lose because they were cruel their entire lives...without reason, without excuse, and they receive in during their life the recompense for their cruel ways: lack of peace and dislike.

The peaceful children, however, enjoy a peaceful temperament that shows a resolve from knowing they didn't become like the cruel, but humbly accepted and enjoyed the life allotted to them...even learning to forgive the cruel.

04 July 2017

Molded By Inner Struggles & Outer Manners

Job 8: 8-19
When discussing economic and political ideas with others, typically the solutions to any given problem is simple.

The answer is very easy and universal.

I think people are so accustomed to complicating things, or hearing complicated methods to what can be quite simply resolved, that a simple solution seems unrealistic or unattainable.

For example, when certain individuals conspired to gain from the demise of thousands of people during the economic collapse of 2008, the people of Iceland convicted and jailed the top culprits.

The purpose of the law is to hold all people accountable, not only those who haven't the friends or financing to corrupt justice...but such was not the case for Icelanders.

The simple solution: punish those who trespass and break the law.

Regarding the economic collapse, the trespass was major and caused widespread harm and misery.

The 'crime' was not a small matter like an expired parking meter ticket without an injured party, but people losing businesses, homes and in some cases their sanity and lives.

The greed and justification of certain individuals caused great pain and trust in the system for everyone.

In politics, navigating the waters of policy and rhetoric can be quite confusing and frustrating, especially since the masses are encouraged to think in a binary fashion instead of a more objective and logical manner that roots out fallacy.

Most people are typically aligned with one of two sides of any issue or topic, similar to cheering only for their favorite sports team.

People align themselves with a personality, or a 'team' like a political group, and identify with certain elements of a politician's character or their pandering.

When politicians break the law, it is very difficult for their fans to make a logical judgment of their favorite politician's actions, because they practically worship that person and see them as a savior of sorts.

Not sure how things work in other countries, but in some instances in the United States, unless a major and obvious crime is committed by a favored and high ranking politician (or their crime includes too many people to convict only a sole individual), such crimes are typically pardoned.

It seems part of the nature of the system to forgive those who, if matters were reversed, are obliged to pardon you.

Forgiveness and grace is a part of a matured life and civilized society, usually accompanying a confession and effort to make amends at any cost.

But expectations of pardon justifying the actions (impunity) is like encouraging activities with few or no consequences for trespasses.

Such hypocrisy only benefits people in those circles, possibly causing a recoil in the rest of society promoting criminality, or lying, and other grievances that would otherwise be punished in other demographics of society.

This may be one reason why a movement has been growing in the United States where the common citizen asserts their rights in desiring to be 'equal' to those who leverage considerable influence and power according to their economic and political standing.

The aim is a level of sovereignty where the reality of being legal subjects has been realized.

The effort to correct a perceived second-class status has gained little influence outside of intelligent court maneuverings and learning how to properly address grievances by highlighting systematic mistakes and rights violations.

When looking at economic and political issues, one doesn't have to look beyond their reflection in the mirror.

It is the inner struggles that each human individual has (or denies) that is magnified in economic and political circles.

When such struggles (or their suppression and ignorance) are stratified into society or close circles, then such social manners are the norm and the conscience is diminished or outright ignored.

The inner struggle of an idealist who lost his mind and went on a murderous rampage is a key example.

It seems this individual may have had a predisposition to be a violent criminal, but their initial aim was to do what was right.

When they found out that the ideals they learned to live by were actually being ignored, and the conscience to obey and follow the law was hypocritically contradicted by his peers, madness exploded.

29 June 2017

Universal Love Found Only In Christ Jesus


An excerpt from The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck

What is quite unique about Christ, and this idea is explicit in what is attributed to Him, is that the message is truly universal AND exclusive.

Paradox?

Contradiction?

Let us consider ourselves as an individual example.

Let's say an individual desires to love, to be loved, and find someone that reflects this sentiment and will be to us what we desire to be to them.

What we are searching for and desiring is a universal passion.

When we find our mirror, the universality of our search becomes exclusive, for we would not want to cheapen or share openly the bond that is created when two become one.

When that bond is formed, it isn't that we as individuals reject another person desiring to also be bonded, but that we've already been bonded with another and have become one.

The same could be said about God's desire to have every one of us in relationship with Him.

His arms are open, and once He holds us, He desires no one else to have us.

This is what is realized in Christ and is quite explicit in the Gospel and letters.

28 June 2017

Society's Sliding Scales

Jonah was sent to a people who couldn't tell their right hand from their left.

Is there bias in the news regarding the topics of politics, religion, economics and the like when it comes to violence and the idea of what is 'civilized'?

Absolutely.

Although news-writing is supposed to be objective, unbiased and spoken from a neutral point of view, the news is written by humans.

Individual humans know only their specific perspective, and their personal understanding is (hopefully) a work in progress.

The human has their opinion and set of beliefs regarding any given subject.

This personal point of view is built from their culture, their familial upbringing, their religious ideas and all the political and economic notions that have molded their hearts and minds.

We all have a similar, yet unique, programming.

Ideas and information is weaved and intertwined into the subconscious in such a way, to break someone free from such a foundation of programming is quite impossible.

It is upon the individual the task of growing out, maturing and evolving out of the prior programs and molds that have built their character and opinions.

Considering media (history, news, school books, etc.), very few people are able to write, or express themselves, wholly objectively and without the hint of bias for any period of time...eventually their value set is revealed.

Some scholars write through their point of view although honestly attempting to highlight what they perceive as objective facts in explaining something, with few capable of conveying ideas free from their personal bias.

It takes a keen eye to catch the lapses of objectivity in even the most 'trusted' scholars, historians and journalists of the past and present.

Even our favorite expositors of information have their bias.

We all have a limited horizon.

How does one learn the manner our horizon is limited?

This is not easy.

I have my personal bias, and I think it can be clearly seen in my writings.

I do my best in describing things outside of my heart and mind's eye, but that effort is not attempted in every single thing I write.

I do stand at a certain place while others may stand elsewhere, though some of us may stand near one another and face the same direction.

Regarding cultural perspectives, when someone accuses western culture's journalism of writing about eastern cultural issues in a negative manner, how can the western mind understand the nuances in eastern cultures?

How can an eastern critic understand the point of view and approach of a western mind to find out whether the negative tone is accurate or simply polemic?

The same occurs from the east towards the west.

We think where we currently stand is the best place, or we have better ideas, or our perspective and ideas about humanity and the world are more valuable and accurate than someone on the other side of the world.

This is true...and is false, for both the eastern and western mindset has their strengths and weaknesses.

A person with a strong national, religious or ethnic identity may have a difficult time accepting or appreciating the identifications of those outside their group.

The idea and definition of what is 'civil' can be very different according respective points of view.

If one household goes about their daily lives in a different manner than their neighbors (although being the same culturally, religiously and economically), how much more can neighboring countries and their cultures and societies differ (having distinct cultural, religious and economic realities)?

Yet we do have more in common than in deference, but some minds would not want you to believe such a notion...because they simply cannot, or refuse to.

Let's consider domestic violence as an example (domestic violence between common people, excluding military, police or other government action on commoners) when seeing differences.

All countries of the world have developed laws according to religious ideas, whether initially while continually expanding upon religious ideals, or originally being religious then receding towards secular ideas.

However, I don't think the imprint of religious ideals may fully be removed from a culture's conscious...or in terms of a cultural attitude being physically realized although being evoked in different terms.

What I mean is: although a country's people may not outwardly or openly discuss religious matters, but shy away from them, the product of religious culture may not have receded.

The cultural programming may be quite evident in the body of laws already developed.

It is the change in current attitudes that alter, edit, remove and replace prior rules with new ones.

In contradistinction, some religious nations speak a great deal about religious platitudes (common people), yet their physical efforts can be judged to be quite violent and ruthless compared to others.

This same reality is found in individuals...you may personally know some...or you may be one, yourself.

These examples are not fixed, and are general...but we do see such examples.

According to the law in most western-cultured countries, violence is never justified between commoners / citizens unless out of self-defense or home invasion, with variances between states (United States) and among other western countries.

This isn't to say that in western societies mobs don't form and exact some form of street justice.

There is evidence of a slant of bias within western societies when it comes to addressing mob violence, or even the state's own effort (police injustice)...and this too is a work in progress.

This bias can be arguably quite profound in some eastern societies where the notion of neutrality in the law (all being equal under the law) is still blurry when religious ideas are an overarching notion (cultural programming still present despite new laws and new ideas being present).

The outcome in the courts, although attempting to imitate western manners, is also a work in progress.

Secular states have seen religious ideas internalized, while religious societies expect such ideas to be outwardly evident.

Religious ideas have justified the state's prerogative in prescribing death as punishment, as have secular ideas also justified the death penalty, while both elaborating and establishing human rights ideals.

The idea and definition of justice compliments the idea of civility, with the law and man's interpretations and values producing what historically has been a pendulum swing of sorts.

In other countries that have developed a different set of laws, based also on religious ideas and less influenced by secular ideas, violence is justified in a few more instances beyond self defense and home invasion.

What is the ideal and perfect state of life, justice and law?

On the surface, the answer will most likely be according to what you currently consider to be correct.

There are some people on earth who are called to look past their ethnic, political, religious and economic identity...to realize something much greater and beyond themselves.

Two examples of this identity and ideal way of life is found here, and here.

Read more about bias, and bias perception, regarding the media.

Read some of the comments from certain individuals when asked about journalistic objectivity.

24 June 2017

Evidence Of God - Spirit World


I have an ongoing discussion with a friend who doesn't believe God exists.

I love this friend very dearly...very dearly.

He grew up going to church with family since childhood and participated in religious activities.

However, enough bad things came from certain clergy and laity to cause him to doubt.

He has logical questions that are challenging to answer, like:

If there is a God, why did God allow cancer to exist?

If God is all loving and powerful, why are people raped, war continues to happen, and the wicked get away with so much injustice?

Cancer was the ultimate physical cause of his father's death...and he considered his father to be a faithful and honorable man.

He views the manner his father suffered prior to dying as very unjust...if God was just and loved his father, why did his father go as he did?

I've done my best answering these questions from several points of view (logical, theological, etc.).

He would like to have some concrete evidence that God exists, or at least proof there is such a thing as a spirit world beyond the scientific, observable, physical plane.

I have shared with him personal experiences I am able to divulge, but these were argued away in many ways...the conversations becoming irrational and always unresolved.

I recently recalled two notable news stories, both difficult to debunk.

A single person's experience is easy to dismiss for the skeptic, but for those of us who have seen and heard, we can understand what is shared.

So long as nothing is contradictory to what is previously understood, adding a testimony to our collection of praiseworthy stories is welcomed.

When national news reports a bizarre occurrence, or something that is absolutely unexplainable by scientific methodology, it is difficult for the skeptics to dismiss such things as simply “wishful thinking”, “make-believe” or “mass delusions”.

Consider the bittersweet story of four police officers who heard a distinct female adult voice call for help from a vehicle in a freezing river...yet the adult occupant had long deceased, while her infant daughter was still alive!

Consider also the dark reality of demonic possession and dark powers causing havoc for a family, with credible professionals witnessing first-hand the unexplainable and impossible!


Since mankind has a free will, while God knows the future, then men hold some leverage in their future.

The individual is tasked with the responsibility and consequence of their choices.

For the skeptic: ask God to reveal Himself to you...now that you have seen two reports that there is a spiritual reality beyond our physical reality.

22 June 2017

Is Islam Being Wrongfully Criticized?

Rebellious World Blind To Wall Writings [Daniel 5: 5]

There is a premise making the rounds.

It loosely reads: “replace 'Muslim' with 'Jew' and what does it sound like?”

This statement is attempting to highlight how some people incorrectly point fingers at all Muslims when thinking about certain radical and violent religious extremist groups or individuals; radical Muslims being a narrow interpretation and state of mind within a larger ideology - Islam.

The attempt is to bridge a similarity with Nazi Germany's treatment of Jewry a century ago, the Jews as a whole being attacked for the actions of a few influential Jews.

This is as far as the premise and accuracy goes...the bridge is actually a very short pier.

Jewish identity runs a wide gamut, being narrowly and religiously interpreted in some cases, irreligious while beholden to an ethnic identity in other cases; also a state of mind within a greater ideology - Jewish.

Both cases are perceived through the lens of an ideology, which is a belief in a god, or in something individually explained.

Many ideologies exist on earth and they are called religions (atheism included).

The premise of the phrase comparing Islam's critics to Jewish critics is wildly flawed, I think.

The phrase's premise can be called correct on the surface when only looking at individuals and blaming a group by extension.

Were Jewish individuals or a Jewish group within Jewry, whether wealthy or common, doing any of the activities that radical Muslims are currently doing?

Let's look at a short list and try a comparison:

- nefarious agenda for outright world conquest

- committing violent crimes, always justified

- invoking a so-called slanted religious interpretation

- hostile to surrounding culture

- conversion being the aim, with tribute or death the two other options

- funded propaganda campaigns promoting legitimacy

- desire to change world culture at all costs

- introduce an alternative interpretation of life contrary to how life has developed across the globe

I'm sure some parallels could be drawn depending on who is reading this article.

According to any individual's interpretation of the world, how they understand history, or history's revisions, they may bridge several parallels.

The internet flourishes with unfounded internet conspiracy theories, while there is factual evidence of conspiracy facts (this is a general statement).

For example, there is a popular conspiracy theory claiming the earth is flat, with some geometry and well-crafted arguments mashed together and effectively beguiling the gullible and suspicious.

There is a religious motivation behind the promotion and push for this theory.

Yet the theory is outright nonsense and has been for quite a long time.

Fortunately, no one is (currently) killing others for refusing to believe the earth is flat...though there was a time science and religious belief did end in bloodshed.

However nonsensical the flat-earth idea is, initially being an ancient concept before man circumnavigated the earth, reasoning and evidence today shows how easily people can be fooled by propaganda, whether in professional media (news) or in a YouTube video or FaceBook post...besides the notion of a flat or spherical earth.

There is an ongoing battle for the minds and hearts of humanity.

Ancient kings would declare edicts and send heralds throughout the land, promoting their propaganda quite convincingly; anyone who opposed the king's edict met with certain death.

Loosely affiliated tribes also enforced their local power through force, intimidation and whatever religious or mythical ideology was at their disposal.

Whether such beliefs were true or false were secondary to their effectiveness in forming popular opinion and exacting desired results.

Understanding, objectivity and depth are usually missing when people either make simple statements or accept certain interpretations of simple statements.

Simple statements can be profound and unequivocally truthful.

Simple statements can also be flat-out lies disguised as a truism.

The lies, quite ironically, are sometimes not intentional; they are simply based on faulty ideas perceived as truth or reality...the things legends, myths, ideologies and religions are made of.

Simple statements abound regarding the topics of politics, economics, religion, identity, and the many subjects which make up our conscious reflection of ourselves and life.

Yet the details are not synonymous nor vaguely similar.

The motivations, or identity of being Jewish (whether affluent or common), and the motivations, or identity of being Muslim (whether radical or common) begin to appear quite differently as one delves into the premise highlighted in the beginning of this article.

The fallacy becomes clear while the ignorance of the subject matter is ever-highlighted.

The claim against Jewish hegemony was an accusation from an economic grievance, with the religious and ethnic slant being the scapegoating tools playing on people's ignorance.

Germany's Hitler blamed a machination of the economy by certain individuals (not all who were Jewish, by the way), yet this reality of economy ruling over people has been the world's constant since before the first city-state.

How often do you see religious Jews evangelizing?

A century ago, were Jews demanding Germans to assimilate to the Jewish faith?

Was the Jewish faith even promoted?

Was promotion even an idea or suggestion at the time, or even today, regarding Judaism, Jewry or anything obviously Jewish?

Is today's perceived scapegoat - fringe radicals misinterpreting the Islamic religion - the sole cause of concern for non-Muslims?

Is the waywardness of that religious fringe very different from the Islam that Muhammad exemplified and what his poetic stanzas teach from the Quran?

Are the supplemental testimonies (Hadith) where such waywardness is derived, holding the Quran free from criticism regarding violence, warring, conversions, taxations and justified killing?

The economic claim against wealthy Jewry a century ago, which is currently repeated, is the same claim leveled today against “capitalism” as a whole; a faceless enemy, scapegoating individuals and pointing to a larger group.

I think the real issue has more to do with ethnic jealousy, religious bias, and ignorance of how the world has always been (regarding affluent and influential people of any background in the past, and affluent and influential people of any background today).

The element that embitters and confuses the mix is religious ideology and indifference of identity.

Today, the enemy for the religious radical is a certain culture that is not their own, and which ignores their religious arguments for the rights of people regardless of religious judgment of morality and ethics.

In the news we see that the radical Muslim agenda doesn't only attack western strongholds, but also makes violence within ancient Islamic regions.

Similar to when warring between Catholic and Protestant groups were at their zenith, the several groups within Islam continue to battle for supremacy, or legitimacy, of their particular religious interpretations.

The ethnic and religious divide between Iran and Saudi Arabia being an obvious example.

What is ironic is how the western cultures are trying to be sympathetic to the Islamic dilemma.

There is a battle in media propaganda.

One side blames the Islamic culture as a whole for the acts of the murderers.

This is what the premise is highlighting.

Another side portrays the religion as peaceful, moral and neutral, while labeling the murderers as troubled individuals or mentally sick people.

This is what the premise desires to distinguish.

Yet some difficult questions are:

What inspires these wayward religious murderers in the first place?

Are their inspirations common or uncommon to Islam?

Is the ideology of the radical murderers something dissimilar to Islam, or does it have a genesis from the earliest efforts of Muhammad and his poetry?

What inspires people to blow up both themselves and innocent people who are either very different, or different in arguably minute (the adjective) religious details?

The elephant in the room is the discussion finding answers to these questions.

From the point of view of the murderers, their inspirational sources seem to be the Quran and Hadith coupled with ancient and modern interpretations.

Unfortunately for the apologists, the evidence can be read by anyone desiring to read it.

There is no argument the evidence has its roots in that religion's primary sources; the Quran and Hadith.

There is an undercurrent of fear having such a public discussion, because such a discussion can be interpreted as attacking that religion or the honored man who claimed to be a prophet of God.

This discussion has possible political repercussions...rooted in fear.

The fear is propagated in the media subconsciously - that such a discussion may incite the mass of otherwise peaceful and 'moderate' religious people to take a collective stand.

An argument suggests that the reason the radical fringe became radicalized in the first place is the historical reality of violence within the Islamic culture.

Another argument blames western culture, western encroachment, western empire building, and similar outside forces.

These arguments are also found and evidenced in the primary sources of the Quran and Hadith...besides the historical writings of ancient Islamic historians.

Just as the Nazis in Germany blamed their economic woes on wealthy and influential Jews, so do some impoverished Muslims blame their current situation and troubled regions on western culture.

Are the two claims accurate?

Is only one claim accurate?

Is the Islamic culture fatally flawed from its inception?

Is the Islamic religion God's answer to the world's waywardness; the execution of judgment upon the world as a whole?

Is Islam true and fully answers mankind's ills while establishing a moral and ethical standard for humanity?

Perhaps some of these questions can be answered when the individual sets aside a divisive identity, and sees the world as it actually is: populated by human beings who are all related, separated only by time and geography and ideas, but not actually separate.

As for the perception beyond the definitions of religion, ideology and who and how God is, the defining factor is how to go about those who do not religiously agree with you.

Do you love those who oppose you, or do you extinguish them?

Do you embrace those who perceive themselves as your enemy, or do you deal with them according to their actions towards you?