*edit, February 22, 2017 – Reviewing my post, I realize that it’s confusing due to my having left out a snippet of Kim Petersen’s article dealing with the Bible and homosexuality. Kim relays a back and forth he had with William Blum over Blum’s comments on Islam and mentions the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality. Since much of my online response dealt with that, I should include that snippet. The second excerpt will include that snippet.
Two excerpts from the above linked-to article by Kim Petersen follow:
Respected writer William Blum understands US hegemony and imperialism on a global scale. In his important book Rogue State, he provided a comprehensive account of US imperialism around the world.
Recently, Blum wrote a trenchant article that compellingly ridiculed the nonsense that Donald Trump is a greater evil than Barack Obama. Blum tore the veneer off the Democratic Party and corporate media’s hypocritical demonization of Trump. As a clincher, Blum finishes his piece with sarcasm: “And if you like Barack Obama you’ll love Hillary Clinton.”
Trump, Obama, and Clinton are three evils. Of the three, Trump is the lesser evil. What is important is that come election time, the ballot is not confined to a lesser-evilist choice. The Green Party’s Jill Stein is not evil.
In the otherwise excellent piece by Blum appears a paragraph that I find superficial, void of historical validity, and above all, it seems to be repeating indoctrinating patterns typical of Islamophobia:
Obama’s declaration that ISIS “has nothing to do with Islam”. This is standard political correctness which ignores the indisputable role played by Islam in inspiring Orlando and Long Beach and Paris and Ankara and many other massacres; it is the religion that teaches the beauty and godliness of Jihad and the heavenly rewards of suicide bombings.
Kim Petersen: I just have to add since you took on Islam that your article would have read less tendentious if you had noted that the Bible’s God smites first born children, urges God-fearing people to commit genocide, condemns homosexuals, etc, etc — the point being that Christianity has nothing over Islam.
The Left uses the term “Islamophobia” to refer to anti-Islamic thinking and behavior. I do not. Phobias are fears. You can’t argue with genuine fears. You can’t call them good or bad. They are neither. What Kim Petersen is talking about when he uses the term is anti-Islamic thinking and behavior. It may be less convenient to not use the single term “Islamophobia,” but better that than something that is actually not apt.
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
Jehovah God certainly indicts religions. Just read Revelation chapter 17. We are now, in fact, into a time of the separation of the sheep and the goats. As with much that the Christian Bible (which I’ve read in it’s entirety but when I was young and lacking the sophistication to process it better) reveals, details are not provided. But the Bible also reveals (it is my opinion that Jehovah’s Witnesses, whom I am not associated with, have this right) that the nations, collectively, ran out of time in 1914. That is when their leases on planet earth were up. Israelis can carry on their murderous politicide and spout dark fantasies about having God’s blessing when they murder all the Palestinians in the land they claim God has given them, but it’s utterly, profoundly meaningless. All of the nations comprising the wild beast of corporatocracy (that’s my formulation, in harmony, I believe, with the Bible’s revelations) are godless and slated for destruction. As for the individuals within them, They have to make up their minds about what is actually, despite what godless Leftisists would claim, the greatest issue of our time, namely the Issue of Universal Sovereignty (http://bit.ly/2hkknEL).
Note, When you misrepresent God, He will not violate his standards and bless you for that. He will not abandon those who are loyal to him, which they show by defending his standards, including being peaceable, but he cannot bestow blessings, and therefore protection, upon groups that abandon him. We shouldn’t expect that.
I write this not as someone who is fair-minded, principled and capable of good judgment, only (which I hope is the case), but also as someone who possesses faith, which the Bible notes involves more than just a feeling or a way of looking at things.
Those, like Noam Chomsky and Kim Petersen, who find fault with the Christian Bible due to its seemingly genocidal and violent passages are thinking rightly, at least at a glance. Was Chomsky already someone who rejected a creator God when he decided that those passages were what he says they are? (I do not know Kim Petersen) Chomsky told me personally, and respectfully and politely, that he can’t believe in anything that can’t be measured. Fair enough. I can’t measure, physically, Chomsky’s mind. Does that mean that he can’t be measured? I measure Chomsky’s mind by what it creates. I have a huge pile of his books and that certainly makes it possible for me to ‘measure’ Chomsky’s intangible, unmeasurable mind.
Always factor in bias.
The condemnation of those who were created and want to self-modify (which isn’t approved but is allowed and will result in negative consequences), in the area of homosexuality, is perhaps not as severe as it appears. If you actually believe in God, and accept his inspired word (which I confess I have issues with) as inspired and true, then why would you not expect him to give those who are born gay ‘and’ even those who choose to experiment with their sexuality, an ‘out’ upon condemning that deviation from his design for humankind? And sure enough, What those who bring up the condemnation of homosexuality NEVER also bring up is that ‘out’, which ‘out’ is evidenced by 1. scriptures that reveal that until the death of the last apostle, divine guidance sometimes involved personal miraculous healing and 2. the apostle Paul’s mentioning of those who ‘practiced’ homosexuality but put it behind them (presumably with divine assistance). 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
We are all born imperfect, although we are basically good until we choose (under pressure from a dark, godless world) not to be. God knows our limits. We can’t know when someone who lies, or steals in order to survive, or when someone does more terrible things than that, has passed the point of no return, from God’s standpoint. If you kidnap my family and threaten to kill them unless I do something wicked, I’m going to feel the greatest pressure.
Today – and I wish the Christian Bible took today more into account, in some ways, than it does – we are further than ever from the state of perfection enjoyed by our first human parents (before they sinned, but not under pressure). We have all inherited imperfection and it manifests in many forms. My half brother has Down syndrome. Others are gay, not by choice. Does God condemn them? At this time, He can’t cure them. Therefore, Why would he condemn them? Personally, I believe that we – who survive Armageddon – will all be corrected. We must be. That includes homosexuals. Until then, though, I believe that the only thing God wants from homosexuals is loyalty to him and his standards, which standards include honesty and a love of truth.
As for the passages where it seems genocide is being commanded, one needs to weigh those passages against other passages (and admonitions which the Hebrews would be aware of) that talk about war in more compassionate terms. (This is a project for me, I see. I don’t study the Bible anymore, even though I remember it’s main message. I’ve forgotten much and can’t readily summon from memory pertinent scriptures.)