Protestants

The End Of The United Kingdom As We Know It Is A Disaster For Them, Europe, And The United States!

The decision of the population of the United Kingdom, by a 52-48 percentage, to leave the European Union is a disaster for them, Europe, and the United States long term!

The election is a victory of the uneducated white people of rural areas against people of other races and religions, and is, therefore nativist, racist, and xenophobic, and an attack on urban areas in the nation, particularly the capital of London, which has no issue with diversity and immigration.

London, and Scotland voted yes, an odd combination, and we can forecast the future breakup of the United Kingdom, with Scotland becoming independent, and Northern Ireland breaking away, creating a possibly new Irish civil war between Catholics and Protestants.

The security of Europe and America is not helped by the disintegration of our closest ally, and world finance, tourism, and unity against terrorism will be drastically affected in a negative fashion.

The world is much more unsafe and unstable than it was yesterday, and now, more than ever, we need a steady and experienced hand in the White House and that is Hillary Clinton!

We cannot allow the “Know Nothingism” of the majority of the United Kingdom to infect us, and elect Donald Trump to the Presidency!

Presidents And Difficult Diplomacy: TR, FDR, Truman, JFK, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Obama

Presidents have to deal with recalcitrant nations in diplomacy, including nations that are our adversaries.

The key is to promote agreements, with the ability to verify and hold nations accountable, under international agreement. It is not an issue of trust, as many nations see other nations as rivals, but rather the ability to come to agreements with the understanding that violations can lead to a confrontational situation if they are not kept.

Presidents have regularly taken bold steps in diplomacy with other nations, whereby they suffered from strong criticism as being naive and weak, but history tells us they actually demonstrated courage and principle, that international agreements could be upheld if both sides wish to avoid military confrontation.

So we have President Theodore Roosevelt negotiating agreements with a newly ambitious Japan after the Russo-Japanese War.

So we have President Franklin D. Roosevelt deciding to establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union after 16 years of non recognition.

So we have President Harry Truman deciding to recognize Israel, and in so doing, alienating Arab nations in the Middle East.

So we have President John F. Kennedy agreeing to the Nuclear Best Ban Treaty in 1963 with the Soviet Union, and it is still in effect today. This came after the Cuban Missile Crisis, which many believed the result would not be obeyed by the Soviet Union, but they did precisely what was required under the settlement.

So we have President Richard Nixon, who made arms limitation agreements (SALT I) with the Soviet Union, and opened the door to contacts with the People’s Republic of China, both moves that are now hailed, although criticized at the time.

SO we have President Jimmy Carter accomplishing something no one would have believed, an agreement between Israel and Egypt, and mutual recognition, in what became known as the Camp David Accords. Additionally, Carter decided to recognize the Communist government in China as being China, rather than Taiwan.

So we have President Ronald Reagan, after calling the Soviet Union an “evil empire”, negotiate arms agreements with Mikhail Gorbachev.

So we have President Bill Clinton bringing about peace between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, an event that seemed impossible of achievement, known as the Good Friday Agreements of 1998. He also established diplomatic relations with Vietnam, a generation after the end of the divisive war in Vietnam was lost.

So now we have President Barack Obama negotiating an agreement to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons, with five other nations engaged in the process, and to prevent war, while guaranteeing the security of Israel and Arab nations. Like all the others, it is a gamble, as no one can be sure of Iran’s ultimate actions, but it has worked out in all of the other cases. He also has established diplomatic relations with the government of Fidel and Raul Castro in Cuba.

And yet, nothing is a panacea, as Russia and China still present a challenge, but progress was made to avoid war, and that is happening again now, with the understanding that if the agreement is broken, war is always an ultimate alternative!

The CINOs: Christians In Name Only! Claim To Follow Jesus, But Do Just The Opposite!

Christianity was created out of belief in the connection of Jesus Christ to God, and the dogma that he was crucified on a cross by the Romans in the Holy Land, and rose from the dead three days after a torturous death, and took upon himself the sins of mankind. If one followed the teachings of Jesus, he or she would have the opportunity for salvation in Heaven after death.

The Catholic Church developed, with the concept of a Pope as the spokesman for Jesus Christ on Earth. But soon there were schisms in the Church, leading to the Eastern Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire in the fifth century AD, and then the revolt in the West, led by Martin Luther in Germany; John Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland; and King Henry VIII in England in the 16th century to begin with, and then many other Christian sects developed around the world and in America, including a home grown branch of Christianity in the Mormon Church in the early 19th century.

Persecution, warfare, and destruction developed as each sect of Christianity demonstrated a belief that their version was the correct Christianity. Antisemitism, against the religion that Jesus had been in life, also raged throughout the past two millenniums. Promoting the faith became a mission to convert at the barrel of a gun, as people used the faith to conquer Latin America, Asia, and Africa for the Caucasians of Europe, and also included the promotion of the mass extermination of Native Americans in the Americas and aborigines in Australia and elsewhere. Slavery evolved, and when it ended in America in the 19th century, racial segregation and lynching was justified due to the belief in white supremacy.

In America, not only antisemitism developed, but also anti Catholic prejudice, and the establishment of the Ku Klux Klan and similar groups, who claimed to be following Christianity’s tenets. Also, evangelical Christianity formed, claiming that it was women’s role to serve men; that race and nationality were factors in judging who was superior to others; and promotion of homophobia, nativism, racism, misogyny and belief in guns being connected to the faith’s practice. They claimed moral superiority, while condemning organized labor and advocating destruction of the environment in the name of unbridled capitalism.

These distortions of Christianity also included denouncing the poor; a hatred of national government which evolved to deal with the inequities in society that allowed a small percentage of men to control and dominate within the economy and society; and wanting to impose their social views on everyone, by claiming that they were being persecuted, a “Victims” complex.

Today in America, it is this element of Christianity which defies the generous, compassionate, and kind mission of Jesus Christ, and instead promotes a very negative and hateful vision of what Jesus intended.

This group of people, very close minded and intolerant, could rightfully be called CINOs–Christians In Name Only—and must be resisted at every turn as the only way to promote progress and democratic values which Jesus believed in during his lifetime. They claim moral superiority, which could not be further from the truth. He would be shocked at the distortion of his message by those who claim to follow him, but most certainly do NOT!

Barack Obama And Religious Extremism: Totally Accurate Statement, So Why The Outcry?

President Barack Obama spoke up on Thursday at the Annual Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC on the dangers of religious extremism, promotion of one’s own faith as the only true faith, and legitimizing bloodshed and violence in the name of one’s God.

This was in reaction to the horrors that have been perpetrated by ISIL (ISIS) in the Middle East, including beheadings of Americans, British, and Japanese hostages; and the even more horrific act of taking a Jordanian pilot, captured while attacking ISIL targets, and setting him on fire, causing him to be burned to death.

What Obama said was that any religion that endorses or promotes such bloodshed and violence should be condemned, and he reminded our nation, much of it totally unaware of our history, that we had seen the lynching, butchering, and setting on fire of a few thousand African American men and boys in the American South and Midwest over a period of more than a hundred years of Jim Crow segregation in the 19th and 20th century and Ku Klux Klan influence; had also experienced nearly 250 years of slavery, which included similar mistreatment; and that world wide, there had been the Christian war on Islam during the Crusades; and the Catholic Church Inquisition of the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance period.

Obama did not specifically mention the horrible persecution of Jews by Christians over two millenniums, and not just the Catholic Church, but also Protestant groups, including Martin Luther and the Lutheran Church; or the mass murder of Catholics vs Protestants in Northern Ireland, as recently as the period of the Irish Republican Army between 1969 and 1998.

And of course, in the Middle East, today, as shown by the setting on fire of a Jordanian who was Muslim, the old holy war of Shiite and Sunni Muslims continues unabated, as it has for 13 centuries; and there is also bloodshed between Muslims and Hindus in India; and turmoil in the Balkans, that led to mass murder by Christians against Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s.

From what Obama reminded us of, plus the additional information provided here by the author, and well known to scholars, it is clear how devastating organized religion has been in its promotion of narrow mindedness and hate, and commitment to torture and extermination in the name of God, no matter which religion.

So Obama was offering a moral lesson, but yet the outcry by right wingers, who do not wish to be reminded of the sins of Christianity fanatics, and only wish to look at the Muslim fanatics today, and imagine that this is the whole story of religion in history, is very troubling. They fail to realize that many more Muslims have been killed by the barbarism of ISIL (ISIS), and their refusal to accept and recognize the history of Christianity as being just as full, historically, of violence and bloodshed, bodes ill for the future ability to understand and accept religious differences and promote religious tolerance!

Conservative Argument That America Is A “Christian Nation” NOT True!

The right wing loves to say that Americans are a “Christian nation”, but that assertion is NOT true!

It is true that a majority of Americans are born to the Christian faith, whether Catholic or any of the many Protestant sects, or Eastern Orthodox.

But our Founding Fathers, while born Christian, were in many cases skeptics about organized Christianity, and certainly had no mission to promote a church-state combination, a theocracy, as they knew of the turmoil and sufferings of such combinations in European history, including Great Britain, France, the German states, and Czarist Russia, along with the effects of Islam on the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

Therefore, the Constitution of the United States made clear to keep separation of church and state separate, and there is no statement of America as a “Christian nation” by the Founding Fathers.

There are plenty of statements by many Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Adams and others that advocated separation of church and state, and a sense of skepticism about organized Christianity being part of government.

We also have evidence that conservative Christian pastors condemned the Constitution after its adoption because of the fact that it was a document which, clearly, was secular in nature, and some called the Constitution an atheistic document, which shows how hard the Founding Fathers had worked to undermine the creation of a theocracy, which would allow persecution of non Christians or non believers in religion itself.

After the Civil War, the right wing Christian pastors tried repeatedly to amend the Constitution to make America a Christian nation and make references to Jesus Christ, but those attempts failed, and the only religious reference that would become normal was to say “In God We Trust” on American coinage.

The deleterious effect of this movement among right wing Christian pastors, however, led to anti Catholic and anti Jewish practices and laws locally, discriminating against the immigration of so called “undesirable” groups.

Additionally, for a long period of time, commerce was limited by “Blue Laws”, which banned economic activities on Sundays, finally overcome about 50 years ago, as if someone does not wish to do shopping or other commerce on the Christian Sabbath, that is their choice, but should not be imposed on others, one of the examples of what happens when theocracy and its narrow mindedness is allowed to take hold.

So America is NOT a “Christian nation”, but rather a nation of a diverse number of religious groups, with a majority of Christian sects, including Catholicism, something the majority Protestants did not wish to acknowledge!

The World In Chaos: Not Unlike Past History, So Keep Things In Perspective!

In the summer of 2014, the world seems in chaos, and for those of us who are alive, it seems as if these are the worst times in human history, but it is far from being so, and far from being unique!

Remember the Cold War Years of 1945-1991, when it often seemed as if nuclear war and total destruction would occur!

Ask those who lived through the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the rise of Fascism, Nazism, and Imperial Japan, and the total devastation of World War II, with the resultant mass loss of life!

Examine the turmoil and anarchy of World War I, and its dramatic effects on the world and America!

Study the period of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars during the quarter century from 1789-1815, and its effect on the nations of Europe and their colonies!

Investigate the turmoil of the wars between England and France, and the religious wars between Catholics and Protestants all over Europe in the year from 1500-1789!

Explore the Hundred Years War period, and the Crusades of the Medieval and Early Modern period of Europe and the Middle East!

Learn about the wars of ancient times in the Roman Republic and Empire; the Greek City States and the conquests of Alexander the Great; and the Egyptian Empire!

When one has studied and reflected on the historical record, one realizes that human history has been one of constant crisis, chaos, and often anarchy, and no less now than before!

So we face the crisis between Russia and Ukraine; the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinians; the struggle for dominance in the Islamic world between Sunnis and Shiites; the nuclear threat of Iran; the Syrian Civil War; the Afghanistan War; the threat of Islamic extremism on nuclear power Pakistan; the disintegration of government and stability in Central America, leading to the migration of women and children to the American border in the American Southwest; the constant saber rattling of renegade North Korea; the growing influence and aggressiveness of China in its “neighborhood’; and the constant threat of terrorist acts anywhere and everywhere in the world of 2014!

No President can solve all of these problems, as no matter who resides in the White House, we are only able to do the best we can to react to events, as we do not shape them, but also with the need to recognize our limitations to shape the world in America’s image!

Associate Justice Antonin Scalia Compares Gay Marriage To Murder! Totally Reprehensible!

Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has never hidden his ideological agenda on the Court, any more than Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.

Both men, the most ideologically right wing of the past century, are clear in their prejudices and biases, and desire to bring America back to the 18th century, the time of the Founding Fathers, and the much promoted concept of both Justices known as “originalism”

The fact that the Founding Fathers included slave owners, treated women as second class citizens, and did not trust the masses of citizens so as to give them the vote for President or the US Senate, and limited the right to vote for white males to those who owned property in that time period, does not have any effect on either Scalia or Thomas.

If it was up to them, nothing would have changed, despite the fact that Italian Americans, such as Scalia, and African Americans, such as Thomas, were not considered human beings by most of the WASPS who dominated American government, and mistreated both ethnic groups well into the 20th century! The fact that Scalia is the first ever Italian American Justice, and that Thomas is the second ever African American Justice, seems not to have made them pause and realize the nature of progress and change!

So we know the narrow mindedness of both men, but to have Justice Scalia, who claims to be a great intellectual, and loves himself publicly, to compare gay marriage and gay rights to the horrors of murder, makes one think he is losing it completely, and needs to announce his retirement from the Court this coming June, after being in the hateful minority with Thomas on discrimination against a group, gay Americans, which has suffered more hate and prejudice than any other group in the history of the world, simply because of their sexuality, when that is none of anyone’s business!

If it is alright to have interracial marriage, or marriage between Catholics and Protestants, or Christians and Jews, all groups which have had to fight for their rights to marry, then it is alright to have two men or two women who love each other and wish to commit their lives to each other, to marry and have the benefits and security of marriage, and no prejudice, bias or hate should be allowed to get in the way of their commitment!

Scalia looked like a fool when answering the question of gay Princeton University freshman Duncan Hosie, who demonstrated great courage and dignity in his approach to Scalia, in front of a large audience.

No one is claiming that any person is free of prejudice and personal opinions, but it is totally inappropriate for a member of the Supreme Court to be so openly hostile and antagonistic as Scalia is on gay rights and gay marriage, and his behavior gives license to religious freaks and other hate mongers to continue to encourage actions and violence against gay Americans, and their and his behavior is therefore, morally reprehensible!

Odd And Interesting Points About Paul Ryan, And The Presidential Election Of 2012

There are many odd and interesting points about Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan that have been gathered, and here are some of them!

Paul Ryan, like Mitt Romney, is handsome, and they look good together photogenically.

Paul Ryan looks as if he could be one of Mitt Romney’s sons, and actually is only 12 days older than Romney’s oldest son, Tagg!

Paul Ryan has spent his whole adult life in government, with no experience in the private sector.

Paul Ryan was affected by the narrow minded, selfish teachings of Ayn Rand, and he was involved in work with former Congressman Jack Kemp, one of the authors of what became known as Reaganomics, which started tripling the national debt in the 1980s, due to the theory of Supply Side Economics. Now, Ryan wishes to multiply what Reaganomics in the 1980s and Bushonomics in the 2000s brought about, most of the increased national debt, $7 trillion of the total $10.5 trillion debt that existed when George W. Bush left the Presidency in January, 2009!

Paul Ryan’s dad died when he was in high school, and he was supported by the social safety net of Social Security with survivors benefits while in college.

Paul Ryan has lived off the American taxpayer his entire life, and will receive better health care and pension benefits as part of the federal payroll, that he wishes to cut for everyone else in the middle and lower classes!

Paul Ryan alienated Catholic nuns when he came out for cuts in food stamps and other benefits to poor children, and called for privatizing of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, while wanting greater tax cuts for the top two percent!

Paul Ryan was booed in his own congressional district for the Ryan plan which passed the House of Representatives earlier this year, but with no Democratic support and ten Republicans voting against, as well.

Paul Ryan comes across as articulate, handsome, and charming personally, the latter much more than Mitt Romney, but he also comes across to many as arrogant, nasty, mean spirited, uncaring, hypocritical , uncompromising, and loved by the Tea Party and the right wing media which have declared war on women, senior citizens, the middle class, minorities, and the poor!

Paul Ryan has no foreign policy experience, and being only a Congressman, can be seen as not qualified to be Commander in Chief on Day One!

This is the 5th time in the past half century that a member of the House of Representatives has been selected as a Vice Presidential running mate—William E. Miller of New York with Barry Goldwater in 1964; Geraldine Ferraro of New York with Walter Mondale in 1984; Jack Kemp of New York with Bob Dole in 1996; Dick Cheney of Wyoming with George W. Bush in 2000; and now Paul Ryan of Wisconsin with Mitt Romney in 2012. Notice all four of the earlier choices LOST the election that followed, with the exception of Cheney with Bush, but remember that Al Gore actually won the popular vote in 2000 by 540,000 votes, and the Supreme Court decided the election, intervening for the first time in American history!

And as said in an earlier post, finally, this marks the fourth time in the past 60 years that the Vice Presidential nominee has been more than 20 years younger than the Presidential nominee—Richard Nixon with Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952; Dan Quayle with George H. W. Bush in 1988; Sarah Palin with John McCain in 2008; and now Paul Ryan with Mitt Romney in 2012.

Additionally, we have no one on either ticket for this upcoming election who is from the Sun Belt states, the growing part of the nation. Instead, we have a Midwesterner and an Easterner on each ticket–Barack Obama and Paul Ryan from the Midwest, and Joe Biden and Mitt Romney from the Northeast!

Also, there is no candidate with military experience on either Presidential ticket, the first time since the 1940s!

And we also have no mainline Protestant on the Republican ticket, a mainstay of the GOP, and instead have a Mormon and a Catholic.

If anything, the only true “Protestant” is Barack Obama, as Joe Biden is Catholic!

More oddities and trivia will probably arise as the campaign develops further!

The Negatives Of Mitt Romney Growing, Making His Nomination For President Less Likely Scenario!

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has long been thought to be the frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nomination, but as we get closer to the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primary, about a month from now, his problems and challenges are growing rapidly!

Romney is now seen as very vulnerable in many different ways, including:

1. Romney may be respected, but is not loved, as Time Magazine reports this week.

2. Romney, being a Mormon, a subject he tries to avoid discussing, is becoming a growing issue to many evangelical Christians and other Protestant religious groups, who feel that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a cult, and not Christian, but instead a phony religion.

3. Romney, being extremely wealthy (estimated $250 million minimum) comes across as part of the elite, the one percent, as one of “them” against the rest of us, and with his comments advocating the destruction of the auto industry in Michigan and elsewhere, his support of accelerating home foreclosures, and his bad joke about being “unemployed” , that image is hard to overcome.

4. Romney, being from the Northeast, and specifically Massachusetts, a Democratic state, is unappealing to a party which gets its major support from the South, Midwest and Mountain West.

5. Romney has an image of being a moderate, in fact to some as liberal, due to his support of a state health care plan in Massachusetts, which became a model for Barack Obama’s push for health care reform, and Romney cannot escape that image and advocacy no matter how hard he tries.

6. Having moved from liberal to moderate viewpoints when first running against Senator Ted Kennedy unsuccessfully in 1994, and then successfully for Governor in 2002, and now claiming to be a conservative who has completely transformed himself and his views, he comes across as a massive “flip flopper”, possibly one of the greatest such cases in American history, and therefore, is seen as not genuine, not honest, not believable, not reliable that he will keep the views he now professes.

7. Romney comes across as arrogant, haughty, not liking to be challenged, snobby, and seemingly believing he is “entitled” to be the next Repubiican nominee as the so called “next in waiting” runner up candidate in the past, just like John McCain in 2008 and Bob Dole in 1996.

So Mitt Romney is in deep trouble, and many are starting to think he may not be the GOP nominee for President in 2012!