Citizens of the World
Kenneth G. Ramey Salem-News.com
We hope exposure to other concepts and peoples can encourage responsible-individuals to accommodate to necessity rather than commit to impossible dreams or absolute dominance over the lives of others. We can hope.
Salem-News.com (Mar-31-2009 07:25)
The Religions of the Book - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - are a major cause for the failure to achieve such a desirable goal, and provide by their history evidence that politics in religion was/is an instrument of divisiveness that prevents the world's peoples from coming together in a common brotherhood.
The problem is what it has always been, reluctance on the part of religious leaders to acknowledge or share with others the authority they claim for themselves. To compromise would be tantamount to admitting they erred in representing the will of God. Hence, those who hold membership in any of the Religions of the Book are locked in the grip of an untenable position.
If man is to find release from his predicament, he must alter his way of thinking, accept compromise, or resort to the only viable recourse, the final solution! The Second Coming of Christ supposedly will occur when Christianity achieves world dominance, and all that refuse to join ranks with Christianity then will be destroyed by fire, as Autos de Fe were intended to demonstrate. I can’t imagine it will ever come to pass.
The last witches in
Following the death of Constantine, Rome sought to achieve dominance over its Orthodox partner by means of symbolic-destruction, first by the Iconoclastic Controversy, then by the fraudulently produced Donation of Constantine, purportedly giving to Rome Primacy over all of Christendom [the cause of the first Great Schism] as the first in a series of steps that, as the One God of All Nations, the Vatican believes ultimately will make the Catholic Church Ruler of the World. Others are not so sure.
Arabs borrowed a page from Christianity in the 7th Century when it proclaimed Muhammad the last of God’s prophets, and Islam more than equal to Christianity. In the 8th Century Islam overran the Civilized world, and has since maintained and enlarged its worldwide identity. Attempts by Christians to prove them wrong have always failed.
In a futile attempt to preserve its parochial-dominance,
And, God forbid, American Evangelists are now attempting to do the same thing.
A Controversy at the University of Notre Dame involving President Obama who, as a first-term president and according to tradition, was invited by the University to address the graduating Class of 2009 at its Commencement Ceremony in May has, according to the AP, been met, with “considerable” criticism; Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix describes the selection as ”a public act of disobedience and a grave mistake,” and another bishop has said he will not attend because of President Obama’s support of stem-cell research and family planning worldwide [Catholic births increase its base].
A University paper-poll, reports that 73% of alumni-respondents [old timers?] oppose the invitation, but significantly, more than 97% of graduates responding to the poll support the invitation. The invitation stands, and the President says he is looking forward to addressing the graduates.
A Political Science major at the University says, “I can’t see how Obama’s appearance contradicts Catholic values; it seems a little hypocritical and contradictory to [what] the mission of the university and church should be,” proving himself, and the graduates, better world citizens than some of their Bishops.
Christianity borrowed from Judaism, and Islam from Christianity, and all three are flourishing. Judaism, as are all religions, is composed of sects; persons who hold to the fundamentals, but who worship in their own way [Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin come immediately to mind].
Christianity was a Judaic sect that left the fold to impose its New concept upon the Old, the logical story of which has already been told.
Once established, Christianity was slow to take off; its first three hundred years was a period of competition with more popular pagan religions. Jews dealt with lingering dissidents many of whom, Isaiah revealed, clung to the worship of favorite idols rather than commit to an invisible Jehovah.
Christians enlarged on the Jehovah concept of the Jews, but capitalized on its weakness that lacked a transitional plan from tangible deities to the obscure One God of the Jewish Nation. Christianity used symbols; the arts, the cross, and especially statuary to portray Jesus’ Divinity, and by the Eucharist provided members the means intimately to attach themselves to Him and Catholicism.
Christ - as Jesus was called - to separate his Spiritual Being from his humanity, still posed a problem for Christianity because the Eucharist initially attracted as many condemnations as it did converts. Pagans referred to Christianity as cannibalistic because the faithful were expected “to eat of Jesus’ flesh and drink his blood” the purpose of which was described in “The Blood of Christ.”
The first three-hundred years of Christianity was a period in which the religion in favor was Pagan [persons who did not acknowledge the God of the New Testament] and Christians often became a source of entertainment at coliseums where they were pitted against animals or warriors.
The strength of Christianity, it was said, was its Martyrs.
That changed in 312 A.D. when Christianity became the religion of Empire and
Dutch Netherlands was a Spanish possession, but leaned heavily in favor of Lutheranism that focused on New Testament teachings and Luther’s Justification by Faith over collective church authority.
The Armada was defeated by English corsairs, aka Privateers
[ships commissioned by a government to attack ships of other countries] in the
English Channel, and the remnant of the Spanish fleet was devastated by storms
In 1606 English Puritans were permitted religious refuge in
Jews, in spite of their contribution to intelligentsia [the intelligent, intellectual, or highly educated members of a society] were labeled “God killers” by Christians, and in adopted lands, even when they had lived in them for centuries, were conveniently dubbed intruders and used by leaders as a common enemy.
Nazi Germany encouraged its people to project upon Jews the
blame for everything - as if they were witches - and in a rite of purification
similar to that perpetrated in
For the rite to be effective the waste, for which the Jews had become the symbol, needed to be destroyed, and millions of them died in the holocaust.
After WW-II, territory was carved from land occupied by
Palestinians to create for Jews a Homeland [
Some Arab nations support
Faith Militant was the label given to Christianity when the Church cruelly forced its will upon its members. Survivors rallied around Deism, a concept known as Faith Victorious, a personal faith each can turn to without the intercession of the Church. Militancy has become a way of life [and death], of all The Religions of the Book, but wars have a redeeming quality.
Exposure to other concepts and peoples may encourage responsible-individuals [on both sides] to accommodate to necessity rather than commit to impossible dreams or absolute dominance over the lives of others. We can hope.
The result would be a move closer to the goal of Universal understanding by stressing the unifying feature of individuality versus the divisiveness of forced communal beliefs. For it is the spiritual side of human nature - the Universal Oneness of a common beginning - that unites all manner of men - if once they understand the truth - and cultural definitions and expectations that divide them.
Ramey was a 79-year old "writer without a Website" who is generating
excellent, provocative articles on the subject of religion and world affairs.
We are pleased that Ken's "lone wolf" presence as a writer in the
world has been replaced by a spot on our team of writers at Salem-News.com.
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