Saturday, November 19, 2011

FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS - Chapter Twelve


You Better Think!

 "I regard Christian and Jewish fundamentalism, and all other forms of fundamentalism,
as the enemies of God - and I hope you'll quote me on that."
-Arthur Hertzberg

They finally got Osama Bin Laden.

It was nearly ten years after the fact...ten years after September 11, 2001...but they finally got him.

As an American, I joined in with the rest of the country in breathing a collective sigh of relief in knowing that the despot had been removed from the world stage, and I applauded the obviously successful efforts of our Commander-In-Chief, and of the amazing soldiers who executed a virtually flawless raid on Bin Laden's Pakistani mansion/compound.

It's regrettable that it took so long to find him, especially since he had obviously been hiding in plain sight the whole time...but it's even more regrettable, as far as I'm concerned, that we are still at war in Iraq and Afghanistan at the time of this writing.

But, at least he's gone.

Being as patriotic as the next guy, I was moved by the spontaneous celebrations that broke out at the White House and in Times Square and at Ground Zero the night that the President announced that Bin Laden had been taken out, and I certainly don't want to be insensitive to the pain of the families who lost loved ones on that horrible September morning in '01...families that will never have full closure from the atrocities of that day, no matter who is assassinated...but I was quite sober when I heard the news.

Relieved? Yes.

Happy? Not least not totally...

At the time, I expressed this same sentiment on my blog, and for the most part my thoughts were very well received...but there were those who misunderstood my point, completely (so what else is new?), and sent me numerous statistics of the many deaths for which Bin Laden was responsible...some even accused me of wanting to invite him to my house for dinner and become best friends with him.


Certainly, no one needed to convince me what a bad guy he was...9/11 broke my heart...but I'm used to people missing the point on a lot of subjects that I discuss...being misunderstood comes with the territory when you have a large platform through which you express your ideas, especially ideas that aren't really mainstream.

Anyway, the point is this...we live in such an unkind world...people killing one another...hating one another...the longer I live, the more intolerable this reality becomes. So, even though what was done in Pakistan at Bin Laden's compound apparently had to be done, I couldn't and can't in good conscience really rejoice in the death of anyone, no matter how evil they are.

Am I glad he's gone?

No doubt about it.

I'm glad to know that we don't have to dread another of his videos coming out that shows he's still alive and still a threat to our safety.

But I am grieved that we live in a world where this kind of thing still has to happen at all.

What does this have to do with GOOD NEWS and the other things I've discussed in this book? Just that the world needs a revelation of the GOOD NEWS now more than ever!

Let me give that statement some context for this chapter...

The President gave a short but brilliant speech to the country the night of the assassination, in which he pointed out that Osama Bin Laden did not and does not represent Islam, and he was right about that.

In fact, Bin Laden killed more Muslims than he did any other group.

But where my mind went immediately was that the real enemy was not Osama Bin Laden or any other person, for that matter.

The real enemy was and is religious fundamentalism.

Fundamentalism it Muslim or Christian or that of any other religious persuasion.

The Crusades...

The Spanish Inquisition...

The Holocaust...

The violence between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland...

The Ku Klux Klan...

The Taliban, etc...

It's all about religious intolerance that stems from fundamentalist interpretations of Holy Writ.

I'm proud to be an American.

I'm proud of our President and of our troops.

I love my country, and I want it to be safe.

But I'm really, really tired of religious fundamentalism, and all the hatred and death that it inevitably causes.

Terrorism happens every day in the name of religion...believe me, I know of what I speak.

In The Beginning

Fundamentalist Christians read the Bible with no sense of concept of how to discern the "spirit" of the letter, and so they just continue to fixate on the parts of the written script with which they agree, even though what they focus on is nearly always "the letter that kills".

For example: Of course God created the universe.

Call it intelligent design, or whatever, the fact is that science cannot answer all of our questions about the origin(s) of everything. Even though there is clearly and undeniably some evolution that takes place in every species, including that of humans (if you don't believe it, ask yourself why people have wisdom teeth), there is just no way that everything on the earth, including all of the different species of animals, could have evolved into such a sophisticated and complex bio-system.

And this is no doubt a very simplistic way to approach it, but I think it's obvious that we didn't come from apes for the very simple reason that there are still apes. If simians, regardless of how "human" they often seem in demeanor and mannerism, were just a link in the chain, then why didn't they eventually all evolve into homo sapiens?

So yes..."in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth".

That's a given.

But that doesn't mean that science is wrong in its assertion that the earth is older...much, much older...than 6,000 years, as many traditional creationists believe.

Did God speak the worlds into existence? I believe that He did, but that doesn't mean that I rigidly hold to the idea that He created the earth absolutely and definitely in only six 24-hour periods, and then rested on the 7th.

If Moses were here today, I believe that he would explain to those mainstream Bible believers who read the Genesis account strictly through a fundamentalist paradigm that he was speaking poetically when he wrote the creation account in Genesis 1. The ancient Hebrews, of course, would have understood that. Moses wasn't there when God created everything, so he had to find a way to explain the creation of all things in a way that his readers could understand.

The important thing is that, ultimately, God created everything...whether or not he did it in 6 days or 6 seconds or 6 million years. The fact is that creation is an act of divinity, and the product of the God-kind of faith.

When Christians argue over the "6 days" creationist stand versus the idea that God created everything through a process of evolution, they miss the point, entirely.

Bottom line, it was a miracle, and God did it. be continued...


Don C. said...

Excellent conveyance of The Word, "word of God speak" in this 12th Ch. I am glad that I am the product of the evolution of God's love and grace in my life. Whether that took days or eon's to come about I am glad that "this is the day that the Lord has made and I will rejoice in it."

Don C. said...

I tried to post this but something went awry so if I repeat myself that is why. Good word and hearing the "word of God speak" through this as always. I don't know if it took 6 days, 6 eon's or whatever the measure of time. I am just glad that in the present moment God is still speaking and I have a hunger for Him and His word. God is more than we can imagine.

Erik said...

So, there is this movie, ‘Prophecy’ came out in the end of last century, 1995, starring Christopher Walken (star of many great films). It’s essence is “ What is, is”. We All choose it, We Each and All create Our own reality as a world and individually, and everything in between.

In this view, Bin Laden is someone We All agreed upon and he accepted and carried out. Fear and self doubt are both sin, and something Each of Us contributes to.

Fear and doubt of I Am, We each add to. Doubt of God in each of us, creates the tumult in this world. To the degree We Each and as a community have Peace with The Continuous Creator of All and Every person, thought, thing, - the less tumult, horror, regret, each of us experience.

Doubt of I Am is the original, and I say, the only sin, which has also been forgiven since before the foundation of existence as We know it.

God has chilled since before We were, as We are, and as We will be. We have not yet chilled. We each are I Am, and I Am is Each of Us and more than We comprehend. It is a miracle. Science is merely Our corporate observation, measurement, repeatedly reported and tested. Science does not create. Science observes, tests, and reports. The knowledge gained from that is applied and God is further expressed in metal, plastics, space voyage, The Internet, electronics, video, healthcare, entertainment, publishing, manufacturing, and every other endeavor. Science is encouraged by The Creator, so We can see more of Her/His vision of this Universe and the glimpse of so much more God is.

Faith and revelation enhance what we measure, test, and record. Give encouragement to do more.

Love, Peace, Wisdom, Self Awareness, Contentment, Desire, and such propel us forward, growing in the DNA of God that Each of Us was designed by Ja with.

Each One of Us Now incorporates All that came before Us. We are a more detailed manifestation of God than those before, and add detail to those who are manifested later in linier time. Precept upon precept, line upon line or vice versa, same point.

Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omni – Creator, continuous Creator is, I Am Each of We All, before, now, and forever.

We collectively and individually choose our war and We collectively and individually choose our peace,