The Myth of the Myth of Palestine

Israel_Palestine_Flag[1]It is, if I may be frank, quite pathetic that the spurious charge of a myth should so perpetuate itself.  In fact, it is nothing other than Girardian scapegoating on an industrial scale.  If you can convince a person or group that another person or group is somehow less than deserving, less human, less, just less….less…..less….in whatever way is chosen, it stands to reason you can do anything to them.

ANYTHING!

The founder of the WZO (World Zionist Organisation in 1897), Theodore Herzl, had the primary objective of seeking a homeland.  The irony for this German Jew, was that he loved the German civilization, he didn’t even like the Hebrew religion, and nor did he consider himself scattered or disparate – he loved European culture, as did many of his bourgeois compatriots!  He was also a failed playwright, and even in writing his book Der Judenstat (An attempt at a modern solution to the Jewish question), his primary motivation was, as Goldberg percieves, to establish his credentials as the “sober, judicious Doctor of Law rather than the author of drawing room comedies.”

Continue reading “The Myth of the Myth of Palestine”

Christ and the World

This is stunning…..

Subversive Preaching in a Postmodern World – A Targum based on Colossians 1:15-20 by Brian J Walsh

In an image-saturated world,

a world of ubiquitous corporate logos

permeating your consciousness,

a world of dehydrated and captive imaginations

in which we are too numbed, satiated and co-opted,

to be able to dream of life otherwise.

A world in which the empire of global economic affluence

has achieved the monopoloy of our imaginations;

in this world,

Christ is the image of the invisible God.

In this world,

driven by images with a vengeance,

Christ is the image par excellence;

the image above all other images,

the image that is not a facade,

the image that is not trying to sell you anything,

the image that refuses to co-opt you.

Continue reading “Christ and the World”

“Christian Country” Claptrap

christian_nation_100711Following on from the comments made by the Bristish Prime Minister David Cameron on The UK being a ‘Christian country’ and the follow-up letter in the The Telegraph (20/4/2014), I would like to wade in.

The confusion around this whole debacle is astonishing, not only are the comments by Cameron strange, but the letter by his learned critics is equally strange.  I don’t care much for politicians who use religion in general and Christianity in particular to make their claims.  I don’t know if Cameron is a Christian in the Bible sense of the word, or just sympathetic to a large group of people in the UK who can and do fulfil his idea of a Big Society.  For one thing, if he thinks the idea of the poor and needy being helped by others is his idea, he’s clearly never read his Bible.

That aside, what I would like to point out not only what was correct in the letter, but also the wild assumptions and blatant untruths contained within it to the The Telegraph, signed as it was, by a right regal host of famous and learned men and women.  Here’s the letter:

“SIR – We respect the Prime Minister’s right to his religious beliefs and the fact that they necessarily affect his own life as a politician. However, we object to his characterisation of Britain as a “Christian country” and the negative consequences for politics and society that this engenders.

Apart from in the narrow constitutional sense that we continue to have an established Church, Britain is not a “Christian country”. Repeated surveys, polls and studies show that most of us as individuals are not Christian in our beliefs or our religious identities.

At a social level, Britain has been shaped for the better by many pre-Christian, non-Christian, and post-Christian forces. We are a plural society with citizens with a range of perspectives, and we are a largely non-religious society.

Constantly to claim otherwise fosters alienation and division in our society. Although it is right to recognise the contribution made by many Christians to social action, it is wrong to try to exceptionalise their contribution when it is equalled by British people of different beliefs. This needlessly fuels enervating sectarian debates that are by and large absent from the lives of most British people, who do not want religions or religious identities to be actively prioritised by their elected government.”

As a Christian myself, I find some of what they say correct, for example, Britain is not a Christian country.  The Bible knows nothing of ‘Christian country’, only individual Christian men and women, and most thoughtful Christians would say the same.

It is also true that most people in the UK are not Christian in belief or identity.  The plurality of multi-culturalism has shown us this, even if large portions of other cultures are Christian, others are not.

It is also fair to point out that social action by Christians  should not be exceptionalised over and above those of other and no belief (though I would be very interested to know, from the signataries, who among them engages in genuine social action).

The scare-mongering assumption was the claim that if Britain is characterised as a Christian country, it will have “negative consequences for politics and society…”  This assumption, based on something untrue (a Christian country) is poorly disguised anti-Christian secularism masquerading as cultural astuteness.

Another off-the-cuff comment designed to look like cultural awareness was that Britain “has been shaped for the better by many pre-Christian, non-Christian and post-Christian forces.”  Here, I would have loved some thoroughly convincing examples, of the kind that genuinely show how this is true.  I’m sure it is in some cases, but it sounds like the claim is over-reaching itself.

It is also a mistake to assume that a plural society equals a largely non-religious society.  This is also untrue.  Most (I think all, if the Christian view of people is correct that all are made in the image of God), people are religious, to some extent, even in atheism and secularism.  What I think they mean, is that most people do not hold to the classic Judeo-Christian view of a Christendom culture – that’s different, but certainly most (all) people are religious.

Finally, the “negative consequences” of the first paragraph is now slightly explained in the last one, that all this will “foster alienation and division in our society.”  Will it?  Really?  Among who?  Why?  A tolerant society is surely a tolerant society.  A tolerant society with rhetoric like this is in fact proving its own bias and intolerance of Christianity.  Tolerance doesn’t mean the negation and silencing of Christians, it means allowing for their flourishing, not sowing the seed that this “needlessly fuels enervating sectarian debates.”  It doesn’t, letters like this, mingled as it is with truth, assumumption, mis-information, untruths and wild assertions of various social outcomes fuels secarianism.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that when Cameron speaks he speaks for Christians.

Neither make the mistake that when letters like this are written, they speak for the people.

 

Philippino Storm: Act of God?

storm

TheRich

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Philippine’s is a place of geographical, political, fiscal and meteorological interest.  It has a vast population of very poor people, scrounging out a living on the metaphorical “dollar-a-day” bull-shit cited by utopian inspired Westerners trying to do a good thing.

What if the crappy excuses for homes that millions live in were built to British Standard?  Maybe we’d pay more for our t-shirts!  Imagine the uproar!  “I’m writing to my MP!”  It’s my human right that someone else on the other side of the world lives like a rat to ensure I live like a King.

What if we as Westerners were less concerned with cheap “goods” than a liveable wage – you know – a wage WHERE PEOPLE CAN ACTUALLY LIVE and NOT JUST GET BY?

Oh yes, it’s a job, isn’t it?  A job created by multi-nationals and governments to GIVE US cheap clothes – the whining, price- obsessed bastards that we are!   “Well, at least they have a job!” we pathetically cry!  REALLY!! Are you taking the proverbial and actual piss!

Well, at least during the worst storm in recorded history, they’ll be safe in their factory…..!  Safe as what?  Philippino housing for the poor!  Oh, maybe they can rush to their own personal houses!  Did I say “houses”, aww shucks… I mean shacks!  You know, the kind of shacks built to withstand a Philippino Super-Storm, named Haiyan!  “But…” I hear the wealthy (i.e. Westerner) cry, “…there’s not a lot one can do about a Super-Storm, I mean, it’s a Super-Storm…!”  Nothing?  NOTHING?  Really?  REALLY??

How about building houses like the safe hotels that the rich book into when a storm hits?  Oh yeah, the rich have access to such wonders!

How about the West stop having a pity party for disaster and start doing something BEFORE not AFTER?  How about less collection more action.  By collection, I mean your pathetic pennies put into a tin as you go into “your” supermarket of choice – BECAUSE THEY HAVE REALLY CHEAP AVACODO’S.

I know, how about we stop living cheaply and start living.  Living in such a way that we do not see disaster relief as a humanitarian act, but GET IN THE FACE OF GOVERNMENT to stop cheap living.  How about we stop thinking, “At least they’ve got a job,” to “Gosh, if this person is educated [as they should be, as is their right], maybe they have it within themselves to find the cure for Cancer!”  How many Nobel Peace Prize winners are [not] found in Third World factories, Sweat Shops, and crappy shanty towns (“Western viewers may find the following scenes upsetting” – well my heart bleeds for you)!

The only “Act of God” coming is the one on injustice.  Global capitalism, cheap labour, poor housing, faceless people…..people made in the image of God….For God’s sake! The storm was bad, but imagine it in Croydon, or Manchester, or Chicago!  GO ON, IMAGINE!

This storm is not an act of God, as some would like to neatly argue.  Get your arse down to the Philippine’s and see for yourself: the disaster here is entirely man made.  Greed, poverty, capitalist interest and sheer de-humanisation are the real causes.  Mud slides are caused by de-forestation, which is caused by unaccountable commercial interest, which is caused by global capitalism, which is caused by the free-market economy of the West.  And we have the balls to worry about our pensions!

Dammit!  What was the Philippino word for pension again…. anyone…..?

Act of God!  Piffle.  Let’s be honest:  The storm may be a phenomenon of nature, but much [most] of this disaster is an Act of Man!

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