Saturday, September 30, 2006

Idomeneo, Still Dazed and Confused

As I read more of about the opera controversy I find that good taste had nothing to do with pulling the production. It had been shown before in the past. As 'Idomeneo" assails all religions in its revised ending I find the media coverage lacking integrity. No headlines mention the other religious figures heads and bury the fact deeper in the report, making the issue appear to be only an assault on Islam. Religious insensitivity is the culprit and the cause of so much violence. In fact it is an attack on almost every religion, yet no comparisons are made into Islam being the only religion feared to respond violently.
So the German Government wants to condemn self censorship and promote violence.
How about condemning violence and promoting cultural standards.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Idomeneo, Dazed and Confused

Opera 'head' Kirsten Harms, of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, has canceled the revision of a Mozart opera "Idomeneo", with a protesting German Chancellor Angela Merkel attacking the decision as "self censorship". The revised version is much like the original only that in the end the hero is shown laughing at the severed and bloodied heads of Buddha, Mohammed and Jesus Christ.
Though the opera is set long before the times of these religions, after the victory over Troy by the Greeks, the theme is religious in nature despite others claims that it is not. The story closely parallels the offering of Isaac by Abraham and deals with age old questions of man's condition. When man shows virtue the gods free him from the torment they imposed. It is a joyous occasion in which everyone celebrates.
The founders of these religions being shamelessly defamed, took on this very human condition and created paths to resolve its inherent contradictions. The simple addition of this moment as the opera ends is bigotry with no where to hide. There is no intellectual basis for the association as presented, unless only to say their sacrifice was of no value, in the vein of atheistic communism.
Kirsten Harms, head of a private organization and symbol of German culture, acted in good taste, and has the right to operate the opera as he sees fit. The intrusion of the government is the real intrusion into liberty, not a supposed censorship. The director, Hans Neuenfeld, can take his props to a variety of other venues and he and Merkel need not give it undeserved prominence.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Parent and Child

What has happened to the parent child relationship in the United States? Much of the baby boomer generation turned their backs on the morals and world view of their parents celebrating freedom with drugs and free sex beginning in the 60's. The 70's brought women's rights and the legalization of abortion. And a wave of new religions or sects that swept the nation in theses decades created a large of deprogramming industry, the kidnapping of adult children by their parents, spurred on by the likes of Charles Manson and Jim Jones.
As children declared war on their parents, parents on their children and women on men, or between husband and wife, is it any surprise to read of parents forcing their children to have an abortion. Not only have we denied the right of the father in deciding the fate of the unborn, now it appears the decision is being taken away from the mother also. Is it time for the State to step in?
In Maine parents kidnapped their 19 year old daughter, throwing her in the trunk of their car intending to take her across state lines for an abortion. She escaped.,2933,214524,00.html
More recently in Columbus, Georgia, a mother and two cousins of her daughter, tried to induce an abortion in her daughter by forcing her to drink turpetine.,2933,215780,00.html
It's time for the leaders of this nation to realize the detriment of abortion on our nation. To allow the free practice of ones faith in the public square as well as in public schools, which our Constitution protects, if you know what the definition of 'is' is. And its time to recognize that teaching abstinence is the only responsible position to protect the fabric of society.

Friday, September 22, 2006

POWER of Association

Iran, after its long horrid war with Iraq, rises again under Mahmud Ahmadinejad, looking to destroy Israel and waiting for the twelfth imam to vanquish their enemies and put Ahmadinejad and the Iranian people above all others. Hugo Chavez, handing out free oil, is met with cheers around the world that haven't been seen since Benito Mussolini made the trains run on time in Italy. And an industrialized nation, China, in the far east is building a military vastly larger than required for its defense.
Where as our politicians, teachers and other public servants had gained the communities respect through long years of service, sacrifice and pursuit of excellence, over the last fifty years the efforts and hardships in achieving these standards are replaced with status by association. Teachers, professional politicians and journalists among others have lost touch with the course to become a person of morals and status and demand the respect they believe they deserve based on the position they hold.
Ahmadinejad, Chavez and others, being leaders of their nations, are treated with the reverence of a person of leadership and accomplishment, and high moral standing based on the positions they hold, when in reality they are nothing but thugs, just as the fascists of WW II.
Men such as President Bush and John Bolton, on the other hand, have shown true leadership under diverse conditions. They have not responded to polls or worried about how the media might respond, but have stood strong in what is right. They have shown character and integrity. Surely God has blessed American with such leadership.,2933,214709,00.html

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Religious Freedom Report 2006

Labeled as a "country of particular concern" (CPA) by the U.S. Department of State were Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Vietnam. The language is weak, and dispite the denial of the nations mentioned, the abuse of religious freedom is without a doubt.
"These governments implement policies designed to demand that adherents recant their faith, cause religious group members to flee the country, and intimidate and harass certain religious groups," according to the report.
The report also defines religious abuse as discriminating against certain religions by describing them as dangerous cults or sects. Maybe the United States needs to look to itself in this regard. There has been a vast 'organized' anti-cult movement in this nation that has done just that for decades, lead predominantly by Christians. Not government policy, but the government has been complicite. From Bob Dole, then member of the Senate Finance Committee, who wrote the IRS Commissioner, Donald Alexander, leading to the railroading and imprisonment of Reverend Moon of the Unification Church. To the crass disregard for the rights of the Branch Davidians leading to scores of men women and children being killed. And the disdain shown to the Hari Krishna and others resulting in open discrimination against all such 'dangerous cults and sects' whom can find little to no relief from our judicial system, that is our jury system.
The United States stands is the beacon of freedom to the rest of the world and truly has achieved standards of freedom beyond any other nation. However look to the Religious Freedom Report itself if you do not believe the U.S. could possibly by complicite in bigotry. Though Saudi Arabia allows only one religion to be practiced, this years report has omitted the phrase "freedom of religion does not exist" and changed it to "there is no legal recognition of religious freedom, and it is severely restricted in practice."

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Shoko Asahara to be Executed

The leader of the Aum Sinrikyo 'Cult', responsible for the Tokyo subway sarin gas attack killing twelve, has lost his final appeal and will be executed by hanging within six months or shortly after the trials of his fellow conspirators is complete.
1989 cult members were responsible for the murder of Tsutsumi Sakamoto and his family. Mr Sakamoto was a lawyer opposing the Aum Sinrikyo 'Cult'. Six years before the gas attack.
The cults teaching and actions towards one enemy, combined with an apocalyptic view of the end of the world, are a deadly formula in the stream of Charles Manson.
The great irony is, Christianity which puts front and center the highest ideals of loving ones enemy also has the most apocalyptic view of the end of the world.

Medieval Times in India

No it's not a theme park. An amendment to India's Freedom of Religion Act has allowed conversion between denominations of a religion and labeled Buddhism a denomination of the Hindu religion. No longer will one have to ask the government for permission to convert from Hinduism to Buddhism or visa versa. The Freedom of Religion Act was designed to prevent forced conversions of religion.
One has to think of the moral fortitude of our founding fathers, humbling themselves before man's unalienable rights endowed by God and blocking the hijacking of a faith for political gain.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Media! Millions Murdered By the...

David Gregory, NBC News' Chief White House Correspondent asked President Bush: "If the CIA officer, paramilitary, or special operations soldier from the United States were captured in Iran or North Korea, and they were roughed up, and those governments said; 'Well they were interrogated in accordance with our interpretation of the Geneva Conventions'. And then they were put on trial. And they were convicted based on secret evidence that they were not able to see, how would you react to that?"

Is this Intellectual or moral bankruptcy? It's both.

Intellectually, the hypothetical used to critique the United States interrogation and military tribunal system, has no basis in reality. If the countries in question captured any representative of the United States, they would only admit it after torturing the prisoner to the point of being brainwashed into repeat their dictation word for word. Evidence would be whatever the State says is true despite the facts. President Bush gave the appropriate answer.

Morally, the issue is similar. To compare the United States to North Korea, or Iran, is in itself dishonest. The people of North Korea under Kim Jung Il live a nightmarish existence where political dissidents are systematically starved to death, people of faith slaughtered and other atrocities beyond comprehension committed on any grounds they wish. Iran has vowed to destroy a sovereign nation. The rights of women are suppressed and you are free to believe the one true faith only, theirs.

But lets not put this all this bankruptcy on the medias shoulders. Look what the democrats and media accomplished in South Africa, bringing an end to apartheid.

The media is but one part of a formidable tag team; Senator McCain and the Democrats who seem all too eager to beat America first.  Think of the resources aimed at destroying Karl Rove and the Valerie Plame, or President Bush and his service in the National Guard. How many lives could be saved if the same effort was made in opposing North Korea, or bringing the Muslim world to respond to the evil Islamo-fascism. Kim Jung Il or other dictators need not take pause to think of how the world will respond when they act.

Or if the media hadn't driven the United States out of Vietnam. Millions were killed aas a direct result of the United States leaving Vietnam and the corresponding fall of Loas and Cambodia. Even if the United States had doubled in our fight to defeat communism in South-East Asia, it would have been minute compared to the millions that were eventually killed. Is an American life worth that much more than any other?

North Korean/Chinese atrocities

My intention with this blog is to be concise and leave openings in my discourse for interpretation, stimulating ethical thought rather than detailed arguments. However typing in 'North Korean Atrocities" into the search engine I found myself mortified. Even though I had heard personal testimonies of the life in North Korea in the past, I could only imagine that it must have been getting better. I was shocked. If we call God our Father, how can we stand still as our brother and sisters are suffering unimaginable abuse and say nothing?

Shame on David Gregory for propagating this thoughtless near unintelligible swill. Shame on our liberal politicians. Shame on the mainstream media. Shame on the UN.

I hang my head.

Pope Living in the Past?

Pope Benedict the XVI needs to take off his German thinking cap. He needs to open his eyes to a world where the hearts and minds of humankind feel and see the potential of world peace and unity. The level of disdain towards the UN caused by its self serving membership is growing substantially, even if not covered by the media. In the same way people are seeing more and more religion as being a divider rather than a uniter, and beginning to question the elements that foster these divisions.
The Popes exaltation of Christianity in the phrase, 'faith and the use of human reason are part of the faith itself' needs to be questioned. Looking to a past of religious violence and taking a clearly Catholicentric view of history brings more division rather than unity. Yes, we need to understand the source of fanaticism and the abuse of religious beliefs to wage war. Christianity, namely Catholicism, has plenty of historic self examination and criticism to apply to itself in this regard rather than pointing the finger at others.
Pope JohnPaul II, an accomplished intellectual himself, did not rely on intellectual arguments, but on universal and absolute truths. The sanctity of human life, the inherent goodness of humankind, right and wrong, and the beauty and value of families and family life. The world doesn't need to dig up a violent and oppressive past. You don't need to make historic arguments against religious fanatics. Their actions, obscene intolerance and flagrant abuse of human rights are self evident, if not to the main stream media, to everyone else.
Islam is on the hot seat, and they need to closely scrutinize themselves, and owe the world a response to this Jihadist movement. Pope Benedict XVI hasn't fostered that process.,1,2637492.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ann Richards and Waco

Ann Richards, former Governor of Texas has passed away. She is remembered fondly with no mention of one of the most disturbing events in US history, the Waco Massacre. Anyone who takes on the burden of public office deserves our respect, however they also have a responsibility to serve and protect their citizens. Ms. Richards failed in that task with her complicity with Janet Reno and the Federal Government in criminal activity in the death of the Branch Davidians at Waco. From the destruction of evidence, to the crass violation of the rights of the Branch Davidians and what many people believe should have been charges related to their deaths, Ms. Richards was far from innocent allowing the military to deploy tanks to the scene.
The seriousness of the Federal Governments actions at Waco met great scrutany but little was done. What swept it out of the public eye was the terrrorist actions of Timothy McVey at Oklahoma City, showing clearly that nothing is ever accomplished by terrorism.
The Discovery Channel is launching a new documentary on Waco September 17th.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Path to 911

Many have commented on the recent made for TV movie "The Path to 911". There is one message that comes through loud and clear that many are ignoring. That is what it really means to be a martyr as a soldier.
Islam is strongly criticized for the act of waging war being embedded into it's faith and it deserves strong scrutiny. Looking at the topic historically Christianity has also embraced war. Christianity first gained in prominence in the world when the Roman Emperor Constantine, after seeing a vision of Christ and painting crosses on the shields of his soldiers, won a spectacular victory saving the Empire. The Crusades were highly regarded as the will of God and Joan of Arc, known for her military conquests, was proclaimed a Saint. Though militantism certainly is not a part of Christian faith.
El Quida, Jihadists and other Islamo-fascists have no clue as to what it means to be a soldier of God. In "The Path to 911" we see the leader of the Northern Alliance, Ahmed Jhah Massoud, declared a martyr by his followers as he was assasinated by El Quida posing as journalists. He probably wasn't the most innocent of individuals, as none of us are, but the motivation for his waging war was vastly different than El Quida's motives.
In history there have been threats to peoples lives and way of life that have deserved the taking up of arms. The threat of atheistic communism was one such threat, and Ahmed Jhah Mussoud was a leader in that war fighting valiantly against the Soviet Union. Outside of the Red threat, the world has become one where historic enemies have become friends, where a United Nations was formed under the auspices that world peace was in reach, and technology has brought people of the world together as never before.
Ahmed Jhah Massoud fought the Soviets, opposed the Taliban and made friends with the United States, because he did not see freedom as an enemy. To the Islamo-fascists freedom is the greatest enemy. A true faith or knowledge of God does not allow one to put himself in a position of superiority over any man no matter what their faith or beliefs. It is the embodiment of freedom.
Sometimes taking up arms is necessary, and we shouldn't deny that. Our own soldiers are fighting bravely for freedom, for our Nation and for the people in the Nations they are stationed in. Hopefully the day when the taking up of arms is no longer needed will come quickly. Until then we should all hope that God takes favor on those who fight and die for what is right and true, and that would include Muslims such as Ahmed Jhah Massoud.