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Paris: A Fool’s Paradise Is a Wise Man’s Hell

A Fool’s Paradise Is a Wise Man’s Hell

Thomas Fuller

The twentieth and twenty-first centuries have seen incredible progress in science, technology, art, philosophy, morality, and more. Not only that, but we can

Senegalese farmers learning how to install the Tipa irrigation kit

access all that knowledge and wisdom from a device we carry around in our pockets. We have even transcended modernity according to many progressive thinkers, and moved into the “post-modern” era. There is no need for a religious messiah; we have carried ourselves into paradise, albeit a fool’s paradise. Truly these are enlightened times; the realization of humanity’s universal values.

These enlightened values are a force in themselves. John Kerry, the American Secretary of State reacted to Russia’s invasion of the Crimea by telling Russia “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext.” The times, according to Kerry, dictate behavior. In a similar fashion, the new Prime Minister of Canada, when asked why a fifty percent female cabinet was important to him said, “Because it’s 2015.” President Obama, reacting to the Islamic terror attacks in Paris stated that “this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

It seems those values aren’t so universal.

Muslims make up over twenty percent of the earth’s population. While we can assume that most don’t support violence on the scale of the Paris attacks, if we look around at the world’s Muslim-controlled regions, we can see that they operate with different values than the ones adhered to by Secretary Kerry, Prime Minister Trudeau, or President Obama.

They made gallows just high enough for the feet to nearly touch the ground ... and they burned the Indians alive.'

‘They made gallows just high enough for the feet to nearly touch the ground … and they burned the Indians alive.’

But it would be wrong to assume that the problem is simply Islam. Christianity, followed by Islam, developed the concept of the religious enemy (in contradistinction to the political enemy). All non-believers are sub-humans, and bereft of rights. In early Spanish South America, for example there was a

…common practice of snatching [native] children from their mother’s arms and throwing them to be devoured alive by dogs, or smashing them against the rocks and throwing them to die in the mountains. The usual way to kill native leaders was in groups of thirteen, in honor of Jesus and the twelve apostles!”

The rape, torture and mutilation of native women by the Spaniards differed little from ISIS’ contemporary treatment of Yazidi and Christians. This contrasts with the Biblical rules of war for dealing with captive women, where such women were given a month to mourn for their captivity, and could not be sold or enslaved. And even the idea of

'A man bought me and took me to Tal Afar: when we arrived I was forced into marriage. That night he tied my hands and legs and he blindfolded me. Then he raped me. He hit me with a whip.'

‘A man bought me and took me to Tal Afar: when we arrived I was forced into marriage… he tied my hands and legs and he blindfolded me. Then he raped me. He hit me with a whip.’

capturing a woman was considered evil. It seems that a set of morals accepted over three thousand years ago is more enlightened than the values of a large part of humanity today.

Morality is not linear and progressive, especially if we are charting the behavior of mankind. It is a jagged line, soaring to phenomenal heights and astonishing depravity. We cannot expect the passage of time to elevate people’s behavior. There are no universal values that we all share, whether in the realm of political autonomy or the human right to life. It’s a fool’s paradise to think otherwise. Ask Vladimir Putin about the Crimea. Ask ISIS about the rights of captives. Ask a Muslim imam for an paris destructionunqualified condemnation of the Paris terror attacks. To use “universal values,” the “twenty first century” or the year being 2015 to formulate strategy is to walk from a fool’s paradise straight into the hell of Paris, Madrid, New York, Washington, or Buenos Aires… A wise man understands we are already there.

 

 

 

Your comments are welcome

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ISIS Is Right

ISIS is a pathologically brutal organization trying to make the world a better place.  Who can disagree with making the world a better place?  You may not agree with their definition of “a better place,” but can you really say their hearts are evil?  A restored Caliphate is an ancient Muslim dream, and these hardworking, dedicated psychopaths stand a good chance of making their dream come true.

Achieving a Better Christian World

The Second Vatican Council, 1965

The Second Vatican Council, 1965

Other religions have their own dreams or goals.  Christianity, as a general principle, posits that one must accept Jesus in order to be saved, or go to heaven.  But how do Christians expect to achieve this better world when they say things like this:

This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

This declaration might come as a surprise to victims of the Inquisition or Crusades, or to the many indigenous people converted at sword point to Christianity.  When Pope Benedict apologized for the cruelty, he nonetheless upheld the view that the conversions were beneficial to the converted.  Although he frowned on organized efforts to bring Jews to Catholicism, he still claimed “…that Jews “still stand within the faithful covenant of God,” and that “they will in the end be together with us in Christ.” If you believe something is vital and true, shouldn’t you have the cojones to stand up for it, rather than waiting for your god to make it to happen?

Conflicting Strategies

Judaism proclaims both the active and passive models:

One conception, a visionary anticipation of Divine upheaval, projects an abrupt apocalypse, bringing instant glory to Israel’s faithful and destruction upon her enemies.  The existing political;-military-religious order is radically transformed.  Extraordinary transmutations of nature accompany the termination and supersession of the historical process.

The other conception posits a compelling human drama, in which the national energies of the people are harnessed, on their own initiative, to a resourceful redemptive process, pursuing the restoration of Jewish sovereignty and a collective return to Jewish spirituality; a dynamic activation of historic forces toward an evolving realization of the national goal.

According to the first approach the messianic era, the better world, will arrive through a suspension of history.  It will take divine intervention, rather than human effort.  Man must therefore devote his energy towards appeasing the fickle, but just deity, convincing God that the piety of his co-religionists merit redemption. ISIS believes in individual piety, but it doesn’t like the idea of sitting around, waiting for god to make things happen.  They’re helping him out.

Get Off Your Rear Ends

Baal and Mot

Canaanite astrology

So too, it’s time for Jews and Christians to get off their rear ends and make things happen.  First thing, keep ISIS, Hamas, and their ilk from murdering your co-religionists.  The IDF is doing a good job of this in Israel, but world efforts to protect endangered Christian communities in Africa, the Middle East and Fertile Crescent have been tepid, at best. Increased attention to God by Christians and Jews is good.  The ancient Rabbis ascribed the fall of the first Temple in Jerusalem to idol worship, which is not good. But it’s not as simple as it seems.  The medieval commentator Maimonides explained that the first Temple fell because the people relied on Canaanite astrology.  Since the course of events were determined by the stars, there was no need to be militarily prepared for the Babylonian onslaught. Fatalism based on astrology leads to passivity.  Fatalism based on religious piety also leads to passivity.

Isis is Right

That’s why ISIS is right: they’re pious (in their own perverted sense), but they’re actively pursuing their better pillcamworld.  Judaism has to follow their example.  Maimonides asserted that the messianic era will emerge as the result of people pursuing justice and virtue.  Messianism shouldn’t be treated as a gift we’re awaiting, but rather as an opportunity to be pursued.

Not through coercion, but through the application of the principles of Torah study, such as kindness and justice.  The latter imply the reduction of human suffering, whether through advanced technology, social or individual altruism.  It would imply new dimensions of aesthetic creativity and human expression.

The Jewish messianic era is premised on Jewish sovereignty.  To deny the religious significance of the Modern StateElinor Joseph of Israel is outright heresy.  To explain Israel’s survival in the midst of hundreds of millions of foes without reference to God’s will is stupidity.  To deny the holiness of serving in the Israel Defense Forces is self-serving rationalization.  The many Muslims, Christians and secular Jews who pick up a gun to defend Israel have reached a higher state than those who refuse life outside their yeshivas.  The great sage Rabbi Akiva (1st c. CE) declared Bar Kochba as the messiah, based not on his religiosity, but on his physical strength and military prowess.

Yes, Judaism must pursue its better world as doggedly as ISIS and Hamas pursue theirs.  Not through forced conversion, physical strength, beheadings, rape and mass murder, but through science and art, technology and innovation.  Through respect for the individual, consideration for the poor and disadvantaged.  Through an army that is at once powerful and sensitive.

Jewish spirituality is properly expressed through its application in the material world.  And it’s in the material world that the “better world” of the messianic era must be pursued.  Both Jews and Christians must be more tenacious than ISIS in pursuing their values.

 Strategy for overcoming ISIS tenacity:

Your comments are always welcome.
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Hallelujah: The Messiah Has Arrived

has the messiah brought redemption or the apocalypse?

has messianic era brought redemption or apocalypse?

Well, not quite the Messiah, but the messianic era.  It’s been affirmed by Barak Obama, leader of the free world.  In his pre-golf speech about the beheading of James Foley, the President stated

“One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.”

This remarkable declaration of faith holds that it is the date, it’s our history of moral evolution that determines the behavior of people.  Mankind has been redeemed through its adherence to religious values such as social justice, equality and peace.  And it’s not just western liberals who hold this point of view.  Obama continued

“Friends and allies around the world, we share a common security and a common set of values…”

We do?

As thousands of young men flock to Iraq from all over the world to join in ISIL’s barbarous ways, it seems the terrorists do indeed have a place in the 21st century.

And what’s this common set of values Obama’s referring to?  Democracy?  National integrity? Respect for individual autonomy?  Respect for life?  How about honesty?  Surely everyone would agree with that .

A quick look at China, Cuba, or North Korea shows that there are many people who place no value on democracy.  The Ukraine and Tibet have sadly learned that respect for another nation’s integrity is far down on the list of their allies’ priorities.  In West Papua, Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy repeated Neville Chamberlain’s strategy, of sacrificing one nation to appease an aggressor’s demands and threats.

Is there individual autonomy in a country that tells people what they are allowed to write, what they are allowed to think, or eat?

If we want to talk about respect for life, look at the Palestinians, who cherish death.  Look at what Assad has done to the Syrian people; look at what the Syrians do to each other.

Honesty?  Dorian Johnson, the key witness whose testimony led to days of rioting and looting in Missouri, was arrested previously for lying to the police.  But according to an official of the National Association for the

What did Sharpton find in the Attorney General's pocket?

What did Sharpton find in the Attorney General’s pocket?

Advancement of Colored People, his track record as a liar didn’t hurt his credibility as a witness.  Nor did Al Sharpton’s record of deceit diminish his ability to agitate the population, and keep him in the press spotlight.  Eric Holder, the individual responsible for the American Justice system backed up Johnson, Sharpton, et al.

Honesty?  Many Americans, whether Muslim, Jewish, Christian or devout secularist have no trouble treating blatant lies about Israel as the gods’ own truth.  They happily lie to themselves, because the fabricated stories are more appealing to their sense of justice.  Their legitimacy is irrelevant.

It seems that the world has a different set of 21st century common values; ideals such as arrogance and entitlement.  Responsibility is shunned, power is feared, life is debased, and truth is malleable.

ISIL and its ideological allies appear to have many places in the 21st century.  The leaders of Western society must abandon their messianic dreams about the enlightened status of contemporary civilization.  If our leaders don’t have the courage to identify the enemy and attack, our century will belong to these medieval savages.  We’ll have an apocalypse, rather than messiah.  ISIS knows that President Obama is right; it has no place in the 21st century.  That’s why it’s taking the world back to a more savage past.