Posts Tagged ‘freedom of religion’

What the Jews did

January 30, 2018

What the Jews did was establish about half of the narrative foundation of the Western World.

Their Old Testament, combined with the New, were received as Holy Scriptures  by the Church, which, after Constantine, dominated European cultural development for over a thousand years.

Long about 1500 or so, the Protestant Reformation began the process of unshackling the chains of dogmatic error that the Catholic hierarchy had, over 1400 years, lapsed into. Then Reformation disruption of Papist hegemony broke ground for another new emphasis—the Renaissance. This humanist  arts movement unearthed the  quasi-dormant other half of the Western cultural narrative, the ancient Greeks, most notably Homer, Herodotus, Plato and Aristotle. On the coattails of the Greek philosophers, the Roman writers, most notably Cicero, Cato and Virgil later appended their contribution to the philosophical and governmental legacy of ancient Greece. It later became a bedrock of Western culture and government.

That ancient Greek heritage had initiated an idea called democracy, which was later amended to Republic by the Romans in their Empire.

Judeo-Christian Religion, Greek Democracy and Roman Republic became the religious, philosophical and governmental foundations upon which the Western World was established in Europe and beyond.

In the early stages of Western history, during the period of the Roman Empire, along came a Roman general named Titus. In 70 a.c.e., he ran most of the Jews out of Israel, their homeland, and he sent his soldiers to Jerusalem to destroy the Jewish Temple, even though it had had been constructed by one of the Romans’ own puppet kings, Herod.

Titus apparently thought it was a notable accomplishment that he had expelled most of the Jews out of their own ancient capital;  the Hebrews had previously managed to reclaim Jerusalem after the Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar had expelled them about 670 years earlier.

Titus’ Roman victory over the Jews was thought to be quite impressive by his successors. A few years after he died, his brother Domitian commissioned the Arch of Titus to be constructed in the main area of Rome. Among the conquests of Titus depicted in stone on the Arch, the plundering of Jerusalem is plain to see.

ArcTitusMenr

In this picture that I snapped, the Jewish Menorah can be plainly seen. To the victor goes the spoils, eh? The Roman big shots must have thought themselves something special after they ran those upstart Jews out of Jerusalem back in the day. The Jews were infamous among several historical empire-builders for being ungovernable.

One reason that Titus and Nebuchadnezzar and Antiochus and their ilk had so much trouble governing the Jews was because the people of Israel always insisted on being free.

This whole idea of freedom, around which Western culture revolves, originated largely with the Jews.

Long about 1400 or so years b.c.e., Moses rounded up the Jews and lead them out of the slavery that Egyptian pharoahs had inflicted on them.

This turned out to be a major event in world history.

Why? Because Moses and some of his people wrote a book about it. We know it as the book of Exodus. Along with the other books of the Torah/Pentateuch/Old Testament, it later became an international best-seller for many and many a year, many and many a century and several millenia of time.

What later became the Bible was passed down through the ages to many and many a person and group of persons to read and spark inspiration.

That spark of freedom that enabled the Jews to throw off the bondage of Pharoahic slavery—it has been an inspiration to many freedom-seeking people throughout history.

Case in point, within our lifetime. (All ye Boomers out there, hear ye, hear ye. . .)

Dr. Martin Luther KIng, Jr., on the night before he was assassinated, declared this message to his people in Memphis, and ultimately via audiotape to America, and to the world:

“I’ve been to the Mountaintop. . . I’ve seen the Promised Land . . .”

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop.

And I don’t mind.

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

We can see that Dr. King was inspired by Moses. A long time ago, I wrote a song about it. Mountaintop

And we know from the Hebrew scriptures that Moses was inspired by God.

Now this may seem a little old-fashioned to you, a little bit religious. But this religious thing is much more than belief in God. It’s not just out-of-style old hat. Faith also includes the idea of freedom. It also includes the idea of freedom of religion , freedom to believe what you need to believe, and freedom to act on what you believe to be true. It goes way back, way back . . .

Here’s another example from American history. A hundred and fifty years ago when black folks in this country were still enslaved . . . in a situation not unlike what the Jews had found themselves in ancient Egypt, one of those black former slaves, Harriet Tubman, started a secret society for the purpose of providing an escape for self-freed slaves who wanted to come up to the free states.

The name that was given to Harriet’s clandestine network was the Underground Railroad. Have you heard of it?

I’m here to tell you that the Underground Railroad has been transporting people from bondage to liberty for a very long time.

Last century,  freedom-seeking people did another version of it to smuggle the children of Israel  out of the Nazi Third Reich. Have you heard of it?

But know this: it’s still going on.

Underground Railroad Rides Again.

 And we can thank the Jews for that, because way, way back in the day . . . they started it; they started the freedom track that runs through human civilization.  The first one ran from Egypt to the Promised Land, and its been going, whenever needed, under the radar ever since.

It will never be shut down.

Glass half-Full 

Free Kim Davis!

September 6, 2015

The legal issues surrounding Kim Davis’ job duties should be worked out in courts of law. But there is no way this public servant should be confined to a jail cell.

Free Kim Davis!

SCortMedia

Glass half-Full

Demoniac tantrums

March 27, 2011

In the USA we have a long tradition, beginning with the Constitution, that separates church from state. Other coutries each have their own  histories and precedents as pertains to this issue.
In Germany, a union of the Christian church and the State, or Government, was a long collaboration that stretched back into history many centuries, going all the way back in time to what is called the Holy Roman Empire, of the middle ages.
In the secularizing 20th century, this church-state collaboration became a problem.

In Nazi Germany, the union of church and state became a problem for Christians of conscience who detected some decidedly heathen policies that were imposed by the Nazis, long about 1933. It was also an impedement  for the Nazis until they clamped down on religious freedom by restricting the activities and freedoms of certain German pastors who were dissenting against the third reich.

In August of 1933, the Nazis rounded up a bunch of submissive church leaders and imposed upon them a new identity that neutralized their espousal of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and replaced it with a Nazi-approved theology that suited the hateful programs of the third reich.

The new Nazified theology was rejected by pastor Martin Niemoeller, who shepherded a chruch in Dahlem, a Berlin suburb. Niemoeller not only spoke publicly from the pulpit in opposition to Nazi restrictions, but he also proceeeded to organize support among Christians to resist the corrupted churchianity that the Nazis were trying to impose on  the German church.
The most notable atrocity that the Nazi heathens had sought to force on the church in Germany was the “Aryan paragragh,” a reprehensible dictum that banned all persons of “non-Aryan” ethnicity (or having non-Aryan spouses) from holding state office. Since the collaboration between church and state had been a very old arrangement in Germany, this affected the church indirectly.

But even more important than that, it was wrong, and some discerning Christian smelled the Aryan rat.

When the dissent arising among Pastor Niemoeller and others likeminded with him became an inconvenient irritant to the emerging Nazi program of exterminting the Jews (and other groups), Hitler and Goering ordered that the offending churchmen should be rounded up and taught a lesson.
In January, 1934, Hitler devised an end to the Christian clergy problem when, in the presence of those pastors, he threw a tantrum, assaulted them with his yelling tirades, and then left the room before they could object to his sociopathic behaviour and the oppressive policies that would ensue.

Unfortunately, Hitler’s bluster worked, as did much of his reprobate assault on civilization until the Allies  later defeated his militaristic machine of heathenism.

After that meeting with the resistant pastors in 1933, most of the good German reverends treated Martin Niemoeller coldly, and withdrew their support of his brave resistance to the Nazi tyranny. Martin Niemoeller, although he had been a U-boat hero in WWI, was later imprisoned by the third reich. Thus did the domoniac Hitler neutralize Christian resistance in the Nazi era.

I want to thank Clarissa Start Davidson, whose book God’s Man, the history of Pastor Niemoeller, published in 1959 by Ives Washburn, Inc. of New York, informed me in the posting of this blog. Thank your, Clarissa.

If this ever happens again in the world, I hope and pray that Christians, me included, will have the Christ-inspired courage and good sense to not comply with heathen megalomaniacs, their oppressive regimes, or any other worldly power that seeks to wipe us or  our Jewish compatriots out. I’d also point out that the vision of apostle John, as recorded in Revelation 12, reveals that when the evil principalities of this world make murderous assault on the Jews, their persecutive pursuit  of us Christians is not far behind.

Glass half-Full