Saturday :: Jul 29, 2006

It Isn't Easy Being Semitic In America

by pessimist

American Christians strongly desire to convert America to a theocracy. They should be more aware that when they discriminate against Jews and Muslims, they are themselves considered Semitic:

Judaism, Christianity and Islam are often described as "Semitic religions", though the term Abrahamic religions is more commonly used today. In addition, genetic analysis of the Semitic peoples suggests that they share a significant common ancestry. [I]t seems to indicate that a significant proportion of these peoples' ancestry comes from a common Near Eastern population to which (despite the differences with the Biblical genealogy) the term Semitic has been applied. - [From Wikipedia]

This would be just another example of religious belief violating the Constitutional position concerning the protection of -and from - individual religious practice:

Families Challenging Religious Influence in Delaware Schools

Mona Dobrich grew up as the only Jew in school. Mrs. Dobrich, 39, married a local man, bought the house behind her parents’ home and brought up her two children as Jews.

For years, she and her daughter, Samantha, listened to Christian prayers at [Georgetown DE] public school potlucks, award dinners and parent-teacher group meetings, she said. But at Samantha’s high school graduation in June 2004, a minister’s prayer proclaiming Jesus as the only way to the truth nudged Mrs. Dobrich to act.

“It was as if no matter how much hard work,
no matter how good a person you are,
the only way you’ll ever be anything
is through Jesus Christ,”
Mrs. Dobrich said.

That clatter of hoofbeats you hear is our trollbots running to their keyboards to respond.

The local 'good' Christians responded to Mrs. Dobrich pretty much as we have come to expect - in an extremely un-Christian manner:

After the graduation, Mrs. Dobrich asked the Indian River district school board to consider prayers that were more generic and, she said, less exclusionary. As news of her request spread, many local Christians saw it as an effort to limit their free exercise of religion, residents said.
Anger spilled on to talk radio, in letters to the editor, and at school board meetings
attended by hundreds of people carrying signs praising Jesus.
“What people here are saying is, ‘Stop interfering with our traditions, stop interfering with our faith and leave our country the way we knew it to be,’ ” said Dan Gaffney, a host at WGMD, a talk radio station in Rehoboth, and a supporter of prayer in the school district.

After receiving several threats, Mrs. Dobrich took her son, Alex, to Wilmington in the fall of 2004, planning to stay until the controversy blew over. It never has.

But it wasn't just Jews who got to experience Christian 'charity':

[A] Muslim family in another school district here in Sussex County has filed suit, alleging proselytizing in the schools and the harassment of their daughters.

Until recently, it was safe to assume that everyone in the Indian River district was Christian, said the Rev. Mark Harris, an Episcopal priest at St. Peter’s Church in Lewes. But much has changed in Sussex County over the last 30 years. The Hispanic population is booming. There are enough Reform Jews, Muslims and Quakers to set up their own centers and groups, Mr. Harris said.

“There are communities largely of one faith, and despite all the court rulings and Supreme Court decisions, they continue to promote one faith,” said Charles C. Haynes, senior scholar at the First Amendment Center, a research and education group. “They don’t much care what the minority complains about. They’re just convinced that what they are doing is good for kids and what America is all about.”

Clearly, the 'good' Christians of Sussex County, Delaware have forgotten that many of their religions didn't hold with the majority of a locality at some point in history. Mrs. Dobrich remembers when Christians were respectful of her beliefs:

Mrs. Dobrich, who is Orthodox, said that when she was a girl, Christians here had treated her faith with respectful interest. Now, she said, her son was ridiculed in school for wearing his yarmulke. She described a classmate of his drawing a picture of a pathway to heaven for everyone except “Alex the Jew.”

She got no sympathy when she expressed concern:

“If you want people to stop calling him ‘Jew boy,’
you tell him to give his heart to Jesus.”

Immediately afterward, the Dobriches got threatening phone calls.

Jesus thinks you 'Christians' are assholes! He told me Himself! Try to prove otherwise!

I'm sure that he also isn't too fond of Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic tirade upon arrest for driving under the influence:

Mel Gibson "blurted out a barrage of anti-Semitic remarks" -- "fucking Jews" and "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" and asking the arresting deputy "Are you a Jew?" -- during his DUI arrest early Friday morning.

The producer of The Passion of the Christ must have forgotten that his Savior was Jewish, and no amount of apologies for your misbehavior can ever correct your failed Christianity. Jesus might forgive you, but I see no reason to do so.

But enough of 'Mad Max' the 'Lord Worrier'.

The US-supported Israeli attack upon Lebanon has come home to the United States in a way that never happened over Iraq or Afghanistan:

Seattle gunman `angry at Israel'

One person was dead and five others were hospitalized Friday in a shooting at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building in downtown Seattle by a man who declared he was 'angry at Israel'.

According to Amy Wasser-Simpson, the vice president for planning and community services for the Jewish Federation, the man told staff members, "I'm a Muslim American; I'm angry at Israel", and then began shooting. Wasser-Simpson said she heard the account from staff members who witnessed the shootings.

Want to see Christian forgiveness? Check out these comments from a Jew and a Muslim over this incident:

Joel Schalit, managing editor of Tikkun magazine in Berkeley, called the shooting shocking, but perhaps something that was a only a matter of time as the tensions increased in the Middle East, among "the diaspora, whether Muslims or Jews."

"It's heartbreaking," said Samina Sundas, the head of American Muslim Voice Foundation. The Palo Alto-based organization is in the midst of planning its annual peace-building convention Aug. 20 in Newark.

"When I hear stories like that, doesn't matter who it happens to, it's devastating," she said. "Unfortunately, we focus on what divides us, rather than what binds us. Jews, Muslims and Christians are supposed to be from the same heritage. We are the same cousins."

What don't you hear in these comments? You don't hear hatred, or condemnation to hell. You don't hear 'Kill them all!' You hear room for understanding in the comments, which is necessary for finding a way to live in harmony on this planet - something you didn't hear in the comments directed at Mrs. Dobrich.

You can hear little of voluntary understanding and awareness in the actions of Israel against their enemies in Southwest Asia. The IDF isn't indiscriminately attaking the West Bank (yet) despite Islamic Jihad being responsible for all 12 suicide attacks in Israel for the last 17 months.

I'd like to take Sheik Hassan Nasrallah at his word when he said Hezbollah was willing to cooperate with the Lebanese government, hinting that Hezbollah would disarm if the government supported conditions outlined in its proposal - a prisoner swap with Israel and the resolution of Lebanese claims on border land that Israel controls, but I have no faith in Condi handling these delicate negotiations:

The current-model Middle East is replete with legitimate grievances, non-negotiable demands, ancient resentments, Machiavellian alliances, religious fanaticism and modern weapons of war. Rice's predecessors have all discovered that containment, incrementalism, trust-building and similar unglamorous, snail-paced measures are the worst way to handle the Middle East -- except for all the other conceivable ways. Now she has her own war to sort out, and all she's done so far is scare people with her talk of somehow making the world's tinderbox into something "new."

On the Israeli side, the IDF pulled back from Bint Jbail, and they won't insist that Hezbollah disarm, but - according to Ha'aretz - they have few other options.

The big loser in this mess is the United States:

Pollsters have documented serious positive trends in Lebanese public opinion over the last several years. Favorable opinion of the United States jumped from 27% to 42% from 2003 to 2005. The number of Lebanese who believed terrorism could sometimes be justified dropped from 73 percent to 39 percent from 2002 to 2005, while the number who believed democracy could work in Lebanon went from 75 percent to 83 percent.

And when George began to have PNAC delusions?

The ongoing violence in the Middle East, which the Bush administration has tacitly endorsed, has sapped support for the United States in Lebanon, according to a new survey.

The latest poll by the Beirut Center found that 8 percent of Lebanese feel the US supports Lebanon, down from 38 percent in January.

“Look what America gives us, bombs and missiles,” says [Ghassan Farran, a doctor and head of a local cultural organization].

“I was never a political person and never with Hizbullah
but now after this I am with Hizbullah.”
Analysts have noted that as the crisis grows, it “strengthens anti-Americanism worldwide and fuels radicalism in the Arab and Muslim world.” Assessing Arab media coverage, one found that in “the last few days, the main trend has been unmistakable: an increasing focus on the United States as the villain” of the conflict.

This bungled opportunity to show real world leadership just adds fuel to the Iraq bonfire, ignited in America, by and among Americans, dividing us like we haven't been divided since Vietnam.

We should wish for our representatives to take King George and all of his neo-confidence (wo)men to task as the First Poodle is at Number 10:

Tony Blair was facing a full-scale cabinet rebellion last night over the Middle East crisis after his former Foreign Secretary warned that Israel's actions risked destabilising all of Lebanon.

The Observer can also reveal that at a cabinet meeting before Blair left for last Friday's Washington summit with President George Bush, minister after minister pressed him to break with the Americans and publicly criticise Israel over the scale of death and destruction. The critics included close Blair allies.

The timing of the revolt is awkward for Blair, forcing him to choose whom to upset: his colleagues back home or his two main hosts on the five-day trip to the US. President Bush and Rupert Murdoch both back the Israeli military action. The Prime Minister is due to make a major speech in California today at a conference hosted by Murdoch.

Runnin' with the Devil isn't the Christian thing to do, Tony. You will - like Mel Gibson today - have to atone for your sins:

As Iraq falls more deeply into violence and chaos in ways that are incomparably damaging to American national security, it is well past time to hold those responsible for this disastrous war to account. Americans have come to accept that everything they were told about this war turned out to be false, and the consequences to America’s interests are grave and immeasurable. And they know they were deceived and their trust betrayed along the way.
Americans are plainly ready to punish those who are responsible for this disaster.

I think ten years in Abu Ghraib - 'guarded' by those who got to serve time there - is about right for King George, his Bu$hCo sychophants, and any Lap Poodles - and for any other 'good' Christian who persecutes those with differing religious beliefs.

Then you hypocrites can all go to hell. Say hi to Ronnie for me.

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pessimist :: 7:57 PM :: Comments (51) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!