I just received Sam’s piece from the London Times and, of course, I couldn’t agree with him more. I first heard Sam on the Dennis Prager radio show, broadcast from L.A. I am quite familiar with Mr. Prager’s show, having challenged him a couple of times, which always resulted in very evasive, or simply strange, “answers”.
For instance, on July 22, 2002, I called Mr. Prager’s show because, as a non-religious Jew who has read a good part of the Old Testament, I was struck by the enormous amount of sadistic premeditated murder, infanticide and genocide commanded by the God of that good book. During our conversation I questioned him about the actions of a “loving and merciful” deity that would command the slaughter of millions of innocent non-combatants and demand also that absolutely no mercy be shown to any of them.
I was very surprised to learn that some of Mr. Prager’s own core beliefs regarding the senseless slaying of innocents are identical to those held by murderous Islamic extremists. Regarding my questioning the “goodness” of God’s commanding the deliberate, systematic, individual butchering of men, women, children and infants by the millions, Mr. Prager stunned me saying, “…I have to say that it was good because I believe God is good.” When I specifically questioned the “goodness” of murdering infants Mr. Prager unhesitatingly affirmed, “…if God directly commanded it at that moment…”
Really, he said that. And he believes that.
It is no wonder then that Mr. Prager, a self-professed paragon of virtue and proud owner of a clear “moral compass”, blithely justifies the war on Iraq, recently stating that “only good” came from it. It’s also no wonder that he salivates over the president’s own professed sense of “doing God’s will”. And, since Mr. Prager was the one to lament the absence of wisdom in our educators and entertainers (among others who object to the U.S. policies), perhaps he would quote some original utterances from our commander in chief that contain even an iota of wisdom, let alone rational, deep thinking.
Apparently, it’s sufficient for Mr. Prager, and other happy true believers like Michael Medved, Sean Hannity, etc., that George Bush believes that he has a “personal relationship” with a guy who, if he ever did exist, has been dead for two-thousand years. In a normal, rational world people who express those kinds of beliefs are usually put away for their own safety and the safety of others. In our world, we “elect” such madmen to public office so that they can wage war (with the blessings of their imaginary deity) on others with different beliefs.
Perhaps Mr. Prager, Bush, and anyone else who believes that murdering babies is “good if God says it is”, are the ones who are, at the very least, morally confused. They are also the ones most likely to mislead us into more irrevocably destructive, dehumanizing wars…in God’s name, of course.
You go bad mouthing God because non-combatants were slaughtered. However, you omit to discuss the reasoning behind it? You don’t even know the reasoning in the sacred books? You pull a sliver of truth out of a situation and use it as a whole against the sacred books? How could you do this to your God? You call yourself a person of the Jewish faith? Is it any wonder…..
For those of you who might not be aware of the situation, please allow me to come to the defense of the Jewish faith, and the Christian at that. Way back when, during early biblical times, mankind was completely evil, beyond redemption (just a taste, they would sacrifice their children on their pagan altars). But God loved man and wanted to reach out to them, matter of fact, the day Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God gave man a hint of the coming salvation. In order to bring this about, he wanted a group of people set apart, upon which the future Savior would emerge, the Savior who would be an offering for our sin, and offer redemption to the masses, for free, a gift as it were. So a covenant was made with a gentleman named Abraham. And from his seed, the Savior would come.
So let’s get to the point. Certain pagan nations, probably at the direction of Satan, tried to destroy this group of people set apart. In order to preserve the Jewish nation, drastic measures had to be taken. Further complicating matters, even the Jewish nation found itself mired in sin, which God hates, and he will punish (now we have an advocate, Jesus Christ). Anyway, these pagan nations were so reprobate, even the Jewish nation so reprobate, God had to just start over, hence the flood.
In the end, the Jewish nation was perserved, and the whole was made aware of the nature of God, how he loved mankind and gave them numerous chances to turn away from their sin. By the time the Savior came, the world had a pretty good picture of a loving God who hated sin, but gave man numerous chances to turn away from sin. The Savior was a further extension of that love, offering himself as THE sacrifice for every living being (sorry, there are no aliens in other solar systems out there…). Even giving the Holy Spirit as a comforter.
The final result was the message that, yes, God is a Super loving God, he sees your entire heart, every thought, and he knows you desperately need a savior (though, you might not know it). He used the Jewish nation as a people set apart, from which the Savior would emerge. During the time between Abraham and Jesus Christ, some things happen that only the experts could explain. But to use those things against God now, that is sin. That is wrong. But God loves you anyway, as always, and will continue to try to reach you, till your last breath of air on this planet. Then the books are closed, and you proceed to your next destination wholly based on whether your relationship with Jesus (no man goes to the Father except by me). I pray you make the right choices.
This is a glaring example of the illogical, delusional depths of idiocy to which the religious “mind” sinks.
It deserves only a brief answer.
The entire proof for divine authorship is the painfully ridiculous, illogical, unprovable premise upon which all of these religions rest, i.e. “what’s in this book is true…because the book says it’s true.”
There is nothing, absolutely NOTHING else to the matter.
This man’s belief system, unsupportable as it is, is based entirely on this patently foolish notion, one which would be thrown out of any institution of higher learning or court of law.
Another fine example of how the brainwashed masses “think”.
So a covenant was made with a gentleman named Abraham. And from his seed, the Savior would come.
I promised myself I wouldnt do this anymore, and this is the last time. Just one question, Champ, was this covenant made before or after Abe pimped his wife, sara, out to the Pharoh? I dont do this, as a rule, but the paste below is from Harpers Magazine about two years ago:
Not long ago, archaeologists could agree that the Old Testament, for all its embellishments and contradictions, contained a kernel of truth. Obviously, Moses had not parted the Red Sea or turned his staff into a snake, but it seemed clear that the Israelites had started out as a nomadic band somewhere in the vicinity of ancient Mesopotamia; that they had migrated first to Palestine and then to Egypt; and that, following some sort of conflict with the authorities, they had fled into the desert under the leadership of a mysterious figure who was either a lapsed Jew or, as Freud maintained, a high-born priest of the royal sun god Aton whose cult had been overthrown in a palace coup. Although much was unknown, archaeologists were confident that they had succeeded in nailing down at least these few basic facts.
That is no longer the case. In the last quarter century or so, archaeologists have seen one settled assumption after another concerning who the ancient Israelites were and where they came from proved false. Rather than a band of invaders who fought their way into the Holy Land, the Israelites are now thought to have been an ‘indigenous culture that developed west of the Jordan River around 1200 B.C. Abraham, Isaac, and the other patriarchs appear to have been spliced together out of various pieces of local lore.
The Davidic Empire, which archaeologists once thought as incontrovertible as the Roman, is now seen as an invention of Jerusalem-based priests in the seventh and eighth centuries B.C. who were eager to burnish their national history. The religion we call Judaism does not reach well back into the second millennium B.C. but appears to be, at most, a product of the mid-first. This is not to say that individual elements of the story are not older. But Jewish monotheism, the sole and exclusive worship of an ancient Semitic god known as Yahweh, did not fully coalesce until the period between the Assyrian conquest of the northern Jewish kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. and the Babylonian conquest of the southern kingdom of Judah in 586.
Some twelve to fourteen centuries of “Abrahamic” religious development, the cultural wellspring that has given us not only Judaism but Islam and Christianity, have thus been erased. Judaism appears to have been the product not of some dark and nebulous period of early history but of a more modern age of big-power politics in which every nation aspired to the imperial greatness of a Babylon or an Egypt. Judah, the sole remaining Jewish outpost by the late eighth century B.C., was a small, out-of-the-way kingdom with little in the way of military or financial clout. Yet at some point its priests and rulers seem to have been seized with the idea that their national deity, now deemed to be nothing less than the king of the universe, was about to transform them into a great power. They set about creating an imperial past commensurate with such an empire, one that had the southern heroes of David and Solomon conquering the northern kingdom and making rival kings tremble throughout the known world. From a “henotheistic” cult in which Yahweh was worshiped as the chief god among many, they refashioned the national religion so that henceforth Yahweh would be worshiped to the exclusion of all other deities. One law, that of Yahweh, would now reign supreme.
This is not, of course, the story that we have all been led to believe is, at least to some degree, history. This is not the story told, for instance, in such tomes as Paul Johnson’s 1987 bestseller, A History of the Jews, from which we learn that Abraham departed the ancient city of Ur early in the second millennium B.C. as part of a great westward trek of “Habiru” (i.e., Hebrew) nomads to the land of Canaan. “[T]hough the monotheistic concept was not fully developed in [Abraham’s] mind,” Johnson writes, “he was a man striving towards it, who left Mesopotamian society precisely because it had reached a spiritual impasse.” Now, however, we know that this statement is mainly bosh. Not only is there no evidence that any such figure as Abraham ever lived but archaeologists believe that there is no way such a figure could have lived given what we now know about ancient Israelite origins.
I’m just tired of the ignorant crap! Michael, you are wasting your time!
How come nobody ever mentions that the little fable about Abraham and Isaac is the first notable example of divine child abuse.? Instead it’s always cited as a great example of how the merciless terrorist aka God was “testing” Abraham.
Along time ago I read a mythos, whose origins I forget now, prolly some New Age crap.
God was evil, when he created the world, and the pain and the suffering he did deliberately. The purpose of all creation was only to advance pain and suffering and misery, which is why man was created as a consciousness and given a short life span, to be a toy for a relentless evil.
But Man began to overcome the misery of his existance, finding peace and joy and light and hope just in his own relationships and his own intellect and his own abilities.
This pissed God off so much, he sent many prophets to earth to create many Gods to mislead man so that once again we would be full of strife with each other.
Some early gnostic christians believe the creator god was a lesser god because he created an imperfect world. Some believe the creator god was evil. There is a book “Christ, Crisis in the Life of God”, which states some early christians believe god took on human form to better understand humanity, and when he understood all the pain he caused, he died as an apology to mankind.
Truthfulness and rationality in religions are truths that can be substantiated by science or those that can not be proven to be wrong. Logic dictates that spiritual interaction is only possible between the spiritual existence which mankind calls God and the spirit of man; claims of supernatural acts performed by physical or spiritual beings in the physical universe are not rational.
Albert Einstein stated, “Everyone who is seriously interested in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe—a spirit vastly superior to man, and one in the face of which our modest powers must feel humble.”
The unfortunate circumstance that many will never become un-yoked from the traditions of their forefathers, perpetuating a chaotic state is applicable to many monotheistic religions that have become the culmination of their own dogma and politics. This is the 21st Century yet many of our religious beliefs are still back in the Stone Age. We have outgrown beliefs in various Gods, now it is time to outgrow belief in a dictatorial God who controls, condemns and physically or spiritually punishes those who do not do his bidding. The true “God” is a Spiritual Unity that exists in a spiritual realm and never has and never will interfere with anything on earth or in the universe. God is interested in and is involved in humanity, but does not interfere in any way in our physical lives. God guides the development of the universe and everything thereon like a Master Planner. Our relationship and interaction of our spirit with the Spirit of God is for our, not God’s benefit. ALL roads that lead to God will bring the soul to its destination. God is a God for ALL & too large to fit into any one religion.