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Just over 50 years ago it was No Gun Ri. Then My Lai. And now Haditha…. and, as (headlines declare), even more mass murders, most recently in the Iraqi villages of Ishaqi, Hamdaniya, Latifiyah, and Yusifiyah; young men fresh out of high school, frustrated by life, with nothing better to do than to sign up as mercenaries ready and willing to kill for their country, yet, as always, afraid to die and angry as hell as a result of buddies (comrades-in-arms) having been killed, everyone of them having been thrown into a world of cultural confusion and death wanting nothing more than an opportunity to return home, body and mind unimpaired. You see, for each of these young men and women, there will be two wars; the first a physical battle to stay alive, the second a psycho-spiritual effort, a struggle to live with what they “had to do” in order to stay alive. In war there are no winners….. only those who lose least!

Isn’t it ironic that just this week the commanders in charge of forces in Iraq, after having suffered the painful blowback, the natural consequences, of having so punctiliously trained our children to kill, having trained them to reflexively disregard the rather inconvenient intrusion of an always present voice reminding one of the value of human life, have found it necessary to reverse the harm they have done, that they need to tighten the slack in their leash on the troops, that it might be better if soldiers did begin to think, did in fact begin to use their minds, before choosing to take the life of another human being. The new training program, technically referred to as “Core Warrior Values,” an effort to enable soldiers to discriminate between who they should as opposed to who they should not be willing to kill; that is…… that it is proper for them to be chomping at the bits to kill the “bad guys,” those armed with guns eager to kill them, but better for them to hold back a bit when it comes to the “good guys,” women, children, the blind, and old men (especially those found to be sitting in wheel chairs). Something like training an American Pit Bull to viciously rip apart, that is, to devour, its prey, and then in midstream, amidst the chaos of an enraged battle, ensuring that the avenger will gently back off choosing to show mercy for those disinclined to fight back.

So many of our children, the vast majority of them Black, Hispanic, and poor, having been cajoled into joining the ranks of the military, all in order to support a country out to “right a world of wrongs.” However, what these young folks are never told is that their primary job will be that of killing people, most often that of the enemy, but sometimes even those of their own buddies (during the first Gulf War nearly one out of four soldiers were shot and killed as a result of “friendly fire”). As part of their training (read: brainwashing) these young men and women will be taught: to stuff their conscience (to forget everything taught to them by their parents, elementary school teachers, preachers, priests, and/or rabbis); how to fire an automatic weapon with deadly accuracy; to loathe the adversary since such animosity will make it much easier to kill the enemy; and to trust the government, to have faith that once the soldier returns home all will be well, that all of his/her memories, the recollections of a buddy’s head having been blown off, the old lady whose guts were splattered on the wall, the insurgent who tried to smile as he lay dying on the street, and the little boy whose body he mistakenly blew apart while running to his mother arms, that the unending nightmares will simply vanish into thin air, for no reason other than the soldier’s assurance that he did the right thing, that he was doing his duty, that he had done what he had been told to do, that he was simply following orders. However, what the soldier is never told is that as a result of having gone to war there is a reasonable likelihood that he will struggle until the day he dies with nightmares depicting the horrors of war, the unrelenting grief, bitterness and resentment, despair, depression, and the anger that will have taken possession of his life; a marriage in which his wife will never understand what he has gone through; attempts to keep a job amidst the chaos of a life still at battle within; and, if all goes awry, that of exile, soldiers having been banished for having found themselves unable to adapt to “the niceties” of a more civilized world, those damned to a world of losers, a sort of depository, a melting pot of homelessness for those who have given up on life.

Our children need to be told the truth. Our sons and daughters need to realize that choosing to be a soldier means a decision to place themselves among “the damned,” since no matter what they end up doing while on the field of battle, they will eventually be damned…… damned if they do and damned if they do not. Realizing that compliance with a superior’s order to shoot and kill the enemy may well lead to the damnation (the self-extirpation) of one’s soul. On the other hand, noncompliance will lead to that of being court-martialed. However, regardless of the chaotic rigors of battle, regardless how terribly difficult it might be to figure out what one ought (or ought not) do, the lowest man on the totem pole, the grunt, rather than his superiors at the top, will be the one held responsible, the individual most likely to spend time in prison, and in some cases, the one most likely to be put to death for having killed an innocent victim. Of course, along with the fact that most recruits will never receive any educational benefits, that their training in the military is for the most part irrelevant to jobs in the civilian sector, that their military recruiter was always a salesman and never a friend, that he was nothing more than “an advanced grunt” trying desperately, and far too often dishonestly, to meet a quota set for him by a military needing more bodies to be placed on the battlefield, the military recruit needs to understand that he is “an expendable,” that his life has little or no value whatsoever for those at the top, that he is nothing more than mere cannon fodder, a redundant grunt filling a slot on the “front lines” of battle enriching the military-industrial complex, a conglomeration of the transnationally rich, felons whose prosperity depends upon the promise of more wars to come!

Just yesterday I discovered that a new bill, HR 4752, The Universal National Service Act of 2006 (a fancy name for a bill that would bring back “the draft”), has been introduced to The House of Representatives. Because the United States government (meaning the Bush-Cheney administration) is on the verge of militarily invading Iran, a conflict that might well lead to all out war in the Middle East, the United States Congress is not taking any chances. Such a bill “on the table,” and ready to be passed (enacted) when necessary, will authorize the United States government to once again initiate a military draft for each and every man and woman aged 18 to 42. Although most of the people I have discussed this matter with have told me that there is no way our government would reinstitute the draft since such would no doubt represent political suicide. And they are right. However, there is one thing that trumps the need to avoid political self-immolation, and that is the need to have an adequate supply of soldiers on the ground to fight the next war, the “Battle of Iran,” a conflagration likely to draw in the remainder of countries in the Middle East, partisans who may well begin to realize that we, as a nation, had no business meddling in the affairs of the Middle East, no right to have sent our soldiers a world away in order to occupy that of another country.

Consequently, since the war in Iraq is no doubt illegal, it is destroying the social fabric of our people, the economic infrastructure of our nation, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the spreading of peace and democracy around the world, the fact that the president lied in regards to why we went to war, the conflict in Iraq has created a world of greater danger, our warring posture has given the world even more reasons to hate us, I am proposing that it is time for young folks to pull their heads out of the sand, that they come in from the dark, that they begin to pay attention, that they realize that their brothers and sisters have been used (more likely even, abused) by the government, that, before it is too late, they need to tell the military establishment that they will not go to war! Our youth need to understand the tremendous power they have, that war is simply not possible if they refuse to fight, if they make it clear that they will not take up arms. Because our country has become the world’s leading producer as well as supplier of military weapons and technology, the world’s primary advocate of war, a warmongering nation that requires the destruction of all who threaten its right to dominate the world, our children need not presume that they have a moral responsibility to support the military establishment. I realize that our time has not yet come, that the tipping point, that of the military draft, has yet to become a reality. But when forced conscription into the military becomes inevasible, I expect young people, at least those able to comprehend the significance of their place in history, to take a stand against the tyranny of war…… forces of evil cryptically embedded within the polity of a nation having gone wrong. I am calling upon the youth of this country to say no to war, to tell their leaders that they will not obey the government’s request that they take up arms, that they will not go to war for the purpose of killing the enemy.

So many of our young folks have been brought up to believe that being a good person has something to do with that of having a good reputation, being liked by everyone, being held in high esteem by others, even that of being a patriotic citizen, but such has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with that of being a truly decent person. I beg the young people of this nation to consider the ominous proposition that, as it was in the days of Nuremberg when the Nazis were held responsible for crimes against humanity, when the leaders of the German nation dressed their children “in brown shirts” reminding that they had a moral obligation (a national duty) to fight for the Fatherland, it will be the same for the leaders of our nation, as well as for those who blindly allow themselves to be coerced into fighting for our country, a nation having come under the nefarious control of malefactors convinced that our nation has been given the right, the God-ordained responsibility, to oversee the planet, to, in fact, rule the world.

So someday when you reach the end of your days, when you become rather old, and are no doubt ready to die, realize that no one (at least no one of any significance) will ever choose to ask if you were a good citizen, if you were a patriot, if you were loyal to your country. You will never be asked if you wore a uniform with distinction. The only thing for which you will be held accountable, by “those who count,” is that of having chosen to become a decent human being, that of having chosen to live your life according to the laws of humanity (the principles of justice, peace, and love), the Law of God, which demands but one, and only one, thing…….. that we love one another.


------
G. Doug Soderstrom, Ph.D.


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Comments

The following comments are for "Young People of America…… Rise Up and Rebel!"
by dougsoderstrom

Rebel, rebel!


I may take more time thinking about this one than you spent creating it (not to imply that it appears rushed, I know you took due time). Time well spent, in my view (by you, and now by me).

s

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: June 8, 2006 )

Wrong, Doug
He demands that we love Him first.


williamhill

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 8, 2006 )

Doug
Dear Doug

One wonders if war , in all its virulent and malevolent forms, is not nature's way of righting the balance , very much along the lines of other natural events like hurricanes.

This would make all the worst warmongers of History mere tools , unwittingly perhaps ,doing the bidding of some higher power.

Viewed in this light , Western civilization , which arguably has more blood on its hands than any other ,is simply following the deep-rooted dictates of the laws of the jungle.

Your friend

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: June 9, 2006 )

Young People
You know what I find slightly odd williamhill? You read an article that is inspiring, and condemning if I may add, yet you can only add that God wishes us to love him first? Now I, being a person who is not christian, find myself shaking my head as I linger on your thread, wondering if all you could say after a piece like this is just that. Oh well...

To doug;
You know, I think that most adults (I said most, not all) think lowly of the developing youth of the nation; Expecting less and less of them with each generation. Now I must agree that it seems that the youth is making a subtle slide into a decline. Ask a young person in America, whose family has not been affected (few) by the war (what war, it is a slaughter, a monologue using weapons) and there will be a portion that will say without a doubt, Yes, what Bush did is correct, Kerry would've been to P*ssy to do it.

Now, as an adolescent american male living abroad, I must say that I get a better view of stuff than most american kids living in the US of A. I see the thing from a global view, and maybe that is a reason why since the day Bush got elected I felt saddened. I say it takes two to tango though and the war has been declared it must have been declared by someone. Who? Democracy comes from the people right?

It seems that whatever position I take in this discussion (of life, ethics, politics, morality etc) all I can say is; We must make tomorrow better. If our youths are massively dieng(which is not true actually) then it is up to our parents to give us the proper nutrition so that we, when the time comes, do not make foolish choices. Of course, we ourselves must have a fire for their fuel (the upbringing parents give us) to burn.

And as as for me rebelling...I do it everyday as I read news excerpts from along the many newspapers/internet provided newssites (respectable of course) because I accept nothing a government says at face value. So if a rebellion of action comes, one of true uprising and change, count me in, I'll be another face in the crowd yelling; Freedom of choice, freedom of speech, Freedom to fight for what I believe in and last bu not least, Freedom to deny.

( Posted by: Siah [Member] On: June 10, 2006 )

drsoos
After having thought a bit about the article, let me know what you think.

Doug

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

williamhill
But after loving Jesus first........ then should we get back to killing our enemies?

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

RJKT
Very interesting point!

My son (Mike/31 years old) and myself have come to the conclusion that the primary conflict in life (the primary choice for us as human beings to make) is that of evolution (survival of the fittest/putting one's self first,the search for power, money, etc.) vesus spirituality (commitment to God/putting other's first, the desire to live a loving and caring life).

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

Siah
I am sure that you are correct in that people outside of the USA are much more likely to get an objective (honest) view of things than for those of us who get the news from ABC, NBC, CBS, or Fox News (or should I say Fox propangda!).

Do you live in India.... your name sounds, at least to me, like an Indian name?

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

Doug
Dear Doug

Strange that you should have brought it up- that bit about India. In some weird and bizarre fashion, India seems far more Westernized and West-leaning than it ever was during the British Raj or even in the forty and odd years thereafter. One hopes this Westerniztion is only a veneer -confined to its elites and their offspring -most of whom should ,soon enough , be emigrating to the West.

It is perhaps in the fitness of things that the last bastions of its multi faceted heritage remain its 700 and odd million poverty striken masses, many living in the countrysides , by and large illiterate ,often with little or no access to the very basics.

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

Doug
Evolutionary biology moved past the view that survival of the fittest involved individual organisms versus individual organisms a very long time ago.

The fittest tend not to be individuals who put themselves first, who dominate others, etc. Those organisms tend to die out.

Rather, the fittest organisms tend to be those who live in social groups, the members of which help each other out, take care of each other, render aid when needed, etc. Members of these groups tend to share genes; the competition involved in natural selection takes place between genes, not individual organisms.

What you seem to be confusing with evolution is Herbert Spencer's theory of "social darwinism," which has never met with widespread acceptance and has nothing to do with biology. It's also demonstrably incoherent. I'm not surprised -- most North Americans don't know the difference between the two theories, which I expect has to do with the paucity of scientific education on this continent.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

Remember "The Maine"?
Doug,
Thanks for asking again. The article is excellent, my opinions vary somewhat and remain in flux.

We have the best trained warriors. We should either unleash them to annhilate our enemies or bring them home. The rules of engagement in a conflict such as this are ambiguous and unfair to those trained in the art of deadly warfare.

This burden does fall unfairly upon those lacking better opportunities, as well as Guardsmen not expecting such arduous duty even in a worst case scenario.

We must maintain a credible and formidable military threat. We could also do a much better job of avoiding further aggrevation of threats against us.

Perhaps a new form of conscription for national service would be a good answer. Maybe two years for every young adult- no exeptions. Those not wishing to be warriors could opt for peacemaking and peacekeeping and policing and nation rebuilding- trained for the tasks that our warriors are not.

We also must as citizens realize our own duty, and demand the same of our leaders, to recognize threats and deal with them in a more sensible and timely manner. Instead of "9/11" ad nauseum, 2/26/93 should have been our call to action, the "day the world changed".

We as citizens also have a duty to avoid electing leaders who will not use Pearl Harbors, old or new, to advance their own agenda. I think a military consisting of those ready and willing to fight may help counteract the perceived need to manipulate public opinion.

Remember "The Maine"!

s

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

Writs
With all due respect , how does a nation ,or civilzation for that matter ,come to pick up 'enemies' in the first place.

The short answer clearly has to do with : hewing to the core belief that the world is one's stamping ground , and therefore ,one's writ ought to run to the very ends of it ; and then ,riding rough-shod over the rest ,aggressively pursuing one's 'manifest destiny ' of 'exporting freedoms and democracy' -occasionally patting 'the good guys' on the head , slipping them bagatelles like a Mars' Bar or two.

The old name for this - Colonialism - was ,if nothing else ,more honest and forthright.

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

It's really very simple, Doug
One thing has absolutely nothing to do with the other. Jesus is not the author of war, at least not the kind you are speaking of here. He does not advocate killing one's neighbor, ox, ass, ostrich, or anything else. Jesus is in a classification all by Himself; Savior. All I was doing was correcting your flat statement that "God's only law" was to love each other. He has two, count 'em, two. I reminded you of the other one. Another thing, Doug, you write so well, so wrongly. And another thing, Wouldn't this ranticle of yours fit more appropriately under the "opinion" listing? One more thing, your tone...

williamhill

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Hot topic
There were so many comments made here that I think warrant discussion. Unfortunately I have morning meetings an need to get out of my towel and make life happen.

So, I promise to revisit this post later today.

Thanks for the thought-provoking piece!

Lady M

( Posted by: LadyMitulia [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

And another thing or two
House bill 4752 was introduced by none other than Charlie Rangel, a black democrat from the great liberal state of New York. You lead folks to believe it was Bush/Cheney's idea to reinstitute the draft. It ain't so. Rangels bill is a cheap political stunt to try to embarrass the president. You state that most enlistees are poor, and minorities. Where is your bona fides on that statement. Most, if not all of the men and women joining the services are not "children" as you claim. They are men, and in some cases, women. Grown-ups with a sense of duty. Where in hell did you get your damned if they do, damned if they don't crap about duty. Killing your enemies at the behest of the Gov't has nothing to do with one's personal beliefs in the hereafter. I've changed my mind, this "article" is not written very well, except for punctuation and spelling.

regards,
williamhill

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Hereafter
Actually, belief in a hereafter has been used to persuade the masses to go to war by Christians, Muslims, and Hindus. I don't know of any instances from Judaism, but there are probably some.

All you do is say, "Look, what you're doing isn't so bad. You're just killing their earthly bodies. Their true selves remain unharmed. And if they kill you, don't worry about it. You'll go to heaven, where you'll spend an eternity in paradise. And all you've got to do to get there is slaughter some infidels". Mmmmm. Sweet seduction.

Combine that belief with an afterlife with a sense of duty and there are oh-so-many strings to pull.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

India...
The name is actually persian, meaning black. I am now living in a carribean island called Curacao (don't compare us to Aruba) which has direct ties to Holland, which means we are indirectly a part of Europe. We get media streams from all over the world (in 150.000 population we have over 78 nationalities) which means we get a clear picture of what's going in the world.
And williamhill, dude, tone down. Just because you don't agree with someone doesn't mean you have to bash them.

( Posted by: Siah [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Viper
You missed my point. Jesus has never advocated killing in His name. PEOPLE who pervert scripture have and continue to advocate war. It is convenient to do so. It is also convenient for others to blame killing on Christianity as Doug has done in several of his "articles." As for me, I too am a pacifist. Maybe not in the same sense as some of you, but I don't believe in killing for killing's sake. And, a man doesn't go to hell for killing someone, he goes to hell for rejecting Christ. I can't speak with any authority about Muslims beliefs, or Buddists, or any other religion. Please don't lump me in with the Catholics. It makes my skin crawl. I am so sorry that you are so jaded, Viper. There are others here in this community in the same condition as you. Doug seems to be one, too.

Siah, Mr. Soderstrom bashes my beliefs all the time. He has a serious problem with words like "conservative Christian." There are others. I am sorry if it appears that I am bashing him. But, he gets away with saying things and throwing words around out of context. I think he should take more care since he is an educated and enlightened man. If this truly is an "Article", then he needs to back up what he says with verifiable facts. If it is just his opinion, then post it as such, and those who agree, agree. If not, then we'll go write our own opinion. Isn't that fair enough?

williamhill

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Doug deeper
Doug,

I wish to amend the last bit of my previous comment.

I meant to say that a military/national service consisting of the unwilling coalition of the sons and daughters of all segments of society without exception would encourage a more thoughtful attitude within all of our citizenry as to when war is an appropriate response.

Imagine if Bush’s daughters were obligated to serve as Iraqi schoolteachers, or as rebuilders of infrastructure. Imagine senators’ sons and daughters sharing the fun in the sun and sand and quagmire. Truly universal national service would force the public to think, not merely react.

Such a thoughtful electorate would be more likely to view war as a last, but sometimes unavoidable, result; best entered into with considered thought and with like-minded allies.

We would wage fewer wars, but with an unprecedented commitment to swift and overwhelming victory.

We need to give moderate Muslims a chance to prove their existence and to subdue the extremists, rather than continuing our actions that antagonize and radicalize them. I suggest we start by rejecting our leaders who call for Crusade in response to Jihad. The supposed moderate Muslims should respond by rejecting armed Jihad and their own extremist leaders. If not, mass martyrdom is on the menu.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Black Democrat


Charlie, you stepped in it again. Even the late great stormin' Strom Thurmond would be politically PC enough to avoid the phrase "black democrat", much as even the pill-popper Rush (to judgement) Limbaugh and his compadres have dropped the preface "Jewish" from the derogatory label of "liberal media". I'm surprised at your lack of due dilligence. Perhaps you Rushed to post your comment.

s

ps- I will never confuse you with a Papist.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Here after Viper
I'm not sure how much this has to do with life after death, but according to Biblical accounts God's chosen people slaughtered uncounted unchosen, innocents among them, based upon one man's word of God's Word.

In this case, we both lack factual armor.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Did it on purpose, Soos
The reason I highlighted,profiled, targeted Congressman Rangel was to make a point. Prof. Doug leads us down the path of dirty white boys Bush/Cheney when referencing poor/black/Hispanic inductees to the proposed draft bill he quotes. It is disingenous on his part to blame a possible return to the draft on George&Co. Rangel is black and proposing the draft. Does the logic make sense to you. It doesn't to me. Now if it were Colin Powell....

armed to the teeth/tooth
williamhill

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Catholics and Williamhill
why does being "lumped in with Catholics" make "your skin crawl" Charlie?

( Posted by: cilohtac [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Deeper
I do agree with your third to last comment,Soos. Most of it, anyway. Maybe we should elect our politicians to go fight their politicians, and our religous leaders go fight their religious leaders. That would be too simple,huh?

hill

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Catholics and Williamhill
Doug,
You've written another thought-provoking article that has generated some interesting comments.


Charlie,
Why did you say that being "lumped in with Catholics" makes "your skin crawl"? Did you do that on purpose too?

( Posted by: cilohtac [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

cataholic
I was referring to the fact that Roman Catholicism was built on the blood of millions of folks who did not have the same religious ideology as the Pope. Read your history. If you desire to talk of torture and repression, go speak with a priest. They are well read. By the way, No offense meant to Catholics in general.

williamhill

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Black demogague/ Bright Sunni day


I see your point, Charlie- but I question the wisdom and persuasiveness of your chosen manner to express it- as I question Rep. Rangel's chosen method to make his point. I think his proposed bill is a couple of years old. I haven't researched it but I remember it as being a Democrat ploy. I chose to address the ideas instead (I must be getting lazy). When a black Congresswoman refuses to show required ID and attempts to paint those doing their job as racist- race has indeed been made an issue.

I will leave Protestant vs Catholic and Shiite vs Sunni to others- not my battle nor that of my secular U.S. government.

s

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Catholic blood!
And without the violence used by the Church to spread its empire, Protestantism would never have had a chance to emerge at all. That's the part a lot of Protestants forget. The success (and excess!) of the Catholic Church is what made their faction possible.

To get back to the topic, long before Rangel brought it up, White House insiders were talking about plans to bring back the draft. It's a must when you're fighting a losing war and you can't convince enough rubes to kill and die for your needs. The Bushies would have to be idiots on a grand scale not to consider reinstating the draft. That doesn't meean reinstating the draft is good, just sensible in light of certain goals.

I don't know, will. I know you like to call me cynical and jaded, but that isn't how I see it. I consider myself an optimist. There's nothing necessarily cynical about owning up to facts. Every street magician, psychic, and Campus Crusader learns how to spot an easy mark. You look for people with certain features because they're the easiest to manipulate. Some of us might not like to hear it, but there it is. Ideological propaganda (religious, political, whatever) and advertising recognize this as well. Their success depends on it.

People use Christianity as a justification for killing. Whether you believe it should be used in such a way or not doesn't affect the fact that it is used that way. Like any ideology, Christianity is handily abused. And I greet protests of "But it's a peaceful religion" with the same exasperation with which I greet similar protests from Moslims.

Yes, Doug bashes conservative Christianity. More power to him. And more power to those who wish to bash Doug's beliefs (or mine!). Just don't stop at bashing -- back things up with some good old-fashioned reasoning, too.

One shouldn't defer to Doug because he presents himself as an educated man. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't, but it really doesn't matter. All that matters is the quality of the justification upon which he bases his beliefs. His reasoning. His use, misuse, or ignorance of evidence.

Educated or not, we're all fallible. I always tell my students, "Don't agree with Plato because he's Plato. Who the fuck cares who he is? Evaluate his arguments, and if they stand up, agree with him. If they don't, to hell with them".

As I've indicated above, I don't think Doug understands biology. But there are probably lots of things he does understand. I'm willing to take his arguments one by one, same as everyone else.

Anyway, despite williamhill's tone, what I liked about his objection was that he was actually dealing with Doug's argument. If all Doug has to go on is Rangel's recent proposal, then williamhill has a good point.

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Williamhill and this Catholics
Sorry Charlie I'm afraid I have to throw that last "cataholics" comment of yours back into the sea of bullshit and bigotry you live in. I do take offense to your comment that "being lumped in with Catholics makes your skin crawl". Go **** yourself Charlie! I said that on purpose.

( Posted by: cilohtac [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Too bad
There are over 9 million references to the inquisition on google, friend. There is still an office of inquisition in the Vatican. Do you tithe? Are you a cheerful giver? Someone used to say it takes one to know one. I guess you would know. A bigot. Denying the atrocity of the Papal inquisitions would be akin to denying the slaughter of the Jews by Hitler and Stalin. You are either ignorant, or blind, or a troublemaker trying to stir a stink. Either way, you're a gutless drive-by. A TROLL, I suspect.

williamhill

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Inquisitive
Those good ole' Klan boys have a robust and more recent Christian history. Hmmm- what is that thang they be burnin'? And maybe hang some mud people? Whose eye got a log an' whose got a mote?

Yee Haw!

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

More Hee-Haw
And don't forget about those old Bosnian and Serbian Trophy hunters either.

My point exactly, Soos.

War is about real estate. All war is. It(war) is conveniently disguised by ethnic, cultural, religious, (pick a reason) The Klan was/is no different. Persecution of blacks was/is about real estate too. It always has been.

Somebody wants(covets) what you have, let's invent a reason to take it from you.

Is that the only verse of scripture you know?

charlie

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Catholics and Williamhill
I haven't denied any history either Catholic or Protestant. What I took offense to has nothing to do with history of Catholicism and you know it Charlie - bullshit - Southerland!

I am also not the "trouble maker" here, nor am I ignorant, blind or a troll as you have called me.

You said that being "lumped in with Catholics makes your skin crawl". As a Catholic, I take your comment as a bigoted slur against all Catholics in general. Why I'd bet a buck that you believe Catholics aren’t even Christians to begin with.

You put your foot in your mouth repeatedly, yet you still expect me and others to believe that what you "really meant" were...blah blah innocent? Bullocks to your innocence!
You need to get off your high horse Charlie or soon there will be no one left for you to offend.

If Viper, Soos, and others want to continue ignoring your obvious indelicate loose mouth indiscretions, so be it. I for one am sick of your bull****.


( Posted by: cilohtac [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Ignoring Cilohtac
I'm not ignoring Williamhill's slurs against Catholicism because I think he's right. I just wish he'd cast a wider net and include all bloodthirsty ideologies as one hateful whole --Cathoic, Protestant, Muslim, Stalinist, Neo-Con, etc.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

net casting
You are right,Viper, sort of. It is not a slur to not want to be associated with a past/present bloodthirsty religion, whoever they may be. I will not cower behind the skirttails of political correctness to avoid offending a drive by commenter. I have in the past included all of the above you mentioned, except Neo-Con, and I'm still not sure what that definition is. But if the shoe fits, wear it.

When I used to attend church, I saw the machinations of the church fathers, and it made me sick,physically. I live on a farm now, and say my prayers wthout the allure of organized attendance.


Troll, if you are sick, take a pill.

will

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

You know what I love about Jesus?
Is that he said "Love your enemies." And "If somebody smack-a-you-face, let him smack-a-you-face again." And, "Forgive an offense not once, or seven times, but seventy-times-seven times." And, "If somebody steals your coat, give 'em your dang hat, too." And, "If you're without sin, then you get to throw stones. Otherwise... piss off." Or words to those effects...

The blood and death and torture and sin and grot that we have heaped upon our own, poor selves is legion. There isn't a dogmatic jot in any holy book that somebody hasn't killed somebody over. The sanctity of the Eucharist; transubstantiation; ionoclasty; speaking in tongues; the divine right of kings; apostasy; polygamy; the list is endless, the rivers of blood flow on.

And you know what I say? So what. Put down your stone. Give the man your hat and coat. Let him slap-a-you-face twice. Forgive and forgive and forgive again. There is no answer to war that will end war, but mercy. There is no answer to hatred that will end hatred but love. There is no grace without faith and hope.

I disagree with the current war in Iraq. I disagree with how we are handling the issues of terrorism. But I am tired of hating George Bush. I've been hating him and his cabinent and the politicians and voters and corporations that support him since mid 1999. Seven years, my heart has been filled with hate. I need to put that shit down, my friends. To be blunt... my liberal, Christian, bleeding-heart, Bush-hating-hate is kinda killing me. I'm so, damned tired.

I don't have answers. I know people in the military. Good people. Brave people. Patriotic people. I have a cousin who was a sniper in the Marines. He was the one you send in before you send in the ones you send in before the other Marines you send in before the Army. What he did usually saved lots of other US military lives. Perhaps even enemy lives, as his strikes were "surgical" and allowed for quicker battles.

Now... I am an extreme pacifist. I believe that it is would have been better for us to have "Peace Corp"-ed the same amount of dough across the Middle East and bought/marketed ourselves a giant PR victory. But I still respect and deeply admire the sacrifice that my cousin made for this country. When I watch him as he talks (the little that he will talk) about what he's done, and about what his friends are doing now... his soul has, as Doug says, gone to a very, very scary place. A place that I never volunteered to go, nor volunteered anything like to heal.

What is the answer? Put down the stones. Every day, I guess. I'm trying. I'm trying. How do I do that? How can I make other people -- smart, Christian conservative friends -- understand that the Cross meant dying rather than killing? That Christ chose to die to show us that power? What would it demonstrate to the world if we, a nation led by 100% Christian presidents and many, many Christian representatives, took on His leadership and said, "We will die to violence rather than kill? We will heal. We will give our shirt and our coat. We will put down the stones. We will take up the cross, rather than the gun." What would that say?

I can't do it. How can I ask others to do so? And yet I feel it's right. That we could create an "army" of souls rather than guns. We saw leaders like Ghandi and MLK Jr. who rejected violence, who embraced mercy and were given gifts of great grace. If the only remaining superpower were to do that... were to say, "No more guns..." what would that say?

It sounds strange to ask the question this way, but... Who could stop the US if we lay down and refused to fight?

I am tired of hating, even of hating the hate. I need to know where to go from here. Any ideas welcome...

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

At your doorstep, Andy
It is easy to talk about our enemies/enemas when they are 9000 miles away, Andy. It is easy to want to live peaceably and be left alone and not bother anyone. But when they come to my door with their Fascist beliefs and say "I'm taking your things, your home, your wife(so I can make babies who believe what I do) and kill you for your non-belief, then I must fight if I can. (I couldn't put up much of one these days.) But dang it,Andy, I am a dangerous man. I own lots of guns and the Word says to provide/take care of my family. And until Jesus comes back to restore Malchus ear, I'm gonna fight if attacked. I have turned my cheek many times, and continue to do so. I ask for God's wisdom every day to discern when to do. Turn/Fight. I agree that we should give and give and give, but this war on terror is not about our stinginess. It's about Fascism. My youngest son is headed over there. I don't want him to go. (For obvious reasons.) He is going to protect me and you. I didn't raise him to do that. I firmly believe that if we lay down our arms, we(you and me)(and all that we love but Jesus) will be murdered. I can't agree with you on this one. I just can't. It is neither reasonable nor is it practible. I do not believe it is scriptural. Nor moral.

charlie

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Andy Ha Ha
"If somebody smack-a-you-face, let him smack-a-you-face again."

That's fucking hilarious! You're the new Soos (soory Soos!).

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Williamhill and Catholics
Re: Williamhill's comment that his "being lumped in with Catholics makes his skin crawl"...




With the foot in his mouth indelicate precision of a blind bigot Williamhill's log and mote strike out again! Yee haw!

( Posted by: cilohtac [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Marching forth
Williamhill, how on Earth is your son's work in Iraq or Afghanistan going to protect you or anyone else in the US? What's the connection? Is that soemthing you tell yourself to make the whole sorry episode seem more meaningful and just than it is?

I feel for you, man. But you need to face up to facts.

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Taps,Viper
You mistake me. I don't think we should send any of our people to fight and die "over there". I don't "feel" safer. Who can guarantee my safety? Yours? Anyones? I could say, "let them all kill each other for all I care." I could do what AH suggested and give them all my wealth, your wealth, and Soo's as well. And in the end, they will still want and try to kill us.

The solution?

The only other one I can come up with is an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. In this case, in the war on terror/fascism/hyper-religo-natacism, pt a price on an American Life, let's say 100,000 to one. On of us for 100,000 of them. If we get attacked again, Retribution by he 1000's. Use really big bombs. It is the only thing they understand. That is how it will end. Do I want it that way? No. But I don't want to sacrifice my son or my freedom. End of story.

willy

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

war child

For what it's worth (from my heart):

The more I get to know you, the less I like you. But that doesn't matter right now.

When our children stop listening to us, it's a sign that we have done our job well. Now as adults they make their own decisions.

I pray to a God whose existence I can only surmise from the evidence of a universe of order and laws from the subatomic to intergalactic scale, from which life was created...

Thereafter we differ, and God and Country enable us to do so peaceably.

I pray for the safe return of your son, and for the sons and daughters of all.

I almost recommended military service to my own daughter as a path to higher education, in a naive belief that females would not face danger in wartime, and I could not foot the college bill.

Happily, with scholarships, loans, grants, and a car, insurance, and the customary dad cash she continues to excel.

As a loving parent I respect your feelings, but when the stakes are less dire to our loved ones I WILL see you in drag kicking and screaming, proclaiming the consistent humor in the face of adversity that only soosdom can sooth with, or so sayeth soos and I hope so.


Retribution is trickier. We can reduce our foes, with a power unleashed from God's own building blocks, from the cradle of civilization
to ruins and rubble, then bounce the rubble to gravel, then bounce the gravel to sand, then glaze the sand into a glass stained red by the blood of the misguided and misfortunate. Not my idea of a bright future, but nuke 'em if they can't bear a yoke.

I'm out of ideas, Charlie. I think some of your anger is seeking places that don't deserve it, but that happens to the best of us, whoever the fuck they are.

Once your son is out of danger or it somehow seems cool, I will return to calling a putz a putz when you're a putz.


s

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

William
I have lost most respect for you, just by reading this piece. You flip-flop more than Kerry did and sadly you keep stepping horse manure (YEEHAW) each time. Now, the sad thing is, you say your a christian. Listen dude, I ain't christian and GOD be my witness when I say; How the HELL could you be christian and condone warfare and use of weapons like they were toy guns? Eye for an eye, you should be ashamed of yourself. Believing that mumbo jumbo. A christian (in my eyes) is someone who believes and LIVES in God's words. Nothing else.

( Posted by: Siah [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

re: Young People...Rebel!!
It was a pretty good article, and I agree with the spirit of it. There are, however, a few corrections to be made.

According to POPULATION BULLETIN: America's Militar Population, by David R. Segal and Mady Wechsler Segal (published Dec 2004), here are the real demographic numbers:

As of 2002 -

Blacks make up 13% of the population. Black men make up 20% of the male enlisted military force, while black women make up 34% of the female enlisted force.

Hispanics make up 14% of the population, and 10% of the enlisted military force for both men and women.

Minorities are certainly represented in the military, but they make up the majority of our soldiers. As to the number of soldiers that are from poor, or low-income backgrounds, I can't say for sure that the statement is true - but it certainly feels true to me, like it does to you.

Also - women have never been drafted in America. If this new legislation becomes law, it'll be the first time in U.S. History that we've drafted women. Your statement gives teh impression that we'll reinstate a draft on men AND women.

Again - overall, I thought it was good. It captured a sentiment that I happen to share.

I look forward to reading more of your stuff.

Regards,

RAJ

( Posted by: rajengineer [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

Viper9
Very good points indeed! Thanks for helping me out on this.

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

RJKT
I believe you are right..... makes a lot of sense.

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

drsoos
Yes..... too many good points to comment on, but I did read everyone of your very good points! Again thanks for reading my piece.

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

RJKT
Again, very well said COLONIALISM IN DISGUISE!

BAGATELLE.... a new word for me to learn.... I had to look it up in the dictionary/fancy poll on an oblong table.

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

williamhill
I do love you williamhill, but you do need to develop an ear (an appreciation) for "my tone" If you got to know me you would learn to love me.

Your friend,
Doug

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

williamhill
You are certtainly right about Charlie Rangel.

Just check it out as a there is a disproportionate number of poor in the army... This is a fact of life. So check out the stats as I do not have time to do so at this moment.

CONCERNING YOUR STATEMENT:
"Killing your enemies at the behest of the Gov't has nothing to do with one's personal beliefs in the hereafter [Williamhill]."

I think I have to leave now as I have been called upon by the President to go out and slay some Talaban.... but not to worry, I love God and Jesus and They love me, and I know that I should love my enemies, but since the President has been appointed by God to rule over our nation, and it is my responsibility to be obedient to him as my leader, I must be on may way.... BANG! BANG! BANG!

Obeying authorities no doubt trumps that of loving our enemies.... right... williamhill?

Love, Doug

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

Viper9
All you do is say, "Look, what you're doing isn't so bad. You're just killing their earthly bodies. "Their true selves remain unharmed. And if they kill you, don't worry about it. You'll go to heaven, where you'll spend an eternity in paradise. And all you've got to do to get there is slaughter some infidels". Mmmmm. Sweet seduction."

"Combine that belief with an afterlife with a sense of duty and there are oh-so-many strings to pull."

SO WELL SAID!!

Doug

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

Siah
Siah, a Persian name, living on the island of Curacao.... Thanks for letting me know.

Doug

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

williamhill
"As for me, I too am a pacifist. Maybe not in the same sense as some of you, but I don't believe in killing for killing's sake. And, a man doesn't go to hell for killing someone, he goes to hell for rejecting Christ [williamhill]"

So, since you do not believe "in killing for killing's sake" when do you believe in killing.... WHEN THE PRES SAYS TO DO SO, BUT ONLT TO KILL BONIFIED ENEMIES!

Love,
Doug

Jesus said that we should "love our enemies."

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

drsoos
"Imagine if Bush’s daughters were obligated to serve as Iraqi schoolteachers, or as rebuilders of infrastructure. Imagine senators’ sons and daughters sharing the fun in the sun and sand and quagmire. Truly universal national service would force the public to think, not merely react. [drsoos]"

RIGHT ON.... I aggre one hundred percent!

Also, I also agree that we should give the moderate Muslims a chance.

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

andyhavens
WOW!

MAN........ ICOULD NOT HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF!

ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT I AGREE 100% WITH YOU!

"And then you said I am tired of hating, even of hating the hate. I need to know where to go from here [andyhavens].

I BELIEVE YOU TOOK THE WORDS RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH..... AS I AM TIRED OF HATING TOO!!!!!

Doug

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

You guys still don't get it.
There were over 17,000 murders in the US last year. That's down a little from the year before. Somebody sure is spreadin' the love. The truth is, we are more at risk to get murdered here than we are there.(in Iraq.) It is less likely they will come here to kill us than our neighbor next door offing us. You guys talk a good game, put your heart where your mouth is. Invite ex-cons with murder raps into your homes. show them some love, give 'em some money, a job. Leave them alone with your little children, your wives, your 16 year old daughters.

This is not a matter of hate. I don't hate anyone. I don't believe you do either.

We have welcomed immigrants here our whole history. people with visas and green cards killed 3000 of our brothers and sisters under the guise of coming here for freedom. Who was opressing them to make them come here in the first place? It sure as hell wasn't a democracy they were escaping. They weren't poor. They were financed by rich crazy extremists. You can talk all you want about them being poor, downtrodden, and all the other pap you want, but the fact is, their governments were filthy rich. Why didn't they overthrow them? I tell you they had no cause to harm us. None.

Will you let them come to your door? Will you give them the same equal rights as you gave the 17,000 mrderers who already live here?

Will you?

If you say yes, I call bullshit on you.

This conversation has nothing to do with Jesus. Or Love.
Or hate.

I has to do with protection.

You guys are talkers, that's all.

I'd call you hypocrites, but I am busy with something in my eye.

williamhill

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

rajengineer
Thanks for the information, and your fine appreciation of my article.

Doug

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

LadyMitulia
Looking forward to hearing from you later.

Doug

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

unibummer
I'm worried about isolated rural people with access to anger, fertilizer, and fuel oil.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

drsoos re: unibummer
drsoos - Me too.

doug - well written article as usual. I do not share your views. I have muucho mixed feelings about these kind of issues. If only everything were cut and dry, black and white, eh? I see that you have stirred up controversy and debate and that is a good thing in a free thinking society. Good for ya.


( Posted by: unseenwriterx [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

Organic Farmer
I spread cowshit on my tomatoes, thank you. I can't afford fertilizer. However, I do own a copy of Deliverance. Burt Reynolds is THE Man.

Tell me Soos, where is all the money I am paying for fuel going to? I believe a goody amount of it is in the Sheiks pockets. After all they do set the prices fo oil, not Bush. You stick around long nuff, ya'll miht Larn sumpin'.

Farmerhill

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

Williamhill sez
"I'd call you hypocrites, but I am busy with something in my eye."

Is it a speck of bullshit?

Sorry man, couldn't resist!

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

WILLIAMHILL IS RIGHT!
I hate to admit it but I have to side with williamhill. He's right plain and simple. We have to protect ourselves. I don't believe for a moment that Jesus ever meant that we lay down and die or open our doors to terrorists who want to murder us and our family. That's a form of suicide. Jesus came from Jewish teachings and I think he never meant for no one to just turn their cheek and let someone kill you. I think that whole turn the other cheek has been misinterpreted and perverted somewhere along the history of translations. In the Jewish teachings preservation of life (including your own) outweighs any commandment law. It is a sin to allow yourself to die or your family or anyone else to die if you can do something about preventing it. Self defense is truly a God given right.

Americans have a right to protect themselves against terrorists. williamhill is right that it looks like these folk don't understand nothing but killing. If it takes a nuke to stop them then that's gotta be what needs to be done. Reasoning with them don't work. Not that I or anyone in their right mind wants to kill or wants war, but sometimes you got to figure how many lives will be saved by the destruction of this one evil. How many lives will be saved if Muslim extremist madmen are not allowed to continue. War is war. There is no way around a battle to the death when you are defending yourself against those who believe that is the only way. It's either them or us. I'm sticking with us, my family, and my country. This is about protection and self preservation. Handing these madmen flowers and peace symbols ain't going to get you nowhere but a quick trip to the head chopping block!

( Posted by: TINKER [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

Winking at you
I caught the pink-eye from an on-line feline.

Deep strikes the bullit in my heart.

I have learned to never take offense from anything you say,Viper. Well, there was that one time in Vegas. But it stayed there.

[[;)>

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

unseenwriterx
Thanks for your appreciation of my article.

Doug

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

Tinker
But what about our 50 year history of agression in regards to those in the Middle East? In 1953... our overthrow of the Iranian democracy led by President Mossadegh? The 500,000 children who died as a result of our embargo on Iraq? Etc. Etc. Ect.

Shame on you Tinler for presuming that we have not done anything to cause those of the Middle East to become so upset with us.

EMPATHY..... What if "the shoe" was on "the other foot?"

Doug

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

Jihad Terrorist Footwear
Doug,

Your response to Tinker made me ask "what if the shoe were on the other foot"

?
?
?

If the shoe were on the other foot we wouldn't start savagely beheading people, or using our young children as suicide bombers, or threatening nuclear war against Israel, or insist that everyone on earth worship only our version of God, or or or or or or or.....

Because they are "upset" with us do we now owe them our lives? How about our religious freedoms?

There is no justification for what they did to us on 911 or what they have done to countless other terrorist victims worldwide no matter how "upset" they are.

Or do you propose that we all lay down in the name of our bleeding heart liberal white guilt and allow them to murder us in the name of their jihad holy war? Would that make up for it?

Don't want to take it any further. You have your opinion, I have mine. Let's leave it at that.

( Posted by: unseenwriterx [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

Justification vs. mercification
My eye is worth more than yours, because it's younger. You have fewer teeth, and there's some gold in them, so your teeth are worth more than mine. So we need a sliding scale...

No government, no race, no religion, no group is guiltless when it comes to having done "bad shit." Do I love America? Heck yeah. Do I think that pluralism, rule-of-law, Western-style democracy, capitalism, humanism, basic Bill-o-rights stuff are great? Heck yeah. Do I think that some of these here things worth dying for? Oh, yes. Did the victims of 9/11 die as martyrs of freedom? Of democracy? Of capitalism? I surely believe that.

Does that make anything else we've done since then "right?" I don't know.

I want what is best for Williamhill's son. And my son. But I also want what is best for all the sons and daughters of God. Of Jehova. And of Allah. And Buddha. And Shiva.

My God, though, had a son, Jesus. And He said that we should pray for our enemies. And he didn't add an apostrophe and the word "death." He said we should take up our cross and follow Him. And he went to His death rather than raise up the armies of God, which I surely believe he could have done, to save himself and set up an earthly kingdom.

A good friend once asked me if I thought it was ever morally justifiable to kill another human being. I answered, "No." He asked, "What if they were coming to kill you." I said, "No." He asked, "What if they were coming to kill your family?" I said, "No."

"You mean to tell me," he exclaimed, "If some bastard thief broke into your house, and was going to kill your wife and son, you wouldn't use deadly force to stop him if you had the chance?"

"Oh!" I replied. "That's a different question. No. I'd probablly kill the m**r f**r with a gun, a knife, a shovel, the fireplace tongs, my bare hands... fire, water... whatever."

"But you said..."

"I said it wasn't 'moral.' I didn't say I was a moral man."

So... if we want to police the world; fine. If we want to kill in the name of justice, revenge, our own security, etc. Whatever. Let's even call them all excellent, admirable goals. That's fine. But we cannot, if we are Christians, I think, call them "moral" acts. We can possibly call them "good" from the point of view of "civics." Or social welfare. Or politics. Or economics. Or nationalism. But Christian morality? Nope.

Yes, I'd kill the m***r f***r who invaded my house, Charlie. And if you handed me the gun to do it, I'd thank you and buy you a round (pun intended). But on some level... I'd always regret it, because I know that Christ was given that choice, and he didn't kill the m**r f**rs who invaded the Temple; the house that He and His Father had spent 33 years building. And that decision purchased salvation for us.

Again... what could we as a nation accomplish if we had that kind of mind set? Mercy over justice. Grace over law. I'm not saying we can abandon realpolitik entirely... But maybe we could try to be a wee bit more like the Son of the God we invoke so often...

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

Our common goal
I agree with every word you say, Andy. I never compared morality with killing. I do not "hate" these folks. On the contrary, it is my mission, and yours, and every Christian to "win" them, their hearts, minds and souls, to Jesus. It is only then war will end. I know, you other guys go ahead and bash me now, go ahead, I can take it. But is what I believe. With all my heart. When Jesus came the first time, He said He came not to bring peace, but a sword. To divide mens souls. And He did. You have to choose Him, or something else. Simple. If you choose Him, He says you will NEVER perish. I believe Him. Simple. Pick who you choose. Pick wisely. You only have one chance. I took it a long time ago. He has always served me well. I have not done quite as well holding up my end. I don't have the wisdom to say what needs to be said to convince you guys that He is the only answer. Anyway, Andy is right about ALL of it.

charlie

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 14, 2006 )

Flip-Flop Charlie:
You can start with an apology for your f****d up comments about Catholics. Go ahead and win over my heart and mind and show me all your Jesus love.

( Posted by: cilohtac [Member] On: June 14, 2006 )

Sad
You know what I find particularly sad? Poeple in America talk about this elusive 'they', this conglomeration of peoples that are out for our throats. Now, ask them who this 'they' is, and hear their answers; Al-Queda, Taliban...
Now the sad thing is that neither answer leads to the 'moral' and 'correct' attack on Iraq or Afghanistan. Who gave US dominion upon the world, where they have police the world's actions? True, a terrosist faction attacked the US (getting a green card and flying planes etc etc) but has US not attacked many countries before they even touched our soil? Of course, our attacks were legal attacks, just giving money to the party which we want to win because it means more gain for us. So when a faction evolves to the point were "death to US" becomes the only thought, who is to blame? He who lit the fire or he who added fuel to it?

And about Jezus? I don't want to even talk about him, seeing that if he existed now he probably wouldn't want to die for our sins.

In the course of this piece here, people have come gone, left their thoughts and attacked others. Good. Now a quick question. How can you say, I totally agree with someone, or that someone has everything correct? We have a guy who flip-flopped, one guy who made jokes like hell, another who left insightful comments, a host who randomly posts praise, and a little tinker who agrees COMPLETLY with an aforementioned person. Are all our collective thoughts correct?

And of course, I must add praise. For all those who believe in Jesus, God be with you. For all those wo don't may their respectable dieties be with them.

( Posted by: Siah [Member] On: June 14, 2006 )

Fairytales that are killing the world+ * )+ * ) + *)
We live in a twisted world, where right is wrong and wrong reigns supreme. It is a chilling fact that most of the world's leaders believe in nonsensical fairytales about the nature of reality. They believe in Gods that do not exist, and religions that could not possibly be true. We are driven to war after war, violence on top of violence to appease madmen who believe in gory mythologies.
These men are called Christians, Muslims and Jews.
Osama bin Laden is insane. He believes God whispered in the ear of Mohammed 1,400 years ago about how he should conquer Arabia. Mohammed was a pure charlatan -- and a good one at that. He makes present religious frauds like Pat Robertson look like amateurs.
He said God told him to have sex with as many of the women he met as possible. I'm sorry, I meant to say "take them as wives." God told him to kill all other tribes that stood in his way or that would not placate him with assurances of loyalty or bribes. God told him, conveniently, that everyone should follow him and never question a word he said.
He sold this bag of goods to the blithering idiots who lived in the Arabian Peninsula at the time. If that weren't shockingly stupid enough, over a billion people continue to believe the convenient lies that Mohammed told all that time ago -- to this very day.
We live in a world full of insane people. Sanity is an island battered in an ocean of frothing delusion. The people who believe in science are the minority. The people who believe in bloody fairytales are the overwhelming majority.
George W. Bush is the most powerful man alive. He is a class A imbecile. He is far less intelligent than the average Christian. But like most of the others, he believes Jesus died for his sins. That idea is so perverse and devoid of logic it should shock the conscience. Instead, it gets him elected, and earns him the reverence of a great percentage of America. America! The most advanced country in the world -- run by a bunch of villagers who still believe Santa Claus is going to save them.
There is no damn Easter Bunny. There is no Jesus waiting to return. Moses never even existed. These were all convenient lies from the men of those times to gain power. Their actions were rational -- they wanted to deceive their brethren so that they could amass power. I get their motivations. But I cannot, for the life of me, understand our motivations, thousands of years later, still following the conmen of yesteryear into our gory, bloody, violent end.
Jesus is said to have said on the cross, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" Because Jesus was insane and the God he thought would rescue him did not exist. And he died on that cross like a fool. He fancied himself the son of God and he could barely convince twelve men to follow him at a time when the world was full of superstition.
Excellent marketing by some of his followers would later rescue his botched effort. How many people saw his miracles? One? Twelve? Eighty? Why didn't he show the whole world? Not because this is some giant pop quiz by God to test us -- but because he did not perform any miracles!
Even his apostles can't agree on what miracles he supposedly carried out or when he carried them out. Or whether he returned after death or he didn't. Whether they saw him in person or just as a vision. Rational human beings shouldn't believe this kind of nonsense. Yet most of the world does.
If a man today killed his only son to show how much he loved other people, he would be considered a madman, locked in jail and earn society's contempt. Yet we think this is some sort of noble act by our Father in Heaven.
In Heaven? What, with the harps and the winged angels and the 72 virgins? My God, how stupid do you have to be to believe that?
I know most of you don't actually read your religious texts, and when you do, you assiduously try to avoid the parts that make no sense whatsoever or hide underneath the comforting grasp of your religious leaders who have concocted a bunch of circular logic (a crime to even use that word in regards to Christianity, Islam or Judaism) to shield you from the obvious folly of the written text.
So, I'm not calling you stupid if you haven't really read the material. And I know how powerful brainwashing is. We all received it when we were young and it is exceedingly difficult to break its grasp. But people dance around the issue out of politeness because they don't want to call you what you are -- ignorant.
There are a lot of people I love dearly and respect wholeheartedly who believe in religion. I hate to do this to them. But we have killed far too many people, wasted far too much time on this nonsense for us to keep going in this direction for fear of offense.
Jesus was a lunatic. God is not coming to your rescue. He hasn't come to anyone's rescue in thousands of years, including Jesus. Mohammed was a power hungry, scam artist and ruthless conqueror. Moses and Abraham were figments of the imagination of some long dead rabbi. He would probably laugh his ass off at all of you who still believe the fairytales he made up thousands of years ago. He probably wouldn't even believe it if you told him.
Did I mention Judaism? The chosen people? Come on, get off it. People walk around in clothes from 18th century Russia, thinking they have been chosen by God when they look like a bunch of jackasses. I'm tired of all the deaths because we did not want to give offense. Orthodox Jews are wrong and ridiculous.
As are the orthodox and fundamentalists of all of the religions. It says in the Bible that it is an abomination to wear clothes made of two different cloths or to eat shellfish. If you think God will hate you because you mixed wool and linen or because you ate some shrimp, you are insane.
How long are we going to dance around the 800-pound gorilla in the room? The world is run by madmen. It's not just Bush and bin Laden. It is the leader of all of the countries in the Middle East, almost all of the Americas and most of the rest of the world.
Have I offended you? That's too bad. Stop killing each other in the name of false and ridiculous Gods and I will stop ridiculing you. Trust me, your offense is much worse than mine.
Right now as you read this, there are ignorant, hateful Muslims teaching other ignorant Muslims how to put on a suicide belt. There are orthodox Jews telling other Jews how they must never leave their "holy land" no matter what the consequences are to other human beings. They assure their followers -- remember, they are not the chosen ones, we are. If we crush and oppress them, don't worry, God will excuse it, and even desires it, because He is on our side.
There are maniacal Christians who are praying for the end of time. Who are hoping that most of the world's population is wiped off the face of the Earth by their vengeful and murderous God. Whom they believe is, ironically, a loving God. Unless, of course, you make the fatal mistake of not kissing his ass and appeasing him, in which case he will slaughter you and condemn you to eternal torture. What kind of sick people believe this?
The kind who live next to you. The kind who voted for George Bush. The kind who send their religious leaders to the White House to argue against even-handedness in the Middle East because it would prevent their sick prophecy. The kind who have undue influence over how we use the greatest and most lethal army ever built by man.
If you don't want to be called ignorant or misinformed, then get informed. Learn the real nature of our universe and put aside old wives tales about resurrected Gods, omniscient prophets and a guy who could split the Red Sea but couldn't find where he's going in the desert for forty years.

( Posted by: cenkuygur [Member] On: June 14, 2006 )

andyhavens
I like the way you "talk" and think. Makes a lot of sense to me!

Doug

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 14, 2006 )

cenkuygur
Wow! I cannot say that I agree with everything you say.... but who gives a shit if I do or not, since we each have the right to express our own opinions, the right to respond honestly, as we see fit, to each other's ideas. But I can see that you have put a lot of thought into the kinds of things expressed in regards to the article's responders.

Thanks for your interest in all of this.

Doug

Doug

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 14, 2006 )

Welcome
Welcome to you new members of Lit.org. We are all happy to see you newbies express your educated opinions in a safe, free, forum. If you ever need advice or counseling, feel free to give me a ring.(PM) If you need help writing your own work, again, feel free to ask. Others will be kind enough to help too. We hope you become an intregal part of the Lit. family, as I am sure by your comments to date, you will.

williamhill

( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: June 14, 2006 )

cenkuygur
Nice piece. Offending almost every religion execpt Scientology. Quick Q, what do you believe in?

( Posted by: Siah [Member] On: June 14, 2006 )

cenkuygur -- raisins of truth in a bran muffin of hate
You clearly have a lot of hate for lots of different kinds of people and lots of different beliefs. While there are some pieces of truth burried in what you've written, it's mostly unthinking, unexamined rhetoric, lashing out as blindly and randomly as the religions you ridicule.

The vast majority of people who follow all the major faiths in the world do so with very little insanity, murderousness, etc. involved. Mostly we find comfort, peace, and reasons for humane behavior in our spirituality.

Do people kill each other over religious differences? Yes. Clearly. That has happened historically, and happens -- to a much lesser degree -- today. But in the last 200 years, most of the killing we've done to each other has been over issues you would probably define as "rational;" national borders, political systems, natural resources, etc. You say that killing over religion is insane. That doesn't make religion wrong; that makes killing wrong. We kill each other over oil and gold and fishing rights, too. Does that make driving and jewelry and cod as insane as you claim religion is? You are confusing bad behavior and bad results with bad philosophy.

The way I practice Christianity does not allow me to kill. So do not say that "I kill" in His name. That's not accurate. And I'm not sure where you get off saying that "most of us" don't read our religious works. You base this on... Having asked everyone here? Or that we're ignorant. That's nice. You also imply that you are actively trying to offend us. How is this going to win anyone to even a partial belief in your arguments? Or to future arguments you might make (if you do, as I have a suspicion that this is a one-post avatar...).

This kind of rant always confuses me. The "I'm right! You suck! You're so stupid!" rant.

Here's the thing; there are practitioners of many types of thought -- not just religion, though -- whose beliefs are not closely examined. That kind of belief, especially when it leads to acts as heinous and consequential as warfare, needs to be seriously questioned and taken to task. In this, I agree with cenkuygur. We have leaders in many countries paying lip service to all kinds of philsophies -- religions, science, education, pluralism, democracy, humanism -- while, in their actions, showing different colors altogether. Before anything else, I think we must demand of our leaders consistency and a lack of hypocricy. How can you trust someone to lead you if they will not go in the direction they have said they will?

So, yes. Religion, followed blindly and badly, makes for bad leaders. And killing in the name of religion is bad. Those are some small, tasty raisins of truth.

But killing in the name of the nation state can be very, very bad, too. Or in the name of a political system. Or for money. Or oil. Or "security." Or science. Or comfort. And, on the side of religion, we also have evidence of many millions of people doing many, many good things in the name of their beliefs. So when you weigh the balance, don't forget that many of our ideals come from our "mythological" roots. And that many of us are moved by our insane gods to give to the poor and behave morally.

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: June 14, 2006 )

Hate?
Andy,
I don't see a bit of hate in cenkuygur's rant. I think that his being offensive does not translate into hate. I don't hear hate at all. What I hear is what seems to be his frustration in what he expects from people who are supposed to be intelligent, and who he believes should know better, yet who believe in what he perceives to be nothing but a bunch of destructive religious mumbo jumbo. People who abuse power and use religion to get more. He makes some very good points. I think he's presented his views and case well.


Cenkuygur,
Like Siah, I'm also wondering what it is that you do believe?

( Posted by: unseenwriterx [Member] On: June 15, 2006 )

The killing will never end
First, I would like to say something that has nothing to do with your issue. I can't speak for anyone else, but I find it very difficult to read long paragraphs. I try to keep my paragraphs to no more than four sentences because eyes tend to stray when looking at words in a very long paragraph.

I usually pass by anything that has very long paragraphs because it is so hard to keep your focus in the middle of a sea of words and it is a shame to put a great deal of time into an article and have people skip over it because they get lost in the volume of words presented as a block.

I certainly don't mean to tell you how you should compose your paragraphs, just say that it can be more effective in presenting your ideas if you break up the story into three or four sentence paragraphs.

Second, on the story, I would never use the word "insurgent." Radio and TV stations as well as newspapers have been threatened with violence if they call the suicide bombers "terrorists." The killers want the dignity accorded to an "insurgent" or a "freedom fighter" or a "martyr" when that is the total opposite of the truth.

Mentally defective terrorists make threats to the media if they use the correct word TERRORIST. A degenerate pig who sets off a bomb in a market has no integrity, no morals, no respect for anyone, only a drive to do what he was told for the sake of a supposed savior. No creator of the world, no creator of mankind would bless a person who indescriminately killed people at random.

Please don't buy into the word "insurgent," you would not bless a killer who desires to kill again.

Sending our troops to Iraq has certainly become a disaster. One reason for going in was a regime change, but more people are being killed every month now than when Sad-dam was in power, not that it is a reason to put him back in power, enough people have been fed feet first in the powerful blades of Belgian meat grinding machines.

Deciding what to do is an impossible task. The Kurds, the Sunnis and the Shiites all have hatred for each other and will never willingly get along and have a stable government. Iraq is not a country, it is a mish mash put together by foreign powers. Permanently dividing Iraq would not work either because the various factions would always be unhappy they did not get a bigger piece of the pie.

Other than dishonest contractors, there are no possible winners of the fighting in Iraq. Bush wanted to avenge his father's disgrace and look at the count of the dead. Two thousand Americans is much too high a price to pay for a president's revenge. Our grandchildren will be working to pay off the overwhelming debt Bush is racking up to engage in this war.

If we abruptly leave, the crazies with the biggest and best bombs becomes the winner yet the slaughter will not end. The Sunnis and the Shiites are killing each other en-masse over something important? Not really, it is all about which relative of muhammud was the proper successor.

How, without an effective and ruthless dictatorship, could you run a country composed of three groups of people who all want to kill each other? It simply cannot and will not be done. There is no possibility for Iraq to ever be peaceful. Our troops leaving Iraq would only mean more Iraqis would die sooner.

We are damned if we stay and damned if we go, there is no solution to keeping troops in Iraq.

Look at Israel, four times it was attacked and four times it won, and winning includes taking land from your enemy, there is no universal rule that says you can continually wage war and keep all the land you lost.

The Israelis were ready to give up almost every inch of land at the Camp David meetings in the interest of a lasting peace but that was not good enough and the offer was rejected. When one side follows the statement, "Kill the Christians and the Jews, there is no hope for peace, only fences and walls separating these peoples from those peoples.

There is no sense to the killing and it will never stop. There is no leaving Iraq to stop the killing and there is no staying to create a just and lasting peace. There is nothing but failure in Iraq, nothing but ongoing ethnic cleansing and that is just one part of the world where there is terror. Baring intervention from G-d himself, the killing will never cease.

( Posted by: Blondie [Member] On: June 15, 2006 )

Blondie
Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at and responding to my piece.

Doug

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 15, 2006 )

Williamhill , Viper9 et al
Doug , please excuse my butting in like this.

Williamhill and others.I see an operational problem : how can you distinguish between the extremists and the millions of moderate , substantially peace loving immigrants that the West has welcomed with open arms ,over the years.

The short answer clearly is ; it's extremely difficult ,if not well-nigh impossible ,to tell them apart.

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: June 17, 2006 )

Can't tell!
Too true.

But you can't tell between the extremist and peace-loving citizens, either.

So, in both cases, you need to take steps to prevent people from becoming extremists, and put processes in palce to deal with the aftermath when the preventative efforts fail.

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: June 18, 2006 )

Viper thanks
Once more ,with apologies to Doug..

Viper. Thank you very much for having replied. Question: just how do both sides reach out to one another , bridging the unbridgable.

For the most part , the average Easterner preceives the average Westerner as being hedonistic and depraved - very often trigger-happy ,with deeply murderous instincts.He sees a people ,to whom spurning and mocking the Gods has become second nature - who ,nevertheless, continue to be blessed with everything the Gods -or nature -could possibly bestow . A people ,whose only sacred cows are possibly Shakespeare, the Gays and Harry Potter - and of course Mammon , Bacchus and the God of Political Correctness. And last ,but certainly not the least, a people who ,when they are not bleeding him dry, are patronizing and condescending towards him .

The old saying ' East is East and West is West , and never the twain shall meet." ,has never rung more true than now.

The above is not a diatribe against the West . It is very simply a statement of perception.

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: June 18, 2006 )

Doug Lee Grant


The amazing diversity of opinion expressed above without retribution (except for that one guy who may have called a fatwa upon his head- join the club, buddy) illustrates the great freedom of expression stil existent in the USA (but I've decided to use a pseudonym on my library card- one cannot take too much for Grant-ed or Lee-way).

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: June 19, 2006 )

RKJT
I agree with you 100%.

Doug

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 19, 2006 )

drsoos, viper9, and RJKT
Tough questions indeed! There seem to be no simple answers in regards to how to move the world from hate and killing towards one of love and forgiveness. Sometimes, even in my own self, I find "the two" at war with one another, and I am sure that most others have a similar problem containing the forces of evil within....... much less those from without.

Oh well...........

( Posted by: dougsoderstrom [Member] On: June 19, 2006 )

Holy crap
This thing's been visited 603 times! I gotta start writing things like this!

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: June 19, 2006 )

Doug, Viper9 at al
Gentlemen

If only there were more enlightened men and women like yourselves , we might yet rise above the narrow -mindedness , bigotry and the creed of inherent Aryan supremacy that remains rife in the West .

Failing this , the day perhaps is not far off , when the West , declaring open season on the 'untermenschen', arms to the teeth and lets loose its mass -shooters , serial-killers and their ilk on the nether regions of the earth - to kill ,with perfect impunity ,to their hearts' content.

The orgy of blood -letting that ensues, would make the all the massacres of My Lai and Haditha put together - to say nothing of the Crusader cannibalism at Maarrat al Numan - seem like an innocent , angelic Teddy Bears' picnic. And ,as Enoch Powell once famously observed ' vast rivers of blood would flow ' .

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: June 20, 2006 )





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