Religion on the Lam

Got something to hide?  Then the best advice would be to stay out of sight and earshot.   Privacy and openness are important parts of the same roadway.  Couples struggle to define the boundaries of the private and the public.  Countries are usually at a loss to explain their flips and their flops.  Why is this?  All the whole constructs of human progress and stability have begun to fsall apart because people are demanding answers and personal participation.  While governments seem to have the ball in their court they have rather poor records of being open and transparent.

This is why Christian services are wide open events.  Our teachings  are very public.  Anyone is welcome.  Islam has recently begun proselytizing using the media, but Judaism remains secretive and self-centred.  That may be by divine design, since interest in Judaism has always been negligent, and Islam’s millions are a function of societal coercion.    Islam and Judaism have converted few.  There are no throngs of Canadian people, young or old,  joining Islam or Judaism.

Religion has gotten a bad name  and some retreat or defence is now inevitable.  A recent (early 2011) BBC documentary skillfully traced the source and content of grade school education for Muslims in the United Kingdom back to the Saudi Government.  The funding, and content were confirmed to be Saudi.  When confronted with this information the Saudi embassy denied the connection.  What was not clear was why the UK government was not aware of the criminal content on the curriculum.  Undisguised hatred and myths about non-Muslims were the prominent features of the textbooks.

Hatred is acknowledged by most humans as unacceptable but when hate is made to appear as a virtue someone had better start bringing out the handcuffs.  While some western governments have enacted legislation against hateful speech the perception is that only Christians are guilty and only Jews are the victims.

The BBC documentary brings to light the shocking lengths to which Islamic leaders have gone to cover up the fact that Islam has some fatal flaws when it comes to neighbourliness and respect for human rights.  Most of us in Canada do not have Muslim friends, but we share workspace with men and women who are evidently sociable and decent.  The CBC  sitcom “Little Mosque on the Prairie” has probably convinced many Canadians that Muslims are (already) integrated into Canadian society, but along with Muslim-Canadian silence on the escalating violence against innocent people in Islamic republics the possibility that Canadians children are being taught to hate, shun, and discriminate against any one who is not a Muslim is a cause for concern.  This would be criminal behaviour and should be recognized by Muslims as immoral.  But alas,  there seem to be few Muslim heads in that space.

Before bringing out the handcuffs, Canadian education authorities need to take a close look at Jewish and Muslim currricula and warn Canadians about the dangers lurking in both school, mosque and synangogue.

There ought to be no shock here.  Jewish foundations are based on the demise of the Egyptians, destruction  of Canaanite cities, and despising Gentiles.  Bigotry is never far away, but religion does not have to be on the run.  Christianity has always urged Canadian society to open doors to everyone, even though somewhat slowly and reluctantly.  Religious Jews and Muslims are mortal threats to the kinds of freedoms everyone claims to cherish.  So is this a time for the investigations? Is this a time for deportations to begin?  Let the religions that thrive on hate run, all the way back to their homes.

Vocal and Radical People

The capture and demise of Osama Bin Laden has created ripples and tsunamis, often in the same place.   The only voice that has registered on the global radar is Pakistani.  People should not forget that Bin Laden, not unlike like the Jewish champions (Ezra, Samson) and other actors, militated for purging the acknowledged centre of Islam of western (foreign) influence and contamination.

Pakistani voices are decidedly not apologetic.  All powerbrokers in Pakistani have been implicated in harbouring the 10 year fugitive, and their remonstrations about US violation of their sovereignty are never going to find an answer.  If the loudest and most obvious speakers are really Muslim, the cat is out of the bag.

Lifeless Activism

I am beginning to put a little more confidence in ancient sayings, commonly called proverbs, adages or generally labelled as “wisdom literature”.  One saying that recently was thrust into my conscience was “There is nothing new under the sun”.  Popular interpretations of this adage run along the lines of “everything that is happening has happened before”,  “new inventions are not unprecedented”, etc.   This line of thinking was probably behind the sage’s saying “All is vanity”, but in the modern age people like to think that they are pioneering in every field of human endeavour.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Humans are waxing worse and worse, even while claiming to be activists for the nobler ideals.

Development is technlogy are questionable as new with regular discoveries of ancient cultures and their truly fantastic inventions.  Did ancient man have flying machines and powered vehicles?  The jury is still out.

The moral ills and debates about evil are certainly not new.  Did ancient man have debates about imperialism, capitalism, homosexuality, clean water for all, protection of the vulnerable (widows, orphans, foreigners, old and young women and girls)?  It is hard not to notice that there certainly were more than debates.  Destruction has visited many cultures over the millenia and  those cultures that have not addressed these issues are paying the price with mounting unrest and calls for reform.

Where are today’s activists for the perennial concverns of human survival and progress?  They are locked in clique-ish caucuses, conspiring against the masses, denying their colleagues what they fight for most valiantly for themselves.  They sneak and hide to pile up evidence to convict their closest allies.  They unleash increasingly vicious attacks on ther fellowman.  They see the world through the tinted glasses of their ancestors without a thought of taking the gains to the next level.  They claim to have the right to first place in everything and refuse to acknowledge their equals.  Such is the world of activism.

Whole nations are in the grip of unspeakable vanity and atricities.  Recently the Canadian people voted into power a party whose leader was twice found in contempt of parliament.  The Israeli PM goes to Washington to ridicule the US government’s call for a just resolution of the Palestrinian Problem.  So-called Islamic states are mired in 13 centuries  of religious revision of ancient wisdom while their people cry for the one thing that every hiuman has the right to: freedom.  Who is applauding today’s actors and activists?

It seems that activism has become focused on a club mentality, where monetary gain has trumped service.  Activists regularly circle the wagons and array themselves to deny others a chance to achieve and contribute.  To fit in with today’s activists, one has to simply admire and commend the activist who have been on the scene for decades or face exclusion and harassment.

There is no maxim or constitution that has ever transformed human attitudes.  In fact creeds, and vision statements are usually a cover for dastardly endeavours.  People can recite or read their  mottos and creeds, and these types of activist have failed to make a lasting dent on their communities.  The use of sound bytes is equally futile.  This generation needs to be be re-educated on what the real gains of our forebears have been, and then to commit to furthering the cause in the widest sense possible.

We have reached the river of no return.  Every day, lies are being exposed with absolutely certainty.  Many activists are “walking dead”, holding forth nothing more than mob-rule, bullying and twisted rhetoric.  Today’s activism needs a life: life rooted in reality, and aimed at a new reality.  Would it be too much to ask if activism is not something more than  tribal, religious, racial, political and patriotic self-aggrandizement? Let us ask the corporate organizations – churches, synagogues, mosques, unions,  and political parties –  the answer will invariably reveal a lost and lifeless activism.

The Real Colours of Civic Society

Behind the rising of cries for freedom in the Middle East and Africa is a centuries-old denial of reality.   Many societies have hidden behind layers of xenophobia and puritanical elitism, until now.  Self-determination is not  a game for anyone, least of all, religious extremists.  The fall of Libya’s leader is indicative of the real nature of non-democratic governments.  To add to the outrage felt by observers across the globe at the denial of the right to protest, the African Union is joining the cry to save the Libyan regime from the well-deserved thumping that is in the cards for every murderous regime.  The UN Security Council vote that gave life to Resolution 1973 is a beacon for the exposure of the real colours of civic society.

The world waits to see how many more despots (Africa has its share!) will come under the gaze of the international communty, but no-one should be holding his/her breath.  It could be a long time before the brats and thugs  of Africa get their kick at the can.  They will, eventually, learn that brutality has its judgment: you cannot use force to intimidate popular protest.

Canada and the western nations have their judgment coming too for behaviour like the police actions during the recent G20 conference held in Toronto.  Racism and hatred are still the fuel for a lot of what is problematic in the world, and while people are waiting in line to line their pockets with the proceeds of economic manipulation, the basic rights and needs of people are being swept under the rug.

The path to an acceptable level of human rights realization is hampered by the fact that the UN’s Human Rights council is dominated by states that routinely violate human rights. The fox is guarding the hen-house!  Does anyone expect the Human Rights table to suffer mass resignation?  Sorting out the colours of civic society will take a lot of character and courage.