Friday, May 16, 2008

Of all places - in the bathroom of a major bookstore!

Ignorance Cuts Both Ways
Originally uploaded by namroff
That's O.K. 'cause I have a t-shirt that says:
So many right-wing Christians
So few lions

Religion created homophobia

Yes it did.

Religion also created "lepers" "heathens" "pagans" Today's religious oraganizations (not all but most) desperately need someone or something to hate. The most hateful of intolerances is religious intolerance. While they have enough hatred amongst themselves, it's not enough for them. How would you be treated by a "Christian" if you were a gay Muslim with AIDS?

Watch this blog for a seering post on the topic of homophobia - within several hours!

Evidently the Bible Doesn't Teach Anyone The Difference Between Diplomacy and Appeasement

He was not a diplomat ...* Neither is he ...* Nor is he...*

And CERTAINLY not he!

If God Didn't Bother With Diplomacy
Why Should We?

Yesterday, George Bush delivered a speech at the Knesset in Jerusalem and implied that the offer of diplomacy by Barack Obama was tantamount to appeasement - the same appeasement that allowed Nazi Germany to grow in strength before the Second World War.

For George Bush's sake, let's take a more "spiritual" look at "appeasement":

Because the blood of bulls and goats can never take away sin (Heb 10:4), the wrath of God was never appeased in the Old Testament - thus, God passed over the sins committed in the Old Testament until Christ. (

So Christ was the only real appeasement to God and before Christ a lot of the animal sacrifices requested by God didn't really count for much. This is probably Bible conundrum #45,652: why would God request sacrifices that didn't please (appease) Him? And how could man bargain or be diplomatic with a god who couldn't be appeased? Of course, throughout the Bible, man does try to be diplomatic with God "You cannot bargain with God!" say the Fundamentalists, but isn't that exactly what Abraham did to save Lot, or did they skip over that part in Sunday School? More precisely, people negotiated with God throughout the Bible. People tried to be, in a sense, diplomatic with God.

So God is the only entity that can be appeased, we get it. But is appeasement the same as diplomacy? Appeasement is simply giving (in) while diplomacy is giving and taking. Probably history's greatest act of "appeasement" was committed by Sir Neville Chamberlain. It is, in fact, Chamberlain's actions that Bush alluded to (though he didn't know it - his speechwriter obviously did).

"Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," Bush said. "As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history," he said.

Chamberlain (before the agreement to hand over to Germany Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland):

"How horrible, fantastic it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing. I am myself a man of peace from the depths of my soul."

Chamberlain's reasoning on this point was as faulty as Bush's: "...people of whom we know nothing." To Chamberlain, appeasement to "people of whom we know nothing" was diplomacy. Howevever, true diplomacy is based on knowing as much as possible about every party involved. Chamberlain probably knew that, but he tried to present his actions as diplomatic - not caring if those actions hurt anyone else outside of Great Britain. Granted, Bush went into war not knowing anything about Iraq, Iran, Islam or anything relating to the Middle East. His actions for seven years have been anything but diplomatic. Of course, his "legacy" now demands that he act like a diplomat, but his actions are worse than transparent, their negligible, and quite possibly damaging.

His rhetoric is certainly getting worse: he's saying to Islamists all over the world: "You're beyond reasoning with (diplomacy). You're evil. If you don't do exactly as we want you to, we'll destroy you. Our holy men have said that our country was formed to destroy you, and we will."

For a sample of overtly anti-Islamic rhetoric go to the right-wing blog, Facta Non Verba here
This is the kind of "reasoning" Bush ascribes to.

Forms of diplomacy change over the years. When Marie Antoinette married the future Louis XVI, that was considered diplomacy. Back then, diplomacy was considered an art form.

It still is.

George Bush doesn't know that.

*The three men featured (left to right) are: Neville Chamberlain, "Pastor" John Hagee and ...take a guess (hint: rhymes with "arsley")

Aping Churchill

Aping Churchill
Originally uploaded by robbroccoli

I just ran across this and it seemed so apt to the post. Again, Bush and diplomacy have never even met. The pitiful thing is that he might actually start to believe his own rhetoric. What's the old saying about snake oil salesmen?

Churchill was a statesman. Bush is a politician. Who would you rather have representing your country?