Come Home To America, We Shall Overcome

From my Facebook posting, 28 August, 2014

https://www.facebook.com/bull.sullivan

“What’s on your mind?”

BULL Wrote:     What’s on my mind this morning?

…An American soldier, a Major, a physician, who gunned down his fellow soldiers, his patients, without remorse, In the Name of Allah.

The Gaza Strip, where Hamas murdered nearly two thousand women and children, using them as human shields, in the Name of Allah!

An American Journalist, kneeling in the sand, his head severed from his body, In the Name of Allah, as another journalist, was earlier beheaded in the same manner, In the Name of Allah!

Images of Christian children crucified, mothers tortured and raped in front of their husbands and children, young girls violated in unimaginable ways, fathers lined up and machine-gunned, their twisted bloody bodies falling into a trench, In the name of Allah!

Young American males, immigrants and home-grown, following the flag of ISIL into battle, and in death being acclaimed martyrs by Muslims proclaiming: We shall conquer the world, In the Name of Allah!

But that’s not what really sticks in my craw…

What about those American Icons whose “Street Creed” has influenced several generations of American youth, and who follow and preach the teachings of the Koran, in the Name of Allah!

I’m talking about you, Cassius Clay, draft dodging pacifist, convert to Islam, Muhammad Ali, what have you to say?

And you, Lew Alcindor, outspoken on so many topics, obviously intelligent, what is your opinion of your prophet’s disciples… after all, they are only doing exactly the same things that Mohammed did, and his extended family did for centuries, conquering in the Name of Allah! So Kareem Abdul Jabbar, cat got your tongue?

And who is leading the Nation of Islam now, Wallace Dodd Ford? Another race baiting Caucasian hating Negro with a made up Muslim name? Are your mosques tempting the “Kids in the Hood” with stories of conquest, pillage and rape? Are your Imams preaching blind obedience, manly patriarchal hegemony, jihad and its seventy virgins, and the eventual fall of “White” Western Civilization?

And all you African-American Christian preachers, you, Jesse Jackson; you, Al Sharpton; you, Andrew Young; all ordained in the Blood of Christ, but unwilling to condemn other African-Americans for their silence in this murderous jihad, unwilling to condemn our President for his false beliefs and seditious bloviations because his skin is vaguely the same color as yours.

And what is the story of the silenced mouths of Dr. King’s Children? Where is his namesake, Martin Junior’s voice, where is Martin’s brother Dexter’s opinion, he a Hollywood producer; and for God’s sake, can Bernice, an ordained Christian Minister, stand by the Cross mute?

Where are his disciples? John Lewis, are you afraid of betraying your “race?” How about sinning against the One True God, and ignoring the teaching of His Son, Jesus Christ. Surely you know far better than I that Dr. King would condemn this madness.

I have read so many quotes by Negro ministers of the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer… Did all of you miss his point? Your silence condemns you, your Witness fails the test before God; your courage has left you, you who stood up to dogs, hoses, bombs, brutality, vicious ill-bred white trash, and triumphed in the name of Jesus, overcoming in the Name of Christ and Peace. Do you not see the same Satan in Islam as Bonhoeffer saw in Nazi’s?

Come back to America, Lew and Cassius, we are a Christian people; you are the children of Christians. If we failed to offer equality to all persons, if we failed to be perfect, are we not Fourteen Hundred Years better than the butchery and hatred that hides behind the veil of a prophet’s teaching? Is our “truth” not better than the deceit that fills the pages of Mohammed’s novel, sweetly mixed with the sentiments and teaching of the Christian Bible, which nowhere teaches subjugation, holy war, and depravity. Our Holy Book, the Word of God, begins in Eden, and ends in Forgiveness, as Doctor King knew and believed, and John Lewis knows, and Andrew Young knows, and yes, even as the Reverend Al Sharpton knows…

Come Home to America, to an imperfect people, not a place called America, but to the American people, earnestly seeking God’s grace to lead us, and following the teaching of Jesus Christ to guide us, and anointed by the Gift of the Holy Spirit to enable us to be better, not perfect, but always better men, women and children. God Bless Americans, each and every one of us.

JAMES:      Your diatribe seems to conveniently overlook the fact that since the time of Constantine the worst atrocities in human history were committed by Caucasian Christians from Germany. Over 90 percent identified themselves as so-called Christians and either participated in or stood by as millions were loaded into gas chambers. So no one has exclusivity in this world on moral superiority-least of all white Christians. Anyone who has seriously read the bible, the Koran and the Gospel of Buddha knows that ” Thou Shalt Not Kill” is a sentiment frequently ignored by many who consider themselves Christians, Jews and Muslims even though it is a basic tenet of all three religions. Love your Brother as Yourself is the basic message of Jesus and I sincerely wish to hear more of that and less hate-speech all around – more peace, love and tolerance –  Recognize that there are many paths to the same goals of spiritual advancement and awareness.

BULL:      James, my diatribe? Surely you jest. If I am forceful, so be it, but bitter? My first five paragraphs related accurate and factual data regarding the behavior of radical Islamists in the world today.

I next listed the name of prominent American cultural icons who, in my opinion, have contributed to the alienation of young African-American men from acceptance of the socioeconomic and cultural mores of contemporary American Culture. No rational or patriotic American would willingly convert to Islam, only those so deluded by fanatic fantasies of salvation through false prophets and who are unwilling to accept the sacrifices necessary to achieve social and cultural parity. I do not recall any of the disciples of the Nation of Islam preaching brotherhood and equality, nor participating in any meaningful way in the struggle for Civil Rights, 1890 to 2014, either financially, or substantively through participation, plea, or preaching. I consider our fellow Buckhead Native Taylor Branch’s Trilogy on the life of our fellow Atlantan, Martin Luther King, as an important and accessible source of history on who was, and wasn’t, invested in the modern Civil Rights movement, I suggest that your reading start there.

Since the time of Constantine, the worst atrocities were committed by Caucasian Christians from Germany? It is hard to argue against your heartfelt emotion, and I in no way minimize the horror of the Final Solution, but your diatribe, see at last the definition of that word, your diatribe is inexact and hyperbolic to a fault. Do ninety percent of Germans consider themselves Christians? Perhaps in 1930, certainly not now. Is the myth of the Aryan Race or Culture, glorified by Nietzsche and Wagner (a fellow musician of yours, is he not), exploited by Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels, accepted by a majority of the German people, complicit in the crime against humanity called the Holocaust? Without doubt! I am perhaps more familiar than you about German atrocities in WWII, and I am more familiar than you with the repulsion that many Germans felt regarding the behavior of the German State. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Christian Reform Rite Minister was one of several hundred thousand Germans who paid with their blood for opposing the Nazi Government.

I would appreciate reading your opinion on the complicity of Churchill and Roosevelt, and Pope Pius XII, as well as thousands of other Allied War Planners who are revealed by historical documents to have been aware of the mass extermination of the Eastern European Jews by Nazi Germany. In fact, many Europeans predicted the coming horror even well before 1938’s “die Kristallnacht,” although no one considered that it would be as unremitting a horror as it came to be.

As to the weight of the number of deaths of the genocide of the Germans, how does one weigh lives against lives? Stalin had already murdered millions in his purges, millions had already been murdered by Japanese atrocities in Manchuria and China, and tens of millions more would die in WWII and its bloody aftermath in both Europe and Asia. And that ignores the millions upon millions of Indigenous Amerindians slain thoughtlessly killed by European-borne illnesses during the colonization of the Americas.

As to who is morally superior to all other humans, I would refer you to the Son of Man, a Jew, a Carpenter, a Tanakhic Scholar of the early first century, 3 BCE-30 CE, who I and other Christians believe is the Son of God. He was called Jesus. Others deny this fact, always at their own peril.

I always find it somewhat pathetic that the Koran, no less a Delusion of Grandeur than the Book of Mormon, and frankly less entertaining ( I like fiction,) is cited always along with Buddha as a source of inspiration and moral guidance. And I must correct you, the basic tenet, or Article of Faith of the Christian sect of Judaism is, from the mouth of Jesus, The First and Great Commandment: TO LOVE GOD with our whole heart, and with our whole soul, and with our whole mind. That’s what always must come first to a Christian, and should come first to a Jew. And here let me share a secret of our Sect with you, Love can not exist in the flesh, without obedience. Had the people of the ancient state of Israel, God’s chosen people, the twelve tribes of the Promised Land done so, loved God above all else, and obeyed the commands and laws and judgments of God, we would all live in a much better world.

As a Sinner, a Profligate and a Priest, I will agree there are many earthly paths to pleasure, to gratification, to power, to human peace and fulfillment. I have enjoyed the some of the pleasures of these paths, and it is good there is pleasure, such as we most often understand the term, in the many paths of which you write. For it is certain that at the end of all these many earthly paths, these earthly pleasures, there is only the yawning grave, the darkness of the pit, the forgettable nature of all your earthly accomplishments; the silent, sorrowful passing into oblivion of what once was, and is no more.

There are only two Eternal paths, one for God’s Chosen People, the Mosaic Law,
another for those who faithfully follow the Way of Jesus Christ. Our Christian Faith is enriched by the Law, by Judaism, but central to both paths is a clear understanding of God’s Will, and the true nature of “Goodness” in the world, that: “Only God is Good, when we do Good, we do God’s Good.” All else is human self-interest, spiritual folly!

Intolerance? Never! No, I have a profound sadness, sorrow, for those who will be eternally forgotten. I so desire to do God’s Will, to bring others to their Eternal Father’s love, but how can I do that by lying to them? If what I know to be the Truth offends others, should I not offend them in the hope of their redemption? I demand no less of others than I believe God demands of me, I must seek the Will of the Father, and obey it. Everything else is flesh, and corrupt. I have no concept of how God rewards or punishes those who are ignorant of His being. I have a much clearer understanding of how those who ignore Him are fated by their hubris.

JAMES:      Bull, I can appreciate your passion and your erudition, however your claim to follow the one and only correct path to salvation is the root of your problem and in a greater sense the true cause of most of the insanity in the world today motivated by religious fervor be it Christian , Jewish , Muslim, Hindi or Buddhist. When you are blinded by self-righteous religious fervor you can not or will not acknowledge that in every part of the world there has emerged great teachers and profound teachings regarding the nature of our universe. For me, raised in the Jewish tradition one great tragedy is the misunderstanding of one of the most profound Jewish Rabbis and teachers in history –  Yeshuah Ben Yusef – the one you call Jesus Christ. The King James version of the New Testament is full of willful distortions of the real Gospel. By the time Aramaic was translated into Hebrew,Greek,Latin and then English – many portions of his story were left out or so distorted that the message has been sadly misinterpreted by most so-called Christians since the Council of Nicaea. The Essene, Akashic and other contemporaneous writings are closer to the fact not the “fiction” of his life. For me, having just yesterday reread Matthew, Mark and Luke the saddest truth is the very Jewishness of Jesus and all his disciples is completely distorted while his profound teachings are ignored or dismissed by most modern Jews. He was , simply the most influential Jewish Rabbi in history –  and the real essence of his message is Love. One Love! One God! One People. God’s people. The most useful interpretations of spirituality, to me, are those that unite, not divide all people. Where some preaching is divisive such as yours Bull – others like Gandhi, MLK, Mandela, Hazrat Inayat Khan , Bob Marley are unifiers of all people all faiths and urging folks to do the RIGHT thing and LOVE one another. That’s all. The rest is rhetoric.

BULL:        I respect your opinion, James, but I profoundly disagree with it. The true cause of most of the insanity in the world is the failure to follow the one and only correct path to salvation: Obedience to The Law of Moses, and or obedience to the teaching of Yeshuah, Messiah and Son of God.

All else is folly, hubris, and foolishness. It is possible to live a life of peace in harmony with oneself and others without knowledge of He who calls himself “I AM THAT I AM” or the teaching of His Son, Jesus. It is not possible to gain eternal salvation.

While I agree with the desire to see the historical Jesus in context with his time and people, it is in no way necessary for salvation. As to your point of modern scholarship and the adherence of various translations of Holy Scripture to the Word of God, I believe that the Paraclete inspires all who will listen to the meaning and purpose of God’s Revelation, The Word of God, in their lives.

I find comfort in the language of the King James Version of the Holy Bible, for it is written in the language of my colonial ancestors, Jamestown 1607, just as I find pleasure in my readings from The Jewish Bible, an authoritative translation, from Hebrew to English by a contemporary Jewish scholar living in the Modern State of Israel. In fact, I have yet to read any translation of the Canon that was not in some way inspiring.

I know for a fact that God Almighty, The Father and the Son, spoke every word of the Canon, and moved the hands of the prophets and disciples who recorded those words across the paper, and that the Holy Ghost inspires our understanding of those words, our desire of their meaning and our need of God’s Word in our lives. God’s greatest non-divine gift to humanity, Volition, free will, determines our response to His Word, our acceptance of His Word, and ultimately, our Salvation derived from obedience to His Word.

Divisive? Perhaps, but then I don’t want to be like you, and think what you think, nor, I suppose, do you want to be like me. I find less Divine Inspiration in the works of the personalities you cited, save Dr. King, than I do in the documents which our Founding Fathers, many of the sinners and slaveholders, authored.

The legacy of those Colonial Christians is a system of governance much like the time of Judges, with equality and harmony under the Law, and a people firmly guided by obedience to God’s Law. It appears what you admire in those persons you cite is rather like the world before Noah, when men raised themselves a tower of conformity and sought equanimity in and of themselves.

Have you ever wondered why God chose Abram? Or is he just another myth to you? Did Abram become Abraham by deceit; is your God the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Did Moses spend forty days atop Mount Sinai, did Yahweh give him the Commandments, or did he fashion a fantasy so he might conquer Canaan? Did YWHW exist, does he now exist? Was David delusional, are the Psalms the raving of a psychotic if not musical mind? Did Shlomo rule from the Red Sea to the Euphrates? Was Yeshuah the Son of man and the Son of God? Or was Jesus just a really nice Jew who believed the teachings of the Tanakh, preached them, and then planned an elaborate “exit” deception to fool not only his persecutors but his disciples, later sailing to the New World with his wife, Mary Magdalene?

What do you believe, other than what seems obvious, “love is all there is…” I don’t mock you, tell me, are our Judeo-Christian beliefs either true or false? Or perhaps they are unnecessary? Is God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob real, or not?

I would like to understand how you think, and what you believe. Perhaps we might have coffee sometime…

JAMES:      As long as we can agree in The Truth and acting with Compassion towards all humans we essentially have no disagreement. When you willfully choose to distort the Truth and say things such the deaths of 2000 people in Gaza as solely caused by Hamas , we will continue to discuss the facts until we can agree on what is true. The Fact is the the deaths of over 2000 individuals in Gaza wad caused by the blatant disregard for human life by both the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas. It was a massacre that also resulted in the deaths of over 60 Israeli soldier. Similar, IMHO to the massacre of Lakota Sioux at Wounded Knee by our U.S. Army. I am all for America when we are being righteous but have opposed our involvement in unnecessary bloody conflicts in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and other places in the world. I GET THAT YOU ARE A PROUD WHITE CHRISTIAN AMERICAN. Now look in the mirror and ask yourself if you have done anything to give food, clothing or shelter to any other human beings on this planet. If the answer is affirmative then your thoughts, words and actions are truly Christian. If not , I hope to see you soon at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity or the Salvation Army as a volunteer to actualize your beliefs. Then we have a basis for a real dialog.

JAMES:     There is no god of the Christians and the Jews, only the one living Creator of All and All Creation. The Truth!

JAMES:      Bull- you seem like a very intelligent and knowledgeable person –  I would love to sit down with anytime, anywhere and have a real face-to face conversation about ways we can improve the status quo!

JAMES:      Incidentally my Hebrew name AND the names of both of my grandfathers decorated lieutenants in the Austrian army in WWI, and victims of WWII, is Yaakov Ben Avram Yitzak. Like Jesus I am descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The actual true translation of Yahweh or Jehovah is The Name that Should not Be Spoken – doing so trivializes and anthropomorphizes the visualization of the Creator of the Universe.

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