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Most of my posts seem to be about music or politics. Some of them are funny. But all of them would love to hear a comment from you.

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I was born at a relatively young age. Growing up consumed the better part of my childhood. As a young man I chased a lot of girls. But they kept getting away. Then I got older and even slower, so I got married. I've lived in New York City almost since before I moved here. I summer in Manhattan, which is like New York City, but with more humidity.

Here's me, without baby, thinking big thoughts. (Actually, what I'm thinking is, "Hey, these aren't Pringles!") I think I look better with baby.


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Thus Spake Me: March 10, 2006
Friday, March 10, 2006
(God's column appears in this space every Friday.)

Zealots from different religions are far more like each other than they are like moderates from their own religions. So it is interesting to see the East-versus-West square-off going on right now on Earth, the Muslim world versus what may best be described as the Christian West. Interesting, because the ideologues on the western Religious Right are so convinced that they are “right” and the Muslim extremists are “wrong”… when in fact extremism is all of a piece. Ideologically, it isn't east versus west; it is old versus new.

This video clip (how’s that? A link from a Supreme Being!) from Arab television depicts talking heads playing out the conflict within contemporary Islam; the primitive literalist versus the modern and moderate (and tolerant.) The woman making the case for a reasonable, moderate Islam does a nice job; one wonders where the corresponding viewpoint is in the American, western debate. At one point the Muslim cleric asks her if she is a heretic; surely she is, and his logic is that there is no point rebutting a heretic. In other words, if you don’t agree with his world view, there is no point in engaging you in a discussion. He looks and sounds a lot like the defenders of Literalist Christianity in the west; if you don’t believe the bible word-for-word, how can you be taken seriously?

I think by now you know where We come out on literalism.

You in the west tend to assume your Religious Right is less extreme than the Muslim Religious Right, because they don’t engage in systematic terrorism against unbelievers (or do they?) But the cultural contexts are very different; perhaps if there was a greater collective desperation in the west, the extremists on the religious fringes would get very violent and very organized. It is already there, there, bubbling just beneath the surface; the moral certitude, the raw zeal. With the right circumstances as catalyst, terrible things could ensue; you humans have been invoking My name to justify your atrocities for thousands of years already.

In both east and west, there is a battle raging for the hearts and souls of men and women. It is the battle of the modernists versus the literalists. Those who would limit knowledge to a single book, versus those who would find knowledge in many books. And the future of your civilizations lie in the balance.

Pick a side. Choose wisely.

Posted by: --josh-- @ 4:14 PM  


1 Comments:
At 3/14/2006 7:46 AM, Anonymous raven said...   

Thank you!! I'm glad I'm not the only one to think that Christian Fundamentalists aren't any better than Muslim ones (and to know that God agrees with me---wow!). Christians have been quick to kill in your name for centuries. How is that any different than what the Muslims are doing?


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