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Is God Male? June 16, 2006

Posted by June in Artist Thinker Articles, Christianity, Philosophy, Religion.
3 comments

The most recent comment to my blog got me really thinking about something: Is God male?

I remember hearing people say that angels have no gender because they are spiritual beings who don't need one. I don't remember what the reasons for that are; but that made me wonder why God would need a gender.

It's true that God is called Father and Son; but are those gender designations or role descriptions?

To presume that God is male is to presume that God is somehow incomplete:

1 Corinthians 11:11-12
11
In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.

Men are only one half of the puzzle. Women are the other half.

Genesis 2:18
18
The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

One definite indication that God has no gender is these verses.

Genesis 1:26-28
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Genesis 5:1-2
1 This is the written account of Adam's line. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them "man."

It is interesting to note that "adam" is the Hebrew word for "man".
Well, as you can see in these verses, God says the He will make man in His own image, in His likeness; yet goes on to say that "man" is both male and female together. This fact is made abundantly clear in Genesis 5 where it says that God created them male and female and called them "man".

Take particulate note of verse 27 in the first chapter, which says,"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

It goes from singular to plural yet still being the same creature. This is also done in the fifth chapter which, as you can see, also goes from singular to plural while still referring to one being.

So what does this mean? Well, if you believe in the Trinity, the meaning becomes quite clear. If you look up at the verses from the first chapter that I have posted there, you will see that God refers to Himself as "we" and "us" and "our". This plurality is made even more apparent in the original Hebrew version, which, apparently, uses the plural form "elohim", meaning "gods" in English. Yet this plural form is used in a singular format.

Man was made in the likeness of God in that they were two separate beings yet one flesh, one person.

So why is this significant to determining the gender of God? Well, if God the Father and God the Son were both male (The Holy Spirit is more of an intangible being that seems to mostly do the bidding of the Father and the Son. This is made more firmly apparent by calling him the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost, using earthly terms that we understand.), then the image is imperfect. One of the two was represented imperfectly.

BUT, if God has no gender but rather the terms "Father" and "Son" are used to give us a picture of what role God has in our life using earthly terms that we understand, then gender would not matter in this picture, in this image of God. All that would matter is that the two be separate beings of one flesh, one person, which they were.

Genesis 2:21-24
21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

So why is God referred to as a "he"? Well, the angels are also referred to as "he". The word "he" doubles as a neutral term for both genders.

So why was Jesus, who was God the Son, a man? Well, there are various reasons why Jesus came down as a man. One would be that, at that time period, sons were viewed as equal with the father but not daughters.

John 5:18
For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Another would be that Jesus had to come down as a man to atone for the sins of Adam, whom the woman is a part of. Take note, Jesus was born of Mary, a woman, but not of any earthly man. This means that Jesus lacks the Y-chromosome from an earthly man that is only passed down from father to son; but this does mean that Jesus had Eve's mtDNA, which is only passed down through the mother. Does this mean that Jesus did not descend from Adam? No, because Eve is Adam. Thus, God's promise to Eve that her offspring would "crush the head of the snake" was fulfilled, for Jesus was the only man ever to be born of only an earthly woman.

Another reason would be that no one would take a woman seriously.

Another reason would be to give the perfect picture of the church being Jesus' bride for whom He died for and whom He is the head of. A man, the head of the house, is supposed to lay down his life for his wife, not the other way around.

Ephesians 5:25
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

If God was male just because Jesus came down as a man, then God is also a bush since God appeared as a burning bush to Moses. God is also a pillar of fire and a cloud, which God appeared to the Israelites as. The Holy Spirit is actually a dove since that is how the Spirit materialized at Jesus' baptism.

But the most definitive piece of evidence is this:

Philippians 2:4-11
4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

That clearly states that Jesus came in the likeness of a human and was found to be in the appearance as a man.
Now stop right there. Genesis says that man was created in the image of God. If that meant that man looked like God, then God would not have to make Himself look like a human and God would not have to make Himself look like a man because God would already have the appearance of a man. That is more proof that when God refers to "image" He is referring to the fact that Adam and Eve are two yet one and more proof that God is not male.
Jesus was a man, not by nature but by form. His blood could be shed for man to atone for our sins because it was the blood of a man but it was the soul of God, who is perfect.

The New Racism May 3, 2006

Posted by June in Artist Thinker Articles, Philosophy, Politics, Racism.
6 comments

I was going to do a piece on illegal immigration; but in light of Mr. Steele's column that I have posted here and that was featured on Rush, I am going to focus on something that has bothered me for some time. Racism.

We all know about white racism. It's been portrayed a thousand times in so many ways from books to movies to political speeches; but do we really recognize the new racism that has built itself on the remnants of the old? Do we see the discrimination? Do we see the hate?

No, I'm not talking about Neo-Nazis. I'm talking about the modern racism of minorities against white people. I'm talking about the fact that a white cop is branded as racist if he stops one too many blacks, while a black cop can do what he wants with whites. I'm talking about Hispanics who are deemed the victims of whites when they are the ones breaking the law. I'm talking about hate crime legislation, which consistently applies exclusively to crimes committed by white people against minorities creating the assumption that the murder of a minority by a white is somehow more wrong than the murder of a white by a minority. I'm talking about affirmative action that discriminates against whites and even Chinese, who are in no way a majority. I'm talking about the fact that whites were blamed for what happened to New Orleans even though whites suffered as well and even though whites from all across the country pitched in to help.

It's there. That racism is there; but we are unwilling to see it. We need to recognize it and deal with it.
When are we going to stop blaming the sons for the sins of the father? A majority of blacks proclaim themselves to be Christians, and a majority of Hispanics claim to be Catholic.

So why do we ignore such verses as:
1. Ezekiel 18:10-20
". . . 20 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him."

2. Matthew 6:14-15
"14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

3. Luke 17:3-4
"3 So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him." "

It's annoying to be harrassed, sure. It seems that recently people have started branding us. This past winter my brother was ordered out of a movie theater by a police officer, who, by the way, was black, while he and I were saving seats for the rest of our party. The officer searched my brother's backpack and belt, which was a WWII pocket belt from an army surplus store, then confiscated the belt despite finding absolutely nothing of harm in it. What was my brother's crime? He was a slightly dark looking male with an army belt on. Boys walk around decked out in this stuff all the time; but my brother has been told that he cannot. Why? Well, likely because he looks a little Arab maybe? He's not; but he sort of looks like it to some people, I guess. To some he looks Hispanic, to others Arab, still others Chinese, and others even white… *shrug* It comes with the territory of mixed kids, I guess. People will see the pieces of you that they want to see.

By the way, I am certain that this white family sitting only a few seats away were the ones who alerted the officer and asked him to search my brother. I had noticed them staring at my brother and whispering when he walked in a little ahead of me. Plus, I noticed the same officer talking to them after he searched my brother. The worst part is that he was treated like a criminal with his belongings confiscated for no reason and did not even receive an apology. This wasn't the first time my brother has been searched; and I doubt it will be the last… The time before that a white manager had searched him.

This is all very annoying and embarrassing, as well as a violation of my brother's 4th Amendment rights; but does that mean we should blame all blacks and all whites for this? No! There are so many wonderful black and white people out there. Although there might be certain characteristics of a group of people, each person should be judged according to who that person is, not what he is.

Besides, in the end, minorities will be the ones who suffer the most. Affirmative action will get you into college; but it won't challenge you. It won't expand your abilities. It won't help you finish college.
This mindset of entitlements has done nothing to uplift the minority. You get your welfare check in the mail, sure; but you stay in your hole of poverty. You don't rise any higher. Your children don't rise any higher. Some even drop lower than you by committing crimes because the child believes he is entitled to the belongings of others who seem to be more fortunate than him.
In all of this, the minority remains bitter and hostile. It doesn't matter how much is given to him. It's never enough. So he loses out on one of the most important things in life: happiness. He barters it away for a welfare check, for moral indignation and superiority, for entitlements.

So I ask you how long we are going to ignore this? How long are we going to allow a race of people to be discriminated against?

White Guilt and the Western Past May 3, 2006

Posted by June in Around the World, Executive Branch, Liberalism, Philosophy, Politics, Racism, War on Terror.
4 comments

White Guilt and the Western Past
Why is America so delicate with the enemy?

BY SHELBY STEELE
Tuesday, May 2, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT

There is something rather odd in the way America has come to fight its wars since World War II.

For one thing, it is now unimaginable that we would use anything approaching the full measure of our military power (the nuclear option aside) in the wars we fight. And this seems only reasonable given the relative weakness of our Third World enemies in Vietnam and in the Middle East. But the fact is that we lost in Vietnam, and today, despite our vast power, we are only slogging along–if admirably–in Iraq against a hit-and-run insurgency that cannot stop us even as we seem unable to stop it. Yet no one–including, very likely, the insurgents themselves–believes that America lacks the raw power to defeat this insurgency if it wants to. So clearly it is America that determines the scale of this war. It is America, in fact, that fights so as to make a little room for an insurgency.

Certainly since Vietnam, America has increasingly practiced a policy of minimalism and restraint in war. And now this unacknowledged policy, which always makes a space for the enemy, has us in another long and rather passionless war against a weak enemy.

Why this new minimalism in war?

It began, I believe, in a late-20th-century event that transformed the world more profoundly than the collapse of communism: the world-wide collapse of white supremacy as a source of moral authority, political legitimacy and even sovereignty. This idea had organized the entire world, divided up its resources, imposed the nation-state system across the globe, and delivered the majority of the world’s population into servitude and oppression. After World War II, revolutions across the globe, from India to Algeria and from Indonesia to the American civil rights revolution, defeated the authority inherent in white supremacy, if not the idea itself. And this defeat exacted a price: the West was left stigmatized by its sins. Today, the white West–like Germany after the Nazi defeat–lives in a kind of secular penitence in which the slightest echo of past sins brings down withering condemnation. There is now a cloud over white skin where there once was unquestioned authority.

I call this white guilt not because it is a guilt of conscience but because people stigmatized with moral crimes–here racism and imperialism–lack moral authority and so act guiltily whether they feel guilt or not.

They struggle, above all else, to dissociate themselves from the past sins they are stigmatized with. When they behave in ways that invoke the memory of those sins, they must labor to prove that they have not relapsed into their group’s former sinfulness. So when America–the greatest embodiment of Western power–goes to war in Third World Iraq, it must also labor to dissociate that action from the great Western sin of imperialism. Thus, in Iraq we are in two wars, one against an insurgency and another against the past–two fronts, two victories to win, one military, the other a victory of dissociation.

The collapse of white supremacy–and the resulting white guilt–introduced a new mechanism of power into the world: stigmatization with the evil of the Western past. And this stigmatization is power because it affects the terms of legitimacy for Western nations and for their actions in the world. In Iraq, America is fighting as much for the legitimacy of its war effort as for victory in war. In fact, legitimacy may be the more important goal. If a military victory makes us look like an imperialist nation bent on occupying and raping the resources of a poor brown nation, then victory would mean less because it would have no legitimacy. Europe would scorn. Conversely, if America suffered a military loss in Iraq but in so doing dispelled the imperialist stigma, the loss would be seen as a necessary sacrifice made to restore our nation’s legitimacy. Europe’s halls of internationalism would suddenly open to us.

Because dissociation from the racist and imperialist stigma is so tied to legitimacy in this age of white guilt, America’s act of going to war can have legitimacy only if it seems to be an act of social work–something that uplifts and transforms the poor brown nation (thus dissociating us from the white exploitations of old). So our war effort in Iraq is shrouded in a new language of social work in which democracy is cast as an instrument of social transformation bringing new institutions, new relations between men and women, new ideas of individual autonomy, new and more open forms of education, new ways of overcoming poverty–war as the Great Society.

This does not mean that President Bush is insincere in his desire to bring democracy to Iraq, nor is it to say that democracy won’t ultimately be socially transformative in Iraq. It’s just that today the United States cannot go to war in the Third World simply to defeat a dangerous enemy.

White guilt makes our Third World enemies into colored victims, people whose problems–even the tyrannies they live under–were created by the historical disruptions and injustices of the white West. We must “understand” and pity our enemy even as we fight him. And, though Islamic extremism is one of the most pernicious forms of evil opportunism that has ever existed, we have felt compelled to fight it with an almost managerial minimalism that shows us to be beyond the passions of war–and thus well dissociated from the avariciousness of the white supremacist past.

Anti-Americanism, whether in Europe or on the American left, works by the mechanism of white guilt. It stigmatizes America with all the imperialistic and racist ugliness of the white Western past so that America becomes a kind of straw man, a construct of Western sin. (The Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons were the focus of such stigmatization campaigns.) Once the stigma is in place, one need only be anti-American in order to be “good,” in order to have an automatic moral legitimacy and power in relation to America. (People as seemingly disparate as President Jacques Chirac and the Rev. Al Sharpton are devoted pursuers of the moral high ground to be had in anti-Americanism.) This formula is the most dependable source of power for today’s international left. Virtue and power by mere anti-Americanism. And it is all the more appealing since, unlike real virtues, it requires no sacrifice or effort–only outrage at every slight echo of the imperialist past.

Today words like “power” and “victory” are so stigmatized with Western sin that, in many quarters, it is politically incorrect even to utter them. For the West, “might” can never be right. And victory, when won by the West against a Third World enemy, is always oppression. But, in reality, military victory is also the victory of one idea and the defeat of another. Only American victory in Iraq defeats the idea of Islamic extremism. But in today’s atmosphere of Western contrition, it is impolitic to say so.

America and the broader West are now going through a rather tender era, a time when Western societies have very little defense against the moral accusations that come from their own left wings and from those vast stretches of nonwhite humanity that were once so disregarded.

Europeans are utterly confounded by the swelling Muslim populations in their midst. America has run from its own mounting immigration problem for decades, and even today, after finally taking up the issue, our government seems entirely flummoxed. White guilt is a vacuum of moral authority visited on the present by the shames of the past. In the abstract it seems a slight thing, almost irrelevant, an unconvincing proposition. Yet a society as enormously powerful as America lacks the authority to ask its most brilliant, wealthy and superbly educated minority students to compete freely for college admission with poor whites who lack all these things. Just can’t do it.

Whether the problem is race relations, education, immigration or war, white guilt imposes so much minimalism and restraint that our worst problems tend to linger and deepen. Our leaders work within a double bind. If they do what is truly necessary to solve a problem–win a war, fix immigration–they lose legitimacy.

To maintain their legitimacy, they practice the minimalism that makes problems linger. What but minimalism is left when you are running from stigmatization as a “unilateralist cowboy”? And where is the will to truly regulate the southern border when those who ask for this are slimed as bigots? This is how white guilt defines what is possible in America. You go at a problem until you meet stigmatization, then you retreat into minimalism.

Possibly white guilt’s worst effect is that it does not permit whites–and nonwhites–to appreciate something extraordinary: the fact that whites in America, and even elsewhere in the West, have achieved a truly remarkable moral transformation. One is forbidden to speak thus, but it is simply true. There are no serious advocates of white supremacy in America today, because whites see this idea as morally repugnant. If there is still the odd white bigot out there surviving past his time, there are millions of whites who only feel goodwill toward minorities.

This is a fact that must be integrated into our public life–absorbed as new history–so that America can once again feel the moral authority to seriously tackle its most profound problems. Then, if we decide to go to war, it can be with enough ferocity to win.

Mr. Steele, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, is author, most recently, of “White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era,” published this week by HarperCollins.

God’s Will Revealed? April 13, 2006

Posted by June in Agnosticism, Artist Thinker Articles, Atheism, Christianity, Deism, Other, Philosophy, Religion.
7 comments

Last time I spoke on the existance of God and left you with a question that, hopefully, provoked some thought in you.

I suppose now you expect me to make the case for the Bible. After all, I have declared myself to be a Christian in any place I can here. But what good would that do? You won't believe it unless you open your heart and search out the truth for yourself.

Yes, I believe in Jesus and the Bible as being the Word of God. Now that I have said that, do you believe it? Or do doubts pop in your head? Maybe right now you are compiling all the lists of things you have searched out to prove the Bible wrong to yourself and are scoffing at the very idea of God giving mankind His Word and sending His Son to die for us. Maybe you will never be convinced that the Bible is anything more than a storybook. Maybe you believe that the Bible has some value but only as a book of philosophy on how to live a good life. Maybe you are one of those Christians who believes that the Bible is accurate in some areas but not in others and deem yourself as the arbiter of what is true and what is not rather than putting that right where it belongs and where assurance of accuracy can only be found, in God's hands.

The fact of the matter is that either the Bible is the Word of God, or It's a pack of lies. You have to choose one way or the other for the Bible and every document that claims to come from God. There is no middle ground. If one part of these books is a lie, then how could you possibly trust any of the rest of it?

So I am here now challenging you to seek the truth for yourself. Search where you have to search. Read some of my articles that I will later post on this subject if you wish. But I would rather you seek the truth for yourself. I have but one request: Keep an open mind about everything. EVERYTHING. This is not a game. If most of these religions are right, your soul is at stake.
What I ask of you though is to challenge, at least, some of what you have believed about the Bible's inaccuracies. Go to some Christian sources. Find their arguments on why those inaccuracies are a myth. Hold their proof up against the proof of the critics. Compare them side by side. Determine which sounds more reliable to you. If you find more questions along the way, again look for the arguments for and against what you have found. Again compare. This is my request. This is my challenge.

One thing I would like to point out, though, is something that you might find to be hard to believe until you look into it. And that is that everything good in this world has come from Christianity. The majority of the major religions in this world have gotten their inspiration from Christianity and the Bible. The Koran was written to mirror the Bible with some major changes and was written hundreds of years after the Bible spread. The Book of the Mormons was written with inspiration from the Bible. The Jehovah's Witnesses have gotten their version of the Bible almost directly from the Bible with some important revisions. I have heard it is said from a Buddhist that Buddha, who lived hundreds of years after Christianity spread, spoke of Jesus, which to me means that he could have derived some of his philosophies from the Bible.

Women's rights (The right to be treated with respect and dignity, not the right to treat your husbands like dog meat. There's a difference.), the Golden Rule, equality for all, etc. have all come from Christianity. Don't believe me? Search it out, or stay tuned.

Well, what about the Crusades? Is that what you are thinking? Well, let me ask you this. Would Jesus have approved? "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Being a Christian doesn't mean you are perfect or superior. It means you have been given the gift of life despite being the sinner that you are who doesn't deserve it. (Besides, the people who participated in the Crusades were professed Catholics. My grandmother is Catholic. My mother is a former Catholic. Some might skewer me for saying this; but it's not the same thing, especially the Catholicism that was practiced back then, which is markedly different from the current Catholicism which, in my opinion, has been softened in order to not lose membership due to the spreading of the Bible in native tongues. It's similar, but so are the Jehovah's Witnesses.)

Some have asked why we are so determined to convince others that Jesus is the way. "Why don't I just leave others alone and just believe what I want to believe without trying to convince others?" is something I have been asked. Well, for one thing, I think that everyone should have the opportunity to know the truth. For another, I don't want people to spend eternity in Hell. Also, if as many people as possible were Christians and did their best to follow what Jesus told us to do, then the world would be a better place. Plus, Jesus charged all Christians to tell the world about the good news. So that is what I am doing. Whether you believe in Jesus or not is entirely up to you. I've done my part.

June

Related Articles
Part 1: Gray World: Why Is Murder Wrong?
Part 2: Does God Exist? — The Philosophical Argument
Part 3: God's Will Revealed?

Does God Exist? — The Philosophical Argument March 14, 2006

Posted by June in Agnosticism, Artist Thinker Articles, Atheism, Deism, Other, Philosophy, Religion.
11 comments

Last time I talked about the myth of relativism and the theory of a gray world. With that cleared up, we can now see that there is indeed such a thing as universal truth. So what is it? How do we know; and who gets to decide what it is?

There is much scientific evidence for a Creator; but we cannot neglect the importance of the philosophical proof, which is what I will maintain as the focus of this article. The fact of the matter is that it is important for the survival and general contentment of mankind that there be a set of rules for all to follow. Not only is it important for basic person to person interaction, but also to justify the viability of principles that government is based on and the laws that it creates.

So who in this world is wise enough to set these standards up? If there is such a person, how could we possibly know that this is the real truth? What if he's/she's wrong? After all, even the wisest of individuals is only a human who is prone to mistakes and failures. Charles Darwin, a man revered by many, promoted racism. Just take a look at the full title of his book Origin of Species:

"On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life"

Of course, in a godless world, racism could very well be perfectly fine. After all, everything is relative.

Even some men I have admired have been quite racist. Much to my great sadness, Theodore Roosevelt was part of the eugenics movement, which promoted the extinction of "inferior races" by aborting the babies of or sterilizing black people. (I just have to smile at the thought that these eugenics people must be rolling in their graves at the fact that people like me exist. We are truly the abomination that they feared.)

So who does get to decide?

There could only be one being who has enough wisdom to make rules that will be to the benefit of the world; and that is the One who created it.

If there truly is no God, then we are all doomed to chaos.

And this can't just be the deist god who created the world then left it to its own devices. Such a god would have left this world in complete and total chaos, as well, because relativism would have reigned supreme. As I have shown, it is possible to discern the existence of God merely through some simple logic.
Thus, truth and good could be defined as the will of God. That turns us to our other dilemma:

How do we really know what God's will is?

June

Related Articles
Part 1: Gray World: Why Is Murder Wrong?
Part 2: Does God Exist? — The Philosophical Argument
Part 3: God's Will Revealed?

Gray World: Why Is Murder Wrong? February 21, 2006

Posted by June in Agnosticism, Artist Thinker Articles, Atheism, Christianity, Communism, Deism, Liberalism, Other, Philosophy, Politics, Religion.
13 comments

 
I’ve heard it a thousand times. “The world is not black and white. There are things that are true for some people that aren’t true for others.”

Please excuse this simple-minded individual, but a world where truth is relative, in my opinion, would be hell on earth. Think about it. If truth were relative to each person’s own personal perspective and morals, then how could we possibly say that murder is wrong? Sure it’s wrong to us; but it’s not wrong to a host of people such as Ted Bundy, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Ted Kennedy, etc.

So what makes it wrong? Who said that it was wrong, and who are they that their morals and opinions be placed above everyone else’s?

If you think that the majority should rule the day, then what about things like the Aztecs sacrificing people from other tribes to their gods? The majority of Aztecs supported the murder of thousands of people from other tribes. Does that mean the conquistadors were wrong to come in and put a stop to it with the help of the neighboring tribes?

What about Nazi Germany? The majority of Germans at the time thought that it was perfectly all right to murder Jews.

What about Communist countries like China where innocent people are tortured and murdered for things like having an opposing opinion or converting to an unapproved religion?

What about the fact that the majority of the world still views women as possessions or beneath men? Western countries are really the only countries in the world that recognize women as equals. Is that right? Is that just?

If the majority said that dogs had 5 legs, would they be right simply because they are in the majority?

Also, if the majority rules, then why do we bother with this system of government that ensures the minority gets a voice?

I want to know. What makes murder, stealing, racism, assualt, rape, embezzlement, white GOP males, hick Bible-thumping close-minded fundamentalist Christians, and Southern cowboy Presidents wrong? Who says so, and who made him king of the world?

If you didn’t catch the sarcasm, go back and reread the last section until you get it because the significance of the hypocrisy I have satired is immeasurable. The fact of the matter is that, whether people like it or not, this is a black and white world. We can’t always find a pure white option; but there is such a thing as the lesser of two evils. One might say that that is proof that this world is gray; but think about it. Actually stop and think. How do we know which is the lesser of two evils? How do we know they contain any evil at all? We know because there is such a thing as black and white, good and evil. We just can’t get perfect good out of an imperfect world.

Just because gray-worlders insist upon closing their ears and their minds off to this truth, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. Gray-worlders are simply people who are in the path of a tornado but close their minds, eyes, and ears off from the truth believing that they aren’t in it’s destructive path simply because they say they aren’t. As I like to say:

Truth never changes; opinions change.

Or, as President Abraham Lincoln so nicely puts it: “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

Now to elaborate on the hypocrisy of the gray-worlders.
Gray-worlders would like us to believe that this world is full of relativity because it prevents anyone from judging their actions and allows them to condemn us for judging them. But STOP right here. Go back. Think about what I just said.
GRAY . . . . WORLDERS . . . . ARE . . . . CONDEMNING . . . . PEOPLE . . . . AND, THUS, . . . . JUDGING . . . . PEOPLE.

Get it? Do you see the hypocrisy now? Do you understand what I am trying to point out?

Gray-worlders use black-and-white arguments to propel the theory of a gray world.

They tell us that we are wrong for judging them, that a black and white world is wrong. BUT HOW COULD THEY POSSIBLY KNOW THAT AND, MOST CERTAINLY, PROCLAIM THAT?!! Truth is, supposedly, relative. A black and white world does exist because I think it exists. Since truth is relative to the person, the truth of a black and white world is true because it’s true to me. Can you see the hypocrisy? Can you see the chaos of such a ridiculous theory?

They tell us that we are closed-minded lunatics for saying that the world is completely black and white. They tell us that we are @#$&* for judging them, yet there they are judging us. There they are claiming with certainty that the world is gray when, if we truly are in a gray world, then there is no way that they could possibly claim that the world is gray because that right there is a black and white fact.

The only way you could claim that something is gray is if that means that it has pros and cons, qualities of good and evil, not relativism. Relativism does not exist.
When faced with this question, gray-worlders in the past have ignored me and reiterated their brainless arguments. Yes, I realize I am extremely sarcastic in this article. I have to admit (and I’m sure it’s obvious) that I am at the end of my rope with these brain-dead people who go round and round in a circle of the same argument without addressing mine. I guess I just need to remember: “Don’t cast pearls before swine.”

June

Related Articles
Part 1: Gray World: Why Is Murder Wrong?
Part 2: Does God Exist? — The Philosophical Argument
Part 3: God’s Will Revealed?

The Paradoxes of a Death Penalty Stance January 16, 2006

Posted by June in Around the World, Death Penalty, News, Philosophy, Politics.
1 comment so far

The Paradoxes of a Death Penalty Stance

By Charles Lane

Saturday, June 4, 2005; Page A17

In the debate between Europe and the United States over the death penalty, no country is more vocal than Germany. German media regularly decry executions in Texas. A recent U.S. Supreme Court case concerning the rights, under international law, of foreign defendants in capital cases grew in part out of a German lawsuit before the World Court on behalf of two German citizens on death row in Arizona. (The Supreme Court dismissed the case on May 23 for technical reasons.) German objections to capital punishment slowed Berlin's cooperation with the U.S. prosecution of alleged al Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui, who faces the possibility of the death penalty — though the two countries eventually worked out an agreement.

Contrasting their nation's policy with that of the Americans, Germans point proudly to Article 102 of their Basic Law, adopted in 1949. It reads, simply: "The death penalty is abolished." They often say that this 56-year-old provision shows how thoroughly the postwar Federal Republic has learned — and applied — the lessons of Nazi state-sponsored killing. (Communist East Germany kept the death penalty until 1987.)

But the actual history of the German death penalty ban casts this claim in a different light. Article 102 was in fact the brainchild of a right-wing politician who sympathized with convicted Nazi war criminals — and sought to prevent their execution by British and American occupation authorities. Far from intending to repudiate the barbarism of Hitler, the author of Article 102 wanted to make a statement about the supposed excesses of Allied victors' justice.

The International War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg sentenced 11 top Nazis to death, all of whom were hanged in November 1946 except for Hermann Goering, who committed suicide. The Western Allies hanged or shot dozens of lesser-known war criminals — including 284 at a U.S. Army prison in Landsberg between November 1945 and June 1951. Though SS men who had supervised death camps and massacred Jews were among the condemned, many Germans bristled at victors' justice. "The longer the executions went on," reports a town history on the Landsberg Civic Association's Web site, "the louder became the voices demanding an end to them. There was a broad political alliance in favor of clemency efforts."

Meanwhile, there was little opposition in West Germany to capital punishment for ordinary criminals. A poll by the Allensbach Institute in February 1949 showed that 77 percent of West Germany's population favored it. The largest left-wing party, the Social Democrats, had a long anti-death-penalty tradition, but, given the political climate, it did not campaign on it.

Germans began the formal process of writing the new Basic Law in August 1948. Initial drafts submitted to a 65-member Parliamentary Council contemplated retention of capital punishment. It was not until a meeting of a special subcommittee on Dec. 6 that a single delegate, Hans-Christoph Seebohm, surprised everyone by proposing to get rid of the death penalty. Seebohm, who ran various industrial enterprises under the Nazis, led the tiny, far-right German Party — which also advocated using "German Reich" instead of "Federal Republic."

Addressing the council, Seebohm equated executions "in the period before 1945 and in the period since 1945." As British historian Richard J. Evans notes in "Rituals of Retribution: Capital Punishment in Germany, 1600-1987," the rightist politician was "thinking above all of the execution of war criminals, to which he and his party were bitterly opposed. Preventing Nazi war criminals from being sentenced to death would certainly help the German Party in its search for voters on the far right."

Both Social Democrats and Christian Democrats initially rejected the Seebohm initiative but gradually began to see its advantages. To the Social Democrats, it offered right-wing political cover for an idea they dared not pursue on their own. And for more than half of the Christian Democrat delegates, Evans reports, the political advantages of trying to shield Nazi war criminals trumped their belief in the death penalty for ordinary murder cases. Social Democratic arguments about turning the page on Nazism, belatedly made, were not decisive. Rather, writes Evans, "only the hope of being able to save Nazi criminals from the gallows . . . persuaded conservative deputies from the German Party and the Christian Democrats to cast their votes in favor of abolition in sufficient numbers to secure its anchorage in the Basic Law. Had it merely been the question of common homicide that was at issue, the vote would never have been passed."

After the Basic Law went into effect on May 24, 1949, Germans bombarded U.S. High Commissioner John J. McCloy with pleas for clemency based on Article 102. Among those joining what Vanderbilt University historian Thomas A. Schwartz calls "this intense and emotional campaign" were both Christian Democratic Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Social Democratic leader Kurt Schumacher. In a Jan. 31, 1951, final report on U.S.-held war criminals, McCloy said he was not bound by the provision, but he still commuted the death sentences of 10 of the last 15 condemned war criminals in Landsberg. The final hanging took place on June 7, 1951.

The death penalty for common murderers, as opposed to war criminals, remained popular in West Germany. Polls showed 71 percent in favor as late as 1960. Christian Democrats tried repeatedly to reinstate it, but failed due to lack of support from the left. (The Basic Law could be changed only by a two-thirds vote of parliament.) Later, amid more open discussion of Nazism and the Holocaust, opposition to the death penalty did become truly popular — and Article 102 acquired its contemporary symbolism.

When U.S. troops captured Saddam Hussein in December 2003, Germany's Social Democratic chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, had wide backing in declaring: "I am against the death penalty, and that goes for everyone — even a dictator, like Saddam Hussein, who treated other people in the cruelest way." Schroeder was remaining true to his society's postwar traditions — truer, perhaps, than he realized.

The writer covers the U.S. Supreme Court for The Post.