On Moderating Muslim Practices

I came across this web site:

http://www.investigativeproject.org/4899/uk-universities-host-over-100-islamist-speaker

I discovered it when I asked the direct question to my search engine “What happens to mujahedin who want to convert to Christianity?”

A the “Investigative Projects site, there are interesting anti- terrorist articles that apparently try to educate westerners (of all religions, including “moderate Muslims”).

I decided to subscribe, one of my few subscriptions ever, but I’m interested in keeping abreast of how to separate the pro-west Muslim from the fanatical terrorist, always a difficult thing, these days since jihadists don’t go around in the U.S. with a sign on their foreheads saying I’m a jihadist and want to overthrow your constitutional form of government in favor of a Sharia-driven set of laws that follow the Quran exactly.

Caution, to join you need to sign up, which many will hesitate to do (for good reason).

My questions remain unanswered.

1) “What happens to mujahedin (extremist Muslim jihadist fighters) who want to convert to Christianity or atheism (especially while they are attempting to resign from terrorist training camp)?”

2) What happens to drop-outs from Middle-Eastern terrorist training camps because they don’t like the draconian interpretation of the Quran and its implementation in today’s real world. (My impression is they are killed, but I would like to be informed of the facts which are generally well hidden from we atheists and Westerners of all religions.)

3) I am still trying to work up the courage to visit a local [typical California] mosque on Friday to sit quietly and observe and listen to the imam’s Friday-prayer meeting message.

—–

On a slightly different subject, there was comment or reply to an article on the above site that took the stance that western unfairly and fiercely hate all Muslims or people of that skin color and facial characteristics. I believe he may be right, especially in places where ignorance abounds. But my experience in trying to get closer to Muslims so I can understand more about them or just have Muslim friends, they are really difficult to get to know. I think the Quran forbids Muslims from mixing socially (apart from work-related mixing) with non-Muslims. At any rate, I fail to see any welcoming side from Muslims, and all women immediately turn away (that is expected from the husbands and families and is an ingrained habit sure, but that doesn’t make it seem any less antisocial to a secular Westerner who initially wants to be friendly).

I also answer to this obviously Muslim commentator (all though he does not state that) that he needs to consider all we’ve heard is the outrage of some Islamic extremist terrorist breaking into the 1976 Olympic village and killing the entire Israeli politically innocent Olympic team!! Okay, we won’t paint with broad brushstrokes all Muslims as being at fault, but outrage after outrage, from the twin towers destruction on a sunny New York Tuesday morning on September 11, 2001 to the conquest of Mosul to train explosions on Madrid and London trains, the nutty promise (fatwa) to kill fantasy writer Salmon Rushdie, all the otherwise pointless screening for weapons every time (every time!!) we fly anywhere, what are the “moderate Muslims) pray tell doing to distance themselves from these crazy jihadists? What have the “moderate Muslims” proposed to solve the stupidity and horrible deaths stemming from of their believing in going to heaven, the blessedness of martyrdom, that earthly life is not a bit precious to anyone, not to mention their amazingly backward Caliphate dreams?

If the good guys and gals of Muslim persuasion have done something of value against terrorism, why not get it in the news in the West and at Al Jazeera and all Muslim countries?

Sorry for that rant, but it’s too satisfying to not publish it.

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A Review of a Book about Partitioning Pakistan in 1947

July 1, 2015, Charley Rose interviewed guest Nisid Hajari, hawking his book, Midnight’s Furies, about the August 15, 1947 partitioning of the new Pakistan (East Pakistan and West Pakistan) from India.

The title of the review on Amazon is “Original and interesting but Hardly Relevant.” 

Frankly, I wonder why it’s irrelevant. Okay the review says the author Hajari has precious little about ways to solve the issues that still fester today, almost 60 years after the India let go of The Pakistan territories.

However, it’s very relevant. Consider it in the light of the controlling of  Iran’s present obstinate quest for fabricating and launch capabilities of the H-Bomb. I believe if neither Pakistan or India had the bomb, Iran would have less ambition, perhaps. Sure, you could rightly argue since Israel has H-bomb, perhaps Iran would still be headed there. 

More to the point of Pakistan, Pakistan is not only protecting Taliban militants and other Muslim terrorists–this is admitted to by the Pakistani government according to Hajari– and if the government is not careful, upstanding, and strong (by which I mean effectively protecting Pakistani people’s individual rights), Pakistan may be taken over by the Arab Dark Ages (a.k.a. Arab Spring) now spreading depressingly fast in regions south.

I present this review here as more evidence of things I’ve been implying about the atrocious rigidness and purely uncivilized, by modern standards, ways of the Muslim belief system as documented in its scriptures and as practiced in much of the world today. (After all the Quran calls for strict adherence to customs of 750 AD, not growing or progressing with the times toward peace, for example. More and more of the noisy Muslim fundamentalists are calling for more, not less adherence to the Quran).

Admittedly, I didn’t write this review, but this is a view into the head of the apparently thoughtful three-star reviewer and some of the views written down by author Hajari in his well researched book. (I have omitted the name of the reviewer since I didn’t ask him or her permission to reprint it here. If the reviewer wants me to remove the post, please contact me by email, I will quickly comply.)

3 out of 5 stars  on Amazon   Original and interesting, but Hardly Relevant
 (June 13, 2015)

Through many of the previously unseen quotes of the involved personalities, the author Nisid Hajari brings out certain perspectives of the bloody partition of India and Pakistan. Even as a well-published scholar of Indian origin, I found this book hard to put down and very interesting to read.

Nisid is a good story teller. But you have to be careful not to be taken in by a flawed narrative he is trying to weave here vis-à-vis the root cause of the conflict between India and Pakistan.

Nowhere the author mentions that he is of Pakistani origin.

He claims that it is not clear who started the fight. But there exists well-documented evidence from Pakistani sources themselves that Muslims are the ones who started it. Hapless Hindus and Sikhs had no other choice but to retaliate. Here’s what distinguishes these communities, in Nisid’s own words: “Hindus stereotyped Muslims as violent and brutal.”

Here’s why these impressions were formed and sustained: Over 20% Hindu and Sikh population in Pakistan at the time of the Partition is now reduced to less than about 1%, whereas India has as many Muslims as the entire nation of Pakistan. Hindu/Sikh girls from fleeing families were selectively taken away by Pakistanis.

If anything, the Partition is a modern day reality of the Islamic conquest of infidels and their lands we read in history books. Now, the history is repeating itself in parts of India (most notably in Kashmir) and Christians are fast disappearing in the Middle East; Yazidi girls are taken away by the Islamic State.

The author has overlooked the big picture.

Mosques spearheaded the cleansing of Pakistan off its Hindu and Sikh infidels. Indeed, religious dynamic led to the trauma of the Partition and the leaders were simply powerless to stop it. It is therefore inevitable that these two states would soon become enemies.

Therefore, the author is mistaken when he claims that “ultimately, it would be their [leaders] all-too-human failings that helped to set their nations at odds.”

India and its diasporas have moved on because they embraced modernity and built or embraced higher education institutions. However, Pakistan and its diasporas (including most notably the British one) have remained trapped in a regressive religious outlook, failed to do the same and found inspiration in a religious doctrine called armed jihad. As a result, Pakistan is now fighting with itself and just about everyone else.

When Nisid switches from story-telling to analysis he often runs into difficulties. For instance, his call for a soft-border (for Indo-Pak “cross-border commerce”) is a poorly conceived idea, as it would lead to a one-way transfer of tens of thousands of infidel-hating Pakistani jihadists into India.

Still, I recommend this book for those from the subcontinent and history buffs. But it is hard to justify the claim by the author and his backers that understanding the trauma of India-Pakistan partition as outlined in this book can somehow help in mitigating the dangerous conflict between Pakistan and India.

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Obedience to The Holy Koran

Feb-20, 2015

Charlie Rose Show guest this morning on PBS was Egyptians Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, discussed at some depth why ISIS is attracting so many terrorists in cells around the world. Of course Mr. Shoukry needs to mince his words very carefully so as not to unnecessarily alienate Islamic countries throughout the Middle East and the world. But he has a lot of experience living in this quagmire, and gave us tidbits of good information, if only the West would listen. Mr. Shoukry will speak at the UN on behalf of president of Egypt asking for more assistance, military training, and capacity building for Libya to resist the growing ISIS movement

Isis beheaded 20 Coptic Christians along the Libyan coast, and in response, the Egyptian president ordered military strikes aimed at ISIS training ground targets in Libya. Charlie Rose seems to be desperately searching for urgency within the West and all ordinary Muslims who are against the ISIS atrocities, and stopping the flood new recruits coming into ISIS.

Mr. Shoukry mentioned how Libya had a power vacuum in the government created by the attack of NATO.

He mentioned how ISIS (and all the terrorist organizations) take advantage of the power vacuums. I agree with him all of this was not his emphasis. It is one of my points of emphasis.

Consider the power vacuum left in Iraq after the unprovoked attack by the US. It was Saddam Hussein’s iron fist that held Radical Islam at bay, also that minimize the rift between Shia and Sunni Muslims. That relative peace and order is gone.

Consider the power vacuum left in Libya after Moammar Qaddafi was toppled. ISIS thrives on power vacuums, weak governments, especially Islamic ones, and failed states with floundering government and inadequate military.

President Assad in Syria, since he is being driven out by Syrian rebels and by Western public opinion, will no longer have the iron hand in Syria. My prediction is, in the absence of an iron hand of a demanding ruler, the country will turn into a desperate place and will fall into the hands of the ISIS terror conglomerate.

Koran, Chapter 1

Koran, Chapter 1

The United States and the West needs to realize these countries are so backward in their religious beliefs and governing beliefs, they only understand hard discipline. That’s how kids are brought up. New ideas are frowned on. That’s how the religion is. Islam is based on blind obedience.

Here is the first chapter of the Koran. (Take note of verse seven.) All the verses are scary to me, and they should be scary to you, even if you are a Muslim; especially if you are a Muslim.

  • 1) Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.[I note here the very liberal idea of more than one world, as in more than one planet in the universe. But I believe the intention of the prophet Mohammed’s scribes was to indicate the various levels of heavens as “worlds” people could exist in.]
  • 2) The Beneficent, the Merciful. [Tell the millions of refugees fleeing from Syria about how beneficent their God is. Tell the 20 Coptic Christians how merciful Allah was to them. And do that with a straight face; I dare you.]
  • 3) Master of the day of Requital. [Requital is another term for the day of judgment; I believe everyone is supposed to get judged on the same day in the Islam belief, somehow, and that makes it a single day. The Christian concept would be a day of judgment for each person who dies probably shortly after they die, and to clearly include everyone who ever existed, it would have to be thousands or millions of days.]
  • 4) Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for help. [This speaks of blind worship, “serving the Lord/Allah” and it speaks of the five prayers every day every devout Muslim male is supposed to prostrate himself for. This really ingrains obedience to Allah which equals whatever the imam (preacher) says in the mosques, which will encourage obedience. If you’re brainwashed, very stupid things could be what they need to be obedient to, and they have no recourse to question it, such as we reserve the right for in the West.]
  • 5) Guide us on the right path. [Again, encouraging blind obedience to their leader, Allah, or, in the real world, those that represent Allah, such as Al Qaeda or ISIS.]
  • 6) The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. [In other words, the favored ones are radical Muslims, because these are blind, obedient Muslims, and follow both the peaceful and the warlike verses in the Koran. Obedience is obedient to everything, no exceptions; one of the reasons all women must wear head coverings, no exceptions.]
  • 7) Not those upon whom wrath is brought down [Don’t listen to Christians or atheists], nor those who go astray. [Don’t listen to atheists or apostate people (people converted away from Islam, which by the way is punishable by death, very clearly stated in the Koran). Do note the powerful negative verb wrath. This is a powerful, merciless, vengeful, angry god, angry at any lowly person who might question or disagree with Allah or his teachers (imams), since not everyone has as direct a line to Allah as imams or ayatollah’s.]

None of this is new.

What is new is the powerful organizing and brainwashing force of the Internet which was not here in the 1850’s during that up surge in Islamic radicalism and brutality way back then. During the Crusades, the Christian backed soldiers fought against this very same passion to dominate and subjugate that Muslims had way back in 1100A.D. [Why I Am Not a Muslim, Ibn Warraq. Against All Enemies, Richard A. Clarke.]

What is new is the AK-47 and portable missile launcher weapons, dangerous in anyone’s hands, and how commonplace and portable they are.

What is new is these people literally believe all the hogwash told them by their radicalizing military trainers. They are brought to believe when they die, they will go to heaven a better place, instead of the common sense thing reserved for all animals, which is strive to sustain life.

Individual crazy zealots can do any crazy things against who they perceive as enemies. Violence, murder, inflict suffering, destruction, and anarchy are condoned by the radical Islamists.

And most Islamic countries vigorously teach the Koran, several hours in a day, displacing art, music, math, science, philosophy, political science, and ethics. Included is hatred of Israel and America, instead of a healthy assessment of Israel as the one successful, diversified country in the Middle-East.

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Discussion Religion vs Atheism – Chapel Hill “Hate” Shootings

A Mark Burns post on Facebook, Feb 12: Those of us who are atheists, and generally espouse rational thought and sound reason, need to publicly take some ownership over the Chapel Hill shootings. It seems that one of our own has done wrong. If we expect others to act accordingly, we must acknowledge this and decry his actions without making excuse.

The reality is that all manner of people do awful things. If we want the religious to take responsibility for their collective wrongdoing, we should use this as an opportunity to demonstrate the type of behavior that we also expect.

Amber Knuth Dawson to Mark Burns: I realize it has been years since we last talked, but I was a bit surprised to see you identify with atheists? Was it really God who let you down or those flawed followers? I sincerely want to know what changed your mind from those high school days of sno [sic.] oasis dates?

Richard Burns to Amber Dawson: Can something that doesn’t exist let you down, Amber? Rationality, though, needs to exist with some hint of altruism and tolerance for other (non-criminal) viewpoints, respect, even love for others, freedom as long as you don’t tromp on others, a live and let live attitude. Our knowledge level has grown beyond believing in Santa Clause, flying witches, and gods controlling natural phenomena.

Flowers for Chapel Hill Muslim shooting victims

Flowers for Chapel Hill Muslim shooting victims

There are possible benefits to belief-systems that believe in god(s) or a single God, but that doesn’t make their outlandish and ancient religion-myths true.

It is also rather alarming that so many Christians–the most common religious folks within my earshot, whom I grew up with and could question–assume “God let me down.” Can’t they observe as I did that there are no actual angels flying around, donkeys don’t talk, and you can’t feed a hillside of famished people with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread and have twelve baskets left over. Rather preachers and misinformed parents, since the publication of Darwin’s observations and conclusions, have let mankind down.

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What’s Wrong with Religion? – 3

ANIMALS MADE IN A DAY?

Primitive beliefs in the supernatural were a big part of primitive life before Darwin’s books on evolution became public, finally showing the relationship between different species and their origin from earlier species.

But don’t get the idea Charles Darwin was the first man to think this was the case; he just wrote it down clearly. He meticulously and wrote notes on the striking similarities and dissimilarities between finches and other animals. He was a tag-along traveler on a merchant ship, The Beagle, going around South America. His publication of Origin of the Species set off a tidal wave of incensed Christians who didn’t want to change how things went in Genesis; that’s a lot of reprinting and apologizing to the masses. The Bible states that man is superior to all the lesser beasts of the field and has dominion over them. (Man doesn’t have dominion over God, Jesus, Angels, and supernatural things flying around. They have dominion over man.) So lions and elephants were not put on the planet fully formed as a finished animal, opposing what preachers and rabbis had said while reading from their Bibles and Torah for centuries.

The idea of biological evolution became a sensation in developed countries. Belief in magic and supernatural gods still persisted among the stubborn who failed to pick up Darwin’s books and read them.

As time passed, dedicated men discovered that sudden illnesses became explained by natural causes such as the germ theory of disease (e.g., Louis Pasteur circa 1864 and many others) and the advent of antibiotics (attributed to Gerhard Domagk, circa 1939).

The primitive belief in god that could bring about mysterious changes like lightning, earthquakes, floods, draughts, flu, leprosy, etc. had made it easy for advancing civilizations to bring forward many religions. As primitive people with only the most primitive tools and weapon, having religions helped keep laws consistent over generations.

Thus gods and religion were boons for civilizations to prosper, a way to keep anarchy from destroying the peace and equanimity of the village, to explain the unexplainable such as sudden occurrences (often disasters), and to give meaning to death. Never mind the question of whether the religion and its stories were true or not. Most common, uneducated people, as virtually everyone was in those days, believed in the prevalent religion or they acquiesced due to social pressures.

Today, the old wild West seems to have sprung up in the Middle East with brainwashed extremist Muslim killers going around firing guns, slitting throats, burning cities, making mine fields of streets, bombing mosques, and randomly obliterating human lives. Unbelievably, they’ve gotten a huge following that increasing by brainwashing and by force. 

Products of deluded mosques

Products of deluded mosques

No doubt many of the suicide bombers are weak minded individuals and outcasts, but many seem very normal and rational. Somehow, these folks have nothing better to do than to blow themselves up while killing the innocent.

The relative ease of using Internet and the knowledge of how to make bombs with simple materials has enabled a species of psychopaths to be come dominant in many Muslim countries.  They are more than a pain in the neck to advanced Western nations. No longer are there any problems with climbing mountains are getting across rivers––they simply phone like-minded psychopaths and plan their bombing remotely. Radicalized Muslims are spreading their choking chaos over large swaths of land; slathering their reeking ideology over the entire planet.

Horrifying enough. It’s just we don’t know how to stop it. A world organization of misguided dolts and vicious psychopaths who sincerely believe cruelty takes them to heaven is hard to stop.

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Nitin Nohria on American Exceptionalism

Last night, as part of a longer interview, Charlie Rose, asked Nitin Nohria, Dean of Harvard Busniess School: “Do you believe in this thing called American exceptionalism?”

Dean Nitin Nohria, originally from India and now an American citizen, said, “Maybe this is coming from the perspective of someone who didn’t grow up in this country and didn’t have the benefit of growing up in America.

“I deeply believe that America has some unique properties, some capabilities, that that do make it an exceptional nation. The commitment to freedom of talk, the commitment to make innovation, the commitment of addressing a problem and making sure that you address it head-on, not hiding from the problems that we have. These are features that you might think many other nations can have these features, too, but actually, I think, they’re very unusual, very rare…I’ve seen some other countries tying to do these things, but they’re not so easy. And even though we’ve had our ups and down, like the downturn in the economy in 2008 and 2009, it’s still an extraordinary nation…..

“At Harvard business school, we have this U.S. Competitive Project… We see some features of America that is falling behind, our infrastructure is falling behind, we have a government that seems more polarized than it ever has been before, we have an education system K-12 that is dysfunctional, …in this country,

“And many people [outside] Harvard business school named these things, disagreed with some of them. But even if there was disagreement, we were able to start the discussion. That doesn’t mean we have answers to all these questions, but at least we are confronting them and we are vigorous in asking ourselves questions on how might we changes these things, and that gives me optimism that we will find changes––to improve these things because America has consistently been able to that. I think these are great strengths of the country.”

I have heard this question from Charlie Rose before. I for the most part agree that America is, so far, quite unique, probably due mostly to our constitution and Bill of Rights and earnest efforts to apply them. But I certainly don’t think America has been ordained from on high (by God or any other source) to be exceptional. Mr. Nohria was not trying to imply that. Don’t get me wrong. Our economic leadership has little to do with religion, other than we, at the federal level, refuse to mix government with religion. Certainly it’s not because we are Christian that we are “exceptional.” We try to keep religion out of the public educational system, but this has been circumvented by replacing public schools with Christian school. This is a dangerous trend and a counter productive one for the nation. Evolution is getting short shrift while creation by the miracle-making God is getting long shrift. It would be almost laughable if I weren’t sure that this will lead to even fewer American scientists and engineer graduates.

I believe there is no implied guarantee that America will remain “exceptional,” in the sense that the America-is-exceptional folks mean. But the characteristics that Mr. Nohria ticks off, like inventiveness and meeting our problems head-on, do seem to be true.

It might be instructive to ask, for the many failed states that proclaim themselves Muslim (in religion, politics, and law), how well they do in helping any of their people have a high quality of life. Item by item for traits that would better their society, these Muslim (Sharia law) countries fail, and most of them fail miserably.

Well, they do lead in the number of bombs blowing up people, the number of total psychopaths spending their days blowing up people, people of all belief-systems, yes, even their own. Their extremist leaders are continually thinking up ways to ruin productive enterprises and destroying infrastructures, instead of teaching their followers to be more spiritual; to improve their plight by constructive efforts that will put food on the table and a roof over their heads. These beasts have a cavalier way of beheading kidnapped people, and thinking this is good advertisement. I shake my head and cry.

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What’s Wrong with Religion? – 2

LAWS IN THE VILLAGE

In order to prevent utter anarchy and build consistent magnanimous community spirit among people in a village, you can see where rules like honor your father and mother and don’t kill your neighbor without just cause. These rules would be stated by the shaman or the biggest, loudest talker.

When that leader died or became weak or killed-off, the people might well have started forgetting the laws, laws that had possibly worked well for generations.

Fixing supper.

Fixing supper.

Story telling would carry the laws forward. When spoken languages began (just when is not clear from the fossil record, but more than 10,000 years ago is likely; possibly even as much as 8 million years ago), fairly consistent laws could be passed down through several generations, that is until another king-of-the-hill game began and a new ruler and new rules were set. or perhaps, anarchy or war unsettled things again. Those were indeed the barbarian days, a sort of the “old wild West” for the eons.

When regimes or dynasties began, longer rule was passed down, such as in very important families, a continuity of civilized rule could start to be established. (Primitive people still live today in a few out of the way places in the world, still making up, enforcing, and passing-down their own laws.)

Education was always a big part of establishing social etiquette and norms.

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What’s Wrong with Religion? – 1

Primitive Tribal Man

Primitive Tribal Man

HAS RELIGION OUTLIVED ITS USEFULNESS?

Religions used to serve a purpose for the human animal. They were institutions that help various cultures, dotted around the world as ancient people spread up from southern Africa, to survive. Religions helped people to treat each other in a civilized way. They are probably where the first laws came from, and most of those were probably laid down by shamans (witch-doctors) of the various tribes.

With airplane travel so ubiquitous these days, we don’t easily visualize that early settlements rarely rubbed shoulders with neighboring settlements. When they did rub shoulders, it was often rubbing the wrong way. Their languages had begun to diverge, their foods differed, and their selfish needs such as for arable land and wild game to help feed themselves became paramount. It was just too difficult to climb over the mountain range, too big a chore to get across that wide river with no bridge. Naturally, cultures became differentiated. Other tribes were foreign tribes. In some cases, foreigners were considered mere “animals” standing in the way.

Something like how ISIS members view Americans today.

 

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Making Sure

Visiting Saigon in Nov 2012, we took many taxi drives to various places (museums, restaurants, relatives). The taxis were nice, cheap, and air conditioned (the latter a necessary touch). I noticed the driver had a small statue of Christ on his dash-board. Later, I noticed a Chinese symbol of “good luck” hanging from his keys, fuzzy dice on his mirror, a statue of Buddha, a green star and moon decal on his windshield (Islam belief), a colorful statue of Hindu’s Vishnu (god), a Star of David decal.

Taxi driving thru Saigon

Inside a taxi driving thru Saigon

I asked him was he Buddhist, he nodded. But he nodded when I asked about all the other religions evident on his dashboard, too.

I came away with a pleasant feeling, chuckling inside, too. This Vietnamese driver was so willing to accept them all. He didn’t restrict his belief. (Probably very tolerant of atheism, too, though I didn’t ask him that.)

Given time to think it over, I now believe he probably didn’t study or comply with any of the religious scriptures or worship practices. Oh, possibly a quick prayer before starting out in the morning for no accidents and a full car.

Maybe, he’d pray to Allah one day, Buddha the next, Jehovah God through Jesus Christ the next day, and then the Jew’s God of Abraham.

As a working person living in a complex, ever-changing city such as Saigon & its rugged traffic, you couldn’t have too much luck. You couldn’t have too many deities looking after you. I believe this is common among Saigon taxi drivers and among the general populace. (Well, perhaps, he’s trying not to have conflict with some devout passengers who would be offended if their religion were excluded from his dashboard menagerie. Keeping the peace above all else.)

The several families I have been a part of in the USA were all practicing Christian, sects ranging from Mormon, Church of Christ, Methodist, Catholic, and all of them were exclusive (possible exception of Methodist). Both my former wives looked down on and, in their hearts, intolerant of people of any other religion but theirs.

My 2nd wife asked why don’t you believe in God even if there isn’t one. Then you’d make sure. I thought it over carefully, but that’s a pretty poor reason to go through all the Sunday rigmarole. Many people, men especially, probably comply with their wife’s wishes regarding religion, essentially driven by keeping peace in the family, not some deep-seated belief in everlasting life in heaven.

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New Wave Belief

I writer friend (on Facebook) has a different, loosy-goosy belief system which he posted on FB today:

If our thinking, feeling, and muscle movements are all electrochemical activities, they generate electromagnetic waves. To me, man’s spirit is an electromagnetic wave that travels thru space forever like the sun’s rays. It’s beginning is birth and it’s end, death. It contains all the information about us.

My response was the following:

What belief system is that? Sounds vaguely Buddhist or new wave. It’s warm-n-fuzzy, which I approve of better than some religions of complete restrictions and merciless control (for example, Islam), but what you describe about the spirit is hard to actually observe or measure directly or indirectly. (It’s of the heart, I presume you’d say.) I do believe that birth is my beginning and death is my end, and that need not be shocking or sad. I’ve thought this since I was 4. Adults & culture filled my head with other thoughts, mostly trash, but I’ve come back to this.

Do you have an opinion on his “belief system?” (I happen to know my friend is also a devout Christian, which has scriptures that don’t jive with his FB post. He’s a nice guy from Korea and I like him very much. I read an early version of his memoir, now published. He and his wife like my first poetry chap-book a whole lot.)

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