Jesus and Epiphany

Two thousand years ago Christianity arose.

We can debate how it arose, but it did arise.

It arose because Judaism was not meeting the needs of the people.

Nobody sat around two thousand years ago and said, “Hey, I think I will invent a religion that will destroy Judaism just for the hell of it.”

No, Christianity arose to fill a need.

A bright Jewish boy, let’s call him Jesus, loved the Jewish faith. He studied it religiously. He was very gung ho. He may have even been the best student at his yeshiva.  

Then one day he left the school and was struck by a bolt of lightning.

Well, it wasn’t really a bolt of lightning; it was an epiphany.

He said to himself, “If my religion is so perfect, why is there so much disparity in wealth?”

Prior to this epiphany he had been very happy with Judaism. He thought it to be the perfect religion. He knew that if he followed every rule the rabbi gave him, he would advance to the top.

He had been excited to learn these rules and truths.

But then came reality.

He walked into the misery of humanity.

There was no denying it.

In short order, he concluded that the reason why this disparity of wealth existed was because human beings are imperfect. Not everyone is endowed with the same skills and strengths.

This disparity of wealth accompanying a “perfect religion” confused and disturbed Jesus, and so he traveled the world as it was known to him to discover an answer, an antidote.

What he finally concluded was that Judaism was paradoxically an imperfect religion because it was a perfect religion.

His solution was to create or add imperfection to Judaism so that it would match the imperfection of the real world.

He concluded that if people followed what he preached their economic lot would improve.

He saw himself first and foremost as an economist.

And so he articulated many phrases to convey his beliefs. These phrases included things like:

The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.

You are not saved by works alone.

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Man does not live by bread alone.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

He wrote these things down in a book which you know  today as the gospels.

And then he died.

But he did not rise from the dead as he wrote in his gospels.  The rising from the dead was a metaphor to represent the transformation his preachings would have on your life.

He was hoping that people might see the economic practicality in following his preachings.

He knew that if people followed his advice their economic lot would improve.

But the world is not a perfect place.

Man has free will to do as he pleases.

Man has free will to become seduced by money, greed and naughtiness.

Which is where we stand today.

 

www.thejfklie.com

What is Antisemitism?

What does it mean to be antisemitic.  There are various definitions, and there is some controversy afoot these days as to what constitutes antisemitism.

Let’s leave criticism of Israel out of the discussion for now.  This is a bogus addition that has no merit.

One popular definition says that you are antisemitic if you do harm to Jews because they are Jews.

This seems fair at first glance, but is this inclusive enough?

What about those who do harm directly to Jews without intending to do harm?   Is that antisemitic?

I would argue that it is.

What about those who do harm to Jews indirectly by creating or encouraging a climate of hatred toward Jews without intending to specifically harm Jews (judging by their own words)?

This would include people like those Nazis who claim they never gave an order to harm Jews.  Yes, one could argue, but you fostered or encouraged a climate that led to violence against Jews.

This would also include Adolf Hilter for those people who say, “The Fuhrer did not know,” or “The Fuhrer did not intend for things to turn out this way.”

Irrelevant.

So, antisemitism, accepting what I say, is more broad than doing harm to Jews because they are Jews. That definition is more appropriate in defining volitional discrimination.

Antisemitism is when you do harm to Jews.

But wait a minute.  Isn’t Israel Jewish?  So isn’t harm to Israel then antisemitic?

Good point.

First, Israel is only Jewish when it wants to be.  When it wants to promote itself as a multicultural society it proudly points to Arab MKs.  

Second, Israel currently abides by the precepts of Judaism to the same degree that the US abides by the precepts of Christianity which is to say dead zero.

Third, is a nation, a corporate entity of sorts, a person? 

No.

To say more is to say less. 

Given what I have spoken to thus far, is Israel’s current leadership antisemitic?

Yes, and they have been for some time.

The Likud Party and their radical fellow travelers have created a culture of hatred against Palestinians that has engendered horrible living conditions for the inhabitants of Gaza and the West Bank.

This dire situation has resulted in the BDS movement and enmity toward Jews around the world.

It does not matter whether Bibi intended for things to turn out this way.

It has.

And now you know what Israel must do in the Middle East.  It’s as clear as daylight.

Israeli Bluster

So the latest Israeli blowhard to enter the arena, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, states that Israel is closer than ever to entering Gaza to attain security for Israel’s citizens.

Tough talk.

Let’s see how tough he talks in a few months after Israel decides to undertake this mission.

Will Israel win?  Well, it depends upon how you define win.

One thing is for sure, Hamas and the Palestinians have nothing to lose.

Given the horrid conditions they are living under, given Israel’s determination to take the West Bank, given growing world support for Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, it should be clear to the Palestinians that they have little to fight for save honor.

They’re certainly not fighting for Lady Gaga to give a performance.  No, luxuries are not at the top of their list.

I would say they are fixing their bayonets right now.

Israel should be prepared for that.

The problem that Israel faces is not its own means or determination but its overconfidence.

Their young anonymous soldiers have been fed a steady diet of lies about Palestinians for fifty years now.

Israelis have come to accept Palestinians as subhuman cockroaches who celebrate a culture of death.

I don’t think that’s true.  I think Palestinians very much love their children and neighbors. And like Jews they want to be part of the future world.

Any people under siege and outgunned will resort to suicide bombers.  The Japanese did, the Vietnamese did, the Palestinians did.

And what do you know? The very first suicide bombers were the Jewish Zealots who conducted knifings against Roman soldiers in the first century.

Knifings, huh?

So the Jews wrote the book.

The Palestinians are the students.

They learned from their teachers and engaged in suicide bombings.

They’ll do it again

They have nothing to lose.

They’ll do what they have to do.

And more. Humanity is inventive, and necessity is the mother of invention.

Missiles once directed at cities will be more efficiently directed at patrols.

It’s a closer shot with a greater chance of success

Is Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan ready for this?

Is he ready for house to house combat?

I suppose that with proper planning and careful attention to detail it is possible that Israel can achieve a sweeping victory over Hamas with a minimum of bloodshed.

One of Israel’s assumptions may be poor:   That Hamas and Hamas alone is responsible for the instability in Gaza.

In other words, get rid of Hamas and the problem goes away.  This seems to be the same logic that the US bought into during Vietnam:  Get rid of the Viet Cong and the Vietnamese will be peaceful.

Well, the Vietnamese people were the Viet Cong.

In Gaza, I suspect, the Palestinians are Hamas.

Israel, prefers to believe its own bullshit.  They prefer to believe the lies they’ve been promoting through the Western media about Hamas surrounding themselves with unwilling human shields inside nursery schools.

It fits their narrative.

Israel also prefers to believe in their own superiority and the unassailability of the IDF.  This confidence is bolstered by their rabbis infusing them with the nonsense that they are God’s chosen people and that God gave them Israel.

Well, 1) God picks no favorites, 2) God doesn’t give any land to anyone, and 3) God distributes intelligence evenly throughout the spectrum of humanity.  You’re here after millions of years of evolution; if you were that genetically inferior, you and your people wouldn’t be here.

Still Israel believes its own bullshit.  It points to its Nobel Prize winners as proof of Jewish superiority never once asking itself whether other religions emphasize awards and accomplishments let alone Nobel Prizes.

Suppose other cultures emphasize a renunciation of wealth, possessions and awards.  What then?

Hey, here’s a thought: Shouldn’t a master race consider such and temper its arrogance.

And if it does not?

Well, wars aren’t fought on paper  or in the minds of the self-deluded as Israel is about to find out.

Yes, they can kill many Palestinians and “win”.

But at what cost to themselves and the future Israel?

It’s important to ask questions.  The more high quality questions you ask, the better the result generally is.

Does God see everything?   Does God see what hardships Israel has inflicted upon the Palestinians in Gaza?  Do we live in a moral universe?

These are but a few questions the Israeli blowhard, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, might ask first.

Intelligent people ask questions.

Friends and Enemies

There’s no logical reason why Jews cannot live alongside Palestinian Muslims.

They are not natural enemies.

Indeed, they are brothers.

Mohammed modeled Islam off Judaism, which helps explain why both share similar traits and customs.

Certainly they are not a threat to each other operationally.

Here is why.

Both religions are rules oriented.  To be a member means that one must obey many procedures, dictates and customs.

Learning such rules takes time and extensive acculturation.

As such, it isn’t likely that a member of one is going to abandon his religion in order to learn another which also has many rules, but different, requiring a hefty investment of time.

People are generally lazy.

It’s much more likely that a member of one of these religions will join Christianity which has few rules.

Other than accepting Christ as your savior, doing unto others as you would have others do unto you, and renouncing wealth which few Christians obey anyway, it’s a nobrainer to go from a rules-based religion to Christianity. Which many do.

You mean that’s it,asks the potential convert.   Jesus, where do I sign up?

Christianity stands as the true threat to all rules-based religions which is why Christians  have been traditionally persecuted all over the world in different eras by many religions including pagan religions.

Rome gets bragging rights.

Contributing to this threat is Christianity’s missionary zeal, its commitment to spreading its good news, its fervor to convert everyone to Christianity.

The stands in contrast to the Jews who have no interest in converting anyone unless the person applies and then jumps through many hoops.

It is this reluctance to proselytize and convert which enables the Jews to live side-by-side amongst Muslims in peace.

Hence Judaism does not serve as a drain on Islam.

Nor is Islam a threat to Judaism.  Even though Islam seeks to convert, Judaism is not viewed as low hanging fruit or prime meat because of its low volume and non-desire to convert Muslims.

So what results is a symbiotic relationship between Jews and Muslims. 

Which explains why the Jews followed the Muslims when the Christians kicked the Muslims out of Spain.

And why Jews, barring a major shift in the religion, will always prefer Muslims over Christians.

Close examination will reveal great working relationships between Jews and Muslims spanning centuries.

What you see going on in Israel and Palestine today is an aberration fueled by greed, greed fueled by another religion which hasn’t yet defined itself as a religion but is one nonetheless.

The religion is called Corporatism and it seeks not to convert but to destroy.

It requires that you abandon your religion completely and accept its amorphous, numb doctrine of consumption and whatever bullshit it’s selling.

But it has no empathy and desire to understand your plight. Having no mind,  it runs roughshod over those standing in its way.

It identifies an enemy and takes it. It mindlessly asks its adherents to annihilate the perceived enemy.  It only requires that you obey.

There is no God of decency in it.

Truth means nothing. Lies are its currency.

And so Jews who are not Jews supported by Christians who are not Christians – having converted to Corporatism – work together to destroy Palestinians with impunity.

Corporatism is a pernicious, malicious, and malignant religion.

It arose from the void left when people abandoned their religion.

It took the simplicity and zeal of Christianity and fused it with the obedience of Judaism plus the idea that this Earth is all that there is.

Follow me and consume all.

It is the doctrine of a cancer cell.

It takes no prisoners.

It will destroy Jews and Muslims alike.  

Christians too.

The Eternal Dance

This is what Pope Francis said:

“A Christian cannot be an anti-Semite; we share the same roots. It would be a contradiction of faith and life. Rather, we are called to commit ourselves to ensure anti-Semitism is banned from the human community.”

Here’s my question: If a Christian goes to church is that an anti-Semitic act?

Are Christians harming the sensibilities of Jews by attending a Sunday service?

You may laugh, but I guarantee you there are people who believe just that.  In short time, they will express such.

There is a modern trend to homogenize Judaism and Christianity – to link them as brothers in arms.

Supporting this is the phrase Judeo-Christian nation. We hear political leaders use this term all the time.

One would think that Christianity is only a step away from Judaism philosophically.

But it is not.

Christianity represents a radical departure from Judaism.

Radical.

In essence, Judaism is a hierarchical religion where rules, interpretations and power flow from the top down much like its atheistic sister religion communism.

Christianity in its Protestant form is nothing of the sort.

And that is the brand of Christianity of which I speak here.

Christianity works from the bottom up beginning with a personal relationship with Jesus who functions as God’s interlocutor on Earth. Christianity has few rules other than doing unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Whereas Judaism emphasizes works, Christianity most decidedly puts the kibosh on works never better illustrated than by Jesus renouncing a crown.  By doing so, Jesus is saying to us that there is little value in titles, money and awards.  What Jesus preaches is process.   If the process is bad, says Jesus, what’s the point?

When it comes to the afterlife, Jews believe that your presence is manifested through the memories of those who are alive.   I can not disagree with this logic.  What this promotes, though, in this life is a drive to produce as big an impact as possible.  Unfortunately for us, man is stupid, and so what results is a piling up of titles, awards and possessions.  Man is of simple thought, not smart enough to think qualitatively – to equate a kind word with a skyscraper. 

Christians emphasize an afterlife whose entrance can not be gained through works alone.  One must accept Christ and what Christ teaches which is most decidedly not embodied by  owning the biggest house on the block.  What this produces is a flattening of wealth distribution from the bottom up.  We are more financially equal not because a politburo or a government dictates such but because we choose not to be so accumulative in the first place.  Enough is enough.

And so what we have is an impasse. We have two radically different approaches to life.  Yet people are told that the religions are similar, on a continuum, as if one was walking in a mall from Spencer Gifts to Ann Taylor Loft.

But they are not.

Not only are they not similar, they represent existential threats to each other.  They are natural enemies.

In time one must destroy or weaken the other in order to survive.

It’s just the way it is.

It’s not a wish; it’s reality.  And all the hugging, posturing and beautiful language in the world can not change this.

Christianity is a threat to Judaism because it is an easier more open platform to adopt. As such, for Judaism to survive, to stave off death, it must necessarily weaken Christianity. 

Which it does through Hollywood and the government.

Judaism says that it does not desire to convert; oh, but it does. It does so through secular means.

Socialism is secular Judaism.  The politburo replaces the Sanhedrin.  The oppressive bureaucracy of the socialist state replaces Jewish Law.  Abstruse Marxist reasoning replaces the abstruse reasoning of Jewish theologians.  Political correctness replaces Kosher law and thought.

In the past century as the Jews have become more successful, they have  prosecuted their values  through Hollywood and the government.  There is nothing immoral or illegal about this, by the way.  This is the way the system works.  You make the money; you get to spend it how you see fit.

Consequently, millions upon millions of former Christians have been converted into secular Jews (socialists and communists) only they don’t know it.

One can barely recognize America as a Christian nation anymore. People are now focused on getting rich, going to a prestigious school, becoming famous, winning awards, having their own clothing line.

A Wikipedia page would be nice.

Does this sound like Jesus renouncing a crown?

Likewise, our society has become less tolerant of people’s faults.  Routinely we hear the media call for someone’s resignation for the most minor of infractions – usually a violation of liberal orthodoxy.  Slogans like “failure is not an option” are now commonplace in the schools.

This new intolerance is the God of the Old Testament, not the new. This is not the way of Jesus.

Jesus said let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

In the world of Jesus, failure must be an option. People must forgive others as well as themselves.

But they often can not because they have been conned into turning away from the principles that Christ teaches.

And so they struggle vainly for the bucks  and glory; and when they don’t get it because  there are only so many spots at the top, they cannot forgive themselves.  Many kill themselves; many turn to drugs and alcohol.

One girl from an Ivy League school who found herself struggling academically threw herself off a parking garage.

Is this the world we want?

Compounding the stress of trying to be “someone,” is the stress of having to conform to a dizzying array of politically correct behaviors and thoughts.

Politically correct thought and behavior are not Christian in scope, but Jewish.  

It is Judaism (as well as Christianity gone wrong)  that attempts to place a carapace upon human behavior and thought.  It is Judaism that mandates conformity to the dictates of an elite Sanhedrin or the elite musings of Jewish theologians.  

Think about it:  Who is deciding what is acceptable but today’s secular equivalent of the Sanhedrin?

Christianity will have none of this for Christianity works from the inside out.  Christ only asks that you not unreasonably judge others for the silly things that people say and do.

And so we sit at an impasse.

We have two religions vying for supremacy. Only one can win.  And only one will win.

Despite the rhetoric there will never be any “coming together.”  This is a myth prosecuted by the human potential movement.

Peace is only transitory.  

Yet lies persist.  And media people and religious leaders who should know better continue to promote the myth that Judaism and Christianity are brothers holding hands happily skipping through the woods.  

Sorry, Charlie.

Judaism and Christianity are no more alike because they share a common history than a bicycle is like an airplane because Orville and  Wilbur Wright built both of them.

So, let’s return to the initial question: Will Christians going to church be seen as an anti-Semitic act?

In time it will be because it is.  

Larry’s Story: The True Story of Christ

Along time ago in a land far, far away, there was a bright Jewish boy named Larry.

That’s what he called himself. Of course, his name could have been Phil, Steve or even Shlomo.

It doesn’t matter.

Larry had an ordinary job, but he didn’t care. He loved to learn and he was curious about the world around him.  That is what motivated him.

He could not have cared less about money.

He soaked up everything that the “rabbis” could teach.  But he wasn’t a perfect person. There was something about him that was a little off. Maybe it was an attitude problem. Maybe he had attention deficit disorder.  Maybe it was both.

Or maybe it was something else.

His defect prevented him from going to the top as far as the rabbis were concerned.  He wasn’t one of their top picks to enter the elite yeshiva.

This bothered Larry because he felt he was just as smart if not smarter than the boys who were picked. He didn’t think it was fair that he should be relegated to second class status.

He didn’t want to be rich; he wanted to be consulted.  He wanted a seat at the table.

Not wanting to live a second class life in his village, he decided to leave. He was curious about the world anyway. So he left and traveled the globe as he knew it.

On his travels, he met many people who lived differently than his own people. He learned about many different cultures.  He soaked it up like a sponge.

Part of him was looking for a more eternal truth. When he was young teenager his father had died. This caused great stress to him emotionally and mentally. It caused him to lose confidence in the world and in himself.

Larry had doubts and questions.

He felt that if he could get himself fixed, he’d be more acceptable to people, particularly the top rabbis.

His father’s death has caused him to become very angry with the world. The rabbis must’ve sensed this, he figured.

Going abroad certainly helped Larry, but it also made him angrier.  Why should I have had to leave my home, he asked himself.   

He liked living abroad, but he longed for home.  It was his goal to return there someday.

Finally, the day came where he decided to return home. His plan was to go back and tell everybody what he had learned abroad. He was pretty excited about it.

So that is what he did.

He resolved  to tell the elders all that he had learned.  He was sure that they would be interested.

First he went to his rabbi.  No dice.  His rabbi wasn’t interested. Neither were the other Jewish elders.  Why rock the boat, Larry, they said to him.  Just go along.  To get along you have to go along.

Larry was upset.  He went back to his rabbi and told him how disappointed he was.

Look, Larry, his rabbi said, the Sanhedrin will never accept you.  Why not look at the handwriting on the wall?

Why not be satisfied with what God has given you, he added.  Be a street sweeper. We need street sweepers.

Larry was disappointed,  but undaunted he decided to take this message to the people.

He discovered very quickly that it’s a tough world out there. He had a lot of competition.

He tried to get people to listen to him, but he wasn’t very successful. 

His message was a quiet one. That was the problem. The people who seemed to attract the biggest crowds were loud, bombastic blowhards – the Donald Trumps of the day.

Larry contemplated emulating them but then said to himself: I can’t do that. My message goes against that.

He was so frustrated.

Quite frankly, Larry had been a failure, an absolute failure. He couldn’t get one person to listen to him speak.

And disciples?  Fuhgeddaboutit.

Being ignored is the worst, he exclaimed aloud to no one but himself.  I’d rather be crucified.

He couldn’t give his message away.  

He tried standing on rocks, going from door-to-door, striking up a conversation with friends.

Zip.

People would either turn away or give him a patronizing smile.

Unable to take the pain, Larry contemplated opening up a restaurant, a gym, even a shirt factory.

He couldn’t do it though. He felt God had given him a special purpose in life; and that made him angry.

Why did you make me this way, Lord, he pleaded.  Why can’t I be like everyone else who doesn’t care. Why can’t I just live an ignorant, happy life and make money?  Why can’t I be a corrupt heathen who enjoys wine, women and song?

Of course, that was just empty talk. He knew he could never be a savage.  He couldn’t because of what he saw around him.

And what he saw around him was poverty and disparity of wealth.  He saw the rabbis and elders sitting atop a mountain of wealth and their followers living in poverty at the bottom.

This is why there were so many bombastic street preachers.

Larry felt that these preachers were selling unworkable solutions. He didn’t feel that their solutions cut to the core of the issue. On the contrary he felt that what he had to say would fix things.

Nobody cares what I say, he concluded, because people have become weakened to where they are unable to accept a long-term solution.

A starving man wants bread right away, not a book teaching him how to farm.

Yet bread alone would not fix things, he concluded.

So he quit.  

His despair got the best of him.  

He had fallen in love anyway. He had met a girl named Pam.

One day he and Pam made the decision to split and never return.

Larry felt relieved. He went to bed that night and felt pretty good about the decision that he and Pam had made.

When he woke up the next morning he felt something gnawing at his stomach.

Okay, he said to himself, I’m just going to give them what they want. I’m gonna give them the bullshit.

In spades.

So he sat down to write a book. But not just any book.

What are you doing, asked Pam.

Just give me a minute, said Larry. This won’t take me long.  We’ll leave in a few hours.

Actually, it took about a week.

Larry sat down and wrote out what he thought was a pretty good story.   It was about a guy who came to Earth. He called himself the son of God. He was born in a stable.  When he grew up, he walked around and spoke to adoring crowds who cheered him.  He collected a group of followers who hung on his every word.  He said things like:  a) do unto others as you would have others do unto you, b) let he who is without sin cast the first stone and c) process is more important than money and titles.  His message was one of tolerance for other’s mistakes.  Revenge was out.

When he wasn’t busy preaching, he was performing miracles on people. He brought people back from the dead. He walked on water. He cured diseases. He made blind people see.  He attracted so many people that the authorities became alarmed. To get rid of him, they crucified him. After he was crucified he arose from the dead.  

Larry wrote the story out once, then again, then again, then one more time making slight modifications each time.

The story was the antithesis of what Larry’s life had been.   The only thing that was true about it were the parables, lessons and stories that Larry had wanted to tell people.

After he was done, Larry looked at the four drafts and said:  This is a total bullshit story.  I cannot put this out. It goes against every fiber of my being.

So Larry tossed the four drafts in a cabinet before he and Pam split for Japan.

In Japan, Larry and Pam lived a happy life before they died.  They had a dog named Dog.

Decades later a man who had come to live in Larry’s old house discovered by accident the cabinet where Larry had tossed his story.

In the intervening decades since Larry had lived in his house things had gotten pretty bad. The economy sucked and polarization of wealth was worse than it had ever been.

The guy who found Larry’s books was no philosopher like Larry, but he was a pretty good salesman. He was able to sell ice cubes to Eskimos.

We’ll call him Pablo.

He wasn’t exactly like Ray Kroc selling milkshake mixers to restaurants, but he was pretty close.

As he looked through Larry’s books he knew he had found the mother lode.

I can sell this, he exclaimed.

He had found his McDonalds.

He knew the people were hurting, and he knew just how to sell it to them.  And so he did.

People “ate up” Larry’s books.

The four different drafts were widely circulated.

People came to accept Larry’s “bullshit” story as truth.

They called themselves Christians.

As they grew in numbers, the authorities, both Roman and Jewish, became alarmed.

What is this bullshit, they exclaimed.

Renunciation of wealth?  Who doesn’t want to get rich, they asked.

One day Pablo was invited by the top rabbis and Jewish elders to explain this rising tide of Christianity.

Pablo was hopeful that they would come to embrace Larry’s book.

But they didn’t.

They held the book up and said:  A man walking on water?  Bringing people back from the dead. This is bullshit.

This is true, Pablo replied before adding:  But the people like it because it adds peace and calm to their lives.  Gang violence is down, and the economy seems to be working better for them.  What’s not to like about that?