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Posts by El Guapo

A Divine Thought

As I ate lunch today I was thinking about what ‘God’ may say to us should he manifest himself and look around.  

I think he might wonder how human beings have twisted their thinking so much that they believe it God’s will to kill other human beings and to do it in God’s name!  

For the religious person, God created everything so what would give a person the right to kill another of God’s own creations?  In the eyes of a supreme being wouldn’t this be the height of arrogance?  And furthermore, the religious books are quite specific when they say “Thou shalt not kill.”  I mean it is only one sentence and short sentence at that!  It would be rather hard to analyze this sentence and the four words that comprise it to arrive at an interpretation that means the opposite!  

Yet, the three majors, Christians, Muslims and Jews simply cannot get the most important commandment through their collective heads!  

If the religions could not do this correctly then why should anyone pay even a moments attention to all the other nonsense they’ve spewn forth throughout the ages?  

Finally, this thought just suddenly entered my head.  I believe it might actually be a miracle because I was eating pizza and thinking about painting when this thought suddenly barged in and implored me to write it down!  By God this might have been a mystical experience, a vision such as the Saints have had in the days of old!  

Perhaps God has revealed his will through me!  

He says:

“Let’s start over; the only commandment shall be; Thou shalt not kill.  That’s it, once you can get that right we can worry about all the other stuff.  Just concentrate on that and in your services to me, just repeat it for 45 minutes.  You can sing it, mumble it, give a homily about it, but only repeat this over and over, nothing else.  When the call to prayer echos over the rooftops say nothing else but that.  Jews – what you call Kavanah, just put those four words in the center of it, nothing else.”

Very clear direction there.  Unfortunately given humanities track record I would imagine the following will happen:

  • They will forget it in the next 5 minutes
  • They will find a way to interpret it with the opposite meaning
  • By some miracle the killing will stop, but then people will be imprisoned, or perhaps tourtured, or perhaps interrogated by enhanced methods if they happen to be in the USA.   

Then we will have to wait another 3,000 years for God to intervene again.  Or maybe his instructions will come through a vision or mystical experience as it was known in the old days but whose name and definition has changed in modern times and can be found in a copy of Psychiatry Today.  

The ISIS takes a page from Spanish Conquistadors!

While reading my Lapham’s Quarterly I came across the “Requerimiento” (Requirement).  This was a written declaration of sovereignty and war, read by Spanish military forces to assert their sovereignty over the Americas.  

 “It was used to justify the assertion that God, through historical Saint Peter and appointed Papal successors, held authority as ruler over the entire Earth; and that the Inter CaeteraPapal Bull, of 4 May 1493 by Pope Alexander VI, conferred title over all the Americas to the Spanish monarchs.[1] The Requerimiento probably had its origins as early as the 8th century in the Dawah messages sent to non-Muslim nations by Arab conquerors, demanding that their recipients submit to Islamic rule (see Aslim Taslam).[2]

History repeats itself indeed!  The ISIS is taking a page from the Conquistadors who most likely took a page from 8th century Arabs!  So much for religion being about peace, love and not killing people.  

The Christians might say that this was during a more primitive time so it is unfair to compare.  My response to that would be another question.  Wouldn’t the teachings of the Bible be universal and timeless since it is supposedly the word of God?  Therefore, the only answer could be it is man’s understanding of scriptures that have changed.  Yes, the Western nations still make war but in all fairness I do not see any “Christian” armies marauding around, trying to take over more land and threatening people to either convert or die.  The Christians already went through that phase back with the Inquisition over 200 years ago.   

I do however see “Muslim” groups marauding all over the place and killing people.  The elite clerics of various countries stress that this is not Islam and these groups should be condemned.  It is hard to say this is not a characteristic of Islam when it keeps repeating itself over and over again.  Extremist groups are a concentrated version of the overall religion and belief just as condensed milk is an extreme version of cow’s milk.  And when I look around I do not see even the extremely concentrated versions of Christianity beheading people.  

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The Requerimiento document: written in 1513 by jurist Juan López de Palacios Rubios of the Council of Castile:

“On behalf of the King, Don Fernando, and of Doña Juana I, his daughter, Queen of Castille and León, subduers of the barbarous nations, we their servants notify and make known to you, as best we can, that the Lord our God, Living and Eternal, created the Heaven and the Earth, and one man and one woman, of whom you and we, all the men of the world at the time, were and are descendants, and all those who came after and before us. But, on account of the multitude which has sprung from this man and woman in the five thousand years since the world was created, it was necessary that some men should go one way and some another, and that they should be divided into many kingdoms and provinces, for in one alone they could not be sustained.
Of all these nations God our Lord gave charge to one man, called St. Peter, that he should be Lord and Superior of all the men in the world, that all should obey him, and that he should be the head of the whole Human Race, wherever men should live, and under whatever law, sect, or belief they should be; and he gave him the world for his kingdom and jurisdiction.
And he commanded him to place his seat in Rome, as the spot most fitting to rule the world from; but also he permitted him to have his seat in any other part of the world, and to judge and govern all Christians, MoorsJewsGentiles, and all other Sects. This man was called Pope, as if to say, Admirable Great Father and Governor of men. The men who lived in that time obeyed that St. Peter, and took him for Lord, King, and Superior of the universe; so also they have regarded the others who after him have been elected to the pontificate, and so has it been continued even till now, and will continue till the end of the world.
One of these Pontiffs, who succeeded that St. Peter as Lord of the world, in the dignity and seat which I have before mentioned, made donation of these isles and Tierra-firme to the aforesaid King and Queen and to their successors, our lords, with all that there are in these territories, as is contained in certain writings which passed upon the subject as aforesaid, which you can see if you wish.
So their Highnesses are kings and lords of these islands and land of Tierra-firme by virtue of this donation: and some islands, and indeed almost all those to whom this has been notified, have received and served their Highnesses, as lords and kings, in the way that subjects ought to do, with good will, without any resistance, immediately, without delay, when they were informed of the aforesaid facts. And also they received and obeyed the priests whom their Highnesses sent to preach to them and to teach them our Holy Faith; and all these, of their ownfree will, without any reward or condition, have become Christians, and are so, and their Highnesses have joyfully and benignantly received them, and also have commanded them to be treated as their subjects and vassals; and you too are held and obliged to do the same. Wherefore, as best we can, we ask and require you that you consider what we have said to you, and that you take the time that shall be necessary to understand and deliberate upon it, and that you acknowledge the Church as the Ruler and Superior of the whole world, and the high priest called Pope, and in his name the King and Queen Doña Juana our lords, in his place, as superiors and lords and kings of these islands and this Tierra-firme by virtue of the said donation, and that you consent and give place that these religious fathers should declare and preach to you the aforesaid.
If you do so, you will do well, and that which you are obliged to do to their Highnesses, and we in their name shall receive you in all love and charity, and shall leave you, your wives, and your children, and your lands, free without servitude, that you may do with them and with yourselves freely that which you like and think best, and they shall not compel you to turn Christians, unless you yourselves, when informed of the truth, should wish to be converted to our Holy Catholic Faith, as almost all the inhabitants of the rest of the islands have done. And, besides this, their Highnesses award you many privileges and exemptions and will grant you many benefits.
But, if you do not do this, and maliciously make delay in it, I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can, and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and of their Highnesses; we shall take you and your wives and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them as their Highnesses may command; and we shall take away your goods, and shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as to vassals who do not obey, and refuse to receive their lord, and resist and contradict him; and we protest that the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault, and not that of their Highnesses, or ours, nor of these cavaliers who come with us. And that we have said this to you and made this Requisition, we request the notary here present to give us his testimony in writing, and we ask the rest who are present that they should be witnesses of this Requisition.”

Ebola Virus – Kent Brantly and God

I was watching the news this morning and they went to a live feed where Dr. Kent Brantly survived the Ebola virus and is going to be released from the hospital. 

It is wonderful that he has survived and he is very courageous going into an extremely dangerous zone to try and help people.  

In his speech this morning he gave much praise to God and said his recovery is directly related to God’s intervention as a result from all the prayers.  

I found it curious that a doctor would thank God for a cure more so than the drugs and treatment so I looked up the organization he works for and it is called Samaritans Purse which of course is a Christian organization.  I’m not very familiar with them but for any group that goes into dangerous situations in order to help people is worthy of the highest praise.  

Perhaps this belief in a divine being that directly intervenes in our lives as the result of prayer is worth something since it does cause humans to act kindly and try to help people even when it puts their own lives at risk.  I would imagine that without this belief people would be a lot less willing to put their own lives at risk to help others.  I’m sure many still would but I think it would net out negatively if everyone suddenly stopped believing in God.

As for my own opinion about God should he exist I think he is doing an absolutely terrible job since he has let 1200 Africans die of Ebola but decided to save Dr. Bradley.  Perhaps nobody prayed for all those Africans or they didn’t pray intensively enough?  Perhaps Africans don’t given enough money to the church and thus God deems them unworthy of saving?  

Apologies, it just infuriates me to see people praising God and giving him credit for helping one person when many hundreds have died from the same disease.  

God – You’re doing an awful job and I humbly request a new one as soon as possible.  

Africa Dinner

Israel invasion of Gaza – 2nd Post

At the gym today I had the misfortune to look up at the t.v. which was tuned to CNN.  They were covering the Israeli invasion and my blood started to boil.  

It appears an Israeli soldier was taken hostage and it was being called a “game changer.”  

I absolutely detest the way Americans describe war in terms of a sporting event.  But perhaps it is fitting as American media continually roots for one team which is Israel while trying to justify the worst atrocities.   

I wonder how many children were killed by Israel today.  I’m sure there must be some good reason like Hamas was hiding very ineffective missiles there which mostly are intercepted by their much touted Iron Dome anyway.  Seems like a perfectly good reason to kill those little Arabs.  I wonder what the accepted Israeli ratio is in terms of dead children to a discovered missile cache or tunnel.  Is the discovery of another tunnel worth 10 dead children?  20?  Perhaps one tunnel is worth unlimited dead children to Israel?  

I’ve seen too many articles these past weeks trying to justify dead kids.  Most of the articles put the blame on Hamas which is certainly accurate.  Hamas is vile.  But the fact remains that the damage Hamas inflicts on Israel is negligent.  The damage Israel inflicts on Gaza is obscene.  

I find this would be a good time for a quote.  

Out of our memory…of the Holocaust we must forge an unshakable oath with all civilized people that never again will the world stand silent, never again will the world…fail to act in time to prevent this terrible crime of genocide….we must harness the outrage of our own memories to stamp out oppression wherever it exists. We must understand that human rights and human dignity are indivisible.

Well apparently this quote is moot when the shoe is on the other foot now isn’t it.  Gaza looks pretty much like a concentration camp to seeing as the inhabitants cannot leave and the Israelis are doing their best to kill as many as possible.  Yes yes, please tell me how they call and warn the residents they are going to come blow up their house only to throw a shell right on the UN school.  

Another event in sporting news is that an Israeli soldier was captured and the American media referred to it as “a game changer.”  So let me understand this.   Over 1500 dead Gazans with a good portion of that being children is not a game changer but one captured Israeli is?  

What do you think happens in a war?  What do soldiers do in wars?  They kill people!  It seems entirely reasonable to me that the Gazans might want to do as much harm as possible to the Israeli soldiers wouldn’t they?  

So while I was at the gym they showed this Israeli soldiers picture about 15 times in 45 minutes.  Please take a guess how many dead Gazan children they showed.   

Zero.

Well, maybe I could just look up the carnage Israel is unleashing on the internet?

Israeli censorship

 

Nope!!!  Blocked, censored, not allowed!  We can only see the image of the captured Israeli over and over and over.  No Palestinian dead children allowed please.  Nothing to see here.   

Here in the US you simply cannot say anything bad against Israeli if you happen to be a politician or in the media.  The tentacles of Israel reach deeply into this country and have a stranglehold.  

These tentacles run so deep that Israel can commit the most horrible atrocities and the US will not only continue to justify the reasons but fund the bombs that kill these children as well?  Why?  Because America has a fucking ‘special relationship’ with Israel.  Aka, Israel has the US sucking its dick.  

And how will all of this play out?  Will this latest genocide bring peace to the region and turn all the Gazans into Israel supporters?  I think not.  Yes, who wouldn’t love a country or race that killed not only someone’s entire family but all the neighbors as well.  Hey, after all they sent a memo it was coming didn’t they?  

 

North Korea is NOT pleased!

“the North feels the clip, which shows Kim dancing and Kung-Fu fighting, ‘seriously compromises Kim’s dignity and authority.’”

Israel invasion of Gaza

No need for a long post here and I certainly won’t try to change anyone’s opinion.  I just wanted to point out one small blurb in this BBC article.

“It brings the number of Israeli soldiers killed in the current offensive to 18.

The deaths of so many soldiers on a single day will shock Israeli society, the BBC’s Chris Morris reports from southern Israel.”

The number of Palestinians currently killed in the Israeli invasion as of 7/20/2014 stands at 425.  

So if I understand this correctly, 425 Palestinians does not shock Israeli society but any more than a few soldiers of their own killed is shocking?  

Seems the media continues to be very pro Israel.  I read news from a number of sources around the world and in more cases than not the Palestinians are described as terrorists while that word has never been used to describe the Israelis.  

Furthermore, in the opinion sections of most dailies I’ve already seen pro Israel pieces aplenty.  Know how many pro Palestinian pieces I’ve seen in the Western media?   

Zero.  

Now that you’ve read the above you might think I’m pro-Palestine?  I do not support either side.  In one quick paragraph here is how I see it.  

Israel has a right to exist.  The Palestinians have a right to not be enslaved by Israel and create their own state.  Israel should quit oppressing the Palestinians and the Palestinians should quit terrorizing Israel.  There you have it.  

Unfortunately, I do not see things getting any better.  I see war for the next three centuries unless another world war redraws the maps again.  

 

Russia shooting down passenger planes again

Looks like Russia could climb back up to enemy #1 again after a brief 25 year lull. When the USSR fell the attention turned to random, disorganized terrorists who tried very hard to bring down planes full of innocent people,,,, but Russia actually does it.

A leopard never changes its spots I suppose.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Air_Lines_Flight_007

500px-Putin-Evil-Bond-Villain-Never-Misses-His-Mark

BBC News – UK non-Christian claims ‘absurd’, senior Tories say

BBC News – UK non-Christian claims ‘absurd’, senior Tories say.

I came across this article today and had to comment.

What I find hard to comprehend is that we have more education, more knowledge and more science readily available to our populations today than at any other time in history.  Yet, our societies cannot shake free from thousand year old beliefs full of magic, fairy tales, and made up stories (many of which have since been discredited) that make up religion.

Here we have two seemingly intelligent men who have risen quite high in politics.  Yet they demand that the UK is a “Christian” nation.  They are correct that Christianity took root in the UK and have influenced the country for 1,500 years.  In this case the UK is a Christian nation.

But the UK was pagan before the Christians came so wouldn’t it also be fair to say the UK is a pagan nation or is 1,500 years the cut off.

I had to laugh when I read this:

“We are also a very tolerant nation. In fact one of the great Christian values is tolerance and respect for other people, people of other faiths, other views. So I think our Christian heritage sits very comfortably alongside our plurality and our tolerance as a people.”

Yes, if we read the history books we see how tolerant the English are/were of all the countries they colonized.  The list is rather long and can be found here.  I’m sure all the natives really appreciated the Christian tolerance of the British when they were being invaded and subjugated.

As a consequence of colonization there has been mass immigration to the UK from the colonized countries which certainly hasn’t sat well with the white natives!

It’s not that the conservatives didn’t try to stop it.  Just a quick look on Google and I came across one of the most famous speeches against immigration called the “Rivers of Blood speech” .  In this speech a conservative member of Parliament tried to warn his countrymen about the dangers of letting in all these colored colonial subjects into the UK!

Well, Enoch Powell was right; this is why London is now called Londinistan.

It seems to me that the demand the UK be known as a “Christian” nation is just a cry to try and hang on to the past, a past when there weren’t very many immigrants, which is what old conservative white men do best.  Their ancestors went out conquering other nations and when the mess comes back to haunt them (albeit with a 300 or so year lag) they get all upset about it.

But to throw them a bone, I would say that Europe is vastly more tolerant of immigrants than most countries in the world.  Change comes slowly and the immigrants should do their part and try to fit in to the host culture.  After all, if their culture is the most important thing to them, then wouldn’t it serve them well to just go back?

If the old white men want to call the UK a Christian country let them do so.   With so many immigrants holding other beliefs the UK is actually a multi-religious country no matter what a couple of old Tories say.

It’s just a shame that no matter how the argument turns out, Christianity, while it does have its good parts, is just one more way for mankind is trying to explain his own existence, which like the other religions, is not based in facts.

In the end, these two Tories are simply saying that since the traditional bed time story of the UK has been read for the past 1,500 years it should really be considered the official bed time story and that’s that.

 

MBA and Christianity?

21st century capitalism through a 1st century worldview!  

It simply amazes me that with all our progress and all our magnificent universities of learning that have no comparison throughout history, the majority of humanity is still bound by the ancient beliefs from a time when humanity knew very little about anything!  

Perhaps the reason is that we do not have a solid explanation for these basic questions and therefore invent stories to comfort us against the terror of simply not knowing?  
 
1.)  Where am I from?
2.) What am I?  
3.) Where am I?  
4.) What does the source, the origin of all creation?  

So what spurned this post?  We’ll this advertisement I just saw on Facebook.  

MBA Christian Worldview

 

Being rather familiar with Christianity, I have a hard time reconciling true Christianity with an MBA.  An MBA is learning how to best increase profits, nothing more.  True Christianity is divesting yourself of all you own, your family, friends and following Christ.  I fail to see how the two are compatible.  

This world I live in seems to get more ridiculous as time goes on.   

Just for the record I wonder how Christians would react if they saw an advertisement for an MBA with a Muslim worldview, or a Jewish worldview?  This just shows that the people who created this add live in a bubble and know very little about the rest of the world.  Therefore, why value is their “worldview?”  It would be like asking a child their opinion of a college course!  

 

 

 

New Year 2014

I usually like to write about an event while it is actually happening. This year I just didn’t have the enthusiasm to write for Christmas and am a little bit delayed for the New Year. So today, I’m forcing myself to get my thoughts down.

This New Year’s Eve we did not go to any special parties, dinners or anything like that. So I thought it would be a good idea to get a picture of the last sunset of 2013 and the first sunrise of 2014. For the sunset, I got on my bike and rode up the mountain which takes about an hour. Up there on that mountain I reflected on why we make such a fuss over the change of years. After all it is just a way for us to keep track of one more revolution around the sun.

I took a look at the Facebook posts and is was very clear that everyone was excited and in great spirits. Then I made a connection.

As I stood up there on the mountain overlooking the ocean I realized that the New Year and those that gaze out over the sea have much in common. The New Year represents possibilities, the unknown, a change for the better! So too does the ocean. Looking out over the vast sea towards the horizon the portal through which one could change their lives entirely if they only gain the courage to set foot on the boat or airplane and go!

The New Year gives us a reason, an excuse to wipe the slate clean and start again. But just as those who stare out over the ocean and wonder must step on the boat or plane to turn their fantasy into reality, so too must the NYE reveler act to bring about change in their life. They must open those doors to possibilities instead of passively waiting for their hopes to come to them.

Looking over a beautiful scene like this I had no regrets about not attending a New Year’s Eve party. This experience was much more meaningful and did not give me a hangover the next day.

As I look back on 2013 I am most grateful for my experiences and the fact that I’ve recorded most of those experiences. What is life if not just an accumulation of our experiences? Experiences shape us, make us who we are. Everyday we wake up and experience life. Making morning coffee, reading the news, learning about the Roman empire, living overseas, these are all experiences. In fact from the moment we are conceived until the moment we die is all just an accumulation of experiences combining to form one big life experience.

Therefore, I really cannot see how anything could be higher in terms of importance than trying to have a good life experience and helping others do the same. Everything we do, every goal we set is in the hopes of having some sort of experience.

Now, for 2013, I had plenty of wonderful experiences and I find it very valuable to try and record these experiences. The important thing is to know when to put the camera down and really soak in the moment, taking it all in and making it part of who I am. But I also like to relive these moments and thus take plenty of pictures and video. Having the picture above helps me remember how beautiful that moment was although it was quite cold! To be all alone on that mountain in the cold as the sun has set and darkness advances is a truly wonderful experience.

The next morning I awoke at 5:00am and went to the Bay in order to catch the sunrise. Just as 2014 is the beginning of the New Year full of all its possibilities, the sunrise is the beginning of a new day full of possibilities and excitement.

People often make resolutions and how imagine how things will be different in the new year but this could also be done with each and every sunrise. Each single day is going to contribute to how the year 2014 turns out so wouldn’t it be an excellent idea to wake early and appreciate all the possibilities and opportunities that this nascent day could bring?

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