I Have A Dream

 

And it shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established at the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all of the nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come. And let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. And he will teach us of his ways, and we shall walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth Torah, and the word of God from Jerusalem — Isaiah 2:2:3

Something shifted in me this past October, after learning about the assassination-attempt on Rabbi Yehuda Glick. The Temple Mount — where Jewish access is restricted — had represented an ache in my heart, but stayed there, as elusive as a dream. Every time I visited the The Western Wall, I would feel sadness and loss, knowing that I was so close, yet so far away, but somehow I had accepted the status quo and settled for this state of silent complacency.

Then someone drove up on a motorcycle and tried cutting down a man who had kept the dream alive for all of us, and I knew in my heart that this could not stand.

A few months later, I went to the Limmud conference in England to give lectures and to learn. Between planning my own sessions and giving them, I went to listen to a British orthodox Rabbi talk about Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. I knew it was a liberal crowd, and perhaps I should have stayed away. I didn’t, however, and — 45 minutes later — I found my stomach turning.

In the middle of the lecture, the Rabbi showed a short clip of Rabbi Glick speaking about our right to pray on the Temple Mount, and why there should be consequences for the denial of this right. The audience murmured, and — as the video faded to black — the Rabbi asked:

“What is it he is really saying? “

In my opinion, Yehuda Glick is to the Jewish world what Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was to the Civil Rights movement. Mr Glick is putting the Temple Mount in the context where it belongs: as an issue of human rights, making the injustice of it all so blatantly clear. Much like King in his day, Glick is being criticized for challenging what is now the status quo and putting the issue on the top of the agenda; as with King, the critiques against him come from the police, politicians, and religious leaders.

As I sat there in London, I heard a predominantly Jewish audience call Glick a troublemaker and the inciter of a 3rd Intifada, I felt like I was losing my footing. I was heartbroken, but I couldn’t really pinpoint why.

I ended up arguing with the Rabbi after the session, louder and more angrily than I had ever expected. I felt betrayal, disappointment, and rage. Within me the decision formed, slowly: I have to ascend the mountain. I have to find out for myself.

As the days drew closer, I felt the trepidation, swinging like a pendulum inside of me. I had read about the violence, the riots, and the threats and I feared that I would not be able to reach the places I wanted to inhabit. Not merely physically, but more importantly, spiritually.

I met my guide by the Kotel plaza early one Sunday morning, and — within minutes — we were there, at the place I had painted pictures of in my mind. I’m not sure what I had expected, but I know that was not what I saw. Yes, there were the expected criers, yelling “Allahu Akbar!” as we passed. There were strangers and neighbors, friends and foes, but none of it mattered because I had arrived and I stood in the sun wondering why I had not always been there.

I asked my guide why he kept coming and he told me it was in order to keep the dream alive. I knew what he meant, immediately, and as we walked up the steps I also knew what had broken my heart in that session in London weeks earlier.

The voices I heard in that room had given up on the dream. The Rabbi, the audience, all the people calling to indict the man whose blood was spilled for holding on to a dream we cried out for over centuries; they had resigned to living in yesterday, whereas my soul cried out for tomorrow.

They say that the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. What I felt before I went up on Har Habayit, the fear that dwelled in me, it was the dream being silenced by the criers on the mountain. That is terror, at its core, to make fear so prevalent that we end up thinking that we chose to stay away.

I did not know until I got there how right it was to go. But I know now, and I will keep returning, until the dream becomes reality, speedily and in our days.

We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  1. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    David Williamson (#28):Before we get on our high horse, we should remember that, by a strange quirk of fate, this was also the site where a certain someone ascended to heaven.

    If you are referring to Jesus, no; He ascended to heaven from Mt. Olivet.   The site of the Temple is still an exquisite holy place to Christians, but let’s please be as accurate and precise as we may.

    Acts 1:6-12:

    So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.  And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven?  This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”   Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.

    • #61
  2. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    Aaron Miller: #60 “Israel tolerates many things in a flimsy hope that such allowances will spare them a perpetual large war in preference for the perpetual limited war they already fight. But they shouldn’t. They should conquer the Dome of the Rock and be done with it.”

    The elected political leadership of Israel, of differing parties, have not decided to conquer the Temple Mount and remove the Dome on the Rock.  Given that Israel was born in 1948, one might assume that those leaders and the parties that they represent have examined the idea pretty thoroughly, knowing that at least some portion of the voting population is in favor of such an endeavor at any given time.  Once Israel acts, it will lead inevitably to the rebuilding of the Temple, should Israel continue to exist.

    And that is the crux of the matter.  Which is more important:  Israel as a nation  where Jews can be Jews without hiding or apology; or (and I am not dismissing this) the rebuilding of the Temple?

    Israel won’t risk the nation for the sake of the Temple.  That is a political decision.  Barring legions of angels arriving to guard the Holy Land, I suspect that it is the right decision.

    • #62
  3. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Valiant, Annika and Jim!  I’m reminded that ancient Christian communities in the region have recently ‘lost the right’ to use the word Allah as “Lord”…Saddening and angering, too.

    • #63
  4. x Inactive
    x
    @CatoRand

    Marion Evans:I don’t care much for religion. But the dome sure is an exquisite historical piece of architecture and as such belongs to all of mankind. Let us try to make room for everyone instead of excluding this or that side.

    You took the words out of my mouth.

    • #64
  5. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    MJBubba:

    David Williamson (#28):Before we get on our high horse, we should remember that, by a strange quirk of fate, this was also the site where a certain someone ascended to heaven.

    If you are referring to Jesus, no; He ascended to heaven from Mt. Olivet. The site of the Temple is still an exquisite holy place to Christians, but let’s please be as accurate and precise as we may.

    I think he was talking about Mohammad.

    • #65
  6. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    I’d like to offer a piece of political and historical context that has been missing so far. Rabbi Glick was peaceful, as are his followers. But they have had to overcome the legacy of the Jewish Underground, a settler movement that in 1984 nearly succeeded in a plot to blow up the Dome of the Rock. It was only through the efforts of the Shin Bet (Israel’s MI5) that the plot was broken up and the conspirators arrested.

    The repercussions did not end there. The plot’s leaders were influential in the settler movement. Many on the Israeli right believed they had been framed, or the accusations exaggerated, victims of prejudice by the Israeli establishment against the patriotic settler movement. Political pressure ultimately led to commutation of their sentences, and they even later served in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament). While some on the right continue to believe they were the victims of a Shin Bet out of control, most Israelis see them as dangerous criminals who should be behind bars.

    The Israeli mainstream listens to Rabbi Glick’s arguments with skepticism, not on the merits, but because of the legacy of past advocates of reestablishing a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount.

    • #66
  7. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Calvin Coolidg:

    Vectorman:

    Calvin Coolidg:

    Kay of MT:

    Calvin Coolidg: The Holy land is the birth of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. So does Islam win the argument by default?

    The Holy Land is not the birth of Islam. Islam was born in Mecca, Arabia where they worshiped a black stone.

    So what is the significance of the Temple Mount to Islam? And I misspoke. I meant the Middle East, not just the Holy land.

    Calvin, you’re somewhat correct, barely. Ishmael was born in Israel and the Arabs say they were descended from him.

    So what is the significance of the Temple Mount to Islam? It’s clearly a Jewish holy landmark. Did Muslims decide to re-write history again to make claim to it. Or is that the place that Ishmael was born?

    Supposedly, Mohammed was riding his black horse over the area and horse and rider arose to heaven, from the Temple Mount. And if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

    • #67
  8. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Aaron Miller:

    “Might makes right” isn’t a moral premise most modern Westerners are comfortable with, but it really is the way of the world. There is no objectively measurable alternative.

    There are so many examples in history of polities which had Might on their side but not Right.  (Basically all the empires, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany…) I’m not saying that Might isn’t crucial, but the lack of Right undermines and perhaps makes unviable in the long run – certainly it makes maintaining much more costly.

    I agree that just about no State has a completely clear and unfettered history of possession of its present boundaries.  But the continued existence of any State is dependent on a critical mass of two things:

    1. The assent of the ruled; and
    2. The acceptance of its neighbours

    And for these they need enough Might and enough Right.  Maybe not 100% of each, but enough in perception.

    • #68
  9. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Zafar:

    Aaron Miller:

    “Might makes right” isn’t a moral premise most modern Westerners are comfortable with, but it really is the way of the world. There is no objectively measurable alternative.

    There are so many examples in history of polities which had Might on their side but not Right. (Basically all the empires, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany…) I’m not saying that Might isn’t crucial, but the lack of Right undermines and perhaps makes unviable in the long run – certainly it makes maintaining much more costly.

    I agree that just about no State has a completely clear and unfettered history of possession of its present boundaries. But the continued existence of any State is dependent on a critical mass of two things:

    1. The assent of the ruled; and
    1. The acceptance of its neighbours

    And for these they need enough Might and enough Right. Maybe not 100% of each, but enough in perception.

    History has proven that people are more apt to subject themselves to pain in the name of “Protection”, than they are in the name of “Liberty”. Countries are more likely to invade if they’re almost certain they can conquer.

    It’s not the “Assent” of the ruled, its the “Acceptance” of the ruled. It’s not the “Acceptance” of it’s neighbors, it’s  “Concession” from its neighbors.

    History has also proven that people can’t, and will never, get along across certain levels of division. That leaves two methods of resolution, negotiate or conquer. Sooner or later, one of those two will have to be established.

    • #69
  10. user_82762 Inactive
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Annika & All,

    I think that it is self evident that the Temple Mount has been “occupied” by Islam for 1,400 years. It was the holiest site in Judaism before Islam existed. It still is the holiest site in Judaism. If Islam can’t see its way clear to allowing Jews to pray on the Mount then any claim they make to being civilized is an absurdity.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #70
  11. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Zafar:

    MJBubba:

    David Williamson (#28):Before we get on our high horse, we should remember that, by a strange quirk of fate, this was also the site where a certain someone ascended to heaven.

    If you are referring to Jesus, no; He ascended to heaven from Mt. Olivet. The site of the Temple is still an exquisite holy place to Christians, but let’s please be as accurate and precise as we may.

    I think he was talking about Mohammad.

    From: Mohammad.

    “According to Jewish tradition, the stone is the site where Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. In the story of the near-sacrifice in the Quran, the son is not named, but the majority opinion among Muslims is that the son was Ishmael rather than Isaac”

    It seems like one religion is borrowing from another to place a marker on history. Am I wrong?

    • #71
  12. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    James Gawron:Annika & All,

    I think that it is self evident that the Temple Mount has been “occupied” by Islam for 1,400 years. It was the holiest site in Judaism before Islam existed. It still is the holiest site in Judaism. If Islam can’t see its way clear to allowing Jews to pray on the Mount then any claim they make to being civilized is an absurdity.

    Regards,

    Jim

    The Mountain belongs to history, not to wishful thinking, or absurd claims. Jews seem like very patient people, until you cross a line and then they hand you your a#$, regardless of whether you agree with them or not.

    I have nothing but respect for them.

    • #72
  13. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @CalvinCoolidg

    Zafar:I’m currently in the middle of a book by Rachel Shabi,

    She’s a Leftist,  Zafar. Leftists are Leftists first and Jews, or whatever else second. Just because she’s a Jew doesn’t make her objective. (I prefer the term “Neutral”) If you don’t believe me, Google the name Chuck Schumer or Debbie Wassermann-Schultz.

    • #73
  14. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @AnnikaHernrothRothstein

    So I come back after Shabbat to find that 6 comments have turned into 73…

    After reading through this thread one thing really stands out: The level of discourse.

    I have been in more debates over Har Habayit than I wish to remember, and I have never experienced one that has not turned ugly in some way or another, until today. The fact that people are still conducting themselves with respect and afterthought 73 comments in says a lot about Ricochet and its members and reminds me why I came here in the first place.

    2 debates usually bring out the worst in an internet forum: Jewish sovereignty and gay marriage, and I have seen both debated on this site thoughtfully and intelligently. Wow, good for us!

    • #74
  15. user_82762 Inactive
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Annika Hernroth-Rothstein:So I come back after Shabbat to find that 6 comments have turned into 73…

    After reading through this thread one thing really stands out: The level of discourse.

    I have been in more debates over Har Habayit than I wish to remember, and I have never experienced one that has not turned ugly in some way or another, until today. The fact that people are still conducting themselves with respect and afterthought 73 comments in says a lot about Ricochet and its members and reminds me why I came here in the first place.

    2 debates usually bring out the worst in an internet forum: Jewish sovereignty and gay marriage, and I have seen both debated on this site thoughtfully and intelligently. Wow, good for us!

    100_0801

    Beautiful.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #75
  16. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Calvin Coolidg:

    It seems like one religion is borrowing from another to place a marker on history. Am I wrong?

    You could be right.  It all depends on which particular book you buy into – the view of the other book flows from that.  None of it is really testable or falsifiable.

    • #76
  17. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    James Gawron:I think that it is self evident that the Temple Mount has been “occupied” by Islam for 1,400 years. It was the holiest site in Judaism before Islam existed. It still is the holiest site in Judaism. If Islam can’t see its way clear to allowing Jews to pray on the Mount then any claim they make to being civilized is an absurdity.

    Unfortunately religion often seems to make us all less civilised in terms of how we treat other people.  Or at least the way people use religion to make or justify temporal claims, or conflate them with spiritual ones, can have that outcome.

    • #77
  18. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Annika –

    I came to this after Shabbos, and must say that the original post was very moving, and exactly correct. Thank you!

    I take issue with Danny – he seems to think we need to find the right set of baby steps. And he is (sort of) right, but he is a new immigrant who has drunk the kool-aid – Israel absorbs the energies of new immigrants quite quickly, and keeps them from seeing the Big Picture.

    Rebuilding the Temple is, indeed, the Big Picture for Jews. Facts that we change on the ground have a nifty way of changing the entire nature of any debate. Let’s move the goal posts: everyone should be free to pray everywhere they like.

    And if this is not acceptable to muslims (for they do not allow non-muslims within 35 miles of Mecca), then we should use simple principles of reciprocity. When Islam allows Jews and Christians in Mecca, then they can come to the Temple Mount.

    Isaiah 56:

    I will bring to My holy mountain And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” 

    • #78
  19. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Zafar:

    Unfortunately religion often seems to make us all less civilised in terms of how we treat other people.

    On the contrary! Judeo-Christianity, which consider people to all be better than mere animals (since we are all in G-d’s Image), avoids unnecessary bloodshed in war.

    It is atheists who brought us eugenics, Planned Parenthood, forced sterilizations, the murderous tyrants of the last century (Mao, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot…). ANYONE who refers to other people as being apes or monkeys or pigs are people who disavow the Torah – and they are the real threat to civilization.

    • #79
  20. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    SoS, in my opinion the willingness of Israelis to condemn those who want to rebuild the Temple, is exactly the same sentiment and argument that led to the firing on the Altalena.

    Alas, too many of us would rather have civil war than commit to winning a just war against a bona fide enemy. Jews who want to worship are not the enemy. Muslims who want us dead are the enemy.

    • #80
  21. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    iWc:

    Zafar:

    Unfortunately religion often seems to make us all less civilised in terms of how we treat other people.

    On the contrary! Judeo-Christianity, which consider people to all be better than mere animals (since we are all in G-d’s Image), avoids unnecessary bloodshed in war.

    If you say so, but people often seem to use religion to define war or bloodshed or ethnic cleansing as ‘necessary’ – because they are required to achieve religiously justified goals.  iow, it’s a slippery definition.  Is theft always theft, or can it be defined into something more acceptable if you find a religious reason to justify it?

    Why is it a religious issue whether there are any non-Muslims in Mecca or not?  Why is it a religious issue whether Israel is a majority Jewish State or not? These seem like the most narrow-minded tribal goals dressed up in religious garb – which also provides a really convenient justification for treating other people badly because it’s ‘necessary’.  Necessary for what?   For morality? I don’t think so.

    • #81
  22. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Zafar:

    iWc:

    On the contrary! Judeo-Christianity, which consider people to all be better than mere animals (since we are all in G-d’s Image), avoids unnecessary bloodshed in war.

    If you say so, but people often seem to use religion to define war or bloodshed or ethnic cleansing as ‘necessary’ – because they are required to achieve religiously justified goals.

    I will not defend religion per se. I think most religions, based as they are on paganism, predestination, and fate, are in fact quite counterproductive in terms of human achievement.

    My point is a far more limited – and, in my opinion, far more important – one. People justify murder on the basis that people are no more, in fact, than animals. They can do this for religious or non-religious reasons.

    But the Torah makes it very clear that we are made in the image of G-d and that we are, physiology notwithstanding, NOT mere animals.

    This is a profoundly moral point. All barbarous tribalism is justifiable to people who  do not think that other people have an innate value. This principle of innate respect for human life comes, not from Reason, but from the Torah.

    • #82
  23. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Zafar: Why is it a religious issue whether there are any non-Muslims in Mecca or not?

    As a baseline, we either expect everyone to follow the same rules, or we do not. The entire notion of equality before G-d comes, again, from the Torah.

    So yes: it is a religious issue whether we allow people to restrict the freedom of others. How we treat others is a religious issue – or we end up with Might Makes Right, which is the natural end-state for atheist regimes like the French Revolution, Pol Pot, Mao, Stalin, Hitler, etc.

    If people choose to restrict freedom, then we can reasonably treat them accordingly.  If muslims do not allow muslims in Mecca, then we can reasonably bar them from Jerusalem unless and until they see the error of their ways.

    • #83
  24. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Indeed, I would argue that the single BEST thing Israel could do to end the conflict would be to bulldoze the dome, and rebuild the Temple. The muslims do not fight because they must. They fight because they have not yet accepted that they have lost.

    To end the war, one must decisively win it. Rebuilding the Temple would effectively end the conflict, because it would be a clear and decisive symbol.

    • #84
  25. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    (With a sigh of relief) Thank you iWc for stepping into this conversation with your intelligent, knowledgeable, and common sense statements.

    • #85
  26. Israel P. Inactive
    Israel P.
    @IsraelP

    Good for you Annika. This is something I know I should do and have no good  excuse for not doing so.

    • #86
  27. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Btw, Christian support for rebuilding the Temple will be pivotal. Israelis assume that the world will go to war to prevent Jewish religious freedom. And they may will be right. But if they know that some Christians would be highly supportive, it could make the difference.

    • #87
  28. user_891102 Member
    user_891102
    @DannyAlexander

    #78 iWc — The “Big Picture” of a rebuilt Temple (and restoration of the worship service within its precincts by the Children of Israel) will, with Hashem’s help, be realized through Teshuva — and Teshuva hardly constitutes “baby steps.”

    Look at the Mishneh Torah/Yad Chazakah of the Rambam (Maimonides). The overarching purpose, the “Big Picture” presented via that entire corpus is that of a how-to guide for running the life of the nation (of Israel) — including restoration of the Temple and its rites, along with the restoration of the Davidic monarchy — once Mashiach’s arrival is verifiably at hand.

    This arrival does not require the perfection of the nature and conduct of the Jews — the concepts and provisions of Rambam’s Mishneh Torah will still hold and continue to require application even after the advent of Mashiach and the restoration of Temple and monarchy. What the arrival of Mashiach *does* require is a yearning among all Jews to “do” Teshuva, and the initiation of effort by all Jews in the Teshuva “process.”

    As Rav Kook expressed it, “HaYashan Yitchadesh, ve-HaChadash Yitkadesh” — The Old Will Be Renewed, and the New Will Be Sanctified. He didn’t view such developments as “baby steps,” and in our time some 75-plus years later, neither should we.

    The unity and the palpable sense of widely-shared faith and trust in Hashem was an amazing phenomenon during the very trying days of the Tzuk Eitan/Protective Edge conflict with Hamas this past Summer. Yet only a scant few weeks after the combat in Gaza halted and the terrorists’ rockets were no longer raining down on kindergartens, so much seemed to revert back to “normal” within both public and private spheres.

    Even so, there is a residual “layer,” as it were , of a newly-strengthened and more widely-shared sense of public purpose and avowedly Jewish self-identification among Israel’s Jews. This is Rav Kook’s dictum validated yet again.

    And this validation continues as a process. Yes, the process absolutely requires our own, dynamically-applied “hishtadlut”/personal human effort as a complement to God’s “hashgachah”/providence.

    It (hishtadlut) must needs be deployed for the sake of Teshuva. We will not merit the restored Temple by some other modality — including not by short-circuiting the priorities Hashem continuously makes so plain to us.

    • #88
  29. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    Danny Alexander:We will not merit the restored Temple by some other modality — including not by short-circuiting the priorities Hashem continuously makes so plain to us.

    Danny, with apologies, this is Hipposcat. And precisely the kind of hipposcat that leads to inaction and passivity.

    G-d told Adam to plow the land. Yet it is Abel who brought animals, and was favored over a Cain who plowed the land. G-d rewards relationships that always pushes the boundaries, that always seek to grow. There are countless examples of this in the Torah.

    People in Israel will not do teshuvah because they are told to. They grow either because they understand the need to do so, or because they see bold and visionary people like Annika fearlessly following their beliefs.

    A nominal Jew in Tel Aviv who does not know who Abraham or Moses was (and thanks to secular Israelis, there are a great many), will not be motivated by zionist ideals (zionism being dead among the secular), nor will they achieve spiritual elevation through tribal affiliation such as defense against a common enemy. There needs to be leaders who can inspire them to ask questions about Judaism, about our role in this world. The Temple, and its connection between man and G-d, is rightly at the very centre of that discussion.

    • #89
  30. user_82762 Inactive
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Zafar:

    James Gawron:I think that it is self evident that the Temple Mount has been “occupied” by Islam for 1,400 years. It was the holiest site in Judaism before Islam existed. It still is the holiest site in Judaism. If Islam can’t see its way clear to allowing Jews to pray on the Mount then any claim they make to being civilized is an absurdity.

    Unfortunately religion often seems to make us all less civilised in terms of how we treat other people. Or at least the way people use religion to make or justify temporal claims, or conflate them with spiritual ones, can have that outcome.

    Zafar,

    Yes it does sometimes. Of coarse, one might ask where the most recent genocides are coming from. The Armenian Genocide > Muslims murdering Christians; The Holodomor > Bolshevik-Stalinists murdering Ukranians & Kulaks &…; The Holocaust > Fascists murdering Jews & Gypsies &…; Cambodian Genocide > Marxists murdering city dwellers; Mao’s as of yet not reported Genocide > Marxists murdering Non-Marxists; Current Jihadism in Africa & Middle East > Jihadist Muslims murdering Non-Jihadist Muslims & Christians & Jews & African Tribes & Kurds &…

    The largest genocides of the last 100 years have been perpetrated by totalitarian secular governments. The only other competitor in the genocide sweepstakes seems to be Islam. This is why the President had go on a fishing expedition 500 to 1000 years in the past to paint Christians with his incredibly broad brush.

    To accept the President’s arguments at the prayer breakfast as relevant (they were patently offensive but let’s ignore that) one is required to strive to a level of Credulity that neither I nor a majority of American voters can attain any longer. The Pope does not sound very threatening. He doesn’t seem to be garnering support for a new Crusade or organizing the Inquisition to maintain internal loyalty in Christendom.

    Zafar I think it is a banal cliche to place blame at the door of religion in general. We must be a little more specific than that if we intend to say anything of relevance to the current situation.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #90
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