Tag Archives: Egypt

Bill Lockwood: Socialism is Rooted in Atheism 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

In spite of the many challenges in defining “religion” versus “irreligion”, or even “atheism” as opposed to “theism,” multiple studies indicate that Americans are becoming increasingly non-religious—even atheistic–in their orientation. Why is this? In part, it is doubtless due to the fact that socialism has become the state-sponsored creed not only taught in public schools and universities, but practiced by both major political parties. The philosophy of Socialism itself is rooted in atheistic assumptions, offering an alternative view of man, the family, society, sin, and the role of government.

First, socialism and communism are one and the same. Textbook authors of Elements of Socialism, John Spargo and George Louis Arner (1912) state it plainly. Communism is “equivalent” to Socialism (226). Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who wrote the Communist Manifesto, are lauded as the founders of modern-day socialism.

Second, how is the socialistic system atheistic? Engels argued that the “idea of God” resulted from fallacious reasoning by early man when he observed natural phenomena. “…the first gods arose through the personification of natural forces … out of the many more or less limited and mutually limiting gods there arose in the minds of men the idea of the one exclusive god of the monotheistic religion.” This is a concept still maintained by socialists.

Again, Engels theorizes that the Idea of God is a “reflection of the mind of men.” “All religion, however, is nothing but the fantastic reflection in men’s minds of those external forces which control their daily life, a reflection in which the terrestrial forces assume the form of supernatural forces. In the beginning of history, it was the forces of nature which were at first so reflected.”

Spargo and Arner suggest that, “Primitive man began to think and talk about himself and his environment. The world seemed full of mystery. How could he hunt in a dream when his friends swore that he had not moved? The echo and the shadow puzzled him. The mighty forces of nature awed him. There must be a power greater than himself, and since he could not think of forces as impersonal, he imputed personality to that power. There must be a spirit apart from the body or he could not hunt in is dreams. Thus were evolved the ideas of anthropomorphic gods, spirits, and ghosts.” “…a stage earlier than … even the lowest modern savages …”

What About These Socialistic Assertions?

First, if these things be true, then origin of religion not explained on basis of economic system. Therefore, the economic interpretation of history cannot account for religion which has been one of the most powerful forces in history. Engels himself even agreed to this. “It would surely be pedantic to try and find economic causes for all this primitive nonsense.”

Thus, according to one of the founders of modern-day socialism, it was not until after religion had arisen as a reflection of natural forces in men’s minds, that the social and evolutionary forces began to act and the “changing economic system” forged it differently. The philosophy of communism falls on its own sword here, for not everything can be explained on the basis of economics.

Second, there is no historical PROOF of any of these assertions suggesting that polytheism (belief in many gods) preceded monotheism (belief in one god). Assumption is a long way from proof. Actually, that is also the unfounded position of a growing number of so-called biblical scholars who begin their studies on this assumption. In point of fact, the opposite is true.

When men are not hypnotized by the hypothesis of evolution which demands that historical facts be arranged in such a way as to fit the hypothesis, they realize that the further back into any culture they go the fewer gods that culture has. William W.F. Petrie, in The Religion of Ancient Egypt, “What we actually find is the contrary of this, monotheism is the first state traceable in theology … Wherever we can trace back polytheism to its earliest stages we find that it results from combinations of monotheism …”

Professor Stephen Langdon studied Sumerian and Semitic religion. “Monotheism preceded polytheism and belief in good and evil spirits” (Semitic Mythology, 1931). Herbert Farmer, who was a Gifford Lecturer, stated that with but few exceptions the evidences show that “the most primitive levels of human life which we can reach by the soundest ethnological methods reveal a belief in one supreme deity or High God …” Many other unbiased scholars could be noted.

Third, deception is “built into” the socialistic system. How so? Setting aside the foolish assumption that early man was simply a dumb brute who could not discern his dreams from reality, Spargo & Arner argue at length that they are not “atheists.” But before the page is turned in the book they argue that God is a “construct of the human mind”; that religion itself is “man’s attempt to put himself into harmonious relation with, and to discover the meaning of the universe.”

Deceptively adept again, they rush to say that “The Marxian theory does not deny that men may have benefitted by seeking an interpretation of the universe, or that the quest for such an interpretation is compatible with rational conduct … Marx could not ignore such an important and universal phenomenon as religion” (p. 79-80).

It appears that these socialists believe that we are still “dumb brutes” who cannot reason. The question is not whether anyone believes that “religious belief” itself has played a part in men’s lives or in civilization—but is there any ultimate reality behind this belief in God?? To this question they answer “No.” This is atheism. When they confess that one’s beliefs has been a “force” in human history, that is a far cry from confessing whether or not there is any reality at the base of those beliefs.

As Americans plunge increasingly into a socialistic state, we are fed more and more lies by communistic masters. This is the very nature of socialism. This is one major reason why atheism and irreligion grow in America.

 

Bill Lockwood: Was Jesus a “Refugee?” 0 (0)

by Bill Lockwood

As reported by CNN, a Methodist church in California is displaying a nativity scene depicting Jesus, Mary and Joseph as refugees in cages to “draw attention to the conditions faced by migrants seeking asylum in the United States.” The Claremont United Methodist Church, which is about 30 miles east of Los Angeles, “posted the photo on its website showing the three held in separate cages topped with barbed wire. The baby Jesus is wrapped in a silver foil blanket.” The “lead pastor” Karen Clark Ristine told CNN that “we thought about the most famous refugee family in the world.”

The United Methodist Church, ever ready to warp biblical narratives into liberal political messages, has displayed a stunning ignorance of the Bible. As Gary DeMar observes, “Leftists have little regard for the Bible unless it can be used to scold Christians for judging righteously … and to support socialism based on a passage about voluntary giving (Acts 2:42-45; 4:32-35).”

As I wrote in a former article, there are several biblical considerations that need be made. (1) God Himself established borders of nations. Read Acts 17:26. (2) God demanded that Old Testament Israel respect the borders of other nations. God gave Mt. Seir to Esau and his descendants for a “possession.” Therefore, Israel, when coming out of Egypt, was not to cross it (Deuteronomy. 2:5). The same regarded Israel’s respect of Moab’s borders.

(3) Once settled in Canaan, the Israelites were sternly warned to “drive the Canaanites out.” The stated reason for this was to preserve the culture of Israel (Numbers. 33:51,52). (4) Even Abraham was deported once it was discovered that he lied to border agents. Read Genesis 12. (5) Regarding Jesus and the holy family, as DeMar notes, they were living within the confines of the Roman Empire. Egypt was part of the Roman Empire at the time of Jesus’ birth. Their escape from Bethlehem was only to another Roman Province. (6) Another command given to Joseph and Mary was that they were to return to their homeland after the death of Herod (Matthew. 2:20). DeMar asks, “How many refugees return to their home nations after entering the United States?”

Hugh Fitzgerald: The Israeli Air Force “Mows the Lawn” in Gaza 0 (0)

by Hugh Fitzgerald

In Gaza, on November 11, having endured many attacks on its civilians by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Israel struck at the terror group with pinpoint accuracy, firing a missile at a particular room on the third floor of a residential building, which turned out to be the very bedroom of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander in northern Gaza, Baha Abu al-Ata, killing only him and his wife. Confirming his death, a PIJ spokesman said he was just about to undertake “a heroic jihadist action.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Abu al-Ata an “arch-terrorist” and said he was “the main instigator of terrorism from the Gaza Strip. He initiated, planned and carried out many terrorist attacks. He fired hundreds of rockets at communities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip, whose suffering we have seen,” he told a news conference in Tel Aviv. “He was in the midst of planning additional attacks in the immediate short term. He was a ticking bomb.”

The PIJ is the second-largest terrorist group in Gaza, and also has offices abroad  in Damascus, Tehran, and Khartoum. It is even more extreme than its rival Hamas, in that – unlike Hamas — it refuses even to consider a ceasefire, and it has recently been firing hundreds of rockets into southern Israel, always into civilian areas, in its determination to prevent a shaky ceasefire between Hamas and Israel from taking hold. Israel has previously held Hamas accountable for attacks by the PIJ, and would attack Hamas targets in retaliation for PIJ rocket attacks on Israeli towns and cities. The idea was to inflict so much pain on Hamas that it would then target PIJ in Gaza itself, to prevent its attacking Israel. But now, with the killing of Baba Anu al-Ata, Israel appears to have concluded that Hamas has been not unwilling but, rather, unable to halt PIJ attacks on Israel, so the IDF will have to do the job itself. The Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Lt Gen Aviv Kochavi, said that Abu al-Ata had undermined recent efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which runs Gaza and is considered a rival to PIJ.

An hour after the Israelis announced the attack on Abu al-Ata in northern Gaza, an Israeli plane fired two rockets at the house of Akram al-Ajouri, a senior member of the terror group PIJ, in the Mezzeh area of Damascus. Al-Ajouri managed to survive, but his son and Ajouri’s bodyguard were killed.

What do these attacks signify? First, that Israel wants to do its utmost to ensure that no innocents are harmed. In both cases, the rockets struck with pinpoint accuracy. In Gaza, not only did the IDF manage to limit the attack to Abu al-Ata’s apartment on the third floor, but, with even greater accuracy, to the very bedroom where he and his wife were sleeping. In Damascus, a similar surgical strike on the home of Al-Ajouri killed only his son and his bodyguard. Many hours later, the Syrians claimed that Al-Ajouri’s granddaughter had also been killed; it’s unclear if this is true, or if it was fabricated in an attempt to elicit more anger against Israel.

Compare these Israeli strikes to how the PIJ struck back. In just the six hours after the killing of Abu al-Ata, PIJ fired more than 170 rockets into civilian areas of Israel. Workplaces and schools were shut down as far north as Tel Aviv. There was no attempt by PIJ to hit a particular target, no “pinpoint accuracy” to these attacks; every Israeli in southern and central Israel was a potential target, including those in the country’s hub, Tel Aviv. Half the country closed down, including schools and workplaces from Tel Aviv south; with sirens intermittently sounding, and people taking cover on the streets or in one of the many bomb shelters that Israelis have built everywhere in their permanently imperiled country

Israel has now retaliated, in turn, for those PIJ rocket attacks. It did not do so right away, holding its fire for six hours, possibly in the hope that after the targeted killings, and having vented its anger with its volley of rockets, the PIJ might rethink its strategy. But it was not to be: and so, with 160 rockets having been fired at Israel, the IAF finally struck back, only at strictly military targets of the PIJ. The IAF hit arms warehouses, a training center for Islamic Jihad’s naval force, a shaft of a PIJ terror tunnel in northern Gaza, and a digging site of another PIJ terror tunnel in the central Strip. Only five people have been reported killed in those attacks, all of them PIJ terrorists. Here, again, in Gaza, the IAF has shown itself to be exceedingly accurate, with no civilian deaths among the Palestinians reported so far.

Israel, meanwhile, has also been careful not to hit a single target belonging to Hamas. Israelis have rethought their previous strategy of holding Hamas responsible for attacks by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and attacking it after enduring attacks by PIJ. Israeli commanders have become convinced that Hamas is trying, but not succeeding, in preventing PIJ from launching its rockets. So Israel briefly decided to return – but has made clear it is doing so only temporarily — to its former policy of “targeted assassinations,” that it used to employ with such effect against Hamas. The IDF is trying to deal forcefully and quickly with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, by cutting off the “head of the snake” – that is, killing its military commander in Gaza, Baha Abu al-Ata, and, in Damascus, the head of its political wing, Akram Al-Ajouri. It wants to weaken Palestinian Jihad, perhaps enough to encourage Hamas to finish the job the IAF has begun, and to return to trying to keep alive the tentative ceasefire that Egypt has been brokering between Israel and Hamas.

As the battle goes on, and both sides have already been “urged to exercise restraint” by the U.N., note that “restraint” is exactly what Israel has always been exercising, in these surgical strikes against PIJ leaders and military targets. It is the PIJ that has never exercised “restraint” in its attacks on Israelis, consistently shooting its rockets into Israeli civilian areas. If it has not caused more civilian casualties, it’s not for want of trying.

The remaining leadership of PIJ remains defiant, and issued a statement promising that “Our inevitable retaliation will rock the Zionist entity.” So far that “inevitable retaliation” has not led to any Israeli deaths, but only to fewer than a dozen wounded. This low number testifies to the efficacy of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, the country’s excellent warning system, and the shelters that are found  everywhere in Israel.

Hamas, the Palestinian organization that administers the Gaza Strip, said Israel “bears full responsibility for all consequences of this escalation,” and promised Abu al-Ata’s death “will not go unpunished.” This is the minimum that could be expected from Hamas, which though secretly pleased at the damage done to its rival, must pretend to be outraged by Israel’s attacks. It is noticeable that Hamas did not fire any retaliatory rockets itself, nor did it state that it would participate in “punishing” Israel. If Abu al-Ata’s death “will not go unpunished,” apparently Hamas will not be among those doing the punishing. Hamas could have said that “we will help punish Israel for its murder of Abu al-Ata,” but did not. That’s a significant public breach between Hamas and PIJ. How long Hamas will wait, until itself taking on the much-weakened PIJ, in order to assure itself that the ceasefire with Israel will hold, is anyone’s guess. The Israelis hope it is soon. They would themselves re-enter Gaza, to crush all the terrorists, what they call “mowing the lawn,” only most reluctantly. Hamas cannot afford to behave like PIJ, oblivious to the consequences of its acts, and willing to endlessly attack Israel even if the IDF’s retaliation is always more punishing than anything the PIJ can inflict. For Hamas is now more than a terrorist group; it bears all the responsibilities of rule in Gaza. And that includes trying to maintain the ceasefire with Israel, brokered by Egypt, for as long as it serves its interests.

Why do Israelis call these actions taken against the terrorists “mowing the lawn”? It’s because they know it is only a temporary solution to a permanent problem. The terrorists may be cut down, but will always reappear, like a lawn that regrows after being mowed. The Jihad, the Israelis know, is permanent. It’s been going on, somewhere in the world, for the past 1,400 years. If only the people in the chanceries of the West, so quick to round on Israel for daring to defend itself, could grasp that simple fact.

JW: https://www.jihadwatch.org/category/hugh-fitzgerald


Hugh Fitzgerald is a student of history and literature, primarily of America and Europe. He admires Jacques Barzun, J. D. Salinger, and Alan Bennett, reads dictionaries for profit and pleasure, and finds particularly appealing the words “recompense,” “quondam,” “magari,” and “degringolade.”

By far the best way to reach Hughun is through the offices at Jihad Watch. Fitzgerald has an email account, the address of which is hughfitz123@msn.com.