Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Middle East: 2

Today is Wednesday, 26 July 2006.

A central component of the “Middle East Crisis” is the fact that major elements of each of the three great Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) consider that “the Holy Land” belongs to them alone.

Judaism believes the land was given directly to them by the deity. Christianity believes it completed and superseded Judaism, and so inherited the claim to the land. Islam believes it completed and superseded both Judaism and Christianity, and therefore inherited the claim to the land. In a very real sense, the war for the Holy Land has continued since the time of Abraham, roughly 1800 BCE.

Given the inherent unprovability of any of these competing claims, it is unsurprising that they have been settled, and unsettled, by violence.

(One should not fall into the trap of imagining that the ambition of some Christians to dominate the Holy Land ended with the collapse of the Crusader Empire. George Warlord Bush claims that the USA/USE/USSA is a “Christian” nation, and his regime is attempting to impose the “fruits” of Yanqui-style “freedom” and “democracy” on the entire Middle East. This drive for global “Christian” hegemony is particularly clear in Dominionist theology, which is very open in claiming the right and duty of “Christians” to exercise a “dominion” over the whole of Creation which is indistinguishable from dictatorship.)

Further compounding the situation is that major social artifact of Christianity, anti-Semitism, which started with the slur-myth of “Christ-killers”, and later added racialist and financial components. It is tragic that, of all the things which Islam could have adopted from Christianity, anti-Semitism was one. However, we can never be surprised when totalizing ideologies demonize competing brands.

(In this dimension, Judaism is far more sinned against than sinning. Judaism does not evangelize, and therefore does not have the same motive to denigrate competing brands as do totalizing ideologies such as Christianity and Islam which do actively seek converts.)

So long as these three competitors maintain their claims, and maintain that the deity has given them exclusive right to enforce their claims by violence, I do not see how the war for the Holy Land will end. Perhaps this would be a fitting time and place for divine intervention.
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To be continued.
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On this day:

1947 – Truman signs National Security Act, establishing the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and National Security Council

1948 – Truman signs executive order desegregating armed forces

2 Comments:

Anonymous Clayton said...

In his 7/26/06 post, HH said "So long as these three competitors maintain their claims, and maintain that the deity has given them exclusive right to enforce their claims by violence, I do not see how the war for the Holy Land will end. Perhaps this would be a fitting time and place for divine intervention."

I agree with HH. Like any good story, it would seem that Divine Intervention would be the next logical plot point. However, I believe the Supreme Deity(ies) are going to let it ride for a while and see what happens. Seems like it would need to get a whole lot worse than it is now for that particular plot point to kick in. Stay tuned.

12:26 PM  
Blogger HH said...

Thanks, Clayton.

While I'm agonized enough about this particular suffering, and all suffering, to wish the Divine Intervention plot point to kick in, I'm not counting on it.

Without endorsing any particular religious thing, I can't help but like the general point once made by John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist denomination: "Pray as if everything depended on God; act as if everything depended on you."

Not that I'm hoping for THE END OF THE WORLD or any of that; I just want this one to be The Peaceable Kingdom.

1:45 PM  

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