Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Against 7 Bad B's: Part 2 The Battle Axe of the Heart

So what is The Battle Axe of the Heart?

It is the wonder of meaning-centered transcendence.

Awaking to the awareness that all humans have inherent value, that everyone is of worth, that human rights and justice and truth are real.

The wonder that we conflicted and ethically mixed-up humans with our 7 Bad B's, can find hope.

I used to greatly admire the famous evangelist Billy Graham of the Christian religion because he emphasized the inherent worth of every single human being.I didn't agree with some of Graham's social views in the 1950's, but Graham grew in his understanding of what the love of God meant for social and political situations. And thank God for his witness for integration and racial equality

Graham strongly insisted on the equality of all people even during the 1950's during Segregation in the U.S. Furthermore, when other religious leaders were supporting Apartheid in South Africa, he stood up strongly against that racism, too.

And he was willing to dialog with every one, including humans totally opposed to his views, even dictators such as the leaders of the Soviet Union.

In many of his famous speeches, Graham stated, "God loves you. You may be at the very gate of hell itself, but God loves you with an everlasting love."

He often quoted the good news verse of the Bible:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
John 3:16 NKJV

Of course the huge irony and tragedy now is that while Graham still walks such a talk, his huge religious organization denies his central message!

The leaders promote the exact opposite of what Graham preached for many years. According to the BGA, God only loves a limited number of humans; their leaders say Jesus came for only a "limited atonement"!


Eliminate such horrific theology.

Cut it down with the heart of kindness toward all.

If you remember (and especially if you don't;-), last time, we discussed the fixated tendency of religious humans to treat women as things, one bad action of the Seven Bad B's.

Destroy sexism and abuse with the "battle axe of the heart."

What about the other Bad B's--brawn, brains, and belief?

How we men use their best--their best mind, best skills, best physical strength, best values--to commit the worst acts of war and other injustices.

For now, let's just say no, NO to 'unjust' wars and even 'just' wars.

Cut them down with the axe of compassion!

What country has ever gone to war that didn't think its own cause was 'just'?

Instead, let us commit to the Lamb's War where Christ's love is the only armament--


The "mouthed-sword" of the Good News the only weapon--

Sharing, giving, empathizing, helping, caring!

The battle axe of the heart--

That is the only destroying agent!

It seeks to destroy wrong-doing, selfishness, abuse, injustice and war.

By witnessing to the heart of ever person.

But what about police? What about defense?

Like Quakers of old in the government in Pennsylvania, I would separate the atrocity of war from the defensive and protective action of policing.

Good police officers (which on occasion include soldiers who are assigned to peacekeeping, not invasion killing) focus on protecting not attacking.

For instance, I knew an officer who worked in one of the major cities of the United States who in many years of law enforcement only needed to draw his gun several times!

Instead, in most criminal situations, he used commanding authority, persuasion, and non-lethal force to stop criminal actions and to protect the innocent.

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Seven Bad B's

For years now we’ve heard of the subjugation (and often abuse, mutilation, “honor” killings, etc.) of women by the Saudis, the Afghans, the Iranians, the Iraqis, the Egyptians, the Somalis, etc.—based on Islam.

Most of the subjugation, mistreatment, and inequality comes from Islam's Sharia Law.

Also, the Qur'an states a husband is allowed to beat his wife.

Because nearly all Muslims think that the Qur'an is eternal and perfect, most Muslims believe this. And many men thus feel justified in mistreating their wives.

Furthermore, Muhammad was a polygamist, even married a 6-year-old little girl when he was 50 (consummated the relationship when she was 9). And he married the recently divorced wife of his adopted son, etc.

Because of this, most Muslims believe in polygamy. And those wealthy enough practice the barbaric custom.

In many cases, like Muhammad, wealthy older men marry very young girls:-(.

Sometimes forgotten, however, are the negative views of women in Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism, indeed, in nearly all religions. For instance, according to most of Buddhism there can never be a woman Buddha.

In Buddhism, in order for a woman to advance to enlightenment, she must be reborn as a male!

Talk about negativity.

In early Judaism women were property. “In Jewish law a woman was considered property rather than a person. She either belonged to her father or husband."

"She was not allowed to study the Law."

"In the synagogue women were shut apart from the men so they could not be seen."

"Nor could a woman actively participate in the synagogue services; she had to passively sit and listen. Nor could she teach the children in any formal manner."

"One Jewish morning prayer said by free Jewish men was to thank God that they had not been born a Gentile, a slave, or a woman."

"One Rabbi is quoted as saying not to talk much with women because, 'Every one that talks much with a woman causes evil to himself, and desists from the works of the Law, and his end is that he inherits Gehenna.’"

"A strict Jewish Rabbi would not greet a woman on the street, not even his wife, daughter, mother, or sister."
(William Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, rev. ed. pp. 66-67)

Furthermore, read the verses in Numbers from the Jewish Bible. (See a few paragraphs below.) Very disturbing!

Even today, among some Jewish religious groups, women must be separated from the men by a partition in synagogue worship, etc.

When I lived in Israel and we visited the synagogue in Bet Shean, it was surprising and disconcerting to see the synagogue's main room filled with only men.

Women were restricted to a side room separated by a latticework wall. We could see them back behind that screen.

And other strong discrimination is happening right now in Israel:
"Taiseer and Lana Khatib will be forced to live apart under a ruling by the Israel high court, which upheld a 2003 law banning many Palestinians who marry Israelis from living in the Jewish state."

"..the husband, an Israeli citizen, will be forbidden legally from living with his Palestinian wife."
NBC News

Even when women win awards in science, there is discrimination:
"JERUSALEM — January 14, 2012 A few months ago, the Israeli Health Ministry awarded Channa Maayan, a pediatrics professor at Hebrew University, a prize for a book she had co-written on hereditary diseases common among Jews."

"For the ceremony, Maayan wore a long-sleeve top and a long skirt in deference to the acting health minister, Yakov Litzman, who is ultra-Orthodox, and the other religious people attending. But that was hardly enough."

"Not only did Maayan and her husband have to sit separately, because men and women were segregated at the event, but she was instructed that a male colleague would have to accept the award for her because women were not permitted on stage."

Then there are the abusive cases:
"...ultra-Orthodox men spit on an 8-year-old girl whom they deemed immodestly dressed;"

"the chief rabbi of the air force resigned his post because the army declined
to excuse ultra-Orthodox soldiers
from attending events where female singers perform."
Ethan Bronner, The New York Times

In orthodox Judaism and conservative Christianity, women are required to cover their hair.

In Christianity, while the situation for women was sometimes better than among other human groups, women still weren’t allowed to preach, to own property, to vote in government, to make decisions, and so forthl

In fact, even now many churches still don’t let women lead in church including the largest denominations—Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Southern Baptist.

What is the basis for this subjugation in religion in all its negative shades from ancient times to the present?

Why are we men so negative toward women, either secularly emphasizing the vulgar or religiously emphasizing their inferior status and imposing restrictions on them?

Much of the problem would seem to be because of men’s 7 Bad B’s:
Brawn, Brains, Boasting, Boozing, Bets, Bucks, Booty

Booty (from the Jewish Bible):
“The men of war had taken booty, every man for himself...61,000 donkeys and...of women who had not known man intimately...32,000.
Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately."

"But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves."

"You and Eleazar the priest and the heads of the fathers’ households of the congregation take a count of the booty that was captured

...and divide the booty between the warriors who went out to battle and all the congregation.’”
Numbers 31:17-35, 53 NASB

booty: plunder taken from an enemy in time of war
slang: buttocks, vagina, sexual intercourse
The Free Dictionary

Thank God, this ocean of men’s darkness isn’t the final statement in secularism or religion.

To be continued--

What is your perspective on this?

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox