Tuesday, September 30, 2014

God be damned, it is time to end religious fanaticism.

The problems with ISIS and the rest of the Mideast is all about fanatical religion. And we've got our share of it here at home, too.

The next time someone tells you Islam is a religion of peace, remind them of this:

Quran (3:151) - "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority".

And then add that in Christianity and Judaism, there are similar edicts:

Deuteronomy 3:  Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.”

Here is some more from the bible about God’s view of getting along with each other.  This too, is from Deuteronomy. “and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.”

Religion has a lot of killing and destroying on both sides. And even more so, about intolerance towards those who are different than you. Maybe religion itself is the evil.  Maybe that is why it so big in this world.  Its very foothold is at the dark side of mankind.  Remember, religion is big business. Huge business. And nothing works up a crowd like killing and destruction of one’s enemies.

The Koran teaches equally hate-filled notions such as, "Those who make war against God and his apostle . . . shall be put to death or crucified" (Koran 5.33).

So it seems there is very little ground for the “true” believers of either side to stand to work out solutions.

Thank God for the non-believers.  I know that sounds rather ironic, but it is true.

To be fare to both sides in this eternal argument, there is more than enough blame from both sects’ scriptures to seduce folk into believing just about anything. A fine study of this can be found in the 2009 Boston.com article by Phillip Jenkins “Dark Passages.” I would urge you to visit it and read it.  (http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/03/08/dark_passages/?page=full)

The great fear factor people find in religious intolerance is that it is fierce.  Strong enough to create radicals on each side: radicals that would kill and torture in order to uplift their image of their god (smaller case on purpose).  To die for one’s religion is one thing, but to kill and maim for it is quite an honor, for with those actions come sainthood. The Catholic Church is full of saints who lead armies against the infidels in the Mideast during the Crusades. The more one killed, the higher the calling from Rome one received.

Today there is a fierce reaction from “Christians” over the actions of radical Islamics. And, one can say vice versa. The more we interfere with their cultures, the more hatred they spew back at us, all in the name of Big Old Bad ass Allah. And carpet bombing doesn’t seem to help in the long run, nor does invasion. So, the key issue is how do moderates on both sides reach a common ground without letting the religious few destroy the entire world.  Secular rule is a key here.  Keep the church and the mosque out of the game.

Recently the Dallas Morning News ran a letter where by the writer stated that the conflict in the Mideast is not a religious conflict. I beg to differ.  It is totally religious.  Totally about “my beliefs” over yours. It is about an ancient and very narrow interpretation of the scriptures. (Both sides are wantonly guilty of this.) Even with Islam itself, the two main branches are now so at odds with each other that they would just as soon kill their fellow Muslims then look at them. Why? Religious intolerance.  My way of the hi-way.

This is why religion, of any kind, cannot have a foothold in the government. Secularism is the answer. Shia Law in Mideastern countries or the Rebirth of Puritanical Law in U.S. government must be halted. It is bad medicine for what ails us.

It is not my goal here to tell folks that they can’t believe in their flavor of the God Myth.  They are welcome to.

But keep it out of the halls of lawmakers and courts.  It has no business there. The founding fathers were at best Deist.  Some were even less than that.  What they believed in their heart of hearts was that all men are created equal and that everyone should have a chance to live his or her life in happiness and peace, without the interference of a state religion with guidelines for what we should believe or pray to. We should return to that adamantly.

I hear people say that the founding fathers wanted a Christian nation.  Not true.  It is never written about in our national papers.  In fact, many feared the church and its wealth and power. In America, they saw the opportunity for a land for freedom…free thinkers who could believe as they saw fit without persecution.

The entire world could do well to adopt that character.  But before we stand and act, remember, it is not our job to force that down others’ throats. That is what has gotten us into the shape we are in, in the Islamic world as it is. Our boots on the ground has not won us friends, but has radicalized our enemies and grown their numbers of supporters and troops.

What this world needs now, is the moderate voices everywhere to arise and say ‘that’s it.’  No more religious fanaticism running our lives. We demand the rule of law as passed down by men and women elected from at large, not translated from ancient scripts we call the Bible or the Koran.

The problem in the Mideast is all about religion. Don’t kid yourself. Your God versus their God. And it is about time it stops.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Omaha. Omaha. Hut. Hut.

Football is a violent sport. (Basketball is catching up fast, but more on that another day...) I played football.  Had a knee operation because of it.  But today the game is far rougher...today's athletes are bigger, stronger, faster and better trained at hitting and hurting.

There is a mentality in the NFL (and some colleges) to "waste your opponent at all cost." Knock them out of the game. Get rid of them. Football is about hard knocks and hard hits. Brutal hits.  And the people who have been paid to play it are our modern day gladiators.

It is not your grandfather's game. Hell, it's not even the game I played.

The game moves at speed I can't even image.  It is played by players who are huge.  They are beyond strong, they are mountains. They are, as one TV sportscaster called them, "freaks."And now more and more of these "freaks" are also becoming criminals.  Some of this is due to the fact that a lot of colleges have gone into the inner city to recruit street kids to come and play for the ole alma mater. ESPN ran a documentary about the problems some college coaches were having in building the "team" concept because of rival gang members on their squads. Really? And you expected something different because they weren't wearing the Hoods or Bloods colors but rather the Blue and White or Orange and White of your school? And when these guys have served their four years at State U, they move on the big paying jobs of the NFL.  But with them comes all their street habits. Killers. Rapists. Abusers. DUI'ers...the list goes on. Hell in Dallas we even have an owner who in under investigation for sexual harassment. And he wants to add a man convicted of manslaughter back onto the team. The Cowboys should change thier name to the Outlaws.

So here is the deal. You want to change football.  You don't do it in courts.  You don't do it protesting outside the stadium. To change the game, you must tune out.

Turn the TV off.  Quit buying paraphernalia of your favorite team. Quit supporting their functions. In short, turn in your fan credentials. Now if ten people do this, the NFL will not notice.  But if ten thousand do it, they will begin to look around.  Ten million...and you will change the system.  And not from the NFL...but from the networks that fund them.

If football is too violent for you, if the people playing it are too ugly and too sleazy, then pick up the remote and switch the channel. It is one sure vote against what is going on.

The other night I tried to watch Monday Night Football on ESPN. But every other sentence was about this player or that player and the crimes they had committed. When the players introduce themselves and tell what college they are from, I think they instead should have their arrest record up. I got sick and tired of watching this horseshit, so I switched to PBS and watched the Roosevelts.

Try this. Next weekend, don't watch a single NFL game.  No Cowboys. No Eagles. No Giants or 49's or whomever your team of choice may be.  Just turn the set to something else.  Or better yet, turn it off and read a book. (Go to Lulu.com and buy one of mine and we will be on the way to solving more than one problem in America. LOL).
I watch very little baseball anymore.  The drug scandal ruined me on it.  (That and the fact that the guy running the Texas Rangers is a nincompoop and has totally ruined the team with silly ass trades.)

Change the sport. Walk away from it. If enough of you do this, they will notice.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Food supply in trouble

I read yesterday about a movement on by scientists and nutritionists concerning the food chain in the United States.  They were concerned at how quickly it was being tainted with chemicals that were and are being used as pesticides and antibiotics with little or no oversight by the FDA.

One was quotes as saying. "Unless we get this under control, our entire food system could be tainted.  And we are just not sure what the outcome of these chemicals will be."

EU countries have already taken measures to secure their food chain against GMO's and in-grown pesticides. France, Belgium, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands to name a few have refused grains and feed stocks from America, becuase they can not be sure the grains and feeds are free from the chemicals that scientists are most worried about.

I say this to give as background for my new novel coming out October 1, 2014: The Perfect Food.

The Perfect Food is here, John Crawley’s 14th novel and it is no diet book.

Thousands of Americans are dying from an unknown, unseen killer.  Young, old, active, sedentary, north, south, east and west, they are succumbing to a disorder that has scientists and doctors baffled.  Then a whistle blower at a huge chemical company lets loose a memo that brings the problem into perfect focus and an administration down to its knees.  America’s food has been poisoned.  And the men responsible for it are two of the wealthiest men in the country.  So powerful are they, that their immunity has been all but sealed by Congress through years of payoffs and slush funds. They even have their tentacles deep inside the White House.

It takes the audacity of reporter, Scott Keen, to delve inside the twisted tale to bring light to the darkness. To give a country a glimmer of hope while facing this dreaded disorder.

Look for The Perfect Food at Lulu.com and your favorite ebook retailer October 1. And watch what you eat.