This is my prayer and plea for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly. May God over-rule all powers of evil and darkness, lifting up instead his Son, Jesus, our Lord.
Sam Bahour does business consulting as Applied Information Management (AIM), specializing in business development with a niche focus on the information technology sector and start-ups. He helped establish PALTEL and the PLAZA Shopping Center. Until recently, he served on the board of trustees of Birzeit University and was the University’s treasurer. He is also a Director at the Arab Islamic Bank and the community foundation Dalia Association. Bahour is co-editor of HOMELAND: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians (Olive Branch Press).Although born in the United States Bahour is totally pro-Palestinian; there doesn’t seem to be any place for the Jewish State of Israel in his outlook. In an article in The Guardian, “Palestine is the key to Arab Democracy,” Bahour uses the two Palestinian intifadas against Israel as a good example for the Egyptians in their uprising against the totalitarian government of Egypt. As a writer, on the CIF (the Guardian’s Comment is Free) Watch Site puts it in their article, “Translating the Guardian’s Sam Bahour:”
Even when taking into account Bahour’s affiliation with ‘Al Shabaka’ – an organisation which opposes the Palestinian Authority’s negotiations with Israel – one still has to wonder how a born and raised American can be in possession of such warped ideas that he can present the targeted killing of over a thousand Israelis as a ‘popular uprising’ with democracy carved on its standard.The writer, who writes under the pseudo name, Israelnurse, goes on to state:
Let’s be quite honest here – and we need to, because Bahour is being anything but – those who died in suicide bombings on buses, in restaurants and in shopping centres did so because they were, or were thought to be, Jews. That was their only ‘sin’, but they had been dehumanised and delegitimized to such an extent by the society from which their murderers came that their deaths became a source of pride for that society, which to this day names streets, schools and children’s summer camps after suicide bombers and other terrorists.Bahour has even written a fantasy piece, Press Release World is Waiting For, in which he imagines that “Foreign Minister Shimon Peres committed suicide today in his New York hotel room following a speech that he gave at a gala dinner of the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which is the pro-Israeli lobby in the U.S.” The fantasy holds all of the desires that Bahour holds for a peace that is not negotiated but enforced by hard tactics. And that is what is wrong with his letter to commissioners.
Bahour wants readers to identify with those who, like him, refuse to negotiate and compromise and will settle for nothing less than ‘justice’, however much violence it takes to get it. He therefore cynically exploits the real grievances of the Egyptian people in order to throw up a smoke-screen he names democracy, and of course there is no better buzz word around at present.
Ultimately, sustainable economic growth and an end to the fiscal crisis will require unleashing of the Palestinian private sector’s potential. This in turn necessitates a lifting of Israeli restrictions on access to land, water, a range of raw materials, and export markets. But it also requires that the Palestinian Authority improves the business environment and attracts needed investment through such measures as expanding land registration in the West Bank; reforming the current collection of laws governing business; and building its own capacity to regulate the economy and ensure competition.And about Gaza:
Gaza experienced double-digit growth, demonstrating continued recovery. The high growth in Gaza reflects, in part, the low base from which it is starting – the average Gazan today remains worse off than s/he was in the late nineties. But it can also be attributed to a combination of aid inflows and easing of restrictions by Israel, in particular on entry of building materials for infrastructure projects implemented by international organizations. In addition to increased movement of materials through the tunnels from Egypt, this has led to a construction boom in Gaza. However, the state of Gaza infrastructure is such that massive investments in key sectors such as water and wastewater, electricity, and solid waste remain desperately needed. Such investments would generate short-term employment but also promote longer term growth and job creation. These investments would not fulfill their potential, however, in the absence of a lifting of the Israeli blockade on Gaza.It should be seen from all of this that investment in Palestine along side continued negotiations is the best policy in the troubled Israel and Palestine disputes. One hopes that Commissioners to the 220th PCUSA General Assembly will ignore Bahour’s letter and encourage investment as a means of productive peace making.
Pantheism is in fact the permanent bent of the human mind; the permanent ordinary level below which man sometimes sinks, under the influence of priestcraft and superstition, but above which his own unaided efforts can never raise him for very long. Platonism and Judaism, and Christianity (which has incorporated both) have proved the only things capable of resisting it. It is the attitude in which the human mind automatically falls when left to itself. No wonder we find it congenial. If “religion” means simply what man says about God, and not what God does about man, then Pantheism almost is religion. (112-113) (Italics author)Lewis went on to write about the particularity of God. He is not some beautiful ideal or some abstract idea, nor is he impersonal flowing energy. He is the personal God who confronts humanity in their brokenness and evil. He is that particular One who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Son, Jesus, took on flesh and redeems by his death on a cross. His resurrection gives everlasting life. And when a broken humanity rejects their Creator and Redeemer, judgment will follow. It will be God’s judgment not humanity’s. Because of that the judgment will be just and righteous.
Before Jehovah arrived in Abraham’s camp and spoke to him, the people at the eastern end of the Mediterranean worshipped Asherah, a Ugaritic mother goddess who gave birth to something like 70 gods. Asherah was, alas, conflated with Astarte, given a sex-change operation in the Old Testament, and turned into a demon named Ashteroth. But Asherah was also worshipped in the temple in Jerusalem for many, many years.
More recently, during the last two or three millennia, one of those gods has inspired his prophets and preachers to roar about sin and hell and idol-worship and punishment. The new gods and their carriers thus planted the seeds of warfare in society and its literature.And there you have the most radical of feminist thinking and attitude toward Christianity. Most radical feminists know, (but not all), that this is all myth meant to undergird the radical view of some in the feminist movement. And reading the article, one can see the likes and dislikes of radical feminism. The emphasis is on the worship of various goddesses minus any real ethic except that which bows to the world of nature. And even though nature is “red in tooth and claw,” the need to ignore words about sin or hell is important to the movement. Accordingly and supposedly all things peaceful belong to the goddess.
Coming Attractions: Is Pedophilia the Next Sexual Perversion to Become Normalized?” by Judith Reisman — a report from the “B4U-ACT” conference in Baltimore, Maryland, on August 17, 2011. Riesman attended a conference symposium called “Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM: Issues and Controversies.
Genuine listening is a virtue, and one that is necessary if the voices of those attracted to minors are going to participate in the construction of the new DSM. Such participation is required in order to ensure that we have good science and ethical grounding that can go forward for diagnosis and treatment, while minimizing stigma and damage toward minor-attracted persons.All of this sounds very familiar. One of the speakers actually connects feminist's concepts, homosexuality and the need for changing the terms and diagnosis connected to pedophilia. In his description of his paper, “Pedophilia, Minor-Attracted Persons, and the DSM: Issues and Controversies, Jacob Breslow, B.A. writes:
To this end I make a distinction between ‘hearing’ and ‘listening’ and argue that those creating DSM-V [defining disorders] need to cultivate a virtue in order for genuine listening to occur.
The Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders is currently under its sixth revision, and the current proposed changes put forth major revisions on how pedophilia is defined, diagnosed and understood. This paper approaches these revisions from within the critiques made by queer youth activism as well as feminist and anti-racist scholarship, framing the upcoming changes to the DSM with apprehensive praise and critical ambivalence. Within I shall challenge normative assumptions about sexuality, personal and political identity, and childhood, both within the DSM and within wider society.My first thought of response to the ending of this posting was God have mercy on his people. But quickly following is, yes, but in that mercy help us to have mercy on those who need the mercy of the cross. May we proclaim with greater intention and fervent love the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
One of the major changes attempts to establish a clear distinction between pedophilia as a non-diagnosable ascertainment, and pedophilic disorder as a diagnosable, distressing and non-normative disorder that requires psychiatric intervention. Allowing for a form of non-diagnosable minor attraction is exciting, as it potentially creates a sexual or political identity by which activists, scholars and clinicians can begin to better understand Minor Attracted Persons. This understanding may displace the stigma, fear and abjection that is naturalized as being attached to Minor Attracted Persons and may alter the terms by which non-normative sexualities are known. Furthermore, this paper argues that this distinction is potentially another step towards the complete re-thinking of paraphilias within the DSM – a step that follows historically and theoretically from the removal of homosexuality.
In Proverbs God’s wisdom is personified as is lady folly. However, in the New Testament we are allowed to see that Jesus is the complete personification of God’s Wisdom. Paul tells the Church that because they understand the mystery of God, “Christ himself,” they know the one in whom “is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2: 2-3) Paul also warns the Colossians that they should not allow anyone to take them captive to the world’s deception. Goddess worship is as old as pagan cultures and as empty and deadly as any sin that has ever led the people of God astray.
Pastor Gotthelf Müller of Heidenau notified Zweynert that he was so offended by the German Christian Sport Palace assembly in Berlin that he had withdrawn from the movement. After a fruitless discussion with Saxon bishop Coch [a German Christian] Müller had promptly joined the Pastor’s Emergency League [an organization formed by Martin Niemoller]. Jantzen, records the same church district superintendent’s words in a letter when he had read that the name Church of the Atonement was banned by the German Christian leadership, “This decree has shaken me and filled me with great concern. If the Church of the Atonement is no longer suited to the times, will Redeemer Church and Church of the Cross suffer the same fate, which logic would say they must suffer? Can anyone still answer for that in good conscience?”
In February, 1934, Christian Kinder, at the time German Christian Reich leader, explained at a rally in Berlin. That “quarrels about dogmas and forms of the Confessions of faith” only frightened people away from the church. The following year, Minister of Church Affairs Kerrl tried to legislate anti-doctrinal Christianity: in an attempt to impose peace in the church struggle, he banned the use of the word heresy (Irrlehre) for two years.As, Doris L. Bergen, the author of Twisted Cross, points out “Opposition to church doctrine facilitated German Christian efforts to synthesize Nazi ideology and Christianity because it implied denial of the sanctity of biblical texts.” But as I have pointed out above there was opposition and this is the correct reaction to heresy. Denounce, continue to uphold the truth, and in some cases move to more solid ground.