Question Re Islam

Our local newspaper has, in times past, published letters noting the peaceful nature of the Qur’an, the Prophet and his traditions. Even though such items can be truthfully cited, there seem to be other, supposedly authentic, records that reveal conflicting views.  I cannot speak, read or write the Arabic language.   Therefore, I am respectfully and seriously in need of validation of the sources upon which to base my understanding. If my views of a contradictory nature are the result of invalid sources, those opinions should be open to correction.

First of all, violent aggression practiced by Muslims of the post Mohammed era is historically documented.  Upon the death of the Prophet, violence erupted over leadership of the movement. This conflict continues today (Sunnis/Shiites).  The practice of military conquest also brought about the submission of all of North Africa and achieved success in the invasion of Spain and part of France.  Those conquerors claimed to be acting in the name of Allah and under the auspices of the Prophet of Islam. All of that was accomplished some three hundred years before the first Christian Crusade was initiated.

As for the true expression of the teachings and traditions of the Prophet, again, my sources that appear to be in conflict with the peaceful nature of the Prophet may be invalid. Those reports are supposedly based on the recordings of Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Sa’d, selections from the Qur’an and collections of traditions found in the Bukhari.

Brevity will allow only a couple of examples of violence committed during the time of Muhammad.

  • The Prophet directed a siege of revenge against the Banu Qurayzah, a Jewish tribe. Following their surrender, he allowed and participated in the slaughter of all males above the age of puberty.
  • Demeaning poems were published, and the Prophet called for the assassination of the poets. The requests were honored.

Question:

If these records of the actions of the Prophet and the historical records of post Muhammad Islamic  invasions are valid… how can we believe that Islamic immigration is no cause for concern?

I must deflect one retort which has already  been presented to me.

To wit: “Look at the atrocious violence committed by Christians, look at the Inquisitions.”

To which I responded: “You have a point that men have done such things in the past, but I declare that such men do not portray the founder of their faith. Jesus would not allow his disciples to commit violence to protect him from certain death. The only records I can find indicate that Muhammad called for the death of people who hurt his feelings.”

If there is someone who will publicly and accurately convince me that my previously noted records of Islam are false, my opinions are subject to change.

 

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Clinton Media

 

A brief peek into the Clinton/media romance.

After serving as President Bill Clinton’s senior adviser, George Stephanopoulos authored All Too Human wherein he unmasked the bias of CBS. He disclosed how Don Hewitt, the executive producer of CBS’s highly rated news program, 60 Minutes, coached both Clintons during the taping of a program that was designed to deflect the political damage of Bill’s affair with Gennifer Flowers. Hewitt even boasted that he had made JFK president and he could do the same for Bill.

During his association with the Clintons, George was fortunate enough to qualify for a $835,000 mortgage on a  $125,000 salary. The loan just happened to be secured through a banker who was admired by Bill.

Hillary thought a lot of George also. As he was leaving the staff, George recalled her private good-bye. After an affectionate embrace, with shining eyes and hands on his shoulders, she said, “I love you, George Stephanopoulos”. George replied, “I love you, too”.

As luck would have it, George found a job with ABC where he steadily rose past others to the position of Chief Washington Correspondent and host of the prestigeous news program, This Week, where he displaced established co-hosts, Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts.

Again as luck would have it, George was fortunate enough to be selected to “moderate” the ABC Republican presidential debate in 2012. There he famously assumed the role of debate participant as he grilled Mitt Romney for more than three minutes over an irrelevant and absurd question which the Democrats just happened to turn into the “Republican war on women”.

Are we to believe that George, ABC and CBS have put away their prior feelings regarding the Clintons and the Republicans and have now become neutral conveyors of the news?

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2nd Amendment Right? Hogwash!

 

Let us consider the opinion of the man most qualified to explain the purpose of the US Constitution, James Madison, as he was attempting to relieve the fears that the proposed constitution would permit the federal government to become masters of the people and the states…

He had noted that being armed was an advantage the Americans possessed over almost every other nation, and then continued…  “Notwithstanding (means regardless of or in spite of) the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe… the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms… Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession than the debased subjects of arbitrary power… Let us no longer insult them with the supposition that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures which must precede and produce it.”…

Unfortunately, that long train of insidious measures began at the turn of the 20th century with the National Guard laws bringing the original militia under the control of the federal government. The next step was to teach generations of Americans that the right to possess arms comes from an amendment to the constitution. If you read the preamble to the first ten amendments (bet no teacher or text book ever told you there was one), you will find that they were designed to restrict federal control. They were never intended to be a list of rights the federal government grants to the people.

One more prescient opinion: “A long habit of not knowing a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.”  Thomas Paine

 

 

 

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Clinton-Trump-Grieving Parents

Let’s look at the recent commotion involving Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and the grieving parents.

First, Mrs. Patricia Smith held Mrs. Clinton responsible for her son Sean’s death. He had told her that he thought he would die because their security had been reduced in Benghazi even though both the British and International Red Cross personnel had been evacuated due to concern for their safety. More than one request for increased security had been denied, and the anniversary of 9/11 was approaching.

Understanding that Mrs. Clinton held the position of the chief officer responsible for the safety our country’s foreign officials, there are a limited number of alternative responses available for Mrs. C to explain the lack of adequate security in a hostile land which was occupied by elements that would like to do us harm on that particular date.

She could claim lack of knowledge of the amount of security needed. She could claim no one could have done anything that was more appropriate. She could admit incompetence. She could blame others. She could confess that enhanced security was withheld for political purposes. Take your pick.

Further, Mrs. S said that Mrs. C had told her a video incited the attack, even though it was later proven that Mrs. C had immediately told others a different story. The claim by Mrs. S was verified by other Gold Star parents. However, Mrs. C continues to charge that Mrs. S’s memory is faulty. That was a nice (?) way to say that Mrs. S is weak minded or lying.

It seems that no one wants to find any offense toward a grieving parent in the words and actions of Mrs. C, and various news sources have disparaged Mrs. S for expressing her criticism.

Mr. Khizar Khan attacked Mr. Donald Trump under the umbrella of grief for the death of his son, Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq on June 8, 2004. Three other presidential elections have transpired since that tragic event. He did not appear on national media to share his grief during those campaigns.

Mr. Khan emotionally expressed his disapproval of Mr. Trump as though Mr. T was somehow responsible for the fate of Humayun.  Mr. Trump has declared Humayun a hero, and is on record as being opposed to the military action that resulted in his death.  Mrs. Clinton voted in favor of that invasion.

It is obvious that Mr. Khan was actually angry about Mr. Trump’s position of a temporary ban on Muslim immigration from countries where violent radical Islam is known to be present. Mr. Trump’s original expression regarding his position may have been too emphatic for some, but it was what it was. He had said that Muslim immigration should be suspended “until we can figure out what the h—– is going on”.

Mr. K incorrectly accused Mr. T of not knowing the US Constitution, ostensibly regarding immigration. He failed to identify the article and section that prevents the federal government from limiting any or all immigration. Such article and section do not exist. Perhaps the inquiring minds of the news media should search Mr. K’s professional profile for additional information that may have motivated his opposition to Mr. T’s position.

Mr. K and all of Mr. T’s enemies accuse Mr. T of “attacking” Mrs. Khan because he said, “…she had nothing to say… maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say”. At least he did not insinuate that she was of a feeble mind or lying as Mrs. Clinton has done regarding Mrs. Smith.

Many people do not know what things have actually been said, and they continue to believe the sound bites blurted by the media and parroted by Mr. Trump’s enemies, Dems and Repubs alike.

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Citizen Obama

The US Constitution requires all presidents to make the following commitment before entering office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

In 2006, then Senator Barack Obama wrote in his book, The Audacity of Hope:

“… I see a certain appeal to this shattering of myth, to the temptation to believe that the constitutional text does not constrain us much at all so that we are free to assert our own values unencumbered by fidelity to the stodgy traditions of a distant past.”

In order to give himself a bit of wiggle room, he continued:

“… Maybe I am too steeped in the myth of the founding to reject it entirely.”

He never explicitly stated which articles and sections he does reject.

It is difficult to defend a position that a person could truthfully and simultaneously embrace these diametrically conflicting declarations.

At this point in history, June 2016, I would not bother sharing these truths if Mr. Obama had not assured us that he intended to remain in the public arena for the purpose of indoctrinating others in his point of view.

 

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Separation Of Church And State – The Truth

This information was offered over a year ago, but it is important enough to share with more recent readers.

Because of the current worship of the expression, “wall of separation between church and state”, some folks believe it is found in the US Constitution. It is not. The only mention of religion in that document is that no religious test can be required to hold federal office. Subsequent to ratification of the original constitution, Amendment I specifically denied Congress the power to establish a national religion.

Forty four years of experience as a public school educator, plus the requisite years of preparation, followed by fourteen years of personal inquiry have not  provided a textbook containing the following information, nor a conversation with a teacher who has so informed any student.

That “separation” thing actually came from a letter Pres. Jefferson wrote in response to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Conn. The Baptists, who were under religious oppression by their state legislature, had written to Jefferson (emphases added):

“Sir, we are sensible that the President of the United States is not the National Legislator and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the laws of each State, but our hopes are strong that the sentiment of our beloved President, which have had such genial effect already, like the radiant beams of the sun, will shine and prevail through all these States…”

To which Jefferson replied (parenthetical expressions added):

“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act (Amendment I) of the whole American people which declared that their legislature (Congress) would ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between Church and State (the federal government). Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights… I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man…”

It must be emphasized that the Baptists did not appeal for constitutional enforcement by the president, the attorney general or the Supreme Court. Neither did any of those entities consider it their constitutional responsibility to do so. At that time, everyone knew the First Amendment restriction applied, as plain English clearly states, only to acts  of Congress.

About a decade later, as intended by the framers of the US Constitution, the people of Connecticut were able to correct the matter through their state legislature.

For further confirmation of Jefferson’s opinion that any form of religious expression is beyond federal control, we note his second inaugural address (emphasis added):

“In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the constitution independent of the powers of the general government. I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it; but have left them, as the constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of state or church authorities.”

Over 150 years were required for the SCOTUS to invent the current “separation” interpretation. If we are to meekly acquiesce to that view as the “law of the land”, we have a problem. We are forced to accuse Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, as well as the Congresses and  Supreme Courts of their day, of being incapable of understanding the document they had ratified and exercised.

If this information had been made available to history students over the last two hundred years, our current understanding of the relationship between church and state would   probably be quite different. Unfortunately, the long train of obfuscations and omissions have caused many who hear the truth to fearfully cover their eyes, ears and mouths.

Two prescient statements:

“A long habit of not knowing a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.”  Thomas Paine

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of society, it expects what never was and never will be.” Thomas Jefferson

 

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A Sad, But True, Tale

For a number of years, the urge to share this experience has been restrained. No longer.

While dabbling in the Ethereal Library (internet, to most), an interesting discussion forum popped up. That forum was populated by fellows who claimed to be current or former public school educators. A certain topic was being discussed, and Old Bill offered the following suggestion.

“American history teachers should inform their students that every step by which the people of the British colonies became an independent nation seems to have been enabled by an invisible supernatural hand. No people can be bound to acknowledge and love the power of God more than the people of the United States. Of all things which support a successful government, religion and morality are indispensable. We must be very cautious when we are tempted to believe that morality can be maintained without religion. Both reason and experience forbid the expectation that there can be national morality without religious principle.”

That post incited a number of responses of a disapproving nature. A few examples of those disparaging opinions will suffice.

  • “That would be a clear violation of separation of church and state.”
  • “You do not know anything about the US Constitution.”
  • “There is no place in public school classrooms or textbooks for those statements.”

Following the ensuing expressions of attacks and defenses of an old man’s opinion, a confession was made. The suggested remarks were not originally my own. The truth was that minor grammatical modifications were employed to give the appearance of emanating from an old coach who had been raised in southeast Texas. The opinions had been lifted from George Washington’s first inaugural address and his farewell address to the nation. If the critics be correct, our young people must not be allowed to read or view those documents.

It is foreboding to know that there are those who claim to be public school educators who believe that certain authentic historical records should be banned from classrooms. Perhaps some have never been exposed to the truth themselves. Perhaps others have been intimidated or persuaded by a long train of insidious measures designed to  fundamentally change of our country. Regardless of reasons, this example and others appear to have now delivered us to a time when everyone will have to choose a side.

I submit a couple of opinions for the reader’s contemplation. These have been attributed to two gentlemen of widely acclaimed secular intellect and one snippet from a spiritual source.

“A long habit of not knowing a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.” – Thomas Paine

“A nation that expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of society, expects what never was and never will be.” – Thomas Jefferson

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” – Hosea, 4:6

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