Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Hijacking of Religion

I am interested in God's Politics, not man's.

"God is not a Republican...
or a Democrat."

But with all the corruption, greed, and war, 99% of Republicans are looking more and more like cloned versions of the anti-Christ, because that's how many of them recently voted to stay in Iraq indefinitely. Almost all of them are embroiled in some kind of scandal or other. Ironically, they advertise themselves as the party with "moral values".

"The 'religious right' is neither."

The Democrats seem to be on the side of peace and social justice, although recently 40 of them just voted to "stay the course" in Iraq. That is the reason I will not support the Democratic party either, as a whole - only on an individual basis.

I don't care if anyone calls themselves a Republican or a Democrat - if their values and principles harmonize the with the will of God, whatever name you call Him - in whatever religion - Jesus, A.K.A. "The Prince of Peace", Yahweh, Buddha, Jehovah, or Krishna - not only in word, but also in deed - I will support them. There is only one God. He has many names, but His will is the same.
"A rose by any other name smells as sweet."

Before the nasty 2004 election, the religious right used religion to divide this country with wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage. After the election, the answers to deceptively worded exit poll questions were used to show that those who voted for Bush did so on the grounds of so-called "moral values". Those who didn't vote for him were labeled as immoral, because they were godless. The "religious right" has gotten lots of mileage from this smear campaign, and the attacks have gotton much nastier since then.

For example, recently, the shameless hate hag Ann Coulter wrote a book called "Godless: The Church of Liberalism". She puts herself forward as a beacon of morality, hoping to make a buck from the "religious right" by attacking the widows of 9/11 with her outrageous slander. Right wing liar and radio host Bill O'Reilly, the pervert who sexually harasses his co-workers and writes pornography about underage crack whores, also claims to be a religious person. He has an acronym for those who call themselves the "left", "Liberals", or "Progressives". He calls them "S.P.'s", or "Secular Progressives".

I also call myself an "S.P." I am a Progressive, but not a secular one. I am proud to support and align myself with a growing number of "Spiritual Progressives". The right does not have a monopoly on morality, or spirituality.

In the 80's the new age guru Marianne Williamson noted that the Democrats were "too cool to even mention God," so most people thought that God was in the Republican party. Ever since then the Republicans have been at work through their corporate media manipulation to strengthen that image.

Many Democrats and Progressives are feeling like spirituality has been hijacked and they want it back. Recently, Harry Reid commented that there is a growing interfaith movement to take back religion from these so-called Christians. In whatever small way I can, I vow to lend this movement a hand by making that my mission as well.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Painting our troops with neon targets

(From U.S. Newswire 6/15/06)
Democrats today demanded an immediate retraction and reversal of the reported proposal that terrorists and insurgents who kill American soldiers in Iraq may be granted amnesty by the new Iraqi government.

“It is shocking that the Iraqi Prime Minister is reportedly considering granting amnesty to insurgents who have killed U.S. troops,” said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.

“On the day we lost the 2,500th soldier in Iraq, the mere idea that this proposal may go forward is an insult to the brave men and women who have died in the name of Iraqi freedom. I call on President Bush to denounce this proposal immediately.”

Democrats offered a Resolution demanding that this policy be repudiated, and that President Bush immediately inform the government of Iraq — in the strongest possible terms — that the United States opposes granting amnesty to anyone who attacks American soldiers. The text of the Sense of the Senate resolution is attached below.

“We ask you Prime Minister Maliki, are you willing to have ‘reconciliation’ on the pool of American blood that has been spilled to give your people and your country a chance for freedom?” said Sen. Menendez, a sponsor of the resolution. “We reject that notion and are outraged that the sacrifice of American troops and the American people could be so devalued.”

“Terrorists and insurgents shouldn’t be rewarded for killing American soldiers,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, of Florida, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who also sponsored the resolution."

Four years into a war, the Bush Administration’s management of which has been marked by failure and incompetence, the American people expect better than to have American troops killed without threat of punishment. It is time for a change.

Text of Sense of the Senate resolution:
(1) The Iraqi government should not grant amnesty to persons who have attacked, killed, or wounded members of the U.S. Armed Forces serving heroically in Iraq to provide all Iraqis a better future.
(2) President Bush should immediately notify the government of Iraq that the United States government opposes granting amnesty in the strongest possible terms.

Republicans want to offer the terrorists amnesty, however there is one small problem they failed to see, because they've been blinded by their morally unrestrained, murderous lust for power. Historically, amnesty has never been given until AFTER a surrender and concomitant END to a war. To give clemency to terrorists while troops are still on the ground is nothing less than sanctioning murder. I thought we didn't negotiate with terrorists!

It is inconceivable to me how last Thursday, June 15th, they were jumping all over themselves last to give amnesty to terrorists who have killed or wounded American troops. Here is a quick compilation from DSCC:

TED STEVENS - “IF THAT’S AMNESTY, I’M FOR IT:” “I really believe we ought to try to find some way to encourage that country to demonstrate to those people who have been opposed to what we’re trying to do, that it’s worthwhile for them and their children to come forward and support this democracy. And if that’s amnesty, I’m for it. I’d be for it. And if those people who are, come forward… if they bore arms against our people, what’s the difference between those people that bore arms against the Union in the War between the States? What’s the difference between the Germans and Japanese and all the people we’ve forgiven?” – Sen. Ted Stevens

MCCONNELL SUGGESTED A RESOLUTION COMMENDING IRAQIS FOR GIVING TERRORISTS AMNESTY. “…might it not just be as useful an exercise to be trying to pass a resolution commending the Iraqi government for the position that they’ve taken today with regard to this discussion of Amnesty?” – Sen. Mitch McConnell

ALEXANDER COMPARED IRAQI AMNESTY FOR TERRORISTS TO NELSON MANDELA’S PEACE EFFORTS. “Is it not true that Nelson Mandela’s courage and his ability to create a process of reconciliation and forgiveness was a major factor in what has been a political miracle in Africa…Did not Nelson Mandela, win a - the co-winner of - a noble Nobel Peace Prize just for this sort of gesture?” – Sen. Lamar Alexander

CORNYN: IRAQI AMNESTY DEBATE IS “A DISTRACTION.” “It makes no sense for the United States Senate to shake its finger at the new government of Iraq and to criticize them… it really is a distraction from the debate that I think the American people would want us to have.” - Sen. John Cornyn

CHAMBLISS: AMNESTY IS OK FOR EX-INSURGENTS AS LONG AS THEY ARE ON OUR SIDE NOW. “Is it not true today that we have Iraqis who are fighting the war against the insurgents, who at one time fought against American troops and other coalition troops as they were marching to Baghdad, who have now come over to our side and are doing one heck of a job of fighting along, side by side, with Americans and coalition forces, attacking and killing insurgents on a daily basis?” - Sen. Saxby Chambliss

These senators have no ability to think for themselves. They can only stupidly support their dear leader at the expense of the troops. To add insult to murder, the Commander-in Chief will not tell the troops what their mission is - who the enemy is. He doesn't know whether it's the Sunnis or the Shiites. I can sympathize with Bush, because he wants to stay and fight till the bitter end, but it's hard to pick an enemy in the middle of a civil war.

The Sunnis and the Shiites, however, are very clear who their common enemy is - the American occupiers. Our troops have no mission. They are simply targets, trying to survive, and the Republicans are using them for political cannon fodder - painting an even more visible neon bulls-eye on them by giving the terrorist insurgents amnesty if they kill our children while the war is still going on.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Give Peace A Chance

"And it's 1, 2, 3, what are we fighting for? Don't ask me 'cause I don't give a damn, next stop is Vietnam (Iran). And it's 5, 6, 7, open up the pearly gates! Well, there ain't no time to wonder why - WOOPEE! we're all gonna die." - Country Joe McDonald - Woodstock, 1969

After the quagmire of Vietnam, the botched invasion and current bloody occupation of Iraq, you would think that we had learned our lesson. Well, guess what folks - the U.S. Strategic Command, supported by the Air Force, has been drawing up plans, at the President's direction, for a major bombing campaign in Iran.

During the Vietnam war, John Lennon begged everyone to "give peace a chance". We were told by our leaders that we had to fight them over there before the Communists toppled countries one by one like dominos until it came to ours.

After 9-11, our leaders lied abimmanentimmenent threat of nuclear weapons from Iraq. The weapons inspectors were sent, but before they finished their job, we went to war. We begged our government to "give peace a chance," and let the inspectors finish their jobs. But they didn't listen. As a result, Iraq is the new Vietnam.

Now, everyone's sick of Iraq, so Bush, being a war time president (war lord), is falsely claiming that Iran's nuclear progimmanentn immenent threat. The Republicans don't have anything else to run on, so they must continue to keep people in fear and engage in never-ending war. People are again begging to "give peace a chance". But they aren't listening. There are no negotiations, although Iran has made it crystal clear that they are willing to negotiate.

Flash back to the 1966: the great Indian preceptor and peace advocate, Swami Prabhupada, (below) stood in front of the United Nations building, passing out leaflets entitled "The Peace Formula".

The Swami later met with heads of state, as well as activists like John Lennon and George Harrison, who, if alive today, would undoubtedly be at the forefront of the current peace movement.

In the last line of "give peace a chance" Lennon sings, "Ev'rybody's talking about John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary, Alan Ginsberg, Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper, Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna!"

All Swami Prabhupada (founder of the "Hare Krishna" movement), was saying was "give peace a chance" in the following leaflet he wrote based on ancient Vedic wisdom:

The Peace Formula

"The great mistake of modern civilization is to encroach upon other's property as though it were one's own and to thereby create an unnecessary disturbance of the laws of nature. These laws are very strong. No living entity can violate them. Only one who is God conscious can easily overcome the stringency of the laws of nature and thus become happy and peaceful in the world. As a state is protected by the department of law and order, so is the state of the Universe, of which this earth is only an insignificant fragment, is protected by the laws of nature. This material nature is one of the different potencies of God, who is the ultimate protector of everything that be. This earth is, therefore, the property of God, but we, the living entities, especially the so-called civilized human beings, are claiming God's property as our own, under both and individual and collective false conception. If you want peace, you have to remove this false conception from your mind and from the world. This false claim of proprietorship by the human race on earth is partly or wholly the cause of all disturbances of foolish and so-called civilized men who are claiming proprietary rights on the property of God because they have now become godless. You cannot be happy and peaceful in a godless civilization. Although there are many civilizations, there is only one God, although He may be called many names in different countries. In the Bhagavad-gita, the holy book of India, Lord Krishna delineates the peace formula. He says that He is the factual enjoyer of all activities of the living entities, that He is the Supreme Lord of all universes, and that He is the well-wishing friend of all beings. When the people of the world know this as the formula for peace, it is then and there that peace will prevail.

Therefore, if you want peace at all, you will have to change your consciousness into God consciousness both individually and collectively, by the simple process of chanting the holy name of God. This is the standard and recognized process for achieving peace in the world. We therefore recommend that everyone become Krishna (God) conscious by chanting "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare", or any name of God.

This is practical, simple, and sublime. Five hundred years ago, this formula was introduced in India by Lord Sri Caitanya, and now it is available in your country. Take to this simple process of chanting as above mentioned, realize your factual position by reading the Bhagavad-gita- As It Is, and reestablish your lost relationship with Krishna, God. Peace and prosperity will be the immediate worldwide result.