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An American Depression?

There's no question that the Christian Zionist movement in United States is growing strong. As CUFI founder John Hagee, who already claims two million members in his young organization, and would like to align all American evangelicals to his cause, recently exclaimed at CUFIs annual A Night to Honor Israel:

When 50 million evangelical bible-believing Christians unite with five million American Jews standing together on behalf of Israel, it is a match made in heaven.

But why has this movement had such a profound allure for many Americans?

In his conversation with Bill Moyers this week, Rabbi Michael Lerner offers one explanation, discussing the appeal of dispensationalism, or the religious view held by many Christian Zionists, that the second coming of Jesus is incumbent upon the Jews being in Israel. He offers this reasoning:

Dispensationalists are onto something. They are onto the growing depression that people are feeling, a deep emotional depression in the United States. A lack of any hopeful picture of what the world could be - and that failure is not a failure of dispensationalists. It's a failure of the mainstream political framework in this country that to address the major questions facing the world in the 21st century.

What do you think?

  • Are Americans yearning for some new philosophy to fill a void left by mainstream politics?
  • Besides Christian Zionism, do you see any signs of other movements beginning to fill this void?


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    Comments

    That's known that money makes us independent. But how to act when somebody doesn't have cash? The only one way is to receive the loan or commercial loan.

    Fascinating take on this, as a pilot I'm constantly keen to understand much more about aviation.

    religion and killing machines (usa'?isreal') are staffed by the LD.
    http://roma.indymedia.org/printable/taxonomy/term/1549

    Yes, people could feel the 2nd Great Depression coming even as it approached from beyond their horizon. One shoe has dropped and (after the bailout frenzy of fiat money) the other will be hyperinflation: The result, hyperstagflation: A bottomless Depression that can only be overcome by cultural reorganization.
    What will Israel be without American subsidies and weapons? I predict a one state solution and an end to militant Zionism.

    Right now, the economy is front and centre on everyone’s mind. But in many past shows, the mixture of religion and politics has often been discussed. The following little editorial commentary connects all these dots: religion, politics, and the economy.

    Somewhere in dim historical memory, there was once a time in North America, and indeed, among Protestant Christians everywhere, when personal debt was viewed very much differently. King Solomon’s proverbial warning that “the borrower is servant to the lender” carried weight, and the Apostle Paul’s injunction of Romans 13:3 was taken literally: “Owe no man anything, but to love one another.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the great 19th century Baptist preacher, put it this way: “The Bible never tells us to get out of debt, but not to have any.”

    Debt, then, was looked upon as not only a calamity, but a sin. “Some sell their liberty to gratify their luxury,” warned Christian commentator Matthew Henry in the 18th Century, “Many that are very sensible of the trouble [of debt] think little of the sin of being in debt.” “Avoid debts,” cautioned the 19th Century American Presbyterian William S. Plumer, “they doth eat as a canker.”

    But somehow, somewhere during the last fifty years, all this truth got turned around. Debt now became viewed not as a calamity to be avoided, and a sin requiring repentance, but a ticket to material prosperity. Indeed, both on a individual basis, and a national level, living in debt has become the general norm. But now the drunken party’s over.

    The saddest thing of all is this: if modern Christian leaders had spent more time telling their people what the Bible said, instead of repeating “free market” mantras, and the promises of politicians, perhaps the nation’s economy wouldn’t be in such a terrible mess. Instead of advising Christians on their investments, and telling them how to vote, they should have stuck to the more important job that God gave them: preaching Jesus Christ, and the truths of God’s Word. Spurgeon had that right, too. “Let me be a minister wholly, and not spend my energies upon secondary concerns,” he said, “what have I to do with party politics?” But what a disservice these modern unfaithful “political” pastors have done to their own flocks, and worse, to the cause of Christ’s Gospel in the world!

    Still, even worse than meddling in politics, has been the disgraceful sight of Christian ministers and preachers leaving their pulpits to run for political office. It’s like a soldier deserting his post. Oliver Cromwell, who knew a few things about religion and politics, and soldiering, too, warned against this kind of nonsense back in the 16th Century: “When ministers pretend to a glorious Reformation, and lay the foundations thereof in getting to themselves worldly power, they may know that the Zion promised will not be built with such untempered mortar.”

    Once hundred years later, John Newton, the author of the hymn Amazing Grace, sounded the same warning: “Allow me to say, it excites both my wonder and concern, that a minister...should think it worth his while to appear [as] a political writer, or [to make] proposals of political reform. I can wish...no higher preferment than to be an ambassador of the King of kings…for the Lord has not called me to set nations to right, but to preach the gospel, to proclaim the glory of His name, and to endeavour to win souls. Happy is that servant, whom his Lord, when He cometh, shall find so doing!”

    Too bad modern American preachers didn’t pay heed to these old warnings and stick to their own business. And equally dismaying is the lack of true Christian wisdom and historical memory among many of those who call them Christians. Even so, despite it all, the Bible has once more proven true: “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.”

    There is a place in Israel called Haifa, and in that place, high on a mountain called Mount Carmel, looking over the entire city, stands the majestic Shrine of the Bab and the beautiful Baha'i gardens. This is the place where all of humanity, no matter what religion, are welcomed and accepted as the children of the Almighty God. What I have come to believe is that true religion is about love and justice and there is no room for hate. Without hate war can not exist. So let's stop all this nonsense and grow up, because it is sickening and boring and useless. And just plain stupid.

    I'm coming in a little late here, but do you notice how Bill Moyers feels a need to explain something like Christian Zionism: it's a result of a depression, "a yearning for a new philosophy", blah, blah, blah. Notice that the one answer that would never occur to Moyers is the obvious one - namely, that Zionism is right!

    Moyers rocks back in his chair and announces that we all know that there should be a two-state solution. Actually, "we" don't know anything of the kind. This show is not the first time that Moyers has done one of these professional hits on Israel, although it's the first time, he's specifically targeted his fire on Zionism.

    For the record, Zionism is a political philosophy that seeks to liberate the biblically-defined Land of Israel ("Yeretz Israel") on behalf of the people of Israel through legal and legitimate means. That is NOT the same thing as "crushing the Palestinians" as Moyers alleges at one point in this program and that allegation itself is pure propaganda.

    I'll give John Hagee and his people some credit. I can only image how tortuous their theology must be: on the face of it, I don't see how you can reconcile Zionism and Christianity. But they've got the right basic idea. History states that this land belongs to one people, not two: it belongs to the people of Israel and to no other. That may not be an idea favored in the halls of international diplomacy (not yet anyway), but it is the basis of historical justice and therefore it is the basis of peace - in the real and legitimate sense of that term.

    By the way, Michael Lerner is not a Rabbi as Moyers incorrectly refers to him throughout this program. He has never been ordained by any rabbinical yeshiva. He holds a doctorate in political science from UC Berkely and used to teach classes in Marxism until he found out that impostoring himself as a Rabbi got him more press.

    My Skepticism shifts into code red when I read or hear people attempting to use passages from the bible to solve political and social problems in our time. I suggest they read "Who Wrote the New Testament?: The Making of the Christian Myth" by Burton L. Mack. Until we have done so, we lack proper information to qualify us to address problems facing the entire world during this 21st century in a seemingly inevitable globalized setting.

    Would not the developmental course of Mankind follow the same patterned matrix characteristics as that of a progenies relationship to its progenitor and primogenitor? Therefore like the myth of Santa Claus, that being a temporal belief dispelled by the natural course of intellectual development. Then too, couldn’t man’s belief in an overseeing governance of justice and provider of hope and direction, also be a myth provided by convention as man’s moral compass and wellspring of fellowship and goodwill?

    Was God around for the caveman, or did he conveniently appear as mankind’s intellectual awareness of his own mortality also came into being? Could not the invention of an all powerful myth, be a manifestation of man’s desire for something solid to hold onto against an unrelenting oscillating tide of universal change, and isn’t this why he appeared differently, but with the same message, simultaneously in differing cultures.

    Come on people get real, God is in the process and not sitting on high orchestrating and adjudicating.

    Dan Rather,

    Good luck with your investigation.

    Rush Limb... what ever, knows where Bush was during those times.

    Ask Rush? He knows. Does'nt he?

    Bill,

    I always got the impression from the time of your interviews with Joseph Campbell that you were a man of faith.

    I am impressed that you do such balanced journalism as exposing dangerous sociopaths playing Dungeons and Dragons on a World Stage.

    I am glad your retirement didn't last too long.

    Hi Lizzie, I respect your knowledge of the bible and I agree with you that we should know what's coming; however, the Zionist Christians believe in taking an active role in trying to make the predictions come true. I believe Christian's only responsibility is to follow the teachings of Christ. We interfere with God's plan when we ignore Christ's teachings of peace and his commandment to show love for one's enemies. I feel the Zionist Christians are ignoring Jesus Christ’s teachings especially when they demand a pre-emptive strike against any country or person. Even Jesus himself said about the end of times, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32 New International Version). Jesus goes on to say to keep watch but continue following his teachings. Just in the previous chapter (chapter 12) Jesus tells us the 2 greatest commandments to follow. I urge all that call themselves Christians to re-read the 4 Gospels: The Gospel According to Matthew, The Gospel According to Luke, The Gospel according to Mark, and the Gospel according to John. Let them sink deep into your heart, because there-in lays the essence of Christianity and how we should behave as Christians.

    May peace be with you,
    Jeff Poss

    Who really wants peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict? Do the Islamic terrorists and their supporters? Is the goal stated in the 1948 war to drive the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea still in effect? Is the goal for the terrorists peace with Israel?

    I recently heard two authors, who wrote a book on the Israel lobby in the U.S. Congress, state that one thing that needs to happen is that Israel needs to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders in order to sustain the peace process. If this occurred would the terrorists then recognize Israel’s right to exist and make peace with them?

    The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was created by the Arab League in 1964. At that time the Arabs had control of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. What part of Palestine were they trying to liberate in 1964? Did they recognize Israel's right to exist back then?

    Israel gave the Gaza strip back to the Palestinians. Has that area become more peaceful or have more rockets been fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip?

    The answer to the first question of who really wants peace is the Israelis. If others want it they need to prove it by their peaceful words and actions.

    One Christian poster claims that the Bible doesn’t predict future events. Read the gospel of Matthew. The writer quotes many Old Testament passages that Jesus fulfilled hundreds of years after they were written. They predicted the future first coming of the Messiah. When Jesus’ disciples asked Him about the future of the world in Matthew 24, Jesus didn’t say “don’t worry about the future”. Instead He gave them signs to look for. The apostle Paul did the same in 1 and 2 Thessalonians. The Bible is full of prophecies that declare what is going to happen in the future. It even speaks to the question of peace in Israel. Peace will not be achieved between Israel and the rest of the world until Jesus Christ returns.

    Blessed are the peacemakers but sometimes their efforts go unrewarded, at least in the temporal world.

    Regarding the Christians United for Israel / John Hagee program, there were two flaws which repeated common "establishment" propaganda/myths. These are worth mentioning and countering:

    1) You repeated without any reservations the claim that Ahmadinejad wants to "wipe Israel off the map", even though this translation has been debunked/disputed by various Middle Eastern scholars like Juan Cole, among others.

    Do a google search for these two articles:
    - Wiped Off the Map, Rumor of the Century
    - Caught Red Handed, Media Backtracks on Iran's Threat

    You'll find convincing evidence that the Ahmadinejad quote is not accurate, and is part of a broader anti-Iran propaganda campaign similar to the Iraq one.

    2) The program asserts that CUFI lobbying has played a role in preventing a peace settlement between Israel and Palestine, and you referenced Bush's "roadmap" for peace. This is a glaring, fundamental misconception about the Bush administration's Middle Eastern policy - it should be transparently obvious based on our actions in Iraq, and in the Middle East more broadly, that we have zero interest in "peace" in the region (as opposed to "control" of resources).

    To hear the claim that CUFI has "undermined" Bush and Rice, as if they have some honest & genuine desire for peace, but were thwarted by CUFI, is beyond laughable.

    What evidence exists (beyond empty public rhetoric and slogans about "peace" and "democracy") for the claim that the Bush administration has ever pursued or been concerned with "peace"? It's hardly worth presenting the evidence to the contrary, because every action they have taken is about extending US control over regional oil resources. Their actions in the region should make it impossible to make the claim that they have pursued "peace".

    I respectfully and fundamentaly disagree with the conception of the Bible as a prdiction of future events.

    The word of God is so much deeper and meaningfull when read and studied from a different perspective...

    It is not our place to know when Christ will return,,,to live ones life of faith in sucha a fruitless quest to figure it out is missing the point of purpose of God's word entirly...

    But to debate this futhure is a pointless exercise.

    MLM: I am not picking and choosing it all. Please read for clarification:

    Your chapter/verses are incorrect. Genesis 17:20 states, “As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.” Ishmael is blessed only in that he will be the leader of his own nation, and this is only because he is Abraham’s son. Isaac is the true/sole inheritor of Abraham’s covenant because after verse 20, the Bible states, “[regarding Sarah] But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year."

    You are correct in the fact that God took care of Ishmael in Genesis 21: 14-21, but it is only in taking care of him, not blessing him with all of His Glory/Greatness. Although God is with Ishmael and his seed, they will never be cared for in the same manner as Isaac because he was not the “chosen” one for the covenant. This is proven a little earlier in Genesis 16: 11-12, where the Bible speaks about Ishmael’s mother and Ishmael’s fate. The Bible states, “And the angel of the LORD said unto he [Hagar], Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

    Clearly, this isn’t a blessing. Ishmael and his offspring are not peaceful, loving people and will fight and be against all. This is one reason they were sent away in 21:14 – because he was mocking Sarah and Isaac (Genesis 21:9-13…”Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking. Therefore she said to Abraham, "Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac." The matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son. But God said to Abraham, "Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named. "And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also, because he is your descendant."). Of course, Abraham loved his son, but he needed to do what was necessary because it was what God commanded. Again, Ishmael was taken care of and made a nation, but only because he was Abraham’s son – he was not “the one” as Isaac was and was not blessed as he.

    You’re right that God is love and peace, but he is also just. The Bible does not say that the United States is a part of this covenant, but Israel is. By supporting them, we are supporting God’s will. As James Jackson, an earlier poster, stated, we have no control over End-Times, but we can be aware of signs. Things are merging together brilliantly, and they will continue to do so until God’s plan is complete.

    As far as the accuracy of this “thousands of years old” text, this is a matter of faith and understanding that I fear I don’t have enough room to discuss. But I will say that it does directly relate to today because the Bible is a prediction of the future – a fulfillment of God’s plan. What’s going on today and in the future IS discussed in the Bible, and for those who do take it literally, it is a map for things that WILL come. In my opinion, to ignore it today would be, as you put it, border on insanity.

    Preemptive War is Preemptive Justice

    I believe America is still a good county, but somehow we have lost our way. In this age of preemptive strike frenzy, we can’t pre-judge another country, take the law into our own hands and annihilate another country because of a mere thought before they have actually acted against another. We would be outraged if we persecuted people merely for their thoughts. By attacking a country that has not committed an attack we have hurt everyone else in the world. Our country is not just hurting our own law but all law, the law that is the very conscience of humanity, the law that says you must actually commit a crime before being brought to justice. Without it, civilization would be extinct. But, by starting a preemptive war, we have preempted justice itself. Justice can only be served to those that have acted. Only God can judge the thoughts of humankind.

    Jeff Poss

    “Other religions/cultures were/are not a part of this and definitely are NOT blessed in God's eyes (for various reasons).”

    Who are human beings to speak for God.

    The following verses certainly do not indicate that God did not bless or make a promise to other of Abraham’s offspring.

    “But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the boy [Ishmael] and because of your slave woman…I will make a great nation of him ALSO, because he is your offspring.”Genesis 20:12-13

    "And God heard the voice of the boy [Ishmael]; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, what troubles you Hagar? Do not be afraid; for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Come, lift up the boy and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make a great nation of him." GOD WAS WITH the boy, and he grew up;" Genesis 20:17-18, 20.

    These verses show that Abraham had great love for his son Ishmael. It also shows that God made a separate promise to Ishmael.

    There is great compassion showed to Ishmael, by God, his blessing was ALSO with him and his descendants. Where in this passage is there justification for the bigotry and hatred spewed out by Hagee and his followers?

    Where does it say that other descendents of Abraham are “definitely are NOT blessed in God's eyes”? What greater blessing is there than “God with us” as his word says he was with Ishmael. Where in this passage does it indicate that these nations are destined to war against each other in the 21 Century?

    If you must take every word in the Bible literally, you can't pick and choose at will.

    God is peace and love, where is the peace and love of God in this movement? Where in the Bible does God say that the United States is a part of this covanant? This argument does not stand up to reason.

    Now, even as a Christian, I agree with the non-believers and atheist--to take a text that is thousands of years old and interject it politically into 21 Centaury world politics with no regard for the history that has transpired in between or for the realities of the current situation is devoid of reason and borders on insanity.

    I am reminded of a saying from a tv miniseries (based on a book by Frank Herbert...Dune).

    "When religion and politics ride in the same cart, the whirlwind follows."

    The author was by no means a christian. While I may or may not agree with his beliefs, I can say I certainly believe that what he's saying above is accurate, through history. Religion and politics should stay out of the same bed. That's how awful wars start.

    I very much believe that, no matter what I believe, that I can always learn from others, no matter what they believe.

    I certainly wish that people would listen to one another first, instead of categorizing them first as to whether or not they agree with me so are worth listening to. Everyone (nearly everyone) has something worth hearing.

    Patricia

    As a Christian, I am disappointed with the loud judgmental ones who make the news. In fact, in the past I have shared the perceptions and angst that I have read in many of these comments. Most of us don't make the news. Most of us just want to help someone else. Evangelical Christianity is the fastest growing faith in the world. They don't make the news. There has always been evil in the Christian church. The church is made up of people. People want power and recognition. I also see that the most atrocious genocides in the past few hundred years were were done by power-mad politicians who saw God as meaningless or as competition. Despite how flawed I am, I have chosen Jesus Christ as my model. The very unfair and illogical concept of grace is unique. It has nothing to do with blaming and shaming, or with feeling or assigning guilt. This deep spiritual dynamic is shared by many Christians, most who don't make news. Although I neither share nor fear the views of the loud ones who make news, I apologize to those who are offended or hurt by them. I truly wish you peace. Thanks.

    It seems that every society of humans seeks a higher power to explain and justify their existence, success, and superiority in this competitive world. These become religions with all kinds of schemes for control of human behavior woven into them. The three most successful are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Each has developed voluminous written documentation which serves as an identifiable icon which over time becomes hallowed, sacred, revered, and sanctified often more for its iconic value than its content. The Christian Bible which uses the previous existing Jewish documentation for a foundation is a collection of writings so voluminous that one can pick and chose selective texts to formulate and justify nearly any idea, concept, motive, or scheme imaginable. In the Christian’s Bible, one could take from the narrative where after betraying Jesus their Christ it says that he went out and hung himself, and couple that with several other passages that say “Go thou and do likewise.” The Islamic Koran is similar. The most interesting feature of all this is that the celebrated authoritative characters of each, the Jew’s Elohim, the Christian’s Christ Jesus, and the Muslim’s Mohamed did not write a single word in any of these documents although each group asserts that the documents are accurately validated as though they did.

    A common characteristic of all religions is that they become a nucleus for social identification and grouping not unlike social organizations of all kinds such as the Elks, Moose, Lions, VFW, Rotarians, scholastic fraternities, etc. People like to be identified with something that gives them a feeling of power and immortality. Who wouldn’t? Why not?

    It could not be ignored that Judaism’s Talmud or old Testament of the Christian’s Bible is self serving to Jew’s interests in controlling the entire Middle East with it’s oil and excluding Muslims and Arabs from it. Claiming to be the sole heirs of Abraham is critical for this effort. Selling this idea to Christian leaders is part of the scheme. With Vice-President Dick Cheney being a former member of the Advisory Board of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, both he and Paul Wolfowitz being high powered honorees of that organization, and Jewish Richard Perle, the renown “architect of the Iraqi war” all being part of the Bush Administration, it isn’t hard to see what is guiding our nation’s current foreign policy.

    I hadn’t heard of this Pastor John Hagee, but his preaching is the same as that of the late Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson who have generated huge and well funded followings.

    What motivates these people to join in this scheme? IT’S MONEY! Where is it coming from?

    During the 2000 campaign, Jerry Falwell once (that I observed) turned his televised Sunday Service over to none other than Benjamin Netanyahu who regaled the audience with tales of his youth where Jewish innocence and Arabic atrocities were graphically detailed. During this exercise of prejudicial rhetoric, programmed messages of the importance of Christian support of Israel were posted at the bottom of the screen. Who could deny that Jewish political and financial contributions was welding an alliance between historic antagonists—Christians and Jews.

    Then too, the Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, controlled administration opened up the nation’s treasury for selected religious organizations under the Republican Party’s plank to turn over the nation’s welfare programs to “Faith Based Ministries.” Already this has become $billions for these ardent and ambitious preachers.

    Do we need to connect more dots to get the picture?

    Al Williams
    Oak Harbor, Washington

    For all those paranoid Christians, and others a little info:
    1. There is no "Islamofascist" except perhaps some of the regimes of the mid-east that America supports. In order to be fascist, one must have the power of the state apparatus, and marry it to the corporate conglomerates and their interests, against those of the people. Since the Islamic radicals with whom we fight have neither state backing nor certainly corporate interests, they cannot accurately be called fascists. I would argue that a more accurate statement is that the Islamic radicals are the lone insurgents against a rising western fascism.
    2. Iran is NOT a threat to the U.S. nor Israel. Iran's much trumpeted support for "terrorists" is largely a thing of the past, and a direct response to American overthrow of their democratically elected leader in the 50's.
    3. Iran's Ahmadinejad is not antisemitic, but rather antizionist. His highly publicized statements regarding Israel and the holocaust have been used out of context by our press and govt. In reality, Ahmadinejad didn't question the holocaust so much as he asked why the Palestinians had to pay with land and blood instead of the German perpetrators of genocide. His call for the "destruction of Israel" was referenced to the USSR, and could be considered a call for regime change.
    4. Many of you might be surprised to learn that the largest Jewish community outside of Israel in the mid-east is in Iran. They are quite happy there and even have representation in parliment.
    5. Much of this info is readily available online. Find the definition of fascism and see if it doesn't more readily correspond with our society than theirs. Read articles by Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector who happened to be right about Iraq. His latest lay out the most important history and info re: Iran.

    Have a look at this vid and then think on all the suffering the human race has reaped upon over borders, land, race and who's religion is the right one.
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7367794459123820452&q=The+Hubble+Deep+Field%3A+The+Most+Important+Image+Ever+Taken&total=19&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

    Hagee and his followers are exactly why there needs to be a seperation of church and state, religion has no place in politics. Thank you PBS and Bill Moyers for making this show, I have new found discontent for those in congress who would even talk to these morons. Shut these people down they are trying to send us to yet another mindless war, if they love isreal so much they should GO LIVE THERE and leave the rest of us Americans out of it, I will not fight a war for you, but I'll be the first one in the line to fight against you. Hagee is Hitler, bring this man and his followers up on treason charges before they destroy everything you love.

    One more thing.
    It seems to me that a lot, if not most, people of faith become blinded by their faith.
    Not even able to see the holes and inconsistencies in their arguments for why they believe or what it is that they believe.
    It's like listening to the arguments between some conservatives and liberals.
    Religious faith and conservatism seem to go hand in hand in some respects and both have a certain amount of closed mindedness. Although I do think that religious people are less selfish than your average conservative/republican. At least they should be.

    I'm always amazed how often I hear from people of faith how closed minded to the miracles of God the atheists are. Then I read a statement, "Psychology, sociology and the hard sciences are wonderful, and I respect and need these disciplines, but they don't answer everything. THEY NEVER WILL." ( Emphasis is mine)How closed minded is it to state that the hard sciences will never answer all the questions. At least they are attempting to.
    Most religious faiths tell us to take whatever the good book tells us and don't ask questions about it. Just have faith. Yes I know that that is what faith is. But when it slowly but surely starts to fly in the face of reason. You surely have to start asking a few questions. Don't you?
    If you told someone only 300 years or even only 150 years ago that one day humans will fly around the planet in planes that can carry almost 700 people, will walk on the moon, clone a sheep, or have the capability of manipulating peoples genes, they'd have told you that you are nuts, or most likely labeled you a witch and burned you at the stake. Of course they would have also asked "What are genes and planes?"
    So with the ever accelerating advances in the sciences why is it not possible that humans would gain the knowledge to answer everything? We may that is if we don't destroy ourselves in some stupid religious war first. A war that would occur because certain people either have been brainwashed since childhood or have chosen to have faith in a whole bunch of superstitions that were created by MAN in the first place!!! People who now don't agree which one of these superstitions is the right one. As if anyone could be right?
    Yes we have emotions and cuddly fuzzy feelings that probably occur because of a release of a chemical into the brain that is stimulated by a memory, smell, visual or other physical stimuli but some choose to think that it's "GODS WORK"
    Why does it have to be a GOD? Why does there even have to be a God. Because people"feel" that there is one.
    Why can't the Universe and it's fundamental laws of physics just be the way it is, because it simply is.
    1+1=2 no matter what race or planet you belong to. Fundamental laws. That's all they are. Yes we don't know them all but one day we probably will.
    But who created the laws you ask? Nobody. They are universal laws. They don't need a Creator, they are simply what they are. Universal laws.
    Why does the Universe need a Creator? Because a few thousand years ago man was incapable of imagining it any other way?
    Do you think that another intelligent race on some distant planet will be worshipping the same God as you? There are people on this planet that don't even do that. So God isn't even constant.
    And you think that in this vast Universe with it's billion+ stars in our galaxy and a billion+ galaxies in the Universe that God is watching over just this one itty bitty planet and it's occupants with their limited intellect?
    God maybe just your conscience, that's all. Your inner self talking to you. Telling you what's right and wrong.
    Oh wait, that's Jiminy Cricket.
    God, the Good in you.

    There has been so much trouble over the past two thousand years because of this superstitious nonsense and now we have nitwits like this Hagee and his followers doing all they can to bring about some holy war and Endtime..
    Because of what? Jiminy Cricket!

    When Hagee came to Canada about ten years ago, he was perceived by many of us pastors as a curiosity. Frankly, we found it somewhat amusing AND alarming that an overweight, southern, show-man could command the kind of following he claimed to have. We dismissed our perplexity by remembering that Texans do everything big, including stupidity and showmanship. 7 years into GWB 43, and after seeing last week's Journal, I'm more convinced than ever of the accuracy of that initial assessment.

    To Amphetameme:

    For some inexplicable reason you bring up the Noahic Covenant to support the idea that the land of Israel does not belong to the Jews. This covenant has absolutely nothing to do with the land of Israel. Conversely, the Abrahamic Covenant speaks directly to the issue of the land of Israel. God promised the land to Abraham and his descendents through Isaac. God confirms this covenant with Isaac in Genesis chapter 17 and with his son Jacob in Genesis 28:13-14. Thus, my original point stands. Where in the Bible does God also give the land of Canaan/Israel to the Arabs? It is nowhere to be found.

    The Jordanians ruled the West Bank and East Jerusalem from 1948 until 1967. Why did they not create the state of Palestine when it was under their control? Since the Arab world and its wealthy leaders were so concerned about the plight of the Palestinians, why did they not assuage their suffering and consent to a homeland for them and financially support the founding of their new nation?

    I do not support the Jews’ right to the land of Israel because of End-Times prophecy. I support their right to it because the God who created the world promised them the land forever. The fact is that God promised to bring the Jews back to the land in Amos 9:15, “And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.” I do recognize the return of the Jews to their land after an 1800 year absence as a nation as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy.

    Walid Shoebat, a former Muslim terrorist who grew up in Israel, became a Christian and now supports Israel. Why? Because he believes the Bible is God’s word and that it is the truth. You can visit his web site at http://www.shoebat.com/

    I am not a member of CUFI but I do believe what the Bible declares is going to happen at the end of the current age. One poster stated, “Your end times may arrive but not because the bible says it will happen but because people like yourself want it to happen.” I have no intention of trying to “effect” the beginning of the End-Times. That is God’s domain and will happen when He decides to implement His judgment upon a rebellious earth. I do intend to observe world events and to look for the signs that He told His followers to watch for.

    Civil war anyone...

    James Jackson: AMEN!!! You are 100 percent on the money in your comments.

    Amphetameme: you mistake the understanding between that convenant and Abraham's. God's convenant with the human race and all living creatures involves never sending a great flood to destroy the world (something that hasn't happened since) because of the sin and wickedness going on. Basically this covenant is to save humanity through the one righteous man, Noah.

    God's covenant with Abraham is different in that it is unconditional and that it is only to occur through Abraham's seed. Other religions/cultures were/are not a part of this and definitely are NOT blessed in God's eyes (for various reasons).

    As a side note: Abraham's covenant occured AFTER Noah's. Humanity's sin that returned after the flood is responsible for the creation of Abraham's covenant. God needed one faithful man to save humanity again, and through this covenant/Abraham's blessed line, Christ was born and was able to give the greatest sacrifice.

    I think Mr. Hagee takes extreme liberties in his literalist end-times message of Prophetic Evangelism. He's not the first and won't be the last, as the show pointed out. Given this program has a primarily liberal viewer base, and our secular culture accommodates a general ignorance of faith and scripture, I expected to see the alarmist comments. I'd be alarmed, too, if my pastor had Hagee's exact message, or if a college professor had expounded on his all-knowing atheism like Sam Harris. As a part-time seminarian at Wesleyan seminary, it was refreshing to hear (on PBS, even!) a discussion of Evangelicals correctly portrayed as representing a spectrum of Christian beliefs, instead of the typical charaterizations. I think Bono says it succinctly: "The left mocks the right, and the right knows it's right." Just as the university academic bias against Evangelicals has made our major university affiliated seminaries sadly unproductive, the innapropriate bonding of many Evangelicals to a particular political party has significantly diminished the opportunity for grace. (Note the current reactionary rise of the angry athiest humanists.) In fact, many Evangelicals are not total literalists, but are open to the miracles described in Scripture. (Ref: Across the Spectrum, Understanding Issues in Evangelical Theology, by Gregory Boyd & Paul Eddy, Baker Academic.) For my spiritual growth and for my faith journey, being open to believe in God's miracles is a truer and deeper choice than choosing to make everything in Scripture a metaphor, to avoid the possibility of the appearance of inadvertent offensiveness. That doesn't mean that I get to mandate my faith to others. But it means I can make the choice to be gracefully unapologitic about my faith, which was born in me from studying Scripture. Many, if not most of we human beings have a spiritual side that must be nourished and fed. Psychology, sociology and the hard sciences are wonderful, and I respect and need these disciplines, but they don't answer everything. They never will. The amazing grace demonstrated by our Amish brothers and sisters is coupled with a deep faith and belief in Scripture. I see global Christianity as a global subculture of potential grace-givers.

    Grace and peace,
    Mike M.

    It also occurred to me that no matter what theses Christian Zionists believe, how much $$$ they throw at certain politicians or power they think they've accrued, that they will not "create" the second coming of Christ.

    The Messiah will return when he returns and nothing these people do or think will make it happen even seconds earlier than it is supposed to.

    I just hope that we end up with an other than Republican president who John Hagee and the Christian Zionists where they belong, out of government and back into their churches.

    I think it would have been more valuable if Bill Moyers had also invited a Dispensationalist (e.g., Hagee), a representative of a right-leaning Jewish Zionist organization that works with the Dispensationalists, a Christian Arab, and a Muslim Arab to paint the context of millennarian, irredentist, and absolutist trends that are not limited to Zionism in general or to Christian (or Jewish) Zionism.

    Speaking as a Jew, I can say without reservation that Michael Lerner does not speak to or for me. I personally think he is a naïve and pompous ignoramus. Israel is in the situation it is in not because of the erection of walls and roadblocks that look tame in comparison to what can be seen along America's border with Mexico but because, with Western support and connivance and with the gracious blessing of Standard Oil, Mobil, British Petroleum, Aramco et hoc genus omne, the Arab and Muslim states have been permitted since 1947 (indeed, since 1920) not to recognize Israel even though they are signatories to the same United Nations documents that generated the international legitimacy that was supposed to put an end to conflicts of this type in the post-World War II era.

    The Palestinians are in the situation they are in because their brethren have kept them, with a minority of exceptions, locked into a condition of statelessnes that has had no alternative but to breed extremism and desperation, particularly when inflamed by the religious zealotry born of a desert fanatic's mind. For all the tears and remonstrances heard from Lahore to Rabat, not one country with the exception of Jordan (and Israel, for that matter) has ever systematically lifted a finger to put an end to the statelessness of the Palestinian Arabs.

    It is embarrassing that--if Lerner is going to put himself forward as a rabbi, he might as well do it right--he misstates the text of the Bible that he professes to have studied. Ishmael was not given a share in the Land of Israel, even though he was born before Isaac. The Biblical narrative, not particularly proud of Sarah's callous behavior, nevertheless makes it clear that Ishmael will be the father of a great nation, but not one with a share in what was to become Israel. That is basic.

    But misinformation and lies are usually more successful when they are founded on what is not said than on what is said. The real subtext of what goes on in the Near East is not Jews, Christians, or the End Times, but rather nothing other than the V-8 engine of modern history, good old Britain, a glaring fact that everyone nevertheless conveniently forgets since it accords so well with British sanctimony and an innate inability to feel remorse since doing so would require admission of guilt and acceptance of blame, something that the Children of Aelfric (and their American historian minions) are incapable of. The Near East is what is is because the British deceived their way into it and out of it, as they always have. They climbed into Palestine on the back of the Jews--a conceit expressed by a British anti-Semite of the 1920's, not by any Zionist--to protect their precious Suez Canal, and once installed on those holy sands, ditched the Jews to the daggers of the bloodthirsty Ottoman-raised Arab hordes.

    As a geopolitical enterprise, securing the eastern flank of the Canal has been the objective of Her Majesty's (and earlier, His Majesty's) Government since at least 1906 when the British staged an incident against the Ottomans in Aqaba that predates the antics of T. E. Lawrence by a good nine years. Divide et impera was a managerial lesson the Romans taught the good people living south of Hadrian's Wall, and the British more than bettered the instruction.

    As for the good rabbi of Mr. Moyers's program, Lerner not only misquotes or simply is ignorant of his own text, but is completely out of his league when he puffs up his affected Francis of Assisi purity of soul in an amphitheater that is anything but Franciscan. Framing the discourse from the point of view of Israel, the Jews, Zionism, Christian millennarianism (which, as usual, is the typically Western contempt-of-the-ignorant-natives condescending modus operandi that thinks it is being charitable to the subject races when it ignores or downplays their involvement in any mess they may be involved in) completely misrepresents, and in a most shockingly irresponsible way, the geopolitics behind the situation--of which he could only be excused if he were--as he obviously is--completely in the dark--and, with that typical smiling, supercilious, and world-historically condescending contempt characteristic of the West, simply leaves out of account the countervailing millennarianism (and centuries-long schooling in barbarism) of the Islamic world. Or tell me how bread rises but forget to tell me about yeast and gluten. That is as irresponsible on the global stage as Bush's illiterate, irresponsible, inexcusable, and all of the preceding because ultimately incompetent foray into Iraq to "establish" democracy (proving yet again the moron's complete ignorance of the concept) among people who had neither clue of nor desire for democracy. Weber did make mention of Muslim apocalyptics and Moyers did make mention of the little word "survival" which that pundit in an ill-fitting skullcap sitting before them apparently has taken for granted in the post-Auschwitz era, which in itself is evidence of gross and inexcusable ignorance.

    I think Americans have always turned to religion when politics have failed them. I recently watched the documentary Desert Bayou (http://www.desertbayou.com) and when their faith in government had shattered, the Katrina evacuees turned toward faith and God. The system as a whole had failed them, and they admirably turned that indignation toward trying to form a new life in Utah. I think what becomes "problematic" with organizations like the CUFI is that they are not a vehicle for the underprivileged or represented to use faith to help them forward themselves, but leverage existing and already powerful religious cultures to try and affect worldwide change that is only supported by their powerful minority.

    Anyway, I encourage others to see this documentary. It brings a lot of important social issues to the forefront that need to begin being addressed with open, national dialogue.

    Michael Lerner is not a legitimate Rabbi, no matter what he calls himself.

    Thank you for the program on C.U.F.I.

    I am a born again Christian. I do not believe Christian Zionism is a biblically based movement. I am shocked by the call for war, and believe to do so is anti-Christian. Jesus said to love our enemies, and ALL people.

    Christian Zionism is certainly a MAN MADE TEACHING/MOVEMENT that has no basis at all in Scripture. I would say to all Christians who have fallen under this deception to "come out from among them."

    The segment on the Amish exemplified true Christianity and hopefully the world will see that.

    anyone remember the National Socialist Party? Folks in that country were depressed and looking for "better" leadership -- and they VOTED for Adolf Hitler. Contrary to myth, folks forget he was voted into office -- the Nazis didn't 'take over' the government -- those in the government then who MIGHT HAVE stopped the Nazis rolled over.
    I see rather similar movements -- those who call for immigrants to be 'thrown out' -- those who call for 'converting muslims' or killing them -- those who call for greater 'security' to defend the 'homeland'. All of these memes, and more, come spewing out of various hateful mouths

    To James Jackson:

    You said:

    "Factual error by Rabbi Michael Lerner: He questions the interpretation of Christians who take the Bible literally. The example he used to make this point is a fabrication. He states that the Bible declares that God gave the land of Israel to both the Jews and the Arabs. Absolutely false. In Genesis chapter 17 God establishes a covenant with Abraham"

    You are incorrect. Rabbi Lerner is correct. This is not a factual error. You are missing the next critical covenant in line, which is God's covenant with Noah, where G-d established a Covenant with Noah to bless non-Jews as well as the Jew, that all are equal and blessed under His eyes, and while Jews may have different customs, they are no better and no worse than a Christian or Arab that lives according to their own beliefs. You really need to do your research and not cut out other critical covenants in your need to be right. If you claim one Old Testament Covenant, you need to claim the other.


    James. Is God male then?
    Wasn't the bible written by men? A corruptible and corrupting species if ever there was one.
    Your end times may arrive but not because the bible says it will happen but because people like yourself want it to happen.
    In 2150, give or take a year, an astronomical event will happen that the bible gets it's idea of "end times" from. It is part of The Precession of the Equinox. This is an actual astrological event. Like the summer and winter solstice that Christianity highjacked for the birth of Jesus. It's not a myth about an apocolypse written by men some 1500+ years ago. Although those scribes and many before them were aware of it. It marks the end of an age as the angle of the earths axis moves from one Zodiac constellation into the next. This is your endtimes. Look it up.
    All you Believers should open your minds a little and do some studying. Take a look at other religions and see how they parallel or differ from your own. Try reading The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. A man interviewed by Bill Moyers himself. Or watch the first third of Zeitgeist at Zeitgeist.com Who knows, maybe you will all become at least a little more enlightened. Because it seems to me that most of you are stuck in a medieval dark ages way of thinking. One step away from thinking that the Earth is flat. Shake of the shackels of brainwashing that you've endured since childhood.
    Religion. Believed by the ignorant. Questioned by the intelligent and used by those in power to stay in power.

    Factual error by Rabbi Michael Lerner: He questions the interpretation of Christians who take the Bible literally. The example he used to make this point is a fabrication. He states that the Bible declares that God gave the land of Israel to both the Jews and the Arabs. Absolutely false. In Genesis chapter 17 God establishes a covenant with Abraham whereby He will give the land of Israel to Abraham’s descendents through his son Isaac. He states, “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. (Genesis 17:19-21) Not one verse in the Bible states that God gave the land of Israel to the Arabs.

    One poster stated that Islamic and Christian fundamentalists should destroy each other on the battlefield and then the world can live in peace. Let’s see. Before Christianity the Egyptian Empire enslaved millions of people. The Assyrian Empire enslaved and tortured millions of people. The Babylonian Empire the same. The Greek and Roman empires took turns invading the Middle East and enslaving millions of people. In the twentieth century the fascists of Germany enslaved, tortured, and killed millions of people. The communists of the Soviet Union enslaved, tortured, and killed millions of people. The Americans have legally destroyed millions of unborn children through abortion. By all means let’s get rid of the Christians so that the world can live in peace once again.

    The underlying problem is that the world and Bible-believing Christians have no common point of reference to dialogue over this or most other issues of human life. If you reject the Bible as the literal word of God then the discussion is over. If I can’t convince you that it is the word of God and you can’t convince me that it isn’t the word of God then our world views will never be reconciled.

    Finally, God is going to fulfill His plans for the world regardless of what I, you, or anyone else says. You may not like what the Bible says is going to happen in the End-Times but it is going to happen.

    Today is October 10, 2007

    And it is with prayer that I start my morning. Again, it is with a Spirit of Brotherly Love that I share this misfit's humble observations with this forum.

    I just find the TIMING of the LITURGICAL READINGS for the past week very interesting. Every day at Mass the Catholic Church reads from the Bible. The readings of late have been of JONAH, and the Gospel today is the Lord's Prayer.

    For me, I see and hear the Voice of God asking us to repent our ways of violence and sin, and to turn our hearts and minds back to Him in prayer.

    Whether you believe or not, does not mean that the existence of the CREATIVE DIVINE ceases to be in the SONG OF TIME.


    Prayerfully, Hopefully, Respectfully Yours...
    Janine B. McDonald

    God is HOPE...

    Yawn.....................
    Man's Inhumanity to Man.
    Reverance for Life.
    We are a failed and doomed species. The extinction of Homo rapiens is inevitable. The dinosaurs lasted 65million years I think they say. How long before we are all gone from existence? Not a long time in evolutionary time. But gone we most certainly and clearly are. As Hagee says: anyone who is smart enough to wave bye-bye knows that. There aren't many who are smart enough to wave bye-bye!
    Nietsche was wrong about God being dead. God is alive and very well, thank you very much. It is Truth that is dead! It is Freedom that is dead! It is Democracy that is dead! It is Humanity that is dead! It is the US Constitution that is dead! It is the USA that is dead! Long live the king Bush! For he is the Great Dictator! Dictate O Master! Dictate O Cheney! Dictate O Great Hitler/Stalin/(add your name here)!

    We seem to be midway through what many cultural anthropologists and historians have identified as one of America's "Great Awakenings," a surge in religiosity and interpretation of the world in supposedly "religious" terms.

    These periods, so history informs us, are marked by social and economic turbulence, much as our current period. Deprived of practical actions they might take to relieve their circumstances, in desperation people reach out to some supernatural assistance in addressing perceived stresses in their lives.

    So long as the realities of life crush personal expectations, we'll probably have to live with the tender ministrations of loony religious movements.

    I would say there is an American depression indeed, but I think it goes much further than the political arena. Lerner wrote a brilliant book called "Spirit Matters" and in it he outlines the kind of malaise the dispensationalists are feeding on. Contemporary American culture, from the workplace, to school, to politics, to sports, to law, to healthcare, especially mental healthcare, even just the act of obtaining, preparing, and eating food has become demoralizing in terms of lived experience for most Americans.

    We're robbed of agency and meaning constantly. We're obsessed with dictating, controlling, scaring, beating, harranguing each other literally to death every single day. The wealthy blame and fear the poor, the poor get beaten down, abused and charged more for everything (though they can least afford to be). All of this has the demoralizing effect on human beings--who are organisms hard-wired to have agency, to seek meaning, to share and experience wonder and awe, to control their fate.

    David Gil once said, people whose needs are blocked are not happy people. Americans are some of the unhappiest lot on the planet. Why? Do they not have everything? No, they don't, not where it counts or matters most. We need fewer cultural parasites like CUFI and more NSP's around the house.

    I have always enjoyed Bill's show. Howevere, I thought the show on Christian Zionism was a real hit job. Even though the show stated that not all Christian Zionist was war and to convert Jews, that was the note that one walked away with after watching it. I could have guessed the one-sided comments I read above.

    He who has brains is a Atheist.
    i am fed up with people with a book in their hands claiming things.
    keep the religion indoors,
    We europeans might even start to like the americans one day.

    It's too bad that Bill Moyers feels that he can attach any motives he wants to CUFI's actions without regard to any supportive documents or anything at all other than his opinion or perhaps the opinion of others who support his opinion. Is this investigative reporting? Not likely.

    Why is there a move to re-intrepret the Constitution to "please" religion? I was always under the impression that "freedom of religion" meant that an individual was "free" to seek the guidance of a spiritual being or beings of their own choice and free-will.

    When did we become a nation of free people as long as it has the blessing of certain religious sects that have laid claim to what they believe is higher ground?

    And when did God enter the political arena? I always thought Jesus was quoted as having said "Give unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's and to God what is God's". Did I miss the memo when God changed his mind?

    Terri, from a post above, asks the right question..."What is God?" In Moyer's Faith and Reason section, I believe it was Margret Atwood that said an atheist is someone that asks for prove of God's existence. They aren't denying there may be a higher being, they just ask to be shown the proof. I think that's what God called free-will which he gave to all of us as his blessing on mankind.

    Religion is like the Grand Canyon. It sslllooowwwwwlllllllyyyyyy carves its way into the lives of the people around it. It's taken thousands more years to carve its way from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California and it's still carving away.

    Too bad religious people are in such a big hurry for immediate answers in "their" lifetimes and refusing to let God steer his course for his purpose. Face it. We're all here for the ride so kick back and enjoy the scenery. What you see today will never be seen the same way a hundred years from now so cherish the moment because they are fleeting.

    Hagee and other preachers build a romanticized image of Israel for their congregations and, as such, there are a few items of history they do not discuss with their congregations:

    * They don’t talk about how the 1948 establishment of the Israeli state was a UN decision.
    * They don’t talk about the Orthodox Jewish groups who are opposed to the state of Israel its treatment of the Palestinian population. These Jewish groups see the State of Israel as a violation of Holy Scripture and consider the Israeli government in the hands of sinners and impostors.
    * They don’t talk about how the Orthodox Jewish “Neturei Karta” had prepared to join the Arab side during the 1948 Arab siege of Jerusalem, because they felt life under Moslem rule would be preferable to life under a godless Jewish government.
    * They don’t talk about how Zionism evolved out of the secular culture of 19th century Europe as Jewish people rejected their Faith and replaced it with a secular and socialist revision of the Jewish identity.
    * They don’t talk about how many of the Zionist settlers were Marxists and wanted to establish a secular Socialist government.
    * They don’t talk about how some Palestinian Christians are the physical descendants of Jews who first accepted Christ as the Messiah. (But we all know Jesus wants them kicked out too.)

    At the Last Day, God isn't going to look at us and say "What's your opinion on the Israeli capture of the Golan Heights?" No, instead, He is more likely to ask the TV preachers why they stabbed the Palestinian Christians in the back.

    After growing up in an evangelical home where our understanding of the world was dictated by end times preaching, I have to say that people exalt and acquiesce to the words of prophecy preachers far more than the Catholics do the pope. It is the protestant version of ex cathedra (ex superbia?). Welcome the New Papacy.

    "Worse yet, our "leaders" are daily formulating foreign policy based upon these ludicrous ideas. I can, however, agree with "Pastor" Hagee on one count: these are definitely "end times."

    I could not agree with you more! As a Christian, my anger is even greater in how they misrepresent the God I know.

    The separation of Church and State is one of the greatest points of progress made by human beings. That it is being dismantled makes my head spin around.

    And just as in Gods respect for human free-will, Separation of Church and State/ Freedom of Religion must include Freedom from Religion or it is not sustainable.

    I too find the fact that public policy is being formed on these misrepresentations beyond tolerance.

    These are the same patterns of change that occur over and over again in human history at times of universal change like the industrial revolution and now globalization facilitated by technology.

    You use of the Greek culture is an apt one. The reason is that culture collapsed. Are we headed for another dark Ages?

    I have faith that we have time to turn this tied and change this course.

    And I believe that God by whatever name is still in the process.

    I respect that others have come to the opposite conclusion. I can understand that point of view.

    If someone took to the airwaves and said, "The Greek god Zeus has commanded me to encourage his followers to bomb Iran," this person would be laughed off the air as a certified nut. Substitute the Judeo-Christian-Islamic version of "God" (a/k/a Yahweh, Allah, Christ), and people take these crackpots seriously. Worse yet, our "leaders" are daily formulating foreign policy based upon these ludicrous ideas. I can, however, agree with "Pastor" Hagee on one count: these are definitely "end times." Just before tuning in to this segment of The Journal, I had watched the movie, "A Crude Awakening," which is a documentary detailing the end of oil now looming on the horizon. People interviewed were present and former bigwigs in the oil industry (several being advisors to "W") and all agreed that the end of our addiction to oil will be catastrophic. A true Armageddon. One commentator even said that "oil is our god." Amen, Brother!

    "We know exactly the source of the wind. We measure, see, feel, and predict it."

    Do we really?

    If we know the source of the wind, tell me where the wind begins and ends just what force causes it to first to blow? True we can measure its speed and force, but see it we cannot, only its effects, what color is the wind, what is its shape, what does it taste like, is it fuzzy, prickly, grainy, smooth? We can feel its effects, yes, but we cannot see it, the wind itself has no form or mass, and yes we can predict it by studying its effects, patterns and history.

    My metaphor of the wind was not my main point. As with all metaphors, they can always be pushed beyond the point. But the point made is still there to be grasped. In an effort to explain what I intended to illustrate --

    I do not know the source of God, I cannot see him, but I can measure his effects on my life, see the way he transforms the lives of others around me. I can and have definitely felt his presence in very profound ways. Just as with the wind I can predict by studying the effects, patterns and history that his love, grace and willingness to forgive humanity and his creation is as sure and eternal as the wind blows. Even when people like the Christian Zionist mock him with their attempts to manipulate and usurp his power for their own self-aggrandizement.

    I think that the Christian fundamentalists, who support war and violence and hate, should meet Islamic fundamentlists, who support the same things, on a neutral battlefield and duke it out. When they have slaughtered each other under each of their self-proclaimed banners of being the bearers of God's message, then the rest of the peaceful world can get on with honoring God and his creation--people, animals, earth--rearing our families, and helping to end the suffering of our fellow humans. The rest of us surely won't miss their awful noise and bigotry and hate and self-righteousness--the source of our Depression.

    Just what army do they think will fight their battles? Already, the American military has been stretched thin for one lie--the crusade for oil and power and profit--and I don't see any of those "Christian" soldiers signing up for the real, physical battle.

    Let them put their "money" where their mouths are.

    I'm disturbed at the tone of Pastor John Hagee. I'm for supporting Israel but not at the expense of invading Iran and killing innocent people. Yes, Iran may be maufacturing nuclear weapons. None of us wants a nuclear war, but taking upon ourselves to manipulate the goverment into striking Iran is heading down the road to destruction. If you start a war, you better be able to finish it. That's the problem we have now in Iraq! And besides, what ever happened to the power of prayer ?

    Nina: We know exactly the source of the wind. We measure, see, feel, and predict it.

    I know you liked Amish Grace, Bill, but I heartily recommend Krakauer's book, Under the Banner of Heaven, about the Mormons and a horrific murder that took place in Utah some years back. Krakauer is an excellent writer and I would be dismayed if you haven't heard of this book. You would find this book as illuminating as Amish Grace to be sure.

    Sadly the Bill Moyers special edited out Rabbi Lerner's answer to your question, even though it was discussed at length. He is one of the founders of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. If you found what he had to say please check it out, they say it much more eloquently than I can. To put it briefly, they are striving to build just exactly the alternative you ask about, and to make it appeal to people from all faiths, or a lack of faith (including atheists like myself). I have found the writings to be incredibly cogent and affirming. www.spiritualprogressives.org

    "Sorry Nina but the environmental movement has been running amuck for over forty years and their motives are just as fanatical and self-centered as all those of the fundamentalist fruitcakes. The debate is always one-sided with them as any opposing view that questions their specific brand of dogma is renounced as heresy. Both groups tend to flourish in an authoritarian environment where dissent is renounced as sedition and science is attacked unless it supports their unique philosophy."

    Richard, I am not an environmental purist. If the above is what "the environmental movement" has come to, then I agree that we cannot look to this movement to take us into the 21st Century. Like you, I am in favor of working with other countries for sound solutions to climate control, yet in this as in much else, the US government wants to go its own unilateral way. Conceivably, the US could became a leader, not a spoiler, in developing and promoting practices that bridge ecology and economics. That's what I meant.

    However,"the mainstream political framework," as Bill Moyers put it, is failing us in this area as in so many other areas. Overall, we are a country that doesn't feel good about itself because as a nation we have become part of the problem instead of the solution. Never mind the trillions of dollars we spend on three wars - I include so called "War on Terror" - is it not true that the US is the world's biggest polluter?

    Wow, such a simple question, yet with no easy answer.

    All I can do is give you my personal reasons for my belief in God.

    The physical world – For me it is incomprehensible that the incredible paradox of the physical world, with it’s incredible asymmetrical-symmetry, repeated yet incredibly unique and individual patterns are random happenstance.

    Therefore I believe that there is an intelligence behind the physical world. Yet I am not a creationist that believes it was all created in 7 days. But there is a point where science ends and at that point is God…In the beginning there was a great deep void where all matter was compressed in a particle less than the size of an atom, and God said let there be light and KaBOOM the big bang…

    Human Cognition – the incredible human ability to conceive plan and create is evidence of God. If human creation takes planning then how can the rest be happenstance. Yet after so much evolution we have barley even begun to understand the creation around us. Therefore the intelligence of the Creator is awesome.

    I believe that God’s design was to have creatures that could be contributors to his design for creation. So I believe he imparted his cognitive creative energy into Human beings, in order to have an intelligent relationship with his creation. Where in the process of evolution that impartation takes place makes no difference to me. For me Human intelligence is evidence of God.

    Human Nature – Mans propensity for good and evil is further evidence of God. Only an amazing intellecnce could have conceived the idea of free will as being critical to sustain an intellectual relationship with a creature such as human beings.

    Human’s drive for understanding – There seems to be a void within human beings that seeks to know the meaning behind life and source of creation. I believe this drive is evidence of seeking the relationship God intended.

    Life itself – When some one dies, I find it really helpful to go and view the body. It is as if they are no longer home. It is inconceivable to me that the intangible presence that was so vital, that incredible intellect that touched my life, is just gone. It is illogical to me that this life is all there is and after death it ceases to exist. There fore I believe that our creative energy returns to the source, God.

    Experience – my personal experience of life validates my belief, my experience of God’s presence with me…strength, comfort, love, protection, guidance and endurance that was undeniably beyond my human ability in the face of incredibly difficult circumstances.

    So for me God is the creator of all things, seeking to be in voluntary relationship with his creation that he loves just as any creative being has a strong bond with the things they create and bring into tangible reality.

    Faith is the human spiritual quest to know the creator.
    Science is the human quest to understand the method by which it was created.
    Religions document humanity’s search and struggle to understand who God is and accounts of God’s attempts to reveal himself to mankind so as to establish the intended relationship between the creator and the created.

    So the source of God cannot be known, but neither can the wind and we have no problem in believing in the wind.

    Hagee's actions prove he doesn't believe in God. It is just a big money making enterprise for him and the like, Hinn, Copeland, etc. I got no problem with them making money off fools. But, whenever he places the American Flag on his propaganda and snaps his fingers in the name of the U.S., then he must be stopped. Just like Islamofascists, these Christian-fascists want to rule the world. Just like Islam, Christians believe they have a mandate to convert the world. Now, if the world didn't have the Torah, the Bible, and the Koran, would we be better off. You bet we would. If money were the only god, there would still be bad people, but society would be built upon truth, logic, and self-preservation, not hocus-pocus and faith-based-hate. Most people would nominate Mother Teresa as the symbol for faith-based-truth, yet she certainly had her doubts that any faith had truth. Not all Christians are like these fundies, but we have no choice but to lump all Christians into the same pot like we do with Islamists. Neither the Christian-fascists or the Islamofascists, I'm sure, would hesitate to use WMDs to wipe us all off the face of the map. The only reason it hasn't happened yet is because non-believing, logical people have prevented it. When Hagee's son joins the US military and he calls upon all his followers in Cornerstone Church, and all his tele-followers to join the military and take up the fight against Iran, then maybe someone should listen. But, as God is my witness, that ain't never going to happen. I swear, if everytime these faith-fascists crossed the line of separation and we revoked their tax-exempt status, we wouldn't hear a peep out of them. Hagee runs a non-profit, tax exempt organization that he pulls Millions of profit out of each year just for him and his wife. Hell, why doesn't he just hire Blackwater to take out any of these Islamofascists he wants. He can afford it. For that matter, why hasn't Blackwater taken out Bin Laden for the $50 Million? Perhaps that's just chump change compared to those easy no-bid government contracts.

    William, you are on to something important, I think. If God can send Jesus back anytime he wants to, why are these people all in a rush and why do they think they can hasten Jesus' return? Jesus himself said that only the Father knew when these things would take place and no one else would. I think these people really want to believe they can influence God and have power over him, that by making the events they believe must occur line up in order, that God is obliged to send Jesus back and they can take particular credit for accomplishing that. They are, then, power-hungry and desirous of control...even of God.

    Please excuse my ignorance on this matter, I am new to this area. But I have a question that I hope can be answered by an enlightened person. I see many heated discussions on a particular matter between several different types of people. These people mainly fall into two catagories and are sometimes called "Believers" and "Non-Believers". The Believers often seem to wish ill upon the Non- Believers for there lack of belief. While the Non-Believers in turn will insult the intelligence of the Believers for their belief. The difference between the two are that the Non-Believers believe that there is no God and the Believers believe that there is a God. The Believers are also devided into various groups where by some seem to believe in one particular type of God while others seem to believe in another different type of God or Gods.
    My question seems like it would be a simple one and would be aimed at the Belivers because I can't see how a Non-Believer could answer it.
    What is God?

    Thank you for any enlightenment on this perplexing paradox.

    It seems perverse to me that John Hagee and his followers feel compelled to make the situation in Israel match that of the Biblical end-time. Do they really doubt that God is powerful enough to return whenever God is ready?
    William in Houston

    Religion is an opiate: addictive, poisonous and insidious. To single Christianity out is to do a disservice to multitudinous religions that have cosseted and encouraged murder, deceit and thievery in the name of some holy being or beings. Many Christians I have met in America are incredibly theocentric and barely able to comprehend there are millions if not billions of "Atheists". Rather, people for whom religion plays no part in their lives. I find Christian Zionism disturbing as its defacto conclusion will be violence, accretion of power and wealth, and the death and suppression of innocents.

    Manipulation of people's hopes and dreams for political gain is the heart of religious power and the oldest form of chicanery.

    If only people spent less time delineating by religion and concentrating on being kind, generous, honest and non-violent people, would the net result not serve their deity/deities better?

    Some of the post here make me so sad. To all those who have given up on religion, I understand your viewpoint and have struggled for years with the issues you give for viewing religion as the problem. I concede it is quite easy to come to that conclusion.

    Over my lifetime as I have grappled with these same issues as I seek to resolve my own personal life's tragedies and paradoxes. Rather than reject the faith, I have managed to deepen my faith and belief in God.

    There are other theological understandings of the Christian faith that are not represented by such judgmental check-your-brain-at-the-door theologies.

    The problem is not religion and God; it is humankind's propensity to elitism that is the problem. It is how humans use religion as a tool to advance elitist agendas.

    A world without religion will not alleviate the problems of the world. This same human propensity will just find other tools of manipulation and control. Science is and has been used for the same purposes.

    This discussion and debate is an important one. We must all ask ourselves, what kind of society and world do we want to live in?

    Is it possible for us to enter a new century without repeating the cycles of conflict and social devastation? Can we change these patterns by making different choices? Seeing that in the face of greed, elietism and power plays reacting in a different way may actually lead to progress and not just change and upheaval? Do we really want to live in a survival of the fittest world? Is true progress possible?

    I pray that it is. And believe that God is part of the solution not the problem. Science is a wonderful human endeavor but it is amoral and does not address the paradox of human behavior. Yet it too is imperfect and draws conclusion based on incomplete-data, speculated- projection and educated-conjecture. To put absolute faith is science is just the opposite side of the coin of human’s struggle to understand life. I personally see science and faith as part of a whole and developed a personal theology that embraces both.

    I continue to pray for our world. May loving and creative force that is God give us true wisdom and guidance.

    From the album "Relayer" by Yes

    The Gates Of Delirium

    Stand and fight we do consider
    Reminded of an inner pact between us
    That's seen as we go
    And ride there
    In motion
    To fields in debts of honor
    Defending

    Stand the marchers soaring talons,
    Peaceful lives will not deliver freedom,
    Fighting we know,
    Destroy oppression
    The point to reaction
    As leaders look to you
    Attacking

    Choose and renounce throwing chains to the floor.
    Kill or be killing faster sins correct the flow.
    Casting giant shadows off vast penetrating force
    To alter via the war that seen
    As friction spans the spirits wrath ascending (slowly) to redeem.

    Wars that shout in screams of anguish,
    Power spent passion bespoils our soul receiver,
    Surely we know.
    In glory
    We rise to offer,
    Create our freedom,
    A word we utter,
    A word.

    Words cause our banner, victorious our day.
    Will silence be promised as violence display?
    The curse increased we fight the power
    And live by it by day.
    Our gods awake in thunderous roars,
    And guide the leaders' hand in paths of glory to the cause.

    Listen, should we fight forever
    Knowing as we do know fear destroys?
    Listen, should we leave our children?
    Listen, our lives stare in silence;
    Help us now.

    Listen, your friends have been broken,
    They tell us of your poison; now we know.
    Kill them, give them as they give us.
    Slay them, burn their childrens' laughter
    On to hell.

    The fist will run, grasp metal to gun.
    The spirit sings in crashing tones,
    We gain the battle drum.
    Our cries will shrill, the air will moan and crash into the dawn.
    The pen won't stay the demon's wings,
    The hour approaches pounding out the Devil's sermon.
    Anderson/Howe/Moraz/Squire/White

    Does this remind you of anything?

    Hey, FinanceDoc
    Is it really necessary to name call people in here just because they have a different viewpoint than you? I think you owe her an apology-

    When did conservatives become such cowards? 19 lunatics with box-cutters pulled off a fast one on us and now conservatives seem to think Islamist extermists are close to world domination. They are destroying our Nation's reputation, bankrupting the government, and Giving away all our civil liberties due to their fear.

    Islamist extremists are small minorities even in most of the Arab/Muslim world. The over-reaction by the right-wing has done little but strengthen the hand of the Islamist extremists since we have killed so many innocent moderates when we lash out with an over-reaction. People here whine about 300 that died in Argentina many years ago . . . more than that many innocent people die in Iraq every week.

    Fear of these christian zionists is unwarranted. It is most unlikely they will fly airplanes in to skyscrapers, brainwash young boys to be homicide bombers, or hack someone's head off, praising some 7th century moon god. We should fear those who seek to exterminate us because we will not convert to their religion or pay a head tax -- literal Islam, of course. Christian fundamentalists, however mistaken in their theology, are not dangerous people. Rather, worry about those who think they know better than you how to educate your children, manage your property, or go about your private business -- the secular left.

    OK, I didn't fully express myself (like 'financedoc' did, but I'll try to keep it a little shorter). What I wonder is how can the evangelicals reconcile their rabid support of Israel with their fundamental disagreement with the Jews (citizens of Israel, right?) about Jesus and 'Was He the Son of God?' except to admit that "DUHHHH......it's all political". Don't these people realize they are pawns in a political movement that will not benefit them, nor will it benefit Israel, nor will it benefit ANYONE except those who own stock in the oil companies or the "contract companies" employed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and soon in Iran.....oh, yeah....Israel, too.

    Florence L. is either a teenager who has never picked up a history book or she has been stranded on a deserted island for the last 30 years.

    Florence writes: "What actual facts can you show to support your accusations... that Iran has been waging a terrorist war against the US [actually I said the West] for 28 years?"

    I seem to remember that in my sophomore year at university, the US embassy in Tehran was violently overrun under orders of the Ayatollah Khomenei and over 50 American diplomats and other citizens were threatened and held hostage for 444 days. Does that qualify as terrorism? Or perhaps Florence will suggest it doesn't on the grounds that the Americans taken were not "innocent civilians".

    Or let us take the 1992 bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires which resulted in almost 300 casualties or the subsequent bombing of a Jewish center in the same city which murdered 85 and wounded 300 people. Despite the best efforts of the Iranian regime to buy off Argentinian judges, a grand jury has issued arrest warrants for Hashemi Rafsanjani and his henchmen who directed and financed these atrocities.

    There is not enough space here to recount all of the other instances of Iranian complicity in terror attacks and murder since the revolution but suffice to say, Florence's notion that Iran has "not acted aggressively in the last 100 years" is risible.

    Florence writes: "Iran undergoes inspections and oversight by regulatory agencies."

    Florence is holding a particularly weak hand on a day when Iran has once again flouted UNSC resolutions calling for it to suspend nuclear enrichment. And I am certain she is unmoved by the IAEA's finding that Iran hid its clandestine nuclear program from those "regulatory agencies" for 18 years.

    Florence believes Israel uses its nuclear weapons to "blackmail the US into taking actions that Israel insisted US take".

    Ah yes, there they go again: the all-powerful Zionists coercing the US to do their bidding. I see Florence gets her history lessons reading the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion". Or perhaps just listening to NPR.

    In fact, it is the US that has, for forty years, both exploited Israel as a geopolitical weapon against Russian influence in the Middle East and simultaneously prevented Israel from consolidating her gains following defensive wars against the Arabs. But then, antisemites can't be bothered pottering about with the facts.

    Finally, Florence implores: "How many times must people hear the facts of these specious claims [of Iran's threats to destroy Israel and America] before they will cease using them as goad to incite an entire population to kill?"

    Indeed, how many times must we hear Ahmadinejad call for the "Zionist entity to be wiped off the map" and how many times must we witness Iran parade its Shahib long-range missiles stencilled with "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" before imbeciles like Florence take the hint?

    Did I sleep through some part of this whole discussion? Have the Evangelicals forgotten the one big difference between themselves and Isreal a/k/a "The Jews"? There's that teeny-weeny "Jesus" and "Was He the Son of God?" thing. How do they address that?

    I am thoroughly disgusted and frightened by an organization such as CUFI. How is it, that in the 21st century, nearly two hundred years since the "enlightenment," millions of Americans (and humans the world over) continue to delude themselves with their faith and belief in the bible?

    Obviously, reason and rationality hold no place for these people. It's pathetic. Religion is the opiate of the masses.

    Thank you Bill Moyers for highlighting the existence of this truly abhorrent organization. I would like for Pastor Hagey to take a long walk off a short pier.

    financedoc wrote:
    "strong defense against a country [Iran] which has been waging a terrorist war against the West for the last 28 years, is hastening to prepare nuclear weapons, and repeatedly threatens Israel and America with destruction."

    When I do financial analysis I try to start with actual facts.
    What actual facts can you show to support your accusations (I would say unfounded accusation, in fact, dangerous, inflammatory, unfounded accusations) that Iran
    ~"has been waging a terrorist war against the US for 28 years"
    I thought the definition of 'terrorist' was that it was carried out by non-state actors against innocent civilians with the intent of provoking fear. Iran has a uniformed military; to my knowledge they have not acted aggressively in the last 100 years; Iran did defend itself against Iraqi aggression, including attacks with chemical agents used on its soldiers as well as civilians. Some of the chemical agents were supplied to Iraq by US companies from Pennsylvania and Georgia.
    ~Iran is hastening to prepare nuclear weapons.
    Iran is developing nuclear technology within its rights under the NPT, to which it is a signatory. Iran undergoes inspections and oversight by regulatory agencies. Not so Israel, which has used its nuclear weapons to blackmail the US into taking actions that Israel insisted US take.
    ~Iran threatens israel and America with destruction.
    How many times must people hear the facts of these specious claims before they will cease using them as goad to incite an entire population to kill? Wasn't it enough that the US used lies and inflammatory rhetoric to wage war on Iraq, resulting in the death of perhaps 1 million and the dislocation of nearly 5 million? Isn't it more moral to try to discover truth before you start killing people?

    bill, I feel I know you a bit from the talk with Lerner and Weber. You have a lot of Baptist in you. "Terrorist state" is a hard-hearted judgment.
    Let me see if I can mellow that view. Iran is the one oil-domain in the region not under our control. Maybe that explains this entire dynamic.
    What is our refuge and fortress? It is the order of law, common law. It is the discourse of reason, where opposing views are represented.
    Why don't you ask Ahmadinejad what he means by "wipe Israel off the map"? What do you think about the Balfour Declaration and the League and UN declarations that implemented it, and what do you think about the unfulfilled part of that process, about not injuring non-Jew rights?
    If a regime is illegitimate, that means it has no existence under law. Jim Crow was not law. Apartheid was not law. The Israeli constitution (yes, Bill, primary law or whatever the technical term is) does not give non-Jews equal rights. If it did, would we speak of a Jewish state, Jewish democracy?
    We have to decide. I think the question is simple: do you think Jews and non-Jews in Israel SHOULD have equal rights?
    I hope you do.
    I think that will untie the know we can see in your soul, expressed on your face in that conversation with Weber and Lerner.
    Love is the greatest power, because it can adapt with disappointment: it doesn't have to know everything in advance. Life is a glorious surprise.
    Live it as much as you can, Bill.

    I am truly frightened by the masses of CUFI supporters who are as ideologically entrenched as the Islamo-fascists, that they claim, warrant preemptive military strikes on Iran. The Bible was not written to be literally interpreted. And it is certainly not a work upon which foreign policy decisions should be based. I can only hope that logic, reason, and science will prevail and help us to avoid the complete destruction of our human race.

    The void is a dependence on the wealth, power and philosophy outside our own hearts and minds. The sources of information that surround us today tell us we don't have the intellgence, wealth or power to do the right things.
    We are told to look to others that already have the wealth, power and information to do the right things and they will tell you where to fall into line to do the right thing. The people with the wealth, information and power have it because They deserve it or have been graced with it for reasons they will be glad to share with you and the greatest part of it is that you can join them in a capacity they will bestow upon you if you are willing to give yourself to them and make them bigger by letting them use your heart, mind, money and effort.
    But don't beleive it.

    Each one of us has a piece of the truth.
    None of us have the whole truth.
    The more people who come together to share their truth, brings us closer to a whole truth.
    Anytime you leave someone out of the shareing of personal truth for reasons of faith, class, color, race, sex or age... you make the journey to a whole truth less possible.
    Following one persons truth or a group of peoples' exclusive truth, will exclude us all from your participation in the journey to a whole truth.
    Let us all come together to hear each of our equal and powerful truths.

    "Netanyahu has summoned about 70 foreign diplomats stationed in Israel to a meeting next Tuesday, at which he will urge them to end their complacency and join Israel in an effort to halt Iran's nuclear program, which he says is aimed at genocide of the Jews.
    Posted by: Concerned"

    We have met the enemy and it is us ! Good old American Armchair Generals setting the fires in someone elses backyard. It's easy to be Rambo and call for regional war and meddle in other peoples affairs when you don't live there. The Jewish people who have their families and homes at risk need to tell Netanyahu to shut the hell up and go away. Recent polls have indicated that, like in the U.S., the vast silent majority in Israel wants the oligarchical government of the U.S. to stop using them in an international game to build a world empire !

    How about an American cancer that must be stopped? "Islam-o-fascism"! How about Christi-o-fascism"? Or as Chris Hedges wrote in reference to the Christian right "American Fascists"? Hagee is essentially cheering for world war III! If there is one, I hope he and his fanatic followers are amongst the millions and millions who get fried.

    These people are as evil and crazy as the mullas running Iran. But far more dangerous because they are linked to USA and Israel governments and in turn to their deadly militaries with thousands of nuclear weapons, something that Iran does not even have yet. It is a shame to see these people roam around in the US federal buildings and get endorsed by all those right-winged politicians who are running this country.

    Lieberman who just passed a bill to allow attack on Iran, calling this lunatic Hagee a "man of God" and comparing him to Moses?!! Why not, as Lieberman is part of the same clan and as mad as Hagee. Hagee equates Ahmadinejad to Hitler, but I think he is the one spreading hatred He is far closer to Hitler than Ahmadinejad.

    And who is that shameless Lebanese woman calling for reporting on university professors who speak against Israel and America and spying on local mosques and Isalmic centers?!! How can she get a government sponsored forum?

    As much as I am against religion, they should all know that Islam is still the fastest growing religion in the world. And that is one thing they cannot stop or change.

    This is scary stuff. It is a tragedy in the making. How is this group any different from the supremacist groups like KKK. One is about race supramcy, the other religous supremacy.

    CUFI must be exposed and stopped for what it is -- a fanatical, religious cult that is spreading hatred and is harmful to the world.

    The only thing I'm depressed about is a govt which continues to fuel the isreali war machine when the majority of people (US and worldwide) are against it! And the rabbe suggests that we go 'find a philosophy' to deal with it? Great.

    btw - if anyone is interested in where the Iranian drum beats are coming from -

    Haaretz 12/15/06: Netanyahu wants Iran president tried for genocide

    Likud chair MK Benjamin Netanyahu has summoned about 70 foreign diplomats stationed in Israel to a meeting next Tuesday, at which he will urge them to end their complacency and join Israel in an effort to halt Iran's nuclear program, which he says is aimed at genocide of the Jews.

    The meeting is to be the first event in an international public relations campaign. It will include a proposal to file a complaint in the International Court of Justice against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for war crimes, and his plans to commit genocide will be presented.

    The initiative will be presented by MK Danny Naveh (Likud) and Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN, both of whom flew to the U.S. this week for a series of meetings to promote the idea.

    Netanyahu's independent campaign is expected to embarrass the Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Ministry, since it expresses a public lack of faith in the state's public relations policy on the Iran issue.

    In private conversations, Netanyahu has claimed that Israel's public relations policy has failed because it has not led to organized international action, such as significant economic sanctions, against Iran.

    In the past several months, particularly during last summer's war in Lebanon, Netanyahu avoided blunt attacks against the government, preferring to adopt a responsible, statesmanlike image. Now, too, he is careful to avoid remarks that could rebrand him as a bible thumper, but he also knows that he will have to position himself as an alternative leader by making bold moves and exploiting his high public opinion marks. Next Tuesday's meeting is an expression of this strategy.

    "We must cry Gevalt before the entire world," Netanyahu said recently. "In 1938, Hitler didn't say he wanted to destroy [the Jews]; Ahmadinejad is saying clearly that this is his intention, and we aren't even shouting. At least call it a crime against humanity. We must make the world see that the issue here is a program for genocide."

    In his conversations, Netanyahu often complains about the lack of diplomatic and public relations initiatives to strengthen Israel's deterrence. "The biggest problem is that the Iranian program is progressing unheeded, with no supreme Israeli effort to stop it. All the options must be readied; this must be our greatest effort and we must not be surprised, but nothing is being done."

    Netanyahu says Israel must get the Americans to take action, not just with words but through an act of Congress.

    He also calls for lobbying European and Russian public opinion in order to push through economic sanctions, such as halting Iranian petroleum exports.

    Moyers is an extremely skillful propagandist with a radical leftist agenda. He uses his program to propagate this agenda and shows no intellectual honesty or sense of balance. When Weber tried to point out that it is not just Christian evangelicals who consider Ahmadinejad and Iran a clear and present danger but also secular world leaders like Sarkozy, Moyers immediately cut him off and suggested that yes, “neocons” like Bill Kristol support military action too. According to Moyers then, one must be a Zionist, a Christian evangelical, a presumably misguided European leader, or a “neocon” to assert a strong defense against a country which has been waging a terrorist war against the West for the last 28 years, is hastening to prepare nuclear weapons, and repeatedly threatens Israel and America with destruction. Moyers’ implicit and risible message is that no one outside these groups could possibly consider military action rational. Sure Bill.

    Lerner is repulsive; a little boy in an old, corpulent body. He is completely unable to draw an intellectual or moral distinction between on the one hand, Christian evangelical efforts to see a secure Israel and on the other hand, Islamic efforts to eradicate Israel. By the way, Lerner has no rabbinical ordination from any rabbinic seminary.

    Moyers is an extremely skillful propagandist with a radical leftist agenda. He uses his program to propagate this agenda and shows no intellectual honesty or sense of balance. When Weber tried to point out that it is not just Christian evangelicals who consider Ahmadinejad and Iran a clear and present danger but also secular world leaders like Sarkozy, Moyers immediately cut him off and suggested that yes, “neocons” like Bill Kristol support military action too. According to Moyers then, one must be a Zionist, a Christian evangelical, a presumably misguided European leader, or a “neocon” to assert a strong defense against a country which has been waging a terrorist war against the West for the last 28 years, is hastening to prepare nuclear weapons, and repeatedly threatens Israel and America with destruction. Moyers’ implicit and risible message is that no one outside these groups could possibly consider military action rational. Sure Bill.

    Lerner is repulsive; a little boy in an old, corpulent body. He is completely unable to draw an intellectual or moral distinction between on the one hand, Christian evangelical efforts to see a secure Israel and on the other hand, Islamic efforts to eradicate Israel. By the way, Lerner has no rabbinical ordination from any rabbinic seminary.

    “Conceivably a massive investment in the environment on the part of government, corporations, as well as individuals could take the nation into the 21st century and perhaps even change the face of our foreign policy.
    Posted by: Nina Allen”

    Sorry Nina but the environmental movement has been running amuck for over forty years and their motives are just as fanatical and self-centered as all those of the fundamentalist fruitcakes. The debate is always one-sided with them as any opposing view that questions their specific brand of dogma is renounced as heresy. Both groups tend to flourish in an authoritarian environment where dissent is renounced as sedition and science is attacked unless it supports their unique philosophy. Meanwhile, the rest of the world moves forward advancing science and building a coalition of countries that have meaningful solutions to the climate problem, not compromises to insure the wealth of a few at the top. Japan orbited a satellite around the moon the other day while we spend our time trying to patch together a disintegrating fleet of shuttles that are approaching 30 years old. It’s time for our culture to reassert a creative intelligence with progressive ideas to rebuild our society for all Americans and reject a Dark Age mentality that favors a virtual monarchy.

    "Is man merely a mistake of God's? Or God merely a mistake of man's?"
    Friedrich Nietzsche,

    Funny report, some comments are even funnier.
    Religious idiots.

    In 1987 Riane Eisler wrote "The Chalice and the Blade"..which documents history from 30,000 years ago--transitioning from egalitarian/life-centered cultures to the current day dominator cultures. Today, we are all products of this dominator culture--of which religions are a part. The angst that religion is trying (and failing) to fill is a result of the dominator story--which today plays out in capitalistic/some win/most don't world.

    It's time for a new story--Eisler's latest book, Real Wealth Nations: creating a caring economics shows a way out of our current mess and produces a win/win for all.

    Excellent program - courageous and timely. I will be increasing my support for PBS as a direct result of this program. Let's have more.

    I just had to post this.
    To highlight the insanity of it all....

    Haaretz 01/08/2006:
    Ultra-Orthodox Jews attack Christian tourists in Jerusalem

    A group of 50 pro-Israel Christian tourists came under attack Wednesday from some 100 residents of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea She'arim in Jerusalem.

    Three of the tourists and a police officer were wounded in the attack. They received treatment at the scene.

    The tourists arrived at Mea She'arim wearing orange T-shirts with the words "Love your neighbor as yourself" printed across them.

    As they neared one of the squares, the local residents apparently identified them as Christians and began to hit them.

    Police forces in the area stepped in to stop the violence, but did not make any arrests.

    Police say they are waiting for the tourists to file official complaints.

    Science is Religion
    Everything is God

    Science is the theoretical belief in the measure of everything, and religion is the theological faith in the measure of God.
    Then, science is religion, theoretical is theology, belief is faith, and everything is God, or simply all is one.
    Science and religion practice the uncertain divisions of belief or faith, the theoretical theologies of measuring and dividing everything including God. But the truth of everything is the truth of equality, and the truth of God is equally one and the same. The science or religion that practices the measured divisions of difference, create only the same, the darkness of inequity. The science or religion that practices unity, will have the true light of equality. Unity is the oneness of equality. The ultimate truth of science, of religion, of everything, of nature, of God is equal or one.
    Equality is the true unity of all.
    The truth shall set us free.
    Equality is the way!

    =
    MJA

    As I see it, Hagee is nothing other than a religio-political demagogue with a hunger for power and more than a touch of madness. I agree with Bill Moyers that to the extent that Hagee's movement has taken hold, it is a measure of the bankruptcy of mainstream political culture. Joe Lieberman's unprincipled effort to curry the favor of this movement for short-term political gain is a case in point, for
    surely the dispensationists are no real friend of the Jews - or a force for peace in the world for that matter.

    I do not see any "philosophy" on the horizon that could fill the void created by the failure of political leadership and vision with the possible exception of the environmental movement. Conceivably a massive investment in the environment on the part of government, corporations, as well as individuals could take the nation into the 21st century and perhaps even change the face of our foreign policy. But again, convincing people to invest in the environment is a matter of political leadership. To the money makers, investing in the environment means less profit, and to the average American, the environment is not a bread and butter issue.

    CUFI resembles another terrible time in our history. Less we forget.

    Wayne Coady

    The 'holy land' is the origin of western identification -- at least as commonly perceived today. Therefore any threat to it is a threat to the larger western civilization. This is the driving force in play here.

    tradamerica : Your attack on Bill Moyer demonistrates that you too, are one sided.

    I think by just posting your rant on the site Bill Moyers and PBS have demonistrated openess and on their responsibility to report in a fair and balanced manner.

    When you use your money to influence openess , by pulling away funding then your not a true beliver of openess and fairness.

    >>It's a failure of the mainstream political framework in this country that to address the major questions facing the world in the 21st century.

    Boiling it down to a low gravy: When once trusted media purveyors like Bill Moyers default on their responsibility to report in a fair and balanced manner, they reveal their own distaste for those of us who believe in a strong and compassionate Christian family unit.

    Traditional American family values have been under attack from anarchist perverts and Moyers has either joined them, or been one all along.

    To blame Hagee, or Bush for the coarsening of our culture is eminently ignorant or maybe brilliant, in an evil sort of way.

    Bill, you have disappointed me for the last time. I will no long send my hard earned dollars to support your and PBS's filthy socialist agenda.

    I just had to post this.
    To highlight the insanity of it all....

    Haaretz 01/08/2006:
    Ultra-Orthodox Jews attack Christian tourists in Jerusalem

    A group of 50 pro-Israel Christian tourists came under attack Wednesday from some 100 residents of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea She'arim in Jerusalem.

    Three of the tourists and a police officer were wounded in the attack. They received treatment at the scene.

    The tourists arrived at Mea She'arim wearing orange T-shirts with the words "Love your neighbor as yourself" printed across them.

    As they neared one of the squares, the local residents apparently identified them as Christians and began to hit them.

    Police forces in the area stepped in to stop the violence, but did not make any arrests.

    Police say they are waiting for the tourists to file official complaints.

    When one listens to the message of CUFI as the preach , we all might be well served if we reflect back in time and remember how the Nazi movement started and what took place.

    If I recall the Nazi's took the lives of many Jews and now I must ask, what is founder of CUFI John Hagee really up to? Is John Hegee trying to fill the shoes of Hitler? If he is then I must say, he is doing one hell of a job. Thank heavens, I am not a believer in such a God or that I am that weak of a person I need people like John Hegee to do my thinking for me.

    These are dangerous times, when you really stop and think about it. But then again how many people do just that, stop and think.

    Religion and Political Parties are two of a kind, both base their survival on weak and needy people.

    I fear not Iran, China or Russia, but I do fear what is taking place in Canada and the United States in the name of this so called caring GOD.

    If John Hegee considers Irian President Ahmadinejad a dangerous person , because of their religious beliefs. Then how are we civilized citizens who do not belong to religious groups, who want a peaceful world look upon CUFI ?

    What is the difference between a religious fundamentalist from Iran and a religious fundamentalist from Canada or the United States? Both have the same goal in mind , both are out to prove who has more power than the other and in the end when THEY destroy this earth, those of us who just want peace.. will have to pay the price of their greed.

    @ brendab-
    Your mention of Barbara Price Davis' 'disrupt then reframe' process made me think of a concept Harriet Lerner [wonder if she's related!] wrote about in "The Dance of Anger."

    Lerner suggests that a first maneuver in an anger-provoking situation is to "interrupt the dance." She writes: "When emotions are high we can learn to calm down and stand back a bit in order to sort out the part we play in the interactions that we complain about....We cannot make another person change his or her steps to an old dance, but if we change our own steps, the dance can no longer continue in the same predictable pattern."

    In 1985 Lerner was teaching people to understand the bases of their anxious emotions, step back and accept the disoriented feelings, LEARN TO GET CALM, then when you've returned to state calm enough to allow rational processes, THEN figure out what to do.

    Hagee can become as successful as he has because he is appealing to the same population who have been "Hannitized" or seduced by Limbaugh creatures whose goal and purpose is to maintain in a large, anonymous group a state of open-ended emotional arousal.

    I was talking to God tonight.
    "You know, Chip," God said, "I just don't know sometimes."
    Well, I knew what this conversation was going to be about. Seems God is not too pleased with how what He calls his "Grand Experiment" is turning out.
    "Yes, God," I said, "What's troubling You?"
    "I don't know why I bothered to give human beings brains," He said.
    I'd heard this before.
    "Hardly any of them have any interest in using them."
    "Yes, I know, Lord God." In fact, I was the one who pointed this out to Him, which He seems to have forgotten. "What is it You're refering to this time?"
    "These End-Timers. Where did they get such nonsense?"
    One of Bill Moyers' topics tonight was the End-Timers. "Oh, were you watching 'Bill Moyers' tonight?" I asked God the Almighty.
    "I watch all TV shows." His tone implied this was a stupid question.
    "Oh yes, of course, I forgot." I did feel a little foolish. "So all this End-Time stuff - the Apocalypse, the Rapture, the What-not - that's not going to happen?"
    "How the Hell should I know?" God was a bit perturbed. "I'm not saying that. Maybe it'll happen, maybe not. The point is: What do they base it on? What don't they use their God-given brains?"
    Here we go. Another one of my ideas being sent back to me, as if He'd thought of it. I don't know what He'd do without me.
    The Lord God continued. "I wish people would compare how much their beliefs are based on to how much they invest in those beliefs."
    Word for word.
    "Like a belief in God?" I thought I had Him this time.
    "Yes, exactly!" He said, "That's one of the best examples." I hadn't expected that. This was becoming philosophically difficult.
    "So are you saying you don't exist?" I really wanted an answer to this one.
    "What are you, stupid?" He says that a lot. "Maybe I exist; maybe I don't." I wish He'd tell me already.
    "Tell me," He said, "On what do you base your belief in Me on?"
    "Me? Nothing. I don't believe in You." Oh oh. Then who was I talking to?
    "Yes, I know. What do other people base their belief on?"
    "Well, it sure looks like everything was designed and created. Maybe there's a Creator. That would be You, Lord God."
    "Yes, that's very nice. That's a theory for how everything came to be."
    "God is a theory?"
    "Of course. That doesn't mean it's not true, but the source of the concept of God is the human mind."
    "Now," He continued, "How much have people invested in this theory of Me?"
    "What do you mean?" God could sure be interesting to talk to.
    "Like, how much have people defined Me, God, beyond being the Creator of Everything?"
    "Well, God had a Son with a human woman, and ..."
    God interupted. "Yes, Jesus. Actually, the Greeks came up with that one first."
    "And the word of God is in a book."
    "Yeah, the Bible, the Koran."
    "And God gave us rules He wants us to live by."
    "The Ten Commandments, Sharia Law. God, the micro-manager. What else?"
    "God talks to people, like phophets, and He told George Bush to go to Afghanistan and Iraq."
    "Fiddle faddle."
    "You didn't tell George Bush to go to Afghanistan and Iraq?"
    "I'm not saying, but maybe the man is delusional."
    "But you see my point," God went on. "Maybe all this stuff is true, but what's it based on? Why do people believe that it's true? Why invest a ton in beliefs that are based on less than an ounce?"
    It was eerie how much God's thinking and mine were alike. It was almost as if I were talking to myself.
    "Like the End-Times?" I asked.
    "Like the End-Times," God replied. "Like all faith-based beliefs. I would think people would realize that their faith-based beliefs are, indeed, based on nothing but faith."
    "Yes," I agreed.
    "Do you realize that ninety percent of the problems people have are because of plain bad thinking? Faulty premises, erroneous reasoning, goofy conclusions. Why can't people use the brains I gave them?"
    I knew my next question would be a touchy one.
    "You mean the people that You created?"
    "Yes! The people that I created!" God was distraught. "Where did I go wrong?"
    "If You exist."
    "Yes, if I exist."

    The kingdom of god is within you, whether you are in the Middle East, America or, by some great technology, visiting Pluto. Everyone knows that it cannot be seen and goes by many names in different religions, right? I guess it is less work and less scary to ignore that search and look to a political situation in the Middle East. We humans really have a hard time getting our arms around that thing called love. Morality is so much more cut and dry, makes us feel smarter and creates a benchmark for "saved".
    Mary Neighbors, Lizzie...wasn't there some bishop involved in chosing the books of the Bible?
    And when I read your comments it appeared that you had all that future stuff figured out. Then I remembered a thought that has been around longer than the Bible...a person that thinks they know, does not know, and a person that knows that they don't know, knows. So when you ask "do you read the Bible" or explain eschatology issues with the authority of someone who has recieved the knowledge fresh from their pastor or a bible commentary, my response is "do you know?", "does John Hagee know?"

    Oliver Burkeman, in the Guardian (UK) Online for Oct. 6 2007 drew to my attention an experiment and analysis that sheds some light on what Rabbi Michael Lerner referred to as our depression and our responses to it.

    Barbara Price Davis originated a marketing strategy known as "disrupt then reframe" as an undergraduate research project in Arizona in the early 1990s. The technique disrupts someone's normal perception by presenting material in a new way -- "three hundred pennies" versus "three dollars" in her study -- and then follows up with a suggestion -- "That's a bargain."

The technique doubled sales of the simple product she was marketing. Why does this happen? The psychiatrist Milton Erickson opines that it is our overwhelming need for "cognitive closure": when things get confusing and uncertain, tension is created, and we feel an urge to get rid of it by grabbing on to something solid and unambiguous.

    Learning about the technique and why it works can certainly protect us from making unwanted purchases. What I find even more important is the lesson that we must become more comfortable with uncertainty.

    Straining for certainty when we don't have it leaves us vulnerable to authoritarian groups: studies show a correlation between a high need for cognitive closure and support for authoritarian parties.

    People "have so little trust in their ability to rest with negativity and uncertainty," writes the Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön, "that whenever they detect a hint of paradox, or not knowing, they become afraid, and do all kinds of conformist, fundamentalist things to become secure again." It's the striving to "get ground under our feet", to make the uncertainty go away, that makes us unhappy, she argues, not the uncertainty itself. Uncertainty is just the way things are.

    Instead of worrying about what's going to happen to you when you croke. You need to focus on what;s happening while your alive and make the best of it. Think of all the other's that have died thousands of years ago. They find their bones six feet under everyday. If you really beleive in Jesus, then why not practice what he preached, by helping those in need, and love thy neighbor, instead of spreading hate, and diversive preachings. aano matter what religion you practice, their basicly all the same with minor differances. I don't think killing others for not beleiving the same to a letter, is a reason to go after those that do beleve or not. Jesus didn't preach this, Their have been more deaths in the name of God then all the wars combined. These so called Jesus freaks don't practice what they preach, yet they think their the chosen ones, even if they are the chosen ones, I'm glad for you; just don't go after the rest of those with your hate, that don't beleve as you do. This isn't what God asked anyone to do. Your suppose to love thy neighbor, if your a true belever, no matter what others beleve. This is a topic that does nothing but divide people, and turn them against each other, and should be disscussed in private in church, not as a public forum that just infuriates others, and everyone knows it, that's how they make headlines and get in the news. The US has been governed with these types of issues for the last six years, conquer and divide.

    From what I understand, It makes no differance which religion you belong to, their all guilty of death, pain, suffering, pregigous, greed, it goes on. The things we as a nation fight to stop around the world, for those that can't fight for themselves. It's written all thru the bible, of the killing in the name of god. I can't support this in anyones name. Suicide bombers killing people in the name of god. the christian crusades in the name of god. You figure it out. I don.t want to be associated with harming human beings in anyones name. Somthing terribly wrong when it's ok to kill others, with gods blessing, not me, I'll take my chances.

    Posted by: Dennis | October 6, 2007 05:35 PM

    I agree 100% . It gives me great pleasure and peace of mind knowing that so many people with knowledge of what's really going on in the inner workings of our government are speaking out like this. I feel like we are an underground movement because it has become so taboo to say anything negative about Israel. Many of these postings really give me hope that someone cares about justice in the world and are concerned about Israel and zionism's overreaching in American politics.

    Sounds like they should all move to Israel.

    CUFI has a Bible allegience to Israel that trumps any allegience they might have to the US. This cult controls such members as Lieberman, McCain, Romney, Gingrich, DeLay, and many other leaders in the US. The first thing we must do is REALLY expose Lieberman and his Iran pre-emptive strike plans. The US government leaders that are part of this cult must be impeached for pledging this Bible allegience to Israel over their allegience to the US. Other leaders like Romney and Gingrich must be exposed for their allegience and pledge to put their perceived Bible interests of Israel over and above the interests of the US. Next, we must concentrate on educating the people of Conneticut to the real danger that Lieberman poses so that their voice can make a difference against Liberman, and we must concentrate on educating Hagee's church in San Antonio, so they understand the false prophet Hagee has been for so many years. If Hagee wants war with Iran, how many of his church are willing to enlist in the military and go to war?

    The continued concern over the religious right's influence in the White House and to a lesser extent in the Canadian Parliament it is apparent we have forgotten the tenants of dynamic social theory.
    Influenced by time and events every social movement/ philosophy/ religion swings through an arch of radicalism.
    The benine Christianity we know and love, in the West, is a product of the 70's but the events of 9-11 have called into question the Western religion's ankst and "turn the other cheek" philosophy.
    It only stands to reason when our sense of safety was destroyed the more radical elements of our religions would step into the crippling void and gain support among the fearful.
    With a clear and present danger, a viable enemy and a healthy dose of ferver, political influence results.
    Many fundimentalist Christians see these events as the prophetic harbingers of the endtimes while the more dangerous are those who see it as the new crusades. The West's opportunity to strike back, in the name of Christ.
    The Muslim nations are largely theocratic and thier swing to radicalism only fuels CUFIs efforts. While we may not wish to say it out loud, we are already in a religious war with Islam and it will be very difficult to restore peace.

    I have been to Israel Palestine five times since June 2005, and have traveled throughout occupied Palestinian territory with hundreds of global progressive Christians all pursuing peace and seeking The Way/SABEEL to justice and equal human rights for all the people of the Holy Land-which is in pieces; bantustans!

    Before 1948, the indigenous Palestinian Christians were 20% of the total population of Israel Palestine.

    They now are less than 1.3% of the total and are shrinking fast. The primary reasons why the most educated and consistently nonviolent residents are migrating in droves is the oppresive Military Occupation-which has enterered its 40th year, The Wall which divides them from their land, resources, families, holy sites, the daily humiliations at the hundreds of checkpoints and the increasing violence and fundamentalism within all three branches of Father Abraham's offsprings.

    Sabeel/Arabic for THE WAY, is a Palestinian Christian international grassroots peace movement founded in Jerusalem which promotes nonviolence, human rights, international law, democratic principles, and Gospel teachings on justice and peace-building.

    Friends of Sabeel-North America works to engage American Christians through regional conferences like the one happening in Boston this October 26-27th.


    Bishop Desmond Tutu, Noam Chomsky and many others will address the theme "The Apartheid Paradigm in Palestine-Israel: Highlighting Issues of Justice and Equality"

    For Americans yearning for some new philosophy to fill the void left by our governments blind allegience to Israel and its blatant disregard of international law, denial of universal human rights and a nose to nose challenge to the cult of Christian Zionism, learn more:

    http://www.fosna.org/BostonConferenceOct2007.htm


    Eileen Fleming,

    Author "KEEP HOPE ALIVE" and "MEMOIRS of a NICE IRISH-AMERICAN 'GIRL'S' LIFE in OCCUPIED TERRITORY"

    Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" freely streaming on WAWA:
    http://www.wearewideawake.org/


    R Shaeffer, your comments don't offer much comfort. It would be wrong to bomb Iran because there are Christians there who might get hurt?

    I don't know why that should worry you. The US and Israel have developed their killing machines to a high degree of art and discrimination. I'm sure they could invent something that will kill only Iranians and Muslims, and maybe the occasional humanist, like myself, but not harm Iran's Jews or Christians.

    Tricky to know how the US killing machine complex and its close ally and co-investor, Israel, would program its killing machines with regard to gays. Although Ahmadinejad issued a thunderous declamation at the end of his speech at Columbia University that demanded answers to two questions:

    Why is research into every other field of human endeavor encouraged, but research into the holocaust is forbidden, and in some places criminalized?

    And second,

    Given that the Holocaust occurred in Europe at the hands of Christians, why, over the course of SIXTY YEARS, have the Palestinian people been punished for that crime?

    Curiously, no zionist website I have seen has mentioned these two questions from Ahmadinejad's speech. But there's been plenty of coverage of his remark that Iran "does not have homosexuals the way the US does."

    Which brings me back to the important, final query of this post:

    Will the US and Israel be able to program their killing machines so that gays in Iran will not be killed, will be killed, will be outed and killed by the Christians and Jews who survive the US-Israeli attack on the rest of Iran? What will happen?

    Generalizations pro and contra Iran are driving me batty. If Christians are going to advocate for all out war in Iran, do they know that they'll be killing Christians, too? Is that ok? Will they first e-mail the churches in Iran to ask them if they're willing to die?

    But, yes, I think Americans are suffering from a loss of purpose, particularly American Christians who saw themselves as part of the Monroe Doctrine. The test of the faith was never how powerful and imperial a Christian could be, but how the kingdom of God was made palpable by the churches' ministries with and on behalf of other people.

    I'm terribly disappointed Bill Moyers would repeat the misquote of Ahmadinejad that "Israel should be wiped off the map".
    What Ahmadinejad said was: "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time."
    This misquote has been corrected several times in the mainstream media, including a post by respected British journalist Jonathan Steele, who wrote:
    "The remarks are not out of context. They are wrong, pure and simple. Ahmadinejad never said them. Farsi speakers have pointed out that he was mistranslated. The Iranian president was quoting an ancient statement by Iran's first Islamist leader, the late Ayatollah Khomeini, that "this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time" just as the Shah's regime in Iran had vanished."
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1788542,00.html
    I kindly ask Bill Moyers to set the record straight in his next broadcast.

    It strikes me as odd that people like John Hagee, who loudly procalim themselves to be Christian, so frequently quote the Old Testament or Revelations to support their ideas and so seldom Christ (the Gospels). Could it be that the words of Jesus (aka Prince of Peace) don't really fit their agenda?

    If Hagee and his followers want to commit mass suicide, I'd prefer that they stir up a batch of Kool Aid instead of a war with Islam. To call for a strike on Iran could well provoke a wider response, and Pakistan already has nuclear weapons. If the government of Pakistan is overthrown, who takes control of them? Be careful of what you ask for. Please leave the rest of us out of this insane vision.

    BILL MOYERS: Ahmadinejad himself has enflamed the-- as you say, the worst instincts in the Muslim world, right?

    RABBI MICHAEL LERNER: Yeah, he claims they're the best allies. Ahmadinejad is really one of the best allies of the Christian Right and of the-- and of the Jewish Right.
    -----------------------------

    "[The Palestinians] are beasts walking on two legs."
    -- Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, "Begin and the 'Beasts,"' New Statesman, June 25, 1982.

    "The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized .... Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever."
    -- Menachem Begin, the day after the U.N. vote to partition Palestine.

    "The past leaders of our movement left us a clear message to keep Eretz Israel from the Sea to the River Jordan for future generations, for the mass aliya (=Jewish immigration), and for the Jewish people, all of whom will be gathered into this country."
    -- Former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir declares at a Tel Aviv memorial service for former Likud leaders, November 1990. Jerusalem Domestic Radio Service.

    "The settlement of the Land of Israel is the essence of Zionism. Without settlement, we will not fulfill Zionism. It's that simple."
    -- Yitzhak Shamir, Maariv, 02/21/1997.

    "(The Palestinians) would be crushed like grasshoppers ... heads smashed against the boulders and walls."
    -- Isreali Prime Minister (at the time) Yitzhak Shamir in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988

    "It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization, or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands."
    -- Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

    "Everybody has to move, run and grab as many (Palestinian) hilltops as they can to enlarge the (Jewish) settlements because everything we take now will stay ours...Everything we don't grab will go to them."
    -- Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of the Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, Nov. 15, 1998.

    "Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial."
    -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, 25 March, 2001 quoted in BBC News Online

    Very informative, but can you or anyone on your staff come up with a reason why we have 20-50 million people (more or less) who believe in Rapture, Dispensationalism, Armageddon?

    It seems to me that we've arrived at that end-of-a-civilization milestone described by Jared Diamond in COLLAPSE, a point-of-no-return moment in a civilization's history when the ruling clique is so paranoid that they are unable to accept any reasonable arguments or proofs that contradict their crazy schemes.

    It's not that these people aren't intelligent; they are. But the catch with intelligence is not so much the fact of having it, but how one uses it. These people seem to be inching towards "cutting down the last tree." Easter Island 2008. And they're dragging the rest of us with them. 50 million Dispensationalists? Who's going to stop them?

    When I picture the last days on Easter Island, I see a civilization where all dissent, all rational discussion has been eliminated. Maybe they don't wear black shirts, but there's a fascist mentality in charge, making sure that their cockeyed plans are carried out.

    When their predictions on the Rapture don't come to pass, they'll simply change the date and restart the countdown. And one day Pastor John Hagee will preside over the last tree ceremony. After his speech, he'll hand the ax to Joseph Lieberman for the honor of taking the tree down. On FOX News, John McCain will tell us that it's to us, "The tree must go. It's too bad. But the American people have to be safe, so it has to go."

    It is tremendously frightening that anyone would call for war with Iran. Look how great we are doing in Iraq! Some military experts say that our army has been virtually broken by the on- going conflict there ,and that there is no army left to fight any other conflict.
    If we have a war with Iran I think we could see the end of our country as we know it.
    There will be no "rapture" as some Christian fanatics believe, just as there has undoubtably not been "72 virgins" for each of the 911 terrorists.
    Instead, there will be terrible suffering on all sides, and the terrible, and needless, loss of life. When will we heed JFK's words to the effect that we have more in common as members of the human race than we have differences; that we all inhabit this small planet together, and that our problems are mostly man-made and can therefore solved by working together.

    Thank you for such an informative insightful program.

    My hope is that many well-meaning Christians who are caught up in this deceptive movement were watching and had their eyes opened to the un-Christ-like motives lurking behind it.

    I sat here watching as a follower of Christ, experiencing deep shame at hearing the fanatical un-biblical comments by Mr. Hagee and his followers, wondering if this picture they projected of Christianity, is what the world believes is true of Christians here in America.

    May God show mercy on these sadly deluded people.

    Today is Saturday, October 6, 2007 and today's Liturgical Readings of the Holy Mass are:

    Baruch 4:5-12,27-29
    Psalm 69:33-37
    Gospel Luke 10:17-24

    It is with a spirit of brotherly love that I offer to this forum the prayer of OUR FATHER, and with it, another humble perspective.

    Next week will be the 90th Anniversary of Fatima; when Mary, the Jewish mother of Christ, a woman who is recognized and revered by Islam, appeared in the land of Fatima to three poor, shepherd children...requesting that we pray...everyday "to obtain peace for the world".

    I did not see the film last night, but I did witness Bill's interview with the two gentlemen. My heart and mind turned to the story of Fatima, as well as a book written by Professor of Theology and Scripture at Franciscan University, Dr. Scott Hahn, titled THE LAMB'S SUPPER, which offers another viewpoint on the Book of Revelation, in relation to the Catholic Mass. I wondered...are these thoughts and happenings not relevant, too?

    Thank you Mr. Moyer for guiding the viewers to the Way of Truth in your closing segment, Amish Grace. Again, watching this made me wonder...

    How might the world be different if AMERICA truly believed, opening herself up to AMAZING GRACE, and had responded to 9/11 in this humble, forgiving, loving way?

    From my humble perspective, 9/11 was to be our finest hour, an opportunity for America, a country founded on Christian values, to RISE in virtue and LIVE CHRIST; just as our Amish brothers and sisters did in their darkest hour. My heart mourns.

    Hate, anger, retaliation are easy - they are child's play; it is love that is hard - 1 CORINTHIANS 13. This is the WAY OF THE CROSS, and in this day and age we had an opportunity to witness, through AMISH GRACE, the fruit of peace and healing that true love and devote prayer can bring.

    The book on my shelf tugs at my heart, as the words of Great John Paul II reminds the soul, we are CROSSING THE THRESHOLD OF HOPE.

    On that note, this post will close with thoughts of St. Genevieve of Paris...the Wroldwide Children's Holy Hour...Psalm 23...and more wonderment...PBS and Ken Burns have been reminding the world of the GREAT WAR...what for? Do you see what I see? Traversing up and down the other channels on my tv? Do you see a country that has lost its soul? Generations living carefree, including me, on the coattails of hardship and spilt blood that took its toll...TIMING...Only God knows...

    May Wisdom Guide us all and Peace Bless us all

    Prayerfully yours,
    Janine B. McDonald

    "Has anyone paid any attention to what other countries are doing, while the US is bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    Posted by: mike melley | October 6, 2007 04:54 AM"

    This is a little off topic Mike but one answer to your question would be a government and military leadership that's still bogged down in the Cold War. After 60 years of ramping up to defeat Communism and starting conflicts all over the world to quell the Red Menace, we simply have no one left to fight except a rag tag bunch of terrorist in pickup trucks. Sure makes it hard to justify $600 + billion dollars of spending by the Pentagon.

    Our former avowed enemy Russia has made the transition to a market economy and they are in the final stages of working out all the bugs. They have massive oil reserves to fuel their economy and to establish them as a major player in the world market. They already had an abundance of well educated people and an established academic system, their new market economy is providing good jobs for all those educated Russians.

    We have set China up for an industrial revolution that will make our 20th century effort pale by comparison, an economy that has literally surged from the Iron Age to the 21st century in a mere 20 years. They have a lot of problems but none of them are concerns over the very survival of their way of life !

    Colleges and universities all over this country are dropping electrical, mechanical, and industrial engineering curriculums as those disciplines flee to foreign countries like India and China. The big question is; with this ever increasing brain drain, just how many Accountants, Business Analysts, and Liberal Arts Majors will it take to support the economy of a country with 300 + million citizens? An excellent example of Friedman’s Fuzzy Math, too bad he didn’t live to experience the fruit of his labor; the destruction of the United States !

    As I watched this episode of one of my favorite TV programs of all time, I remembered one of the reasons I stopped believing the bible, and in god altogether. Why hasn't anyone ever asked (at least as far as I've heard,) "Isn't it convenient that the very people who wrote the book, claim that anyone who blesses them will be blessed by god? Wouldn't it be more believable if god had told the people whose land and riches the jews were going to take, that they were his chosen?

    But mostly what I kept thinking as I watched was, "What country can I move to? Where can I go in the world where some tiny group of believers in a particular religious view don't use it to run the country, and run it into the ground at the expense of anyone who doesn't believe the way they do? Is there such a place?

    All MiDEAST religions are deceptions.They are not supernatural but Extraterrestrial in origin as are the people, Therefore, they should be taken with a grain of salt. Written for another people in another time. This is what the ets are telling Billy Meier(google)

    of switzerland for over 50years Meier has proof of extraterrestrial contact by a "preponderance of evidence" easily. 8mm film, video,1000's of pictures, eyewitnesses etc...

    Meier has had over 22 documented assassinations attempts. Go to Switzerland and check him out, do a frontline or other on him if you want to put evangelicals in their place

    Bill:

    Thanks for addressing this important issue that has been largely avoided by the MSM. It's of vital importance - especially in light of the weird symbiotic agit-prop that we've just recently witnessed in connection with Ahmedinejad's visit to NYC.

    I have to say, however, that I was disappointed that you seem to have been taken ideologically hostage to the right-wing zionists' position in your adoption of their terminology.

    For example, you referred to the "disputed territories," a loaded propaganda term used by the Israeli government. They are not 'disputed' but occupied. The whole world recognizes this.

    Also, you repeated two of the distortions that are part of the Israel Lobby's standard set of talking points: #1)you state that Ahmedinejad called for Israel to be "wiped off of the map." Various Farsi-speaking scholars of Iranian politics have already shown this to be an incorrect and inflammatory translation. #2)you imply that the main stumbling block to peace is that Israel's Arab neighbors don't recognize its "right to exist."

    Of course, this last is a meaningless, and irrelevant claim. States don't have rights to exist; peoples do. Israel is recognized by the international community - within its pre-1967 borders. Israel, however, has never declared its own recognition of those borders. This is a form of special pleading that has no place in genuine diplomacy.

    I understand that you must be under terrific pressure not to offend powerful political interests - indeed the very fact that you took on this issue is very commendable. I was a bit dismayed that you chose Michael Lerner and the other mainstream theologian as the critics, but I understand the impetus to deflect attacks from religious interests. And, in fact, both men did a creditable job of arguing against the danger of the confluence of the neocons and creepy hucksters like Hagee. So, kudos to you - but with reservations.

    Cheers,
    Mark Marino
    Sarasota, FL

    Joseph Campbell, whom Bill interviewed in the 80s, said, "All religions are valid, none are literal."

    It's disturbing that a spot interviewing religious "scholar" practitioners whose specialty is "What God Promised to Whom" has no balancing voice that can shed the light of reason on the topic. Despite our desire for an afterlife and an eternal soul, we have no reason to to hold spectacular claims as truth on poor evidence. If mythical scripture is in such heavy control of the reality of our future, than Armageddon is indeed the prophecy that awaits us; it's the proscription we've filled out for ourselves; the self-fulfilling prophecy of the deluded.

    The juxtaposition of the following Amish story is quite a strategic move in support of religious "magical thinking." Oh, look at how healing forgiveness can be! Yes, it can, but it has only to do with human nature, not God. Everything good and kind, as well as everything dark and violent, stems from our humanity. To posit a deity controlling morality is a cop-out, intellectually lazy, and immoral in itself. God is watching; better behave.

    This story was disturbing on several levels. They are talking of plans to affect the whole of all of our lives in most tragic ways Completely disregarding the input of the rest of us. I feel compelled to make a few points.

    1. These people are not Christians. They are Zionists. There is a big difference. To hear their own particular form of Judeo Fascism was most distasteful. And to see a hatemonger and a war monger like Lieberman prodding them on like a ringmaster at the circus was disgusting.

    JOHN HAGEE, SEPTEMBER 18, 2005: I want to ask Washington a question. Is there a connection between the 9,000 Jewish refugees being forcibly removed from their homes in the Gaza Strip now living in tents and the thousands of Americans who have been expelled from their homes by this tremendous work of nature? Is there a connection there? If you've got a better answer, I'd like to hear it.

    GARY BAUER: At this very moment there are evil men who worship death — it is a sick philosophy that goes by many names. But I haven't found a better name than Islamo-

    FRANK GAFFNEY: The Islamo-fascists have Israel in mind as an appetizer. We are the main course.

    BRIGITTE GABRIEL: The difference, my friends, between Israel and the Arabic world is a difference between civilization and barbarism. It's a difference between goodness and evil. And this is what we're witnessing in the Arabic world. They have no soul. They are dead set on killing and destruction.

    JOSEPH LIEBERMAN: Of describing Pastor Hagee in the words that the Torah uses to describe Moses, he is an "Ish Elokim," a man of God and those words really do fit him; and, I'd add something else, like Moses he's become the leader of a mighty multitude, even greater than the multitude that Moses led from Egypt to the promised land.

    2. For the most part, the three PBS commentators offered an informative discussion, but to hear them echo the same old mainstream media rhetoric on Islam and Ahmadinejad left me dispairing for the future and wondering where to go for an dispassionate explanation.
    There is no shortage of inflammatory rhetoric on either side - going way back.

    "There is no such thing as a Palestinian people... It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn't exist."
    -- Golda Meir, statement to The Sunday Times, 15 June, 1969.

    "How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to."
    -- Golda Meir, March 8, 1969.

    "Any one who speaks in favor of bringing the Arab refugees back must also say how he expects to take the responsibility for it, if he is interested in the state of Israel. It is better that things are stated clearly and plainly: We shall not let this happen."
    -- Golda Meir, 1961, in a speech to the Knesset, reported in Ner, October 1961

    "This country exists as the fulfillment of a promise made by God Himself. It would be ridiculous to ask it to account for its legitimacy."
    -- Golda Meir, Le Monde, 15 October 1971

    3. PBS, it must be said, has not contributed to the understanding of the Palestinian issues in recent history; at a time when the Palestinians suffering is at its highest point When was the last time there was any discussion of Palestinian concern on PBS. The Newshour and the McGlaughlin group used to have regular segments on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but those have been few and far between lately. Frontline or special reporting - nothing. It would be too easy to attribute this to the arrival new director of PBS, but the correlation is undeniable. We hear regular reporting on Burma and Darfur suffering; nothing on Palestinian suffering.
    It is disgraceful.
    I challenge PBS to document the inhumane treatment of a Palestinian people.

    4. To blame Ahmadinejad for this situation is misleading at best. The fact of the matter is that Iran has been on Israel's radar for some time now. The die was cast when Sharon and Netanyahu assumed power, about the same time as Bush. It is all part of the NeoZionCon plan to remake the Middle East and form greater Israel. Spokesmen like Kouchner of France, another promoting the bombing of Iran, are associates of Netanyahu. Who is he speaking for - his people or the Netanyahu neozioncons?
    From 2003 (before Ahmadinejad) -

    Haaretz 18/02/2003: Sharon says U.S. should also disarm Iran, Libya and Syria

    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said yesterday that Iran, Libya and Syria should be stripped of weapons of mass destruction after Iraq. "These are irresponsible states, which must be disarmed of weapons mass destruction, and a successful American move in Iraq as a model will make that easier to achieve," Sharon said to a visiting delegation of American congressmen.

    Sharon told the congressmen that Israel was not involved in the war with Iraq "but the American action is of vital importance."

    In a meeting with U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton yesterday, Sharon said that Israel was concerned about the security threat posed by Iran, and stressed that it was important to deal with Iran even while American attention was focused on Iraq.

    Bolton said in meetings with Israeli officials that he had no doubt America would attack Iraq, and that it would be necessary thereafter to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea.

    I challenge PBS to do an informative piece on the Zionist mission, including the notion of greater Israel. Perhaps even drawing parallels between the march towards greater Israel and the "peace process".
    If you are truly P-bs, then now is the time.

    Mr. Haggee preaches a message of fear and hatred, he deceives the masses of his followers using the very same fear-mongering tactics Hitler employed to deceive the good people of Germany.

    “The broad mass of a people…fall victim to a big lie more easily than to a small one.” Adolph Hitler

    “ But the masses are slow moving, and they always require a certain time before they are ready even to notice a thing, and only after the simplest ideas are repeated thousands of time will the masses finally remember them…” Adolph Hitler

    To those who are in the grip of this fear I pray that God in his mercy give you understanding to turn to him and not false leaders of deception. I plead with all who are taken in to pick up your Bibles, put on the filter of love not fear. I pray that Christ will speak to your hearts. Turn to God for guidance. It is my Christian duty to admonish you out of Christian love. Consider the following passages.

    "For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We must not be like Cain who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous…Little children, let us love, not in word or speech but in action.” 1 John 3:11-12, 18

    “ Little children, make sure no one deceives you;...The children of God and the children of the devil are reviled in this way: all who do not do what is right are not from God, nor are those who do not love their brothers and sisters.”” 1 John 3:7, 10

    “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God,. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:7

    “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7

    I pray that you will turn from sowing the seeds of fear and hate and return to love and reason. What if you are the ones that are wrong. If the US, in the name of God Almighty, follows Mr Haggee’s advice and preemptively takes the lives of our brothers and sisters in Iran and Palestine HOW will the GOD OF LOVE judge you?

    "One more thing-I think the world would be a much happier place to live if everyone minded their own Damn Religious business and respected other cultures religions.
    If you have this strong urge to ridicule and Judge other religions, then you must not be of strong faith with your own. For if one religion was superior to another, then ones faith alone would be the beacon of light that would show the way home."

    It is absolutely necessary to judge and doing so has no impact on how strong one's faith is - you, and many other people, interpret that concept incorrectly. If we shouldn't make judgments, imagine how horrible our lives would be. We make judgments every day in our life - from the people we speak to to the actions we do or don't follow. Choosing our religion is one more example of judging and it's not bad. In addition, if you think about it, you're being somewhat hypocritical in saying not to judge because you are doing the exact same thing to those of us who do.

    As far as the ridicule-part of your argument goes, I don't understand where that comes in because I've never seen that in an Evangelical - it's against our intent. Many may think that our methods are that way, but often the anger and the hatred of others toward us overshadow their view of our intent and distort our message. Believe me, I ever meet someone who is that way, I would absolutely tell them that's wrong - we're not here to make fun of anyone's religious beliefs - we're here to educate and bring awareness of Jesus Christ. It's then up to that individual to judge our words and make their own decision about the truths that are out there.

    For your other point, the Jewish faith and religion is that example of a "superior" faith. Their "beacon of light" throughout history proves that they are God's chosen people (as stated and proved through the Bible). It is through them that we were given the gift of Jesus and were given his ultimate sacrifice so that all of the world's sins could be forgiven. That is why it is imperative that we help and support Israel in everything that they do. To not do so would go against God's plan for the future.

    There shall be no peace in the world so long as religion exists in the minds of men.

    the zionists control the central bank, the congress, the house of white, the banks, the media.
    we are but a pawn of israel and will do as she says, and the christian right have nose rings with which they are pulled into place, true sheep

    In response to:Mary Neighbors , A Christian, and 60 years of age.
    I disagree with your observation of "Wow, Lots of different views". I see two only. A View of people who want peace but are bewildered and dismayed at what seems to be a course that is now self generating its own momentum. The other view is from people that seem to be hell-bent on bringing about Armageddon to fulfill their interpretation of words in a book.
    There are three words I dread hearing, and those words have fancy quotations attached to them as they are fired like a verbal machine gun at others that disagree or question-those three words are "The Bible Says".
    If religious groups want to believe that the end of the world will be your salvation, then I ask that you respect all the rest of Gods creations by finding some small island and do it there. Please don't drag the rest of us into this.
    Thank you
    A creation of God, I'm 49

    A slick multi-media Judas Goat leading all the sheep to the slaughter, do any of these people remember Jim Jones, the murder of a US Senator and network reporters, and the mass suicides of hundreds of his followers for God? If any ambiguity exists in the history books regarding the justification for the Crusades and the slaughter of millions of people in the name of religion, watching this piece should belay any further inquiries.

    Considering the billion plus tax dollars the president has spent on faith based organizations along with his pronounced belief in fundamentalist principles, the rapid rise of this organization most likely has a money trail back to Washington. But in the current environment, it is heresy to question the motives of state sponsored religious leaders and organizations, especially when they are promoting an ally who has been instrumental in promoting the current administration’s war agenda.

    Follow the money, always follow the money !

    Thanks again to Bill Moyers for bringing yet another piece to this puzzle we find ourselves in to light.

    How did the Christain right subvert this countrys' goals and interests?

    I won't offer an opinion about the whys and wherefores. In a world filled with talking heads opinions are in no short supply.

    But I will ask people to remember the words of a young dreamer who once offered the world this prayer:

    "...imagine no countries, and no religion too..."

    That man was John Lennon and the words were from his song "Imagine".

    I want to take a different view of what I heard. I want viewers to remember how Adolf Hitler came to be elected. I want viewers to listen to some of Hitler's speeches and to inquire about the "final solution." The kingdom of God was to last 1,000 years in the German Reich. Followers believed Hitler, believed that they were not going to be involved in war. Hitler's top aid, Herman Goering stated that the common people would not want war. "But after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country." (at the Nuremburg Trials)

    Think about this: Peace means not killing one another. Peace means not advocating any hateful and disgusting thought about attacking another people. And from what I see Mr. Hagee's sheep doing is following a closed interpretation of the word that is simply foolish.

    I know brainwashed (or hypnotized) humans cannot be convinced that their minds are closed. But their views are threatening my pursuit of happiness, my secular existence in this beautiful world of ours. Why do I claim they are hypnotized?

    Did anyone notice how Hagee snaps his fingers at certain regular intervals? Am I going nuts reading too much into his powerful mastery of manipulation?

    You want to have a show about CUFI but as I watched I never seen you interview John Hagee or any one who is on the board of this orginization. You attack a group who are taking what the Bible says. We are not suppose to take the Bible figurativly not literally. Why would we not listen to what God and Jesus had to say. Not only is what has been prophesied in the New Testament but also in the Old Testament. Many people do not want to hear the message because it does not go with the way they want to live. Sit down and read Daniel chapter 7. Many want to have a go along and live and let live addittude on life. Just read and learn. But as i started to say Please interview both sides and not just show clips. I am confused as to why you wanted to show the Christians who are trying to unite with Isreal as fanatics. When we are not. I also noticed you had no one from the muslim faith. you brought on a rabbi and a "christian" who is on the far left. Isreal was given the land, it was given to Abraham and his heir Isaac. I feel you should have done your homework on the Bible before interviewing the 2 liberals. this is just my opinion

    Bill Moyers falls short on this piece by interviewing those of the diseased religion itself in question to explain the insanity of cufi, thusly embracing and enabling the very evil that he wishes to expose and counter. People like Hagee are nothing with out the exploitable means to cultivate their evil intentions. Religions are the greatest means for the perpetration of evil ever exploited and created by those with selfish intents. Would the Palestinians be suffering at the hands of the Jews if not for religion? Probably not. A more effective analysis of the cancer that Hagee represents would be to make the courageous step from darkness into the light of the creator of and interview those cultivated in wisdom by the life experiences of God rather than those conformed to the doctrines of regurgitated religious doctrine. Hagee takes us and religion to point where God is the violent terroristic enemy. But for all its benefits, the truth is obvious that religion in itself has been and remains the greatest threat to peace, love, compassion, happiness and truly embracing God on the face of this earth.

    Abraham Maslow hypothesized that deprivation of the higher values (B-values) of truth, justice, unity, etc., makes us sick in predictable ways. Deprivation of truth leads to paranoia, etc. And the general result is anomie. But if you asked the people who work at Google how anomic they are, the score would be lower than in the general population, which points to leadership. Eupsychian management and leadership need further study and support.

    This PBS show was really scary. Hagee and his followers seem to me to be the very opposite of Christianity. But, this kind of lunacy is, in fact, in control of the US Congress....right, Lieberman??

    Mr. Moyers,
    Thank you for an enlightening program.

    Mr. Hagee should know that some of us, who do read our Bibles, already know to "beware of false prophets."

    We also know "Blessed are the Peace Makers."

    Thank you for all that you do to inform and educate the American people. Would that there were more journalists like you.

    This collaboration between the Christian Zionists and the Government of the United is prohibited by the United States Constitution. All members of Congress and anyone in the Executive branch who allows these meetings to happen should be removed from office. It is now easy to see why there are not impeachment proceedings against Vice President Cheney and President Bush.

    It was wrong for the Nazis to kill the Jews and it is wrong for the Christian Zionists wanting them to move to Israel and then kill them.

    I'd like to know where Mr. Haggee gets his figures from? He claims theirs two million of them. And another fifty million waiting in the wings to join. God help us. This country has had enough influence by religion, by this white house to last us awhile. The US with over three hundred million people, living here, if two million is accurate it's a small percentage of the population. Where does he get the fifty million figure from. These people are the minority no matter how you look at it. What they need to do is shut up and sit down, and keep their religous beleifs to themselves. Are we going to pass laws in the US based on what percentage your religion represents. I don't need him shoving his beleifs down my throat.

    I was suprised to hear the moderator at some of the debates ask the canadates religous questions, What faith they belonged to, how often they go to church, what was their favorate passage etc. I feel these kind of questions are offensive. The questions asked were perssonnel in nature and shouldn't be asked. I was waiting for one of them to refuse to answer, but nobody did. What happened to the separation between church and state. Are we afraid to take a stand and apply it. The candidates aren't applying for the priesthood. I don't see where their religous beleifs make a differance, there not suppose to, so why ask. if their beleifs did play a role in their decision making everybody would be up in arms, if they didn't belong to the same religion. It does not benifit anyone what they beleve in. we have all seen in the news, the ones that have claimed to be Jesus freaks, and close to God, or what ever, doesn't make them any better then anybody else, and commit the same sins as the rest of us. So you can't go by someones answers to religous questions. and they shouldn't be asked in the first place. Hell president Bush has a direct line to you know who, where did that get him, He says he makes the call everynight for guidence. Why are his poles so low? Maybe he's just not a good listener.

    Think about it, Alaska is owned by the US. When oil was discovered there, who got the rights to it. It sure wasn't the US people. How come. They discovered more oil in Alaska, more than before, are the US people going to get it's fare share of that, I don't think so. This government gives away US property for private co. to benifit not the US citizen. Other countrys share in the wealth with the people that live there. They don't give it away for a few to get rich. We have a government that thinks they only have to answer to big bussiness, not it;s citizens.

    Has anyone paid any attention to what other countrys are doing, while the US is bogged down in Afganistan and Iraq. And talking about Iran. Their growing leeps and bounds. China has been growing at a rate that;s hard to imagine. Russia is at full speed ahead, with all kinds of adventures. India is growing as fast as China or faster. Ireland etc.etc. The US use to be the only super power, not any more. We might have more nukes then anybody else, what are we going to do with them. Other countrys are expanding their economys at a record pace in other things then nukes and WMD. There going to calling the shots on the world stage, because there growing their economy in other ways then military hardware. The US has lost it's industrial base for one reason we spend more money on the military then anyone else, whether we need to or not. Listen to Dwight d Eisenhower's farewell address to the nation, he gave it almost fifty years ago and he couldn't of been more right. When you talk to people in these countrys, they all tell you, we have a great education system there, and free health care. The US gets by on as little as possible in education, they depend on the lotto, if you don't win you don't get one, and no health care. if you can afford it you get it if you don't you don't. In the US it's everybody for themselves, Were the third world country not them. Because of greed, no one wanting to pay their fare share, passing every loophole you can emagine. It's a joke when I hear people talking about our children need to volinteer for public service, to give somthing back to your country. Why should they give back they haven't receved anything to give back. They want our teens to pay for others that have benifited from the system. Get a grip. Make the ones that have benifited from the tax loopholes and federal grants, and the US governments influence to make them successful, in foreign countrys or our own. That's a heck of an idea make the children pay so others don't have to. What will they think of next. If others payed their fare share we wouldn't be in this mess, If they hadn't exported the good jobs overseas, to avoid paying a living wage, we might be a little better off, but with the cost of this war, I don't have a clue where that moneys coming from. With the average wage scale in the US below the poverty level, who's going to pay for that.

    Here's one followup to my last comment: even the US State Department refers to the "Occupied Territories," as you can see in their 2006 country report for Israel and the Occupied Territories, released in March 2007. So there's no reasonable argument for using the term "disputed". This is a serious enough issue that I'd recommend not only changing the terminology you use, but also issuing a correction in your next broadcast.

    Bill,

    In your show tonight about Christian Zionists supporting Israel, you repeatedly referred to the West Bank and Gaza as "disputed territories." These territories are not disputed; they are occupied. This has been reiterated clearly over the past four decades in UN Security Council resolutions, even with the support of the United States; the standard formulation is "the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem" or "Israel, the occupying Power" (you can find this latter terminology in Security Council resolution 1322, adopted in 2000, and in numerous General Assembly resolutions).

    Using the word "disputed" is not only inaccurate, it represents a major victory for those who push Israeli propaganda in the United States and who have labored mightily to propagate this revisionist frame. I urge you, in the strongest terms I can muster, to reject this blatant attempt to alter history through linguistics and instead use the proper phrase: the Occupied Territories.

    Thanks for the wonderful work you do.

    - John Caruso

    Don't forget we had our fare share of hitler followers in the US. they were in the minority also. How can anyone even dream of invading Iran. As far as I know they have never invaded anyone and have no plans of doing it now. They might talk a lot of shit, but that's all it is talk. Since when does that justify an attack by the US. It doesn't, never did, and doesn't now under international law, which we all including the US is suppose to follow. But we have changed the rules and follow only the ones we want to follow. We opened up a can of worms, other countrys are going to do the same as us, and there won't be a whole lot we can do about it. Wait and see. All this preaching to others for the last sixty years, to allow people to decide for themselves, just went out the window under this administration. The cold war isn't over, it's just on the back burner, waiting to boil over. Their are a lot of other countrys out there a lot worse then Iran, that we have relations with. Why is that, It's about the almighty dollar, that's why. Our foreign polycy is Guided by big bussiness, they decide what's in the US best interest, Their an extention of the government, they represent the US in their dealings with foreign governments and their people. Why do you think they all hate americans, their tired of being screwed by american co. Big bussiness does it to americans, can you imagine what they do around the world. There should be some kind of oversight over companys doing bussiness outside the US. The american people are the ones being blamed for us companys screwing people out of their natural resources, and paying them what amounts to slave labor, and the word is spreading because they have had enough of it. We did the same in Iraq, and Iran, until they through us out, can you blame these people, for not trusting the US. Look at what we have done around the world, we use to support saddam, we use to support the shah, we supported cruel dictators, so that US companys could operate without interfarence for maximum profits. If we were fare to it's people they wouldn't have a reason to hate us. But that's the american way, we live it everyday right here in the US.

    Love conquers all.

    Moyers talks with awe about being hostage to hostility.

    He doesn't seem to understand that the (religious) type of thinking that has caused these admittedly religious wars will not be solved by his lukewarm religious yearnings, but by a evidential secularism as hard and passionate as the faithist passions of the people he limply decries while hoping that his faithist views will solve the problem.

    The problem, as he acknowledges while verbally throwing his hands up in despair, is that there can be no agreement without previous agreement on what evidence is, an agreement that faithists abandon in order to group together and shout silly slogans, and sing about their particular gods.

    It's tribalism, Catholic or Protestant, Jew or Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist.

    Evidence exists, as we do. God doesn't. Learn this or die, humans...

    This was definitely one of the scariest programs I have watched in a long time! Still, I did have to laugh when I watched the news after the Moyers Journal; the Canadian Broadcasting Corp just happened to have a report on the significant increase in the number of people calling themselves atheists. One person interviewed said that it was seeing the disconnect between George Bush's religious talk and appalling actions that caused her to question whether God exists!
    I think it's important to reflect on what Rabbi Lerner spoke about when he referred to the "deep emotional depression" in the U.S. Not living in the U.S. (and boy, was I grateful for that after watching this program!) I can't say whether this is an accurate description. I would be more inclined to call it "fear due to a recognition of ones powerlessness": powerless to affect government policy (unless part of a lobby group), powerless to affect the economy, powerless to feel safe in ones community, powerless to defend oneself from intrusive surveillance. No wonder it's comforting to belong to a group led by someone who has identified the enemy and tells us how to work together to protect ourselves! That leader has excellent speaking skills; it's too bad that same leader hasn't used the brain God gave him to lead people in more a intelligent, knowledgeable and compassionate manner.

    Moyers feeds the flames with his incorrect translation of Ahmadinejad's comments on Israel.

    What A said was this: "The Zionist regime will be wiped from the page of history." NOT "Israel will be wiped off the map."

    Actual word for word translation from the Farsi transcript are available all over the Web. Bill should get out more, or stop believing in the media like he (unfortunately) believes in God.

    Michael Lerner makes a foolish mistake when he states that progressives shouldn't be secular. He conveniently ignores the four MAJOR books that state that morality and governance have to come from evidence about humans, not happy talk about love and kindness.

    They may be necessary, but they are not sufficient.

    This is a country that has in the past, been governed by the rule of law. Since 9/11 that has changed, and for the worse. By our actions since 9/11 other governments that we have been critical of in the past and present, are going to use the way we responded buy disreguarding the rule of law, as a pretext to do the same, to advance their agenda, the same agenda weve been fighting since world war two, during the cold war. The cold war isn't over, It's just not as openly as obvious as it once was. But the time will come when someone will do something, that because of what we have done, in the middle east, we won't be able to say or do anything about it, we lost our credibility around the world, and it's just a matter of time we will see how serious it hurt us and the spread of democracy. Were going to lose more than anything we might of gained temporarily. We gave our adversaries just they needed to advance their agenda. And there's not a whole lot we can do about it.

    "Americans are yearning for meaning, for community (as in "common unity"), for positive creativity, for love."

    Here's the answer:
    www.bahai.org

    This is an interesting and informative conversation as far as it goes, and I am sure that the gentlemen are capable of representing their own religious constituencies, but I find it highly offensive that Dr. Weber in particular would start talking about the beliefs of Islam. I think it would be appropriate to have a Muslim in on the conversation, otherwise, it is just another exercise in Western colonialism, with two Westerners dissecting the beliefs of the colonized Third World "WOGS" as though Muslim peoples are somehow not quite human or worthy or capable of explaining their own point of views and beliefs.

    Specifically, Dr. Weber says, "The fact that he [the President of Iran] is operating out of a particular view of what the future will be like and what-- what role he can play in bringing about the return of the Mahdi, a kind of messianic figure who will turn the world Islamic."

    I don't think he really knows what he is talking about. He fails to even mention that only the Shi'a believe in the Mahdi. The Shi'a are a minority in Islam. Does he even know that the President of Iran is a Shi'a, and that he doesn't represent the vast majority of Muslims in the world?

    This is like a discussion between two parents about what their children think. Well, I have news for you: Arabs are not children, and your discussion, like so many in the Western media, completely fails the most elementary kinds of balance and tolerance when it discusses lands that are clearly inhabited by Muslims, yet includes not a one in your supposedly unbiased program.

    You will never achieve ANY measure of peace in the Middle East, and you fail the highest teachings of BOTH Judaism and Christianity when you fail to include in your conversation someone from the people whose lands have been so callously and brutally colonized under the guise of either Christian or Jewish Zionism for so many years--centuries in fact if you go all the way back to the Crusades. The words "arrogant" and "imperialist" come to mind. Christianity in particular has often been the justification for imperialism.

    Wow... Lot's of different views. Now Mine
    I am a Christian, I'm 60.
    Rabbi Lerner is mis informed as to what we believe will happen to the Jew's at the time of the rapture. Some of the Jewish people at the time of Yeshua, Jesus, They did not realize that Jesus had to redeem planet Earth and pay sin's price first.He came to die. Isiah 53, explains. Yeshua was the passover Lamb. They were looking for a Messiah to rule.We believe that at the rapture they will look at Jesus and see their Messiah, God says at that time all of Israel will be saved ALL OF ISRAEL! Not go to hell, be saved. They will finally understand that Jesus is the Messiah and then 12,000 of each of the original 12 tribes of Israel will be sealed and set apart to be the last Evangilists during what we call the 7 years of tribulation. All of the Christians will be taken out of the way. It will be Israel's job to finish what they began, they were the first to spread the news and now they will be the last. After the seven years comes the last world war, then Messiah rules from his throne in Jerusalem. Jesus is the same man as Messiah, Yeshua, and most Importantly The SON OF GOD!
    I have to disagree with the Rabbi Lerner, Ishmael was never given the promished land. That promise was to Sari and Abram's son. Answer me a question.. we all know that the Arabs own 52 times more land that the little state of Israel, Why do the Arabs not take in their own people, most were from Jordan and Egypt, do they not want them? Why are they outcast from their own? There was never a people called palestinians, the name Palestine was put on the land of Israel to Insult them, why is there not truth being presented about this name. Last do
    PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM! and know that it will only happen when, Messiah is on his throne! Jesus.. King of Kings..Lord of Lords! Mary N.

    The US had no bussiness invading Iraq, let alone Iran. These people claim to be the enlightend ones, quoteing the gospil. If that's what the gospil has in mind they ought to burn it. Who are we to impose our beleifs on another country. Who made the US the almighty one, to go around the world and tell others what they can and cannot do. It's going to come a time when some of these other countrys are going to take a stand against the US and put us in our place. Do you think China, Russia, Germany, France, etc. are just going to stand on the sidelines and give the US a freehand do do what they want. I thought China and Russia were the evil empire. We better look in the mirror.

    I wish Bill Moyer's or another talk show host would do some research, and come up with an accurate count on how many christian fundamentalisms are actualy in the USA. I beleive their in the minority, and what they have is money and inflamitory idears that capture headlines, which most people don't agree with. These people play on diviesive issues, the way hitler did with the germans to get others attention. There a small group that don't deserve the audiance that the media provides them. I don't hear anyone talking about anything they claim is at the top of america's agenda. They fabricate the support they have in the US in an attempt to gain more followers. There a minority with big mouths and deep pockets stiring up hate against ourselfs and our neighbors, and the less attention you give them the better. We don't need people like them with an agenda to divide instead of trying to unite people to be able to live together in peace for everyone not just the jews or christians. If we don't the killing will never end, there will be no winners, just losers. This type of thinking comes from the white house on down. The republicans have practiced this as a means to divide this nation, and turn it's people against one another and against the people in the middle east, of muslum countrys. We need to reach out and be fare to all, not be onesided on Israel"s side. Israel obtained that land by force, it wasn't given to them as they claim, they say the land was promised to them, is that a joke, promesed by whom. The bible, this is 2007 we have the rule of law. that's what we go by, not the bible. These people want to quote the bible, that;s all fine in dandy in church not in the real world, we don't use the bible, when it applies to disputes amongs each other. We use the courts and the rule of law, which all countrys reconize, maybe not always follow, but that's the best we have. We sure don't use the bible like those would like us to. These people are dangerous and have nothing but fourceing their beleifs on the rest of us, and I don't want any part of it. If we don't start getting along with the rest of the world, were going to be the ones out in left field without a glove. The US can't have Israel dictate our foreign policy. Israel has not made any effort to obtain a lasting peace. because they aren't willing to give up anything in return. They expect the US to defend them no matter what, and we shouldn't if their not willing to negociate in good faith. These other cultures have rights also, we need to start acting as a neutual party and force all of them to agree to a long lasting peace that's fare to all. If we don't, something will happen, that the whole region will explode into war. We can prevent this from happening if we have the will, I don't see it happening under this administration, it better be the next one.

    After reading many of the posts at this site, I can only wonder what planet I am living on? Surely not the same planet as the brainwashed Left. Have any of you actual read any history? Do you not know that the founders of the Islamic Brotherhood and the PLO were avid fans of Adolph Hitler and his final solution? And that the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah have all sworn to the destruction of Israel and the death of the Jews? And that Palestinians launch rockets at Israeli villages on a daily basis? And that occupied land came AFTER Israel was attacked by forces outnumbering it 10 to 1? And that the evil fence has stopped homicide bombings of women and children?
    Do any of you realize that Mein Kampf is one of the best selling Western texts in the Middle East?
    But lets just placate the bigoted Nazi Islamists and give them the Jews - then all our problems will go away, right?

    Dear Mr. Moyers
    I have always enjoyed your penetrating and inspiring programs on PBS for decades and would like to thank you to bring serious discourse in the world of commercial television with 10 seconds sound bites. Tonight’s program on American Depression was very revealing in that we have Christian fundamentalism, which is as bigoted as the Islamic fundamentalism. Just like my fellow Muslim brethren who literally believe in seven levels of Heaven and these lunatic Christian Evangelist believe in Rapture.
    We need to stop this nonsense by exposing their warped religious beliefs, as we are to do with the distorted view of the President of Iran, Mr. Ahmadinijad that Holocaust never happened. What was most scary was the lady from Lebanon exhorting vigilantism in our public institutions like colleges and universities and blacklist those teachers who encourage open enquiry. This is like McCarthyism era visiting us all over again. Similarly we need to fight the intolerance and other preaching in the mosques by exposing their bigotry.

    Never have I seen a more powerful and important episode of Bill Moyers Journal. The video clips of CUFI and its fearful, manipulative, and grossly over-simplified message are seriously scary. These people would not recognize Jesus Christ if He came up and kissed them on the nose. They completely miss the Christian message. The pandering to and even whole-hearted agreement with CUFI and its un-Christian "live-by-the-sword" philosophy by important politicians like Bush, NcCain, and Lieberman explains a great deal of the mess that we are in and is doubly scary. Then came the incredible breath of fresh air from Rabbi Michael Lerner and Timothy Weber. Their clarity, perspective, and wisdom were illuminating. Their ability to contrast CUFI's false Christian message with the true message of hope, building bridges, and caring for others who may be different shone like a beacon. Every sentence they uttered rang clear and true. Never before have I seen such a sharp distinction drawn between thinking, loving evangelicals like Mr. Weber and mindless, brain-washed ones like the followers of Hagee. Bill Moyers, you bring out the best in people and are a national treasure. Your facilitation of thoughtful dialog and the exposure you give to views based on the best ideals of this nation's Founding Fathers rather than on misguided beliefs that have brought misery on the human race for millenia is one of the things that will keep our civilization from plunging into the abyss. Keep up the good work!
    Bill V

    Fundamentalism in any form is a sad commentary on our society.

    Now let me see if I can practice forgiveness and charity with Mr. Hagee. Our world view and style for resolving diverge markedly. Hmmm, what can I say that might be a positive step for finding the good in an impossible situation? Hmmm, I think I've got it. Mr. Hagee wears nice ties.

    This is the teaching of Pope John Paul I. He is the Pope that was mysteriously murdered after a very short reign before Pope Paul II. But that history is for another time. Here I simply offer his teaching regarding tonight's subject matter:

    “When Christ said, ‘Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church,’ He did not mean buildings of stone and granite or a wealthy organization made up of places of worship with altars of marble and gold and jewels surrounded by elegantly robed men chanting in vain repetitions. Christ meant His followers were to practice His principles and that is all He meant by His Church. Despite what preachers might fool their congregations into thinking, Christ tells us that going to church has nothing to do with salvation.

    “So that everyone would understand Him - no matter how dim - on this very important point of His testimony, Christ is explicit as He makes clear the Church He intended was not to be one of stone or a place of worship. Asked if Herod’s Temple of Jerusalem was His Church, He answered, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is not in buildings of wood and stone, it is in your heart, it is in our compassion for others.’ Christ tells us that our relationship with Him is a private and direct one - it requires no preacher or middleman - it should not be the public display that today’s Christians and the Pharisees of His time make of it.”

    Christ’s sacred testimony in Matthew 6, “‘And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in public places, that they may be seen and heard of men. Verily, I say unto you, They have their reward in this life. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, talk to me in secret; and ye reward will be in the next life. When ye pray, speak to me, do not ask of me. And use not mindless vain repetitions as the heathen do; for they think they shall be heard for their speaking in public places . . .’ ²

    "When Christ said 'Where two or three are gathered in my name there am I in the midst of them,' He did not mean what goes on in the Christian world today, He meant helping others less fortunate than ourselves,

    “Like all men,” the good bishop Luciani told me, “there are three kinds of preachers. There is the scarcest of them all, a few who truly try to carry out Christ’s message. Then there are those that want not much more than to fill their pockets with gold. Then there is the third kind, the most dangerous kind, and unfortunately the most prolific kind. Those who want to control the minds of men. Even though Christ could not have been more explicit in what He had to say, there are preachers, so scrupulous in their drive for power, that they lie to their unsuspecting followers about what Christ really had to say about the word Church.”

    The little known bishop of the remote mountain province continued, “Christ’s sole requirement for salvation is twofold, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself,’ and ‘Sell all that thou hast and give to the poor.’ Not once in His ministry does He ask us to fall down on our knees and adore Him. There is no message more explicit than is Christ’s account of His two archenemies - BIGOTRY and GREED; which today, in direct defiance of Christ’s instructions, are the fundamental driving forces of our Christian society.

    “Christ knew his followers would become the very people he so often condemned in His ministry. We, today, are the HYPOCRITES - the Pharisees, He so often condemns in the gospels.” Then in a tone of great anger, the bishop added, “And the greatest of all of HYPOCRITES are those preachers who claim to ‘love’ a certain group of people, yet, spend all their energy in the public forum trying to deny that very same group of their rights.

    “Believe me, Lucien, denying any of God’s children, no matter how scorned by doctrine, basic human rights and dignity under the law is not loving them. It is hating them; HYPOCRISY of the very first rank.” ³

    Pope John Paul I teaches the children, “Through the centuries, Mother Church has had the same problem the American Christians had back before Lincoln’s day. Back in Moses time, the Israelites, in an unprovoked attack, slaughtered hundreds of thousands of their peaceful Canaanite neighbors including all of their children and thought it was right. Back in Christ’s time, they would stone unwed mothers to death and thought it was right. During the Crusades, we murdered millions of helpless Muslims and Jews and thought it was right. Then for six centuries, we tortured and murdered countless innocent people in the Inquisitions and thought it was right. In the World War, your country sided with Germany in its quest for the superiority of the Aryan race and the annihilation and subordination of other races. Again, we thought it was right because we were a Christian nation and the Vatican told us it was right. And, until very recently, we would treat born-out-of-wedlock children as outcasts of society and, once more, we thought it was right. Even today, we continue to persecute many kinds of people who live their lives differently and we continue to think it is right because of what someone once wrote in a book.

    if we are ever to know the truth, we cannot start with falsehoods. We must start with what we have determined to be the truth to a given point in time and go forward. As each generation comes and goes we grow closer and closer to the truth. Believe me, the truth does not lie in the past; it lies in the future; and it is your job to help society in its struggle to find it.”

    Mr. Moyers,
    My wife (a Reform Jew) and I (lapsed Catholic) enjoyed tonight's program very much; thank you for calling national attention to this issue. However, in politely and carefully avoiding addressing the underlying religious beliefs driving Hagee's movement, I fear you may be obscuring the real problem.

    In the film I kept hoping for the off-camera interviewer to ask the CUFI attendees the questions, but they never came: "and do you believe in the Rapture? And what will happen to non-Christians when that takes place? And do you believe that to be just?"

    Shouldn't tolerant, progressive people interested in coexisting in peace be clear and unambiguous in their denunciation, not just of Hagee's particular political goals and methods, but of the (currently very popular) Christian beliefs from which his politics are the necessary result? Shouldn't Dr. Weber clearly state not just that Hagee's group is combining theology with politics in a dangerous way, but that it is their theology that is the real danger? That it is incompatible to believe in the Rapture or the damnation of non-believers and to have a progressive, tolerant worldview? Though I hope Dr. Weber is correct in his assertion of a silent majority of evangelicals that don't truck with Hagee's particular political views, I suspect that a large percentage of that silent majority nonetheless still believe that God's Grace is reserved for Christians, that it is bestowed not because of good works on Earth but solely on belief in Christ, and that it is God's justice that non-Christians be consigned to eternal damnation. And if that is so, isn't that really the source of the problem?

    I think that Evangelists that believe in this are desperate for that grand feeling they get from being self righteous.
    The fact is that if you study the words of Jesus Christ; this thinking is opposite of his teaching. Planning an assault on the Dome of the Rock, a Muslim holy temple; is an anathema to peace. It is a trigger to centuries of further war. It is by definition; evil in it's intent. It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with political power.

    Evangelical believers are being led astray by their ministers, straight into the pit. That is my true and learned view of the teachings of Jesus Christ, combined with my observations of modern events.

    The most unfair aspect of this belief is that if they trigger a world war, they will spill the blood of nations by their deeds, just like they have finished squandering the wealth of our own nation, America; and squandered the educational and working goals of millions of their fellow Americans. These people are so in the clouds with their great search for the man in the sky that they are allowing their movement to divert their attention from the very real damage they are doing to their own nation, the nations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel and others. This religious zealotry has damaged our planet before and I can't believe that an enlightened mankind is allowing this to occur again.

    I have a couple Christian family members that are in this "Spirit-set" or mind-set regarding prophecies on Israel and "End Times". I am truly bewildered on how the the parent who gave birth to me, that gave me life and loves me still to this day-who did NOT teach me bigotry but taught me integrity and to be honest-is also part of this Christian-Zionist movement.

    I feel we all have made God way to complicated and have even stained His name with our interpretations and expectations and Revelations. We need to go back to the basics like "God Is Love", "Thou Shalt Not Kill", "Love Thy Neighbor(s)", and that Judgement statement thing-you know, the one that says like "Judge ye not for_Blah Blah etc.". There is an example! Why not just say" Don't judge others-that's Gods job!

    We also need to stop bogarting God as a Nation. We are constantly asking God to Bless America. Well if my memory serves me correctly, didn't God create like EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in the universe? I think it's rather selfish of us to ask God to Bless America but no one or nothing else and I'm sure God at times shakes his head and thinks of us as selfish, spoiled little creations then mutters "Didn't I teach you to share your Father's creations with everyone on Earth"?
    I think I may change my personal God to Tiny Tim's God from the Charles Dickens story "A Christmas Carol". His God does not seem to care who you are or what you have done.
    God Bless Us Everyone, Even Mr. Scrooge, George Bush, Bin Laden, and John Hagee.
    (Richard Bruce Cheney sold his soul so he is no longer on this "Bless" list.)

    One more thing-I think the world would be a much happier place to live if everyone minded their own Damn Religious business and respected other cultures religions.
    If you have this strong urge to ridicule and Judge other religions, then you must not be of strong faith with your own. For if one religion was superior to another, then ones faith alone would be the beacon of light that would show the way home.

    PS-Is that guy John Hagee insane? I thought Priest's and Pastors are supposed to be an example of the teachings of Jesus.

    I grew up in a Jewish family and I am appalled at how horrible the Israelis are treating the Palestinians. It's been my view, for a long time, that Israel is a terrible neighbor in the Middle East and should be kicked out especially after last year's attack on Lebanon. I am very angry with the behavior of my own country as well. We had no business destroying property and killing people in Iraq and Afghanistan. Is it worth trillions of dollars when we don't have jobs, decent education for every child and a broken medical system??? I agree with Dr. King who said, "We need a revolution in values. We need to change from a thing oriented society of a people oriented society." My adult children say I'm too angry and my Buddhist Path is not helping me cope with my anger. The delusion swirling around me is so troubling. The idea that some deity gave land to anyone is a dream. It's not real.

    I found Mr. Moyers show this evening lacked balance. In 2006, I visited Iran. Your characterization of its president as someone who wants to destroy Israel, as Lizzi stated above, is incorrect. He stated that the regime occupying Jerusalem will pass into the pages of time as did the former Soviet Union. He has never said he would attack Israel and there is no proof that if developed Iran would ever use nuclear weapons. The Supreme Leader, who has the final say, has issued statements against nuclear weapons. Iran over the past 100 years or more has no history of invading, occupying or pre emptively attacking another country unlike the US and Israel. It did have to defend itself during the 8 year war and invasion (1980-1988) by Iraq. The US supported Iraq as many Iranians remember.

    Though the US organized the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Iran in 1953, installed the brutal Shah, placed sanctions on Iran and rejected its May 2003 offer to talk,Iran continues to extend its hand to help the US in Iraq and talk without pre conditions.

    Iranians are proud of their heritage and are glad to point out the first Code of Human Rights was written by their Cyrus the Great.

    As pointed out by others disputed territories does not give the Palestinian refugees, who were displaced from their homes, the respect they deserve or acknowledge that Israel is in violation of International Law and UN Resolution 242 and several others. Palestinians do have a "right of return" to their land which Israel is not addressing.

    I have met many Palestinian refugees in Jordan, which is over 60 % Palestinian, and Syria and all have very simialr stories.

    Does anyone notice that Christians who identify with "dispensational theology" were being negatively characterized by folks who do not share that perspective? As a result, some listeners were given the impression that this is a radical political cult.

    Dispensationalism merely recognizes that in history as recorded in the Bible, God placed different requirements at different times, i.e. Moses was given laws for the Israelites to obey as a part of a theocratic nation that Abraham, who lived earlier, did not have. Jesus (and his followers who wrote the New Testament) lived about 1500 years after Moses. In their writings, the principles of the law are still present, but are to be expressed in repentance, faith, love and service to God and man rather than in terms of a national identity or theocracy.

    Jesus's death being the fulfillment to which the O.T. sacrificial system pointed, no further temple sacrifices or priesthood functions were needed.

    Since all Christian Bible believers recognize these different requirements over time, in a sense all believers are "dispensational" or else there would be no difference from Judaism.

    It is sad that John Hagee's strident political approach has been presented as that of the estimated 20 million people who take the Bible seriously, but who are in fact focused on love and service, not on warlike attitudes.

    It is also an error to draw similarities between people who take the Bible seriously (and believe that God's presence works out in our lives from the presence of His peace within) and people who believe that Allah needs their help to bring about, by force, worldwide obedience to a Koranic constitution in a Muslim kingdom under Sharia law.

    Nowhere in the Bible is there any suggestion that Christian believers will, by their own political efforts, bring about any predicted future earthly kingdom, or will by planning and plotting, bring about Armageddon, or any other prophecy.

    If you doubt this, look at Matthew 24:45 and following and Luke 21:29 and 22:34. The Christian's response to world events is to be watchful (observant)and wise, awake, faithful in responsibilities, compassionate to the needy, and prayerful. We are commanded to avoid being weighed down with the dissipations and cares of this life. We are to be characterized by love and forgiveness.

    Never does the Bible suggest that any Christian go to war to "bring in the kingdom" or even coerce anyone to faith in Christ. In fact, the N.T. states that the average person will consider the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ either to be totally offensive or utterly foolish.

    It is true that the Bible commands us to bless Israel (Genesis 12:3) and that the Bible several times repeats the promised gift of the land of Israel to the descendents of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob, first stated in Genesis 15:3. However, the Biblical view of prophecy is that these events unfold, not that people through cunning determination cause things to happen.

    Finally, the idea that there is a collision course between the Christian Zionists building a temple where the Dome of the Rock stands is ridiculous. The Jews may be actively readying items for a future temple if God brings it about, but not by temporal chicanery.

    Even John Hagee has emphatically said that the Jews know that the foundations of the historic Jerusalem temple are not under the Dome of the Rock.

    Regardless of John Hagee's stridency, the symbols of Christianity(dispensational or otherwise) are the cross (selfless, sacrifical, compassionate living) and the dove (peacemakers who are without guile).

    Grace

    I was disturbed that the program set up the President of Iran as a fanatic equal of the Evangelical Zionist, and that the moderates being interviewed later in the program did nothing to dispel that image. That seemed to me unnecessarily antagonistic and confrontational. Surely Iranians would have the reaction to this alignment that was suggested by the quotation from the Nobel Peace prize recipient; they would feel the comparison was unjust, even if they are not particularly happy with their leader.

    Mr. Moyers repeated the statement that Ahmedinejad has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, which I have read (from Professor Juan Cole who reads and understands the languages of the Middle East) is not an accurate rendition of his words, and certainly when the president was in New York recently, there were no such inflammatory remarks. The President of Iran may indeed hold the views that Mr. Moyers has attributed to him, but I have not read or seen any speeches of his which compare to what Mr. Hagee was saying. The people of Iran would not be comforted by the judgments accepted but not supported in the course of the piece.

    In view of the program's initial commentary, it seems to me not a small thing that this equation was allowed to stand.

    As far as a new philosophy or other movements are concerned, I would like to see a return to good education in all our schools and less emphasis on evangelism as representing American Christianity. The piece on the Amish was a good move in that direction. Their peaceful apolitical attitude of forgiveness is appropriately Christian.

    I agree with Jay. PLEASE write your congress-persons (especially those in the film) and make darn sure they know that you DO NOT believe that it is America's job to start the final battle between good and evil mentioned in the book of Revelation.

    I was disturbed that the program set up the President of Iran as a fanatic equal of the Evangelical Zionist, and that the moderates being interviewed later in the program did nothing to dispel that image. That seemed to me unnecessarily antagonistic and confrontational. Surely Iranians would have the reaction to this alignment that was suggested by the quotation from the Nobel Peace prize recipient; they would feel the comparison was unjust, even if they are not particularly happy with their leader.

    Mr. Moyers repeated the statement that Ahmedinejad has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, which I have read (from Professor Juan Cole who reads and understands the languages of the Middle East) is not an accurate rendition of his words, and certainly when the president was in New York recently, there were no such inflammatory remarks. The President of Iran may indeed hold the views that Mr. Moyers has attributed to him, but I have not read or seen any speeches of his which compare to what Mr. Hagee was saying. The people of Iran would not be comforted by the judgments accepted but not supported in the course of the piece.

    In view of the program's initial commentary, it seems to me not a small thing that this equation was allowed to stand.

    As far as a new philosophy or other movements are concerned, I would like to see a return to good education in all our schools and less emphasis on evangelism as representing American Christianity. The piece on the Amish was a good move in that direction. Their peaceful apolitical attitude of forgiveness is appropriately Christian.

    I agree with Jay. PLEASE write your congress-persons (especially those in the film) and make darn sure they know that you DO NOT believe that it is America's job to start the final battle between good and evil mentioned in the book of Revelation.

    I knew about this nightmare Hagee and his clan of doom, and I hope alot of people saw this film and are motivated to make a difference any way they can. No one can afford to ignore political events anymore.

    This is the first time I have entered a comment on the computer after seeing a TV show. I actually didn't find the right place to put it at first, so I am entering it again. (It is in the comments after the essay on the Amish, which I appreciated, but my comment belong in this location.) I thought the Journal program tonight was exceptional and I hope many people saw it. The only criticism I have is that the word "Evangelical" was always used in the discussion between the Presbyterian and Rabbi Lerner instead of "Christian." I am a life-long Methodist and member of a nonliteralist progressive United Methodist Church where the Bible is important. It bothers me that many people who are secularists seem to think the message and the world view of those like Hagee are what most or all Christians believe, which is not true. Tonight's program could have done even more to counter this wrong opinion if the word Christian had been used instead of Evangelical. But as I write this I wonder if you used Evangelical in order to distinguish that view from Hagee's, since his group does claim the title Christian. If so, my original point is not well taken.

    These nuts are committing the same types of sins they are trying to prevent others from committing.
    Even if one is an evangelical, "dispensational" Christian, one shouldn't believe that it is one's job to fire the first volley of the final battle of Armageddon. I mean, if we really believe the Bible, we believe that the prophecies will be fulfilled regardless of our own actions, right?
    One thing is for sure. These people will make for great viewing on "Al Jazeera".

    i am an Iranian. my family have different religion (Bahaii) and two of my brothers were executed by Islamic Regime, so my hate for Islam is very personal but to tell you the truth, these Jewish and Christians extremist scare me more, Hagee reminds me of Khomeini, i think they are very dengerous for society and they should be watched. thanks Mr. Moyer for wonderful program,

    Bill,


    Can you please tell us when your memoir will be published?

    thanks

    Thank you, Moyers, for once again putting together a one-hour show that sends us back inside ourselves to find a way to tolerate ignorance while we all reach out for intelligent solutions. It is sad, maddening, and plain unbelievable that there are people who can be so self-serving, but then there also are those others who can reach beyond such narrowness to live in sustainable peace within their community and the world. Thank you for putting those two dimensions of our culture together for clear comparison tonight.

    How about doing a piece on Heifer International? As Paul Hawkins ("Blessed Unrest") said, social justice and environmental survival are two sides of the same coin ... likewise, sustainable lifestyles and peace are two sides of the same coin. Heifer's focus on community development and support to tackle world poverty and hunger speaks to your theme tonight of "we are only safe when everyone is safe."

    I found this program profoundly disturbing. Many thanks to Bill Moyers and his guests for documenting such a national embarrasment as the CUFI! It is absolutely incredible to me that so many people can suspend all God-given reason to embrace beliefs such as those propounded by Hagee, which have no basis in reality, rationality, or experience! It is an outrage that our president and leaders of Congress pay homage to this gathering of self-righteous nodding lunatics and warmongers. Am I on earth or Mars? We think bin Laden and Mullah Omar of the Taliban are nuts .. Hagee rides in the same boat with them (rub-a-dub-dub!)

    I also find the sudden drumbeat to war against Iran horrifying! Thirty years ago we had many Iranians in this country, many of whom I numbered among my dear friends! Why not treat the Iranians - like the Cubans - as friends, and perhaps they will reciprocate friendship... Wouldn't this be Jesus' MO? How hard is it to take tea with someone and talk of things in common? Of building personal and business relationships? (Yes, capitalists - there is money to be made in friendly relations! Think about it!)

    Does God really prefer Christians or Americans or Republicans to others in the world? Not likely! (Not with the sins we are committing!) Obviously whoever made us made all mankind, and He treats us human beings equally (witness the last tsunami, which killed all in its wake, regardless of religious faith). Hagee suggests with a straight face that Hurricane Katrina is God's punishment for giving up lands on the West Bank? Please, give me a break! One could also suggest just as seriously that God gave us Katrina to punish the Christian evangelicals of New Orleans for voting for Bush.

    I was brought up as a Christian, went to church every Sunday and prayed every night. By adulthood the hypocrisy of Christians turned me off to the faith, and looking now at Hagee, I see that Christianity, mingled with Texas-style arrogance and ignorance, has really become the embodiment of evil. If this is where we are in America, we are all doomed. The great experiment of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Thomas Paine (Read his "Age of Reason"!) is finished.

    I am a Christian; active, devout and passionate in my faith. I believe that the Bible reveals Gods nature and truth. But I oppose the concept of Biblical literalism. It is man’s interpretation that is fallible. The dispensationalist’s interpretation is just that, an interpretation. These beliefs are a fallacy that mocks Christ and is contrary his teaching and example. It takes unrelated text scattered throughout the scriptures and weaves them together as in adding 2 and 2 and coming up with 8 instead of 4.

    An alternative interpretation of the book Revelations is that these events predicted the fall of the Roman Empire and an end to the horrific persecution of early Christians. All of which took place. This book was written in “numerological code” out of the necessity of the times. It was a specific message of encouragement and comfort to those early Christians who were living in the midst these atrocities. This was a code that they understood. And was intended to let them know that God had not forgotten them and would end their suffering. It is insanity to believe that the events of this book are yet to come.

    I believe that God gave humankind free will and that he respects the freedom he gives us by letting us reap the consequences of our actions. If we start WWIII in his name out of a misguided interpretation and twisting of his word, those consequences will be great indeed.

    I pray that the prayers of Christians of reason, peace and tolerance of which Christ was the ultimate example will be enough to protect the world from this insanity. I pray that Christ will open these “true” believers eyes just as he did Paul’s on the road to Damascus. Calling for military violence in the name of God is a most profound persecution Christ. “If you have done it to the least of these you have done it unto me.”

    [i]"Have any of you read the Bible? Have you realized that it is God's written word and that everything in it either has or will come true?"[/i]

    Ya, I've read the bible.
    -The part where the men of Schechem are tricked into being genitally mutilated, then they're killed by the Israelites & their wives & children taken captive.

    -The part where Joshua destroys Jericho, the oldest civilization in the Middle East.

    -The part where a daughter is killed by her father just because the voices in his head told him to do so.

    Greek mythology has similar stories of horrible goings on, but having arrived at the 21st century, the Greeks don't go about using their foundational stories as the basis for land grabs, genocide, and mayhem on an international scale.

    Grow up, lizzie; the next time you read the bible engage some critical thinking skills.

    otherwise the boogie man is gonna get you.

    "...not my will, but Your will, be done." Here is where many err. Since at least the heady '60s, we pick and choose what we as individuals want, not what He wants. We come together politically for material gain for our special interest group (gender, sexual orientation, etc.). We spin (bear false witness) for personal/political advantage; we divorce and lead sexual lives that would make a protitute blush (but don't call me a slut); we murder our unwanted, elderly and unborn; and we ignore our responsibilities to the next generation (abuse our children, who are allowed to be born), all for the sake of self-esteem. We quote the bible, but only if it supports our goals and worldview. Politics gives insufficient consolation, when adversity strikes in our lives, in times of political upheaval, or in time of war. We are at war! Our "Greatest Generation" understood this, having weathered the Great Depression and WWII. What will our generation choose?

    One thing that got my attention was Rabbi Lerner saying the Jewish people would be doomed if the evangelical scenario comes to paas. If someone named Jesus actually did come from the skies and ruled the earth wouldnt it make sense for Jewish people to embrace him as the Messiah? What is frightening to me is that groups like Hagee's seem to believe they have to prepare the way for the return of Jesus.This view presupposes the idea that God just waits behind the scene and doesnt get involved, doesnt get on CNN to tell everyone what the deal is, but lets people like Hagee put his agenda forth. Also, Hagee's group seemed to be composed of a lot of elderly and out of shape people who couldnt do any fighting and would want others to do their fighting for them i.e. the young who have few opportunities. I am familiar with groups like Hagee's as I attended a Christian school. As mentioned in the Moyer's program, the scenario when I attended the school was that the Soviet Union would be ushering in Armageddon. Not a word then about "Islamofascists." I know there is a certain wild excitement brought about in many at the thought of a cataclysmic war to end all because then the suffering and boredom element of being alive would end and a virtual nirvana would occur.

    It is very odd that Bill Moyer takes his talking point from the extreme right wing by using the term "disputed" instead of "occupied". Imagine if one day we start calling Iraq "disputed", that is disputed between being Iraqi's and America's land.

    And as much Moyer tries to make Hagee and his gang sound rabid, don't forget, America's policy has always swung in that direction, even before Hagee came around. You should keep digging to see who has being pushing that policy all this time.

    Rabbi Lerner might have spilled the bean on the subject, but he might have reached beyond the boundary of what's acceptable by the funders of Bill Moyer's show, since the interview looks like it has been edited with some subjects sounding cut off. It is not the first time that I saw Moyer's show being edited before being shown. A small section of the premier episode of Bill Moyer's Journal was shown on Democracy Now and I was stated by someone, but by the time I saw the show, that section was not there anymore.

    It would not be hard to see who was pulling the string before Hagge come lately became a rabid supporter of Israel. All you have to do is look at who drafted the senate resolution declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist entity.

    As I listened tonight to the Journal, I felt the timeless and ageless quality of the discussion. This is nothing at all new. Human beings coming together to talk, to question, debate, analyze, reason...it's always been done, likely always will be.

    So what is the "answer?" As I look at history and consider those who have come again and again with a message of hope, usually rejected and scorned in their time, yet later held high...I am speechless at the pattern and sameness of human behaviour and human events.

    The answer, to me, has always been and will always be simple, no matter what-Peace within. Peace that is felt by each individual. For it is not "the world" that needs peace, it is each of us.

    Will wars end? I doubt it, but for individuals, that peace is stronger than any war that rages on the outside. It resides inside each of us, regardless of religion or lifestyle.

    Not practical? I disagree.

    Easy...no, but simple and possible. No one can take this belief from me, for it is my own experience that lead me to it, and I am no different than anyone else on the face of this earth.

    Every Friday night I tune in to be informed and inspired by your thoughtful and deeply honest reports and interviews, Mr. Moyers, but tonight's program was one of the most significant and needed ones yet. I thank you for your dedication and courage. May God continue to bless you with health, life, and courage to continue your work.
    It was shocking to learn about the rabid cult members cloaked as Christians who are leading our country's appetite for war. And it is important to remember that it is not only a puppet president and his cabinet who are betraying the American people and our Christian roots and branches but a large group of power hungry, fanatical religious leaders and flocks of brain washed followers, who are trying to take God's affairs into their own hands or in other words trying to be God. When I read the Bible's descriptions of the end times and look at these realities, it is people like Mr. Hagee who seem to be the false prophets we are told not to believe. Let's keep praying and looking to God to order our lives and the future of mankind. And let us love one another, care for the poor and disenfranchised, love our "enemies" and pray for them, and try to see all of God's children as our brothers and sisters, but God as Lord of all.
    I am a Christian who loves my Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters as well as my Christian ones. I read the Bible daily, and everything that I read tells my that the current administration of our dear country falsely and deceptively wears the mask of Christianity while doing so many things that are against Jesus' teachings. I try to see what concrete things I can do about it, but most of all I commend the whole situation into God's hands. It is not for us to decide the time or the place or the way. Thanks be to God!

    I watched this program and was apalled and saddened. Here are Chrisitans, advocating war. They are using the literal translations of the Bible as evidence to back up their theory that they are 'right'.

    Does this seem familiar?

    Turn it around the other way and look at the Islamic fundamentalists. This is exactly what they are professing.

    These so called religious people, like their Islamic counterparts, although not as dramatically violent, are spreading hate.

    This goes right back to WHY every war has been fought:

    It is MY LAND, not yours.

    MY RELIGION is BETTER than YOURS.

    MY RACE is better than yours.

    Is this what the U.S. needs to do now? Look at what we've gotten ourselves into in Iraq! Would another war BE the answer?

    I think not.

    What we ALL need to do is work for TOLERANCE and UNDERSTANDING OF EACH OTHER, not condemnation or twisting religious texts to justify more killing.

    We need to put our efforts into SAVING THIS PLANET and THE PEOPLE, not DESTROYING IT WITH MORE HATRED AND BLOODSHED!

    WHEN WILL THIS STOP?

    I am reminded of a powerful line in Cold Mountain: "I imagine God is weary of being called down on both sides of a war."

    I don't see God in any forms of hatred, whether they are spouted from a pulpit or from a Congress or from a foreign nation.

    Here we reach the limits of American "liberal" public television via Bill Moyers response to Israeli policies. It's called "let's redefine Christianity" so that it's more truly loving of Israel, meaning we cannot acknowledge what even the U.S. recognizes--that the Palestinian Territories are "occupied," not "disputed," as Moyers stated.

    There are many many Palestinian Christians who would find this program bizarre in its conflation of Christianity and love of Israel. Hello. Where in Bill Moyers' worldview is there room for the fact that Bethlehem and Nazareth are Palestinian Arab Christian towns, and that their inhabitants who are indigenous to the land, would not recognize as "Christian" the refusal to acknowledge that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not one between Muslims and Jews.

    Finally, what's really strange is the comparison between Ahmadinejad and Hagee. Ahmadinejad is a weak, third world dictator. Hagee has access to the halls of the world's sole superpower's Congress. His organization has far more to say about the superpower's Middle Eastern policies than any Iranian president. This "equivalence" forged by interlocutors who are so attached to Israel, even as they are not Christian Zionists, that they are content to pretend that the Iranian president has the same degree of international power as Hagee with U.S. Congress members fawning all over him, should have had to address at least one Palestinian and one Iranian, face to face.

    That would have made this show much more honest and less beholden to the media and politicians who have been ginning for increased conflict with Iran and cutting off all electricity and water for the civilian population of Gaza.

    Moyers should not look to redeem his evangelical Christian heritage at the expense of the Palestinian or Iranian peoples. It's neither just nor honest.

    Thank you for juxtaposing Amish Grace at the end of a challenging conversation on tonight's Journal. It gave me hope. I believe that a forgiving, reconciling community is what is going to save our fragile planet, if we can come together! Mr. Haggee turned me off with his judgmental attitude (I am reading Jimmy Carter's book); Rabbi Learner and your other guest helped me to examine the thinking of dispensationalists, and to takc courage in the hope expressed by Rabbi Lerner. I am so grateful to you for opening my mind every week with the Journal. Blessings on you, Bill Moyers!

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Blessed are the meek: for they shall posses the land.

    Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.

    Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.

    Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

    Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.

    Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

    Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice's sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

    Yet again Bill Moyers Journal is riveting. This program, as so many PBS programs, is excellence in journalism. This time, focusing on the Evangelical support of Israel, I, a Jew and a supporter of Israel cannot help but feel chilled after viewing this segment. I would love Bill Moyers to interview Christopher Hitchens who says "religion poisons everything". It was not so long ago that many right wing religionists were supremely anti-Semitic. One can hear that if one listens to recordings in Nixon's oval office itself with the master of religious fundamentalism Billy Graham or the radio broadcasts of Father Coughlin. Today, as one of his guests said, historical events are made to fit belief sentiments. Now, the object of Christian fundamentalist's hate has morphed from the Jew or the Communist to all Muslims or all Iranians. The focus has changed somewhat from what it was many years ago because politics and history has changed but the message of hate they deliver is still the same. If everyone claims to know the sentiments of a God then no one knows what God's sentiments really are. Religious zealotry whether Christian, Islamic or Jewish holds all of us who love rational thought hostage as their divisive beliefs engender the possibility of catastrophic war. This anti rationalism is insanity at best. Man is, indeed, an aggressive animal. Mr. Hitchens, with whom I do not always agree, is exactly correct about some things. Religion does poison everything.

    Having just finished all my Summer reading (Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Karen Armstrong, and the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster), I found this episode profoundly depressing. About 30 years ago I was affiliated with a group with a goal of devising a philosophy based on reason. When the parties could not agree on a process to proceed, I recognized the hopelessness of the task.

    But you're not a therapist, so there's no point in unloading here! After listening to the segment on Amish Grace, I realized that their values are rooted in their community, then reinforced by their faith. This reversal from the Abrahamic religions, where faith is reinforced by community, is important to our survival.

    I recalled the work of Amatai Etzioni, the great Communitarian, and wondered if it isn't time to have Dr. Etzioni on your show again.

    I could use some relief from the "outrage fatigue" I have been suffering since 2004.

    Steve

    Let me make this easy, God is in control and it is going just the way He knew it would. Now for you God haters who would say see God is causing this; no He is not. We super smart, prideful, all knowing and loving humans are doing this all by ourselves. I know all you smart people, whether you call yourselves, professors, rabbi's, Christians, God haters or whatever have all this figured out, right? The truth is simple only God knows. We wanted our freedom from God and He has given it to us and now we blame Him and His church for all the world's problems. No way could it simply be evil people no matter what title they give to themselves causing all these problems, right? Even so come LORD Jesus!

    Have any of you read the Bible? Have you realized that it is God's written word and that everything in it either has or will come true?

    This show with Rabbi Lerner and Dr. Weber sickened me because it was entirely one-sided and provided no alternate viewpoint to defend Hagee's movement. I've never heard of Hagee, but I agree with the majority of what he says because it's what I've learned from my reading of the Bible. God's grace opens our eyes to the realization of what must occur. It's nothing to be frightened of if you understand why and what is to come - I encourage these events and await the time when I stand before the Lord because I was faithful and was not victim of the left-sided, liberal concept (directed entirely by Satan)to confuse and take the focus away from the truth.

    I pray for those who are shocked and who consider this thought-process a cult. You are being deceived. This is proven in the following from Mark 13: "For many shall come in my name saying, I am he: and they shall deceive many. And when you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, fear ye not. For such things must needs be: but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places and famines. These things are the beginning of sorrows." There are more troubling times to come, but the end will be fantastic for those who know the Truth, who accept it, and who follow it. The Bible is the only Word that will NOT deceive: it's God's word.


    May God's grace come upon you so that you see the truth and repent and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior before it is too late. If you're fearful or angry from this post, well, that's to be. Satan has a hold of you and will use that fear to distract and bring you away from the Truth. Believe and trust in God and all your fears will disappear.

    truly terrifying film. I wonder if these lunatics have any idea how little power Ahmadinajad has in Iran. and that in its 200 year history Iran has never attacked another nation. why? It is against their religion. And I think that all Americans should read the actual text, correctly translated, of Ahmadinejad's now oft- quoted speech, in which the infamous statement is actually a quote from the late ayatollah=Ahmadinejad never used the word "map," instead his statement was in the context of time and applied to the Zionist regime occupying Jerusalem. Ahmadinejad was expressing his future hope that the Zionist regime in Israel would fall, not that Iran was going to physically annex the country and its population.The closest translation to what the Iranian President actually said is, "The regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time," or a narrow relative thereof. In no version is the word "map" used or a context of mass genocide or hostile military action even hinted at.they are the words of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Islamic Revolution. Although he quoted Khomeini to affirm his own position on Zionism, the actual words belong to Khomeini and not Ahmadinejad. In interviews given in the US Amnadinejad has explained his statement by stating that as long as Palestinians living in Israel are not permitted to vote, the regime is illegitimate. I tend to agree with that statement.
    http://infowars.com/articles/ww3/iran_wipe_israel_off_map_hoax.htm

    Mr. Moyers,
    Thank you for inviting Messrs. Weber & Lerner to your table, but I wish someone had been asked to speak for Iran.
    I also must protest both your representation of Ahmadinejad's statements about Israel and your failure to mention the two powerful questions the Iranian president posed to the international community from the podium at Columbia University. Ahmadinejad said, "Why may not the Holocaust be researched like any other event in history or science;" and "Given that the Jews suffered Holocaust at the hands of Christians in Europe, why, over the course of SIXTY YEARS, have Palestinians been punished for those crimes?"

    I also believe Mr. Weber misrepresented somewhat the Iranian president's belief in the return of the Mahdi. That belief is part of the Islamic religion, much as the return of Christ is part of Christianity. Hagee ratchets that general belief to a dangerous level of murderous intensity; on the other hand, having studied Dr. Ahmadinejad extensively, I see no evidence that his apocalyptic beliefs approach the zealotry of Mr. Hagee.

    Finally, I was disappointed that neither of your guests mentioned the saving grace of Persia in the bible and history of the Jewish people. But for Persia, there would be no Second Temple for Israel to restore.

    Thank you for the good work that you do, but next time, please try to more fairly represent the Persian people.

    Florence L

    I liked the having the Amish Forgiveness piece after seeing the first piece on Mr. Hagee`s group. The lack of forgiveness and understanding on the part of Mr Hagee`s group and the "Islamo-facists" is very scary. I believe both could learn by the wisdom we saw in the Amish sense of community, understanding and forgiveness.

    I'd like to believe that what we have here is simply two different fundamentalisms, Protestant and Muslim, but I really think it is the so-called "clash of civilizations." What I think we have is globalizers and traditionalists, cowboys and Indians, and the Arabs are the Indians. I think this because every evangelical religious revival in this country has been associated with the advance of capitalism (to use the simplest word for it) and the liberalisation of grace. It is not surprising to me that Jews and Catholics have been associated with them, because these evangelicals are very much like them in this, and very far from the traditional republican evangelism of people like Jonathan Edwards and his Yale followers to the mid-19th c. The problem we have, it seems to me, is that the impact of the Reformation, which was both more philosophical and educational, on the one hand, and strictly voluntarist, on the other, has been slowly wearing off as time passes. I think it is interesting to observe that in the American "culture wars" those who have defended the Indians, etc are also defending the Arabs.

    Mr. Haggee must have a twisted soul I truely feel sorry for him. We should never think the way to peace is down the road of death and war. These people are not Christians they are cult members. Israel has a right to exist in peace, but there has to be a better way then never ending war. Peace will never come to those that take that path.

    What if someone were to cause the President of Iran to take a very long sleep; for instance a permanent one. How would that change things? If might just change the future of the World and save millions.

    Oh. My. God. I haven't been this upset and depressed in many years. This segment was absolutely TERRIFYING! These people are REAL? I had NO IDEA such a cult, of such a size, existed in our country. My hero's show is still going, but I had to jump online or check myself in to the local hospital. This is truly, shockingly, incredible stuff.

    With all due respect, these guys are not Christians.

    And they are seriously disturbed.

    Mr. Moyers needs to be corrected on one point: The Occupied Territories are not "disputed" as he asserted. International law and, indeed, past agreements by the United States make the territories occupied in law. Israel is unambiguously in violation of international law.

    "Are Americans yearning for some new philosophy to fill a void left by mainstream politics?"

    Well, my thoughts may be stating the obvious, but what the heck... A choice between gullible fanatics (Christian Zionist and Islamist to start…), or the model of self-serving power-politics or various cooler headed philosophies seems to be easy enough. However, we may not need to “invent” some new philosophy.

    Those “simple” preschool values that cement trust between individuals do not depend on received religious prescriptions, but on the real outcomes of daily interactions. The age-old teachings (such as the golden rule...) that can often lead to peace of mind seem the most crucial philosophic guidelines--surely more reliable than the pathological ranting demands of religionists or politicos.

    Those most basic kindergarten-level rules do provide pre-religious, pre-hypocritical ways to avoid the distortions of “real life” dealings that leave us angry and dispirited at best. Can individual honesty or the Golden Rule be truly oversimplified? Violations of these perennial values have led to virtually all of the torment for humankind in this world to date. Tragically, most children are taught, then learn to manipulate, those modest considerations as modeled by deluded prophets and power-brokers. Still, I say, the oldest, simple truths-with or without the disembodied, voice-over deity part--may remain our surest path in this much admired and violated pursuit of happiness that Americans sell to ourselves and the world. ?

    Religions are by their nature exclusionary. If some are "chosen", by definition, some are not. I do not believe in infallibility or the devil. I just sense that there has been more disharmony throughout history because of religion than there would have been without it. From my perspective, any impediment to free thought leads to a stagnation of the evolution of the human spirit and intellect. The challenge for humanity is to find the commonality among all people, celebrating our similarities as well as our differences. I do not see religion serving the best interests of humanity. I respect all people but strongly oppose U.S. support of the brutal regime of Israel. I resent that the U.S. government sees fit to give Israeli citizens more money per person than they give to their own citizens here at home. I find the whole situation very, very scary.

    Are Americans yearning for some new philosophy to fill a void left by mainstream politics?

    My quick answer to the question above is no. I say that because politics has never filled a spiritual void. Politics is what it has always been - a competition for power and to influence others. Americans have always gone through periods when they are trying to find a more spiritual or less material answer to problems. For example - the spiritualist movement in the late 19th and early 20th century - so this is really nothing new, just another curve in the cycle.

    Render onto Ceasar...
    We need hold govts more accountable, rather than look elsewhere.
    Especially in wartime! How many wars or incidents are 'manufactured' for political or religious gain?
    At what cost?

    e.g.
    Chicago Tribune Special report
    New revelations in attack on American spy ship
    Veterans, documents suggest U.S., Israel didn't tell full story of deadly '67 incident
    October 2, 2007

    For Lockwood and many other survivors, the anger is mixed with incredulity: that Israel would attack an important ally, then attribute the attack to a case of mistaken identity by Israeli pilots who had confused the U.S. Navy's most distinctive ship with an Egyptian horse-cavalry transport that was half its size and had a dissimilar profile. And they're also incredulous that, for years, their own government would reject their calls for a thorough investigation.

    "They tried to lie their way out of it!" Lockwood shouts. "I don't believe that for a minute! You just don't shoot at a ship at sea without identifying it, making sure of your target!"

    Four decades later, many of the more than two dozen Liberty survivors located and interviewed by the Tribune cannot talk about the attack without shouting or weeping.

    Their anger has been stoked by the declassification of government documents and the recollections of former military personnel, including some quoted in this article for the first time, which strengthen doubts about the U.S. National Security Agency's position that it never intercepted the communications of the attacking Israeli pilots -- communications, according to those who remember seeing them, that showed the Israelis knew they were attacking an American naval vessel.

    The documents also suggest that the U.S. government, anxious to spare Israel's reputation and preserve its alliance with the U.S., closed the case with what even some of its participants now say was a hasty and seriously flawed investigation.

    In declassifying the most recent and largest batch of materials last June 8, the 40th anniversary of the attack, the NSA, this country's chief U.S. electronic-intelligence-gatherer and code-breaker, acknowledged that the attack had "become the center of considerable controversy and debate." It was not the agency's intention, it said, "to prove or disprove any one set of conclusions, many of which can be drawn from a thorough review of this material," available at http://www.nsa.gov/liberty .


    I think that we all must remember that more suffering has been caused in the name of religion than any other. There exist no greater means for the manipulation of hearts and minds. So, as we continue with the discussion of religion and politics, let us remember that rationality and reason must prevail in order for realistic solutions to arise.

    Religion has always and will always be a force in American politics. Americans are a religious people, so to not expect them to consider their beliefs when voting, is naive. I can only hope that the American tradition of respecting/accepting others beliefs, will keep us from becoming a theocracy.

    Americans are yearning for meaning, for community (as in "common unity"), for positive creativity, for love. Of course, humans always have. And now it is intensifying as we are all aware of the whole world every day. But any "new" philosophy of truth and wisdom must also be old, even timeless, based as it is on truth.

    At the root of all religions is love – love of living, of life, of creation and of an ultimate creator or source. To revive this common and silent thread of love we have to pay attention to it and be willing to suspend other beliefs or anything else that obstructs. Due to lack of love, the misery around the world and indeed, in this country, is increasing. This in turn intensifies the will to find and feel love.

    Our dependence on money, property, coercive power will not ever deliver the love we yearn for, rather, quite the opposite. This dependence is rooted in a sense of separateness; an isolation that crossfeeds with a slipshod, mentally fabricated entity called ego. All self-interest emanates from this cut-off, fragmented identity. But this self-interest can also inadvertently lead to a transcendence of its limits, if there is a will to be still and see.

    There is a quietly growing movement, led by honest people who walk the talk, away from the petty, the divisive, the resistant egoic tendencies in us, toward what is profoundly yet simply real and true. Words cannot properly describe it, and certainly can't deliver it, so I must end here.

    Maybe it is possible. I think theoretically, certain strands of society have always called to a higher force when things are rough going in the mortal realm. I won't use this forum to criticize Evangelicals (although constructive criticism is warranted) but I wonder about the state that they are in. I know they are conservative and are in the south but is there something else to them? My idea is that they are primarily working class, with a large part of them on the lower end of the economic scale. They lead harder lives then some which propogates strong religious culture. Any comments/follow up?

    It is very disheartening and alarming to realize that diabolical forces have captured the words of Jesus to attempt to achieve un-Christian ends. It is no different than the terror espoused by Islamic fascists who distort the teachings of a great religion. The American government is controlled today by unlearned and close-minded individuals, particularly President Bush and Vice President Cheney, and their principal handlers. They appeal to an increasing segment of the population who have no sense of history nor appreciation for the culture of other nations. Unfortunately, these people have a cowboy mentality and espouse the worst evils of the capitalist system. Too many Americans suffer from the myth that American democracy is the epitome among nation states. Americans have a great deal yet to learn about themselves and the evils of those who govern the nation. Most of all, Christians and Jews alike need to take an in-depth look at Israel and recognize that it is not a Middle East ideal. Christians who hold uncompromising beliefs in Israel fail to understand the teachings of Jesus. His teachings have been distorted in the past and are again the basis for a capitalist philosophy of hate, death and destruction.

    For the record, I'm not anti-Israel by any stretch of the imagination. However, there is something inherently wrong with the very popular Christian Zionist movement. Blessing Israel(as the bible instructs) is very different from blindly supporting all its policy, especially those pertaining to the God-given rights of the Palestinian people.

    "Are Americans yearning for some new philosophy to fill a void left by mainstream politics?"

    Is mainstream politics meant to fullfill everything, or am I missing something here? If you sample a random person from the population and analyze a cross-section of his thoughts, one will discover no musings on politics. Politics, in my humble opinion, is merely a nuisance that no one can circumvent.

    "It has an emphasis on truly trying to take seriously the teaching of Jesus to love one another, visit the lonely, clothe the naked and heal the sick.
    BOB"

    Thank you Bob, you have just stated the essence of Christianity. Following the teachings of Christ to help the less fortunate spreads the love of Jesus to all mankind.

    Too many snake oil salesmen have co-opted the basic good nature of Christians throughout the ages to gain personal power and wealth and spread a message of intolerance and hate. God's gift to us all is found right here on earth through the love and support of our fellow travelers, not just in heaven.

    Religious movements have always been popular. I think they have always been trying to address that age old question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Why are bad things happening to us? In ancient times it often had to do with, simply, the weather, because people didn't understand the forces driving the weather.

    In America today I think it is from an economy that is getting harder for people to make ends meet in. Just like in the old days, people don't understand the forces driving the economy and making it harder for them. They don't see the leaders (the politicians) addressing this.

    The answer is not in heaven though, and there is an answer. It's in realizing the corporations, run by the elite, which are making vast amounts of money, see the stock market, are driving the economy so it will work in their interest, not in people's interest. The corporations have coopted the politicians through our system of legalized bribery; that's why very few politicians will address this. Those that do are marganilized by the mass media, again coopted, through ownership, by the corporations.

    So, the answer is in perceiving this and staying focused on opposing it. Seeing through the charade of the mass media, the scapegoats and distractions, and false explainations it creates and honing in on opposing the status quo. It's hard to see how you can do this, but voting for every third party candidate you can find might be a good start.

    Dear Mr. Moyer,
    It is good to see that you are addressing both the ministry of Mr. Haggee and the perception of Mr. Amadinijan, as being one of basicly sincere and approachable, as well as, apparently, rational.
    It is difficult to have people who are friends and relatives espouse the idea that they/we must help God to fulfill his promise to bring the Jewish folk to their promised land, in order to expedite prophesied events.
    How can the Palestinian situation be ignored, when the realities have been documented, and are so horrible? I'm thankful that the Nennonite Central Committee's representatives who have lived in the territory have spoken honestly to share the realities there.
    Sometimes, one feels so alone in having opinions that are not and cannot be shared!
    Sincerely,
    Mertie Neff

    I'm filling the void by supporting The Center for Voting and Democracy in their efforts to make third parties viable. Once a new party without the baggage of the Republicans and Democrats can join the race without triggering outcry over vote-splitting, we should see some real competition instead of the current depressing duopoly.

    As a Christian, I am sickened and angered by this movment. They are the true FALSE Profits and are leading so many astray. I am dumbfounded and astonished. And the fact that they have infiltrated our government is alarming.

    "At the recent annual CUFI summit in Washington, D.C., prominent politicians were present to pledge support for this growing movement, including Senators John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, as well as former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Lieberman particularly sang Hagee's praise: "

    God help us all.

    Bob Pearson cheers for advocates of preemptive attack on Iran as a way to oppose Capitalism's "millitarist government policies"! Is that meant to be a demonstration that people of faith show it by defying logic?

    The emerging church is very much tapping into this need to find a new vision and hope for the world. It has an emphasis on truly trying to take seriously the teaching of Jesus to love one another, visit the lonely, clothe the naked and heal the sick. This amounts to making the kingdom of God real in the world now, not waiting to get to heaven to enjoy it.

    It is taking on Capitalism's unchecked consumerism, militarist government policies, and other social and environmental issues head on. Read Brien Mclaren's new book "Every thing must change" to get a good view...

    Bob

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