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Josh-D. S. Davis

Xaminmo / Omnimax / Max Omni / Mad Scientist / Midnight Shadow / Radiation Master

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Josh 201604 KWP
joshdavis
I'm really disappointed at the amount of hatred that's being spewed.

I recently got an email telling me, "I hope they wrapped his body in pigskin before the dropped him in the ocean!"

I feel that for a nation that claims to be so heavily Christian, this is about the most un-Christian sentiment possible.

Further, it's exactly this kind of disrespect, hostility, anger, etc that has perpetuated this global feud.

Finally, I fear it will fuel anti-American movements, just as the 2001 "now the Americans get to see what it's like..." statements fueled anti-Islam and anti-middle-east sentiment in the US.

On the flip side, I know people need to vent. I'm just worried about global escalation.

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I can't believe you got an email like that.

I completely agree.

(it was from a family member too)

Well said, that's how I feel but I'm so scared by what other people are saying it's hard to say the opposite D:

Afraid they'll say "YER UN UMERKIN! WE GOAN GIT YEW!" ??? :)

I'm glad there was an effort at proper burial rites, even if they didn't have a place of soil to put the body. Still some people upset, but they are calmly upset which is a big sign that they did the right thing, or at least didn't do horrible disrespect.

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Lots of people "wanted" the sept 11 attacks on us. I think he had some valid grievances initially, even if I wouldn't have agreed with his reasoning at the time.

Unfortunately, his grievances turned into fanatacism. We didn't help him along anywhere, but he definitely became a symbol for baseless hatred of Americans for being different than his way of life.

For that, I am relieved that he can no longer directly shape the course of human history. However, he was already replaced as a leader, and was only infrequently used as a voice for the current leadership.

Osama bin Laden has not been crucial for al Qaeda for a long time, so he's more of a symbol than anything. Being respectful about him sends a message to those who revered him that the battle was not simply about "killing that damned Muslim". There are people alive now who weren't alive when all this started. Defensive actions need to be taken with respect, dignity and honor. The statement we got in email was not just disrespectful to him, it was disrespectful to all Muslims, and was taking joy in another person's death. That's very different from being relieved.

Regarding the Christian part, Leviticus is a book of rules for the covenant with God as written by priests, supposedly as handed down by God. It's a holy book to all three of the middle-eastern religions.

However, Christian to me means following the words of Y'shua ben Yosef. The canonical gospels take precedence over the others. To me, a supposed quotation of Jesus' words wins out over scripture written by priests in his absence when determining the Christianness of an act.

There are three quotations of the same sitting in which Jesus is asked "What is the greatest commandment" and it is said, in summary, love God and love your Neighbor. Neighbor is further quantified to be anyone, even the most despicable heathen.

[Luke 10:25] And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" [26]He said to him, âœWhat is written in the Law? How do you read it?" [27]And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." [28]And he said to him, âœYou have answered correctly; do this, and you will live."

[Mark 12:28] And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?" [29]Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. [30]And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' [31]The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

[Matthew 22:36] "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" [37]And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. [38]This is the great and first commandment. [39]And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' [40]On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."

Another quote from Jesus, from a different setting:
[John 13:34] A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Paul, basically the first Pope, repeats this:
Paul's letter to the [Galatians 5:14] For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." [15]But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Paul's Letter to the [Romans 13:8] Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.


Edited at 2011-05-03 01:31 am (UTC)

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I think where the defensive part become arguable is that ObL is not and has not been a major player in hostilities towards the US for many years. Any strike against him as a person at this point in history (or a few days ago, or a few months ago) is not a defensive strike. It would be like me tracking down that guy who punched me in High School and punching him back. Or maybe you going after Lou Gerstner because your stock options were worthless after he left IBM.

Defense at this point would have been an attack on the active leadership for their active role in anti-western activities. Proper punishment would be capturing ObL and putting him on trial. Technically, that's what they did. He just put up a fight and died in the fight. It was the only way for it to go down, and I have no ill feelings about what transpired in the killing of him.

I just don't like that people are being nasty about it and rejoicing in death.

As for the meaning of Christianity, that's true. I can only project my own interpretation, just as others must use theirs. Plenty of people think being Christian means killing the nonbelievers such as Muslims. Plenty of people think the belief in Christ as part of the Trinity is the only component that makes someone a Christian. On the flip side, the first Christians would have been those that followed the teachings of Christ, The Messiah, The Anointed One, Jesus, Joshua son of Joseph, Yeshua ben Yousef, etc. There's definitely a big grey area in the middle, and an inclusion of various gospels, canon, non-canon, gnostic, etc.

I think this is why I would never declare myself a Christian, because the religious institutions are so far from their origins, and so far from what I'm comfortable with. Just because people call themselves Christian doesn't make them Christian. (Nor does my lack of acknowledgement of their label serve to formally negate it). The term itself doesn't really have a meaning anymore, so I have to make my own determinations.

Based on that, my interpretation is that a Jew, Muslim, or any derivative, or anyone else really, who follows the "most important commandments" of Love God, Love Neighbor would be classified by me as a christian with a lowercase c (why capitalize "messenger"?).

Of course, the term "God" is very very very flexible to me as well. The terminology of God being "one" and how it's portrayed, implies to me that in includes everything. The universe, people, the Earth, other galaxies, etc. The natural world is God and vice versa, and Religion as practiced from the Middle-Eastern world is a personification and abstraction of the collective intelligence of the universe -- the combination of all butterfly effects, every thought, every happening. As such, if someone loves everyone -- fills their heart with love -- then that is essentially the same as loving God. (It also means that we must love ourselves to complete the act).

Blasphemy, I know, but it's the only way I can rationalize the different way people look at God or Gods into one structure.

Blah Blah. Hi, religious rant. Tangental, and hijacking of this thread somewhat. I'm leaving it, because hopefully I'll stumble across it again in the future and use it to reassess my belief.

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Re: (Part 1 Subpart A)

I think trying to clarify semantics may come across as me trying to disagree with fundamental points which I am not in argument about. I don't mean to imply anything else. Regardless of our transgressions against him, I feel his attacks on us were inappropriate. Regardless of his recent activity level, I do feel he needed to be removed from play and punished. I think punishment of imprisonment would have greatly exceeded the punishment of death, all things considered; however, I'm content with his death rather than him being able to use his influence. I wouldn't expect he would have given himself up without a fight. I'm glad our troops were able to end the confrontation quickly.

The semantics I'm concerned about are the definition of "defensive" and whether we should be dignified in our responses to current, past or perceived threats. The thread went like this:
JSD: "Defensive actions need to be taken with respect, dignity and honor."

JAD: "In general, I do not agree with this sentiment. If I have to initiate a defensive measures to protect myself, my priority is to protect myself from those attacking me."

JSD: "I think where the defensive part become arguable is that ObL is not and has not been a major player in hostilities towards the US for many years. Any strike against him as a person at this point in history (or a few days ago, or a few months ago) is not a defensive strike."

JAD: "To me, a strike against OBL now is not like the analogy that you provided."

I think my analogy just clouded things. Point #2 was that, regardless of any analogy, and regardless of statute of limitations on murder, a strike against ObL is not by definition defensive.

Even that was a clouding tangent, because Point #1 was was that, defensive actions, and punishment actions, need to be with respect and honor. I can understand that you may not agree, but to me, acting with dignity in this isn't about ObL. It's about us and our presentation to the world and ourselves. We've all seen the problems that came about from the lack of respect and the mistreatment of Guantanamo Bay Detainment Facility.

Luckily, I think the US leadership is trying really hard to be respectful. The fact that we went after ObL at his compound rather than simply bombing it was a good choice. It shows that we tried to ensure we were going after who we wanted and were not indiscriminately blowing people up in hopes of getting him. The fact that we tried to honor Islamic burial rites as much as possible shows respect. Those are all good things and limit the damage we do to our respectability in the eyes of the world.

Unfortunately, the public openly rejoicing in his death, and wishing he were wrapped in pig skin (it's not just our emailer who thinks that), shows a complete lack of respect, and is generally an undignified reaction to what happened. It reflects poorly on our country.


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And even in Leviticus, it's repeated, though not as strongly:
Leviticus 19:18 Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

What happens is that people try really hard to make sure that any outsider is not "one of your people". This is addressed further in the same section of Luke.

[Luke 10:29] But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

[30] In reply Jesus said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. [31]A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. [32]So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. [33]But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. [34]He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. [35]The next day he took out two denarii* and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'"

[36] "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

[37] The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."

Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."


The modern day comparison would be a scruffy guy in his underwear, lying in the bushes, just outside a small town. Looks pretty much like homeless Bob. A priest is all dressed for service, and hurries past. Last thing he wants to do is get his clothes dirty trying to help a homeless guy who probably doesn't want to be helped anyway. He probably smells like beer. Then a Muslim taxi driver happens past and notices what's happened. The driver cleans him up, gets him medical assistance, and puts him up in a hotel until he's well enough to travel back home.

Not directly translatable, but basically, it means everyone who might need your help is your neighbor, no matter who they are or from where they come.

Turn the other cheek is also good. There's no need to put yourself and your family directly in harm's way, but there's also no reason to retaliate. Take care of business and move along.

Edited at 2011-05-03 01:32 am (UTC)

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Although, my secondary religious belief may be that Rosa's Cafe is SO YUMMY!

Out of order post! YAY!

(Deleted comment)
Tuesdays are bad for Rosa's. Supper time is moderately busy.

We might feel weird letting you pay for us on any other day though.

Plus, if the laptop ever sells, I might owe you... though right now, it's a Russian scammer trying to get me to send the laptop for free and yelling at me for not answering questions he never sent. :o

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I didn't mean to show contradiction, just the basis for my interpretation.

My interpretation is that there are so many "clarifying" statements from his disciples, and not so many "this is the most important" statements from Jesus himself.

I'll definitely agree with you though that my interpretation, while perfectly logical to ME, is truly my interpretation, and can only be expected to guide me and my actions.

I'm pretty sure there are almost as many interpretations as there are people, and even among groups of people and "churches" within branches of the various religions there might be major variations.

I feel strongly that for human beings to become better human beings, that is the type of sentiment people should work hard to avoid. There's war, there's politics, but then there's plain old primitive and dirty bloodlust, which is what that is.

Indeed. I couldn't come up with the right term, but that's it.

I completely understand the sentiment, and the frustration, but I can't agree with it. We've had enough time to grapple with our emotions over the main event which caused such hostility against him that a more civil response would be expected. *sigh*

I like your post on Ryan's thread, and I'm copying it here.
Elizabeth wrote: ""I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." --Martin Luther King, Jr."

I discovered all of 30 minutes later that it wasn't really an MLK quote. That said, I don't feel like it's any less true.

The first line was from Jessica Dovey on Facebook. The rest was in quotes separately, but the quotes were lost to the internet. Here's a screenshot:
http://i.imgur.com/cqtjw.jpg
The MLK lines came from this text:
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
Ref: Martin Luther King Jr., "Where do we go from here: Chaos or community?" (1967)

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction....The chain reaction of evil--hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars--must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.
Ref: Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength To Love, 1963.

"Returning hate for hate multiplies hate..."
Ref: A Martin Luther King Treasury (1964), p. 173

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I agree with you and I'm thankful that I'm seeing that a good portion of my friends over on facebook share this same sentiment. Unfortunately, some members of my family feel it's worth celebrating death. I just don't feel comfortable, despite not being Christian or religious at all for that matter, celebrating death on any level. The footage I've been seeing of people cheering in streets reminds me so much of what we saw broadcast after 9/11 across the globe from us. I think we're inviting the wrong attention, completely.

I'm not overtly Christian nor religious, but I do think that loving one another and forgiveness is a spiritual component that is important to hang on to. It's too easy to let anger, and frustration turn into rage and hatred.

I'm not a pacifist in any way. I'm all for self protection, etc. I just don't agree with rejoicing in the death of another. Feeling relief is OK. Taking comfort in it is OK. But this person was not so different from us, and allowing our anger to turn into hatred and rage is the direct path to how he became who he was.

But, FEEL THE POWER OF THE DARK SIDE! JOIN ME AND WE WILL RULE THE WORLD!

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Re: Religion vs Belief

Definitely not. I'm not sure when or where the first attack was, but we've been pecking at eachother for a long time.

Re: Religion vs Belief

Our government, along with Great Britain, has definitely funded radical extremists in an effort to invade, occupy and overthrow middle eastern governments which don't follow our plans.

As to him as a person, every person, when pushed past a certain point, will become an extremist, or a rebel.

There is always an effort to justify why someone is an outsider, so we don't have to consider them human. It makes it easier to exploit them, and disrespect any groups to which they are affiliated. This alienation is a major contributor to ongoing global conflict between Western and Middle-Eastern nations. Our answer has been to support westernization through economic and military resources where financially beneficial to us.


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