Also sometimes referred to as secular, modern, or humanistic. This is an umbrella term for Protestant denominations, or churches within denominations, that view the Bible as the witness of God rather than the word of God, to be interpreted in its historical context through critical analysis. Examples include some churches within Anglican/Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and United Church of Christ. There are more than 2,000 Protestant denominations offering a wide range of beliefs from extremely liberal to mainline to ultra-conservative and those that include characteristics on both ends.
|•||Belief in Deity |
Trinity of the Father (God), the Son (Christ), and the Holy Spirit that comprises one God Almighty. Many believe God is incorporeal.
Beliefs vary from the literal to the symbolic belief in Jesus Christ as God's incarnation. Some believe we are all sons and daughters of God and that Christ was exemplary, but not God.
|•||Origin of Universe and Life |
The Bible's account is symbolic. God created and controls the processes that account for the universe and life (e.g. evolution), as continually revealed by modern science.
|•||After Death |
Goodness will somehow be rewarded and evil punished after death, but what is most important is how you show your faith and conduct your life on earth.
|•||Why Evil? |
Most do not believe that humanity inherited original sin from Adam and Eve or that Satan actually exists. Most believe that God is good and made people inherently good, but also with free will and imperfect nature, which leads some to immoral behavior.
Various beliefs: Some believe all will go to heaven, as God is loving and forgiving. Others believe salvation lies in doing good works and no harm to others, regardless of faith. Some believe baptism is important. Some believe the concept of salvation after death is symbolic or nonexistent.
|•||Undeserved Suffering |
Most Liberal Christians do not believe that Satan causes suffering. Some believe suffering is part of God's plan, will, or design, even if we don't immediately understand it. Some don't believe in any spiritual reasons for suffering, and most take a humanistic approach to helping those in need.
|•||Contemporary Issues |
Most churches teach that abortion is morally wrong, but many ultimately support a woman's right to choose, usually accompanied by policies to provide counseling on alternatives. Many are accepting of homosexuality and gay rights.
Friday, April 22, 2005
Commentary: Benedict abused as 'nazi pope'
By Uwe Siemon-Netto
UPI Religious Affairs Editor
Published April 21, 2005
"Nazi pope a clear and present danger to the civilized world," read the headline of a reader's letter in a forum of NYTimes.com, The New York Times' Web site.
It wasn't the worst abuse leveled at Pope Benedict XVI, the former Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, a German. Type the words "Nazi pope" into the Google search line, and you will get nearly 700 mentions.
"Seig Heil, hail Mary!" read one post, misspelling German word for victory, which is "Sieg."
"What can you expect from a filthy Nazi?" asked one blogger quoted, with horror, by National Review Online. The blogger went on: "...Nazi bas-- wearing a dress and no doubt with a past in child-molesting."
The Internet is of course the kooks' playground, where anti-German prejudices are safe to disseminate for a simple reason: unlike organizations representing blacks, Jews, Italians or the Irish, their German-American counterparts hardly ever raise a fuss.
"We are somewhat reticent," Ernst Ott, chairman of the German-American National Congress known as DANK, told United Press International Thursday.
"We mustn't react impulsively. The more we say the worse things become. It's much better to enlighten people."
There are some German-Americans who believe that this kind of quietism has only made matters worse in the six decades since the end of World War II, and particularly after Germany's reunification in 1990.
Before Ratzinger's elevation to the papacy, the worst outburst of Germanophobia in the United States occurred on July 25, 2000, when an Air France Concorde crashed in Paris, killing more than 100 passengers, mainly German tourists.
Jubilant messages celebrating the "German barbecue" filled America Online's chat rooms. When this correspondent protested to AOL he received no reply, and the abuse was not stopped.
Now, however, things have become even more egregious, complained Werner Baroni, former editor and publisher of Amerika-Woche, a German-language weekly.
"Ever since Ratzinger has become pope I have a hard time bringing down my blood sugar level," Baroni, a diabetic, went on.
A meticulous journalist of the old school, 77-year old Baroni fumes, "I don't know what upsets me more -- the insults or the historical sloppiness with which the American media treat Ratzinger's youth.
"They show an old photograph of a young man in uniform claiming that was Ratzinger in the Hitler Youth. In reality, the picture showed him in the fatigues of an anti-aircraft gunner."
As one who has been through similarly horrifying experiences, Baroni is outraged by the self-righteousness with which the American media treat this subject.
It was, he said, yet another Nazi crime to assign children to flak positions where they would be killed or maimed by the tens of thousands.
True, Ratzinger was in the Hitler Youth, the paramilitary organization in which membership was compulsory after 1941. Still, he managed to drop out by insisting that it was incompatible with his life in a pre-seminary.
The Jerusalem Post newspaper cleared him of any culpability and ridiculed those who suggest that pope Benedict was a closet Nazi. It mocked people accusing him of being a "theological anti-Semite for believing in Jesus so strongly that -- gasp! -- he thinks anyone, even Jews, should accept him as the Messiah."
Added the Post, "To all this we should say, 'This is news?'"
To the burgeoning species of Internet gasbags it clearly was news.
"I bet you this neo-Nazi pope will have the Swiss guards goose stepping on St. Peter's Square in no time," predicted one blogger.
Of course, it is questionable whether such attacks on the pontiff, a saintly and particularly mild scholar, are truly aimed against the German people.
"They knock the Germans but they are motivated by their anti-Catholicism," Catholic League president William Donohue proposed.
New York Times columnist Maureen Down seemed to prove Donohue right by stirring all the elements she considered disagreeable about Ratzinger and his church into one venomous brew:
"Joseph Ratzinger, (is) a 78-year-old hidebound archconservative who ran the office that used to be called the Inquisition and who once belonged to Hitler Youth.
"For American Catholics -- especially women and pro-choice Catholic pols -- the cafeteria is officially closed. After all, Cardinal Ratzinger, nicknamed God's Rottweiler' and 'the Enforcer,' helped deny Communion rights to John Kerry..."
Still, this bundle of clichés at least does not include the word "Nazi pope." This term was entered America's foremost paper via the Readers' Opinion section of NYTimes.com and caused dismay at the Anti-Defamation League.
"We reject that outright," ADL spokeswoman Mryna Shinebaum told UPI. Her national director, Abraham H. Foxman, had welcomed Ratzinger's election. " Cardinal Ratzinger has great sensitivity to Jewish history and the Holocaust. He has shown this sensitivity countless times," Foxman stated.
Was it ethical, then, for NYTimes.com to publish a text accusing pope Benedict XVI of being a Nazi?
Toby Usnik, the Times' director of public relations seems to think so. "We choose not to censor such posts unless they are abusive, defamatory or obscene. While we believe that this post stretches the truth of the pope's youth, we do not believe it violates our policies," he informed UPI.
"This calls for another insulin shot," fumed Baroni. "It would clearly be abusive if you labeled a black man with the 'N word,'" he said.
"But in the Times' mindset there's evidently nothing defamatory about calling a German pope a Nazi -- in other words a member of a species guilty of a genocide."
Copyright © 2005 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
The issue arguably cost John Kerry the presidential election, and Kansas has just become the eighteenth state to constitutionally ban it, yet there are reasons to feel optimistic about the granting of full civil rights to people who have chosen a life partner of the same sex.
Even as the heartland state was enshrining bigotry in its constitution, a bipartisan legislative majority in Connecticut this month approved same-sex civil unions--and, unlike the laws allowing same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and civil unions in Vermont, this one was not in response to a court order.
More important, we continue to see public expressions of what I am calling the Finkelstein Phenomenon: The slow but inexorable societal acknowledgment that gay people are real people living real lives, not an abstraction or a subculture. And many of them are Republicans.
Arthur Finkelstein, for example, is an enormously effective right-wing GOP political operative who revealed recently that in December he took advantage of the groundbreaking and much-maligned Massachusetts law to marry his longtime partner. When asked why, he cited "visitation rights, healthcare benefits and other human relationship contracts."
Finkelstein, in the past, must have conveniently forgotten his own interests when he helped engineer the election of known conservative gay-bashers such as Jesse Helms. He represents--along with Dick Cheney's highly regarded lesbian daughter and the Log Cabin Republicans--yet another example for conservatives of how being gay is much more fundamental than a "lifestyle choice." In fact, it is just another manifestation of the human experience.
Acknowledging this, the Connecticut Legislature granted gay couples the same tax advantages, family leave privileges, hospital visitation rights and other benefits now reserved for heterosexual married couples. And although the state's Republican governor did manage to have an amendment inserted into the bill defining marriage as a union of a man and a woman, the law's opponents were right when they said that this partial civil rights victory will ultimately lead to the legal acceptance of gay marriage.
"It's hard to believe that the train, as it rolls down the tracks, is going to stop at this station," complained state Sen. John Kissel, who voted against it. "Going down this track has a price to it."
The price may be high for bigots. But as many whites learned in the post-segregation South, there is a far greater gain in learning to respect people who are "different" and to live with them constructively.
Although racial segregation was a "traditional value" for most of this nation's existence, it was belatedly overturned as subversive of the values of a democratic society, as discrimination against gays will be.
Integration was most ardently opposed by Southern white Baptist preachers who cited the Bible, and now we hear the same Scripture-based attacks on gay marriage. Yet this is hypocritically selective because Christian writings are full of historical anachronisms, such as the acceptance of polygamy and women-as-chattel. Marriage to a divorcee, a common occurrence even among conservatives, is expressly forbidden in Matthew (5:27-32): "...whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."
In any case, religious interpretations should never intrude on matters of secular law, as has occurred relentlessly in the same-sex marriage debate. But faced with a logical and long-building civil rights movement spurred by the "coming out" of millions of regular Americans, conservative politicians have fallen back on "traditional religious values" because they can find no other convincing argument for supporting repression.
As San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer wrote last week in reaffirming his preliminary ruling in March, laws limiting marriage to a man and a woman discriminate against same-sex couples on the basis of gender without a legitimate state interest for doing so.
"To say that all men and all women are treated the same in that each may not marry someone of the same gender misses the point," Kramer wrote, dismissing the state's argument that tradition provided sufficient grounds for such discrimination.
As it has been for racial minorities, women and immigrants, the progressive acquisition of civil rights is marked by partial victories, regional setbacks and flare-ups of naked hostility and even violence. Yet the pattern is clear: The breakthrough Connecticut legislation eventually will be followed by other states and the nation as a whole because it is so obviously an extension of rights that all citizens in a democracy deserve.
I spit on Michael A. Smith. Anyone who was so dumb as to serve in Vietnam deserves to be spit upon. In my opinion Jane Fonda is a great American. Long live Jane Fonda!
Police: Man Arrested For Spitting On Jane Fonda
Fonda Declines To Press Charges
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
|Pope Benedict XVI blesses a joyous crowd at St. Peter's Square. Tne new pope was a close associate of John Paul II.|
The election of Ratzinger, the powerful dean of the College of Cardinals, after 24 hours of voting sends the signal that there is widespread confidence in the new pope's ability to build on the successful, 26-year pontificate of John Paul.
But the 78-year-old child of the Alpine foothills of Bavaria is also likely to be viewed as a transitional figure, because of his age, and as a controversial choice among the church's more moderate factions. His dour public personality and ferocious devotion to church doctrine during his nearly 25 years as a high-ranking Vatican official has earned him the nickname "God's Rottweiler" in news accounts around the world. He has a reputation as a staunchly conservative protector of Catholic beliefs.
Ratzinger is the oldest cardinal to be named pope since Clement XII, who was also 78 when he became pope in 1730. He is the first German pope since Victor II (1055-1057).
Ratzinger has decried any brand of feminism that makes women "adversaries of men." He wrote a letter to U.S. bishops urging them to deny communion to politicians who support abortion rights. He once called homosexuality a tendency toward "intrinsic moral evil" and called the outcry over pedophilia by priests in the USA a "planned campaign" against the church.
During the pre-conclave Mass on Monday in St. Peter's Basilica, Ratzinger declared that the Catholic church is "moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as definitive and has as its highest value one's own ego and one's own desires."
"Benedict XVI sees himself as guardian of authentic Catholic tradition, respected for consistency and yet willing to listen. He's spent decades discerning authentic Catholic doctrine, so I don't expect him to change his stripes," says Alan Schreck, chairman of theology at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.
Even in his native Germany, Ratzinger is controversial. A recent poll for Der Spiegel news weekly showed Germans opposed to Ratzinger becoming pope outnumbered supporters 36%-29%, and 17% had no preference. The poll of 1,000 people, taken April 5-7, gave no margin of error.
But some church experts suggested Ratzinger's image was an unfair stereotype and that he could emerge as a more moderate voice.
"Despite the gross and rather unfair representation that's been given in his cartoon image in the progressive media, he's not the grand inquisitor he's made out to be," says Russell Shaw, a former press secretary to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Schreck says the cardinal disparaged by liberals as "the enforcer" — or worse — is really a charming, intelligent man, willing to listen. Schreck recalled seeing Cardinal Ratzinger meeting with theology students, many highly critical, in the 1980s in Toronto and being impressed with his open mind.
Ratzinger's choice of the name Benedict XVI seemed to be a gesture toward those who fear he could be too hard-line to be a 21st-century pontiff. The last Pope Benedict served from 1914-1922 and become known for quietly moderating the orthodox rule of his predecessor Pius X.
Pope Benedict XV tried in vain to end World War I and sent such large quantities of wartime aid to Turkey that a statue of him was erected in Istanbul. Ratzinger, ironically, has publicly cautioned the European Union against admitting Turkey, a majority Muslim nation.
Born in the Bavarian town of Marktl Am Inn in 1927 — he celebrated his 78th birthday Saturday — Ratzinger's young life was shaped by the horrors of Nazism. Raised by a policeman father and a mother who worked as a hotel cook, Ratzinger entered the seminary as a teenager, but World War II intervened
Ratzinger joined the Hitler Youth in 1941, when he was 14, at a time when membership was compulsory. He quickly was allowed to leave the group because of his seminary training. "Ratzinger was only briefly a member of the Hitler Youth and not an enthusiastic one," wrote his biographer, John Allen.
During the war, Ratzinger was drafted into an anti-aircraft unit that protected a BMW factory making aircraft engines. The workforce included laborers from the Dachau concentration camp.
Ratzinger has insisted he never took part in combat. He deserted in April 1944 and spent a short time in a prisoner of war camp. His brother Georg told the London Times recently that they both opposed the Nazi regime but were powerless to resist.
"Resistance was truly impossible," Georg Ratzinger told the paper. "Before we were conscripted, one of our teachers said we should fight and become heroic Nazis, and another told us not to worry as only one soldier in a thousand was killed. But neither of us ever used a rifle against the enemy."
After the war, Ratzinger's career in the church quickly progressed. He was ordained in 1951 at age 24 and was appointed the bishop of Munich in 1977 by Pope Paul VI.
An accomplished pianist who loves Mozart, Ratzinger was elevated to cardinal in three months — and met Karol Wojtyla, who would become Pope John Paul II, that same year.
John Paul brought Ratzinger to the Vatican in 1981, where he served as leader of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is responsible for enforcing church orthodoxy. For years, he has lived in a small apartment just outside St. Peter's Square over a bus stop, normally walking to work each day.
In the 1960s, Ratzinger was a theological adviser at the Second Vatican Council, the influential conference that moved the church in a more moderate direction.
But in later years, he seemed to move against what he saw as the excesses of that movement, setting the tone for his reputation as a stickler for a traditional interpretation of Catholic dogma.
In 1966, Ratzinger was recruited to teach at Germany's prestigious Tubingen University, but left in 1969 after he was the frequent target of student protests and moved to a more conservative university.
During his years at the Vatican, Ratzinger was known as a kind of papal policeman who sometimes summoned priests and theology professors to Rome to discuss their non-orthodox views.
Yet in St. Peter's Square on Tuesday, the tens of thousands who gathered to see the smoke that signified a pope had been chosen seemed united in the view that God had spoken and that Ratzinger would lead the church forward into an uncertain century.
Deacon Shane Crombie from West Meath, Ireland, said, "This is the man the Lord has chosen, and I'm happy, and I would have been happy with anyone they chose. ... The new one should be expected to live up to John Paul II. His death was the closure of one chapter. This is the beginning of a new one."Contributing: Marco R. della Cava in Rome and wire reports
By Jason Miller
One of the key justifications that American supporters of our imperialistic policies in the Middle East employ is that the Islamic theocracies pose a threat to American security because of their radical nature. Yet here at home, America has its own radical religious fundamentalists clamoring to form a theocracy.
A recent article in The Kansas City Star stirred some serious doubts in my mind about the rationality of those leading the Christian Right movement. Nina Easton indicated in the article that key leaders of the conservative Christian movement met in Washington on 4/7/05 to formulate their strategy to take control of the federal judiciary. In their conference, “Confronting the Judicial War on Faith”, the Religious Right castigated George Bush, brother Jeb, and Bill Frist for failing to take a strong enough stand against the courts in the Terry Schiavo situation.
Subverting the U.S. Constitution by abusing legislative authority to interfere in a judicial matter was not enough to satisfy these dogmatic individuals. Merely the implication that Bush and his compatriots were too moderate in their actions is a testament to the perverse worldview of the Christian Right. The Star article was on page 3. Mainstream media needs to place more emphasis on the dangers posed by this radical movement.
Leading members of the Christian Right are pushing the President and Congress to impeach "activist" judges, cut funding to "activist" courts, and pass legislation like the Constitutional Restoration Act of 2005. If passed, this legislation would significantly limit the power of the judicial branch. Even more distressing, the CRA would trump the supremacy of the Constitution by affirming that God is the sovereign source of law, liberty, and government. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, a darling of Conservative Christians, co-sponsored the bill again in 2005. Thankfully, Congress had the sense to reject a similar bill last year.
One of the most troubling aspects of the Religious Right is their lack of tolerance for those who disagree with their dogma. Adopting a law that elevates the Christian God over the Constitution would represent a monumental leap toward theocracy in America. Those advocating the passage of the Constitutional Restoration Amendment are forgetting that there is a First Amendment to the Constitution that reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. Apparently, Article III of the Constitution (which establishes the Judicial Branch as the third entity in our unparalleled system of checks and balances) slipped their mind too. The CRA would severely undermine the federal judiciary’s capacity to act as watchdogs over the other branches.
The Christian Right also supports America's unprovoked attack on Iraq, falsely based on claims that Iraq was affiliated with the Islamic fundamentalists who perpetrated 9/11. Over 1500 Americans have died, $250 billion have been wasted, and thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians lie dead. Meanwhile, America's own radical entity, the Christian Right, waves the flag, spurring Bush on to "spread freedom and liberty", and thus further antagonize the radicals in the Middle East.
When our Founding Fathers wrote our Constitution, and implemented a secular republic as our form of government, many of them happened to be Christian. However, a number of them, like Thomas Jefferson, were Deists. Many were also Masons, who embrace religious tolerance as a core value. A serious study of their debates at the Constitutional Convention, their letters and journals, their varying religious backgrounds, and their unanimous fear of tyranny, clearly demonstrate that our nation’s founders intended American government to be secular, and thus free from religious tyranny. Were the founders alive today, they would recoil in horror at the CRA.
Shockingly, leaders of the Religious Right have called for "the removal of judges who think that interpretations of the US Constitution should change with the times." Rick Scarborough, a sponsor of “Confronting the Judicial War on Faith”, stated that, "it's about a temporal versus eternal value system." Would the Christian Right have Americans suspended in a rigid “eternal value system” that squelched the possibility of “temporal” re-evaluation of laws and values as the numerous dynamics of a large, complex nation change? By looking at a few historical examples, one can see why the notion of “eternal values” is so problematic.
To accommodate the states whose economy relied heavily upon slave labor, the Founding Fathers agreed to recognize slavery as a legal institution. This can be found in two places in the Constitution. For the purpose of counting population for the Congressional representation, Section 2 of Article I counts a slave as three fifths of a person. In Section 2 of Article IV, the Constitution clearly endorses the right to keep a person in servitude, and to demand their return if they escape. On March 6, 1857, the Supreme Court of the United States interpreted the Constitution in a manner consistent with preserving “eternal values.” They ruled against Dred Scott, a slave who sued for his freedom. In this instance, the Supreme Court upheld the “eternal Constitutional value” of slavery.
While the Thirteenth Amendment officially abolished slavery in the United States on December 6, 1865, it did not end the servitude of blacks. In the Jim Crow era of the South, which began with violent Southern resistance to Reconstruction after the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan, and other white supremacist groups committed untold numbers of atrocities against black citizens. Are these the type of "eternal values" that the Christian Right seeks to protect from the "ravages" of the evolution of ideas and values?
Starting in the 1870s, the Industrial Revolution was in full swing in the United States. The "Gilded Age" saw men like John Rockefeller and JP Morgan reach unimaginable heights of wealth. Meanwhile, the plight of the working class and the poor grew more and more unbearable. Lenders and railroads imposed predatory interest and pricing on farmers. Contracts and property were deemed more important than the suffering and loss of life sustained by thousands of workers victimized by hazardous working conditions, long hours, child labor, and low pay.
David Brewer, a Supreme Court Justice appointed to the Court in 1889, summarized the philosophy of the "Gilded Age" when he said that "absolute and eternal justice forbid that any private property could be destroyed in the interests of public health, morals, or welfare." He went on to say that "the love of acquirement, mingled with the joy of possession, is the real stimulus to human activity." It took the incredibly courageous efforts of men like Eugene V. Debs to bring about economic justice for the common people. Had the Christian Right been a powerful movement at that time, would they have fought to preserve the "eternal value" of laissez-faire economic policy from the "onslaught" of the "temporal values" of workers' rights?
Humanity is in a constant state of flux and evolution. People and society are not static. Therefore, it would be nonsense to maintain a fixed or static interpretation of our laws. Even the Christian Right, many of whose members claim to interpret the Bible literally, disregard many of the anachronistic edicts of the Old Testament, except, for example, when they conveniently need an Old Testament scripture to justify their relentless push for discrimination against homosexuals. They interpret their own supreme law in a “temporal” manor in order to function in modern society, yet like spoiled children, they demand to impose their will upon the rest of America by demanding that the judiciary interpret the Constitution using a lens that interprets according to "eternal values”.
The Christian Right is leading America down the rabbit hole to Wonderland, where logic is indeed a scarce commodity. Will America follow?
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Edison may have invented the 'motion picture' - but Jewish immigrants from Europe created Hollywood. (Read 'How The Jews Invented Hollywood' by Neal Gabler) Remarkably, in the century since Meyer, the Warner Brothers and a handful of other Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants who began the 'studio system', Hollywood maintains a distinctly Yiddish accent. Some critics, however, posit that Hollywood doesn't play fair, since it employs the mesmerizing power of cinema to manipulate the mindset of complacent viewers. How? By relentlessly injecting sordid scenarios and denigrating images of once-respected American archetypes and institutions. Current targets: the Catholic Church and , as usual, Arabs.
One very recent example out of many is the comic-book styled action film "Sin City." Here, many of the villains are sporting multiple crucifixion crosses, a symbol held sacred by many Christians, and mixed in with a smattering of swastikas. Indeed, the film's arch-villain turns out to be a satanic, cannibalistic Catholic cardinal! OK, this is fictional 'entertainment' but Hollywood knows these scenarios have a visceral, even subliminal, impact. That's basically why we don't see any Hollywood-fabricated demons and bad guys sporting a Star of David nor do we see any rabid psychopathic rabbis dished up for popular entertainment.
The unspoken code of Tinseltown is simple: Jewish archetypes and Jewish religious sensitivities are to be respected. Others may be casually smeared.
Although Catholics and Arabs are expected to survive this non-lethal, but inherently pernicious onslaught, considering the laudatory treatment Hollywood's Jews regularly heap upon themselves when portraying their brethren, it's becoming a bit of an outrage, as it should. How is it that Jews, Arabs and Christians receive such different treatment under Hollywood's gaze?
In polite terms, the Jewish presence in American film and media is "without peer."
Hollywood is an insider business. While talent is essential, there is a political element to success in Hollywood. One must pass muster with the specifically Jewish dictates of political correctness. Otherwise, one may find oneself very much unemployed and ignored. It took an actor/producer with the stature of Mel Gibson to buck the kosher Hollywood code to produce and distribute his controversial, but wildly successful film "The Passion." He endured a tidal wave of organized, Jewish protest, including death threats to his family.
Not surprisingly, Bob and Harvey Weinstein of Miramax Films declined to distribute The Passion assuming it would offend their crowd and/or fan the "eternal" flames of "anti-Semitism". On the other hand, the Weinstein brothers did distribute "Sin City" as well as Michael Moore's much ballyhooped Fahrenheit 9/11. Why? Both films respected the unwritten kosher code: vilification and defamation of Arab and/or Christians is perfectly fine, but one must never - even in the context of analyzing terrorism or U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East - demean Israel, Zionism or neo-conservatism. In fact, in Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore totally ignored the roles of Israel, Zionism and neo-conservatives, while tossing in a gratuitous, hefty dose of Arab-bashing. Good boy, Michael. Here's a million dollars!
For the ambitious film maker, it's crucial to remember three things -
1: Jews remain at the top of the Hollywood food chain.
2: They intend to remain there.
3: Don't' forget those first two things.
Like it or not, the gatekeepers of American mass media are disproportionately of Jewish stock. Though they famously disdain "white racism", prevailing Hollywodd customs affirm aggressive white Jewish networking. The results are nothing less than astonishing.
Much of America has come to "think Jewish" as attitudes have magically shifted on matters such as race, 'minority rights', school prayer, abortion rights, celebrating the 'holidays', and 'promoting our values' via an aggressive mission to impose democracy in all Mid-East countries except for the ethnocentric, and many say openly-racist, Jewish state of Israel.
OK, Israel may qualify as a "democracy" in the same way the white, apartheid South Africa did but there's one huge difference: concerted interevention from around the world finally brought the segregated Apartheid country of South Africa to its knees. White racial discrimination was declared to be "evil." Interestingly, Jewish activists played a decisive role in that campaign. However, Jewish Israelis and international Zionists - both Jewish and now so-called Christian Zionists - suffer no similar intense pressure, except by a growing grassroots movement of human rights and peace activists, who, thus far, lack any real significant political clout. Without apology, Israel and its supporters get to play by their own rules.
It's no accident that America's expanding global militancy implicitly hold the "security" of the Jewish state as its centerpiece. And with the help of vital US aid, Israel militarily maintains its commitment to a segregated society, with hellish consequences for the indigenous non-Jewish Palestinians.
How are the highly-placed "friends of Israel" able to bamboozle so much of the world? Through a complicated but interconnected array of media and grass-roots propaganda, political pressure, complex legalisms, victimhood identity via the Holocaust, and raw political muscle. In today's America, just an allegation of "anti-Semitism" can damage the career of public figures. And to fortify this taboo, Americans are regularly fed a hefty ration of Holocaust lore.
As a sidebar, here's an additional fact that would be funny if only it wasn't true: Holocaust "experts" are almost all Jewish. Does their collective obsession produce scholarship, or an appetite and license to propagandize? In any case, for the latest Holocaust news, about all one needs do is simply turn on the TV or pick up any 'major' newspaper. Yet, an accurate telling of the Jewish experience in America should spotlight not suffering or persecution, but success, acceptance, privilege and influence. Jews are, in fact, America's pre-eminent success story.
Although reportedly substantially less than 3% of our population, Jewish per capita income is unsurpassed, as is their presence at our nation's top universities and think tanks. As noted, American Jews make up a majority of Hollywood's ruling class and beyond that, Jewish over-representation is an accomplished fact in the fields of law, medicine and the entire entertainment and general media, including print and TV. This is no small matter. With the average American watching over four hours of TV or film every day, listening to radio, and perusing mainstream newspapers and magazines, these figures are evidence of a profound ethnic imbalance in the management and dissemination of news and information. For America's Jews, this translates into formidable political power.
The enduring fact remains that whoever owns and controls the media, can also leverage public opinion, and from there, government policies.
Indeed, Jewish media mavens have the means to easily advance their particular viewpoint of history, with far reaching consequences. And with the Jewish state of Israel embroiled in a condition of near-perpetual war since its founding in 1948, the question must be posed: might many of our country's most accomplished editors and story-tellers, who qualify as Israeli-Americans, have at least a minor conflict of interest?
Put another way: how can they NOT?
After all, Israeli 'security' remains the essential focus of organized Jewry. Countless pro-Israel organizations famously apply incessant pressure on government officials, political parties, candidates, journalists and fellow 'tribe-members' to lobby on Israel's behalf, since countless billions of dollars in U.S. aid are harnessed to advance the Jewish state's regional hegemony.
Consequently, maintaining a public willingness to favor America's present interventionist, pro-Israel/anti-Arab foreign policy is an essential component in any scenario culminating in The Final Zionist Solution. It's essential therefore that American gentiles "think correctly" on key Jewish issues. Thus, when Jewish interests are at stake, good and evil are neatly drawn (preferably in clear, unambiguous fashion) so that American consumers of news and entertainment can easily and passively draw the proper conclusions. Thus Arabs (particularly Palestinians) are "terrorists", Nazi demonology is a growth industry, and Holocaust Revisionism (widely misrepresented as "Holocaust Denial") is being peddled as a threat to global security. In fact, in numerous "free, Western democracies", such as Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland, for example, to question the version of The Holocaust promoted by Zionists, including the six million figure and the gas chambers, is an actual crime punishable by fines and imprisonment.
Ernst Zundel was deported from the U.S. ostensibly for "visa violations" to Canada where he spent two years of his life in solitary confinement. Following that outrage, he was then recently was deported to solitary confinement in a German jail. His crime? Publicly questioning aspects of the Holocaust. Who's next?
Organized Jewry, progenitors of "speech codes" on countless American campuses, are raising the bar from censoring up to outright criminalizing free speech.
A balanced and accurate view of history DOES matter. Yet, when the facts don't fit, the media gatekeepers can purposefully misinterpret, obfuscate or simply overlook them. This may explain why, for instance, there is so little media interest in the annihilation of 20 million anti-Bolshevik Russians preceding WWII. After all, 20 million Russians KILLED BY THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT is the all-time tsunami of war crimes. But who were the perpetrators? Where are they now? The average American simply knows nothing about the dominant Jewish role in Communism's pernicious rise. Of course, this oversight is no accident.
Considering that over 275 million humans have perished in wars during the past century, America's nurtured obsession with, and elevation of, Jewish suffering in Europe during WWII might be seen as a peculiar idiosyncrasy. Indeed, many surmise that the American Mind is indeed under Zionist management. The irony of our nation's preoccupation with Jewish war causalities during WWII 55 years after the fact becomes even more repellent when we consider the horrendous, ONGOING persecution of gentiles in Palestine-Israel under Jewish occupation.
As for American cinema, there has been a sea of changes in the past generation. There's now a multicultural array of celebrities, including many Jewish ones. On the downside, Christianity doesn't get the kind of coverage it enjoyed when Frank Capra was directing. Thus, we are treated to seeing an array of stock Christian con artists, whores and criminals. As for Arabs, they're still welcome to play terrorist schemers, religious fanatics, or just plain unsavory characters. This is the mean-spirited side to American film that goes unacknowledged and unchallenged.
Recently, after reading several glowing reviews, we succumbed to seeing the aforementioned over-praised, over-hyped, action-revenge movie, Sin City. Directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, with special 'guest director' Quentin Tarantino, Sin City is a gritty, sexy, violent and surrealistic foray into a stylized, comic-book version of post-modern urban mayhem. By contemporary standards of blood-letting, this film delivers far more than its share, but there is probably worse in circulation. Sin City's denigration of Christian icons, however, approaches new excesses, something that was also very evident in Tarantino's previous Kill Bill movies.
Not only do many of the villains in this hyper-violent yarn wear gaudy necklaces and earrings hung with Christian crosses, even multiple layers of them, "Sin City" manages to associate blue eyes with depravity...although for Hollywood, that's nothing new.
The two heroic characters (and they were not wearing any Christian crosses, or swastikas, of course) where portrayed by Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis. It's Willis' character who finally manages to kill the the evil Catholic priest.
At any rate, we can rest assured that Hollywood shall likely refrain from depicting Jews in such a negative fashion. As for the rest of us, we are not supposed to complain. In fact, we're not even supposed to NOTICE, since it might indicated a racial loyalty which for anyone else except for Jews, is a modern sin.
This very real double standard speaks volumes about who holds real power in contemporary American
film and entertainment.
In a true democracy, EVERYONE has a voice. We advise that you use it. Or you may lose it.
Mark Green and Wendy Campbell practice what they preach. For more information about their views and their taboo-shattering documentaries, please visit www.marwenmedia.com.