Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Response To Comments Read Elsewhere

"America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that lie before us, the burden of the World's History shall reveal itself." ~ Georg W. Hegel German philosopher (1770 - 1831)

Over at Marshall Art's blog, an interesting comment thread is lengthening, as I write, originating with a post by Marshall regarding Christmas in Bhagdad.

I started to add a couple of observations to the thread, but, as I am wont to do, my comment became so wordy, I decided to post my comment over here. Not to steal Marshall's thunder, mind you. It's just that the comment became so lengthy, I feared the word limit would be reached before I finished my thought. Here is my comment in it's rather verbose entirety:

I wouldn't say I (as a Christian) am "hacked" (Marshall's word) that some businesses have been intimidated into disallowing their employees from saying "Merry Christmas".

I'd say I'm more saddened by that than angry.

The problem so many Christians have with it is they see it as a direct assault on Christianity by non-Christians on one of the two most holy days of the year, namely the advent of Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity.

As an aside here, non-Christians and Christians alike celebrate a decidedly non-Christian holiday and neither seem to have a problem wishing each other a "Happy Halloween". In fact, that so-called "holiday" has increased in popularity the last couple of decades to the point where it is celebrated with almost as much fervor as Christmas.

But, on the subject of secularizing Christmas, I have two points:

First, it might be appropriate to point out (as I have already on other blogs) the very word "holiday" consists of a contraction of the two words, "Holy Day". Thus, when one is wishing you a "Happy Holiday", they are, in effect, wishing you a "Merry Christmas".

So. I guess one could say, "The jokes on them".

Second, I find it interesting that other holidays aren't treated as if they are offensive to anyone. Even Easter, which is even more holy than Christmas (in my opinion) isn't regarded as particularly offensive to non-Christians. Nobody wishes you "Happy Holiday" on Easter. Neither do they wish you "Happy Holiday" on St Valentines Day, St Patrick's day (two other holidays, which, like Easter, have their origins in Christianity), Memorial Day, Independence day, Labor day, Halloween, or Thanksgiving. This omission of the phrase "Happy Holiday" during these other holidays would appear to bolster the point that there is indeed an assault on Christians through an assault on Christmas.

Should Christians start promoting St Patrick's day and St Valentine's day as specific Christian holidays, I have no doubt the non-Christians would bring up similar objections to the specific greetings.

In addition to comments centering around the secularizing of Christmas, the thread also addresses America's support (or lack of support) of Israel during the latest flare-up of hostilities between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

(If you don't get the connection, go to Marshall Art's blog and follow the argument).

Israel has been accused (by some commenters in the aforementioned thread) of being the aggressor, and of initiating the hostilities between the Palestinians and Israel. They have also suggested America should not be allies with Israel.

It is my contention that the Israelis are retaliating for years, if not decades, of hostile unprovoked attacks on them. They are simply defending themselves and their homeland.

Although, whether that statement is true or not is a moot point. Regardless of Israel's culpability, even if Israel is completely in the wrong to attack Gaza. It would not be a precedent in Israel's long history.

As a (some would say "fundamental") Christian, I believe any country that turns it's back on Israel loses God's blessing.

Even the United States.

God has made it clear that the Israeli's are His chosen people, and has promised to bless them and protect them forever.

Any country that does not support Israel becomes the enemy of God.

The fact that Israel is not a "Christian" Country has no bearing on the fact that the Israeli's are still God's Chosen people.

Currently, Israel is no more a Jewish country than it is a Christian country.

Israel is about 90% atheist now.

But this also doesn't change the fact that the Israeli's are still God's Chosen people.

If one reads through the history of the Hebrews found in the Old Testament, one will see the Hebrews were continually rebelling against God, and, as a result of that rebellion, enemies of the Hebrew children would sweep into Israel and conquer them, often decimating much of their population, and carrying captives off into slavery. Over and over again, the Hebrews (now known as Israelis) rebelled against God, were punished by God for their rebellion and, after repenting, were welcomed back into God's favor.

It was, and is, a cyclic behavior.

The following is an important observation:

Never were the Hebrew Children completely wiped off the face of the earth, as their enemies usually were, eventually.

Not that the elimination of the Jews hasn't been attempted many times throughout history. As recently as the last century, Hitler tried to annihilate them.

Like Hitler, all the other tribes and empires that have attempted to destroy God's people have failed. At the same time, most, if not all of Israel's enemies, have been relegated to the waste bin of History. Most are now non-existent save in the dust covered chronicles of history.

Radical Muslims are in the process of trying to destroy them now.

Mankind never learns, it seems.

Listen:

God will protect His people regardless of whether they follow Him or stray. They will continue to abandon Him, and they will continue to repent, and He will continue to welcome them back into His grace. That is His promise to them.

He has not made that promise to America.

Any country, including The mighty United States of America, that fails to understand this concept will eventually lose God's blessing. And will be destroyed.

If America abandons Israel to embrace Israel's enemies, it will ultimately bring about the end of The United States, and the beginning of the end for the rest of the world.

That is not opinion. It is God's promise.

20 comments:

Gayle said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR, Mark!

I read your comment (post) in it's entirity and can't find any flaw in your reasoning, but perhaps that's only because we are thinking alike. I also believe it is vital that we back Israel and that Israel has every right to stand up for itself. They tried the peaceful route, but you can't make friends with those who don't even consider you to be human! Israel turned over the Gaza strip which was immediately turned into a cesspool and used to lob bombs at Israel. What grateful people the Palestinians are!

I hope Israel runs them out of Gaza and never again gives them even so much as one inch of land.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Mark, being part Lebanese on my father's side of the family, I can remember a time when Lebanon and Israel were very friendly with each other (this was before the Palestinians, with the backing and blessing of Syria muscled their way into Lebanon. It was the insurgence of the Palestinian refugees that eventually caused the civil war in Lebanon and caused the hostilities with Israel.

Far too many people in America today have a very slanted view of what is going on in Israel, thanks to the MSN. They would rather believe the lies coming out of Gaza rather than the TRUTH. I support what Israel is doing in bombing the Palestinians in Gaza simply because the Palestinians have refused to honor any of the cease fire agreements they have signed. The ink hardly dries on the agreements when the Palestinians start lobbing rockets and missiles into Israel.

And I have no mercy for the Palestinian civilians who are killed or hurt because they have allowed Hamas to hide in populated areas and use them as shields, plus they keeping re-electing Hamas to govern them. If you want to dance with the Devil, you have to pay for the band.

Lone Ranger said...

Have you ever taken an I.Q. test? Because, I don't think you realize how intelligent you really are. Your stuff is worthy of syndication.

Mark said...

Thanks, LR. I consider that a high compliment, coming from a professional such as yourself. I have sent submissions into the local newspaper several times, and as yet haven't even been published in "letters to the editor". I have been published in letters up in Hagerstown, Md's paper, but so far, not here in Virginia.

I took an official IQ test in Jr High school, but my IQ was never revealed to me. MY Jr High teacher told me my IQ was 2nd highest in the school at the time (at or near genius level, she implied), and the guy who was number one subsequently committed suicide. That isn't intended to suggest smart people are necessarily unstable, of course. It's just a historical fact.

Actually, the knowledge that my IQ is high has been rather a thorn in my side through the years. Learning about it so soon created in me a level of obnoxiousness that caused me considerable problems in high school, which I won't go into here.

But I digress.

More recently, I have taken a couple of unofficial IQ tests over the internet and the results were'nt nearly as impressive as I had believed. (around 130 give or take a few points) I have taken more than one and the results were never the same twice. I don't know what that might mean.

Lone Ranger said...

It means that pretty much anything on the internet is suspect. I HATED that schools would not let me know my IQ scores. I'm a big believer that being smart has nothing to do with having a high IQ, but it would still have been nice to know. I was sitting once with a teacher as she was going through my records,and she nearly got the vapors (whatever that is) when she looked at my test results. I think I detected a look of fear in her eyes for an instant. Both my sons have IQs of 140 and I've found that mine is 145 (I blame my ex wife). Still, I think you are a much better writer than I. Your pieces are sharp and concise, whereas I tend to ramble. It's like the difference between a Christmas present that is wrapped by a professional and one that is wrapped by....me.

Mark said...

You are too kind. I think you are a much better writer than I. You make a living at it, and I can't even get any of my stuff published.

In case you haven't noticed, I borrow ideas from you often.

Mike's America said...

Would anyone have an objection if I said:

Happy New Year!

Always On Watch said...

The mainstream media's position that Israel is the aggressor in the present Gaza War is ludicrous -- and totally illogical.

Years upon years of missiles launched into Israel!

Israel's cession of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank has yielded nothing but agony for Israel. The two state solution is doomed to failure because Islam, by its very nature, has to expand by taking more territory.

Marie's Two Cents said...

I will have to come back and read the rest of this post I wanted to wish you Happy New Year while I had the chance :-)

Ms.Green said...

Any country, including The mighty United States of America, that fails to understand this concept will eventually lose God's blessing. And will be destroyed.

One could argue that God has already started lifting His hand of protection off of the USA, and it's just a matter of time before her enemies devour her.

Mark said...

One could make that case, Ms Green, but so far, America is still officially Israel's ally. What changes Obama may make to this uneasy alliance is anyone's guess, but his rhetoric suggests very strongly that he will at least attempt to make an alliance with the Palestinians against Israel.

Anonymous said...

According to the Bible the Israeli people have often turned their backs on the Christian God and lost his protection. Some might even say they were punished.

What do you believe would be the result for an ally of a wayward Israel?

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I'm going to do as Mike and Marie and go for the drive-by comment:

Happy New Year!

Mark said...

Anonymous, According to the Bible the Israeli people have often turned their backs on their God, who happens to also be everyone's God whether you want Him to be or not.

Yes, with that modification, your statement is true. In fact, that's exactly what I said in the post. You must have skipped to the comments before you read that part.

"What do you believe would be the result for an ally of a wayward Israel?

I made that pont, too, in the post. Perhaps you should go back and read it before commenting this time.

No people of any country has God's promise of protection. Only Israel. So, what happens to Israel has no bearing on what happens to her allies, as far as God is concerned, but her enemies are doomed.

BenT - the unbeliever said...

Seems to me you wrongly conflate the political state of Israel with the people of Judaism. What of the Jewish people in America and Europe?

The previous anonymous comment was mine. I was traveling at the time.

Joe said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR (a holiday that is not really a "holy day" at all, but which no one objects to naming it what it really is)!

We will rue the day we turn our backs on Israel.

Mark said...

"What of the Jewish people in America and Europe?"

What of them? The Jews are a race, not a religion. Therefore most Israeli's are athiests now. They are still God's chosen people. The nation of Israel has God's blessing regardless of whether they actually worship Him or not. It has always been thus, and always will till the end of time.

As I said, He has not promised to bless any other nation. Not even America. Israel will be here long after this country is gone. And if America abandons Israel, our demise will happen all the sooner.

Marshall Art said...

I think that if Israel turns away from God, how He deals with us depends on if we've turned away as well. If we support a God-shunning Israel because we agree with them, we'd likely suffer in the same way God would allow Israel to suffer, if indeed He still does that sort of thing. But if we support a wayward Israel because we feel it's our duty under God, we'd still be in compliance with His Will. Total speculation on my part, but it's logical.

Gary Swenchonis said...

Mark, Doin't worry about being suspicious of my comment at first. i understand. Nice site! Good to meet another person who is speaking about about the disease of liberlism too. Keep up the good work!

Gary Swenchonis
Remember the USS Cole!

Mark said...

Gary,

Liberalism is a disease and I will speak out against it as longh as it exist. Thanks for the compliment.