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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 4/26/19

Why Religious Coexistence is Impossible

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We often hear about the importance of religious coexistence. Many of us see "coexist" bumper stickers (as pictured above) on a daily basis. It's usually directed at people who believe in the man-made Abrahamic "revealed" religions of Judaism, Christianity or Islam.

We must honestly and objectively ask ourselves if coexistence is even possible for Jews, Christians and Muslims. The best way to do this is to honestly and objectively examine their "holy" books, which they believe and claim are the word of God.

Looking at Judaism, we see the Hebrew Bible is overflowing with commands, allegedly from God, to Jews. These commands cover virtually all aspects of life, from what to wear, what to eat, how to pray and many other mundane topics.

When it comes to how Jews should interact with non-Jews/gentiles, we see how coexistence takes unrecoverable hits. There are many examples of this, but I will mention only two.

The Hebrew Bible teaches Jews such anti-gentile behaviors as not charging interest/usury to fellow Jews, but to charge interest/usury to gentiles. Deuteronomy 23:19-20 claims God commanded the Jews, "Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury: Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it."

The anti-gentile teachings in the Hebrew Bible extend all the way to actual slavery. The 25th chapter of Leviticus is about the Jubilee. It is a popular misconception that the freedom of slaves this chapter claims God commanded, was for all slaves. In an irrevocable blow against coexistence, an objective and honest reading of this Hebrew Bible chapter makes it very clear that freeing of slaves was only for Jewish slaves. Gentile people who were slaves with Jewish masters/owners were not to be freed. Leviticus 25:44-46 falsely claims that God commanded: "Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour." This Hebrew Bible command clearly outlaws Jews owning their fellow Jews as slaves, but allows Jews to own Gentile people and their children as slaves forever. The gentile men, women and children who the Jews own as slaves are to be passed as an inheritance from one generation to the next generation of Jews, as the property of the Jewish slave owners and their children. The duration of this command is "for ever." How can any gentile person want to coexist with something as ungodly and disgusting as this? Something that will eternally keep them and their children and all of their decendants literally as slaves, as mere property to be bought and sold by Jews?

When we look at Christianity, we see it looks upon the Hebrew Bible as being part of the word of God. It then tacks on the New Testament, and refers to the ungodly combination of the two as the Christian Bible and the Christian word of God.

The Christian word of God teaches that Jesus was part Jew and part God, and that Jesus believed the Hebrew Bible was the word of God.

Jesus' deep belief that the Hebrew Bible is the word of God, is seen at Mark 7:1-13, which tells the story of Jesus getting angry with the Pharisees, because the Pharisees did not follow the teaching and command in the Hebrew Bible at Exodus 21:17, which claims God commanded, "And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death." Verses 12 and 13 of this chapter of Mark states that Jesus said to the Pharisees who did not follow the ungodly command in the Hebrew Bible to kill their children, "And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye."

Jesus clearly believed the brutal, cruel and ungodly Hebrew Bible was the word of God. Based on this, Jesus would approve of the above commands in the Hebrew Bible regarding usury against gentile people and Jews owning gentile people as slaves forever.

Regarding slavery itself, the Christian New Testament at Ephesians 6:5 has this teaching for people who are slaves: "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ."

The tie between Christianity and Judaism is central to the Christian Reconstructionism movement, which recognizes how Jesus, according to the anonymous authors of the Gospels, embraced and promoted the fear-based and merciless commands and laws of the Hebrew Bible. The goal of Christian Reconstructionism is to make the nonsensical and horrific laws in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the law of the land in the United States, and eventually in countries around the world. They share this goal with both Christian Dominionism and with the neoconservative movement.

One of the founders of Christian Reconstructionism, R. J. Rushdoony, wrote often about the importance of what he mistakenly believed was God's law in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament taking precedence over all man-made laws, such as the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. In his essay Introduction to the Law he wrote, "It is a modern heresy that holds that the law of God has no meaning nor any binding force for man today. It is an aspect of the influence of humanistic and evolutionary thought on the church, and it posits an evolving, developing god. This 'dispensational' god expressed himself in law in an earlier age, then later expressed himself by grace alone, and is now perhaps to express himself in still another way. But this is not the God of Scripture, whose grace and law remain the same in every age, because He, as the sovereign and absolute lord, changes not, nor does He need to change. The strength of man is the absoluteness of his God."

This dangerous belief of Rushdoony, that his "holy" book has the true law of God and that the world should be based on it, is shared by all of the revealed religionists. Leo Strauss, the Jewish founder of the neoconservative movement, believed all of society around the world should be based on God's law as found in the Hebrew Bible, and the Muslim Osama bin Laden believed all of the world's societies should be based on what he believed was God's law as found in the Quran.

When we objectively look at the Quran, we see that basing society on the commands found in it, that are falsely claimed by Muslims to be from God, would make a miserable and very hellish world.

Teachings in the Quran make coexistence with Islam impossible for any self-respecting woman and for any person who values women and abhors non-defensive violence. This is clearly evident in the Quran at 4:34, which teaches Muslim men, "Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great." This teaching not only teaches misogyny being from God, it teaches Muslim men to physically scourge/beat women who they fear may become rebellious towards them. If we want to coexist with that, we'll have to do away with our domestic-violence laws.

There are many more examples that can be shown from all of the Abrahamic man-made "revealed" religions, which make it evident that coexistence with them is not possible and not desirable.

If we want to remove the damage being done by the "revealed" religions, damage such as that which took the lives of over 250 people this past Easter in Sri Lanka, we need to remove the "revealed" religions through peaceful means. Our most powerful weapon is our innate God-given reason. By helping people who are currently under the influence of one of the Abrahamic man-made "revealed" religions to realize that God gave them reason and not religion, we will change the thinking of many of them, which will change their beliefs, which will change their actions. As this short video points out, our beliefs are extremely important because they determine what actions we take. If people believe God commands them to kill people or to beat women or to steal land, they will do those things. If they believe The Supreme Intelligence/God gave them reason and wants them to use that gift of reason, they will apply their reason to their religion. This will cause them to see that their religion is not from God, which will allow them to let go of the "revealed" religions. This will deprive the "revealed" religions of the support of their followers, which will cause the "revealed" religions to wither and die, taking their calls for religious violence with them.

Albert Einstein believed that if we want humanity to evolve and survive, especially in a nuclear age, we must change our thinking. Einstein wrote, "The world that we have made as a result of the level of thinking that we have done so far, has created problems we cannot solve at the level of thinking at which we created them.... We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humankind is to survive."
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Bob Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web (more...)
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