UPDATE 4/30/2013: I don't think Obama was only thinking about AmeriCorps:.
For this post to make the most sense to you, please read yesterday's post first. "CORRECTION: WE MUST STAND UP AGAINST BARACK OBAMA'S PLANNED POLICE STATE NOW."
Update: rlayson1986, over at Real Politics (http://realpolitics08.blogspot.com), has added a correction on his post, "Republican Congressman Warns of Obama Dictatorship," as a result of a comment I left on that post for him. I'm not sure why he didn't approve the comment. I suspect it is because it linked right back here to this site and that he doesn't want his readers reading this site or the search engines linking his site to this one from his direction. He didn't say where he received the information either. That seems to be a very typical method for many bloggers and sites. I do understand censoring. I don't approve raunchy comments for instance. I don't link to various sites that cross a boundary I'm entitled to maintain as I see fit, as I believe God moves me to keep.
Also, I informed rlayson1986 that it was about "AmeriCorps," but rlayson1986 wrote "Army air corps." There is no U.S. Army Air Corps anymore of which I'm aware, but then again, I'm no military aficionado, nor do I wish to be. Perhaps rlayson1986 did some further digging and found some Army Air Corps somehow part of the context. Maybe it's just another mistake. Maybe he'll read this and make another correction.
I do sympathize with him if he did indeed get his information from the Associated Press and the AP didn't put the Obama quote in context or didn't link to it. rlayson1986 should link to the specific AP article if he can find it again. The AP often writes more than one version of a story. I sympathize though, because the AP has a bad habit of writing very slanted opinion as news and leaving out things (important things) that were they to be included would cast the whole article in a different light. I notice this is particularly the case concerning articles about Latin America and Venezuela and Bolivia especially. Hugo Chavez is always spoken against. His side of the story is at best second place. Often it can nearly be entirely missing. When it is given, it is almost invariably couched in AP words that slant the story rather than giving the facts and letting the reader decide on the merits. I also notice it concerning articles about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They can't write an article about him without saying he threatened to wipe Israel off the map. They don't automatically give the other interpretation of the statement that is a quote from Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini (Ayatollah Khomeini) of Iran who said that the Zionist entity would "vanish from the page of time" or a similar sense-meaning and not necessarily via violence from Iran or anyone else.
Professor Juan Cole (Professor of History at the University of Michigan; Iranian expert) wrote:
The Imam said that this regime occupying Jerusalem (een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods) must [vanish from] from the page of time (bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad).
("Hitchens the Hacker; And, Hitchens the Orientalist: And, "We don't Want Your Stinking War!" by Juan Cole. Informed Comment. May 3, 2006. [Note the date, yet parts of the AP and others persist in beating the war drums])
Yes, there are Iranian chants of death to America and death to the Jews and so forth. Nevertheless, the bluster is traditional in the Middle East. We can't forget Saddam Hussein saying that a war against him would be "The Mother of All Wars." It was hardly that unless he meant it would bear evil fruit long afterwards. That's not how it was taken though at the time. It was taken that he meant he would win. He didn't. In addition, we have chants in the U.S. from all sorts of factions that aren't shutdown by the U.S. government. We see "Death to Fags." We hear the KKK and neo-Nazis spewing against Blacks mostly and Jews secondarily. One can find White Supremacist websites that drone on about how evil all Blacks are and all Jews are.
Back to rlayson1986, over at Real Politics, we all make mistakes everyday. The pain and suffering of this life causes stress and hardening and just more errors compounding one upon the next. That's why focusing on Jesus's way is so helpful. If we forget we make mistakes, we'll end up literally stoning others to death, as just reportedly happened recently in Somalia, "A SOMALI WOMAN EXECUTED FOR ADULTERY MAY ACTUALLY HAVE BEEN A 13-YEAR-OLD GIRL VICTIM OF SAVAGE RAPISTS ACCORDING TO THE U.N." We'll end up bombing others and sending predator drones to hunt and kill on the least suspicion or just maliciously under the cover of fabricated pretexts.
Anyway, you will see that rlayson1986 left a comment here as "Real Politics." I do commend him for making the correction on his site and for having what it takes to leave a comment here about it.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4)
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Matthew 23:12)
We can't stand on ego when it's time to repent (apologize) and atone. We must also be ready to forgive and to be merciful.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: (Matthew 6:14)
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. (Matthew 5:7)
As for his being a Christian, well I don't know why he thinks gun ownership for family and personal protection goes hand-in-hand with Jesus's teachings. No doubt, he's been misled about that by certain people who take Jesus's remarks out of context, just as Obama's were taken.
Jesus carried no weapons except his words and way of being that go perfectly together, he told his followers to put up their weapons, his followers all finally renounced the use of and gave up their weapons (none died violently fighting back), and Jesus made repeatedly clear that he was opposed to using the sword or violently (harmfully) resisting evil but rather for turning the other cheek and for not punishing others. The times he did referred to the sword where others have twisted his meaning, he was referring to the sword of the word of truth and not to the worldly metal object for spilling blood and taking lives. Guns here and swords then are the same in spirit. When he went into the temple and cleaned it, he harmed no one; otherwise, we can be assured that the "authorities" would have arrested him and tried him for hurting people. It is nowhere to be found among the charges leveled against Jesus.
Rather than doing as little as possible to stop the flow of misinformation, we need to do as much as we can.
Now let me turn to "hate" per Jesus, since QuakerDave said I hate Obama. This is a situation where semantical understanding is the focus. Jesus used the terms "love" and "hate" in different connotations depending upon his context (context at the moment and entire context both). He said we are to hate our family members while we are to love our enemies.
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)
Our family members will be our enemies.
It is incumbent upon Christians to reconcile all of this. If they don't, they won't be very far along the way. We have love/hate relationships. We are to hate the evil root that becomes the tree and its rotten fruit not good for anything but being destroyed. We are what we do. We are our results. This doesn't jibe with the Fundamentalist teaching that we are to love the person but hate the sin, unless we can place that idea into the broader context Jesus used. When I wrote yesterday that I don't hate Obama but that I hate his militarism, I meant it in the sense that I love my enemy and for all the reasons Jesus says to do that. I am my own enemy to the extent that I allow the bad root to remain within me making the errors I make everyday. I am not perfected. I am working on it by the grace of God. This also doesn't jibe with the unconditional-love-only crowd. We are to love unconditional in one sense, but love conditionally in another at the same time.
I know this is all so mind-boggling for so many. How can I think, even imagine, I'm on the right path while at the same time admitting that I not in a sense — that I mess up daily in my emotions and in ways that can become rather tangible as this whole Obama-AmeriCorps episode shows? How can I demystify it to those who can't grasp it? I can't. All I can say is that I'm rising out of greater evil into lesser evil such that if I head in the direction more than I fall back, if I remain trending there, I'll eventually arrive. I'm not biding my time mind you. I know I must persevere and be patient, but I also know that I'm not to sit on my hands. I am to work to bring forth.
BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT
I also want to touch on "benefit of the doubt." There are several ways to apply the expression "benefit of the doubt." The most common first thought concerning the expression means "innocent until proven guilty." However, once a person's testimony has been impeached, then that one is more suspect until he or she has regained trust. Was Jesus ultimately taken in? Was he fooled? There are those who apparently think so. I see nothing though to suggest it. Everyone who puts forth arguments against Jesus all seem to have motives that are nowhere near as good as what we can ascertain about Jesus's motives. They all seem to want to allow themselves and to be allowed by others to do what isn't best for any or all.
Part of this life is being taken in, that is fooled or tricked. There isn't a human being alive who hasn't or won't experience this unless he or she is comatose or nearly so or hasn't lived very long and until people stop fooling or tricking each other. The Biblical story of the first fall (the conscious decision to do wrong) is about this experience. The serpent is the personification of the tempting thought to do wrong. The parable is of the first moment when such conscious awareness occurred. It's a way of imparting that there was a time before such awareness and that the thoughts entered in from somewhere via some method that was not preexisting in human beings before that. This is no small matter in that such wrong, tempting thoughts and falling to them have been cascading throughout humanity since that time. The Fundamentalists want to take it as literally as possible. They want to trust that God has preserved the story verbatim as a perfect transcript of actual events in the most mundane sense conceivable. They don't want to consider it on any figurative level. Regardless though, the truth that deliberate, misleading trickery and falling for it and spreading the error did happen and then continued happening right up to the present.
Concerning the Barack Obama quotation, what is the plausible deniability concerning how innocently it got taken out of context? This is not possible for us to recreate without the full cooperation of all the people involved and without perfect recall of the event by those concerned.
Seeing the quote by itself does raise an eyebrow for those who've seen or heard, or who've forgotten, the context. That's because of the very unfortunate term "civilian national security force," unless Obama was throwing something in without setting up the full context for it. That sort of thing has been known to occur. I hope it's not the case here.
At this point, I don't have any hard evidence that he was planting a seed for a civilian national security force that will be nothing but the tool of the CIA and violent, imperialist ambitions. He's still getting the benefit of the doubt on that one. Although, Obama will be tempted by such things from within and without. The rest of the world will be hard-pressed to trust American government sponsored humanitarian organizations, because they have been misused and abused by the CIA and others down through their histories.
He's positioned himself such that he will be confronted with huge temptations from all directions. We will find out what he's made of. He won't be able to play his cards close to his vest. His poker training won't work. That isn't possible as President of the United States anymore. We will know him by his fruits, just as we know George W. Bush by his. The means George used so far as President and to get into that office will never lead to good ends no matter how much he tries to convince himself otherwise.
NOT JUST THE CONSERVATIVES
It isn't always the conservatives who don't fact-check or get things placed within the fullest context. It isn't always the conservatives who deliberately take things in the worst light possible with an internal wink knowing full well that they are spreading the false way of taking something (taking something knowing that it isn't what the other party intended or meant). In the recent presidential campaign, this was rife on both sides. I'm not going to run down all the examples out there. I wouldn't do that unless I were planning to write a book on the subject and had access to the news archives.
It's the little spins that are put on the opposition's words that mound up and go unchecked the most, because the words can be so easily taken slightly wrong without appearing to be deliberate twisting. This is an art form for propagandists. Framing the debate, being highly selective about what to include or leave out, mistranslating to cast a bad light, changing the subject, and on and on. I don't like any of it. I hate it all. I don't want to mislead, and I don't want to be misled. I want everyone led correctly.
Now, the majority of voters in the various states when the Electoral College is calculated have chosen Barack Obama. It doesn't mean that the mainstream media (corporatists, plutocrats, bankers) didn't guide that selection. It did. Nevertheless, the people were made aware of Obama's positions about expanding the death penalty, doing more attacks on places against the desires of nations with whom we have no reason to make war (just assume global police powers), and many other telling positions. The American people and the world will now have to live with the consequences of having chosen Obama as leader versus following Jesus's teachings, because they aren't the same — far from it.
So, I don't hate Barack Obama, John McCain, rlayson1986 over at Real Politics, QuakerDave, or anyone else. I love them in spite of their shortcomings as I ask God to love me in spite of mine. Does that make sense? I also love Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-il, Bashar al-Assad, Benjamin Netanyahu, and George W. Bush all as my brothers, which they are, just not all in the same spirit.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. (Matthew 5:43)
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Matthew 5:44)
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matthew 12:50)
I also hate myself even as I love myself.
If any man come to me, and hate not ... his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)
At the same time, we as Christians are to join with God — have the spirit of God dwelling within us. We are to love that part. We are to continue in that way until there is nothing but God.
Is this a false paradox? It is not contradictory. It is true. It is contextual. I hate aspects of myself and love others. I hate the parts that fall and love the parts that rise. This is completely consistent with Jesus's teachings. I hate the aspects of each and all that fall and love the aspects that rise.
The question remains for others though as to what is really rising. It is not mere tolerance that turns into condoning for instance. Jesus tolerates but does not condone. He also teaches that God allows Satan to have his limited way with those who do iniquity.
And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. (Matthew 18:34)
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (Matthew 18:35)
So, Satan beat me up for falling into the snare that is the Obama/AmeriCorps deception. Satan though is not allowed to beat me up for my observations concerning Obama's militarism and aggressiveness. In fact, Obama is taking on the roll of beater. He will be beaten for that too by a larger beater, one with more authority or license from above, who will, in turn, feel the wrath, and so on indefinitely until all stop and join God in non-coercion and only real love.
Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! (Luke 17:1)
That's how Heaven is — my God and my Heaven anyway. For me, it's the truth and the only truth. There aren't two. There's one.
This is why I'm not an ecumenist or syncretist.
PART 1: CORRECTION / CLARIFICATION: WE MUST STAND UP AGAINST BARACK OBAMA'S PLANNED POLICE STATE NOW
What's Barack Obama's position on this: "Local police stockpile high-tech, combat-ready gear | America's War Within"
PART 3: PROBLEMS ON THE FALSE SPECTRUM, BOTH LEFT AND RIGHT: OBAMA AND THE CIVILIAN NATIONAL-SECURITY FORCE
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