Archive for the ‘God’ Category

A Jew Stands for Coptic Christians

I am a Jew. As such, I have heard the refrain “Never Forget” my entire life in relation to the Holocaust. Like other Jews, I always took it as a caution to be aware that under the right conditions, it could happen again. To the Jews. But as I hear and see what is happening to Christians in the Middle East and particularly in Egypt, I fully understand that the admonition goes far beyond we Jews. It is a mantra that every compassionate human being must recite because we, as a species, remain capable of horrific persecution and devastating destruction.

MikeNot all of us, of course. At least not in the moment.

In the moment that perverse banner is being carried by the Muslim Brotherhood as they seek to exploit the political unrest in Egypt by scapegoating Christians, burning their churches, looting their places of business, raping their women and executing them simply because they are seen carrying a bible.

There is not a Jew alive whose stomach should not turn and whose body should not feel a chill at the familiarity of these events. Been there. Done that.

So what is the issue? The issue is, “Do we as Jews have the courage to stand in solidarity with Christians of the Middle East?” “Do we as Americans retain yet enough of what has made us a beacon of light throughout our history to now shine that light on the atrocities being inflicted upon Christians?” “Are we as humans still able feel the pain of others who, though outwardly different from us, are inwardly the essence of who we truly are?”

There is only One of Us. Today, we are all Coptic Christians.

I have never understood how so much of the world sat silently by and turned a blind eye while Hitler and the disease called National Socialism embarked upon its campaign of annihilation. I am sad to say that I have begun to understand it.  Today, the silence of our media and paralysis of our Administration are eerie portents of what may follow.

We are each responsible not for the carnage being inflicted upon Christians in Egypt, but for our silence in the face of it. God help the Muslim Brotherhood extremists who are looting, burning raping and murdering.

But who will help the silent?

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Why Care About A Rodeo Clown?

What has happened to us? When did we lose not only our sense of humor but also our freedom of speech? A rodeo clown in Missouri dons a mask of the President and seeks to “get chased down” by a bull and its cause for a  federal investigation not to mention a lifetime ban on the clown?

Rodeo ClownIn my lifetime, I cannot recall a President who was not spoofed, mocked, made fun of or characterized in a mask by some person or another. Yet I cannot recall it becoming an event of such monumental proportions nor resulting in the firing of an individual from his professional line of work.

Yet, here we are having reached either the absurd but inevitable end result of political correctness or, worse, the “fundamental transformation” of the role of President into the role of a “god” who cannot be “blasphemed.”

I am fairly certain that just as with Oprah’s recent mis-characterization of what she experienced in Switzerland, calling a communications malfunction  a personal and racial affront, so too has the P.C. mentality turned political satire (however base) into a personal attack on the first black President simply because he is black.

I think not.

The spoof was much more likely a political statement by someone who disagrees with the President’s policies and found a way to express that in the humorous context of what is his life’s work.

As Thomas Jefferson said, we are duty bound as citizens of the United States to “question with boldness even the existence of God.” Surely, given that directive, it should come as no surprise, nor insult, for someone to question or even mock with boldness, the President of the United States.

Think this one over carefully. What’s happening here isn’t about P.C., race, or politics. It’s about the silencing of free speech. The rodeo clown’s. Then, soon to follow, yours and mine.

It’s been done before and eloquently memorialized before.

“First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Catholic.

Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.”

History repeats itself.  Speak up before there is no one to speak for you.



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A Woman’s Courage in the Face of Terror

Perhaps two of the most frequently posed questions about the reluctance, even failure, of German Jews to stand and fight against Hitler’s onslaught is “Why didn’t they do anything? Why didn’t they fight back?” Over the past 70+ years many theories have been postulated in response to that inquiry. Yesterday, in Great Britain, I believe we witnessed the answer.

Courage over fearAs an evil Muslim terrorist brutally, viciously, and without conscience hacked to death and then nearly beheaded an innocent young man in broad daylight, onlookers stood by and watched. Not one man in the crowd lifted a finger or raised a voice to either stop the slaughter or even try and take down the assailant. The onlookers might just as well have been thought to be watching a passing parade.

Slavery is a slippery slope. While physical enslavement can come upon someone by a single act (such as capture or seizure of the means of defense a/k/a/ “gun control”), psychological enslavement is a more subtle and prolonged process. Most often, it is achieved by manipulation of the truth and implementation of fear through threats or physical pain. Slowly, over time and given the right conditions, even the strongest of individuals is susceptible to relinquishing autonomy of thought. Once that occurs, submission follows.

Terrorists and political elites have been using manipulation and fear to enslave us for some time now. One might argue its been occurring intermittently for as long as recorded human history. However, with the advent of modern technological advances, and simultaneous removal of all things spiritual from our lives, it has reached a dangerous tipping point. Humanity is on the verge of psychological enslavement. It will not be necessary to physically enslave us once this becomes complete.

In Great Britain, people watched because the unthinkable and inhumane is hard to process. People watched because terror is becoming a way of life. People watched because in the face of evil it isn’t uncommon to become immobilized. People didn’t do anything because they feared for their own safety. These are the same reasons given in attempts to analyze the non-action of so many Jews in Nazi Germany.

But there’s a glitch. One woman in Great Britain DID act and speak.

A mother of two, who was a passenger on a bus moving past the horrific scene, disembarked after seeing all the blood. She thought an accident had occurred. When she realized what was happening, she approached the terrorist and asked him if he had done this and what was it that he wanted. When later interviewed and asked why she took the risk, she said it was because of her faith. There were children standing by and she thought better she be harmed than one of them.

The presence of God knows no fear.

This is the 11th hour.  This is the hour to exercise your autonomy. This is the hour to find your voice. This is the hour to demand accountability from the few who are misusing power to enslave the many. We have been cooperative and complacent for far too long. To not push back now is to irretrievably abdicate our birthrights of Freedom and Free Will.

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The Fence Michelle Crossed Over

To know Barney was to love him. He was a sweet-natured feline who didn’t have a mean bone in his body. Unfortunately, he also didn’t have any sense of, or respect for, boundaries. At his worst, Barney would think nothing of jumping into your lap even if another cat was already there. He simply was “wired” in such a way that wherever he wanted to be, and whenever he wanted to be there…well, his intention was always his priority regardless of who or what was in his way.

Michelle Obama’s appearance as a presenter at the Academy Awards last night instantly brought back memories of Barney and his total lack of appropriate boundaries.

OSCAR1There appears to be no aspect of our lives that this Administration, and other Progressives, consider beyond the scope of their involvement and/or regulation. Like Barney, and his dismissal of all laws natural, Progressives proceed full steam ahead with a “damn the Constitution and God-given rights” attitude should either be in their way.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to tell you how much soda you can drink with disregard for the Bill of Rights and First Amendment. President Obama and Vice President Biden want to prohibit, or restrict, how you can defend yourself and your family despite your rights under the Second Amendment. Michelle Obama wants to tell you what vegetables to eat and she wants to dress up as an Oscar to tell you how good movies are for you, even when they are not so subtly indoctrinating you with a particularly Progressive agenda.

Call me crazy, but just as I wanted Barney to understand there were places and times that his appearances were unwelcome, so too do I want my politicians to understand that they are not my nutritionists, my parents, or my movie critics.

When I was in law school I had a professor who called me into his office one day to impart some unsolicited “fatherly advice” as he phrased it. He told me he had seen lots of students pass through those hallowed halls over the years and it was his observation that I “just didn’t have what it takes” to be a lawyer. He recommended that I “drop out of school and find another career.” I listened respectfully and when he finished I replied, “I have a father. If I want fatherly advice I’ll ask him.” I went on to graduate and successfully practice law. He died a year later.

It’s important that we know our boundaries. Deliberately ignoring them indicates a level of hubris worth noting. Therefore, I want Mayor Bloomberg, President Obama, Vice President Biden, Michelle Obama and all the other Progressives who lack any sense of boundaries to “step back jack” and stay out of those areas of my life that God and the U.S. Constitution deem mine to live and regulate.


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Righteous Anger

I understand why Jesus smashed the tables in the Temple courtyard. I could smash a few myself. There simply comes a time when enough is enough. When every rational and civil attempt to right the wrongs has failed.

th (33)The fiscal cliff is looming, Obamacare is about to change our lives (not for the better), and 20 children who had no means of defense are dead. Meanwhile…

– Members of Congress have gone home for Christmas. Really?

– The President and his family are vacationing in Hawaii. Really?

– We’re told we’re in an economic recovery and should believe the numbers… not our personal experience. Really?

– Congress has a better healthcare plan that the rest of us. Really?

– Sasha and Malia have guards with guns to protect them at school. Really?

– The children of many Congressman and Senators go to private schools with enhanced security. Really?

– In 2000, then President Bill Clinton requested $60 million in federal funding for a program called “COPS in Schools” that does exactly what the NRA has now proposed and which the media is currently mocking. Really?

There is such a thing as righteous anger. Righteousness, as I define it, is the “rightful use of energy.” When energy is properly utilized and directed so that both the intent and the outcome are in alignment with eliminating that which is diseased and corrupted, then such use is necessary.  As our “leaders” vacation and provide themselves with exceptions, exemptions, protections and perks unavailable to the rest of society, I am reminded of Nero fiddling while Rome burned.

At the moment I have but one prayer:  “Please, God, show me the way to the tables.”

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The Sandy Hook Takeaway

I don’t know why he did it. No one does. It was a tragic and senseless act by a troubled soul.  I wept as did the Nation and as we each try to find some fact, some new information that could perhaps bring something resembling meaning to the chaos I am certain of one thing.

th (60)Hatred and further polarization are inappropriate and destructive responses. Whether media personalities or politicians… family members, friends or co-workers…“coming at each other” over gun control is to wildly miss the point. Only a world that has lost its moral and value-based compass could have strayed as far from Truth and harmony as we have strayed.

It’s about so much more than guns. That is precisely what we will try to avoid. We will try and tie it all up in a political package aimed at curbing assault weapons rather than accepting personal responsibility for how we have abdicated doing what is right when confronted with the opportunity to do what is expedient.

We have shunned putting forth the time to be parents to instead turn the children over to be influenced by technology. We have avoided living lives that establish standards that would then give us the right to demand the same of our elected leaders. We have failed to provide decent facilities and care for the mentally ill. We have determined the success of our personal lives by our incomes rather than our degree of inner peace, and that of the Nation by its Moody’s credit rating rather than its citizens proliferation of compassion. We have neglected to revere life in all its forms thus destroying at will that which is inconvenient or burdensome. We have lost the patience to allow our lives to unfold in harmony with natural rhythms and, by so doing, misplaced conscience as we took what we wanted when we wanted it without regard for consequence. We belittle and mock our own inner connection to the Divine while falling prostrate at the feet of material false idols.

There is no President, no legislation, and no committee to see about all the ways in which we have erred and rebelliously refused to self-correct. For in the end, this is what it has come down to. Self-correction. For if we do not use this moment, this tragedy, this waste of human life to stop the hatred, name calling and polarization… to awaken to our Oneness… then it will be too late to Self-correct.

We will have moved beyond any remedy conceivable by our limited capacities and inflated egos to turn the tide of self-destruction. If that should happen, the correction will come from a place outside of our understanding and may God have mercy on us.

Awaken now. Stop the separation now. Take responsibility now. Feel your humanity now. There is only One of Us.

What I do to you I do to myself. What I think of you I think of myself. What I wish for you I bring upon myself.

This is law and it is incontrovertible.

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The Shadow Side of Power

In Koheleth 3:1 (Ecclesiastes 3:1) it states,“Vanity of vanities, said Koheleth; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” It’s a much quoted, and as much interpreted, phrase. Recently, I have come to a new understanding of vanity.

Vanity, the isolated ego, likes to say, “I did this” or “What a great person I am to have accomplished this” or “I got this all by myself.” Vanity is the false belief that any one individual, solely of their own power, accomplishes success or greatness.

This thought immediately led me to President Obama’s recent statement that became so controversial during the campaign. The President said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” His statement, on its face, seems true and consistent with my definition of vanity, which caused me to reflect upon how I, and many others, had so negatively reacted to the President’s statement.

But I’ve also been thinking a lot lately about Abraham Lincoln. Mainly because I’ve been trying to figure out what has prompted the “revival” of his story. The sixteenth President seems to be suddenly emerging everywhere…in novels, new biographies, re-printing of former biographies, reissuing of his own writings, as well as movies. Why?

I’ve concluded that in no time since the Civil War has our Nation been so divided. While in 1861 it was North against South and abolition against slavery, it is today poor against rich, black against white, Republican against Democrat… but it’s the same deeply held differences and the same destructive hatreds. What saved the Union was President Lincoln.

Lincoln, who was not traditionally religious but deeply theological, believed in both Divine Presence and Divine purpose. To that end, he called upon Creator for guidance and strength. However, he also bound himself to certain behavior based upon Divine purpose. For example, he vowed to God that if, at the Battle of Fredericksberg (Virginia), the North was successful at turning back Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Lincoln would issue the Emancipation Proclamation he had written two weeks earlier. Upon the North’s success at Fredericksberg, Lincoln did just that citing his vow.

Lincoln none-the-less understood that Divine principles had to be realized within the context of the morality of the times. Therefore, he saw the error and danger of both the radical Abolitionists (who would have instantly forced the end of slavery and destroyed the Union) and the pro-slavery advocates (who would have had their goal reached at the same destructive price).

Lincoln knew he had a partner in his vital mission to preserve the Union. He also knew his partner had the grander vision and the greater plan. Which brings me back to President Obama’s statement.

Everyone, and every idea, has its “shadow side.” This is the person or idea turned on its head, so to speak, misusing its energy to accomplish not the highest good but rather the expedient and/or self-serving outcome. Both Presidents Lincoln and Obama tell us that if you build it you do not do so or succeed alone. You have a partner. The critical difference between these two leaders is the end to which their perspectives lead a nation.

President Obama would have us believe that our “partner”…with a small “p”…is everyone and anyone along the way who had any input into our journey. Therefore, they too deserve the benefits and profits of the outcome.  It is this belief in “entitlement” that has caused so much division and, now hatred, among the citizenry. This perspective generates a “right” not found in either our Bibles or our Constitution. Even God demands action on our part as a quid pro quo to Divine protection and prosperity.

President Lincoln had a “Partner” as well. However, that Partner was the Supreme Being Itself to whom Lincoln turned, drew upon, and publicly acknowledged. He was, after all, the President who initiated a Federal Day of Thanksgiving and signed a Proclamation for a National Day of “humiliation, fasting and prayer” during the Civil War.  President Obama is the first President in the history of the Nation not to mention God in his formal Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Contrary to President Obama’s words, which result in ego-based entitlement and the remedy of forced redistribution of wealth, President Lincoln’s actions sought spiritual and national unity engendered by submission to the purpose and power of Divine principles.

As a result of Lincoln’s certainty in his beliefs and willingness to publicly acknowledge the role of the Divine in human history, the Civil War was followed by a stronger Union than had ever before been achieved. We truly became The United States of America. This was in no small way attributable to the insight, foresight and deeply held theological beliefs of the Nation’s leader at the time.

My conclusion is my prayer. That the Nation awakens to the shadow side of the principles that President Obama supports and advocates. We will not be joined, and will not survive, so long as we believe not in God but in government as the authority and power that makes life worth living. As we traverse these potentially perilous times, we have had quite enough “vanity of vanities.” Let us now seek to rediscover humility by acknowledging Divinity.

Devotees of Ayn Rand ask “Who is John Galt?” I would concur adding, “and where is our Abraham Lincoln?”

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An Open Letter To Romney Supporters

I had many people reach out to me today via email and phone calls to express their disappointment, frustration, depression, anxiety, and even anger over the re-election of President Obama. I have responded in the same way to each of them. Since their range of emotions is likely indicative of all those who supported Governor Romney, let me share my response here for those of you who feel similarly.

There are no accidents. Life has a plan even when we lack our own or fail to recognize the grander one. I see profound meaning and glorious potential in what has occurred.

The Torah, the first five books of Moses, has God on occasion calling the Israelites a “stiff-necked people.” By that is meant that they can be, and at times were, resistant to following Divine Guidance.  I think the word applies to our culture here in the United States.

For quite some time, certainly for the past 50 years, years, we’ve lost our way in terms of prioritizing our values. We became too materialistic, too impatient, too disrespectful of life for both the unborn and the elderly, too condescending to Nature, and too lacking in compassion for our fellow citizens. We look to the state and the federal government to do what is ours to do. We’ve abdicated personal responsibility in so many ways that we’ve forgotten how, and why, to do things for ourselves.

Such behavior is inconsistent with all the great religions of the world and so we have become a stiff-necked people.  Where there is abdication there always follows consequences. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that as government continues to grow and more and more people become externally reliant rather than self-reliant, and the freedom that comes with personal responsibility is eroded to the point that all people feel the constricting arms of dependency…we will awaken. When that occurs, we will have the opportunity to pay the price for the personal liberty we thought we could bargain for nothing. It is good news though.  Such a payment is always worth it and, yes assuredly, there is literally Light at the end of this tunnel.

For those of us already awake, it will be a smoother ride knowing that Divine Providence is driving and has a plan. For those unawakened, the ride will not be without its treacherous moments for a stiff neck takes a greater hit than one that has bent itself to the Will of God.

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World On The Brink

It begins.

We are witnessing the beginning of a global insurrection aimed at the downfall of Western civilization as we know it.  This is the end result of strange bedfellows having inadvertently, and in some cases deliberately, combined forces to achieve a common end: global domination.

It will be harder to reign in those forces now that we have been averse to self-correcting and accepting personal responsibility for our individual and collective contributions in allowing the world to lose it moral compass.

We have been gluttonous and greedy. We have feigned ignorance and allowed, in some cases condoned, oppression and suffering. The list of errors and omissions is not limited to the Western world. Eastern and Middle Eastern nations have suppressed and oppressed their own people. They condemned and tortured their own, often in the name of God, while diverting attention to the excesses of the West and blaming it for their own refusal to move into modernity.

Because of our unwillingness to be proactive, we find ourselves playing defense. So the question of the hour is, “How do we respond?” This is my answer.

1. Immediately bring all American troops home. They are overextended and depleted from multiple tours of duty.

2. Congress and the President to immediately cease, and suspend indefinitely, all financial aid to any country that protests against or attacks American interests. They do not deserve out help.

3. Alert the world that we will use our resources only to defend our borders and to support the defense of the State of Israel. They are a true ally and share in our humanity and love of freedom.

4. Above all stay focused upon peace and pray.

Judaism begins its 10-day holy period on September 16th which ends with the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, on September 26th. On that date, Ahmadinejad sought, and has been granted, the podium at the United Nations. Islamists love anniversaries and holidays. Do not overlook what is in the works. The time for burying heads in the sand is long gone. Awaken to the reality, take responsibility for the outcome, and create a new one before it is too late.

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Isaac’s Message

As I write this post, the predictors are that Hurricane Isaac, now barreling across the state of Florida toward the Gulf Coast, could result in catastrophic damage to Louisiana equal to that of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Not just in the same location but on the anniversary of the Katrina disaster.  Let’s pray otherwise. Since I’m a proponent of the theory that there are no accidents and everything happens for a reason, and since I’ve mentioned prayer, let’s see if there’s any ancient wisdom to be gleaned from the name of this Hurricane.

Isaac was the son of Abraham, the first Patriarch and progenitor of all three major religions. Abraham was told by God to bind Isaac to a rock (Mt. Moriah) and there offer him a sacrifice to God. Although Abraham was distraught at the instruction, it was Abraham’s unwavering faith and trust in God that caused him to come within seconds of slaughtering his own son. But it took more than Abraham’s faith. It took Isaac’s as well. Isaac was 37 years old at the time.

We all know the outcome. At the last moment, God directs Abraham to cease and desist and Isaac goes on to become the second Patriarch of the Jewish People.  So what’s the message Isaac brings?

Our safety, our very survival, is dependent upon our unwavering faith and trust in a benevolent, if not always understood, Creator.  It’s this unwavering faith that is often tested and, when found to be heartfelt, as often rewarded with the protection and well-being promised.

We are going through some rough times and each of us is being tested. There must have been a lesson to be learned from the Katrina disaster that we somehow missed. Perhaps it is about subjugating our Will.  Perhaps it is another attempt by Creator to awaken us in time to the compassion we lack and the priorities we have confused. Perhaps it is to remember that as Abraham and Isaac…we are not separate but in this together.

Regardless of our age or our inclination to doubt, let’s follow the example of Isaac and surrender to the Will of Creator by having trust that there is meaning in the chaos and faith that there will be goodness in the outcome.

In the meantime, pray for those in the path of this Isaac.

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