The Assassin.

Maps are from Grandma Bernard’s Catholic bible, 1906.  All of the maps in this Bible can be seen here: Bible 1906005.  Each pdf map can be enlarged substantially.

Each time, the outrages get worse, so I won’t say we’ve seen it all.

The most recent, with this most recent resident of the White House, is the tweet effectively assassinating two members of the U.S. Congress planning to visit Israel/Palestine.  He knows what his intent was: to not only destroy them, but everything and everybody who represents in any way their point of view, including their religion.

My choice today is this:

  1.  There is a deliberate effort, these days, to kill others by assassination.  Physically killing the other is not proper, so we assassinate their character or presumed intent, and can feel self-righteous about this.  But it is assassination, nonetheless.  Since the current conversation is about a visit to Israel by two Moslem Congresswomen, the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin November 4, 1995, is worth revisiting.   In that instance, I happened to travel to Israel in January, 1996, when the tragedy was still very ‘fresh’.
  2. It seems a good time to revisit the Biblical area in dispute.  My 1906 Bible is the oldest one I have, and it was printed long before the artificial creation of what is now called Israel.  So enjoy reviewing the old maps.
  3. You might want to review the Ten Commandments.  There are two “Christian” versions, and of course, you can find interpretations of both (Catholic/Lutheran and Protestant).  Just put in your search engine Ten Commandments Catholic Protestant, and look at more than the argument you prefer.  (It was a Jewish rabbi, doing a workshop with a Catholic Priest, who pointed out to us that there are differing renditions of these commanments.)
  4. Best I know, Christian, Jew and Moslem share most of the elements of their idea of religion.  They along with all other religious ideas are all human beings.  The common element of wars in one way or another almost always involve beliefs, which are based on interpretation of words, often played out by extremist actors who, in our present day, ‘take the law into their own hands’ to eliminate the evil ‘other’.  I had an interesting opportunity to explore the quandary 14 years ago, and wrote a little paper afterwards, if you are interested: Mercy001.
  5. To those who believe that “white” is right, a friend sent me an interesting graphic the other day about the origins of humanity.  You can view it here – scroll down to second illustration.

POSTNOTE, 5 PM:  I published this blog before going to church this morning.  At church, the Gospel text was provocative and on point, in my opinion.  Our pastor gave his own perspective on what the text means.  Here it is, as I saw it in print:

What the writer of Luke meant is open to interpretation.  This text could be a good beginning for a Bible Study Group about our current state of affairs in the United States of America.

A beginning thought: we are all parts of relationships, whether we wish or not.  Nothing in a relationship is certain except, likely, that not everyone thinks alike.  But one thing is quite certain: a successful relationship presumes that each party has a stake in it.

Now, we have a country in which one person by force of personality (and abetted by Twitter and television), presumes to control outcomes, not only in domestic politics but foreign relationships.  It is a recipe for disaster.

Let’s talk.

POSTNOTE 2, 4 AM:  For a very interesting and longer analysis, read this mornings Just Above Sunset, “The White Guy With the Shiny Teeth”.


from Jeff:  I didn’t know this, but apparently there was a mirror image of this matter during Obama’s administration,  An Israeli Knesset member was denied entry to the USA for a visit.    Certainly interesting.

Re your 4th point… interesting that Eid el Adha Muslim holiday ended last week, supposedly celebrates the end of the visits to Mecca, but also commemorates the faith of Abraham in his obedience to God to sacrifice his child.

from Judy: As usual Dick, excellent and very helpful.

from Carol:  As you may know, I was raised rightwing conservative evangelical (altho’ we didn’t have all the terms back then… we were just, you know, “right” as opposed to those Lutherans and such who were all wrong – and Catholics, of course, were akin to heathen).  So all this just makes my blood boil.  What many people don’t understand is that doubting (i.e., thinking for yourself) is considered “of the devil.”  They believe what they’re told, by their religious authorities.  And their following now of Trump IS cult-like.  There’s no other explanation for how they can ignore all his totally anti-Christ-like behavior (and I don’t mean swearing in a rally…)  It’s – as he would say – SAD.

I have relatives who are there.  This has divided my family into cousins who are “fairly sane” and some who probably never were but it sure now is obvious
from Fred: Excellent commentary Richard. Reminding me of the assassination of Rabin is particularly significant. I was shocked that I hadn’t considered it in years. Thanks for including the maps. I gave them a careful review.
From Jerry:  Hi, Dick.  Thanks for this reflection.  I was at family reunion this weekend.  My 75 year old evangelical minister gave the Sunday reflection.  Much of it reflected on the enemy Muslims who are  great threat to our Christianity.  Lee is, of course, a Trump supporter who travels the country preaching.
4 replies
  1. Joyce Denn
    Joyce Denn says:

    Regarding the three versions of the Ten Commandments (Catholic/Lutheran, Protestant, Jewish), I frequently present that as an argument against requiring the Ten Commandments in public places; which version, that is, which religion, should the government endorse? In fact, while ten commandments are singled out, the Hebrew Scriptures (the preferred name over “Old Testament”) actually contain 613 commandments, though only adult men are required to follow all of them.

    • dickbernard
      dickbernard says:

      At the same session where the Rabbi educated us about the two versions of the Christian Ten Commandments, he gave us a sheet with a third column, including the Jewish equivalents of the other two. Except for the numbering, the three seem almost identical. For example, V. In the Jewish and Protestant, it is “Honor your mother and father”; whereas Catholic/Lutheran is “You shall not kill”. In the Catholic/Lutheran, mother and father is IV. I handwrote on the Jewish, that those were apparently “Capital Crimes”, without defining further. Interesting. Thank you much for the comment.

  2. Joyce Denn
    Joyce Denn says:

    There is some thought that “thou shalt not kill” is a mistranslation; there are several in the King James Version, and probably in other versions as well. There are situations that may require killing, such as war or self defense, and the God of the Hebrew Scriptures certainly demanded a lot of killing. The correct translation would be, don’ Commit murder.

    • dickbernard
      dickbernard says:

      Of course, what you say demonstrates the problem with words when beliefs are involved. I hope you take time to read the little essay I did in 2005, which I think is titled “Mercy”! Again, thanks for feeding in.


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