Young Israel: The world begins again

It is not inconceivable that any form and vision of globalization — Marx’s, Hamilton’s, the Democrats’, the Republicans’, Obama’s, Clinton’s, Bono’s, Lady Gaga’s, Osama Bin Laden’s and the churches of Paul, John Paul and John, Paul, George and Ringo — will be considered totalitarian in the millennium ahead. It has been my creeping awareness in almost seven decades’ application to life as soldier, writer, farmer, stone-wall builder, husband to one and father to four. Sometimes the priest, like Bono, accompanies the conquistadors. Sometimes the conquistadors follow the priests.


Ron Paul speaks truth to hate

On this day, let’s give a standing ovation to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) for speaking out against the sunshine patriots who play the politics of hate to play on the fear of terror.

If I were an all-out supporter of Ron Paul, I would nominate him for the Nobel Peace 
Prize. Of course, as Paul has now said, those who spread the lie that it was all Muslims throughout the world who attacked America on that September morning are also those who seem to favor the most wars in the most places, usually so long as other Americans fight them.

Ron Paul's criticism of those who exploit the pain of the great terrorist attack to foment the latest form of the politics of hate is a profile in courage and is an example of patriotism of the highest order.

Most opponents of the Muslim center in New York are good people with genuine concerns who in many cases make valid points. Reasonable people can support or oppose this particular project in this particular place.
However, there are political exploiters, Newt Gingrich being one, a Republican politician in New York who Hillary Clinton obliterated when she ran against him for the Senate being another, who are playing the politics of hate.

Anyone who equates all Muslims with al Qaeda is playing the politics of hate using the weapons of bigotry and fear. Ron Paul is right when he attacks the "sunshine patriots" who wrap themselves around the flag of liberty when it is easy but exploit the politics of hate and fear when it is hard.

So, on this day, let’s give a standing ovation to Ron Paul, a true patriot, who speaks truth to hate.


Masking the real issue with the mosque

It's time for us to admit it: Americans, at least a lot of us, simply don't like Muslims very much.

A lot has been made of the recent CNN survey about that proposed mosque at the 9/11 site. Politicians, particularly those on the right, have jumped all over the 68 percent negative response when participants were asked whether they favored or opposed constructing that particular Islamic Center. But a new one gives the more complete picture.


Proposed mosque brings out worst in America

Puh-leeze! Can we come to our senses when it comes to the proposed Islamic Cultural Center near Ground Zero?

The arguments being made against it by Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani and other political cheap-shot experts are absurd.

First, they insist, this is “hallowed ground.” No, it’s not. The mosque would not be built at Ground Zero, but two blocks away — on a busy commercial street. Two blocks from Ground Zero today, you can already find a strip club, an off-track betting parlor, a McDonald’s and Burger King, an Irish pub, pizza joint and Dunkin’ Donuts. They’re OK and a mosque is not? Puh-leeze!


Republican values, past their expiration date

The ongoing imbroglio over the construction of a mosque on private property in lower Manhattan has proven two things: 1. Cable news has something to get it through the doldrums of August, and 2. The Republican Party will use even the U.S. Constitution as a weapon of hate.


Conservatives should denounce bigotry that hurts American troops

Regarding the president's comments about the Muslim center and mosque near the site of 9/11, let’s have some straight talk about exactly what is happening.

Obviously this latest example of the president's instinct to say whatever is on his mind, despite the damage it does to Democrats running for reelection, was damaging to Democrats.

But whether one believes the president was intrinsically right or wrong (I believe he was right) and politically smart or stupid (I believe it was stupid), the larger truth of this important matter is the open appeal to racism, bigotry and fear by a vocal minority of Republicans.


Let's stop the charade

In his blog entry of Aug. 3, Armstrong Williams writes, "The Boston Tea Party, in which colonists dumped the usuriously taxed products of Britain into the Boston Harbor, was an act of defiance inspired by Christ’s repudiation of the money-changers."

This is a stretch or, if true, is a serious misunderstanding — at least on the part of the first Tea Partiers — of the event described in all four Gospels.


What happened to Manifest Destiny?

If we fast-forward a couple of millennia or so to the birth of the American nation, we once again see the influence of Christ as a central tenet in the political equation.

Many of the early European settlers in this land were willing to uproot themselves from their homes in hope of finding a place in which they could practice their religion without interference from the government. In 16th-century Europe the Church had become wealthy and corrupt, and was in bed with the monarchies in wielding political power. Established religion had ceased to be a source of liberty and was used to enslave the masses.