A reality check at Christmas…

In Isaiah 9:6, Jesus is referred to as the Prince of Peace.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Now, I don’t really know what a “prince of peace” is, but I know what peace is.  One definition is as follows…

freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.
“you can while away an hour or two in peace and seclusion”
synonyms:    tranquility, calm, restfulness, peace and quiet, peacefulness, quiet, quietness; More
privacy, solitude
“can’t a man get any peace around here?”

And another definition is simply this:

freedom from or the cessation of war or violence.
“the Straits were to be open to warships in time of peace”
synonyms:    law and order, lawfulness, order, peacefulness, peace-ableness, harmony, nonviolence;

In the yard of a house up the street from me is a yard sign that reads, ‘Jesus is the reason for the season.’  But a recent poll of the worshipers of the prince of peace in America and the reason for the Christmas season is interesting:

A majority of Americans think that the harsh interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were justified, even as about half of the public says the treatment amounted to torture, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

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I think it was Jesus who coined the phrase that the meek shall inherit the earth.  I suppose a little torture mixed in the recipe for peace can’t be a totally bad thing?  I guess the thought that our leaders are mixing in a little torture here and there is a “peaceful’ thought, if we use it against people who would do us harm?  Wonder why Jesus didn’t use a little torture against the Romans?

Americans yammer on and on about ‘God blessing America’ and America is a Christian nation.  Is this any way for a Christian nation to behave?  Americans go so far as a rewrite of American History to make their point.

The founders of American government were Christian they say.

In the words of the founder… Mr. Paine…

…compulsive systems of religion, and compulsive articles of faith, has not only precipitated my intention, but rendered a work of this kind exceedingly necessary, lest in the general wreck of superstition, of false systems of government, and false theology, we lose sight of morality, of humanity, and of the theology that is true.

-Thomas Paine
age of reason

Mr. Jefferson the President of the United States of America…

Jefferson believed that reason, not revelation, was the path to true religion. He warned his nephew Peter Carr to beware of sectarian claims that a particular group had discovered the one teaching that set them apart from all others as the one true faith. He also urged Carr to “shake off all the fears and servile prejudices under which weak minds are servilely crouched.” In other words, do not let fear cloud independent judgment in the search for religious truth; conduct your own investigation. He urged Carr to “fix reason firmly in her seat, an d call to her tribunal every fact, e very opinion.” Do not depend upon the bible, upon the church, upon ministers. All of those are filled with a mixture of superstition and truth, prejudice and perspicacity. He counseled his nephew to question every religious claim, including the existence of God and the veracity of the Bible. Indeed, he should read the Bible as he would any other book…

Certainly Franklin, Adams , Jefferson, Paine, Madison, Hamilton, and Jay were unwilling to submit to the authority of any church’s clergy, nor were they willing to accept uncritically the Bible as God’s word. They treasured religious liberty more than they valued any religious view because they believed that if minds were free, then the truth would eventually surface”

Notes From: Frank Lambert. “The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America.” iBooks. Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itun.es/us/lnj5Q.l

The words of Benjamin Franklin:

Here is my Creed: I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable Service we can render to him, is doing Good to his other Children…. I think the System of Morals [devised by Jesus] and his Religion as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw, or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his Divinity.

And a Merry Xmas to you all and may you find enlightenment in the New Year.

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