Dedicated to Those Who Gave All

30 05 2011

I wrote this poem many years ago after taking my family to visit the portable version of the Vietnam Memorial Wall which was visiting our town. It is called the “Moving Wall” because it is portable. However, it was emotionally one of the most ‘moving’ experiences of my life. Even though these verses were inspired by those valiant Americans whose names are engraved on that black wall, it is nonetheless a tribute to each and every person who has ever died in the service of our country. When this was written, my son whom I mentioned was about 6. He is now a 25 year old United States Marine Corps Reserve, and an Afghan vet.   He is my hero.

The Wall

I saw your name the other day
While reading the local news.
It said you played a good ball game,
Your last year, and you’ve paid your dues.

I saw your name then sometime later,
Graduation day had come.
You walked up proud and took the scroll
That your hard work had won.

I saw your name in another season
And smiled to myself as I read
Of a young married couple just starting out
With a promise and dreams ahead.

I saw your name a few months later
But this time it worried me.
Your name, and others, on a long list
Training for war overseas.

I saw your name and uttered a prayer
For you and your young family.
I knew of your character and duty-bound love
For country, for God, and for me.

I saw your name and thought of your father
Who fought in another time.
And he, just like you, hated to leave
His wife, and new son behind.

I saw your name just yesterday
And my heart broke as mist filled my eyes.
You were killed with some buddies while out on patrol
Where many a good young man dies.


I saw your name again just today
And all of your comrades’ as well,
Where flags fly high and monuments stand
With more stories than words can tell.

I saw your name on a glossy black wall
And as my throat became tight,
My chest swelled slightly with pride for a man
Who thought freedom was well worth the fight.

I saw your name in the deep black reflection
of the face of my dearest young son,
And prayed he would never be called on to go,
But would cherish the liberty won.

I saw your name and wondered just how
I might thank your family,
For sacrifice made for people unknown,
As well as my family, and me.

I saw your name and thought that perhaps
Despite lack of glory and fame,
It may be enough to think of you now,
And tell them that I saw your name.

Copyright (All rights Reserved)

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Fundamentals

1 07 2010

There is an old parable which goes something like this: “For want of a clench, a nail was lost. For want of a nail, a shoe was lost. For want of a shoe, a horse was lost. For want of a horse, a knight was lost. For want of a knight a battle was lost. For want of a battle, a kingdom was lost.” Well, something like that.

Words are like nails. The definition of a word determines the tightness of the clench. I’m into definitions. I suppose that is obvious from the name of this blogsite. The reason I’m into definitions is, to quote a famous radio personality, “Words mean things”. Words define sentences, which define subjects, which define ideas. Communication, even sign language, is reliant upon words to inflect meaning and definition of language expressing emotion, thoughts, intents, and ideas.

One word which particularly interests me these days is “fundamental“. The commonly used internet dictionary Merriam-Webster defines “fundamental” as follows: 1-a: serving as an original or generating source; [primary] b: serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function; [basic] 2-a: of or relating to essential structure, function, or facts; [radical also: of or dealing with general principles rather than practical application ] b: adhering to fundamentalism 3: of, relating to, or produced by the lowest component of a complex vibration 4: of central importance: [principal ] 5: belonging to one’s innate or ingrained characteristics: [deep-rooted] (note: some punctuation/symbols edited for clarity in this format)

Fundamental is a word used to express definitive structure or skeletal origin and principles concerning architecture, music, athletics, sociology, politics, religion, government, virtually everything tangible and intangible. Everything has a fundamental nature, cause, precept, function, ideology, value, means, or purpose. Even this article has a fundamental purpose.

That purpose specifically is to discuss the fundamentals of religion, and perhaps briefly, our government. Now, if you have read my page “God Hates Religion” you probably already know where I stand on the definition of religion. But for the sake of this discussion, I am going to refer to religion in the general sense and explore two of those: Islam and Christianity.

The fundamentals of a religion define it. As with a building, the foundation determines the size, shape, weight and height of a building. That is source of its existence. It’s “founding”. The fundamentals of a government are revealed in it’s founding documents. The founding documents of our American Government are the Mayflower Compact, The Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, and The Constitution of the United States. Further insight can be gained by studying the people who wrote those documents: “The Founders”. These define American government and give insight to America’s purpose as a nation. (Incidentally, I think I remember candidate Obama saying he wanted to “fundamentally change America”. Wonder what he meant by that?)

Likewise, in order to get to the fundamentals of a religion you must explore the founding documents and those key figures of it’s early existence. Those who adhere to the fundamentals of their religion are known as “fundamentalists”.

Fundamentalist Christians take the Bible as the Word of God. They also trust in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, as the Christ, the Son of the Living God as recorded in the pages of the Bible; Prophesied over 300 times in the Old Testament, and the central figure of the New Testament. They believe that He was born of a virgin, crucified on a Roman cross, suffered for the sins of all mankind, died, was buried and then was resurrected from the dead. The New Testament places Him present on Earth for 40 days after the resurrection and records Him to be seen by a minimum of over 500 people. He then ascended into Heaven and will return at the conclusion of this present age of Grace. These are the fundamentals of the Christian faith, which of course are dependent upon the Bible as its founding documentation.

Examining the Bible as a founding document, we find a collection of documents actually, from the Law of Moses, to the Psalms, to the Prophets and including the Gospels and the letters right up to the prophecy of The Revelation. These documents written over a period of 1500 years, given by revelation through the Holy Spirit to 40 men over that span of time, all fit together, none contradicting another.

Islamic Fundamentalists likewise take the Koran as the word of Allah as dictated to Muhammad by the angel Jibril (Gabriel to you Bible scholars). They do not however believe that Muhammad is the son of Allah (“Allah forbid that he have a son!” (Koran Sura 19). Muhammad never claimed to be the son of Allah, or even the messiah. He did however claim to be the last and greatest Prophet, and established the law of abrogation, which nullifies every prophet, scripture, and revelation to precede him. Muhammad even used the law of abrogation to nullify those passages of Koran which taught peace and love, by those which teach violence and death to those who do not submit to Allah’s religion of Islam. Sura 9 was the last major revelation from Jibril to Muhammad and it is indeed the most violent. Abrogation defined is “the latter takes precedence over the former”.

During the last ten years of his life, Muhammad himself led or planned 66 raids in many of which men, women, and children alike were butchered, property confiscated or burned, and slaves taken, used or traded. He took to wife a 6 year old child, consummating the marriage when she was 9. Although Muhammad had limited his followers to only 4 wives, he enjoyed 11 not counting slave girls he kept to service him.

Muhammad would fall into a “trance” (some speculate a seizure) and come to with a new revelation from Allah, which he recited (this is what Quran means, “recitation”) to his companions. Muhammad did not read or write, being illiterate. All his Koran was verbally transferred and retained by memory for years until after his death, and during the Uthman Caliphate the Koran was finally standardized in written form, aggregating bits and pieces of Sura’s from palm leaves, bone, skins, and memory of the reciters.

The “Golden Age of Islam” that is so vaunted by Islam’s scholars and sympathizers, was that time period after Muhammad’s death, in which Islam was ruled by the “Four Rightly Guided Caliphs” of the 7th Century up through about 1100 AD. All four of those Caliphs were either killed in battle or assassinated. The fourth, Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali presided over a massive civil war in which Muslims killed Muslims by the tens of thousands. From this came the two schools of Sunni and Shia Islam.

So there is your founding for Islam. A Koran which in fact contradicts itself in numerous places, is inconsistent in content and directive, a prophet which claimed to be the exclusive, last and greatest channel of Allah’s law and directive for Mankind, and a blood-soaked century in which the believers were ordered, and dutifully obeyed, murdering, robbing, raping those who would not submit to Muhammad’s new religion of Islam.

Now at this point,, you may be thinking, “What about the Crusades when the Christians killed so many Muslims?” Great question and I’m glad that you asked. Remember now, we are talking about Fundamentalism. The Crusades did not begin until 1095 AD. Jesus died in 30 AD.

Jesus never told His disciples to kill anyone. In fact, to the contrary he said, “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword” and He chastised Peter for attempting to defend Him with his sword.  His commission to His followers was to “Go into all the World and preach the Gospel to every creature”. (Mark 16:15) Muhammad said, “Make war on them: Allah will chastise them at your hands and humble them.” (Sura 9:14) The only blood that Jesus ever shed was His own.

The Crusades were largely organized and carried out by the Roman Church originally to stop the tide of Islam invading Europe.  Some Crusades were sponsored by kings themselves seeking glory in battle and sometimes they devolved into something less honorable and Jews, and Papacy rejecting Christians were killed instead of Muslim invaders. This never was a fundamental facet to Christianity and has been held up by its critics as part and parcel of the Christian religion. No, it doesn’t stick. Go back and check the definition of “Fundamental”. Then read your Bible again. Oh, there was plenty of blood for the Christians too, in their first 300 years. Christian blood quenched the dust of the Roman Colosseum and amphitheatres throughout the empire. Romans hunted them for sport, and used them as human torches at garden parties. They were despised, nonetheless they multiplied in such great numbers they changed history.

You see, the fundamental documents, the teachings, and the founders of the religion defines it. Those beliefs are at the core, not the extremities or the fringe. Diagram A illustrates the politically correct view as opposed to the factually correct view.

Diagram A

As you can see the Fundamentalist must be the core value holder simply by definition. If placed on the extremities of the circle, it is no longer a fundamental but an extremity. For example, your hand is an extremity; you can exist without it. Your core (torso) contains your vital organs. Without your vital organs your extremities cannot exist and function.

Diagram B illustrates the effect that each has upon the mainstream. The Fundamentalist, adhering to the core of the belief system, is the influencing factor on the entirety of the religion. The closer you are to the fundamentals, the less you are influenced by the extremities. Conversely, the Extremist, or the fringe element has no practical access to the core values or the fundamentals of the belief system.

Diagram B

So here now is the myth of Islam: “Islam is basically a Peaceful Religion that has been “Hi-Jacked” by Extremists”. Now here is the fact: Islam was a peaceful religion for nearly 13 years while Muhammad resided in Mecca. As he became more obnoxious and belligerent the Meccan’s threatened his life and he and his companions fled to Medina which was a bit more accepting. From there he began raiding Meccan caravans for a living and finally provoked a war.

Islam at its very core is flawed. The fundamentals are inconsistent with a practical and uniform belief system. Its self proclaimed prophet is inconsistent with all that is just and good. It’s deity called Allah is impersonal, untouchable, unloving, and without grace and mercy. Heavy on judgment, Allah would never condescend to sinful Man and offer any semblance of relationship.

This all should make sense by now; Allah is not the God of the Bible. Allah’s symbol is the Moon. The Bible says the moon is the ruler over the darkness, “the lesser light to rule the night”. (Gen. 1:16) The “greater light” to rule the day is known as the Sun. That’s Messiah. (Malachi 4:2) More specifically, Jesus is referred to by Peter as the “day star” (2 Pet. 1:17-19).

So if Allah is not God, and is the “ruler of darkness”, who does that remind you of, Hmmm? Fundamentally, speaking…..








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