Huzzah, everyone! One of my interviews was published in Secular Nation magazine. Right now, the article itself is only available in print, but the magazine site itself is http://www.atheistalliance.org/secular/index.php#new_issue
Also, please check out my Not My God video. Thanks again to all who participated. Let’s make another one if, Darwin willing, my book is picked up. I admit, though, I’m a little embarrassed by how I looked and sounded. Gosh, do I really sound like that?!? Ugh. How come no one tells me I sound so hideous?
Please check out my new submissions of people’s stories. Not every one will make it to the book I am writing, but nevertheless, everyone’s stories are worth reading.
It’s not directly about atheism, but…
Lots of people have been asking me, and I’ve been discussing online, the current situation with Israel. My mom lives there, so I have an affiliation to the country that biases me, although I think I would feel the same way no matter where she lived. To those of you who asked, she and her husband and friends are fine, thanks for asking, but naturally concerned. If you’ve read a couple of my older posts, you’ll know that I lived in Israel, as well, and yes, my feelings about being forcibly moved there were less than charitable, but today I acknowledge the importance of Israel.
I have a homemade poster in my room depicting the Israeli flag and the caption, “These colors don’t run, either. Stand with freedom and democracy.” Over my desk, I keep a copy of the Israeli National anthem, HaTivka (“The Hope”) which here I translate loosely:
As long as every (spiritually) living Jewish heart goes on,
We advance towards the East,
Our eye to Zionism.
We have not lost our hope,
The 2,000-year-old hope
To be a free people in Our Land
The land of Zionism and Jerusalem
Yes, I’m not religiously Jewish, but nothing can change the fact that I’m ethnically Jewish. Israel was created in part because, given the events of history, Jews need a sanctuary…although I’ve expressed some skepticism in the past that grouping us together in a small part of the world would make it that much easier for our enemies to “finish the job.” Think how easy it would be to club chickens in a chicken coop. That aside, here in Brookline, a very liberal city with a large percentage of Jews, we’ve had demonstrations for both Israel and Palestine. I told the pro-Israel demo that I was on their side, as they proudly held the flag, singing, “Am Yisrael Chai,” which loosely translates into “Long Live the Nation of Israel.” I sang along as I walked towards home.
Again, yes, I’m not religiously Jewish— but Israel is the only truly democratic and free country in the Middle East. It is a small free nation, surrounded by enemies on all sides, peoples who well and truly wish to destroy us. Obviously, I am sympathetic to innocent Palestinians who are dying, but I’m with Israel here.
My feelings are strong, as my feelings with regards to Islam have been strong in the last several years. I know that not everyone, not all Jews, nor all atheists, are with me on all this. For one of my discussions on the matter, look here. I would like to quote it here in full, but it would take up too much space.
I: You got that right.
In the case of Israel, Israel needs to exist. The US and the rest of the free world needs to think: who are our friends and who are our enemies? Your friend is the nation of people who live in a free country with a true democracy and not governed by religious dogma. Your enemy is the one whose people were cheering in the streets when September 11th happened.
V (Other poster): Sarah, it’s clearly a bigoted statement you’ve made there. If only reality were so prejudiced and myopic. I too saw video clips of Palestinian peasants cheering on Sept. 11th. This doesn’t persuade me that ALL Palestinians are enemies any more than a black riot or a white supremacist group’s lynching persuade me that ALL whites are racists and ALL blacks are angry bigots. Equally weak is the idea that any and all democracies are allies on every American concern or issue.
A war that is waged by a government, where millions of innocent civilians are killed, and excused by that government as “acceptable casualties,” is hardly more moral than a terrorist organization that targets thousands of innocent civilians and calls that “acceptable” turn-around.
In the “Isreal and her enemies” conflict, when it is not clear “who started it,” we can’t just take sides arbitrarily just because it’s politically expedient. Peace only happens with mutual consent and real compromise. In my understanding of Isreal’s history, it is not clear that Isreal has abided by treaties set down 40 years ago. Those that side with Isreal excuse her for breaking the treaties and making land grabs against the UN decisions. If that doesn’t really matter, then what does?
I: I know that I’m bigoted and I think it’s a justifiable and essential bigotry. I am no longer going to be “tolerant” of ideas that threaten me and freedom.
I am not at all saying that all Palestinians are our enemies. I am speaking of the entity itself. I look at the sheer numbers of supporters of Islamofacism, and there are a lot– not just a small niche like Caucasians in the KKK.
Again, Israel does not target civilians. Palestine does. Israel does not indoctrinate children to become suicide bombers. Palestine does. Do all Palestinians do this? Of course not. However, lots of them do. Look at the facts of the situation rather than accept things in the name of “tolerance.”
Again, who are your friends? Who are your enemies?
If you live in Boston, I invite you to join me for coffee and see that I’m not as bad as you think:)
(me again, not on the Amazon discussion)
Even now, Americans don’t know what it’s like to have your enemies next door, blasting rockets at you, so before any pro-Palestine people who are reading this think Israel isn’t really defending itself, think again.
Just kidding. This is Not My God, a site for the personal aspect of atheism. I'm putting together a book with that title, having already 20 interviews lined up, but I still want to hear from more of you.
I've expanded the blog to include material not related to atheism, including rants, raves, consumer issues, curmudgeonly matters and other miscellany.
Read more about Not My God on the About page
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