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Finally, The Truth...
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      © Kushánd 2006

    Here is a combination of a copy of an email I received recently and my response to the email. The email was orginally a chain-mail and was passed on to me for comment from someone who's name I cannot disclose.

    The email is derived from a television program, "The Early Show" (date unknown), and contains an analysis of its content, as well as personal commentary provided by its initiator. I don't know the context of the program in which the interview was given, so my comments here may be out of sync with that. Never the less, I want to publish my response, because I too am one who complains about the shape the world is in and search for plausible solutions and remedies.

    I will begin by presenting the original mail, in its entirety for comparison and analysis, to which I have only added HTML-formating:


    Finally, The Truth on National TV Billy Graham's daughter was being interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this happen?"

    And Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said "I believe that God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman that He is, I believe that He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand that He leave us alone?"

    I know there's been a lot of emails going around in regards to 9/11/01, but this really makes you think. If you don't have time, at least skim through it, but the bottom line is something to think about.... In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.

    Let's see, I think it started when Madeline Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, body was found recently) complained she didn't want any prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

    Then, someone said you better not read the Bible in school... the Bible that says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said, OK.

    Then, Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide) And we said, an expert should know what he's talking about so we said OK.

    Then, someone said teachers and principals better not discipline our children when they misbehave. And the school administrators said no faculty member in this school better touch a student when they misbehave because we don't want any bad publicity, and we surely don't want to be sued (There's [a] big difference between disciplining and touching, beating, smacking, humiliating, kicking, etc.) And we said, OK.

    Then someone said, let's let our daughters have abortions if they want, and they won't even have to tell their parents. And we said, OK.

    Then some wise school board member said, since boys will be boys and they're going to do it anyway, let's give our sons all the condoms they want, so they can have all the fun they desire, and we won't have to tell their parents they got them at school. And we said, OK.

    Then some of our top elected officials said it doesn't matter what we do in private as long as we do our jobs. And agreeing with them, we said it doesn't matter to me what anyone, including the President, does in private as long as I have a job and the economy is good.

    And then someone said let's print magazines with pictures of nude women and call it wholesome, down-to-earth appreciation for the beauty of the female body. And we said, OK.

    And then someone else took that appreciation a step further, and published pictures of nude children and then stepped further still by making them available on the Internet. And we said OK, they're entitled to their free speech.

    And then the entertainment industry said let's make TV shows and movies that promote profanity, violence, and illicit sex. And let's record music that encourages rape, drugs, murder, suicide, and satanic themes. And we said it's just entertainment, it has no adverse effect, and nobody takes it seriously anyway, so go right ahead.

    Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with

    "Dear God,
    Why didn't you save the little girl killed in her classroom?"
    Concerned Student...


    "Dear Concerned Student,
    I am not allowed in schools".

    Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.
    Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.
    Funny how everyone wants to go to heaven provided they do not have to believe, think, say, or do anything the Bible says.
    Funny how someone can say "I believe in God" but still follow Satan who, by the way, also "believes" in God.
    Funny how we are quick to judge but not to be judged.
    Funny how you can send a thousand 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
    Funny how the lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene pass freely through cyberspace, but the public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
    Funny how someone can be so fired up for Christ on Sunday, but be an invisible Christian the rest of the week. Are you laughing?
    Funny how when you go to forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them.
    Funny how I can be more worried about what other people think of me than what God thinks of me. Are you thinking?

    Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it....no one will know that you did. But, if you discard this thought process, then don't sit back and complain about what a bad shape the world is in!

    Author unknown.



    Now, my comments:

    Initially, the first few sentences shocked me because of their outright adamance. Because of this, I frankly didn't know what to comment on first. If I remember correctly, it was the good witch of the north who said, "it's always best to start at the beginning." But, what is really the beginning, according to this mail? The many subtle implications in the first few sentences, as far as I can tell, place the actual beginning somewhere in the roots of America's perception of Christianity and knowledge of the execution of its belief.

    The concept of Christianity portrayed in the email implicitly indicates that its realm doesn't extend beyond the borders of America, as it seems the author and those written about don't seem to be able to invision Christianity any further than America's borders. Although there is mention of the "shape of the world" in the mail, phrases like "...God is saddened just as we are....", "...our schools...., "...our lives....", "...out of our government....", "...His(!) blessing....", ...[us] his(!) protection....", ...us....", symbolize a simple, naive and limited perception to the contrary. Where as all Christians, by mere definition, must oppose violence in every form, the author and the author's subjects communicate or convey the notion that the world's violent state began "recent[ly]", specifically on or about September 11, 2001! You must agree that this view is at best short cited.

    My analysis of the opening question furthered my unsurity on where to begin. I found myself asking, "who do you have to be before someone could or would ask you a question like: How could God let something like this happen?" I propose that even the Pope would raise his eyebrows if the question were posed to him. I mean, what does a question like that imply about the person asking and the person answering? For the person the question is directed to, it says to me: "You know God (got his cell-phone or fax number; are you laughing?)". And for the person posing the question, it says to me, "If anyone is an authority on God, it's you!" Wooooh! Biblical history tells us Jesus was killed for making statements like that to his people. What do you do or say to a person that does it in America? Give them a spot on your talk show? The person who formulated the email said about the person that responded to the question: "[she is] extremely profound (as in serious or wise) and insightful (as in intelligent, intuitive)", but neglected to indicate that this person must be on God's buddy-list. I'm purposely being synical! (are you thinking?) Seems to me, the person asking the question is also somewhat of an authority on who's an authority on God, or could the television program the interview appeared on acutally have been a comedy show? Do Americans generally belive that they have a personal line of some kind to God or did I miss something?

    Well, OK! Even if I except the notion that two "God-authorities", as I choose to call them, sat together on this, where did they get the idea that God is male ("him"), God can be judged to have human morality ("a gentleman"), God follows American' directives ("...telling God to get out of our schools...."), ("demand that he{!} leave us alone")? And by the way, who "us"? Isn't there something inherently wrong with the personification of God by calling God "him"? Isn't it written in the Old Testament that God told Moses to tell everyone who asked "...I am that I am. Tell them the God I Am sent you"? If "God-authorities" have the privilege of ignoring that, I'm a hypocrite. Is the author of the email aware of that, or does he/she reserve a special privilege as well? (hope you're still thinking?)

    But, the passage "...God is saddened....", really got me troubled! I asked myself, if God is saddened by that murder (unfortunately the mail doesn't say what God is saddened about so I assume it's the murder of the six year old girl in the class room of a Michigan school), how does God feel about the murder of Palestinians, Israeli's, just to name a few? The email would have you think only a "God-authority" would know this for sure, but I would again assume God would have to be in a state of lamentation by now. No wait. If that was enough to sadden God, then the murder of innocent people over decades and centuries would have already had God in need of medical care, while in a perpetual state of manic depression! But, as I said, the email implies that only a "God-authority" would know this for sure! Or, could it be that they are implying God is only affected by the tragedies that occur in America? Then, how did God feel when the Europeans arrived in the "new world" and started killing the natives (some groups were, as we all should know, totally wiped out)? But, that wasn't America then. Well, how did God feel after the torture and killings of enslaved Africans? Did I miss an email in which the "God-authorities" informed that God has already recovered from that, where as America and Africa haven't? Any "God-authorities" thinking about this?

    Truly, as the author wrote, the bottom line is something to think about! And what is the bottom line (or is the author refering to the bottom line of the page?) I'll get to my interpretation, so read on, if your interested.

    The mail continues with, "...I think it started when Madelaine Murray O'Hare complained..." What is suppose to have started then? Terrorists attacks? School shootings? God being saddened? Is the person being interviewed saying God started to "camly back out" then? My response clearly provides evidence to support the fact that I'm no "God-authority" -- I didn't know that.

    With all-of-the-above, the author and the two "God-authorities" would like us to believe, stemed from the lack of a bible in the lives of Americans! At this point, I found it necessary to remind myself of a few important historical events with the objective of finding evidence to support the concept that there is a link between the availability of the Christian bible and violence. So now, I asked myself, "How realistic is this idea of an association between violence and Christianity, the non-availability of it in a society?" My thoughts journeyed back to America at its beginnings, and the "Pilgrims".

    History tells us the "Pilgrams" left Europe to exercise religous freedom unhindered in the "new world". Wasn't it these first "Americans" that began the slaughter of the indigenous people of that land? Isn't it true that back then, they would stop at nothing to get rid them, even to the point that they were the first in history to use biological warfare? Isn't it true that over 400 years ago, these "Pilgrams", using the same bible that Christians use today, gave Native Americans blankets infested with deadly deseases, which caused death in agony and the extinction of whole peoples. I pondered that for a while, then realized that the indigenous people of America don't fair any better in America today than they did then.

    Apartheid then came to my mind, you know, the offical South African government policy that separated Europeans from non-Europeans, through which white Christians were able to massacre millions of black Africans as stead-fast bible worshipers. I recently saw a documentary on South Africa. In that, I saw that today white South Africans now kill black South Africans for SENDING their children to school, for fear that this would eventually deplet the number of farm-hands dependent on them! For me, that sounded a lot like America from the turn of the century up into the 70's. I already knew that most South Africans, particularly white South Africans, are very religious and exercise the Christian faith regularly. So there they have bibles!

    Then, I got caught-up on the part about "...9/11....really mak[ing] you think." Just for the record, I wanted to know what the word "terror" really means, or what constitutes "terrorist attacks". I turned then to Webster which defines terror/terrorism as follows:

    terror: "(n) 1. An overwhelming fear; extreme dread; 2. A person or thing that causes extreme fear;"


    terrorism: "(n) 1. The act of terrorizing or the state of being terrorized; 2. Threat or acts of violence, esp. as a means of intimidating or coercing; --terrorist n.;"

    My mind picked out some of the horror scenarios I had experienced growing up on the south-side of Chicago. I recalled the daily activities of the local police in my then low-income neighborhood and in neighborhoods nearby which were and still are populated by people of African or Spanish descent and I realized that terrorism didn't start in America when "Ms. O'Hare complained that she didn't want any prayer in schools" and that it did not start on 9/11/01!

    I remembered being one of the youngsters who's existance was criminalized at a very young age to the point that I was no more than a criminal statistics. I remembered the feeling I had when the police came into my friends home from the front and back doors with drawn handguns, asking if his mother was is at home. I remembered being arrested at a party and carted off to jail in a Pattywagon along with 30 other males to spend the night with all of them in one cell at the local precinct without ever knowing why we were arrested, never having the opportunity to make a phone call. I remembered friends of mine spending a day in jail for playing hooky from school without being charged with anything. I remembered being stopped in my car in the middle of the street in busy traffic and asked to show my drivers license at gunpoint. Did we reap what we sowed? Should we never have gone to parties? Does God prescribe jail at gunpoint as punishment for playing hooky? No, terror and terrorist attacks didn't begin on 9/11, at least not on the south-side of Chicago, and, I didn't need to go on about terror!

    Now I questioned the use of profanity. As I child, I was not allowed to use it anywhere. I sought information about its use in other societies, as well as the availability of nude materials and compared that to its social acceptance in America. My objective was to find a link between violence, the use of profanity and the availability of magazines with pictures of nude women in them.

    In Europe, I've discovered, children generally are allowed to use profanity even in public, to include schools. Nude pictures can be found in tv-magazines as well as in tv-commercials. As a matter of fact! Beaches, where people bathe nude, are common there. As far as I've been able to discern, young people (adolescents) have been allowed to have abortions there without the knowledge of their parents for years. It didn't surprised me to find statistics that show that the number of Europeans who are victims of violence is thousands of times smaller than that for Americans, and that at the same time, most Europeans are Christians! Neither did it suprise me to learn that the countries of Europe have more religious holidays than any other countries!

    Does anyone know that Europeans, just as Americans flock to theaters to see the latest rape-em-up, beat-em-up or shoot-em-up from America's Hollywood movie makers? And again, unsurprisingly few to none of the violent crimes that occur in Europe can be linked to their consumption, depending on what country you examine.


    Just the same, American music is very popular in Europe, as a large number of rapers are idolized there. In some European countries, "natural" drugs are legal and yet the number of drug related crimes in Europe is stagnantly low. It seems very few youngsters have been influenced by the consupmtion of America's "satanic themes" to the point that they possess "no conscience" or don't know "right from wrong." Again, very few rapes, beatings or killings are motivated by the content of materials of this kind.

    Still in search of an answer, I recently saw a film entitled "Bowling for Columbine", by Michael Moore. The film hasn't received much publicity, for reasons I'll explain. But, if you haven't seen it, please do! It's a must for anyone who would really like to know why the six year old black boy in Michigan shot the six year old white girl to death in a class room.

    This film examines incidents of violence in America and tries to find explanations for it. Actually it does give explanations, although they are void of a realistic historical substance, and superficial. Moore's explanations identitfy sterotypes in thought patterns of many white Americans, but it doesn't explain how or why they were developed. It compares many cultural aspects of the American society with that of other countries. In my opinion, this film succeeds in proving that nothing mentioned in the email has encouraged the type of violence notable in America, or in other countries for that matter.

    In this film, you'll see that other countries are by comparison more liberal in their issuance of handguns and their presentation of violence on tv and in the media than America. The bottom line to the film is that, by comparison, more people die of violence through the use of firearms in America than anywhere else in the world, over 11,000 each year. Where in Canada, in comparison, that number is less than 70, although 6 in 10 people living there own weapons, and not just handguns. Did you know that in Canada, people don't lock the doors of their homes, even at night? That is something absolutely unimaginable in America, where most homes nowadays are equiped with everything from k-9's, to burgler alarms, to video cameras and security patrols.

    Michael Moore not only talks about the little girl killed in her classroom in his film, he did what no other news team did: He went to the school and talked to the teacher of that classroom. He gathered specific information about the little boy that killed the little girl. He inquired into the circumstances surrounding the incident. Did you know that some bible-reading Americans wanted the death sentence for that boy? He found what I consider to be a plausible motive behind the crime, and, believe me, that had nothing to do with religion! By the way, do you have any idea why America experiences tragedies like the one at Littleton, Colorado's Columbine High School? See the movie!

    After I finished reading the email for the fourth time, I asked myself, "what was the author's real objective? What is it really suppose to achieve?" To me, it's clearly trying to do the same thing Christianity has been guilty of doing for centuries - make you feel quilty, make you afraid. The affect of terms like "invisible Christian", "trashing God and wondering why the world is going to hell" depend on what end of the totem pole you happen to be on. History has shown that with or without a bible, in America, your heritage will define your possibilities for security. Let's face it, if you belong to a minority, the police won't ask you if you believe in God or have a bible with you before they terrorize you. The problems rampant in America cannot be reduced to the availability of a bible or the "public discussion of God" and religion in the classroom, the workplace or anywhere else. That's my opinion.

    I think it wise for Americans to stop asking God why it didn't save this or that person's life and start asking ones self, "how can I overcome perpetual fear", and then, "what can I do to increase the value of human life around the world, beginning with the lives of those living in America."

    After all, in his examination of Christianity, Ghandi did put it best: "The problem with the Christian religion, is the Christian."

    Kushánd Fantí
    (Date: 16.02.2003, Revisied: 08.07.2006)

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