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A stupid country

Examples of Australia’s slide towards being a stupid country


September 2012:

on one of the ABC quizzes the other night “Which major western nation was founded in 1778”. The listener (middle aged souniding with Australian accent) wanted a clue, and was told ‘major’ is the clue. She then said history wasn’t her strong point (why the hell do people like that ring up a quiz) and then proceeded to say “oh, Australia”.
A few callers earlier another of those quiz-nitwits phoned: A young woman who was asked a question about a country in Europe. She said ‘geography wasn’t her strong point’ and she didn’t really know much about Europe and asked the announcer is Italy was a country in Europe.

 


Private schools hard done by, says Abbott

21 Augustg 2012

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has provoked a storm of controversy and contradicted the findings of the Gonski review into school funding by suggesting that state schools receive too large a share of education spending.

Labor and the Coalition yesterday used an independent education forum to talk up their private-school credentials in the lead-up to the federal government’s long-awaited overhaul of school funding.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised every independent school in the nation would receive an increase in funding, and defended big private schools as ”a great example”.

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Mr Abbott went further, implying that private schools were being treated unjustly by receiving a smaller proportion of funding than state schools.

”Overall, the 66 per cent of Australian school students who attend public schools get 79 per cent of government funding. The 34 per cent of Australians who attend independent schools get just 21 per cent of government funding,” Mr Abbott told the forum.

”So there is no question of injustice to public schools here. If anything, the injustice is the other way.”

Illustration: Ron Tandberg.Illustration: Ron Tandberg.

This contradicts the review led by businessman David Gonski, which recommended an annual $5 billion increase in funding to all schools, but with an emphasis on increased funding to state schools because they have a higher proportion of disadvantaged students.

The review found that more than 80 per cent of students who could not ”participate in society” because they were so far behind in reading and mathematics were in state schools: ”The concentration of this problem in government schools is evidence of the need for a greater increase in resources in those schools in particular.”

Australian Education Union president Angelo Gavrielatos said Mr Abbott’s comments betrayed an ignorance of the Gonski review and proved he would be the ”private school prime minister”.

Trevor Cobbold, of the public education lobby group Save Our Schools, said Mr Abbott showed a ”callous disregard” for the large proportion of disadvantaged students who were not receiving an adequate education.

”It’s a disgrace. Low-income students are on average two to three years behind their high-income peers. If we are going to do anything about the massive achievement gaps in this country, government schools need to receive the bulk of any funding increases,” he said.

But Mr Abbott said the whole Gonski process was in part generated by the idea that the government somehow neglected state schools, and the risk was that funding for private schools might be cut.

Ms Gillard seized on his comments, claiming in Parliament that every state school in the country was ”on the opposition hit-list”.

In the ensuing argument, Mr Abbott was thrown out of Parliament by Deputy Speaker Anna Burke, making him the first opposition leader ejected since John Howard in 1986.

Mr Abbott had been asked to withdraw a remark that was inaudible in the public gallery. ”I withdraw, but it’s still an untrue statement,” he replied.

”You could not help yourself,” said Ms Burke, telling him to leave for an hour.

He returned to declare that he had no intention of cutting funding to state schools. His office said any such suggestion was ”just another lie”.

Earlier, Ms Gillard moved at the independent education forum to dispel any lingering notions of class envy from the days of former leader Mark Latham’s private school ”hit-list”.

”I’ve never looked at a big independent school in an established suburb and thought ‘That’s not fair, ”’ she said. ”I look at a big independent school in an established suburb and think ”That’s a great example.”’

Melbourne University professor Richard Teese said the Prime Minister’s speech represented a betrayal of Labor’s position on public education. ”It’s completely a reversal of its historic position,” he said. ”It’s gradually acclimatised itself to a close position with private schools, despite the inequities that creates.

”There are big lobby groups and they have a lot of political clout and the government is being forced to pay a price for what it sees as fundamental reforms.”

But Independent Schools Victoria chief executive Michelle Green said parents would be happy to hear that both leaders supported them. ”Many of our parents feel they are not very well supported, when they do put their own money into their child’s education.”

 

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/harry-potter-banned-by-christian-school-20120824-24q7i.html

Harry Potter banned by Christian school

Medowie Christian School has defended a decision to ban witches and warlocks from its annual book week parade and the Harry Potter series from the school library.

The school was one of many in the Hunter Valley that marked Book Week this week by asking children to dress up as their favourite book character for a parade.

Frankly, we do not want any of our younger students or their siblings feeling frightened, intimidated or uncomfortable during any school activities. 

Principal Samantha Van de Mortel asked parents not to send children to school on Wednesday as witches and warlocks because it was inconsistent with school values.

She said it was a standing policy because the school felt it was not in line with its Christian ethos.

“We just don’t believe that’s something we want to promote. We promote a Christian focus,” Ms Van de Mortel said.

She said the parade was a primary school event that was also open to students’ younger siblings and they were concerned many retail costumes were quite gruesome.

“Frankly, we do not want any of our younger students or their siblings feeling frightened, intimidated or uncomfortable during any school activities,” she said.

While witches, warlocks and Harry Potter characters were out at the Medowie school, the characters allowed in the parade included Anakin Skywalker, The Mad Hatter and the Gingerbread Man.

Ms Van de Mortel said the Harry Potter series, which is about witches and wizards, was not available in the school library because it had been the subject of many international debates.

It topped the list as the 10 Most Challenged Books of the 21st Century by the American Library Association.

“Medowie Christian School respects the right of parents to make decisions on whether or not to allow/encourage their child to read material,” Ms Van de Mortel said.

“In respecting that right [we] do not stock books from the Harry Potter Series, or indeed other titles, which are the subject of polarising public discussion.”

Medowie mother Bobbie Antonic, whose children do not attend the school, raised the issue on social networking site Twitter and said she was concerned it was censorship.

“I was just blown away by it. It’s just bizarre,” she said.

“Books are not reality.”

Medowie Christian School Parents and Friends Association manager Lisa Taylor said from a parent’s point of view the prohibition was “no big deal”.

“In the lead up to Halloween the shops are full of so many grotesque, frightening costumes and I’ve got two little boys,” she said. “It’s supposed to be a celebration of literature.”

She said parents were happy the school library did not send students home with books that could force a topic up for discussion.

“I would like to be able to make that choice for my own kids,” Ms Taylor said


and this one, when Harry Potter was banned by a Christian School in 2001:

Aust school bans Harry Potter

The World Today Archive – Friday, 23 November , 2001  00:00:00

Reporter: Luisa Saccotelli

COMPERE: As the publicity and marketing machine for the release of the first Harry Potter movie ramps up, it is being claimed that Harry Potter books may be encouraging a worldwide reading resurgence. But one independent Australian school has decided to ban JK Rowling’s famous books about the fictitious young wizard.

In Melbourne the Nunawading Adventist College has refused to allow the books on its library shelves and has banned pupils in the junior school from actually bringing their own personal copies into the school. Luisa Saccotelli in Melbourne reports that the school has been holding Parents Information Night, describing the books as “tools of the devil”.

LUISA SACCOTELLI: What’s wrong with Harry Potter? The Nunawading Seventh Day Adventist College and Primary School fears plenty. Why does Harry have a lightning bolt on his forehead? – the school asks in a flyer to parents. Do they really teach witchcraft?

[EXTRACT FROM HARRY POTTER MOVIE]: Understand this Harry this is very important. Not all wizards are good.

I’m going to bed before either of you come up with another clever idea to getting killed. Or worse, expelled!

LUISA SACCOTELLI: A school newsletter urges parents to be informed about this tool of the devil.

[EXTRACT FROM HARRY POTTER MOVIE]: And the word of two 13-year-old wizards will not convince anybody. A street full of eyewitnesses swore they saw Sirius murder Pettigrew.

PARENT, ROBERT: Their stance against his sort of material I think is fairly narrow-minded and I think it’s trying to enforce an attitude amongst the students and families that they shouldn’t do anything other than what aligns itself with the strict church doctrine.

LUISA SACCOTELLI: Robert is the father of two daughters at the Nunawading Adventist College. He doesn’t support the Potter books ban.

ROBERT: It’s part of the general school policy because the school is part of the Seventh Day Adventist Church system, that they actively discourage any involvement in anything that doesn’t align itself with t he church doctrine.

[EXTRACT FROM HARRY POTTER MOVIE]: Quick. Where are we going to go? Where are we going to hide? The Dementors will be coming any moment.

LUISA SACCOTELLI: The school’s chaplain, Sue Beament, says her concerns about the Potter books are biblically based.

SUE BEAMENT: Probably our biggest concern would be that they are based on witchcraft and wicker. These themes and all the symbols that are used are actually – really are actual witchcraft themes. Even Harry Potter’s name. Potter is the name of the Mother-God in witchcraft.

LUISA SACCOTELLI: the school also fears kids will be drawn into the occult.

SUE BEAMENT: There’s going to be some kids who are drawn in to the darker side of occult and if you don’t believe that witchcraft and occult really do exist, you only need to go up and ask around the Dandenongs and a few other places to discover that this is a darker side of life and one that I would not be happy to see my children dabble in.

LUISA SACCOTELLI: How do you think Harry Potter would draw them towards that though?

SUE BEAMENT: Because all of the – Rowling is the author – is a very highly intelligent lady and she has used the symbols and knowledge of witchcraft. I’m not saying she’s a witch. I never – that I’d like struck out of this interview.

[EXTRACT FROM HARRY POTTER MOVIE]: It took a few seconds for the absurdity of this statement to sink in. Then Ron voiced what Harry was thinking.

LUISA SACCOTELLI: Robert, whose children attend the school is upset they’re being made to feel they’ve done something wrong in reading the Potter books.

ROBERT: It’s written in the vein of fantasy and fairytale. One of my children is an Enid Blyton fan and look to take anything like that literally would be preposterous as well.

Christian Zionism (by Pat Morrison)

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, April 2007, pages 58-59

Special Report

The Dangerous Potent Elixir of Christian Zionism

By Pat Morrison

WHAT MAY BE potentially the greatest U.S.-born political threat to peace is not terrorist sleeper cells or even the deployment of more U.S. troops to the Middle East. Instead, it’s the prolific spread of a brand of fundamentalist Christian “End Times” pseudotheology linked to massive support—military and financial—for the state of Israel. The threat goes by the name Christian Zionism.

According to expert observers and critics, the movement is harnessing incredible religious, political and financial power, thanks largely to highly visible and well-funded preachers, their churches and congregations’ financial commitment. And the implications of Christian Zionism’s ­belief system-cum-political agenda are frightening.

One of those experts watching the rise of Christian Zionism—and alerting mainline Christians, as well as Muslims, Jews and the public in general to its danger—is the Rev. Donald Wagner. An ordained Presbyterian minister, Wagner is associate professor of religion and Middle Eastern studies at North Park University in Chicago and executive director of its Center for Middle Eastern Studies. His most recent book is Anxious for Armageddon, a critique of Christian Zionism (and available from the AET Book Club).

In a packed presentation last fall at the Kansas City Sabeel Conference, Wagner outlined the movement’s growth, major proponents and political agenda.

Christian Zionism as a fringe biblical theory has been around in some shape or form since the 1600s, Wagner said—long before the establishment of modern Israel. But most recently it has morphed into a new entity that links its literal and fundamentalist interpretation of the Christian Bible with a convergence of political and sociological trends on the American landscape.

According to Wagner, these include: 1) growth of a “fear factor” in the United States since 9/11, fueled by 2) the millennium and “End Times” prophecy, as well as intensely marketed Christian fiction like the Left Behind series; and 3) the rise of right-wing political conservatism in the United States.

The Bush administration’s talk about “the axis of evil” and its “Crusader” mindset, coupled with the neocons’ constant language of empire, captured the imagination of many Christians who already were reading and identifying with End Times biblical interpretation.

Blend all these ingredients together and you have the perfect recipe for Christian Zionism, Wagner noted, and an audience primed to accept and push it.

Although popular TV fundamentalist preachers like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are enthusiastic supporters of Israel, Christian Zionism’s newest and most ardent promoter is Dr. John C. Hagee. Hagee, who is founder and pastor of the 18,000-member non-denominational evangelical Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, has a worldwide following through his John Hagee Ministries.

Some commentators have described the charismatic and avuncular Hagee as a “kinder, gentler” Rush Limbaugh look-alike, of similar political persuasion. As one critic colorfully summed it up: “If there is one thing worse than Elmer Gantry, it’s Elmer Gantry with a foreign policy.”

Today Hagee is perhaps best known as founder of an ultra-right wing Christian Zionist political lobby in Washington, Christians United for Israel, or CUFI.

According to Wagner, CUFI is completely aligned to AIPAC, the pro-Israel U.S. lobby, and “defends a hard-right maximalist Israeli agenda: They support Israel having control of all of the West Bank and Gaza because ‘God gave it to the Jews exclusively.’”

CUFI also fully supports the Israeli settler movement, Wagner said, and financially underwrites the relocation of European Jews to illegal settlements because Israel is “their land” promised them by God.

At the February 2006 launch of CUFI, Hagee stated that Christians United for Israel “will [soon] have organized offices in every state in the union, mobilizing every Christian and whoever will work with us on a pro-Israeli agenda.”

By mid-July of last year, Wagner said, Hagee had 3,500 CUFI supporters “deployed to every congressional office in Washington, pressing for more arms to be sent to Israel [during the Israeli-Hezbollah war] but also calling for the U.S. to attack Iran [because Hagee sees war with Iran as a prelude to Armageddon].”

In San Antonio last October, more than 10,000 CUFI supporters gathered to work on their political platform and strategies. Among the key conference presenters was former CIA director James Woolsey, a close supporter of AIPAC and outspoken opponent of the peace movement and of churches active in it.

Hagee coined the term “Islamofascist” at CUFI’s founding conference, Wagner noted, “and within a week [President] Bush was using it, then [former Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld.”

Wagner said his two greatest concerns about Christian Zionism—which claims to count up to 100,0000 evangelical believers around the world—is that it is extremely Islamophobic and anti-islamic, and that it projects a militant image of Christianity throughout the world.

“What [Christian Zionists] are projecting is a Western white, militant Zionist image of Christianity into the region,” Wagner said. “And what this does is give global Muslims,  and global Christians, the impression that Christianity is really a militant, Crusader type of religion. In the end, even Jesus comes back in warrior fashion!”

In fact, he said, Christian leaders in the Holy Land are so worried about Christian Zionism’s harmful effects in the region that Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox church leaders invited Wagner and a group of other experts to speak to them and help them inform their people about the movement’s dangers and its impact on the Muslim world.

Christian Zionism seriously damages Christian-Muslim and Christian-Jewish relations, especially in the Middle East. But what is even more worrisome, Wagner warned, is that because the resources of movement leaders like Falwell, Robertson and Hagee include worldwide missionaries and media outlets, they “have the reach to inflame the entire region.”

Pat Morrison writes from Dayton, Ohio. She has covered the Middle East, especially Israel/Palestine, extensively.

SIDEBAR

SIDEBAR

What Christian Zionists Believe

Christian Zionism centers on a literal and fundamentalist interpretation of five biblical beliefs—beliefs, it should be noted, that are not shared by most mainline Protestant churches, or by Roman Catholic or Orthodox Christians—and not even by many moderates who consider themselves Evangelicals.

Its core Bible interpretations are:

That God’s covenant with Israel is eternal (including the promise of “the land” belonging to Israel in perpetuity;

That God’s plan was always the redemption of Israel as God’s chosen people. When Israel rejected Christ, the Christian church replaced Israel, but only temporarily. At the Rapture, the church will again disappear and Israel will again become God’s primary agent in the world;

That one verse in the Book of Genesis—12:3: “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you”—is pivotal, must be taken literally and applied to the modern state of Israel. Hence, Christians are divinely mandated to support the state of Israel and will face divine wrath if they do not;

That the Bible’s prophetic books—including references to events like the Babylonian Exile, which occurred in 800 B.C.—predict current and coming political events, especially cataclysmic natural disasters signaling Christ’s ­Second Coming. Favorite biblical books are Daniel and the Book of Revelation, both filled with obscure symbolism and elaborate descriptions of the end of the world;

That modern Israel is the catalyst for the countdown to the End Times (persecution, the Rapture, coming of the Antichrist, etc.), and that current political alignments will determine the future. A major contemporary belief is that the state of Israel (with financial backing from Christians) is destined to war with the pagan nations (Iraq, Iran, etc.), thus bringing about Armageddon, or the end of the world, and thus hasten the Second Coming of Jesus.

Christian Zionists believe that support of the state of Israel is a divinely mandated obligation in order to ensure their own salvation and to hasten the Second Coming of Jesus. Ironically, Jews are then expected either to convert and accept Jesus (which Christian Zionists consider unlikely) or be damned along with other “infidels” (e.g., Muslims) with whom they war. God is only “using” Israel to save Christians, the new heirs to the new Israel. —PLM

 

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Zionism and Pseudo-Christianity

 http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Zionism_and_Pseudo-Christianity

 

Zionism and Pseudo-Christianity, usually refered to by its proponents with the oxymorons “Christian Zionism” and “Restorationism“, is a concept developed by some alleged Christians that Talmudic Jews should be given complete control of the Holy Land, and that establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, is in accordance with Biblical prophecy. This is generally regarded as a heretical disposition and has been condemed by the Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism, published in 2006 with Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, Episcopalian and Lutheran signees.

Some gentile Zionists who hold to the ideology also believe that the “ingathering” of the Talmudic Judaics in Israel is a prerequisite for the Second Coming of Jesus. This belief is. The oxymoron “Christian Zionism” was popularized in the mid-twentieth century. Prior to that time the common term was “Restorationism” and has had some proponents since the advent of Protestantism, though in earlier times their number were far more obscure.

According to some this specifically theological belief, does not necessarily entail sympathy for the Jews as a nation or for rabbinic Judaism as a religion, though it is certainly in a de factoform of shabbas goyism in that it carries out the agenda of the synagogue. Some of these gentile Zionists hold that once the Talmudic Jews are gathered in the Holy Land, a significant number will accept Jesus as their Messiah, and that in the last days, such “Messianic Jews” will practice a thoroughly “Hebraic form of Christianity”.

Many proponents of this ideology hold to the Dual-covenant theology heresy, in which Talmudic Jews are a “chosen people”, in a covenant with God in contemporary times, along with the ingrafted (based on Romans 11:17-24, Holy Bible) Gentile Christians. This is widely regarded as heresy and has been condemed at numbers Church councils, such as the Council of Florence, as well as speficially in the New Testament itself. This misconception has the added effect of turning such Gentile Zionists into supporters of Jewish Zionism.

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Apr-01-2012 20:00

The Zionist Cuckoos in Christianity’s Nest

Stuart Littlewood Salem-News.com

Corrupting the Biblical Message: it’s a propaganda classic, and the indoctrination has lasted 100 years.

 

 

Hagee and Christian Zionists- Photo: mycatbirdseat.com/

 

(LONDON) – If you are as puzzled as I am how a true Christian could possibly be taken in by Zionism, a short paper on the phenomenon is available from Sadaka http://www.sadaka.ie/Articles/Papers/PAPER-Christian_Zionism.pdf.

“The destiny of the Jewish people is to return to the land of Israel and reclaim their inheritance promised to Abraham and his descendants forever. This inheritance extends from the River of Egypt to the Euphrates. Within their land, Jerusalem is recognised to be their exclusive, undivided and eternal capital, and therefore it cannot be shared or divided.

At the heart of Jerusalem will be the rebuilt Jewish temple, to which all the nations will come to worship God. Just prior to the return of Jesus, there will be seven years of calamities and war known as the tribulation, which will culminate in a great battle called Armageddon, during which the godless forces opposed to both God and Israel will be defeated.

Jesus will then return as the Jewish Messiah and king to reign in Jerusalem for a thousand years, and the Jewish people will enjoy a privileged status and role in the world.”

The scary US-based Unity Coalition for Israel brings together more than 200 partners claiming to represent more than 40 million Americans in the largest network of Pro-Israel groups in the world. Their Mission is “to focus the efforts of secular and religious organizations and individuals for whom the existence of the State of Israel is central and essential to the future of the free world. We educate these organizations and individuals on security issues and radical ideologies, including global Islamic terrorism… reaches millions of people through more than 200 Christian & Jewish organizations, including churches, synagogues, prayer networks, think tanks and thousands of individuals.

“Christians owe debt of eternal gratitude to Jews”

Pastor John Hagee is founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel, which claims to be the largest pro-Israel organization in America, with over 850,000 members. It holds at least 40 pro-Israel events a month in towns and cities across this country. “We’re building support for Israel from coast to coast!” is the sort of proclamation that reveals the real agenda.

What does Hagee’s CUfI believe in?

 

We believe in the absolute authority of the [sacred] scripture to govern the affairs of men.

 

We believe in the promise of Genesis 12:3 regarding the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. We believe that this is an eternal covenant between God and the seed of Abraham to which God is faithful. Genesis 12:3 “And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed.” Point: God has promised to bless the man or nation that blesses the Chosen People. History has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the nations that have blessed the Jewish people have had the blessing of God; the nations that have cursed the Jewish people have experienced the curse of God.

 

We support Israel because all other nations were created by an act of men, but Israel was created by an act of God! The Royal Land Grant that was given to Abraham and his seed through Isaac and Jacob with an everlasting and unconditional covenant.

 

St. Paul recorded in Romans 15:27 “For if the Gentiles have shared in their (the Jews) spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.”

 

Christians owe a debt of eternal gratitude to the Jewish people for their contributions that gave birth to the Christian faith… the Jewish people have given to Christianity:

a) The Sacred Scripture

b) The Prophets

c) The Patriarchs

d) Mary, Joseph, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth

e) The Twelve Disciples

f) The Apostles

It is not possible to say, “I am a Christian” and not love the Jewish people.

Hagee pretends the relationship between Christians and Jews in biblical times still applies today. He uses ‘mushroom management’ methods – keep ‘em in the dark and keep shoveling horse manure at ‘em. If his Cornerstone church followers bothered to take an independent trip to the West Bank and Gaza – and I do mean independent, not an Israeli bus tour with guides trained by the Tel Aviv propaganda department (or by Hagee) – they’d quickly discover the unatable truth. The glitzy Hagee empire, and others like it, would then crumble.

An effective riposte to the biblical distortions used to support Israel’s lust for supremacy is The Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism, a statement by the Latin Patriarch and Local Heads of Churches in Jerusalem issued in 2006 http://imeu.net/news/article003122.shtml. They are on the ground, in the front line, in the Holy Land. They know the score. They put the genuine Christian case. And it is summed up in the first sentence:

“We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as a false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation.

“We further reject the contemporary alliance of Christian Zionist leaders and organizations with elements in the governments of Israel and the United States that are presently imposing their unilateral pre-emptive borders and domination over Palestine. This inevitably leads to unending cycles of violence that undermine the security of all peoples of the Middle East and the rest of world.

“We reject the teachings of Christian Zionism that facilitate and support these policies as they advance racial exclusivity and perpetual war rather than the gospel of universal love, redemption and reconciliation taught by Jesus Christ. Rather than condemn the world to the doom of Armageddon we call upon everyone to liberate themselves from ideologies of militarism and occupation. Instead, let them pursue the healing of the nations!”

The Declaration, explains Sadaka, asserts that “Christian Zionists have aggressively imposed an aberrant expression of the Christian faith and an erroneous interpretation of the Bible, which is subservient to the political agenda of the modern State of Israel… Christian Zionism thrives on a literal and futurist hermeneutic in which Old Testament promises made to the ancient Jewish people are transferred to the contemporary State of Israel in anticipation of a final future fulfillment.”

For the posh churchy word ‘hermeneutic’, read ‘interpreting the Scriptures’.

Corrupting the Biblical Message

Not only does Zionism cloak itself in the Jewish faith, it hides its ugly face behind Christianity’s skirts. And, believe it or not, there is even a movement calling itself the World Muslim Zionist Organization.

In Christianity’s case the rot set in way back in1909 when the Scofield study bible was published and became the standard religious text in the United States.

It’s a propaganda classic.

And the indoctrination has lasted 100 years.

Cyrus Scofield, a convicted criminal and described by one American newspaper as “a shyster”, was commissioned to re-write the King James bible by inserting Zionist-friendly notes. The idea was to change the Christian view of Zionism by creating and promoting a pro-Zionist sub-culture within Christianity. The Oxford University Press appointed Scofield as editor, and the Scofield Reference Bible was born.

It introduced a new worship icon, the modern State of Israel, which did not exist until 1948 but was already being ‘prepped’ on the drawing board of the World Zionist movement.

American journalist Grace Halsell explained the re-hashed Biblical message: “Simply stated it is this: Every act taken by Israel is orchestrated by God, and should be condoned, supported, and even praised by the rest of us. Never mind what Israel does, say the Christian Zionists. God wants this to happen…

“Scofield said that Christ cannot return to earth until certain events occur: The Jews must return to Palestine, gain control of Jerusalem and rebuild a temple, and then we all must engage in the final, great battle called Armageddon. Estimates vary, but most students of Armageddon theology agree that as a result of these relatively recent interpretations of Biblical scripture, 10 to 40 million Americans believe Palestine is God’s chosen land for the Jews.”

This belief that Old Testament promises made to the ancient Jewish tribes are transferable to the largely unrelated people that make up the modern state of Israel is what underpins their hope for the final battle they call Armageddon, in which Israel’s enemies (and God’s, of course) will be defeated. After that Jesus will return as the Jewish Messiah and King to reign in Jerusalem for a thousand years, and the Jewish people will enjoy privileged status in the world.

That is the Zionist dream of world domination in a nutshell. What’s in it for non-Jews? Blessed if I know. Yet armies of non-Jewish politicians have become eager stooges.

My reading of history is that the Jews were expelled from Palestine by the Roman occupation in 70AD, when the second temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. They were expelled again in 135AD.

Nowadays return is regarded as an inalienable right. But it must be exercised as soon as the reason for expulsion (e.g. foreign occupation) ceases. In the Jews’ case an opportunity would have occurred in the 4th century AD as the Roman Empire collapsed. But they didn’t take it. They can hardly expect to change their mind 16 centuries later. Their right expired a very long time ago.

By comparison the Palestinians’ right of return after being ethnically cleansed in 1948 (and ever since) is valid because the enemy occupation has not yet ended and the UN has endorsed their right.

Nevertheless Zionists claim Jerusalem is theirs by heavenly decree. But this holiest of cities was already 2000 years old when King David captured it.

Historians say that Jerusalem, in its ‘City of David’ form, lasted only 73 years. In 928BC the kingdom divided into Israel and Judah, and in 597BC the Babylonians conquered the city and destroyed Solomon’s temple. The Jews recaptured it in 164BC but finally lost it to the Roman Empire in 63BC. Before the present-day illegal occupation the Jews controlled Jerusalem for some 500 years, whereas it was subsequently ruled by Muslims for 1,277 years. Before the Jews it belonged to the Canaanites. And for nearly 90 years it was also a Christian kingdom. A lot of competing claims, then, which is probably why the UN declared in 1947 that it should be independently administered as an international city.

In 1187 Saladin restored Jerusalem to Islam while allowing Jews and Christians to remain. Today Jewish religious groups want control of the city for their spiritual centre and for a third temple to be built in accordance with ancient prophecies. The plan to make the Israeli occupation permanent threatens not only the Muslim but also the Christian holy places. Political and religious tensions are thus kept at boiling point. It is no wonder that the Iranian president quoted the late Ayatollah Khomeini as saying the unfriendly regime occupying Jerusalem “must vanish from the page of time”. It is no surprise either that he was immediately misquoted by Zionist propagandists as wanting to wipe Israel off the map.

The question is, are we seriously to believe that an all-powerful Supernatural Being has chosen and elevated one group of humans to a position of supremacy above all others, and has approved the use of any mean, including murder, brutal eviction and even war, to achieve their selfish goal, and now mobilizes millions of lesser mortals from around the globe, like those who regard themselves as upstanding Christians, to serve as tools and sing the praises of this ‘Grand Design’?

I’m with the Churches of Jerusalem on this. It’s a gross corruption of the biblical message.

Stuart Littlewood’s book Radio Free Palestine can now be read on the internet by visiting www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk

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Stuart Littlewood is author of the book Radio Free Palestine, which tells the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. Stuart’s articles are serious and revealing; they address the pertinent issues regarding Israel and Palestine and sixty years of conflict that have devasted millions of human beings. For further information please visithttp://www.radiofreepalestine.org.uk/

                                                                                                                                     

 

 

The Roots of Christian Zionism

http://socioecohistory.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/the-roots-of-christian-zionism-how-scofield-sowed-seeds-of-apostasy/

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http://antonyloewenstein.com/2011/10/25/strange-bedfellows-new-nexus-between-israel-and-far-right/

Strange bedfellows: new nexus between Israel and far Right

 

Amid the acres of commentary on the exchange of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit and more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners, one comment stands out: “Let the WORLD know about Israel’s humanity and the terrorists’ inhumanitySHARE this one with EVERYONE you know, friends!” What makes it noteworthy is that it featured on the “Geert Wilders International Freedom Allinace”  Facebook page, where supporters of the far-Right Dutch politician gather, one of many messages of fanatical pro-Israeli commentary.

The growing appeal of Israel to the world’s right-wing community has been developing for some years. Nevertheless, some examples are eye-popping. In July 2011, a Russian neo-Nazi delegation travelled to Israel, after an invitation by far Right Israeli politicians and an editor of a pro-settler news service. The Holocaust deniers visited Israel’s Holocaust centre, Yad Vashem, despite being photographed previously giving Nazi salutes and publishing songs celebrating Adolf Hitler on their website.

The pair was interviewed on Israeli TV. One said that the idea of the Jewish state “excites me” because it involves “an ancient people who took upon itself a pioneer project to revive a modern state and nation”. The TV journalist then asked how a neo-Nazi could now embrace Zionism. The other Russian quickly responded by explaining the common enemy they both faced: “We’re talking about radical Islam which is the enemy of humanity, enemy of democracy, enemy of progress and of any sane society.” In December 2010 a much larger delegation of European far Right politicians, including a Belgian politician with clear ties to SS veterans and a Swedish politician with connections to the country’s fascist past, also paid their respects at Yad Vashem. They were welcomed by some members of the Israeli Knesset and agreed to sign a “Jerusalem Declaration”, guaranteeing Israel’s right to defend itself against terror. “We stand at the vanguard in the fight for the Western, democratic community” against the “totalitarian threat” of “fundamentalist Islam”, read the document.

The signatories were some of Europe’s most successful anti-immigration politicians who long ago realised that backing Israel was a clever way to guarantee respectability for a cause that risked being framed as extremist or racist. One Israeli politician who met the delegation, Nissim Zeev, a member of ultra-Orthodox, right-wing party Shas, embraced the group: “At the end of the day, what’s important is their attitude, the fact they really love Israel.”

Yesterday’s anti-Semites have reformed themselves as today’s crusading heroes against an unstoppable Muslim birth-rate on a continent that now sees Islam as an intolerant and ghettoised religion. These increasingly mainstream attitudes have marinated across Europe for at least a decademost starkly expressed in the writings of the Norway killer Anders Breivik, who slaughtered nearly 70 young left-wingers on Utøya island in late July this year.

Breivik’s interest in Israel wasn’t an accidental quirk of his Google search terms. It was reflective of years of indoctrination from that fateful September day in 2001 onwards. None of Breivik’s right-wing heroes openly praised his killingspolitically speaking, half-hearted condemnations were the order of the daybecause their vision of open war with Islam was arguably even more clinical. They cheered as America and Israel used the vast power of the state to attack, bomb, drone, kidnap, torture and murder literally countless Muslim victims in the past decade in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Palestine, Somalia and beyond.

Breivik’s admired this Israeli “can-do” attitude but equally dismissed left-wing Jews who supported Palestinian rights. “Were the majority of the German and European Jews [in ’30s Europe] disloyal?” he asked in his “2083” manifesto. He went on:

“Yes, at least the so-called liberal Jews, similar to the liberal Jews today that opposes nationalism/Zionism and supports multiculturalism. Jews that support multiculturalism today are as much of a threat to Israel and Zionism (Israeli nationalism) as they are to us. So let us fight together with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists, against all cultural Marxists/multiculturalists. Conservative Jews were loyal to Europe and should have been rewarded. Instead, [Hitler] just targeted them all.” (p 1167)

Breivik mirrored the familiar separation of “good Jews” and “bad Jews” that appear in Western dialogue over the Israel/Palestine conflict. The nationalistic, Arab-hating Jew who believes in the never-ending occupation of Palestinian land is praise-worthy but the questioning, anti-Zionist Jew is a threat that must be eliminated. The commentators, journalists and politicians who receive mainstream acceptance and appear regularly in our media such as Daniel Pipes, who calls for the bombing of Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, are welcomed into the club of popular Islamophobes because they speak the language of domination and violence reflected in our media and political discourse on a daily basis.

My enemy’s enemy is my friend

Breivik’s conviction that he was a friend of Zionism created a moral challenge for many of those he had quoted in his manifesto. It was not a challenge many faced well. One of the more notorious, American blogger Pamela Geller, condemned the killings as “horrific” but not so subtly in the same post reminded readers that the young students who attended summer camp at Utøya were actually witnessing an “anti-Semitic indoctrination training centre”. How? Norway’s Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store had visited the camp and called for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, apparently making him an anti-Semite by definition. Regular Jerusalem Post columnist Barry Rubin simply called the youth camp, “a pro-terrorist program”.

Geller was further incensed that he even called “Palestinians” Palestinian, because for her and her fellow travellers the Palestinians aren’t a real people deserving rights or a homeland. “Utøya camp was not Islamist,” Geller assures us, “but it was something not much more wholesome.” Thus Islamophobia seamlessly morphed into blind and racist Zionism.

In Australia likewise, the Israel lobby skirted around this uncomfortable reality, both publicly repulsed by the murders but they remain on the record as arguing for boundaries on Middle East debate. Others simply denied that Breivik’s sympathises for right-wing Zionism was irrelevant to understanding his crimes.

Of course this was absurd. Exaggerating a clash of civilisations has become the bread and butter of countless keyboard warriors in the past decade, with ever-more brutal Israel placed at the forefront of this struggle. Demonising Muslims and calling for their death on a regular basis has consequences. Muslims replacing Jews as the supposed enemy aiming for world domination will come with a price.

Israelophilia in the service of Islamophobia

The message emanating from the Zionist crowd was at times conflicted yet clear; Breivik could be forgiven for thinking that Israel was striving for racial perfection. The Jerusalem Postprovided clarification after the attack in a startling editorial. It claimed multiculturalism had failed in Europe, Muslims were a threat to societal harmony and clearly implied that an ethnocracy, such as Israel, was the ideal global model:

“While there is absolutely no justification for the sort of heinous act perpetrated this weekend in Norway, discontent with multiculturalism’s failure must not be delegitimatised or mistakenly portrayed as an opinion held by only the most extremist elements of the Right.”

The Post seemed to defend the mindset, if not the actions, expressed by Breivik, as a common and understandable attitude of simply wanting to “protect unique European culture and values”. These values did not include Islam or being proud of a racially diverse land. (A week later, the paper issued an apology editorial after a massive backlash against its position. Belatedly, the editorial noted that “Jews, Muslims and Christians in Israel and around the world should be standing together against such hate crimes”.)

Anders Breivik’s real motivations may never be fully understood but his love for Israel didn’t appear out of the blue. It was because Zionism and its closest followers have cultivated an image of a country that can only survive without integration, peace with its Arab neighbours or an end to the occupation. Racial domination is the dream. Breivik took this call to a devastating conclusion and his manifesto makes clear that his support for Israel is couched in the language of survival against an unforgiving, intolerant and high Muslim birth-rate world.

You can hear these views on any day of the week on Facebook, on Twitterand in the Israeli Knesset.

*This is an extract from an essay in On Utøya: Anders Breivik, right terror, racism and Europe,edited by Elizabeth Humphrys, Guy Rundle and Tad Tietze, an ebook to be published on October 26. The book will be launched by Senator Lee Rhiannon and Antony Loewenstein , 6.30pm Wednesday, October 26 at the Norfolk Hotel, Cleveland Street in Surry Hills, Sydney.

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http://charles-thorell.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/michelle-bachmanns-christian-zionism.html

Michele Bachmann’s Christian Zionism

Epidemic Bubble of Discordant Faith

Charles E. Carlson Jul 1, 2011

 

The wave of Judeo-Christianity, popularly known as Christian Zionism, seems to be a prerequisite to American presidential candidates today. It can be best thought of as an acquired mental illness because it results in discordant actions among those who admit to having it. Unfortunately some are in public office, and then it becomes the business of each of us. Christian Zionism has grown so large that it is fair to call it a religious bubble, and is the number one enabler of the economic and moral dilemma that faces the USA and other north American states.

 

Most victims of Christian Zionism, like those who develop a tragic eating disorder known as Anorexia Nervosa, can not see their illness and need help to recover from it. I am told by professionals who treat them, that many Anorexics victims will eventually starve themselves to death if not treated, and most are said to resist treatment. It is has finally been acknowledged to be a disease even thought it is self induced, and I do not pretend to have a clinical replantation. But I do know what causes Christian Zionism. It is taught, and no one is born with it, but it is a sickness because those who have it cannot see it nor can most seem to get over it without some outside help or tutorage. It is a social problem because those who have it act in ways that are often discordant with and anathema to the well being of the rest of the population in several distinct ways.

 

 

Christian Zionists cannot see the lack of common sense they portray to others, and they overlook multiple Bible inconsistencies taught to them by their spiritual leaders, who tell them they and Zionists are the beautiful members of God’s society, and all others are ugly by comparison. What makes Christian Zionism so dangerous is that it is promotion by those who benefit from it politically, and by institutionalized recruitment by those who profit from it directly, the leaders. It now inflects as much as 33% of USA voters.

 

Anorexia nervosa seems to serves no one, but Christian Zionism serves one important national political end, it enables serial wars that serve the interests of investment bankers, Warmakers, and that state of Israel. It is in turn supported by persons, powers, and a media that would not for a moment believe one word of what Christian Zionists teach. Most obvious among these promoters are the Israel Lobby and the Serial War lobby, which overlap.

 

Because Christian Zionist is a mental illness, and not a coherent faith, it allow little tolerates nor debate. This is evident from many personal letter and calls I have received since I began writing about it many years ago. One recent reader wrote of the painful and inexplicable separation that developed between himself and two long time male friends who each distanced from him without a word, no longer returning phone calls or answering e-mails, over discussion of what seemed to him to be a normal political questions. My reader finally realized the nerve he had hit, without knowing it, was Christian Zionism, though he never directly addressed that topic to his friend. Many readers have told us painfully about close family members who stop communicating all together once the subject of the state of Israel is broached in religious context, sometimes broken over a single offhanded statement.

 

My own family was characterized by heated partisan political argument about Democrats and Republicans at family gathering. But these did not drive the family apart, rather it brought a vitality to gatherings that drew them back together at every opportunity. The arguments were strident but instructional and thought shaping for younger onlookers. Some of us looked forward to maturity when our views might be heard in these family harangues. But no such honing of views can exist in a setting where even one Christian Zionist is present. Far from crating kinship and love within the family, it creates separation.

 

Most Republican party candidates appear to cater to, if they are not themselves Judeo-Christians, because so many votes are at stake. Michele Bachmann from Minnesota, is said to be a serious candidate for US President and is a living example of discordant and bazaar thinker, but she will resonate with some 70 million Americas who are know to be influence by the the Judeo-Christian illness. Here are some of her words from he own website that should be carefully examined:

 

“Most American recognize that Israelis and American are two sides to the same coin because we share the same values…we even share the same mission, to be a light to the nations.. “

 

“We learned that our Christian Faith is rooted in Judaism.” Without the laws of Moses, without the Temple (at Jerusalem) there would have been no sermon on the mount.”

 

“It was this love for Israel and the Jewish state” that brought me to volunteer for a kibbutz in 1974.

 

“Upholding American values”…means “we must stand with Israel.” “I stand with Israel… “our policies in the Middle East must be guided by this imperative.”

It is clear to this author that Bachmann can not function in national office under oath because her first commitment is to another flag, not to USA, to another people, not to Americans first. Other irrational belief common to and defining Christian Zionist that she might or might not admit to, and that are incompatible with following a traditional Jesus Christ, include:

Wars are just, if they are Israel’s wars…

The present world will be destroyed by God to punish the evil doers, and the Christ followers will be save and ushered into a spiritual kingdom, the rest left behind.

The state of Israel is God’s fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies (Jesus too).

This bubble is about to burst, as all bubbles do. Fortunately for the Americas, Judeo-Christianity is coming apart at the seams from its own weaknesses. Next time, the end of Judeo-Christianity, based on a study by the Pew Forum.

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Norway massacre, Christian Zionist terrorism analysed

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/9782246-norway-massacre-christian-zionist-terrorism-analysed

 

After the 500kg fertilizer car bomb blast Friday 22 July 2011 in Oslo, Norway, mass media groups, including Rupert Murdoch owned Sky/Fox News, and other global media outfits targeted Muslims and the Al Qaeda bogeymen for the attack for many hours. After the attack, Anders Behring Breivik, a Christian Zionist, shoot and murdered over 76 people and injuring 97.

Anders Behring Breivik (born 13 February 1979 in Oslo, Norway, also known as Andrew Berwick, Sigurd Jorsalfar, and Anders Behring) confessed to the bombing and mass murders without admitting criminal responsibility, claiming his actions were “atrocious but necessary”. His parents divorced when he was one year old. His estranged father, Jens Breivik, said his son should have killed himself, instead of killing so many people.

Oslo court charged Breivik with acts of terrorism Friday 25 July 2011, denied Breivik’s request for an open hearing in order to prevent him from publicly airing his inciting criminal views and ordered he remains in police custody for up to eight weeks. Breivik has admitted he was recruited by two English right-wing extremists at a meeting in the UK in 2002 attended by seven other people. American and European Christian extremists use any excuse to carry out their own twisted destruction and collateral murders.

European and American media outfits continued to speculate links between the attack and the Al Qaeda without any probes and irrefutable evidence to incite hatred and crimes against Muslims. After the attack, at first, the web was aflame with speculation that the attackers were “Jihadists” (strugglers) of some sort. The word ‘terrorism’ vanished from the media landscape when they discovered that the terrorist was white Christian-Zionist. Western media loves an opportunity to spread racial and anti-Muslim hatred. They should be tried for their heinous false hoods or fake news reports based on Islamophobic speculations.

Islamophobic and anti-Muslim hysteria continued for several hours on European and American media outlets and websites. So, who are those in our own western society who enable, empower and give voice to such pathology? Whenever the media outlets and politicians twist the actions of a few lone loony to be somehow representative of the majority of the faith, race or country they clearly demonstrate exactly who the haters really are, and who they support, breed, feed and nurture.

The mass murderer, Breivik, used banned (1899 Hague Convention) ‘Dum-Dum’ bullets designed to explode and disintegrate inside the body and cause maximum internal damage. The banned bullets are still being used by European law enforcement agents.

Breivik’s friends described him as a ‘mummy’s boy’ who did not leave home until the age of 30, had few friends and no serious girlfriends. He used the company, Breivik Geofarm (Norway registration # 994 089 269 on 18 May 2009), as a façade to acquire six tonnes of lethal fertilizers and chemicals.

Breivik conspired with “business and political leaders” in London years before he set about planning last week’s massacre, an intriguing connection given the fact that the gunman’s manifesto is datelined “London 2011, suggesting a clear connection to the capital as evidence emerges of a wider plot.

Breivik had a network of 5,700 terrorist friends who remain morally and legally complicit in his crime, read and passed on or forwarded his ‘2083’ manifesto as a “gift” to over 25,000,000 Christian terrorists in the USA and the EU (Denmark, Hungary, Russia, Israel, Finland, France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands (Holland), Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Australia, and Sweden, etc).

Breivik and his fans admire and are incited by people and racists groups like George Bush, Tony Blair, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Theodore Kaczynski (Unabomber), Richard Lionheart, Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, Max Manus, Geert Wilders, Hindutva, Shrinandan Vyas, Christian Crusaders, Knights Templars, PCCTS, Robert Spencer, Freemasons, Bat Ye’or, Anders Gravers Pedersen, Stephen Gash, the English Defence League (EDL), British National Party (BNP), blogger Fjordman, Vladimir Putin, and many other war criminals who spread hatred and fear to provoke violence against Asians, Arabs, Africans and Muslims.

Breivik said: ‘One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests’. His 2083 manifesto is largely concerned with Britain and America. Breivik used an array of internet forums to express his Islamophobic views. The Jerusalem Post also describes Breivik as pro-Israel. Breivik expressed his explicit support for Hindutva and Sanatana Dharma in India. Breivik lists the websites of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the National Volunteers’ Organisation (NVO), the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) as resources for anti-Muslim incitement and hatred, threatening carnage worst than the Second World War.

Breivik and his fans have nothing better than to get on TV to expound his fascist ideology. Breivik has delusional visions of himself as another Adolf Hitler, using his trial as a propaganda platform.

Many white Christians do not think the Christianity has anything to do with terrorism? Ever hear of the 30 Years’ War? Collateral murders in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? The Crusades since 1095 AD? The fate of the Cathars? The Inquisition?

Breivik’s objectives and motivations resonate with those of many politicians and Christian-Zionist crusaders. These are the fruits of long cultivated major media and political hate mongering by war criminals, such as George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Tony Blair and even David Cameron, etc.

Anders Behring Breivik had expressed his hatred for Muslims, a few political parties, and the youth wing of Norway’s ruling party on various internet blogs more than 75 times. He intended to bring down western civilisation by the year 2083. The tragic attacks drew public attention away from the financial crisis, the austerity measures, the massive daily swindling of public funds, and the crumbling support for the wars in Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Yemen, and endless criminal Israeli ID frauds exposed in New Zealand and elsewhere. In fact Anders Behring Breivik, 32, a right-wing sovereign citizen or Christian terrorist with no links to any Islamic groups, was the man responsible for the terrorist attack and the murders.

Breivik’s 1,500-page ‘2083 manifesto’, written by the psychopath evil, is a blueprint for a continent-wide revolution which reflects much of the thinking of European Christian white power or neo-Nazis from Italy to Norway and from Britain to Russia.

Breivik’s manifesto, ‘2083 A European Declaration Of Independence’ provides detailed instructions for everything from making a bomb to raising funds to preparing physically and mentally with chilling detail how others can emulate the author’s planned terror attack and how to justify the criminal violence or terrorism as a jury, judge and executioner.

Breivik called for terrorism, killing of over one million European Christians and several hundred millions elsewhere. He was set to seize political and military control of Western European countries. Christian Nazis draw on primitive Knights Templar history, myths and legends. Breivik’s ‘2083’ document lays out a three-stage plan leading to the overthrow democracies in Europe. He recommends both farming and mining as good covers for obtaining explosives and advocates working alone to prevent getting caught.

Like many politicians, including Adolf Hitler, Breivik supports a Christian Europe without brown faces, Arab and Muslims. Breivik’s writing is deeply anti-Islamic. Breivik’s manifesto is reminiscent of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf that was a blueprint for what is still happening in Europe, America, Australia and Canada.

Publicly many psychopathic American and European Christians and politicians would dare voice support for Breivik-Hitler’s abhorrent criminal actions but privately they approve of their acts and manifestos (2083 and Mien Kampf) of hate.

There are many within the world, especially here in the USA and the EU, that hold worship the two men and justify their perspective against brown faces from the Middle East, Asia and Africa. They are collectivists, anti-individual liberty, tribal, anti-free-market economies, authoritarian, despotic tyrants with self-sacrifice to the state as the moral ideal. That was an epic disaster which is still unfolding across America and Europe. They harbour deep rooted hatred towards brown faces, Asians, Africans, Arabs and Muslims. They harbour the same warped thoughts and ideology of the murderous, evil scum bags. They are mentally ill.

There are no justifications for the murder of innocents, whatever the cause or hateful anti-Muslim logic. They breed, nurture and foster hatred towards brown faces. When they fail to remember their past, they are doomed to repeat their mistakes.

Norway was the first UN member to voice its firm support for Palestinian Statehood. Utoya camp students demanded that Israel “finish the occupation”. Anti-Israel, pro-Arab signs were hung in the Utoya camp How many American Judeo-Christians will look the other way from mass executioner of unarmed civilians, or dodge with the with flimsy argument that the shooter is not one of them? Breivik sees Zionists as an ally of the Muslims against Israel. Yes, Breivik is a Christian Zionist, and one of the topics debated at this camp was a possible boycott of Israel. According to EuroNews, Norway was set to vote on motion calling for bombing Israel if it acts against Hamas in Gaza. According to ABC News, Norway was also considering pulling out of NATO bombing of Libya.

Anders Behring Breivik comments are long and thoughtful and show, among other things, Christian fundamentalism and sympathy with the violent Jewish movement and English Defence League (EDL). Breivik shows an extreme Zionism and Israel-love. Breivik’s fans include Hans Rustad, a former Zionist/Jewish journalist. Breivik’s role models include Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill.

So, was this a Mossad Operation? according to German journalist Ulrich Sahm “…many of the [Norwegian] youths who survived the massacre [Friday 22 July 2011] said they thought the killer, dressed as a police officer, was simulating Israeli crimes against Palestinians in the occupied territories. They believed that ‘the cruelty of the Israeli occupation’ was being demonstrated to them”.

What was the connection to the anti-terror drill being conducted on Friday 22 July 2011 in Oslo, Norway? Anti-terror drills were also conducted on 7/7 in London, and 9/11 in the USA where NORAD was ordered not to attack the aircrafts.

Wayne Madison, a strong supporter of Israel’s Right to Exist states: “(Israel had) everything to gain by attacking Norway and teaching it a lesson…”, and the Zionist Jews have a long track record of false flag terrorism. Israel’s resentment towards Norway for taking a strong stand against Israeli war crimes and supporting the rights of Palestinians is so obvious.

The combination of mental illness and firearms or drones is deadly. Whenever American drones hit children in Pakistan, please remember to feel as bad as you do for the unarmed civilians killed in Oslo, Norway.

Hatred leads to acts of violent retribution and heinous deeds; this is true of both individuals and states. Such evils only thrive when good men do nothing. Seven billion people cannot avoid the consequences of ignoring anti-Muslim hatred.

Violence from white Christian Zionists has been a clear and present danger to European and American streets for too long, particularly since 11 September 2001. It has often been ignored at worst or paid lip-service to at best as Christian politicians.

The ruling British Tory/Conservative party leader, Baroness Warsi, voiced her concern about the rise of Islamphobia earlier in 2011, she was roundly criticised by her party, media outlets and by the usual commentators who have made anti-Muslim prejudice the subject of their columns.

Millions of Muslims have voiced their heartfelt condolences, and condemnation of the tragic terrorist attacks in Norway. Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of this senseless massacre, was fuelled by a hatred of Muslims and their place in western society, their thoughts and prayers are primarily with the victims and their families.

The victims may not have been Muslims, but in Islam even the loss of a single life can never be justified at anytime, anywhere, let alone so many young lives that had everything to live for. Over 1.5 billion Muslims stand for and believe in humanity, democracy and equality. Multiculturalism is a force for common good in building cohesive societies.

In reality, religion and politics have very little to do with terrorist acts. American and European governments have failed to keep tabs on the white Christian-Zionists who write against Asians, Africans, Arabs and Muslims. Any concept of purity, be it racial or religious or political, is a volatile element as it creates a dreaded other.

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WHY ARE SOME CHRISTIANS SO UNBIBLICAL(Rev. Gordon Moyes)

 http://www.gordonmoyes.com/2011/11/21/why-are-some-christians-so-unbiblical/

 

SERMON. WHY DO SOME CHRISTIANS BELIEVE UNBIBLICAL THINGS?

 

Sincere Christians in the last month have spent $100 million advertising the end of the world would end on May 21st, with Christians being caught up in the rapture and millions of unbelievers perishing. The Rapture Doomsday Prediction of Harold Camping did not occur any more than the famous predictions at Balmoral Beach Sydney in 1923. The Star Amphitheatre was founded to teach the works of Krishnamurti promoted by the Theosophical Society. It was intended as a platform for lectures by the expected ‘World Teacher’. Many people believed it was built in anticipation of the second coming, when Jesus Christ could return walking across the water between Sydney Heads.

Today , non-believers ridicule Harold Camping, but his followers and many professing Christians defend him as doing good reminding people of the coming judgment and rapture. Camping and his followers claimed to receive personal revelations through the Holy Spirit about the end times. If God leads us to some kind of insight it will never be opposite to what the Word of God states. Independent prophecies as presented by some Christians today always teach more than the Bible states.

Camping estimates only three per cent of the world’s population will be raptured while the rest will be dammed, and the world will come to an end. Last Monday an unapologetic Harold Camping made a new prediction: the rapture is actually on Oct. 21, not May 21 as he originally proclaimed due to a mathematical error in the number of days calculated since the Crucifixion.

WHERE DID THIS UNBIBLICAL TEACHING COME FROM?

In 1843, in USA thousands of people sold their homes and businesses and went about the country preaching the imminent return of Christ. They were the followers of William Miller, a farmer and self-taught bible scholar from New York. Miller understood the 2300 days of Daniel 8:14 to refer to the number of years until the return of Christ in his day. Because the “sevens” in Daniel 9 were translated “weeks” in the King James Bible, Miller assumed all prophecies referring to days must mean years. Adding 2300 years to the time of Daniel’s prophecy gave Miller a date between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.

Despite the great excitement, March 21, 1844, came and went without the return of Christ. Miller was devastated, but one of his followers went back through the calculations and found what he believed to be the error. A new date was set of October 22, 1844.

When even 1844 did not work, some of the followers abandoned the movement. Many however tried to find a new explanation. Ellen G. White eventually led the Seventh-Day Adventists to the conclusion that Jesus had returned invisibly in 1844, and that He would soon make His presence known. Another group that tried to hold to the 1844 date was led by Jonas Swendahl who believed that 1844 marked not the date of Jesus’ return, but of the beginning of the last generation. Swendahl taught that Jesus would therefore return in 1874.

 

One of Swendahl’s followers was a former Presbyterian named Charles Taze Russell. When 1874 came and went, he concluded 30 years was not long enough for a generation. So he added 70 years to 1844 and concluded that Jesus would return in 1914. This and other differences led him to split from the Second Adventists and launch Zion’s Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence. His followers became known as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The date of 1914 was changed to 1925, 1941, and 1975.

In 1992, Harold Camping published 1994. Like Miller, he rejected the historic understanding of Daniel 8. The prophecy clearly describes the rise of the kingdom of Greece under Alexander the Great, and the division of his empire among four others. But instead of seeing the prophecy as fulfilled then, Camping transports its fulfilment to our own day. Like the Adventists and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, he focuses on the “hidden” meanings of texts, seeing pointers towards 1994 in the number of swine drowned in the Sea of Galilee or in the number of servants in Abraham’s house. Camping was wrong. September 6, 1994 came and went. Then he re-set the date to May 21ST 2011, then after that to October 2011.

Apocalyptic thinking has always been part of American religious life and popular culture. It has flowed to areas where American missionaries and Bible teachers have travelled. Teachings about the end of the world vary dramatically about how they will occur. The overwhelming majority of Christians reject the idea that the exact date or time of Jesus Christ’s return can be predicted. Jesus told us that “of that day and hour no-one knows”. (Matthew 24:36) We do not excuse them because they are sincere, for they are sincerely wrong!

There is a whole outline of dodgy doctrines believed by some Christians. Many of them are based on Dispensationalism, a Protestant evangelical and Pentecostal tradition based on a biblical hermeneutic that sees a series of chronologically successive periods in history in which God relates to human beings in different ways. Over the next five weeks we will examine them from a Biblical perspective.

HOW DID THIS TEACHING EVOLVE?

As a system, dispensationalism is rooted in the writings of John Nelson Darby (1800–1882) and the Brethren Movement. The theology of dispensationalism consists of a distinctive eschatological “end times” perspective, as all dispensationalists hold to premillennialism and most hold to a pretribulation rapture. Dispensationalists believe that God has yet to fulfill His promises to the political nation of Israel, created by the United Nations in 1948 as God’s chosen people of Biblical times. These promises include the land promises, which in the future result in a millennial kingdom where Christ, upon His return, will rule the world from Jerusalem for a thousand years. Such believers are opposed to Palestinian land claims today, and support massive financial aid to Israel to fight surrounding countries of the Middle East.

ISRAEL OWES MORE TO ONE CHRISTIAN THAN ANY OTHER PERSON.

In the late 1890’s in both UK and USA a new political group was formed called Zionism, designed to restore Israel to the land of Palestine. With the extremely generous support of Jewish businessmen this political movement would forever change the course of Christianity and history even though most Christians did not know it at this time. The man chosen to promote Zionism in the Christian churches was a Civil War veteran by the name of C. I. Scofield. To this day biographies of this influential Christian are not sold in Christian bookshops intentionally, but a simple internet search can confirm what I write.

His first biography was, The Incredible Scofield, The Man and His Book” by Joseph Canfield. His story is indeed incredible, the kind of story they make movies about. Here are just a few of his highlights. His greatest talent was in the forging of documents. He produced his own law diploma, that made him a lawyer. Amazingly he became Attorney General of Kansas. After that he left Kansas, leaving his wife and two daughters destitute. After leaving Kansas he was later arrested for forgery involving a railroad. He then served prison time for criminal forgery and for stealing his mother’s life savings.

Upon release he produced documents concerning his degrees in Divinity and Ordination. He then became Dr C.I. Scofield D.D. and pastor of a large Baptist Church in Dallas. He knew little about the Bible. At this time, he came to the attention of Samuel Untermeyer, a wealthy New York attorney, as well as an agent of the Rothschilds and one of the top Zionists in the country. They knew then that they had found the man that could present Zionism to the Christians.

Dr Schofield and his new lady left their church in Dallas to live in the exclusive Lotus Club in New York City, where they resided for the next twenty years. All their expenses were picked up by their new Jewish friends who also funded his many trips to Oxford, England. He met with the top Zionists there to help him compile his “notes.” He was known for his lavish life-style.

Scofield compiled ideas from Darby, Miller, White, Swendahl, Russell and other Millennialists, and added interpretations from his Zionist friends to form his Scofield Notes on the Bible. This was like eschatological fluff caught on theological Velcro.With the completion of the notes, he persuaded the Oxford University Press, to print for the first time a King James Version Bible that included his notes. Linked to the 1611 King James Version, bound in black leather, the marketing gave the notes and illustrations an authoritative air. With the help of English Zionists, thousands of copies were sent free to clergymen, another marketing sensation. Clergymen preached from it to their congregations and members purchased their own copies. It didn’t take long for it to become the best-selling Bible in the world, so OUP established a New York office in 1909 to publish the Scofield Bible for American churches with free copies being sent to clergymen.

Thousands of pastors started using them without asking the obvious questions. “Who is this man?”- “Where did he come from?” – “What is his complete background?” – “What happened to his wife and daughters?” and “Why would Jews invest so much money in a book to help bring “truth” to the Christians?’

It was the greatest investment the Zionists ever made. They created a theory known as dispensationalism. These doctrines or beliefs were never found by real theologians from any denomination before, and they do not accept them as Bible truth today. These beliefs are not accepted by Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox or most other Protestant denominations. But in the USA, Scofield’s notes, portraying a time line of what God was doing in each dispensation, and what will happen in the future became the standard teaching of Brethren, Pentecostal, Southern Baptist and Fundamentalist churches and Bible colleges. Their members and pastors became the enthusiastic evangelists, missionaries and Bible College teachers that went to every country of their world. They in turn influenced others so that every radio evangelist, crusade evangelist from DL Moody on, and almost every Bible College in the world perpetuated this teaching.

In USA this included the Republican Party, the Moral Majority, and even Presidents. Political analyst Richard Allen Greene has argued that dispensationalism has had a major influence on the foreign policy of the United States including support for the state of Israel. Political commentator Kevin Phillips points out in his book American Theocracy (2006) how dispensationalists and other fundamentalist Christians, together with the oil lobby, have provided political support for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, without approval of the United Nations.

This teaching still determines the US budget’s allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars every day to Israel. It has encouraged two US Presidents to put their fingers on the button that would fire nuclear weapons.

Over the next month I will give further historical information, look at some of the involved doctrines such as the Rapture, The Left Behind books and films, the most notable exponents and colleges, the End Times prophecies, Premillennialism, Post Millennialism, Amillennialism The Great Tribulation, the Beast, and the rest. Much that is believed here is unbiblical. This will also lead into the inspiration and authority of the Bible as God’s word. Even raising these issues will cause some people to close their ears and eyes, but I encourage you to continue as Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life in spite of what Harold Camping, Cyrus Scofield and others may teach. Monday, 21st November, 2011, 12:21 pm

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Story of The Christmas Tree – Oh Tannenbaum

Contrary to some popular stories it was not Martin Luther who introduced the Christmas Tree to Germany.

Legend associates the first Christmas tree with St. Boniface and the German town of Geismar. Sometime in Boniface’s lifetime (c. 672-754) he is said to have cut down the sacred tree of Thor in Geismar, replacing it with a fir tree which has been said to have been the first Christmas tree. The word Tannenbaum, a German word for “fir tree”, can be understood to be a “Christmas tree” although the literal meaning of “Christmas tree” is encapsulated in the word “Weihnachtsbaum.”


 Glaubenskrieg um den Tannenbau

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,4998564,00.html

geschmückter Weihnachtsbaum (Foto: AP)

Tannenbaum und Krippe stehen in deutschen Wohnzimmern friedlich nebeneinander. Früher wäre das undenkbar gewesen. Denn viele Weihnachtsbräuche gehen auf den Kulturkampf zwischen Protestanten und Katholiken zurück.

 

Es ist ein trautes Bild, das die Herzen vieler Protestanten höher schlagen ließ: Martin Luther sitzt mit seiner Familie in der guten Stube um einen kleinen, geschmückten Tannenbaum. “Luther mit seiner Familie am Christabend 1536 zu Wittenberg” nannte der Weimarer Hofkupferstecher Carl August Schwerdgeburth sein Gemälde. Doch das Bild, das ihn im 19. Jahrhundert berühmt machte, war eine glatte Lüge.

Gemälde mit der Familie Martin Luthers neben einem Weihnachtsbaum (Foto: Ullstein-Bild)Weihnachten bei Luthers?“Luther saß nie unterm Tannenbaum”, sagt der Bonner Volkskundler Alois Döring. Im Gegenteil. Der Reformator kannte überhaupt noch keinen Weihnachtsbaum. Erste Zeugnisse für eine Feier mit geschmückter Tanne stammen laut Döring aus dem Elsass, wo ein Stadtrat Ende des 16. Jahrhundert den ersten Weihnachtsbaum aufgestellt haben soll.

Spott über die “Weihnachtsbaumreligion”

In Mode kam die geschmückte Tanne aber erst um 1800, als protestantische Familien sie sich ins Wohnzimmer stellten. Und später behaupteten, dies in guter evangelischer Tradition zu tun. “Die Katholiken spotteten über den Lutherkult ebenso wie über den evangelischen Tannenbaumbrauch und bezeichneten den Protestantismus sogar als Weihnachtsbaumreligion”, erzählt der Bonner Volkskundler.

Allerdings nicht lange, denn schon Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts hielt der geschmückte Baum auch in katholische Wohnzimmer Einzug. “Entscheidend für seine Verbreitung war der deutsch-französische Krieg von 1870”, berichtet Döring. “Damals wurden auf Anweisung der Heeresleitungen in den Schützengräben Weihnachtsbäume aufgestellt als Zeichen der Verbundenheit mit der Heimat.”

Vom Paradiesspiel zum Tannenbaum

Weihnachtsbaum vor der Börse in New York (Foto: dpa)Lichterglanz in New YorkDiese Aktion wirkte offensichtlich weit in die Welt hinaus. Denn der erste öffentliche, auf einem Platz ausgestellte und mit Lichtergirlanden geschmückte Baum stand an Weihnachten im Jahr 1910 nicht in Deutschland, sondern in New York. Mit der überkonfessionellen Verbreitung des Weihnachtsbaumes verschwand allmählich auch die Lutherlegende. Dafür hält sich bis heute das Gerücht, dieser Weihnachtsbrauch entstamme einem heidnischen Kult. Doch weit gefehlt.

“Laut neueren Erkenntnissen der Forschung geht der Weihnachtsbaum auf die Paradiesspiele der mittelalterlichen Kirche zurück”, betont Döring. Dort sei er am 24. Dezember als “Baum der Erkenntnis” aufgestellt worden, unter dem der Sündenfall Adams und Evas nachgespielt wurde. “Auf der Seite, die die Erlösung symbolisieren sollte, war der Baum mit Äpfeln und anderen Leckereien geschmückt, auf der anderen, sündigen Seite nicht.” Nach den Gottesdiensten durfte der Baum geplündert werden.

Heiliger Christ kontra Nikolaus

Dabei konnte es zeitweise ganz schön hoch hergehen, erzählt Döring. Genau wie bei den Krippenspielen und Nikolausfeiern, bei denen katholische Gläubige gerne auch mal Sitte und Moral vergaßen. Dem Reformator Martin Luther gefiel die sinnenfrohe Heiligenverehrung der katholischen Kirche gar nicht. Er wollte Christus wieder in den Mittelpunkt der Feiern stellen und erfand deshalb die Figur des “heiligen Christ” als Konkurrenz zum Nikolaus.

Als ein Engel verkleidetes Mädchen schmückt einen Weihnachtsbaum (Foto: dpa)Christkind, 1910Lange Jahre bescherte in den protestantischen Gegenden Deutschlands der “heilige Christ” die Kinder, begleitet von Engeln. Im Laufe der Jahrhunderte sei aus ihm das engelsgleiche “Christkind” geworden, berichtet der Volkskundler. Doch das war offenbar zu lieb und so erfand man im 19. Jahrhundert noch den Weihnachtsmann, der eher ein “umgemodelter Nikolaus” war. Ob diese Figur eher auf die Phantasie von Protestanten oder Katholiken zurückgeht, lässt sich heute nicht mehr sagen.

“Viele unserer Weihnachtsbräuche sind mittlerweile überkonfessionell”, meint Döring. Gerade in der Advents- und Weihnachtszeit beobachtet der Volkskundler in den letzten Jahren zahlreiche ökumenische Aktionen. Katholiken und Protestanten veranstalten gemeinsam Konzerte und Feste. “Die Kirchen haben erkannt, dass sie etwas dafür tun müssen, wenn Weihnachten mehr sein soll als Konsum, Glühwein und Lichterschmuck”, sagt Döring. “Und das geht am besten mit- statt gegeneinander.”

Autorin: Sabine Damaschke

Redaktion: Klaus Krämer


An einen Zweig hängten sie kleine, aus farbigem Papier ausgeschnittene Netze, und jedes Netz war mit Zuckerwerk gefüllt. Vergoldete Apfel und Walnüsse hingen herab,als wären sie festgewachsen,und über hundert rote, blaue und weiße kleine Lichter wurden in den Zweigen festgesteckt.

Hans Christian Andersen, aus “Der Tannenbaum”

 

 

  • Die GeschichteStechpalmen und Klausenbäume
  • Tannenbaumzubehör
  • Mode für Christbäume
  • Die Symbolik des Christbaumschmucks
  • Tipps zum Tannenbaumkauf!
  • Soll man in der heutigen Zeit zu Weihnachten überhaupt einen Baum aufstellen?
  • Wie viele Nadeln hat wohl ein Christbaum?

    DIE GESCHICHTE

    Die meisten von uns können sich Weihnachten ohne einen Tannenbaum gar nicht vorstellen. Nicht nur in Deutschland scheint ein christbaum einfach zum Fest zu gehören, doch das war nicht immer so wie heute.

    Die altgermanischen Wurzeln, die man ihm oft zuspricht, hat es so wohl nie gegeben, obwohl grüne Zweige in vielen Kulturen im Winter das wiederkehrende Leben symbolisierten und böse Geister vertreiben sollten, vermutlich holte man sie wohl auch bereits ins Haus.

    Die Geschichte, dass Martin Luther, inspieriert von einem mondbeglänzten Tannenbaum auf dem Weihnachtsspaziergang, den ersten Christbaum aufgestellt habe, ist eine Legende, auch wenn es Bilder der Luther-Familie unter einem geschmückten Tannenbaum gibt, so sind sie doch erst lange nach Luthers Tod entstanden.

    Die erste echte schriftliche Kunde von einem geputzten Baum am Weihnachtsabend stammt aus Freiburg im Jahre 1419. Die Bäcker hatten einen Baum mit Naschwerk, Früchten und Nüssen behängt, den die Kinder an Neujahr plündern durften. schaft hatte einen Baum mit allerlei Naschwerk, Früchten und Nüssen behängt, den die Kinder nach Abschütteln an Neujahr plündern durften. Spätere Berichte kommen auch aus Straßburg und Türckheim/Elsass. Noch waren es keine Familienbäume wie heutzutage, doch sicherlich für die Menschen Symbole für den Baum im Paradiesgarten.

    1604 berichtet dann ein Reisender erstmals über Familienbäume: “Auf Weihnachten richtet man Dannanbäum’ zu Straßburg in den Stuben auf, daran hänket man Rosen aus vielfarbigem Papier geschnitten, Äpfel, Oblaten, Zischgold, Zucker etc. Man pflegt darum ein viereckigen Rahmen zu machen…”.

    In der ersten Hälfte des 18. Jhdts. werden solche Berichte dann häufiger, doch es dauerte noch ein Weilchen, bis der Tannenbaum sich verbreitete, zunächst in protestantischen Gegenden, und später dann auch in Gebieten, wo die Bevölkerung hauptsächlich katholisch war und noch lange die Krippe den Mittelpunkt des Weihnachtsfestes bildete. Dass die Herzogin von Orleans,, wohl besser bekannt als “Lieselotte von der Pfalz, in einem Brief aus dem Jahr 1708 an ihre Tochter von Kindheitserinnerungen an Weihnachtsbäume schreiben konnte, ist wohl eine Ausnahme. Erst gut 100 Jahre später wurden an königleichen und kaiserlichen Höfen Europas Tannenbäume aufgestellt. Meistens brachten die Ehefrauen den Brauch quasi mit in die Ehe, oder sie ließen, wie Queen Victoria von England 1840, ihren Männern zuliebe Bäume aufstellen.

    Danach verbreitete sich der christbaum schnell in der ganzen Welt. Kaum 50 Jahre hat dieser friedliche “Eroberungsfeldzug gedauert. Auf dem Gebiet der Volksbräuche ist das einmalig!


    STECHPALMEN UND CLAUSENBÄUME

    Für die “kleinen Leute” waren Fichten und Tannen, die meistens aus Staatsforsten oder herrschaftlichen Wäldern kamen, meistens viel zu teuer. Stattdessen nahm man vielfach Stechpalmen oder auch Buchsbäume, in der Brandenburgischen Gegend auch märklische Kiefern. Lange Zeit waren auch Gestecke verbreitet, die den Tannenbaum ersetzen sollten. So benutzte man im Norden sogenannte Bügel- oder Reifenbäume, bei denen in mehreren Etagen grün umwundene Bügel oder Reifen an einem Holzstock befestigt wurden. Im Süden gab es die sogenannten Klausenbäume, pyramidenförmige Gestecke aus Äpfeln und mit Tannenzweigen besteckten Holzstäben.

    Erst später, als die Nachfrage immer größer wurde, legte man spezielle Schonungen an und die Tannen wurden auch für weniger betuchte Leute erschwinglich, und die “Provisorien” verschwanden nach und nach von der Bildfläche. Heute werden sie manchmal zusätzlich in den Stuben aufgestellt, aber den “richtigen” Tannenbaum können sie meist nicht mehr ersetzen.

     

    TANNENBAUMSCHMUCK UND ZUBEHÖR

    • Tannenbaumfuß:

      Zunächst hängte man in vielen Gegenden die Bäume oft einfach an die Decke. Manchmal wurde an den Fuß ein Apfel gehängt. Noch bis Anfang des 20. Jhdts. war das durchaus üblich, z. B. in Thüringen und in der Pfalz. Manchmal hingen die Bäume übrigens mit der Spitze nach unten, als Symbol für die Dreieinigkeit.

      Später wurden selbst gezimmerte Gestelle üblich aus kreuzweise übereinander befestigten Latten (manchmal verwendet man solche Heimwerker-Gestelle heute noch, wenn der Tannenbaumfuß mal wieder unauffindbar ist…). Schließlich kamen die eisernen Tannenbaumständer auf, die im Jugendstil wunderschön verziert wurden und jetzt zu hohen Preeisen auf dem Flohmarkt gehandelt werden. Neuerdings gibt es auch Tannenbaumfüße mit Wasserreservoir, in denen die Bäume länger frisch bleiben.

       

    • Tannenbaumschmuck:Brennende Kerzen

      wurden am Anfang nicht verwendet, denn sie waren einfach zu teuer. Lichterbäume kamen erst spät auf, und man dachte sich allerhand aus, um auf die immer noch kostspieligen Wachskerzen verzichten zu können. So gab es kleine Öllämpchen, die mit einem angelöteten Dorn auf die Zweige gesteckt werden konnten. “Richtige” Kerzen konnte das wohl nicht ersetzen, so wurde wohl auf manche Weihnachtswünsche verzichtet, um “echte”Wachskerzen für den Baum kaufen zu können.1879 erfand Thomas Edison die Glühlampe, und schon ein paar Jahre später wurden auch die ersten Christbäume elektrisch beleuchtet. Die Idee verbreitete sich erstaunlich schnell, obwohl zuerst nur wenige Haushalten einen Stromanschluss hatten. Da eine komplette elektrische Tannenbaumbeleuchtung zunächst mal eine ziemlich teure Angelegenheit war, konnten sich am Anfang nur reiche Leute so etwas leisten. In Amerika gab es damals extra sogenannte “Wiremen”, die kamen, um die Bäume zu verkabeln, weil sich “normale” Menschen das nicht zutrauten! Es gab in den USA damals übrigens auch schon künstliche Tannenbäume, sie waren aus Stahl gefertigt und konnten teilweise mit Gas beleuchtet werden.

      Tannenbaumschmuck:

    Zuerst wurde der Baum mit einfachen Dingen geschmückt: Äpfel (die den Paradiesapfel symbolisieren sollten, der Adam und Eva in Versuchung führte und den Tod in dieWelt brachte), Papierrosen (sie weisen hin auf die Erlösung in der Christnacht) und farbige Bänder und Fäden. Schließlich wurden die Sachen vergoldet, die den Christbaum schmücken sollten. Es gab vergoldete Äpfel und Nüsse, und sogar, obwohl man es kaum glauben kann, vergoldete Kartoffeln. Auch Süßigkeiten waren an den Bäumen zu finden, und schließlich auch Flitter und Zischgold, Engelshaar und Glassschmuck.
    Der Glasschmuck gewann schnell an Bedeutung. Entwickelt wurde er in der kleinen Stadt Lauscha in Thüringen, wo heute noch herrliche Kugeln und anderer Schmuck hergestellt wird. Es gab gläsernes Obst, Nüsse, Tannenzapfen, Kugeln, Weihnachtsmänner, Vögel mit Schwänzen aus echten Federn, Musikinstrumente, kleine Lokomotiven und vieles mehr. So manche Sachen kann man übrigens auch heute wieder kaufen. Meistens waren es die Frauen, die den Glasschmuck, sorgsam verpackt auf dem Rücken in großen Kiepen zu fuß kilometerweit zu den Handelshäusern tragen mussten. Anfangs, bevor die Händler sich in Lauscha niederließen, mussten die Frauen sogar bis nach Nürnberg laufen.

    In Nürnberg und Fürth entstand damals eine richtige Industrie für Christbaumschmuck. Aus Messingblech stellte man Zischgold und Leonische Drähte (gibt es heute auch wieder, allerdings ganz schön teuer!) her, außerdem Lametta aus Blei. Man konnte filigrane Bleisterne kaufen, Nikoläuse, Obst und Gemüse aus Pappmaché, aus silbern kaschiertem Karton gab es Schlittengespanne und Sterne. Im Erzgebirge wurden die auch heute noch bekannten Figuren gedrechselt, Hemdenmatzengelchen, Schaukelpferdchen, und vieles mehr.

    MODE FÜR CHRISTBÄUME

    Anfangs waren die Bäume möglicht bunt, aber dann gab es um 1950 eine Gegenbewegung. Die Christbäume wurden ganz in weiß und silber geschmückt. In den Frauenzeitschriften dieser Zeit kann man aber auch Anleitungen finden mit bunten Schleifen und Strohkränzchen. Inzwischen wechseln die modischen Farben für den Christbaum Jahr für Jahr. Immer aber gab es Menschen, die ihren Baum einfach so geschmückt haben, wie es ihnen gefiel, und das ist ja auch gut so!

    DIE SYMBOLIK DES BAUMSCHMUCKS

    Im Laufe der Zeit haben sich die Dinge, die als Schmuck an den Weihnachtsbaum gehängt werden, sehr verändert. Man kann dabei durchaus eine Symbolik nachweisen, auch wenn es nicht immer nur christlich ist, was da zu Tage kommt!

    • Äpfel: Sie stehen natürlich für den Paradiesapfel, zudem haben sie als runde Früchte auch eine Ewigkeitssymbolik wie Kugeln.
    • Bären: Sie stehen für Kraft.
    • Engel: Die Engel am Christbaum stehen für die Engel, die den Hirten Jesu Geburt verkündet haben. Außerdem stehen sie als Himmelsboten für eine Verbindung zwischen Gott und den Menschen.
    • Fische: Sie sind ein Symbol für den christlichen Glauben.
    • Geschenkpäckchen: Heute hängt man die Weihnachtsgeschenke ja nicht mehr in den Baum. Aber früher war das schon der Fall, undzwar möglichst an die oberen Äste, damit die Kinder sie nicht vorzeitig auspacken konnten. Inzwischen sind es wohl nur noch künstlerische Leerpäckchen, die den Baum zieren. Beiden gemeinsam ist die Symbolik: Sie stehen für die Geschenke, die die drei Weisen zur Krippe brachten.
    • Glocken: Sie stehen für die Kirchenglocken, die zur Heiligen Nacht läuten und die frohe Botschaft verkünden. Gleichzeitig sind sie auch ein Glückssymbol und sollen Unglück von Haus und Hof fern halten.
    • Gold und Silber: Der heute so beliebte Glitzerschmuck steht für die kostbaren Gaben der drei Weisen.
    • Herz: Ein Herz steht für das Herz Jesu, gleichzeitig symbolisiert es Lebenskraft und Liebe.
    • Kleine Häuser: Sie stehen für Geborgenheit.
    • Kugeln: Wie ein Kreis haben sie keinen Anfang und kein Ende und stehen damit für die Ewigkeit. Zudem symbolisieren sie die Paradiesäpfel.
    • Lametta: 1878 in Nürnberg entwickelt, symbolisiert es glitzernde Eiszapfen
    • .Lichter: Ob Kerzen oder Lichterkette, beides steht für die Wiederkehr des Lichts. In der christlichen Symbolik ist das natürlich die Geburt Jesu.
    • Mond: Er ist ein Symbol für Werden und Vergehen.
    • Nüsse: Mit ihnen sind Gedanken an Natur und Fruchtbarkeit verbunden. Sie tragen den Lebenskeim in sich und deuten damit an, dass das Leben weiter gehen wird, obwohl man es in der harten Schale noch nicht sehen kann. Vergoldete Nüsse wirken besonders strahlend und lebendig.
    • Puppen: Puppen sind Zukunftssymbole, gleichzeitig symbolisieren sie auch das Jesuskind.
    • Sterne: Sterne stehen symbolisch für Licht und Sonne und für die Hoffnung auf ein gütiges Schicksal. Gleichzeitig symbolisieren sie den Stern von Bethlehem, der für das Licht Jesu steht.
    • Strohschmuck: Sterne und anderer Schmuck aus Stroh sollen daran erinnern, dass das Jesuskind in der Krippe auf Stroh lag.
    • Trompeten: Trompeten haben sich aus den Posaunen der Engel entwickelt und sind somit ein Symbol für Engel. Gleichzeitig stehen sie für die Verkündigung der großen Neuigkeit von Christi Geburt, denn früher wurden bei der Verkündigung von Neuigkeiten auf den Marktplätzen oft Trompeten verwendet.
    • Zapfen: Einerseits als Tannenzapfen ein Fruchtbarkeitssymbol, andererseits als Eiszapfen ein Symbol für den Winter.
    • Weihnachtsfarben Grün und Rot: Grün für das wiederkehrende Leben und Rot für das Blut Christi.

Christmas miscellany

 

Put the “X” back in XMAS

The Thinking Atheist    Dec 20, 2010 9:52 AM | Date Modified: Nov 13, 2011 6:29 PM

If you look at history, mythology and even the holy bible, you’ll notice that Jesus isn’t the Reason For The Season.

If you look at history, mythology and even the holy bible, you’ll notice that Jesus isn’t the Reason For The Season.

Every year at this time, on cue, an entire culture cries foul over the term XMAS, proclaiming that Christ is being systematically deleted from his own birthday. And after all, Jesus is (to quote the cliché) the Reason For The Season.

XMAS is an insult to Christ.

These people write newspaper articles. They do clips on the evening news. They shower Facebook with emphatic posts and requests to click “like” for anyone who’s ready to do battle against the heathen onslaught with a daring new FB page.

They do everything EXCEPT a little homework. A little pre-knee-jerk research would have revealed that the X comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστ?ς, translated “Christ.”

XMAS is CHRISTmas.

But the protests continue, as frothing religious communities wail about the War On Christmas. They picket in the streets and boycott holiday events because the true story of the sweet baby Jesus is why the holiday exists in the first place. Right?

Sigh. Those pesky facts.

December 25th was a date selected by the church, because no actual birth date for Jesus could be determined. It is the time of the Winter Solstice, and December 25th is also the traditional birthday of the Persian sun god, Mithra, whose birth legend includes shepherds, Magi, gifts, miracles, disciples and a virgin birth. Other influences on the Jesus story include:

* Attis: a Roman Pagan god. Born December 25th. Crucified as a man. Spent 3 days in the underworld and arose on Sunday as a solar deity for the new season. Accounts of Attis take place 200 years before the story of Christ.

* Dionysus: a Greek Pagan god. Born December 25th. Worshipped throughout the Middle East, especially Jerusalem. He was viewed as the son of Zeus.

* Osiris: an Egyptian Pagan god. Three wise men announced his birth. He was called the King of Kings. Worship of Osiris was established throughout the Roman Empire a century before the birth of Christ.

* Babylonians: the festival of Saturnalia (the Festival of Saturn), celebrated December 17-23 in the Roman Empire as a tribute to the god, Saturn, ultimately combined into a single holy day: December 25th.

* Scandinavia: the Norse celebration of Yule from December 21st through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, the men would bring home logs to burn, and the people would feast until the last ember waned (often for many days).

* Oden: the German Pagan god, honored mid-Winter. The people were terrified of Oden, as the legend has him making nocturnal flights through the sky to observe mankind, deciding who to bless, and who to punish.

Other Christmas traditions?

* The Christmas tree? Pagan in orgin. The early Egyptians saw evergreen trees as a symbol of life over death. Around the Winter Solstice, they’d bring green date palm leaves into their homes.

* Mistletoe? Pagan in origin. The early Druid priests often used evergreen plants and mistletoe in Pagan ceremonies. The mistletoe plant was the symbol of “the birth of a god.” Kissing under the mistletoe is a Pagan symbol of love and harmony.

* The exchange of gifts? Pagan in origin. The practice of gift giving originally stemmed from the early Roman feast of Saturn (Saturnalia). Charity towards others was also a common practice at this time.

In fact, Santa Claus arguably has a more verifiable origin than the baby Jesus story. Jollly ol’ Saint Nick is based on Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, named as a saint in the 19th century.

But let’s stick with Jesus. And for just a moment, let’s examine the suspiciously contradictory, biblical account of this amazing tale.

* The book of Matthew has Mary and Joseph residing in Bethlehem in Judea. Luke places them in Galilee.

* Matthew says the birth of Jesus occurred during the reign of Herod the Great of Judea, and coincides with a census ordered by emperor Augustus at the time that Quirinius (Cyrenius) was the Roman governor of Syria (Luke 2:1-3). But Rome didn’t rule Judea until 6 A.D. A full decade had to have separated Herod and Quirinius. And if a census did happen, it was long after Herod’s death, making the story of the infant massacre historically impossible.

* Luke says Joseph took Mary (in the last stages of pregnancy) on an arduous four-day trek to participate in the census. Yet Roman tradition was to register only men (not women), in the place or town of their local taxation district, which was much more practical. A 60-mile trek would not have been required, nor would the participation of Mary.

* Matthew 1:20 says an angel had previously appeared to Joseph. But Luke 1:28 says that the angel appeared before Mary.

* The book of Matthew has 28 generations between David and the birth of Jesus. Luke has 41 generations for the same period.

* Matthew says Jesus’ grandfather (on Joseph’s side) is Jacob, while Luke says the grandfather is Heli.

* Matthew 2:11 says Jesus’ birth took place in a house. Luke’s account says Jesus’ birth took place in a manger (feeding trough), because there was no room in the inn.

* And the virgin birth? Not so much. Matthew apparently misread the Greek Septuagint of Isaiah 7:14, (mistranslating the Hebrew word “almah,” which doesn’t mean “virgin.” It translates, “young woman of marriageable age” or “young maiden.”) The virginity angle was mostly likely added to the story because, culturally, it was often claimed that important people had miraculous births. Plato was said to be the offspring of the god Apollo. Alexander The Great was said to have been conceived when a thunderbolt impregnated his mother, Olympias. Buddha’s birth story includes elephants in the sky. Confucius has dragons in the Heavens.

* The three kings? In the book of Matthew, they were magoi (astronomers), not kings. There’s no mention of “three,” and the entire account contradicts Luke’s account, which has Jesus being visited by local shepherds.

* After Jesus’ birth, Matthew says the family immediately fled to Egypt for several years to escape Herod’s wrath (Matt. 2:13-14). But Luke has them returning immediately to Nazareth.

* The book of Luke says that John The Baptist was a relative of Jesus and knew he was the divine Christ, even in the womb (Luke 1:41,44). But in the same book (Luke 7:19-23), the adult John The Baptist didn’t know who Jesus was.

Ultimately, the evidence shows that much of the early December 25th holiday had nothing to do with Christ. And the biblical account we cherish is wildly contradictory, unverifiable, nonsensical and (romantic as it may be) plagiarized from other, earlier myths.

I’m a fan of Christmas. I enjoy loved ones, illuminated displays, trees, stockings, gifts, the classic Christmas songs, hot chocolate and pumpkin pie. But I also celebrate the season knowing that those plastic nativity displays are actually more real than the fantastic tale they represent.

And as millions defiantly erect Pagan symbols while defending a Christian savior story, it’s a chance for the rest of us to smile warmly, offer them a cup of hot cider, and wish them a Merry XMAS.

-enIf you look at history, mythology and even the holy bible, you’ll notice that Jesus isn’t the Reason For The Season.

Every year at this time, on cue, an entire culture cries foul over the term XMAS, proclaiming that Christ is being systematically deleted from his own birthday. And after all, Jesus is (to quote the cliché) the Reason For The Season.

XMAS is an insult to Christ.

These people write newspaper articles. They do clips on the evening news. They shower Facebook with emphatic posts and requests to click “like” for anyone who’s ready to do battle against the heathen onslaught with a daring new FB page.

They do everything EXCEPT a little homework. A little pre-knee-jerk research would have revealed that the X comes from the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter of the Greek word Χριστ?ς, translated “Christ.”

XMAS is CHRISTmas.

But the protests continue, as frothing religious communities wail about the War On Christmas. They picket in the streets and boycott holiday events because the true story of the sweet baby Jesus is why the holiday exists in the first place. Right?

Sigh. Those pesky facts.

December 25th was a date selected by the church, because no actual birth date for Jesus could be determined. It is the time of the Winter Solstice, and December 25th is also the traditional birthday of the Persian sun god, Mithra, whose birth legend includes shepherds, Magi, gifts, miracles, disciples and a virgin birth. Other influences on the Jesus story include:

* Attis: a Roman Pagan god. Born December 25th. Crucified as a man. Spent 3 days in the underworld and arose on Sunday as a solar deity for the new season. Accounts of Attis take place 200 years before the story of Christ.

* Dionysus: a Greek Pagan god. Born December 25th. Worshipped throughout the Middle East, especially Jerusalem. He was viewed as the son of Zeus.

* Osiris: an Egyptian Pagan god. Three wise men announced his birth. He was called the King of Kings. Worship of Osiris was established throughout the Roman Empire a century before the birth of Christ.

* Babylonians: the festival of Saturnalia (the Festival of Saturn), celebrated December 17-23 in the Roman Empire as a tribute to the god, Saturn, ultimately combined into a single holy day: December 25th.

* Scandinavia: The Norse celebration of Yule from December 21st through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, the men would bring home logs to burn, and the people would feast until the last ember waned (often for many days).

* Odin: the Norse god, honored mid-Winter. The people were terrified of Odin, as the legend has him making nocturnal flights through the sky to observe mankind, deciding who to bless, and who to punish.

Other Christmas traditions?

* The Christmas tree? Pagan in origin. The early Egyptians saw evergreen trees as a symbol of life over death. Around the Winter Solstice, they’d bring green date palm leaves into their homes.

* Mistletoe? Pagan in origin. The early Druid priests often used evergreen plants and mistletoe in Pagan ceremonies. The mistletoe plant was the symbol of “the birth of a god.” Kissing under the mistletoe is a Pagan symbol of love and harmony.

* The exchange of gifts? Pagan in origin. The practice of gift giving originally stemmed from the early Roman feast of Saturn (Saturnalia). Charity towards others was also a common practice at this time.

In fact, Santa Claus arguably has a more verifiable origin than the baby Jesus story. Jollly ol’ Saint Nick is based on Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, named as a saint in the 19th century.

But let’s stick with Jesus. And for just a moment, let’s examine the suspiciously contradictory, biblical account of this amazing tale.

* The book of Matthew has Mary and Joseph residing in Bethlehem in Judea. Luke places them in Galilee.

* Matthew says the birth of Jesus occurred during the reign of Herod the Great of Judea, and coincides with a census ordered by emperor Augustus at the time that Quirinius (Cyrenius) was the Roman governor of Syria (Luke 2:1-3). But Rome didn’t rule Judea until 6 A.D. A full decade had to have separated Herod and Quirinius. And if a census did happen, it was long after Herod’s death, making the story of the infant massacre historically impossible.

* Luke says Joseph took Mary (in the last stages of pregnancy) on an arduous four-day trek to participate in the census. Yet Roman tradition was to register only men (not women), in the place or town of their local taxation district, which was much more practical. A 60-mile trek would not have been required, nor would the participation of Mary.

* Matthew 1:20 says an angel had previously appeared to Joseph. But Luke 1:28 says that the angel appeared before Mary.

* The book of Matthew has 28 generations between David and the birth of Jesus. Luke has 41 generations for the same period.

* Matthew says Jesus’ grandfather (on Joseph’s side) is Jacob, while Luke says the grandfather is Heli.

* Matthew 2:11 says Jesus’ birth took place in a house. Luke’s account says Jesus’ birth took place in a manger (feeding trough), because there was no room in the inn.

* And the virgin birth? Not so much. Matthew apparently misread the Greek Septuagint of Isaiah 7:14, (mistranslating the Hebrew word “almah,” which doesn’t mean “virgin.” It translates, “young woman of marriageable age” or “young maiden.”) The virginity angle was mostly likely added to the story because, culturally, it was often claimed that important people had miraculous births. Plato was said to be the offspring of the god Apollo. Alexander The Great was said to have been conceived when a thunderbolt impregnated his mother, Olympias. Buddha’s birth story includes elephants in the sky. Confucius has dragons in the Heavens.

* The three kings? In the book of Matthew, they were magoi (astronomers), not kings. There’s no mention of “three,” and the entire account contradicts Luke’s account, which has Jesus being visited by local shepherds.

* After Jesus’ birth, Matthew says the family immediately fled to Egypt for several years to escape Herod’s wrath (Matt. 2:13-14). But Luke has them returning immediately to Nazareth.

* The book of Luke says that John The Baptist was a relative of Jesus and knew he was the divine Christ, even in the womb (Luke 1:41,44). But in the same book (Luke 7:19-23), the adult John The Baptist didn’t know who Jesus was.

Ultimately, the evidence shows that much of the early December 25th holiday had nothing to do with Christ. And the biblical account we cherish is wildly contradictory, unverifiable, nonsensical and (romantic as it may be) plagiarized from other, earlier myths.

I’m a fan of Christmas. I enjoy loved ones, illuminated displays, trees, stockings, gifts, the classic Christmas songs, hot chocolate and pumpkin pie. But I also celebrate the season knowing that those plastic nativity displays are actually more real than the fantastic tale they represent.