Showing posts from 2011

God or Religion - what takes precedence?

I found this article particularly insightful and compelling, not least in light of the internal debates here in Israel over various religious issues (not mentioned below).  I’m not weighing in on the US presidential candidates but certainly do agree with the fundamental principle here: religion is meant to serve God and/or a higher purpose, and clearly is distorted when it seems to become MORE important than God or those moral values it is meant to promote.  Or as he puts it, “the religious fanatic is the man or woman who has ceased to serve God and instead worships his or her religion…”.
Are Mormons any weirder than the rest of us? By SHMULEY BOTEACH
I don't believe Joseph Smith found ancient tablets in upstate New York. What has that got to do with electing politicians?

I have been close to Mormons ever since my days at Oxford, when Michael Taft Benson became a member and then an elected officer of our L’Chaim Society at the University. Benson’s grandfathe…
For all those who don't understand ENGLISH, this is a pretty funny, short video about English Accents:

'B+' on democracy, 'D'- on Israel-Arab conflict

Truth is there's something for everyone in President Obama's MidEast speech: support for reform, commitment to Israel, Palestinian state, opposition to Iran & Syria.
But at base two things must be recognized: They're beginning to understand democracy; they still don't understand the Arab-Israeli conflict.
First, the Obama administration understands the issues relating to the desire for freedom in the Middle East, including the dangers - and should get credit for supporting and promoting democracy and reform in the region. Obama has started to talk the talk - not only applauding, but demanding that regimes in power, including Syria and Iran, stop killing their people and start responding to the legitimate demands of the governed. And walking the walk - in steps, and a bit late, but still important - by giving massive aid ($2 billion in funds and debt-forgiveness to Egypt alone!). What a message to the protesters in Syria and Yemen (and Gaza and Iran): overthrow you…

Taking back the banner of Human Rights - Sharansky article in NY Times May 17

A Moment of Moral ClarityBy NATAN SHARANSKYHow many protesters must a regime murder before it is no longer fit for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council? How many thousands of dissidents must it jail? How many acts of international terrorism must it instigate?The line is invisible — but Syria, having too openly crossed it, has now been forced to vacate its candidacy in the May 20 elections to the council.It is good that Syria has been removed, just as it is good that Libya has been suspended from membership.But what was Muammar el-Qaddafi’s blood-soaked regime doing on a human-rights body in the first place? What separates it and Syria from Cuba, China and the other dictatorships that make up the council majority and brazenly sit in judgment on the human-rights record of others? Why has the free world remained largely silent? In the run-up to the elections, such questions are more urgent than ever.Something very important and very dramatic is happening in the Arab-Muslim Middle East…