Whorled View

January 11, 2008

Protect Iraqi Democracy until 2016

Filed under: Blogroll,muslim,partisan politics,Politics,Uncategorized,war — lullabyman @ 7:41 pm

For a couple years now the Democrats have been saying we should leave Iraq and pronto. Suggesting anything more than 2-3 years is considered outrageous at this point. Even when we invaded Iraq I doubt anyone was thinking it should have taken more than 8 years for them to create and ratify a new constitution and run a new government under that constitution. We forgot how long it took us.

When the US declared independence (1776) the war took 6 years to win that independence (1782). It then took an additional 5 years to complete the constitution – a very large document that normally takes 30 minutes to read (including signatures). Even after it was completed it took 3 years to get it fully ratified by all the states so that the government could operate with constitutional powers (1790). In all this process took 14 years among a fairly united people (compared to the people in Iraq) to create and ratify a constitution.

The democrats however want to crucify the current administration because the Iraqi’s have not completed and ratified their constitution within 6 years of gaining independence from a Bathist dictatorship. The war isn’t even over, and they think it should be completed and ratified already. It took us an additional 8 years after the war ended to do that while being free from insurgencies … so why should Iraq be expected to do it before the war is even over?

Some might say that they’ve had a working government for a couple years now so they have no excuse. On the contrary, all their efforts are tied up in fighting the insurgency and reconstruction and stabilizing the economy. Without a ratified constitution the government they have now is at best a band-aid that won’t last for very long without our constant support.

What’s more is that although there were strong differences among the US citizens in 1782, there were no divisions that came close to the disparities within Iraq. The challenges there are so much more difficult. Although they have a blueprint of many existing constitutions to help them get started, their’s is a people far different than any other truly free country. The existing constitutions may make it even more difficult for them to distinguish their national identity and satisfy all their constituents.

It just seem to me that the best way to help Iraq get a new constitution is for us to help them with the peace for as long as it took us to get our constitution. That would be 14 years from the day we invaded. That means we protect that democratic process until 2016. We made the mess, so we create an atmosphere that at least approximates the atmosphere under which our constitution was created: an atmosphere of peace, free from opposition against democratic processes. Anything less will be expecting from them far more than what we did ourselves, and frankly speaking I don’t think their current leaders are any better than were our founding fathers. They need all the help they can get just to keep with the time-line that our founding fathers followed.

July 26, 2007

My God vs. Your God

Today I was hopelessly searching for a decent radio station to listen to in the garage, and in the process happened upon a “Christian music” station where they were singing some song about how great their God was. It wasn’t about “God” in general, or “the” God, but they consistently used the term “my God” with as much or more gusto on the word “my” as they did on the word “God”. I then thought – if you believe in only one God why even mention “my”, or “our”? The phrase “my God” implies that there is more than one God (my God vs. someone else’s God). That’s an oxymoron if you’re a monotheist (someone who believes in only one God).

“The obvious problem with this claim, of course, is that these people who are comparing Gods also claim to be monotheistic.”

[added 7/27: I actually don’t really have so much a problem with “my God” or “our God”, because I think people generally mean that they’ve chosen to be subject to God. In fact, “How Great Thou Art” is one of my favorite songs, as are others which frequently use this terminology to denote subservience and dedication. It seem however that not everyone uses those phrases with that intended meaning.].

I’ve also heard from many (but not all) religious people claim that their God is better than another person’s God. As a Mormon person I frequently hear this directed toward me from mainstream Christians. I’ve always responded that we worship the same God, although we understand the physical/spiritual nature of the Godhead to be different from their concept. To which they usually respond vehemently that no way is our God the same being as their God. The obvious problem with this claim, of course, is that these people who are comparing Gods also claim to be monotheistic.

The only logical rationale I can imagine for this implicit contradiction is that they consider “God” to be a concept rather than an actual being. I don’t think that is what they’re doing though since they, like me, claim that God lives, not that He’s just some kind of philosophical construct to make people feel better. So I must conclude that they’re just trained to insist that different religions believe in different Gods even though they’re monotheists, and they don’t care that what they’re saying makes no sense.

“…most of the problems in the middle east have their roots in the irrational My God vs. Your God mentality, instead of promoting the fact that we all worship the same God differently and simply have different ideas about Him.”

If one is literally referring to God with the intent to compare religions the best thing they can say is “our understanding of the nature of His being and power are different”. Of course, the implied meaning is “You’re wrong about God’s nature and power, and I’m right”, but at least it’s plainly understood that there is only one God.

From time to time I’ve heard the interesting accusation (from people of all religions, including my own) that certain people “don’t worship the true God” or variations on that theme. Although this seems very offensive, I don’t think it is as dangerous as pitting one God against another, and besides this accusation abides by the rules of a monotheistic perspective. Of course, it is an extremely presumptuous accusation to say someone simply isn’t worshiping the true God because they don’t understand the nature of God’s being and power. It is also irrational to suggest that misunderstanding something about the object of worship instantly disqualifies the worshipful actions, making them null and void; Besides there are no scriptures I know of to back up that absurd claim.

“Making such presumptuous and irrational accusations alienates others and engenders spite between religious groups, wherein the Christian should consider the counsel to ‘Judge not an unrighteous judgment’.”

It’s also obvious that making such presumptuous and irrational accusations alienates others and engenders spite between religious groups, wherein the Christian should consider the counsel to ‘Judge not an unrighteous judgment’. It can be reasonably argued that most of the problems in the middle east have their roots in the irrational My God vs. Your God mentality, instead of promoting the fact that we all worship the same God differently and simply have different ideas about Him. If the middle-east Jews, Christians, and Muslims accepted what an irrational idea that is, and that they all believe in the same God, but only interpret Him and His nature and purposes differently, then the idea of the “enemies to God” based on religious preference would dissolve as would the philosophy behind “Jihad”. The challenge there is that so much of their scriptures do seem to refer to a plurality of monotheistic Gods, so that isn’t likely to happen without a new interpretation of those verses.

Sadly, that’s not going to happen as long as religious leaderships continue to senselessly pit their monotheistic Gods against each other as the Greeks or Romans did. Fortunately, those of us in the civilized world can be rational and realize we all worship just one God, the Creator of the earth, – just differently. Admittedly some might be more accurate that others in their ideas about God, but can all worship the same God by simply doing good and appreciating each other for it.

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