America: The World’s “Dictator”

At the Nigerian stop of his gringo-bashing tour, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the following before a packed house at the Iranian embassy in Ajuba,

They [America] are the self-proclaimed leaders and everybody should know that self-proclaimed leadership is dictatorship

In other words, America, I’m assuming he’s talking about the government not the people, is the world’s dictator due to the influence she has over vast swathes of the planet. Whether this influence/power translates into a dictatorship I can’t say, but I know that in Latin America most people would agree with the world’s most controversial engineer (below).


Curse the West and their decadent haircuts


Fact: Historically speaking, the U.S. has ill treated her neighbors to the south.

This has led to many of my fellow Spanish-speakers to view the U.S.A as a bully (justifiably so) who doesn’t let ethics/common decency get in the way of getting what she wants. That my countrymen and distant cousins further south elect individuals such as this election cycle after election cycle is another story.

It is important to note that nation-states don’t act based on altruism but rather on what’s best for them or the people in power of the nation-state. In a nation such as America, it is supposed to be “We the People” who, through the voting booth, hold the power.

As we all know, that is an illusion for elected officials here in this great nation are as corrupt and egotistical as anywhere else in the world. Most of the time, they don’t really give a rip about “We the People” but when they do it is for the express purpose of getting re-elected to posts that remind one of the lords of the manors of old. American elected officials are just better at mollifying the narod and through the press hoodwinking them into thinking that they enact laws that are in the best interest of the common good.

All that said, if there is going to be a World Wide Leader not named ESPN, and there has to be given human nature, John Lennon’s idealistic drivel notwithstanding, who would you rather have in that position than the United States of America?

The Soviets certainly weren’t up to the task, the Chinese might just bump America from the throne, but do we really want that, given China’s atrocious record in dealing with dissent?

For all of her past and present flaws, America has been a force for stability in this fallen world. Yes, she has acted in self-interest, but more often than not her self-preserving actions have been for the betterment of the world, her rescue of Western Europe during World War II might have been her finest moment. For all of Western Europe’s anti-Americanism, I wonder if they stop to think that a Nazi regime would be more favorable?

Ironically enough, many confuse the current American system to that of the Nazis. Such historical shortsightedness merits little or no commentary.

America has a form of government (totalitarian democracy), which is far from perfect, seems to be the best practical form of government under our fallen circumstances.

The inadequacies of the system just go to show how fallen this world really is.

Comparing Barack Obama to Royalty

No, the post does not refer to the endless and erroneous comparisons to Camelot, the closest America has had to even a hint of royalty.

The comparison is to Princess Di and it came in one of the 2 columns referenced here.

Both of these pieces ran in the UK’s Daily Mail, quick someone cue up Paperback Writer!

One piece is written by Peter Hitchens (below)

The night we waved goodbye to America… our last best hope on Earth

peter-hitchens
To paraphrase Brian Giles, “his brother’s Christopher”

Whether or not Mr. Hitchens’ laid it on a little thick with the column’s title can only be ascertained after reading his opinion. I thought he made a couple of keen and dispassionate observations.

Here’s the intro to the column,

Anyone would think we had just elected a hip, skinny and youthful replacement for God, with a plan to modernise Heaven and Hell – or that at the very least John Lennon had come back from the dead.

The swooning frenzy over the choice of Barack Obama as President of the United States must be one of the most absurd waves of self-deception and swirling fantasy ever to sweep through an advanced civilisation. At least Mandela-worship – its nearest equivalent – is focused on a man who actually did something.

I really don’t see how the Obama devotees can ever in future mock the Moonies, the Scientologists or people who claim to have been abducted in flying saucers. This is a cult like the one which grew up around Princess Diana, bereft of reason and hostile to facts.

It can be argued that Obamamania hasn’t been described any better than this.

The second piece is by Liz Jones and it focuses on our future First Lady, Michelle Obama.
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Prayer Police

You’ve got to pray just to make it today

Not sure what the flamboyant M.C. Hammer (right) meant by that but prayer is an integral part of the Christian (and perhaps even the faux Christian) walk. In America, people (Christian or not) pray before football games, at church (of course), but not schools where the ubiquitous “moment of silence” reigns supreme.

Insofar as the Bible is concerned, there is no prescribed method of prayer. In God’s Word, people pray kneeling, standing, sitting, lying on the ground, with hands lifted up, or silently.

In America we prefer to do so with our eyes closed and heads bowed. Of course, this does not mean that all supplicants do it this way.

Exhibit A:

Original image by Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

This was taken during last week’s GOP convention (Gasp!). That guy wouldn’t fare too well in the theocracy Republicans are accused of lusting after.

When I saw this shot, it made me think that maybe we need prayer police in our churches. To make sure that some of the more recalcitrant among us, comply with our preferred method of prayer.

I’m not saying we should go crazy and make this a ministry or anything, but perhaps we can give church ushers some implement to enforce correct prayer posture. Doling out “prayer monitor” armbands wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Just a thought…

American Christianity’s Magic Word: “Just”

Added a new link to the Humor section, Stuff Christians Like, the site is a spoof of Stuff White People Like which blew up here on WordPress earlier in the year.

The fact that the site is a spoof itself of a “secular” idea does not escape the author’s notice per the inaugural post,
#1. Putting a God Spin on Popular Secular Ideas

Entry #96 Using God’s favorite word (“Just”) took me back to a post over on Purgatorio titled, Just the Lord’s Prayer, in which the clever people over there interject “just” into the Lord’s Prayer.

Even the relatively short time (5 years) I’ve spent immersed in American church culture, I’m still puzzled at the prevalence of this word.

Does the profligate use of “just” in public prayers reveal something more significant than the existence of Christianese?

Immigration: History Repeats Itself?

Recently my father-in-law handed down to me his old (1964) 12-volume Time Life History of the United States. Volume 8 covers 1890-1901, a time in which there was a massive influx of immigrants. I fully understand that the current situation is not exactly the same but I think the words found in page 65 of this tome are interesting,

Prior to 1880, the story went, there had been a voluntary immigration to the United States, made up mostly of British, Scandinavian, German and Irish peoples. This “old” migration, from Northern and Western Europe, was sturdy, pioneering and permanent. In the words of a 1910 report, the old immigrants “mingled freely with the native Americans and were quickly assimilated.” But the new immigration was different.

The new immigrant–the Greek, the Pole, the Serb, the Hungarian, the Italian–was considered another breed. A whole mythology was created to explain him. He had not come wholly on his own, but had been corralled by a steamship line or a labor recruiter. He did not bring his family with him. He willingly worked for starvation wages, huddled in slums which no native American could tolerate, paid fewer taxes than the native, took a larger share of public charity and committed a greater share of the crimes.

He was often a bird of passage, making a stake in the United States and then returning home. Or, if he stayed long enough to acquire citizenship papers, he sold his vote to politicians for the cheapest of handouts. He was a radical–had it not been anarchists, speaking a foreign tongue, whose propaganda lit the fuse of the Haymarket explosion? He was, in short, unassimilable, and he threatened to break down American civilization.

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Never fear, Doudou Diene is here!

OK, we can breathe easier in regards to the problem of racism here in the United States,
U.N. racism investigator to visit U.S. from Monday

According to the story, Mr. Diene*,

will…gather first-hand information on issues related to racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance

Not sure what this gentleman hopes to accomplish on this visit, which by the way starts today. What is he going to tell us? That racism exists in America? What else? Grass is green? Most of America doesn’t like the New York Yankees and Duke Basketball?

Isn’t it obvious that racism is alive and kicking especially now during our election cycle? You have whites that are not voting for Barack Obama only because he’s “black” and you have blacks who are voting for Barack Obama only because he’s “black”.

Of course, most people will only see the former case as an example of racism while the latter as an example of people supporting one’s own.

Mr. Diene’s trip might not be a total waste of time if he addresses the true root of the disease known as racism instead of merely the symptoms, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Also working against him is America’s typical blah attitude towards the U.N., which the article does note,

the United Nations has almost no clout when it comes to U.S. domestic affairs and is widely perceived by many as interfering.

*No relation to,

Muslims, Christians, and Peace

Caught this interesting headline from the U.K.:

Muslims tell Christians: ‘Make peace with us or survival of world is at stake’

Whether or not the statement (the focus of the above story) signed by 138 leading Muslim scholars was a veiled threat or not, I cannot say.

Here’s a part of the statement,

“As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them – so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes.”

I thought it interesting since the policies of countries whose population is primarily “Christian” (i.e. America) grant Muslims more freedom to worship Allah than countries like Saudi Arabia, whose population is primarily Muslim, grant peoples who hold different convictions.

From what I understand one cannot bring a Bible into Saudi Arabia, it’s not hard to imagine the outrage that would result if the United States of America had a similar policy towards the Qur’an.

This is not to say that xenophobia and prejudice towards Muslims do not exist in the U.S.

Unfortunately they (xenophobia and bigotry) are alive and kicking here in the States and we must all work to improve on this. Yet this can be done without setting our convictions aside and accepting the Muslim belief that Jesus of Nazareth was not God Incarnate and that He didn’t actually die on the cross (they do, of course, rightly accept that Jesus was born of a virgin).

On this there can be no compromise, yet there is no need to resort to hatred or prejudice. On the contrary, we must love our neighbors (Muslim or not, Jesus doesn’t make a distinction) and share with them what Jesus has done on their behalf so that they may be spared the consequences of rejecting Him.

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