"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Lifted from the Melody for Tomorrow:

Just got this email from an acquaintance at church.

A prominent American's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this happen?"
(Regarding the attacks on September 11)

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

In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc, I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school...the Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself.
And we said OK.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

yaddah yaddah yaddah why is discussion of God suppressed in the workplace, but crude jokes pass through so freely etcetcetc...are you thinking? [end of email]

Yes, that got me thinking. The first thing that popped into my mind was "What does this have to do with September 11? America didn't bomb herself...[relevance: 0 marks]". Sorry about the cynical attitude, but it happened, and I couldn't do anything about it.

And then I asked, "what does God have to do with all of this? Terrorists bombed the US, the epitome of democracy, and Jane Clayson blames it on God? The non-Christians out there would probably laugh this off." But the email is right. If you removed all the religious undertones America probably doesn't deserve the September 11 event, but it certainly deserves the moral degradation it is facing today.

Though the way Anne Graham describes it is totally out of whack. She makes it sound like we're all rejecting God. In fact American democracy is just trying to ensure that the non-Christians don't get their right to freedom from preaching trampled upon. And also a rather lame attempt to impose religious equality - i.e. to show that they're not favouring any one religion.

And the part about spanking just made me laugh really really hard. People don't spank their kids not because this Dr. Spock (get Star Trek out of your mind please) said it's not good, they don't do it because it is now possible for one to be sued for child abuse. Dr. Spock probably had nuts to play in such a development.

I could go on, but I think I'd better just summarise the rest of what I'd say. America's moral values are degenerating, not because they rejected God (is Anne Graham claiming that the Muslims and other religions/cultures are inferior because they reject God too?), but because this new craze about democracy has made people uphold their newfound rights to do everything imaginable (and unimaginable) under the sun, just be cause they can. And in the process, trample all over the values their ancestors worked so hard to build up.

The Christian point of view would be so much more credible if they wouldn't use that "God stepped aside because we asked him to so it's our fault" line to justify everything they preach or to explain all the disasters that happen. Because in doing so they are in fact blaming these disasters on God - September 11 happened because God didn't prevent it from happening. Oh pul-leez. God doesn't kill people, terrorists kill people.

Don't get me wrong. I do believe in the existence of a God. It's just that at a certain phase on my life something happened that made me wake up and realise that linking everything to God is just plain stupid, because there is stuff that is a direct consequence of our own actions.

How would you feel if someone claimed you caused the death of your 2 fighting fish because they were in the same water tank and you did nothing to prevent them from fighting? And thus witness the logically flawed reasoning of the Christian faith. (yes, yes, the "your ways/thoughts are not those of God, but those of Man" argument. I know that too) If they'll actually bother to inject some form of logic into their preaching I think they'll be more successful in their evangelising.

I see the flaws in the logic too. Following this logic, before the Americans "asked him... to get out of [their] lives", they had his blessing and protection. Anne Graham hearkens back to the halcyon days of the 50s, I assume. However, even in those times, America wasn't spared the depredations of world and domestic events.

I admit some people are over-zealous in separating Church from State in the USA, but equally, many are keen to integrate the two. Freedom of Religion also means Freedom -from- Religion. I just read a story in This Is True (Premium) that really pissed me off. A student in Union, Tennessee, India Tracy, has just filed a lawsuit against her school because, among other things:

- She was repeatedly called "Satan worshipper," "witch" and other derogatory names. She was accused of eating babies and of being a lesbian because she wasn't a Christian
- She was forced to attend regular Bible study classes during the school day, and urged to lead the school and her class in prayer.
- Derogatory names were written on her locker in permanent ink and the school refused to paint over the graffiti or move her locker.
- She was repeatedly attacked as she knelt in front of her bottom-row locker. Her head was bashed at least 10 times, cutting her lip, above her eyes and bloodying her nose.
- A teacher told her to "keep quiet because you'll get in trouble" after she wrote a paper about religious freedom.

Like Kureshi, I don't see what Dr Spock, parenting and a lot of other things Anne Graham mentioned have to do with God too. I don't agree with many of her points too, but that's another story for another day.
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