Monday, September 16, 2013

Historical Truth vs. Revisionist Fiction (Part 3)

This is a continuation of a post on how we are being deceived by revisionist history, particularly regarding American and Israeli history. However, I also want to briefly look at The Crusades, another misunderstood historical event.

The Crusades

One could certainly question why the Church got involved in waging war, as it did with the Crusades. We also know there were atrocities done by the Christian forces, although such things seem to happen in most wars – even by “the good guys.” Today Muslims, and those unfamiliar with the history and background of The Crusades, portray them as wars of aggression and imperialism, with evil Christians attacking peaceful Muslims in a kind of Christian jihad. To this day, Western nations seen as interfering in Muslim regions are referred to as “crusaders” by Muslims. This reveals that the Muslims view struggles with the West as primarily religious in nature: Islam vs. Christianity.

While the Muslims cry out “God is great!” (Allahu Akbar) we in the West are pushing God out of our society. Many no longer attend church, and some are abandoning (and even denying) our Judeo-Christian heritage – even at the highest levels of government. I wonder, will God bless us in our struggle against Islamic terrorism? Should God bless and protect a people who are rejecting him? Take a look at the Bible, especially Israel’s history, and you’ll get the answer.

Getting back to The Crusades, they were more geo-political than religious, although there was certainly a religious aspect to them. By the early 1000s, the Islamic armies had taken over a huge amount of formerly Christian lands in the eastern Mediterranean. The Byzantine Empire had grown smaller and smaller as a result, and it wouldn’t be too long before the Muslims were at the door of Constantinople. If that city fell, Europe lay wide open.

So the Byzantine Emperor asked the Pope if he, the most powerful man in western Europe, could organize an army to help the beleaguered Byzantines keep the Muslims from taking more of their land and eventually reaching the gates of Constantinople. In addition, it would be an opportunity to take back from the Muslims the Holy Land with all of its religious sites, sort of a fringe benefit. Knowing the risk of the Islamic armies breaking through into Europe, the Pope convinced the European kings to contribute to this “Crusade” to take back the Holy Land and protect Europe.

After initial conquests and occupation, the European crusaders were eventually pushed out of the Middle East by the Islamic armies. As predicted, the Islamic armies continued to whittle away at the Byzantine Empire and Constantinople fell to them in 1453. They continued into the Balkans and got to the gates of Vienna. Much of Europe rallied to the cause and defeated the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Vienna in 1683. Some of the Balkan countries are Muslim to this day as a result of their occupation by the Islamic Ottomans.

So the Crusades were primarily campaigns to halt Islamic conquests and to regain Christian lands lost earlier to Muslim armies. They were not wars of imperialism to take land from innocent and peaceful Muslims as they are popularly portrayed. Although there was certainly a religious element to the Crusades, the main aim of these military campaigns was to defend the weakened Byzantine Empire from further loss of lands and protect Europe from Islamic conquest.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Historical Truth vs. Revisionist Fiction (Part 2)

This is a continuation of a post on how we are being deceived by revisionist history, particularly regarding American and Israeli history. The earlier post looked at Israel and the Palestinians, so now we’ll look at the United States.

The United States

In the United States, we see some aspects of our history distorted and the Constitution misinterpreted. While these misrepresentations are happening in a number of different areas, it is especially disturbing in those areas in which God and religion are being marginalized.

Most Americans don’t understand our own history, and so we end up believing the lies or the omissions by which our history is being distorted. It is now widely taught that America is not, and never has been, a Christian nation. That is a topic for another post, but America was settled by Christians, and is still a Christian nation because that’s the majority religion. That doesn’t mean other religions are excluded – it just means Christianity is the dominant belief system and the basis of our morals and ethics.

Historically speaking, the Pilgrims and others crossed the ocean to America, not always to escape persecution, but more often to establish Christian settlements free from outside influences. These settlements were to be guided by biblical principles. Our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution do, to a large extent, reflect biblical principles.

The second item I mentioned above is the misinterpretation of the Constitution, particularly the First Amendment. Again, this is a lengthy discussion for a different post, but ever since 1947 (Everson v. Board of Education), the Supreme Court has been moving away from the traditional understanding of the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment that goes back to its framers. Once that door was opened, the courts have continued to interpret the First Amendment to mean freedom from religion, that religion has no place in the public square, and that God and religion are to be marginalized in our society. This is also involves an interpretation of Thomas Jefferson’s “wall of separation” completely opposite from what he intended in his letter to the Baptist Church in Danbury, Connecticut, where he used that phrase). We have been so brainwashed by the anti-God anti-religion forces that very few Americans are aware of the truth.

I recommend Americans make the effort to learn their own history as well as the 20th century history of Israel and Palestine. Once you understand these, your outlook becomes quite different and you will see how we are being deceived.

I highly recommend talks on these subjects by Michael Medved (available on CDs or as a download). They are informative and very helpful.

In a future post I’ll explore another event that has been misunderstood, The Crusades, which has been the subject of revisionist history.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Historical Truth vs. Revisionist Fiction (Part 1)

Sadly, history is being distorted to fit certain agendas. We see this happening with respect to Israel and the Palestinians, and with certain aspects of American history. These subjects are too big to discuss in depth here, but I want to touch briefly on some key parts of history that are being distorted. I believe it is important for us to be aware that this is happening since people’s perceptions and government decisions are based on what is understood to be fact. Since most people are willing to believe what they hear about history in the media, anecdotally, and in school textbooks, these lies have become “fact” because no one bothers to verify what they are hearing. You tell a lie often enough, just about everybody will eventually believe it. I hope that after reading this you will be motivated to explore these subjects in more detail and learn the truth.


Yasser Arafat is the author of many of the lies concerning Palestinian and Israeli history. He portrayed the Jews as invaders of the Palestinian/Arab homeland, and the Palestinians as innocent victims of that aggression. However, claiming that Palestine is Arab ignores the fact that there has been a continuous Jewish presence in that area for over 3,000 years. If you are a person of faith, look at the Bible. You can see in many places in the Scriptures that God tells and even promises the Patriarchs and the Israelites that the land is theirs in perpetuity.

Arafat also denied the Holocaust, one of the most documented events in the history of the world. As a matter fact, he pretty much invented the concept of Palestinian nationhood. Technically, there had been no such thing as a Palestinian as it is understood today.

Until World War I, Palestine (the region, not a country) was sparsely populated. Jews from Europe started settling in their ancient homeland in the 1800s, joining the scattering of Jews who already lived there. They purchased land from the few Arabs living there, often at inflated prices. After World War I and the breaking up of the Ottoman Empire, the British ruled Palestine. During this British mandate Arabs from all over the Middle East were invited by the Brits to settle into the area. This was an act of anti-Semitism and helped lay the foundation for the problems we face today in that region.

After World War II, the United Nations divided that area, creating Arab and Jewish nations (Israel and Jordan). When Israel was created by the UN in 1948, those Arabs living in Jewish areas were told to leave by their Arab brethren in the surrounding nations. They were assured that the Jewish state would be annihilated soon, and they would be able to return to their homes. Many Arabs followed this bad advice and left, and they were put in refugee camps “temporarily.” Some Arabs chose to stay in the Jewish state, being assured by the Israelis that they would be safe. Today there are about 1 million of their descendants living in Israel. They are Israeli citizens, have representation in the Knesset, and are reasonably prosperous compared to the descendants of those Arabs who left in 1948.

Meanwhile, the Arabs who left the Jewish state in 1948 were never absorbed into other Arab countries once it became obvious Israel wasn’t going away. To this day, their descendants languish in refugee camps or in squalid settlements. Of course we feel sorry for these people, but we have to realize they are not the victims of Jewish imperialism. They were mistreated and misled by their own people, and they were not even invited to settle back in their homelands. They became people without a country, despite the fact that Jordan was established as the Arab counterpart to Israel.

Of course the Arab nations and those who do not know this history persist in blaming Israel for the Palestinian problem. Yes, it is a serious problem, but it is not the fault of Israel. Israel was legally created by the United Nations and has a right to exist. Moreover, it has the right to keep any land that it gained in the wars it fought. These were not wars of aggression on the part of Israel. They resulted from unprovoked attacks by Israel’s Arab neighbors (1948-1949, 1967, 1973) causing the Israelis to defend themselves. In the process of pushing back the invaders, Israel gained some land. The Arabs started the wars, and Israel finished them! What nation on earth would ever be told by the international community to give back land that they gained as a result of defending themselves from unprovoked attacks by nations that are dedicated to annihilating them? Yet, that’s what Israel is being told to do!

Israel did in fact give back the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in the interest of keeping the peace. Moreover, it has also given land for a Palestinian state, removing thousands of Jewish settlers in the process. And what thanks did Israel get from the Palestinians? Rockets being launched daily in an attempt to kill innocent Israeli civilians. After years of this Israel had enough and it attacked the Palestinians. Predictably the world was “shocked” at the aggressiveness of Israel against the poor Palestinians and condemned it for those actions. How ridiculous!

To show you how ridiculous such criticism is, what do you think the United States would do if Mexico shot off rockets from Tijuana into San Diego on a daily basis? I don’t think we would put up with it for very long. We would bomb or attack the sources of this outrage to stop it once and for all. But when Israel does the same thing, they get condemned. Like I said, it’s ridiculous.

What astounds me is how many Jewish people in the United States don’t understand this history and are quite willing to condemn Israel. Either they don’t know the history, or they prefer to be politically correct rather than standing with their own people. Interestingly, a good number of devout Christians are sympathetic to Israel, both from a practical as well as a biblical aspect. That doesn’t mean we believe Israel is correct all the time, but it does mean that we believe it has a right to exist, to defend itself with force, to protect itself (with a large wall, for example), and to keep the land that it won in these wars. All Christians and Jews should pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Israel is special in history and in also is the place where the Messiah will return.

In another post I’ll explore American revisionist history.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Should We Bomb Syria?

As I’ve mentioned before, in the Judeo-Christian tradition, life is precious. That’s why it is so heartbreaking to see the carnage taking place in Syria. What’s sad is that Syria’s neighbors, fellow Muslims, are doing nothing to stop it. Of course it’s easy to justify doing nothing by claiming it is an internal matter, a civil war, and nobody has a right to interfere in a sovereign nation’s internal affairs. However, what’s happened in Syria is also a crime against humanity and a humanitarian disaster.

The question becomes, do other countries have the right or duty to stop the killing of innocent civilians?

Looking first at Syria’s Muslim neighbors, I believe they should intervene using the following justifications:

(1) The raging civil war is causing a risk to each country’s security and threatens the stability of the region. Neighbors are being affected by the large influx of refugees into their countries. It is not just a Syrian “internal affair.”

(2) Large numbers of innocent civilians – their fellow Muslims – are being brutally murdered by an out-of-control dictator.

(3) The use of chemical weapons violates international law, and begs the question: “If he’s using them on his own people, might he someday use them on us?”

So for those reasons I believe the Arab League has the right, and even the duty, to intervene and neutralize Assad’s military and bring him down.

What about other countries? I believe that the United Nations should pass a resolution authorizing a coalition to bomb Assad’s military installations, with the intent of neutralizing his military and ultimately taking him down. The UN should establish and enforce a no fly zone over the whole country.

If the UN doesn’t act, and it won’t, then NATO should. I don’t believe the US has the right to bomb Syria without some sort of international approval. Anything the US does must be done only as a part of a multinational coalition. If the US acts alone, I believe there are significant risks:

(1) We could get sucked into a broader war on the ground. We don’t want another Iraq or Afghanistan.

(2) Syria’s friends, such as Iran and Russia, may supply Assad with more advanced weaponry to use against us, causing US casualties.

(3) Syria’s friends might retaliate against us in some other way, and not necessarily military action directed against us. For example, Iran might attack Israel with missiles, and who knows how North Korea may take advantage of the situation?

(4) While the US would be bombing Syria for humanitarian reasons (which sounds like an oxymoron), many Arabs and other Muslims would view it as “Crusaders” killing Muslims and interfering in a Muslim country. While many Muslims probably couldn’t hate us any more than they already do, bombing might provide Al Qaida with a propaganda and recruiting bonanza.

Furthermore, any military action, whether by the UN, NATO, the US, or even the Arab League, could further destabilize the region and –worst case – unleash Armageddon. And of course, there’s always the oil supply to worry about.

So even if what Assad is doing is a crime against humanity, I don’t think the US has the right or the duty to intervene. Governments should always act in the best interests of their own country, and with all the risks, I don’t believe bombing Syria is in our best interests. While Assad’s use of chemical weapons and his killing of over 100,000 of his own people is appalling, it is not a direct threat to US safety and security. The US should not get involved, but pray for the people of Syria (as well as Egypt and other countries in turmoil). (This was sent to my Congressman and our two NY Senators)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Disaster Preparedness Part 2

As I wrote in an earlier post, households must be prepared for a major disaster, which could be either man-made or weather-related. Even if the disaster doesn’t hit your area, the disruptions caused by it could directly affect you for weeks, if not months. If a disaster does occur in your vicinity, you must be prepared to evacuate or stay in your house for an extended period of time, possibly for weeks.

That means you should maintain a list of things you must take with you, and a stash of things needed to keep you alive if you are stuck in the house. Plan a worst case: the assumptions that you won’t be able to buy anything for a month, the water will not be drinkable, and gasoline will be unavailable. Keep important papers (passports, birth certificates, etc.) in an envelope ready to grab in case you have to evacuate.

You may want to keep an inventory of the civilian equivalent of military MREs, bags of beans, canned soups, extra propane tank for the grill, bottled water, powdered milk (especially if you have children), candles. See the website for more suggestions.

I don’t want to scare you, but if you think I’m an alarmist, let me list some of the possible disasters that could force you to evacuate or remain in your house:

Train derailment causing fire and toxic fumes, forcing evacuation. Happened recently in Canada.

Large factory fire causing damage and toxic fumes, forcing evacuation. Happened not all that long ago in Texas.

Nuclear power plant accident requiring evacuation, probably permanently. Happened in Chernobyl and in Japan following their earthquake.

Severe earthquake, possibly causing structural damage to your house or apartment building, forcing evacuation. There’s always a risk in California, of course, but an earthquake could also happen along the New Madrid fault in Missouri (which is due). It would cause widespread damage. The relatively small earthquake in Virginia a couple of years ago damaged the Washington Monument miles away and could be felt as far as New York (I felt it).

Tsunami: on the Pacific coast it might be caused by an underwater earthquake; on the Atlantic coast could be caused by landslide in the Canary Islands or sizeable meteor hitting the water.

Terrorist acts: such as blowing up key bridges and tunnels, especially along the East Coast; blowing up key rail lines; damaging refineries; setting off a dirty bomb in a major city. I’m not going to list them, but I can think of a number of bridges that, if out of commission for a period of time, would cause major disruptions in transportation resulting in delays in the delivery of vital goods.

Civil disturbances: In disaster situations, we see the best in people, and also the worst. If there are shortages of food and necessities, particularly over a period of time, there could be looting and rioting. Even if there are some supplies left in stores, you are better off staying at home and living off your inventory. Don’t risk going out and being injured, robbed, raped, killed, or mistakenly arrested.

No fuel: another possible problem could be severe shortages of fuel due to disruptions in supply caused by problems in the Middle East, an oil embargo, one of the above-mentioned disasters, or refineries shut down due to sabotage, natural causes, major repairs, or maintenance.

No electricity: collapse of the power grid due to weather, sabotage, or overload. Depending on how severe the damage is, could be without power for a week or more.

Other disasters, such as flooding, happening more frequently due to rising ocean levels; wildfires, such as we are seeing in the West; another Katrina or Sandy strength hurricane; large snowstorm, paralyzing cities and transportation for a week or more; a severe solar flare which could bring down the grid, fry electronics (including the computers that run your car), and cause major problems.

I hope none of these occur, but you know some of them will. As ocean levels rise, flooding will be more commonplace. We’ll always have a drought in one part of the country, and too much rain in another part. Whatever the problem might be, everybody should be prepared. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” some kind of major disaster will strike. The world is a dangerous place, and is made even more dangerous by terrorists who want to do us harm. Let’s pray we don’t have a widespread disaster, but smaller, more localized ones, so that repairs can be made and things can return to normal somewhat quickly. Let us trust in God but be prepared with supplies of necessary items.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Disaster Preparedness Part 1

For those of us living in a part of the U.S. that isn’t prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, or wildfires, we tend not to think about being prepared for such events. In the Northeast, we recently learned that we aren’t immune from the ravages of the weather. Two years ago we suffered damaging flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee (particularly in Upstate New York and Vermont). Last year the coast of the Northeast suffered severe damage from Hurricane Sandy. Things are still not back to normal in many parts of coastal New Jersey, Staten Island, and Long Island. Repairs are still being made to the NYC subway system because of salt water damage resulting from when certain parts of it were flooded.

Not only are all parts of the country vulnerable to natural disasters of various kinds, but there is a growing risk of man-made disasters. Of course we’ve seen mass killings, such as happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School, at the Boston Marathon, and on 9/11. However, I’m thinking of terrorist activities that could affect millions of Americans, such as a cyber-attack.

Janet Napolitano just left her job as Secretary of Homeland Security. In a recent speech, she stated her concern about the significant risk of a major cyber-attack on the U.S. in the near future. Similar concerns have been voiced over the past few years, citing our vulnerability. A cyber-attack could bring down our creaky power grid, disrupt communications, halt all commerce, and bring transportation to a standstill. If such an attack were to affect a large part of the country, it could be weeks, if not months, before power could be restored and life begins to return to normal. Most Americans aren’t prepared for such an event. Even if the attack hits only New York City, it could affect the whole nation in some form or another. Major cyber-attacks and other terrorist plots in Europe could affect us as well.

Every household needs to be prepared for a major disaster. FEMA recommends keeping at least a 30 day supply of food, water, and other necessities, because you could be without power for that length of time. With transportation disrupted, stores and gas stations won’t be supplied, so you’ll need to keep a good inventory of non-perishable food, drink, toilet paper, and the like. You won’t be able to fill up the car because gas pumps will not be operating if the power is out, so keep at least a half a tank of gas in the car at all times. Gas stations with generators will soon be out of gas because of the demand. In case there are goods or services available to be bought, keep some cash on hand because credit cards won’t work See for more information on disaster preparedness.

More on this subject in a future post.