Category Archives: Religions

The religion-based repression begins

email from Avaaz, 1/28/17

People are being pulled off planes and pushed into detention centers in airports across the US today — legal visa holders, visitors, refugees, even the green card holding spouses of American citizens!

And we are fighting back.

People are gathering at your airport to protest this inhumane and racist treatment. Let’s join them and add strength to this protest. Showing up in the terminal now can be the beginning of a national movement that endures and wins. Here’s the Facebook link for the protest near you:

Philadelphia International Airport, Terminal A-West, International Arrivals at 2pm tomorrow, Jan 29

https://www.facebook.com/events/252451231859979/

Check this link for any updates to the time or location

This is not an approved action. And that means people might get arrested and non-citizens might face extra threats. There will be many more chances to get involved after this, and this protest might not be right for all of us.

For those who can, make your way to the protest in the link above. Also, the resistance movement needs lawyers to help represent those detained. If you, or someone you know, fits the bill please fill out the form here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScU15uSaSkA61YrGmXfplfOu2UwlcwIyEJXPuyON6SCE6YlAw/viewform?c=0&w=1

This is last minute, and risky, but the faster we mobilize, the faster the courts, Congress and Trump feel the heat of a massive public outcry.

In solidarity,

Emma

More information:

Trump’s Order Blocks Immigrants at Airports (New York Times)

US-bound migrants blocked from flying to JFK airport (The Guardian)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/28/rights-groups-flooded-with-calls-as-people-fear-re-entry-to-us-will-be-denied

Trump executive order: Refugees detained at US airports (BBC News)
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38783512

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Filed under Immigration, Religions

On the Down Side of Institutionalized Religion

An Analysis (31 January 2016) by Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses

Part I – Religion as Ideology

Ideologies are pre-set forms of thinking that shape people’s worldviews and, supposedly, help to order and simplify reality. While this supposition is always flawed to one extent or another, ideologies can be very seductive. In part this is because they free their adherents from the hard work of critical thinking. Thus, they are often held onto tenaciously.

Because ideologies distort reality, they are particularly unsuited for those aspiring to power as well as their devoted supporters. History is full of examples of politically powerful ideologies that underscore this fact: fascism, communism, various military cults (particularly popular in South America and the Middle East) and even the ideology of democracy as manipulated by corrupt elites, who play the Pied Piper to the masses.

Yet there is still one more ideology out there which, even now, wreaks havoc by either claiming for itself the trappings of secular power or attaching itself in some influential advisory way to the institutions of power. That ideology is religion in its various institutional manifestations.

I want to emphasize that I am not referring to the personal religious convictions of millions by which life is made to appear understandable and meaningful. Whether such convictions are accurate or not, they play an important role at the individual level and, as long as they do not promote harmful intolerance, should be left to benignly function at the local level. What I am referring to are religious ideologies that are institutionalized in bureaucracies that can project power much as do secular institutions of authority. Religious ideologies so institutionalized see themselves as possessed of God-given truth while playing the game of power amidst human competitors. …

continue reading at To the Point Analyses

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Filed under Lawrence Davidson, Religions

Israel Divides the Jews – An Analysis (19 November 2015)

by Lawrence Davidson, To the Point Analyses

Part I – Reform Judaism vs. Israel

Something significant recently happened in the ongoing political-ethical drama that grips Israel and, by extension, Jewish communities worldwide. As reported by the Jewish Daily Forward on on 6 November 2015, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism (a position that makes him the leader of largest Jewish denomination in the United States), publicly broke with Israel’s political and religious leadership. In a major speech at the Union’s biennial conference he said, “Asking Jews around the world only to wave the flag of Israel and to support even the most misguided policies of its leaders drives a wedge between the Jewish soul and the Jewish state.” Going public in this fashion is significant and welcome. However, as we shall see, this aspect of his critique has a long history.

Jacobs then got more specific: “the treatment of Israel’s minorities” and the “way ultra-Orthodox views of Judaism are being enshrined in secular law” are indications that Israeli society is “broken” and that Reform Jews will not be quiet about this. Jacobs offers the concept of Tikkun olam or “good works that benefit the wider community” and the “power and wisdom of pluralism” as antidotes that can help “repair” Israel. This is potentially powerful stuff for the situation here in the U.S., if not in Israel itself….

continue reading at To the Point Analyses

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Filed under Lawrence Davidson, Palestine & Israel, Religions

Pope Francis Drops a Bomb on Washington

by John Grant, This Can’t Be Happening, 9/24/2015

A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk.
– Pope Francis speaking to the US Congress

Pope Francis’ speech to the US Congress struck me as a message with strains long demanded in the corrupt halls of our government. It was a message that took me back 30 years to my travels in Central America during the Reagan years, which was a pivotal moment in modern US history for the rise of a money class and the problems of inequity we currently face.

I was raised an atheist by a right-wing militarist. As a little boy, when my father worked in research for a pharmaceutical company in suburban New York, there came a time he aspired to enter the corporate end of the business. So I was sent to Sunday school for a brief period. There I learned that Jesus Christ was this cool guy in robes who loved people and was nice to them.

My father’s honeymoon with the corporate side of the company did not last long….

continue reading at This Can’t Be Happening

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Filed under International - other, John Grant, National govt & politics, Religions