Iran moves to repeat history.

Update: As has been mentioned several times in the comments it turns out the news item was a hoax.


Previously Bush has compared Saddam to Hitler, but it’s beginning to look like he was looking at the wrong country:

Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country’s Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims.

“This is reminiscent of the Holocaust,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. “Iran is moving closer and closer to the ideology of the Nazis.”

Iran’s roughly 25,000 Jews would have to sew a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, while Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would be forced to wear blue cloth.

This seems like a particularly stupid move to make especially after repeatedly claiming the Holocaust is a myth and that Israel should be wiped off the map. It makes all those claims that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology is strictly for peaceful purposes very hard to swallow. It’s almost as though President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is just begging to have a collective foot put up his ass. I don’t think Iran has the resources to pull off a war on the scale of Nazi Germany on its own, but I do think they could end up igniting a World Wide Religious War by provoking an attack on themselves that might be seen as proof that we’re really waging a war on Islam.

If Islam really is a religion of peace then all the other Islamic nations had better get off their collective asses and start condemning the idiocy coming out of Iran—perhaps even going as far as to correct the problem themselves before the west has to correct it for them. There are plenty of hard liners that would love nothing better than an excuse to yank our troops and then deliver a few million tons of nuclear technology to that region the easy way and here in this country we have a President who would probably be more than happy to oblige given the chance.

40 thoughts on “Iran moves to repeat history.

  1. I read someplace that this was a hoax, and that there was no such law.  I wish I could remember WHERE I read this, but it’s somewhere on the ‘net today.

  2. Retropolitan, I hope this is a hoax.  If not, then Les is right:  Ahmadinejad is practically begging for to turn Iran into one giant pane of glass.  I did a google news search, and most sources so far appear to be Israeli or Jewish nespapers, which (no offense to anyone), I don’t consider a legitimate unbiased source in this matter.  The Canada Post has apparently removed the story, the Advertiser (Australian) stressed that such a law is unconfirmed, and the US Newswire maintains that the dress code has indeed been discussed, but not implemented.

  3. Edit previous post:  “practically begging the United States (and Israel) to turn…..”

  4. It’s BS. The provenance of National Post should be evidence on its own, but no one can find evidence. The primary debunking has been through a Reuters freelancer reporting through 940 AM Montreal believe it or not.

    No one can find anything about this anywhere in Tehran. The closest anyone can work out is that this is a creative misinterpretation of a law encouraging further modesty for Muslim women.

    They even sent PM Harper, who now looks like the media conglomerate’s lap dog, to decry the story even if he was forced to admit he “could not be certain” the story was true.

    Huffpo is on this, too. This has got to be a record for right-wing debunking.

  5. Actually, the story has been picked up by UPI. However, it still smells fishy to me, and an Iranian MP has explicitly Iranian MP denies yellow badge that badges for non-Muslims were discussed or included in the law.

    Even if that’s true, a law mandating an “Islamic dress code” would achieve almost the same purpose. If non-Muslims aren’t required to wear it, they become very easily and instantly identifiable. If they are required to wear it, the effect is of making non-Muslims conform to Muslim edicts.

  6. Les: If Islam really is a religion of peace then all the other Islamic nations had better get off their collective asses and start condemning the idiocy coming out of Iran

    They won’t/can’t coz it isn’t.
    Dad read it recently and told me that on just about every page there’s more than one reference to killing the infidels.
    After reading End of Faith, I concur. downer

  7. So the rest of the Muslim nations, all of which (save for south east Iraq) are Sunni, are expected to condem Shia Iran? Gee why don’t we ask American protestant fundies to condem the Vatican while we are at it (or vice versa)… since that would prove absolutely nothing.

  8. Until’ll turn up on MEMRI soon enough, i bet.
    Sounds like the mistranslation has already been done for them, though.

    Even without this sort of thing, I always wonder if anything would’ve turned out differently had Ahmadinejad had been in power back in late 2001.

  9. To the extent this very detailed story is fake, one might assume someon’s trying to cement the comparison of ahmedinejad to hitler.

    DING DING DING

  10. Ahmadinejad’s oft hyped statements are simply “playing to his base” as American politicos tend to say.

    Using UPI, which no Unipresser of old would recognize, as a supporting source is ridiculous. Did the puchase and adoption of the name and logo by News World Communications for its syndication services elude everyone but me?

    Sam Harris’ End of Faith cannot be considered a rational and reasonable look at the Islamic world. It’s a hack paperback thrown together to sell to the News World/Drudge/Fox/National Post crowd and of course pushes the agenda that got “our sons and brothers” into Iraq in the first place.

    The very bureaucracy of such a law, and forget for a moment no first-source supporting evidence exists, stinks of the fantasy of a desperate, connected white man.

    Enough ugliness is going on in that part of the world, one does not need to make things up about it. Of course, making things up is easier than a few hours of Googling and finding authentic horrors about which to be selectively appalled.

    Even Worldnetdaily is reporting the story as unsupportable. I don’t know what the agenda is, but I do know I was called a fool when these kinds of stories and rehashings of long debunked 1991 material were circulating about Iraq in Fall 2002. I had the audacity to state that our forces must be there.

    Once our yanks are lured successfully to Iran, what then? What’s the game? Either side? Anybody?

  11. Once our yanks are lured successfully to Iran, what then? What’s the game?

    Oh, don’t be fussy.  We didn’t have a plan going into Iraq and everything turned out fine.  rolleyes

  12. UPI is owned by the Unification Church (Moonies), and the Iranian government is denying the patch thing:

    TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian legislator Friday denied Western media and Internet reports that the country is debating a measure that would require Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims to wear a patch of colored cloth on their garments.

    “It’s a sheer lie. The rumors about this are worthless,” said Emad Afroogh, who chairs the parliament’s cultural committee.

    Afroogh said the bill, which he sponsored, seeks to make women dress more conservatively by discouraging Western clothing, increasing taxes on imported clothes and paying for an advertising campaign to encourage citizens to wear Islamic-style garments.

  13. Stan: It’s a hack paperback thrown together to sell to the News World/Drudge/Fox/National Post crowd and of course pushes the agenda that got “our sons and brothers

  14. Y’Know, I didn’t really wanna write something like this, but, what the hey – I chose the moniker DeathToHumans so, for the sake of discussion…

    who’d really complain about a 2,000 km long piece of stained glass formerly known as the original aryan nation? Hmm? How about a couple thousand square k’s of roasted bible belt? Hmm?

    It’s funny, say something like that about say India, just as fervent (i spose) but much less concerned about other people affairs, and you’re just a currymuncher hater (to partially quote my old man). Say that about africa and you’re shooting fish in a barrel. say it about south america and you’re remarkably foresighted (hmm?), given the burgeoning (well burgeoned) arms trade and religious doctrines that seem all too familiar. Australia? Um. Well, you’d need a lot of nukes to kill us 20 mil or so. Indonesia? 1 hydrogen bomb would wipe that weeping sore off the planet (and I say that with no apologies – fu*k i am a bigot – sorry, i’ll accept any reasonable argument why it shouldn’t be done). Asia? It’d only be done for the sake of population control, heck the survivors would probably thank you for it, you know, the one’s that weren’t too horribly affected – or their descendants. Russia? Definately. A couple around moscow would convey a message – ie we wanted to blast you nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh nyeh.

    I think really the problem is that modern populations are so high that the only measures that seem effective.. no, prudent… um no, expedient, no that’s not it either … attractive yeah that’ll do are those that end up with lower population figures. much easier to deal with, less people, as a rule, especially if the real problem is accountability. If everyone was accountable for everything they did, then corruption (the root of all evil [that and credit cards) wouldn’t be quite so rife (of course not to mention the less pervasive human failings of violence and general theft (hmm?). You say how? We now have the technology, just not the will. We never used to have the technology (or the will to implement such undermining technologies, had it been available) and that’s why such movements in the past have failed (as in China), simply replacing the old school with those who knew how to keep down future uprisings by virtue of having led them in the past.

    There are just too many of us to implement such a Utopian system globally, right? I mean, why bother when eventually something catastrophic will happen to force such a change anyway? Hmm?

  15. Just out of curiousity, does anyone here ever entertain the idea that:

    – Israel’s very existence (after so many centuries)
    –  the seeming worldwide return of jews to their country
    – the inexplicable agricultural boom (after years of essentially useless ground/soil in “Palestine”)
    –  the amazing defense in the 1967 6-day war
    –  the escalation of worldwide anti-semitism
    –  the fact that Iran/Russia may be aligning for an attack on Israel
    –  There are groups that are dedicated to building a third temple and re-starting OT-style sacrifices (so far thwarted)
    – The land of Israel is being divided (politically – boundary wise)
    – It’s almost impossible to turn on the news for 2 days without Israel being in the top headlines (no matter what political persuasion of the particlular news source)

    these things line up so neatly with the Bible’s depiction of the end-time tribulation events? Maybe not so much any of these things alone, but the combination of events? This pattern of things in the middle east does NOT indicate we are in the 7-year period prior to the second coming – called the tribulation (Daniel’s 70th week/day of the Lord, etc.), but it does seem to be setting the stage for those events. For more info, do a google search for “Sequence of Tribulation events.” There are mild differences in the interpretation of the sequence of events, but the listing of activities is fairly established through examination of the books of Daniel, Revelation, Ezekiel, etc.
      I’ve learned that many of the athiests on this board are well-versed in scripture, so I just wondered if any of you ever think something like:
      “Man, I guess anything can happen over the years, but this stuff is getting strangely familiar?”
      Note – I post this question regardless of the truth of the original post, which seems far from established as fact.

  16. Short answer: No.

    Damn, Les, did you forget to spray this month? wink

    PS: The claim in the cited article is indeed a hoax.

  17. I would say that not only is the story a hoax….but so is the ongoing story that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be wiped off the map. If you actually read what he said, he was quoting somebody else and then only to the effect of the “Zionist Regime” to disappear from the face of the planet more or less.
        Not that I care what the man said one way or the other except that being in the military, I’m tired of everything being twisted to generate the battlecry to go to war some more.
        As far as things lining up the way they are in the Bible….it’s a no brainer when people are actively pushing toward what they have read. Self-fullfilled prophecy isn’t all that impressive.

  18. L4t, did you ever entertain the idea that:

    – those aspects of Israel which are being realized by Jews look like fulfillment of Biblical prophecy for the very same reason that some fundamentalist Christians want to instigate Armageddon:  that is, these groups want to fulfill Scriptural prophecy themselves?  If your Holy Book says, “On the last Friday of 2006 shall all true believers eat pickles”, and lo and behold, oodles of pickles are consumed on that day, should I believe in your God?  This is akin to the argument that the Bible must be the Word of God because OT prophecies are fulfilled in the NT.  Everyone has the script, so what’s the surprise?

    – the alignment of current events with the Bible is a result of cherry-picking and wishful thinking?  For instance, the agricultural boom was made possible by the application of first-world techniques and money in a third-world country.  No magic there, and not unique to Israel.  And the more surrealistic books of the Bible- Daniel, Ezeckiel, and Revelations, are so fantastic that they can support just about any interpretation- a tried and true technique of prophets, from Gilgamesh to Jeanne Dixon.

    Now, if the Bible had predicted, say, the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter, I’d be more impressed.  But fabulations about coming tribulations for the Jews, and showdowns between good and evil, are not really precise enough to be called predictions.  It’s not as though there hadn’t been religious strife and war before, so saying that more is coming is not necessarily God-given prophecy.

  19. With regards to the original entry’s topic: Let me be the first to say I’m very glad to learn it’s a hoax.

    L4T writes…

    “Man, I guess anything can happen over the years, but this stuff is getting strangely familiar?

  20. Surely the Bible, being written by God with his omniscience has at least one good prophecy that lists a date, time and enough specificity that there’s no way it could end up being mere coincidence, yes?

    Good one.
    Everything makes sense 20/20.
    Just like Nostradamus did/does? LOL

  21. You could even say I predicted it, but I didn’t bother to tell anyone my suspicions of which of the prophecies you’d pick to start with so I have no evidence to back up my claim.

    I believe you, Les.  Get out that old 666 stamp.  I’m ready.

  22. Just like Nostradamus did/does?

    You’ll get nice list of prophets and years predicted by them from Penn&Teller – Bullshit show’s fourth part called “End of the World”…
    And while at it check also part “The Bible”.

    Why I’m thinking original source of this “news” is that boil in house of incompetence/liers?
    This is so similar to what Hitler and Stalin used.

    And actually Iran would be quite safe country for western tourists compared to its reputation.

  23. Surely the Bible, being written by God with his omniscience has at least one good prophecy that lists a date, time and enough specificity that there’s no way it could end up being mere coincidence, yes?

    Well, the OT messianic prophecies are very specific. No bones broken, born in Bethlehem, but also from Nazereth and Egypt, side pierced, etc, etc. There are plenty of sites that list how the OT prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Keep in mind that many are not fulfilled YET, because they pertain to Jesus reign during the post-tribulation millenium. That is why so many Jews discount Jesus as the messiah, because He did not fulfill every OT prophecy during the first coming.

      Not being a serious student of when the gospels were written, I’ve also avoided bringing those up in the expectation that you guys would just claim they were back-written after the fact. Even the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., as propheseyed by Jesus, is dependent on when one feels the gospels were written. Obviously, if they were written after AD 70, it’s no surprise.

      However, even if we can establish that the prophecies were written before fulfillment, the common argument here seems to be that they all came about through conscious acts to line up with the predictions. Personally, I find such a mass conspiracy/effort too difficult to pull off. It almost seems like it takes more faith to discard the prophecies as self-fulfilling, than to accept them at face value.

      However, the 7-year tribulation events ARE specific, time-stamped, and virtually impossible for man to pull off. It all starts with the 7-year covenant Israel signs with the charismatic leader (the antichrist). Once that hits, it will be exactly 3.5 years until that leader renegs on the agreement, and stands in the temple claiming to be god. Exactly 3.5 years after that (7 years from original covenant), Jesus returns (the second coming – not to be confused with the rapture).

      Along the way are numerous judgements, including water turning to blood, massive meteors hitting earth, etc. Like I said in an earlier post, y’all might just want to do a google search for “Sequence of Tribulation Events,” print it out, and tuck it in a drawer under whatever flavor of “whacko Bible predictions” you want. What can it hurt to have such a guide lying around?

      Of course, this might only sway some IF the trib happens in your lifetime. Despite the “stage setting” things going on, the Bible itself says no man knows the day or hour these things will come.

      I would, therefore have only one good reason to want those days to come – to convince those that are doubting to see that the only possible explanation is a supernatural one, and come to know Jesus. Outside of that reason, no Christian should desire those days. I may look forward to Jesus reign, but hope He doesn’t get the ball rolling until as many as possible come to know Him.

      Many of you seem stunned by how looney Christian beliefs are. Personally, I get amazed at the Bible’s descriptions of how so many will still disregard the Bible during the tribulation. Will people blow off the rapture as a UFO abduction? I sometimes wonder: “God, what WILL it take to convince some people?”

      I won’t even get in to how the Bible describes how God keeps himself hidden from man’s mere intellectual pursuit of Him. Suffice to say, one won’t come to a saving knowledge of Christ through brain power.
      BTW LuckyJohn19, my testimony is available on my blog. Like you’ve probably heard numerous times, it didn’t come about after a diligent combing of scripture. I did look into Buddhism at one point in my life, had respect for humanism (was inspired not to fish for sport after reading Vonnegut), and held to the 12-steps of recovery as my religion before my conversion.
      I had all but dismissed Jesus as divine, but decided to check His story out for myself (as compared to the Catholic version I’d been brought up in). In a nutshell, I came to believe based on the love this Jesus demonstrated. What other religion describes a God that wants to know you so intimately, and went to extreme lengths to bring you to Him? To me, every other “religion” I explored seemed nothing more than an impersonal God that may or may not give a second thought to me.
      Once again, faith won’t come through getting every possible difficulty answered. I used to wonder about Jesus’ prayer in Luke 10:21-22

    At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

    22″All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

    Why, I wondered, would Jesus be happy about anyone remaining blind to His truth? The best commentary I’ve read on this implies that, if it were a function of intellect that brought one to God, than intellect would be praised/worshipped instead of God, and people would boast that they were “smart enough” to understand God, and thus deserve heaven on their own merits. I’m not completely sure why God continues to befuddle those who seek an intellectual sign, but everyone I know who has come to faith has done it on Faith alone.

  24. Off-topic: due to popular demand, Hippie Chick is back. Feast your eyes, everyone who missed her.  smile

    L4T: Of course, this might only sway some IF the trib happens in your lifetime.

    I can’t buy that it will, not only because I don’t believe in the Rapture or the Tribulation, but also because we’re living in the Age of Aquarius. You know, when peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars? At least I’d like to think.

    Will people blow off the rapture as a UFO abduction?

    Speaking for myself, I’ve often wondered if there might come some incredible conspiracy to stage the Rapture somehow. It would be the only rational explanation I’d accept, and I fear that it may not be too far-fetched of a possibility.

    Outside of that reason, no Christian should desire those days.

    I don’t know…it seems that a lot of Christians who have read the “Left Behind” series are quite rapturous (HAH!) about the books’ contents. I have known a few, anyway.

  25. L4T: Obviously, if they were written after AD 70, it’s no surprise.

    They were. That’s how they were able to fulfil all those ‘prophesies’.

    It all starts with the 7-year covenant Israel signs with the charismatic leader

    Would that charismatic leader be George double u Bush? He sounds like he believes he’s The ONE.

    What can it hurt to have such a guide lying around?

    Why should I waste the paper and the filing space?

    Jesus returns

    The asylums are full of people claiming to be JC. Which one are we to believe? Would you believe an ugly clean-shaven middle eastern man claiming to be JC?
    Nor would I? But if he had a beard? Still ‘no’. Are you expecting Whitey in a suit?

    the Bible itself says no man knows the day or hour these things will come.

    Sounds very similar to Death in general, don’t you think?

    until as many as possible come to know Him.

    Instead of wasting time here you should be going into the Amazon, New Guinea Highlands, the African outback and especially all the Islamic countries – lighting the candle for all those heathens.

    Many of you seem stunned by how looney Christian beliefs are.

    I think most of us are used to y’all by now. It takes all types to make this world. I don’t mind sharing my air with you. I don’t even care if you believe in rocks so long as you don’t throw them at me.

    To me, every other “religion

  26. LuckyJohn: The asylums are full of people claiming to be JC. Which one are we to believe?

    Two men say they’re Jesus, one of them must be wrong

    Dire Straits, 1982 (from the album Love Over Gold)

  27. Well, the OT messianic prophecies are very specific. No bones broken, born in Bethlehem, but also from Nazereth and Egypt, side pierced, etc, etc. There are plenty of sites that list how the OT prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus.

    L4t, you are making a big assumption (or should I say leap of faith?) here:  that the NT stories about Jesus describe what really happened, when there is no independent proof of that.  To me, it seems far more likely, as I said, that the NT was written to fit the OT.  No fulfillment of prophecy; simply a new installment in the series.

    Obviously, if they were written after AD 70, it’s no surprise.

    As you can perhaps imagine, the date the Gospels were written is hotly debated, with Christians (not surprisingly) claiming earlier dates than other scholars.  An overview can be found at Wikipedia.  The earliest dates that even Christians claim are around 70 AD.  Not likely to be proven conclusively one way or another, given the paucity of evidence.

    Personally, I find such a mass conspiracy/effort too difficult to pull off. It almost seems like it takes more faith to discard the prophecies as self-fulfilling, than to accept them at face value.

    What “mass conspiracy”?  Just the few people who wrote the texts, tailoring them to what had already been written, and to history.  And while it may be simpler to just say “Godidit” to Bible prophecies, and evolution, and the problems we humans have living in peace with each other and the world, that doesn’t make it true.  Life is complicated- tough oats.

    Will people blow off the rapture as a UFO abduction?

    I can promise you, that if I see a bunch of Christians wafted skyward à la Jack Chick, I will not trade a Skydaddy for a Planet X Daddy.  But I’m not holding my breath on it happening any time soon.

    I won’t even get in to how the Bible describes how God keeps himself hidden from man’s mere intellectual pursuit of Him. Suffice to say, one won’t come to a saving knowledge of Christ through brain power.[…]I’m not completely sure why God continues to befuddle those who seek an intellectual sign, but everyone I know who has come to faith has done it on Faith alone.

    There’s a good reason for this.

  28. L4T writes…

    Not being a serious student of when the gospels were written, I’ve also avoided bringing those up in the expectation that you guys would just claim they were back-written after the fact. Even the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., as propheseyed by Jesus, is dependent on when one feels the gospels were written. Obviously, if they were written after AD 70, it’s no surprise.

    See? You have predictive powers as well.

    The biggest problem with the Bible as a whole is that none of it is written by first-hand witnesses. The vast majority of it was written well after the events it describes take place by people who received the knowledge through “revelations from God.”

    Even if it were written by first-hand witnesses there’d still be plenty of reason to doubt the events described. Witnesses are notoriously bad sources of evidence because the brain can be so easily fooled especially during emotionally intense events. Witnesses are a foundation on which to start a proper investigation and from there you collect additional evidence that may either confirm or deny the witness’s testimony. Still, it’s better to have first-hand accounts than accounts written by people decades after the events through visions from God.

    However, the 7-year tribulation events ARE specific, time-stamped, and virtually impossible for man to pull off. … Of course, this might only sway some IF the trib happens in your lifetime. Despite the “stage setting

  29. I’m sure some are even praying to your invisible friend. But your god reckons there aren’t enough people in hell yet so he’s sending all the children he can to satisfy Satan’s lusty desires.

    Ah, but you are not taking into account the age of accountability factor. This site explains it, and also gets into the “what about those who have never heard the gospel” issue.

    The asylums are full of people claiming to be JC. Which one are we to believe? Would you believe an ugly clean-shaven middle eastern man claiming to be JC?

    Once again, the Bible itself gives clear guidelines on how to tell the original Jesus from His many cheap copycats. When the real Jesus returns at the end of the tribulation period (not the rapture – He won’t be seen at that time except by the believers, who are meeting Him in the air), there will be NO DOUBT who He is. Unfortunately, any who have not come to Him by that time (His second coming – not the rapture)…well, I shudder to think….

    Instead of wasting time here you should be going into the Amazon, New Guinea Highlands, the African outback and especially all the Islamic countries – lighting the candle for all those heathens.

    Who says the mission field doesn’t include cyber-space?

  30. L4T writes…

    Ah, but you are not taking into account the age of accountability factor. This site explains it, and also gets into the “what about those who have never heard the gospel

  31. For that matter wouldn’t it be immoral not to kill your kid if you were sure it would guarantee them a spot in Heaven?

    Sure, killing your kids is a sin, but the only unpardonable sin is not believing in God so that’s really not an issue for a true believer.

    I’m sure it’s been done, but such an act, even if the killer and victim would both end up in heaven, leaves no room for God to use that child in this life . The killer’s punishment might not be damnation, but, at the Bema seat of judgement (for believers), having to see how that sinful murder short-circuited the better plans God had. Say the kid would have turned out to be a Billy Graham, leading thousands to Christ. Now the killer has saved one child,, but thwarted the potential salvation of 1000’s. If one assumes God has granted his creation at least partial free-will (which I do), and will not intervene, the infanticide scenario says more about the killing parent than about God.

    How can you justify preaching at all when you know it’s likely to end up causing some people to end up in Hell who would’ve gotten into Heaven otherwise?

    How do you know preaching is not God’s way of extending the heavenly invitation? We’re back to wondering if God judges unfairly. Once again, I believe God will base salvation on each person’s individual response to the level of divine revelation they’ve been given. My preaching might make the choice clearer, but it does not create the choice itself.
    Personally, I believe the heavenly video tape review of each person’s life during judgement will reveal the uncountable ways God tried to reach each person, without making that revelation so obvious that there was no room for faith.

    Furthermore, by setting up the rules in this fashion and then telling his followers to spread the word about him he’s intentionally putting people at risk of Hell simply because he thinks it glorifies him in some fashion.

    You’re right – He will be getting the glory either way. Glorified for being the redeeming savior, or the righteous judge. Could He have demonstrated these aspects of His character (loving beyond what’s deserved, and showing the pinnacle of Holiness through righteous judgement) without setting up the rules like this?

    In a lot of countries on Earth anyone who puts another person at risk for their own glorification or profit is charged with a crime.

    Yes, because they are not God. Even Jesus suffered under such a law, precisely because His claim to be God was not believed.

    another example of how God’s creation has a higher sense of morals than God does.

    But do we? Do we know the end from the beginning? Do we know the ultimate repercussions of any given act? Is our human sense of morality/ethics short-sighted? I’m not using the “God can do whatever He wants because He is God” argument here (even though the pot can’t tell the potter how He should act), but instead considering that we can’t judge His acts as moral or not unless we see how it all turns out. God may allow (vs. cause) temporary evil, knowing it will ultimately bring greater good than if that evil had never been allowed. Jesus death seemed like an evil victory to Satan, but God turns that evil into the greatest show of love ever. Time and again, God doesn’t just defeat evil, but embarrases the evil doer by showing how He turned that evil act into a greater show of His kindness.

    Knowing the End Date doesn’t really factor into it.

    I repectfully disagree. You are correct that even saved people sin, but they repent, and are thus cleansed continually. Recall Jesus washing the disciples feet. They were already “positionally” made clean, but the days dirt (sin) was wiped away through their faith (letting Him cleanse the days’ sins).
      Now contrast the unbeliever. They sin a bit, and next thing you know, that sin seems less repugnant. Time goes on, and they find themselves reclassifying all sorts of sins as ” mere guidelines,” and eventually, not really wrong at all. Jesus says “today is the day of your salvation,” because He knows the more someone puts Him off, the more they will lock in to sin. The further one goes down the road of disbelief, the less likely it is that that person will ever re-evaluate.
    Examples:
    – As a substance abuse counselor, I see how many must escalate their level of indulgence, often to the point of devestation and/or death.
    – The more extra-marital affairs a person engages in, the less attractive a lifelong commitment to one person seems. Similarly, the more porn a person views (of incredibly attractive fantasy partners), the less content they’re going to be with their “average”, I’m too-tired to have sex tonight partner.
    – The more lies you tell, the more lies you must tell to cover your original fabrication – sometimes to the point of even believing your original lie
    – The more you steal, the closer you get to the philosophy of “it’s getting caught that is the only real problem here.”
      I know some of these are over-generalizations, and not all of us are tempted by the same flavor of sin, but is not the underlying principle valid?
      Jesus is not out to ruin our fun, but to prevent us from becoming captive to things that don’t ultimately fulfill. He alone can provide fulfillment.
      So, back to the original point. Perhaps the end-time ambiguity is His plea for us to always be ready for Him, and not get imprisoned by the slippery slope of sin.

  32. It is important (and some argue: absolutely necessary) to place Ahmadinejad into the wider history of Iran’s Revolutionary era:

    [1] Ahmadinejad belongs to a faction within Iran that even Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of the Iranian Islamic Fundamentalist Revolution, considerd way *too radical*
    [2] The primary mentor of Ahmadinejad (Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi) was actually banned from politics by the late Ayatollah Khomeini.  Why?  His spiritual exgesis of the Koran were too radical, even for the likes of ultra_fundamentlist Khomeini.
    [3] This radical faction is called “Hojjatieh.”  They believe that the Mahdi, an Islami Messiah, will soon arrive, and that his revelation (as the Mahdi is now amongst us) can be accelerated by the actions of men or states.

    You can learn more about this radical faction, Hojjatieh, and its central figures here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hojjatieh
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_Taghi_Mesbah_Yazdi
    http://www.iranvajahan.net/cgi-bin/news.pl?l=en&y=2004&m=09&d=17&a=3

    Some mentioned that this and other stories (e.g., Jew/Christian/Hindi registration measures or Ahmadinejad’s role in the US Embassy invasion) might be disinformation.  Once you learn more about Hojjatieh, these allegations will take on a decidely harsher light.  Sure, disinformation campaigns are truly underway.

    But, know the difference between history and propaganda:
    Read more about Ahmadinejad, and you’ll fear a lot more than you might ever imagine possible.

    rob@egoz.org

  33. One question I have pondered since 9/11 is if and when suicide bombers are followed by suicide nations – assuming there isn’t a historical precedent already.

  34. …if and when suicide bombers are followed by suicide nations…

    A huge majority of Iranians think Hojjatieh and Ahmadinejad’s mahdi-obsessed views are way out-there.  They don’t support such philosophies, much like most Christian American’s don’t support Mormon Ploygamists or the PatRobertson ilks. But, they do support Iran’s right to develop nuclear technology as an energy supply, and the majority have no problem with certified inspections of such efforts.

    Iran is currently surrounded by the US.  With troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and liberally deployed throughout the Gulf, never mind a nuclear power in Pakistan and India, most Iranians feel they are currently at strategic cross-roads.  Any plans for a regional Islami-fundamentalist hegemony are totally at risk, and Iran’s leadership intimately understands this.  Thus, enter the likes of Ahmadinejad.

    On top of this understanding of strategic “closure” for Iran, their military now knows Israel has return-flight-capable fighters (F16i Sufas), and reports of supa-dupa darpa bunker bombs being fitted to these planes makes Iran’s military even more under the gun to produce.

    Some might believe these pressures would likely turn a nation pathologically paranoid from the outside.  Yet, Iran truly needs the outside world. (!) Iran *must* import about 20-30million liters of gasoline *per day* just to keep their economy moving.  This need is widely understood on Iran’s streets.

    In time Iran will bend and allow full, unfettered inspections of its nuclear facilities, both public and secret (presently being mapped by humans casually travelling/day-tripping/holiday-making the streets and country side of Iran with subtle Geiger Counters in tow in car boots, luggage, and fannypacks).

    Iran’s current rhetoric is all about brinkmanship trying to stave off their fated fall from power.  And cutting off Iran’s gasoline might just be what it takes to trigger just such a fall, sans a pair of Israeli Sufa over Natanz.

    rob@egoz.org

  35. Rob, I don’t follow the news, am ignorant about Iranian internal affairs, and have no clue about what powers the Iranian president actually holds.

    In short, I’m talking out of my ass.

    However, if Iran is cornered like this, there is a risk that their leadership decides to have the country go down on their own terms and inflict as much damage along the way. Time will tell.

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