Viewing American Sniper

26 Jan

Viewing American Sniper

 

[American Sniper was released on Christmas Day, 2014. It is a movie version of Chris Kyle’s memoir, American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, with 255 kills, 160 officially confirmed by the Department of Defense. The movie set in Iraq is directed by Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper plays the part of Chris Kyle, and Sienna Miller is brilliantly cast in the role of his wife, Taya]

 

American Sniper is a fictionalized movie version of the war stories associated with Chris Kyle’s experience as a Navy SEAL in the Iraq War as recounted in his best-selling memoir. The film can be viewed from a variety of angles, including even as one more indictment of war as hell. A second line of interpretation focuses on the intense psychological tensions experienced by this single American soldier and his comrades caught up in the horrors of urban warfare in Iraq.  A connected theme are the adverse impacts of Kyle’s war service on his family that is made to cope with the complex and contradictory traumas of his absence (confronting his potential death on a distant battlefield) and his alienated presence whenever he returns, a scarred individual who longs to go back to Iraq to resume his assigned role as ‘legendary sniper.’  Multiple scenes in the movie portray Kyle as haunted by his service. In his book, Kyle consistently treats his victims as “savage, despicable.” At one point he makes such statements as “I only wish I had killed more,” “I loved what I did. I still do. If circumstances were different – if my family didn’t need me – I’d be back in a heartbeat. I’m not lying or exaggerating to say it was fun. I had the time of my life being a SEAL.” The film avoids giving emphasis such to extreme statements, but it does portray this sniper as convinced he was cut out for the combat role given to him, and that he seems more alive and content when active in the killing fields of Iraq than when back home.

 

 

Kyle’s own violent death is also metaphorically significant—actual events disclosed by text in the film but not depicted, Kyle was killed by an American soldier wounded in Iraq whom he had helped at a nearby veterans’ hospital where he worked at the advice of a psychiatrist to overcome his own version of PTSD. Such an ending of his life conveys the irony that for Kyle the more dangerous battlefield turned out to be in the neighborhood of his family residence, his assailant not the evil ‘savages’ he mowed down in Iraq but a fellow American veteran who had experienced those very same encounters. Kyle had survived four tours of duty as a sniper in the midst of the most bloody military operations in Iraq, but these survival skills proved irrelevant to the minefields of innocence that now made the American countryside a dangerous war zone.

 

From box office success and right-wing praise, American Sniper, is obviously most commonly regarded as a celebration of Chris Kyle as war hero who deserves the thankful praise of the country. From this outlook, Kyle killed enemies of America at great risk and cost to himself, and spared the country a repetition of the 9/11 attacks. It is this self-serving and essentially distorted vindication of the Iraq War that the film presupposes, even to the extent of having Kyle watch on TV as the plane strikes the World Trade Center, with a quick scene shift in the movie to waging war against those presupposed to be the foot soldiers of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Embedded in this view was a double false narrative that the American mission in Iraq was to carry out a necessary counter-terrorism operation linked to the 9/11 attacks and that the Iraqis being killed in Falluja and elsewhere should be perceived as ‘terrorists’ rather than as fighters against an invasion and occupation of their country by a foreign power that disrespects their religion, culture, and sovereignty.

 

These narratives dominated my perception of the movie, although those associated with its production deny such lines of interpretation. Clint Eastwood (the director and producer) and Bradley Cooper (who plays Kyle in the film) have publicly questioned employing a political optic in commentary on the film. They insist, in contrast, that the movie was ‘a character study’ of Kyle and ‘apolitical’ in the sense of not taking a position pro or con the Iraq War. Eastwood has tried to lend credibility to his claim by pointing out that he opposed the Iraq War, and was even skeptical about Afghanistan. Yet whatever he privately feels this not how most viewers most viewers would experience the film, either being enthralled by Kyle’s exploits or appalled by them. Eastwood may have aspired to tell an apolitical story, but if so, he has failed badly.

 

The Iraq War was a war of aggression undertaken in 2003 despite the rejection of a well-orchestrated (and misleading) American plea to the UN Security Council for authorization. Against such a background,  the attack on Iraq and subsequent occupation were widely regarded as international crimes bearing resemblance to the category of aggressive warfare for which German and Japanese leaders were punished for waging after World War II. In this light, the Iraqi violence associated with the hostile American occupation needs to be portrayed as a unilateral repudiation of the limits set by international law and the UN Charter on recourse to war by the world’s most powerful country. Additionally, American Sniper depicts the doomed efforts of an outgunned society to resist a militarily dominant foreign invader that is imposing its will on the country’s future by force of arms. Such a viewing is not meant to imply that we need to endorse some of the horrific Iraqi tactics relied upon, but it should remind us that presenting the Iraqis as ‘evil’ and as ‘savages’ functions in the film as an unchallenged display of Islamophobic propaganda, and cannot be credibly explained away as a realistic exploration of a war hero’s temperament and struggle for sanity and survival. American Sniper also presents Kyle’s story in such a way as to avoid any self-criticism directed at the American mission in Iraq.

 

The movie also lacks redeeming artistic merit. It is relentless and repetitive in portraying battle scenes of intensity intertwined with Kyle’s tormented relationship with his wife and efforts to become a father to their two children during his brief interludes of home leave between military assignments. We learn nothing about the realities of our world beyond a tired rendering of the embedded post-9/11 polemic on the necessity of foreign wars to keep America safe from evil forces lurking in the Islamic world. This orthodoxy is not even interrogated, much less rejected. And no where in the film is there any acknowledgement that the United States in Iraq was acting in defiance of international law and causing great devastation and suffering to a totally vulnerable foreign country, as well as producing a massive displacement of the civilian population. Leaving behind a devastated country and widespread chaos. The Iraqi experience of such carnage in their own country is treated as irrelevant, and is reminiscent of Vietnam War films that were mostly devoted to explorations of the victimization of the young Americans caught up in an experience of war that they could neither understand nor win, while overlooking almost altogether the massive suffering being inflicted on a foreign people in a distant land. That is, even most anti-war portrayals of these American wars accept the dehumanization of the foreign others.

 

For me the most significant impressions resulting from American Sniper’s narrative of the Iraq War are as follows:

 

            –the striking imbalance between the sophisticated military technology at the disposal of the United States versus the primitive weaponry in the possession of the Iraqi adversaries, creating an overwhelming impression that the Iraq War was more ‘a hunt’ than ‘a war;’ such an impression is somehow deepened by a scene in the film in which Kyle is teaching his very young son to hunt for deer;

            –the failure to make any effort at all to understand the experience of this war from the perspective of the Iraqis, creating the absurd impression that the only victims deserving empathy were Americans like Kyle who had endured the torments of warfare and suffered its admittedly disorienting consequences; the emotions of remorse as associated with the harm done to Iraq and Iraqis is no where to be found in the film.

 

What may be disturbing is the radical subjectivity of likely audience responses. In America, great popularity of mostly uncritical commentary on American Sniper, reinforcing the regressive national mood of glamorizing bloody military exploits as the most admirable expression of true patriotism. Elsewhere in the world the perception is likely to be quite opposite: American Sniper inducing anti-American attitudes either out of fear or resentment or both, solidifying the global image of the United States as a cruel geopolitical bully. That is, American Sniper is wildly pro-American for most domestic viewers, and severely anti-American for most foreign viewers. This gap in subjectivities exhibits the degree to which Americans are living in a bubble of their own devising.

 

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It is highly unlikely that many Americans will appreciate this disparity of perception, and even fewer will pause long enough to assess its significance. If more of us could see ourselves as we are seen in the mirror of foreign reactions it might help end this unhealthy national romance with permanent war that started after World War II with the Cold War and continues now in the form of the ‘War on Terror.’  Such a pattern of delusional geopolitics will never produce peace and security in the 21st century, and will fatally divert attention from meeting the challenges of humanity associated with climate change, nuclear weapons, poverty, and extremism. To question this American domination project is to antagonize the entrenched bureaucratic, media, and neoliberal forces that benefit from endless war making and its associated expenditures of trillions. In the end it is this grand project of late capitalism that American Sniper indirectly vindicates, thereby burdening the nation and the world, perhaps fatally.

63 Responses to “Viewing American Sniper”

  1. Harry Shade January 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    It beggars belief that Americans can see a sniper as a “hero”! A sniper by definition is a coward who conceals himself, and from the safety of his position, shoots often innocent men, women and children, whose only crime is to live in the country invaded by men like him and who may or may not be resisting foreign invaders. This hero is not even a normal decent human being, the way he just wants to kill more and more people; and the way he depicts other human beings who just happen to be citizens of a country illegally invaded by his own Government. Who is the real barbarian coward?

  2. ray032 January 26, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

    Truthdig has a review of this move by Chris Hedges titled, ‘Killing Ragheads for Jesus.’
    Similar sentiments to yours using different words. His review is so detailed I won’t have to go see the movie.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/killing_ragheads_for_jesus_20150125

  3. Albert January 26, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

    Glorifying this kind of cowardice shows the immoral level of the country of its origin and of those, who condone it by their silence. The reason for me to openly protest against this kind of conduct is, to avoid having the blood of innocent victims stain my soul, because of remaining silent. And the present drone warfare is just as cowardly. Where are all those religious leaders around the world, who try to impress their flock in the places of worship with meaningless empty words, with their condemnation of these crimes? They are also guilty by avoiding to speak up. Watch the pictures and clips of the victims of these crimes, writhing in pain and agony and then put the shoe on the other foot and imagine them to be your family members> They are somebody`s family members. Don`t tell me you see yourself as more worthy than some fellow human beings, because that would be the epitome of arrogance and conceit.

  4. Jerry "Peacemaker" January 26, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

    It’d be very interesting if one of the many interviewers of Clint Eastwood about his reasons and intentions when making American Sniper asked him a simple question: “Mr. Eastwood, what makes you tick?”

  5. Beau Oolayforos January 26, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    Another rabble-rousing stinker from Clint Eastwood – par for the course. For the reasons you mention, the foreign box office will be meager, however well the film does in the US, unlike the Bourne movies, which did well worldwide, for obvious, opposite reasons.

  6. sergeystavru January 26, 2015 at 9:53 pm #

    An excellent analysis of the film Dr Falk. I could not agree with you more.
    Unfortunately, this film will only perpetuate the myths of a just war in Iraq
    and further distort the reality of the conflict in which the American military
    attacked a foreign state under a false pretext.

  7. Ed Corrigan January 26, 2015 at 10:22 pm #

    Professor Falk thanks for a most interesting review.

  8. Gene Schulman January 27, 2015 at 6:20 am #

    Any American who has grown up in post WWII will have met his share of American Snipers, whether playing high school football, serving in the Korean war (as I did) or subsequently, Viet Nam. The Sniper is the symbol of American jingoism and so-called patriotism, trained to be gung-ho and ashamed to reveal any emotionalism in his job. We see it today in the same jingoism of Super Bowl America, or the militarization of our urban police forces. Without intending to exonerate Eastwood, maybe that is just his intention – tell it like it is, and let his public interpret it however we wish. I wonder if Hedges wasn’t trying to make that point in his own essay?

    • Richard Falk January 27, 2015 at 7:24 am #

      Yes, on one level, as Eastwood has suggested, this is an apolitical film seen through Kyle’s eyes,
      but on other levels it is America in action against a completely vulnerable and devastated country.
      Imagine a German film depicting the Nazi experience through the eyes of an SS officer, offering no
      remorse or context that is a hit in Germany, and elsewhere is viewed as an indictment.

      • Gene Schulman January 27, 2015 at 7:40 am #

        We are not in disagreement, Richard. As I said, it is not my intention to exonerate Eastwood. And it is a terrible indictment of American military today.

  9. Kata Fisher January 27, 2015 at 8:49 am #

    Once in a while I like to look for the newest research abnormal psychology — just because I study and observe demonized church-charismatic and that disorder — but here is a good article on PTSD and actually “shaken brain in adults” syndrome. They refer to it as “PTSD” and/or “shell shock”.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181586/

    Usually what was taking place during Iraq war was that folks started getting PTSD due to their brains shaken.

    It was ridicules how long they were denied rights — the solders did not have access to stable medical care/medical relieve because Iraq’s “PTSD” was not recognised as soon as started to be manifested.

  10. Clif Brown January 27, 2015 at 8:23 pm #

    Eastwood has the capacity to make an outstanding and insightful war movie that does not belittle the other – he did it with “Letters from Iwo Jima”

    • Gene Schulman January 28, 2015 at 12:44 am #

      I had a reflection😉

      It is fitting that Eastwood made this move. If one looks at his personal filmography, every character he ever played, from the very beginning in the TV series Rawhide, to the gun toting SF detective, Dirty Harry, to the loner vengeful cowboys in Sergio Leoni’s spaghetti westerns, he always played the same role – the coldhearted, unemotional, American Sniper.

    • Richard Falk January 28, 2015 at 9:20 am #

      I agree, and should have mentioned this in my treatment of AMERICAN SNIPER.

  11. katiemiranda January 28, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    I didn’t want to subject myself to the torture of watching it. Thanks for watching it for me and reporting back. I hope your review gets shared widely.

  12. Patricia January 29, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    If only more Americans could read your excellent view.America is in a sad state of mind.

  13. Earthian Guy January 29, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    Richard, this is a superb review. Thank you. I especially appreciate you exploring the many levels of the film’s story, and the multiple points of view of its audience, in the U.S. and abroad, and the different reactions to it.

    In support of your statement that “the Iraqi violence associated with the hostile American occupation needs to be portrayed as a unilateral repudiation of the limits set by international law and the UN Charter on recourse to war by the world’s most powerful country” I’d add an additional factor: that the actual conduct of U.S. military people, in many cases, violated the military’s own standards. From rules of engagement to wanton war crimes against people and property: “Less than half of Soldiers and Marines would report a team member for unethical behavior . . .”

    Here’s the reference and key conclusions:

    http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2007/images/05/04/mhat.iv.report.pdf

    “Less than half of Soldiers and Marines would report a team member for unethical behavior, with Marines being less likely to report a fellow Marine than Soldiers reporting a fellow Soldier.”

    p 36

    Unethical behaviors they examined included:

    “injuring or killing an innocent non-combatant,” “stealing from a non-combatant,” “mistreatment of a non-combatant,” “not following general orders,” “violating ROEs,” and “unnecessarily destroying private property.”

    p 37

    Mental Health Advistory Team (MHAT) IV
    Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-07
    Final Report, 17 November 2006.
    Office of the Surgeon Multinational Force-Iraq
    and
    Office of The Surgeon General
    United States Army Medical Command

    This is an open-source report. It documents the battlefield ethics of soldiers and marines in Iraq. The link is live. It connects to an official report by the Army about the battlefield ethics, concluding that less than 50 percent of them generally will even report unethical behavior, including unlawfully killing or injuring innocent people.

    This is the only proof I’ve seen that the military authorities knew, nearly 10 years ago, that large percentages of US military people are known to behave unethically in practice.

    • Gene Schulman January 30, 2015 at 8:00 am #

      “This is the only proof I’ve seen that the military authorities knew, nearly 10 years ago, that large percentages of US military people are known to behave unethically in practice.”

      Come down to earth, Guy. Anyone who has served a stretch in the service would know that, without proof.

      • Kata Fisher January 30, 2015 at 9:48 am #

        A note:
        Due to the developmental factors and the inability to process and apply strict demands of Army rules (“battlefield ethics”) are not applicable to ” late adolescents / young adult” age.

  14. Laurie Knightly January 29, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    Chris Kyle desired more than all else to be a hero. The tragedy inherent in his story is that he succeeded. His mantra was god, country, family and lessons learned there provided a distorted code of moral rectitude that validated his actions. The movie earned $89.5 million in the first 3 days of release. In the first 4 days Selma generated $13.8 million. The basic institutions that formed Kyle’s character were church, education, government, industry and family. At church, for instance, we are shown a bleeding tortured dying innocent man whose father, a god, offered him as blood sacrifice for past and future sins of other people. Scripture is filled with divinely sanctioned violence. One joins religion from fear of punishment and hope of reward. Organizations with ethical incentives stripped of personal threat and hope of higher status fare poorly.

    Libraries are filled with the injustices existent within government and industry. Child abuse is rampant in the US and is mostly inflicted within the family. If a woman is killed, the first person to check is the husband. At school the hero is the bully football player and his wiggling girlie cheerleaders. And these shallow students never grow up.

    To refuse these cultural norms is to invite social ostracism, possible ruin – and fortunately there are decent people willing to study the issues objectively and take the heat. It’s extremely disheartening to know what persons will do to be labeled a hero – or next best, get a seat close to one.

    • marv January 30, 2015 at 8:48 am #

      {Libraries are filled with the injustices existent within government and industry.}

      American Public Libraries are transformed to US government and Pentagon’s platform for propaganda and brain was hinging of ignorant and illiterate Americans who do not know where Turkey is located.
      Public Libraries are infested with ‘history’ books fabricated by the Zionists and the neocons in support of US foreign policy, crimes against humanity, and biographies of war criminals , such as Clinton and others. The gullible people check out these CIA supported books and videos, where are free, to internalize USG propaganda messages against the constructed enemies to form public opinion. These films and videos are produced and performed by pimps in the service of the war criminals against Muslims. “Stoning of Soraya M” is one of these fictional CIA supported films, directed and performed by pimps presented as ‘documentary’ to the gullible people using PUBLIC LIBRARIES. These fabricated ‘documentaries’ are consumed by the public to form opinion. The Public Libraries play an important role in keeping the gullible on board to implement their criminal policy. The public libraries’ function is similar to mass media, to spread propaganda to reach illiterate people to have their support for their criminal foreign plicy against ‘others’, the Muslims. People should deny these war criminals of their supports.

      • Laurie Knightly January 30, 2015 at 4:24 pm #

        Yes, I thought better of the word ‘library’ – should have said bookstores/sellers. Ironically, I just returned unread a 700 page book entitled Death of American Virtue. I thought it would be about ethics but, nope – Clinton’s sex life and crooked investments.

  15. Kata Fisher January 29, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

    A Note:

    I came across an article that mentioned something like that in Australia.

    What they have done in Australia is that they have appointed a board of researchers — who then have, I think, compiled and compartmented research based on their review / area.

    Then from that they were looking to find what is applicable and useful.

    I cannot recall if I have used that article in any of the papers that I had to write – but I will try to look to see if I find it again.

    • Kata Fisher January 30, 2015 at 9:30 am #

      I do not know if this is the article that gives reference to it — but it may be mentioned in this article because I used it to look at some Structural and Process elements (Sociotehnical System):

      Recently, the Australian government has come to a conclusion that surveys completed by parents hold only a limited value and has developed the Quality Rating System. Parents tend to rate mediocre care high, even well informed parents overestimate the quality of care centers due to significantly low knowledge in order to discern care quality (p. 95-96).

      In the US, for example, parents would rate the quality based on the cost, and quality care in the US (as well as UK) would still (in both countries) fall far behind Australian LDS which is held to be of higher quality, yet the studies which were conducted have found Australian LDS to be of mediocre quality when experts examined elements that support high quality. For example, an authoritarian’s belief for child rearing would automatically make a care facility of low quality simply because it is harmful for the healthy development of children (p. 97).

      I would have to note that here in the US, both an in house care and facility care of children that hold such beliefs (which are usually religiously fixated) are not applicable to young children due to the developmental factors and the ability to process and apply strict demands, but innately would have psychological conflict and would revolt against demands that are not compatible with the nature of a young child. At some point children hold more capacity to follow more strict rules, but the timing of implementing these is of crucial importance or major consequence. With that, this type of care for young children would be harmful and would be insufficient regardless of the cost for care.
      (I have more on this part to the note based on some former conclusions, and I will try to find that — as well).

      Fenech, M., Harrison, L., & Sumsion, J. (2011). Parent users of high-quality long day care: Informed consumers of child care?. Australasian Journal Of Early Childhood, 36(1), 95- 103.

      • Kata Fisher January 30, 2015 at 9:40 am #

        EMOTIONALLY CHARGED SUBJECTS: UNCONTROLLED ANGER, PREMARITAL SEX, PREGNANCY, AND ABORTIONS

        Between teenagers and their parents there are many emotionally charged subjects; however, the most heated discussions are clearly things that are (or can be) things that can cause grave harm to teens. Because teenagers do not always have the ability to analyze and evaluate the potential risks to them; they will also reject a parental full assessment of the risks that can come against them, as adolescence in a transition phase between childhood and adulthood. Adolescent Development is uneven and there are gaps between their Biological and Cognitive development. This is the factor which will often impact their health and relationships (their psychical and spiritual well-being). In contemporary cultures conflicts that place teenagers and their parents into a counseling offices are often different types of uncontrolled anger, premarital sex, pregnancy, and abortions.
        According to the Scripture we understand that uncontrolled anger is primarily the lack of Spiritual Gifts in a person’s life. In Galatians 5, we learn from Paul that anger is attribute of the flesh-nature. Without Love (which fulfills the Law), people can bite and devour one another and Paul warns that people can be consumed (in anger) toward one another. When this becomes a pattern between adolescents and their parents; it marks the start of an unhealthy relationship between adolescents and their parents. In Ephesians 6, Paul teaches the Law to the Church in Ephesus, when he gives believers sound instructions on how to relate toward each other. First, he addresses youth, he tells youth to obey their parents in God. Paul places youth directly under the spiritual authority of their parents and God. And then, he gives parents Spiritual guidance, and he warns the parents (father in particular), so that he may not provoke their children to wrath, but teach them in the Law of God/admonition. It is clear that Paul writes that parents can nurture anger in their children. (From the Scripture we learn that wife’s must submit to their husbands, and not their children. Mothers are to be obeyed by their children together with the Father and should not annul his place in family when they deal with upbringing of their children). There also must be parental balance toward children, and this is what children need; however, permissiveness and authoritarian parenting can be harmful, child-disabling. Michael Ndurumo and Ester Njeri Kiartha give a Scriptural example of permissive parenting as they write that
        Eli was a permissive, detached and non-involved father who seemed not to care how his sons behaved. He was too preoccupied with serving God and people and failed to consider the seriousness of the duties pertaining to parenthood even when his principal assistant Samuel, told him that God would invoke punishment upon him and his sons (cf. / Sam 2:12-17).
        Authoritarian parenting in other hand can really harm children; this approach to parenting is OC in nature, as Jonathan Abramowitz, et al., documents results of parental styles study and they give note on those findings:
        Results indicated that the authoritarian parenting style was significantly associated with both OC symptoms and OC beliefs (e.g., beliefs about the importance of thoughts and personal responsibility), even after controlling for general distress.
        Authoritarian parenting, often religious and without love, can have harmful effect on a child. Psychological and physical child abuse takes place and child finds himself/herself in homes where child receives mixed message of love, acceptance and responsibility. Children are oppressed by their parents (or are not a point of concern for parents) this factor turns children away from any parental guidance. This parental behavior filled with anger, or carelessness opens the doors to youth’s unorthodox practices: premarital sex, pregnancy, and abortions. (Not excluding, but not counting for the substance abuse in this paper).
        In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul teaches that Christian marriages are blessed and that children are holy. Who has failed Christianity if a Christian adolescent child is prematurely active in unlawful marriage relationships? According to Proverbs 22.6 parents should have trained the child, according to the Law and Love, apart from wrath. This also includes grafting the children into the Christian fellowship, according to the faith. Contemporary Christianity is scarcely producing valid and lawful marriages. Christian marriages are annulled by sexual immorality before they can even become lawful before God. Through the unlawful marriages, young Christian’s attach themselves to the different “evil spirits,” which rule the pagan-world—this does nothing but graft the youth out from the faith. With that, this kind of behavior of sexual immorality will spiritually excommunicate young people from the Church body. When they come to Church to bless their marriages, these marriages are not valid, not blessed by God, not Christian and not holy. According to the Scripture it is an abomination for a virgin to be defiled in her father’s house. Yet, adolescent sex and pregnancy is a norm of unhealthy, sexual immoral societies which are under STD epidemics. Children should know this, and they should learn this from their parents. However, parents will not, nor can teach when they do not set an example for sexual morality and with that practice premarital sex and pregnancy prevention. There is need for this type of prevention. Experts write:
        Teen pregnancy prevention has been a major component of the school sex education curriculum
        for the past two decades. Common efforts have included promoting contraceptive use. Although
        in some communities this practice is viewed as controversial, several studies have found it to be
        successful in reducing rates of sexual initiation and increasing contraceptive use among teenagers.
        Church knows that moral deficiency has allowed contraceptives into the societies, and now contraceptives are beneficial to young adults because it delays sexual activity, according to these studies. These things are highly unusual and hard to accept. The marriage institution is violated with contraceptives and societies are under a chaos. It is well known fact that one in two of first marriages end up in divorce here in the US. The divorce for second marriages is about a 90% rate. Children are born in these odd relationships and these children are more likely to be abused spiritually, psychologically, physically and sexually then if cared by biological parents.
        One top child abuse is abortion and it is one in nature with pagan practices and worship of pagan gods (individually and corporately). According to the Scripture the Law forbids murder. Abortion is one, as has become another form of contraceptive in the society, so that morality and legality of abortion is not a longer a discerning question for un-evangelized society. Why do women choose abortions? It is out of manipulation, fear from life, and/or submission to their ancestral gods. In this society women are spiritually, psychologically, physically, sexually and socioeconomically abused. Nevertheless, abortions are direct result of un-evangelized and abused society with harsh effects on aborting women as Natalie P. Mota, Margaret Burnett, and Jitender Sareen write:
        Health Organization-Composite International Diagnostic Interview was used to assess mental disorders based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, criteria and lifetime abortion in women. Multiple logistic regression analyses were employed to examine associations between abortion and lifetime mood, anxiety, substance use, eating, and disruptive behavior disorders, as well as suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. We calculated the percentage of respondents whose mental disorder came after the first abortion. The role of violence was also explored. Population attributable fractions were calculated for significant associations between abortion and mental disorders. Results: After adjusting for sociodemographics, abortion was associated with an increased likelihood of several mental disorders-mood disorders (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] ranging from 1.75 to 1.91), anxiety disorders (AOR ranging from 1.87 to 1.91), substance use disorders (AOR ranging from 3.14 to 4.99), as well as suicidal ideation and suicide attempts (AOR ranging from 1.97 to 2.18). Adjusting for violence weakened some of these associations. For all disorders examined, less than one-half of women reported that their mental disorder had begun after the first abortion. Population attributable fractions ranged from 5.8% (suicidal ideation) to 24.7% (drug abuse). Conclusions: Our study confirms a strong association between abortion and mental disorders. Possible mechanisms of this relation are discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
        Studies show clear consequences when the Law is broken, the penalty of sin and the flesh nature applies. The Churches are dead and do not evangelize with doctrines of demons and witchcraft. It is impossible to stop the practice of witchcraft and pagan rites in an un-evangelized society with a false Gospel. Children should know that. However, abortion is a heated conflict between a religious and politically correct society, and ironically this conflict is rooted in the works of Law, which does not benefit society apart from the works of Faith, according to the Gospel work of Faith: service to the poor and abused. Therefore, there is hope, according to Psalms 27:10 which speak to youth of this day, profoundly. Church should challenge adolescents to take on purity vows and break generational curses of sexual immorality and abuse.
        BIBLIOGRAPHY
        Jonathan Abramowitz, et al. “Parenting and Obsessive Compulsive Symptoms: Implications of Authoritarian Parenting.” Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy 24, no. 3 (Fall2010 2010): 151-164. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed July 10, 2011).
        Mota, Natalie P., Margaret Burnett, and Jitender Sareen. “Associations Between Abortion, Mental Disorders, and Suicidal Behaviour in a Nationally Representative Sample.” Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 55, no. 4 (April 2010): 239-247. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed July 10, 2011).
        Ndurumo, Michael, and Esther Njeri Kiaritha. “Parental styles as predictors of socialization and conflict management in society.” AFER 51, no. 4-1 (2010): 465-483. ATLA Religion Database with ATLASerials, EBSCOhost (accessed July 10, 2011).
        Somers, Cheryl L., Stephanie A. Johnson, and Shlomo S. Sawilowsky. “A MEASURE FOR EVALUATING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION PROGRAMS.” Psychology in the Schools 39, no. 3 (May 2002): 337. Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed July 10, 2011).

      • Richard Falk January 30, 2015 at 9:51 am #

        Kata: Please make a greater effort to connect your comments to the material being
        addressed on the blog. You seem to be sending whatever material you come across almost randomly.
        I want to be receptive to your concerns, but please respect the limits on relevance. Richard

      • Kata Fisher January 30, 2015 at 10:32 am #

        Professor Falk,

        I do agree with you. Still, I like to add this: I am a random person and I practice juts random things.

        The content is irrelevant, unless randomly relevant.

        I had random thing for Hillel Neuer, and it is gone… by a random chance. (Smile).

  16. rehmat1 January 29, 2015 at 8:27 pm #

    Another Hollywood propaganda movie to superiority of US soldiers murdering hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians for sake greed and Israel.

    It reminds me how the Zionist-controlled media made a hero out of Gen. David Petraeus while heading those American mass-killers. Professor James Petras called him “Zionism’s military poodle”.

    Petraeus’ hatred toward the Islamic Republic is well-known. It was he who cooked-up the lie that Iranian agents tried to murder Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington last year. The faked charges further strained relations with Iran, making a possible military confrontation more likely.

    As it turned out, the case was based primarily on statements from an Iranian-American car dealer Mansour Arbabsiar, who clumsily tried to hire drug dealers to murder Saudi Ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir, though Arbabsiar was actually talking to a Drug Enforcement Agency informant. Arbabsiar pled guilty last month as his lawyers argued that their client suffers from a bipolar disorder. In other words, Petraeus and his CIA escalated an international crisis largely on the word of a person diagnosed by doctors of his own defense team as having a severe psychiatric disorder.

    In 2012, the same Zionist-controlled media turned its “Iraqi hero” into a “womanizer” based on his statement he made as commander officer of US-NATO forces in Afghanistan, in which he blamed America’s blind support for Israel as the main reason of Muslim world hatred of America.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/11/11/gen-petraeus-sacked-over-his-mistress/

  17. Laurie Knightly January 30, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

    Something we didn’t mention is the mental condition of recruits before they enlist. Even the military will concede that 1 in 5 are not fit for service – most likely it’s higher. They have allowed convicted felons, mentally unstable, uneducated, illegal immigrants, professional mercenaries etc to join and AWOL’s are high. It’s claimed that they could not fill the required number of recruits if they had not lowered the standards. Ironically, when many of these former social rejects applied for disability, the military denied their claims saying they were in that condition on entry. Their claims drag on for long periods. It’s also known that combat causes irrevocable mental damage in just a few months. The number of vets who are severely wounded is well into 6 figures. And yet we are now hearing that we must consider sending troops to fight the IS caliphate. Is this based on our success to date? What is the ultimate price of all this? Why is this a US obligation?

    The Tampa Bay Times recently published a story about a small town sheriff who took on the KKK in the 1920’s. Peter Hagan was one of 16 children and his life story of both fearlessly dealing with the Klan and changing the politics of the town itself is a depiction of real heroism.”His was a spirit that could single-handedly quell mobs.”

    The last paragraph poignantly reads:
    Yet Hagan died in debt and virtually broke. His grave is the size of a doormat rising just an inch or two above the ground. A shrub and a layer of pine needles obscure half of it. His name appears on no building in the town he helped save from itself.

    Don’t suppose that story would interest Clint Eastwood………..

    • Kata Fisher January 30, 2015 at 6:18 pm #

      Note: Here is reference to that which you mention:


      They have allowed convicted felons, mentally unstable, uneducated, illegal immigrants, professional mercenaries etc” t

      I wrote this outline a while ago — I took things out, but I did not added noting to it:

      I will present some of the statistics which give us a picture of problems, associated with poverty in the twenty first century, within the US.

      The key responsibility of a society is to serve the poor, and prevent social problems which are related with poverty—service to the poor which in turn can benefit society and deliver the social justice.

      I will touch up on risk factors that are associated with poverty and are related with some key-impacts of poverty on the youth and society.

      I. Gerry Redmond explains that the “child rights approach is now deservedly dominant on many discourses on children, from protection to health, education, and economic well-being, emphasizes the separateness of child—how they need to be treated in their own right as individuals.”
      II. According to the Census report, the poverty rate in 2009 is once again 1.1 % higher than 2008—climbing from 13.2 % in 2008, to 14.3 % in 2009.

      III. Therefore a significant increase took place, rising from 39. 8 million in 2008, to 43.6 million in 2009. This was the third highest climb in poverty within the U.S. since 2004.

      A. In 2009 the rate increased to 14.3 % – 43.6 million people. This was also the highest poverty increase in the U.S. since 1994.
      B. However, in 2009 poverty increased and was 8.1 % lower than the poverty rate in 1959. Therefore, we see that the 2009 rate highlights a 51 year-high of people that live in the U.S. on a low socioeconomic status.

      IV. How does this looks for children who live in poverty?

      A. According to the Census report, the increase between 2008 and 2009, for the children under the age of 18 was 2.7 % higher, increasing from 19.0 % to 20.7 %.

      B. Duncan et al., wrote that some 4.2 million infants, toddlers, and preschoolers lived in poverty in the United States in 2007.

      C. For instance, a single mother with two children was most likely to make a total annual income of $16,700, or less—that was the medium-income for many poor families.

      D. Poverty with its risk factors can influence and shape the neurobiological makeup of a child that is still in a developmental stage significantly. Poor socio economic status of a developing child can negatively influence child development which can be seen later in life.

      E. A low socioeconomic status during early childhood is a risk factor. It can impact relationship behavior but also physical and psychological well-being due to lack of financial and emotional investment of the parents with their learning and developing child

      F. The studies have shown that children with a low socioeconomic status compared with children of higher socioeconomic status are more likely to achieve less in school. Adults have less work opportunities but also, have more likely physical and psychological health problems and are likely to commit crimes

      V. How does this affect a society?

      A. Richard Brown writes that “According to the Children Defense Fund (As November 2005), each day in America:
       4 children are killed by abuse or neglect
       5 children or teens commit suicide
       35 children or teens die from accidents
       181 children are arrested for violent crimes
       380 children are arrested for drug abuse
       1,154 babies are born to teen mothers
       2,482 children are confirmed as abused or neglected
       2.756 high school students drop out (based on the calculation on a school day/180 days of seven hours each).
       3.879 babies are born to unmarried mothers
       4,356 children are arrested.”

      B. Mark A Cohen and Alex R. Piquero give another effective-example of the poverty in society as they explain:
      C. A low socioeconomic status is a risk factor for children but also adds high cost for the society in general.
      D. Authors stress benefits and values of saving a 14-year-old high risk juvenile from a life of crime. They estimate a savings to the society while doing this to vary from 2.6 to 5.3 million!
      E. In parallel to this it would also accumulate funds in savings to the society as a high risk child is reached at birth – this saving amount would range between 2.6 and 4.4 million dollars.
      F. The authors gave another figure: The cost of drug rehabilitation in 2007 for individuals who are under the consequences of the risk factors were $10.2 billion and from that amount 2.93 billion are spent by federal government on the drug treatments.


      BIBLIOGRAPHY
      Brown, Richard S. Principles of Student Ministry: An Overview of a Biblically Based Approach to Student Ministries. Virginia Beach, VA: Academy Publishing Services, 2007.
      Cohen, Mark, and Alex Piquero. “New Evidence on the Monetary Value of Saving a High Risk Youth.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 25, no. 1 (March 2009): 25-49. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed January 31, 2011).
      Duncan, Greg J., Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, and Ariel Kalil. “Early-Childhood Poverty and Adult Attainment, Behavior, and Health.” Child Development 81, no. 1 (January 2010): 306- 325. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed January 31, 2011).
      “Poverty in the United States.” Congressional Digest 89, no. 10 (December 2010): 298-300. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed January 31, 2011).
      Redmond, Gerry. 2008. “Child poverty and child rights: Edging towards a definition.” Journal of Children & Poverty 14, no. 1: 63-82. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed January 31, 2011).

  18. Marv January 30, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

    The best is to boycott this film. Instead, listen to this beautiful music and poetry, Khayyam.

    • Kata Fisher January 31, 2015 at 11:38 am #

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/31/us-egypt-hamas-idUSKBN0L40BS20150131

      Disarming Hamas is what we all can hope for. They have son and daughters in Gaza to take care off. There has to be a very good Muslim school and spiritual council to help youth resilience from the evils in Gaza. That is #2 priority and along with #1 priority.

      Likewise, hearing beautiful beautiful music and poetry into their daily practices will be something that we all can hope for Hamas that is dismissed by all of us, in their service toward Allah, and in the Name of Allah that has to be under atonement of the sins against Allah, and in the Name of Allah.

      They for sure have to break out free from the where they are right now.

      Hamas will be asked kindly to give up war-weaponry to UN within Jordan or Egypt Landmark.

      • Richard Falk January 31, 2015 at 11:44 am #

        Kata: Where did you get these perverse ideas? Should the oppressed be disarmed while the oppressor
        remains armed and abusive? The slave should thank his or her master for tightening the chains of bondage?
        Such outcomes seem to violate any authentic religious grounding. I am surprised that you seem so inclined
        to adopt Israel’s agenda. Richard

      • Kata Fisher January 31, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

        Dear Richard – What happened in South Africa?

        God will destroy current oppressor — that is, the”state” of Israel. The “state” is oppressor. It is, and it will be destroyed by God alone.

        I do not believe that Hamas is in any advantage with useless weaponry – they have better things to do, and they can drop all their funny head coverings. They look ridicules and disgraceful to any legit Army, and it is appearance. I am very honest about this.

        I am certanly looking from One Spiritual prespective. 

      • Richard Falk January 31, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

        Dear Kata:

        I do not question religious engagement with history, but every move toward freedom from oppression
        depends on the resistance of brave men and women. God seems helpless to loosen the chains of bondage,
        perhaps, the gift of freedom and responsibility. If we value justice and peace we must lend support
        to those who are actively resisting oppression, and not expect them to stand naked before their oppressor,
        or to wait passively for a miraculous delivery from captivity. The miraculous if it occurs is always in
        active collaboration with those who resist.

      • Kata Fisher January 31, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

        Professor Falk:

        I am in agreement with you. I cannot disagree with a single thing that you say.

        The problem is that those who resist forces of the future can’t create anything for them selfs in present times that will serve their future times without creating for them selfs not legitimate, more and more illegitimate religious swamps of blood.

        You have served them all your mature life — have they bugged at all from where their ancestors were?

        The Landmark of Israel is in Spiritual authority of Kingdom of Heaven, and descendants that are in Flesh and Spirit one with Kind David/ descendants of David.

        The Church – Charismatic has to get Spiritual Authority of the Landmarks of Holy Land under Spiritual Authority of the Spirit — or it shall remain with the sword and blood upon those who are not under the Spirit of David.

  19. Kata Fisher January 30, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

    I just feel bad that I did do what I should have done…so I failed to do this:

    INFORMATIVE SPEECH OUTLINE TEMPLATE

    Organization: This speech uses topical organization
    Audience analysis: This information is easily distributed in any setting and to any audience.
    Central Idea: Risks of childhood poverty for individuals and society
    General Purpose: To inform
    Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about a high cost, of undeserving the poor within a society.
    Introduction:
    I. Attention: Christ said, “You have the poor with you always, and you can be kind to them whenever you wish…” (Matthew 26; Mark 14).

    II. Establish Credibility: I will present some of the statistics which give us a picture of problems, associated with poverty in the twenty first century, within the US.

    III. Thesis Statement: The key responsibility of a society is to serve the poor, and prevent social problems which are related with poverty—service to the poor which in turn can benefit society and deliver the social justice.

    IV. Preview Statement:
    I will touch up on risk factors that are associated with poverty and are related with some key-impacts of poverty on the youth and society.

    Body:
    I. Gerry Redmond explains that the “child rights approach is now deservedly dominant on many discourses on children, from protection to health, education, and economic well-being, emphasizes the separateness of child—how they need to be treated in their own right as individuals.”
    II. According to the Census report, the poverty rate in 2009 is once again 1.1 % higher than 2008—climbing from 13.2 % in 2008, to 14.3 % in 2009.

    III. Therefore a significant increase took place, rising from 39. 8 million in 2008, to 43.6 million in 2009. This was the third highest climb in poverty within the U.S. since 2004.

    A. In 2009 the rate increased to 14.3 % – 43.6 million people. This was also the highest poverty increase in the U.S. since 1994.
    B. However, in 2009 poverty increased and was 8.1 % lower than the poverty rate in 1959. Therefore, we see that the 2009 rate highlights a 51 year-high of people that live in the U.S. on a low socioeconomic status.

    IV. How does this looks for children who live in poverty?

    A. According to the Census report, the increase between 2008 and 2009, for the children under the age of 18 was 2.7 % higher, increasing from 19.0 % to 20.7 %.

    B. Duncan et al., wrote that some 4.2 million infants, toddlers, and preschoolers lived in poverty in the United States in 2007.

    C. For instance, a single mother with two children was most likely to make a total annual income of $16,700, or less—that was the medium-income for many poor families.

    D. Poverty with its risk factors can influence and shape the neurobiological makeup of a child that is still in a developmental stage significantly. Poor socio economic status of a developing child can negatively influence child development which can be seen later in life.

    E. A low socioeconomic status during early childhood is a risk factor. It can impact relationship behavior but also physical and psychological well-being due to lack of financial and emotional investment of the parents with their learning and developing child

    F. The studies have shown that children with a low socioeconomic status compared with children of higher socioeconomic status are more likely to achieve less in school. Adults have less work opportunities but also, have more likely physical and psychological health problems and are likely to commit crimes

    V. How does this affect a society?

    A. Richard’s. Brown writes that “According to the Children Defense Fund (As November 2005), each day in America:
     4 children are killed by abuse or neglect
     5 children or teens commit suicide
     35 children or teens die from accidents
     181 children are arrested for violent crimes
     380 children are arrested for drug abuse
     1,154 babies are born to teen mothers
     2,482 children are confirmed as abused or neglected
     2.756 high school students drop out (based on the calculation on a school day/180 days of seven hours each).
     3.879 babies are born to unmarried mothers
     4,356 children are arrested.”

    B. Mark A Cohen and Alex R. Piquero give another effective-example of the poverty in society as they explain:
    C. A low socioeconomic status is a risk factor for children but also adds high cost for the society in general.
    D. Authors stress benefits and values of saving a 14-year-old high risk juvenile from a life of crime. They estimate a savings to the society while doing this to vary from 2.6 to 5.3 million!
    E. In parallel to this it would also accumulate funds in savings to the society as a high risk child is reached at birth – this saving amount would range between 2.6 and 4.4 million dollars.
    F. The authors gave another figure: The cost of drug rehabilitation in 2007 for individuals who are under the consequences of the risk factors were $10.2 billion and from that amount 2.93 billion are spent by federal government on the drug treatments.

    Conclusion:
    V. Transition—We see that different cause-effects of Poverty carry high risk to our youth. It involves pain, suffering and a high cost to society.

    VI. Restatement of Thesis—When the poor are not honored in a society than the society fails in social justice and fails in the prevention of social problems.

    VII. Restatement of Main Points—The poverty is associated with relational and psychological stress, which gives birth to different risk factors. The Children Defense Fund statistics give a clear picture of this problem within this society.

    VIII. Memorable Closing Thought—In what way can the poor be honored that will change a society?


    BIBLIOGRAPHY
    Brown, Richard S. Principles of Student Ministry: An Overview of a Biblically Based Approach to Student Ministries. Virginia Beach, VA: Academy Publishing Services, 2007.
    Cohen, Mark, and Alex Piquero. “New Evidence on the Monetary Value of Saving a High Risk Youth.” Journal of Quantitative Criminology 25, no. 1 (March 2009): 25-49. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed January 31, 2011).
    Duncan, Greg J., Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, and Ariel Kalil. “Early-Childhood Poverty and Adult Attainment, Behavior, and Health.” Child Development 81, no. 1 (January 2010): 306- 325. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed January 31, 2011).
    “Poverty in the United States.” Congressional Digest 89, no. 10 (December 2010): 298-300. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed January 31, 2011).
    Redmond, Gerry. 2008. “Child poverty and child rights: Edging towards a definition.” Journal of Children & Poverty 14, no. 1: 63-82. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed January 31, 2

  20. Hamas is the victims of criminal west January 31, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    {Disarming Hamas is what we all can hope for.}

    Shame on YOU. The first thing is to disarm the war criminals, baby killers, colonists and thieves, US, Israel, Britain, France, then start moving towards their servants who are put in the position of power to carry their orders, black and white. Shame. Hamas like billions of others are only victims of YOUR brutality.

    • Laurie Knightly January 31, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

      Maybe if Hamas had sophisticated weaponry, they could fight like ‘civilized’ nations – especially when supplied abundantly by amoral donors. Mass killing of victims from the air when dispossessing them of their country is the preferred type of violence. Israel came into existence with terrorists who became heads of state, Nobel prizes etc. And they sponsored Hamas at one time as a force to counter the Palestine Authority.

      • Kata Fisher February 1, 2015 at 9:31 am #

        This is what I understand:

        Israel as a “state” has done incredibly evil and illegitimate things. It shall be end to it, unless they are not corrected — but destruction falls upon them. They will submit to some legitimate Laws or will be under destruction.

        About hamas and their sophisticated weaponry:

        Establishing sophisticated military in Gaza would only mean there is a need for the establishment of peace and security in that area (within 21 first-century framework and condition of global humanity).

        There are many compartments to this one single fact.

        We do not need any sophisticated military in Gaza — what we need for Gaza is neutrality and flexibility between Egypt and Israel.

        Between Egypt and Israel, peace and security can be attained and retained for population in Gaza.

        UN can retain stability and peace between Egypt and Gaza. Tribal warfare and nonsense it will be placed into the time-pass when ever possible.

        From Biblical Perspective: There is no need for People in Gaza to liberate them selfs of anything.

        Their ancestors allowed all kinds illigitimate tribels into Israel and did all kind of evil things just by that, and prophets of God could only watch on.

        Now, it is anoter point in time when God Himself does mixing of the Tribes in Israel– by any means that He wants.

        We say, “God will allow anything and He will allow nothing.”

  21. Kata Fisher January 31, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    “Shame on YOU. The first thing [ “HAMAS”] is to disarm the war criminals, baby killers, colonists and thieves, US, Israel, Britain, France, then start moving towards their servants who are put in the position of power to carry their orders, black and white. Shame. Hamas like billions of others are only victims of YOUR brutality.”

    My persona note to you: Hello! Hello…H-A-L-O hear unto thy-self! Ohhhh…Ohhhh…Ohhhh…

    How ridicules of you to expect of girl such demands?

    Hamas? Do it yourself! Bu what are you up to? Ohhh…hiding in just silly places like a covered up girl? Jokes on you! Legitimately.

    • Kata Fisher January 31, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

      I have a reflection:

      I say to you: Baptism in God’s Spirit, and ordination — and strip off whomever God Himself make you strip of?

      “I AM” and God Himself is appointed to strip you all of — but He will do that WHEN- EVER?

  22. Laurie Knightly January 31, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    To Richard:
    Matthew 4:19 “Come follow me”, Jesus said, “and I will make you to be a Fisher of men.” Seems to be working………….

  23. Kata Fisher February 1, 2015 at 4:11 pm #

    A note:

    “i feel the pain of Petition For Peace – Send UN Peacekeepers To Palestine today so much…”
    – Clive Hambidge

  24. ray032 February 1, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    I was an American sniper, and Chris Kyle’s war was not my war
    Don’t make the mistake of thinking the hit movie captures the truth of the Iraq conflict. I should know. I lived it
    Garett Reppenhagen

    http://www.salon.com/2015/02/01/i_was_an_american_sniper_and_chris_kyle%E2%80%99s_war_was_not_my_war/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

    • Laurie Knightly February 2, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

      It would be interesting to know how/where Garrett got his info – while in Iraq or later. A group of us here in Portland, Or, did a weekly protest in front of a recruitment office and passed out anti war materials. Some older veterans visited schools to counter the recruiter’s misleading sales pitch and to explain what you sign on the induction forms. It must have had some effect because they closed the office and moved a considerable distance away. The massive objection to the Iraq War, however, did not deter its continuance.

      Another good article – Counterpunch, The Problem of Israel in the Modern World. by Michael Welton. Quote:

      “I am particularly interested in probing the role that religious belief and mythological systems play in dividing us from one another, fuelling irrationality and hatred of others, and dampening any spirit of self
      criticism.”

      Of course people can become divided over trivia as well.

      • ray032 February 2, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

        “I am particularly interested in probing the role that religious belief and mythological systems play in dividing us from one another, fueling irrationality and hatred of others, and dampening any spirit of self criticism.”This is similar to a comment made in RawStory this morning with this header- ‘Mike Huckabee: Gay marriage offends Christians the same way Muslims think dogs are unclean’

        For a man who thinks he’s smart enough to be President of ALL Americans, he is starting off on the wrong foot comparing a sizable segment of the Voting Public to “unclean dogs”

        Obviously, my religious beliefs and understanding of Christ’s message in the Bible is radically different than his as I commented:
        Mike Huckabee, Christ is addressing you by these words in your Bible. Obviously you don’t see them or understand them?
        And he spoke this parable to certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
        Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

        The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. (Include gay in that list) I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

        And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

        I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.
        Luke 18:9-14

        One can know the Bible, chapter and verse, by heart and not know the heart of God. Christ himself says that by the words: You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
        This people draws nigh unto me with their mouth, and honours me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
        But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
        Matthew 15

        Those words from the Book are not addressed to Atheists, but to those who claim to believe in God.

        Huckabee does not know the Truth of Christ that will set him free from his rigid ideology of self-righteousness that comes from doing it by the Book.

        According to the Genesis of the Book, in the Beginning of the human saga, God took the woman out of the man, wrapping her in a different looking arrangement of skin.
        And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
        Genesis 2:23

        Modern Medical Science confirms this Biblical account by the Scientific facts of the X & Y chromosomes. The male has both the X & Y chromosomes inside him. The female has only the X chromosome.

        When the X in the female egg unites with the X in the male sperm, a female according to the flesh is born. When the X in the female egg unites with the Y in the male sperm, a male according to the flesh is born.

        It is entirely possible and probable God left a little of each in the other, and man is made bi-sexual by the design of God who is a Spirit.

        As to doing it by the Book, there is so much in there, it is impossible for anyone to be saved doing it by the Book, because NO HUMAN can do EVERYTHING the Book requires People do. If you miss just one point, you miss it all and fail!

        Many self proclaiming Christians using the Book as a weapon against others, have not grasped the nuance in the story of the woman caught in the act of Adultery. According to the Book, the Law demanded she be stoned to Death! It’s in the Book!

        They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
        Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what do you say?
        This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he didn’t hear them.

        So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said to them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
        And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

        And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
        When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said to her, Woman, where are those your accusers? has no man condemned you?
        She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I condemn you: go, and sin no more.
        John 8

        The Book says, But the scripture has concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
        But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up to the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
        Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by Faith.
        But after that Faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

        For you are ALL the Children of God by Faith in Christ Jesus.
        For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

        There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
        Galatians 3:28

        Christ is the Spirit of God revealed in the man Jesus. In that Spirit, if there is no male or female, is it carnal flesh perception or Spiritual, to subdivide male and female even further into homo and hetro?

      • Laurie Knightly February 3, 2015 at 11:03 am #

        In Ray’s biblical lesson, he cites the Pharisee who gives thanks that he is a decent person as opposed to the publican [a ruthless tax collector working in behalf of the elites] who smites his breast and states that he’s a sinner. The latter is considered the good guy according to Ray et al. The former is doomed. If Chris Kyle did a few smites, he should be OK. The Pharisees immersed themselves in study and scholarly debate as opposed to their opposition. They did not close their minds – rather impressive both then and now.

        The New Testament is a plan to exterminate humanity – except for very few people. 144,000? No document in human history states the degree of cruelty existent in all Semitic scriptures.

        I would not think that such sadistic teachings would be included in a blog with ‘justice’ in its title. I cannot participate where women are denigrated/subjugated/brutalized, slavery is permissible, all leaders exist because God chooses them, people are told to save nothing for tomorrow, disobedient children are beaten/stoned to death, thoughts equal deeds, limbs of sinners are to be severed [this last is approved by Jesus in Matthew 18], evil is not to be resisted,
        blood sacrifice approved, etc etc etc…………

        Among you be it.

      • ray032 February 3, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

        Laurie, I’m trying to make some kind of reasonable sense to your reply to my comment. It appears to me to be borderline delusional histrionics! or you have dyslexia and every word in my comment appeared opposite and inverse to you as to what it means? I’m not sure yet!

        Obviously you didn’t recognize I prefaced my comment from a read you recommended, and a specific quote that obviously stood out to you; “I am particularly interested in probing the role that religious belief and mythological systems play in dividing us from one another, fueling irrationality and hatred of others, and dampening any spirit of self criticism.”

        Right after reading your comment, I read about Mike Huckabee saying something I see as being a prime example of how “religious belief and mythological systems play in dividing us from one another, fueling irrationality and hatred of others, and dampening any spirit of self criticism.”

        Do you not see that’s exactly what Mike Huckabee is doing by this – ‘Mike Huckabee: Gay marriage offends Christians the same way Muslims think dogs are unclean’

        http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/02/mike-huckabee-gay-marriage-offends-christians-the-same-way-muslims-think-dogs-are-unclean/

        For a man who thinks he’s smart enough to be President of ALL Americans, he is starting off on the wrong foot comparing a sizable segment of the Voting Public to “unclean dogs”

        His view comes from following certain lines in the Bible out of the tens of thousands of lines in the Book, with as many views,insights and implications – both good and evil. People pick and choose what to believe and what to ignore in that Book.

        My comment covers that part as well, but after writing “The New Testament is a plan to exterminate humanity – except for very few people. 144,000? No document in human history states the degree of cruelty existent in all Semitic scriptures.” it shows you don’t understand what you are reading or the Spirit of the letter.

        I don’t doubt you may actually believe that ridiculously absurd notion about the NEW Testament, but you conveniently ignore all the verses I chose out of the New Testament in the context of Mike Huckabee using words that serve to divide us from one another, fueling irrationality and hatred of others by comparing gays to unclean dogs,

        Then you go back to Leviticus in the OLD TESTAMENT that I agree is quite barbaric like you described. Reading Genesis 34, I think it’s terrible what the Jewish Patriarchs did to the original people living in the Promised Land some 3750 years ago, killing them and ripping them off, despite their willingness to unite as one people. It’s all recorded there like a history Book. It’s a good thing humanity has passed through those times.

        So putting Leviticus down as sadistic teachings, you come to the defense of their successors, the Pharisee who thought he was so good in his own eyes and believed God should think just like him, the same kind of thinking Mike Huckabee let out by his statement. The Pharisee considers the publican a lower life form, whom you narrowly identify as a tax collector, when ‘publicans’ would be considered the common sort of people today. Jesus was in an ongoing struggle with the establishment Jewish Leadership during the time of the occupation of the West Bank, Judea and Samaria, in Palestine 2000 years ago.

        This is from the NEW Testament:

        And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth
        Revelation 11:18

        Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.
        Revelation 12:12

        Everyone can see the Nations are angry and getting angrier. We now have evidence man is destroying this fragile habitat called earth, but do you know which wrath is which?

        Former US Officials are advocating the US give Ukraine $3 Billion of US “defensive” weapons to face Russia. They have the dual use of being “offensive” weapons at the same TIME.

        The way the media portrays ISIS, they fit the bill of the devil coming down with great wrath in Revelation 12:12.

        If these war plans are in the works now, and being implemented without the news spotlight, this world, later this year or next, might not be as pleasant as most humans hope for?

        Is it God doing it? or are men doing it? Since most people don’t believe in any God, other than money and possessions, it can only be men leading this world to WWIII/Armageddon with so many willing followers, silent in their consent?

      • Kata Fisher February 4, 2015 at 7:41 am #

        A note:

        The law of the sin is applied to the Spirt and to the Grace in the Scripture.

        What don’t you understand? Why is that done?

        You know that Law judges the sin. It becomes difficult when the law of sin judges the Word of the Spirit.

        Misreading Gospels and apostolic writings lead to believe that Christ applied Love and Grace to those who mishandled the Law and the Prophets. No such thing — not until Pentecost and ALL that were on the streets of Jerusalem could be Baptized? Not at all that all could be and were..

        He applied Law of the Spirit (within the context of Old Testament) to those who were in the law of the sin and death.

        The Law of Love and Grace was only manifested in Christ — we read the miracles in the Gospel of John (just one exsample). Were they not confused by the Law of Love and Grace, and did not know HIm?

        How long did Christ “endure” with them? He did not “endure” with them — he resisted and rejected them.

        Look: US Christianity is Christianity under the Law of sin.

        Justification by Faith alone and the Scripture alone is taken so far outside the context of the word and deeds of Apostolic Acts (first Generation Christianity).

        Ask your selfs — what is applied now?

        Very well — they will say “Church is not a Institution of Sprit and Law of the Spirit trough Jesus Christ & is not ruled by the Spirit of God and Jesus Christ”.

        We say, “Whatever!”

  25. Kata Fisher February 2, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

    A Note:

    I do not think or believe that “Mike Huckabee” is a Christian.

    Alternatively, if he is –, he is totally immature.

    Like he may be Baptized in water when, he was like 35 or like 65… in water (natural matter) that was just that… natural matter…and Sanctification by Spirt never took part — or was delayed somewhat.

    Symbols of Faith are invalid without Faith & Spirit of Faith.

    Meaning, there was no Charismatic Priest/Pastor’s Blessing of the Baptismal Waters… or there was a really late one — if was a Baptism, at all… for example of an adult that only grew up in a so-called Christan home that never was a valid Christianity.

    The Church Baptises in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God– in waters of Baptism — but Church does not Baptize in Water (as valid symbol) anyone without Authority by Spirit of God– so that Spirit of God may be imparted trough the mystery of Baptism / sanctification and authority of the Faith and Word of the Spirit. Then, after profession of Baptismal Faith, at some older age (confirmation of the Faith).

    Then, after years, and years Gifts-spiritual are developed — or just added on / imported simultaneously.

    Now, there is a legitimate Scriptural way to compare certain individuals / congregations to “hogs and dogs” – but you really can’t do that without Systematic understanding of Church Laws and Doctrine & Sacraments.

    In the Gospel, when Christ apply words such as “dog” — He applies it in the context of His ministry of Love to Gentile People and Love toward His disciples and His Word — he applies it against the wicked and against the “bigotry” of the wicked of His time/s (within the context of the Gospel — He does not apply such words in any other way).

    People who are not straight/homosexual are wonderful and very gifted individuals that actually can’t be judged by the Church-valid from the civil perspective, at all. (According to the Apostolic teaching they just can not be judged in society as a civil-minority by the Church).

    Mike Huckabee apply’s the word “Christian” — well maybe the Christians do such things as he does; however, Church Charismatic in authentic Spirit, and Mind of Christ would not.

    From the Church perspective and within the Church, homosexuality is sexual immorality — as adultery is (in mind and practice).

    The Church can not bless homosexual marriages with Church Order of Sacraments. It is illegal for the Church to do that.

    Likewise, Church can not administer Sacramental order of Communion due to sin and unconditional judgement that can be invoked anger upon ANY individual that is under any unconfessed / ignored mortal sin when they are taking part of Communion that is blessed by Church-Charismatic / Priest Charismatic and so that the Grace of the Spirit is offended, and judgement of God’s Sprit applies — not only toward one individual but entire Church..

    The Church can not excommunicate homosexual individual — the Church is responsible for Spiritual condition of their members — but Church can not forbid civil marriages that are illegal for Church to bless. If civil marriage of the homosexual individual takes place — Church can not excommunicate without a full council to the member.

    In order for Church to excommunicate homosexual — that person would have to be Charismatic-Church individual who is willingly (in his/her will and conscience) in a continuous sexual immoral relationship within the Church — against the Orders and Sacraments. Anything else would be illegal for the Church to do.

    In general, Church can not excommunicate no one who is not already Charismatic and is continuously committing grave sins within the Church. Full ministry of the Church has to be, first — no rejection of any mature and not fully informed members.

    However, yes, homosexual couples may not be excommunicated from Church fellowship when in a civil marriage but not Charismatic-Church — or they must be Baptised in Spirit / Baptism in God’s Spirit — if they are Charismatic and in no repentance brings on excomunication.

    They were/ are already Spiritually excommunicated — and that has to be fully addressed prior to actual “natural excommunication”.

    However, no, Church can not advise or force one to undergo treatments that may change one’s sexual orientation — that is illegal for the Church. Removal of any sin, or sinful nature is Sanctification process under the Spirit of God. Church can only guide Sanctification — that process under Authority of the Spirit. Church has full authority to restrict grave offense against that Sanctification process.. It is as illegal for the Church as forcing one to be defiled by the Church illegal rituals.

    From the civil perspective homosexuality is a public choice / civil right – just as there is a choice to have more than one wife — like 2-4 wives during a lifetime for a “Christian”.

    I really would not love to write some Church Doctrine on this subject because it would be a lot — that would be way too much for me to go about based on Catholic-Church-perspective.

    Still, I hope this short summary is helpful.

    • Kata Fisher February 2, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

      A note:

      I was thinking on this:

      And we can ask why do they break the command (direct commandments of the Gospel) of God for the sake of their tradition? Their teaching and doctrines are precepts of men / their teachings are merely human rules.

      Their traditions are their own made up rules… without any legit base of commandments…

      I was just chewing on this for a while…

      One only keeps traditions for the sake of the commandments…

      Look and see what a fun-thing to think on…from Church perspective about contemporary Christianity.

      • Gene Schulman February 3, 2015 at 1:50 am #

        Eastwood’s movie is not much different than the first war propaganda movie I ever saw. That was Sgt. York, with Gary Cooper back in 1941¨ The story is about a war hero in WWI who killed and captured a lot of Germans. It was based on a real life character, a religious fundamentalist who heard voices telling him what to do. (Kata and Ray would have loved it.) Of course it was geared to audiences in America to show that the Germans were once again on the march, and that we could stop them again. American jingoism with Christ on our side. I suppose at ten years of age I thought it was heroic, and Cooper became a star. But, in retrospect, I see it as nothing but the same kind of propaganda we’re being fed today. Hollywood was a master of it in those days.

        Finally, I cannot say goodbye without wondering how this blog can still tolerate the crap Kata and Ray032 keep posting here. These people are serious candidates for psychiatric help.

  26. James Williamson February 3, 2015 at 1:26 am #

    Reblogged this on Jbarronw's Weblog and commented:
    Add another great review and analysis, along with Chris Hedge’s and Matt Taibbi’s, of the right-wing propaganda film, “American Sniper.”

  27. Kata Fisher February 3, 2015 at 7:06 am #

  28. Kata Fisher February 3, 2015 at 9:27 am #

    I just love this song…

  29. Gene Schulman February 5, 2015 at 6:33 am #

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40890.htm How bloody embarrassing can Americans get?

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