Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: America

Thou shall not forgive

There are Christians who think they have to forgive whatever crimes may be committed against them because Jesus Christ said so. Jesus Christ spoke of mercy and forgiveness but not in all cases.
When Jesus Christ spoke about forgiveness it was not about murder, abetment to murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, false claim to have committed murder in order to mislead police and judiciary and/or to debunk and discredit death penalty, threat to murder, abduction, acid throwing, threat to throw acid, banditry, character assassination, highway robbery, hijacking, kidnapping, double rape, repeat rape, gang rape, revenge porn, transmission and/or uploading of nude pictures to cause damage to someone and such high crimes.
There were contexts for what Jesus Christ spoke.
When Peter asked Jesus “How many times shall I forgive my brother? Seven times?” Jesus replied “Seventy times seven.” Andrew was Peter’s brother and an Apostle of Jesus. He was not the one who caused great trouble to Peter.
Jesus said “All sins will be forgiven but sins against Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” Some sins like arson to churches, massacre in churches, murder of a priest, rape of a nun, qualify as sins against Holy Spirit.
When questioned about paying tax to Caesar Jesus said “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, give unto God what is God’s.” It is wrong for religious leaders to tread into the realm of government and oppose death penalty for murder and high crimes.
The prayer Our Father has a sentence “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” People who have not committed murder and other high crimes do not have to forgive criminals who have committed murder and other high crimes.
When Jesus was on the cross he said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” This was about the people who did not know him but had joined those who were making fun of Jesus.
There is no mention of Jesus forgiving Judas, Annas, Caiphas and Jewish leaders who were against him. He said to Pilate “The sin of one who has handed over me to you is great.”
Jesus talked of turning the other cheek when someone slapped but did not turn the other cheek when someone, a soldier or a guard, slapped him during the trial before Sanhedrin. He said “If I have said something wrong, prove it. If I have said something right why do you strike me?”
Jesus was not happy at the cities that rejected him. He said “Woe to you Chorazain and woe to you Bethsaida… And Capernaum, though highly honoured shall go down to hell…”
Jesus was harsh in his criticism of Scribes and Pharisees. He called them hypocrites, whitewashed tombs and so on.
Jesus overturned the tables of moneylenders and drove away merchants at the Temple. He wanted to maintain the holiness of the Temple. Massacre of people gathered in church by a racial terrorist is worse than trade at Temple. Jesus did not forgive the traders at the Temple.
It was foolish for persons who lost their family members in Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church massacre by white racial terrorist Dylann Roof 17/6/2015. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was right in demanding death penalty to the terrorist. In case of murder only the dead person has the right to forgive and for that the murderer shall be executed and sent to the other world to seek forgiveness.
Whites are reluctant to admit some of them can be terrorists. They give excuses like mental sickness.
USA should ban National Rifle Association for opposing gun control and facilitating terrorism. If NRA members resist they should be put in jail. Blaming the victims for crimes is wrong. It was wrong for NRA member Charles Cotton to blame slain pastor and Democratic state Senator Clementa Pinckney for opposing concealed handguns in churches. Gifting guns and other firearms should be banned. Dylann Roof had got .45 calibre handgun as 21st birthday present from his father.
A new commandment for Christians is as below:
Thou shall not forgive racial, religious or any other terrorism, massacre in a church or school or other place, murder, abetment to murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, false claim to have committed murder in order to mislead police and judiciary and/or to debunk and discredit death penalty, threat to murder, abduction, acid throwing, threat to throw acid, banditry, character assassination, highway robbery, hijacking, kidnapping, double rape, repeat rape, gang rape, rape of a nun, arson of a church, revenge porn, transmission and/or uploading of nude pictures to cause damage to someone and such high crimes.

Coalition of the killing

On 10/9/2014 on Al Jazeera there was a discussion on ISIS also known as ISIL, IS or Caliphate.  Phyllis Bennis referred to John Kerry’s plan to put together a coalition of the willing as a coalition of the killing.  She said in American media the beheadings of two American journalists have been portrayed as danger to all Americans instead of American journalists who go to Iraq and Syria.  The beheading of six ISIS fighters including one American by so-called moderate Free Syrian Army has not been reported except by New York Times in an article in an inside page.  USA by air strikes in Iraq took part in a civil war on the side of Kurdish Peshmerga and Shias against Sunni ISIS.

Later Barack Obama said “We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.  America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.”

Calling ISIS a terrorist threat is ignoring the reality that it is a state.  It fulfils four conditions needed for a state: population, territory, government, sovereignty.

The condemnation of ISIS by Arab League sounds hollow.  Many of these countries had supported ISIS.  They supplied it with money and arms and trained them.  Some Americans had warned against arming rebel forces in Syria as they were full of people who hated America. Those warning were ignored by American government.

The coalition seems doomed.  A Turkish official said “Turkey will not be involved in any armed operation but will entirely concentrate on humanitarian operation.”  Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman do not want ISIS to fail.  They do not want to offend USA.  They are likely to play on both sides as Pakistan did in America’s War on Terror in Afghanistan.

ISIS had driven out Christians, Yazidis, and Shias from the territories they had conquered.  But US air strikes were ostensibly to protect Americans in Erbil, also known as Arbil or Irbil.  There were 40 consular staff and 100 American soldiers in Erbil.  If any other country had done such a thing there would have been condemnation.

USA’s involvement in Afghanistan has been a disaster.  Soldiers trained by Americans have killed American soldiers.  The attacks are known as green on blue attacks.  If Taliban continues to thrive in Afghanistan it is partly because of Pakistan and partly because of protection money given to Taliban by suppliers who supply goods to Americans.  Money given for projects for development in Afghanistan went to private accounts of Afghan officials in UAE.  Similar situation is likely to arise in Iraq and Syria.

Afghanistan is in a mess.  Presidential election dispute is not resolved.  Afghan Constitution does not grant freedom of religion.  Any Muslim who changes religion can be sentenced to death.

Libya is in a mess.  Most embassies are closed and foreigners have left.  Different factions control different parts of Libya.

ISIS operated in Syria for a long time.  When it marched into Iraq and captured Mosul it grabbed worldwide attention.  For USA and allies they were freedom fighters in Syria.  In Iraq they became terrorists.

Many EU countries have recession.  Sanctions against Russia have resulted in counter-sanctions.  Russia stopped buying fruits, vegetables and meat from EU countries.  ISIS is not a threat to them.

UK is a willing and killing partner in USA’s invasion.  There is referendum in Scotland on independence on 18/9/2014.  Opinion polls show 51% Yes vote.  Many British politicians are worried.  Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberal Party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and Labour Party leader David Milliband had gone to Scotland to campaign for No vote.  Some British Muslims are in ISIS.  UK has a problem if they return.

ISIS would not have executed American journalists if they had got ransom.  Many Europeans journalists were released after ISIS received millions of euros in ransom.  For James Foley’s release ISIS is said to have demanded 100 million euros as ransom.  USA had a commando operation to rescue him which did not succeed.

There are attempts to win over Sunni tribal leaders in Iraq by USA.  It is done by offering money for switching sides.  In the past USA had been successful.  However when the money stops tribal leaders switch sides again.

With the rise of ISIS, Al Qaeda has faded into insignificance.  Ayman Al-Zawahiri’s statement of jihad in Indian sub-continent is an attempt to show Al-Qaeda still matters.

Vladimir Putin has warned against air strikes on ISIS in Syria without Syrian government’s permission has violation of Syria’s sovereignty.  If USA goes ahead with air strikes without permission Russia can counter USA in Syria or attack Ukraine.

In Nigeria also there is a caliphate, established by Boko Haram which had kidnapped more than 200 girls.  Not much is known about the whereabouts of the girls.

Trayvon Martin case

In USA in a black versus white case looking at the composition of jury one can foretell the verdict. If the majority of the jury is white the verdict goes in favour of white person. That happened in Rodney King case. If the majority of the jury is black the verdict goes in favour of black person. That happened in O. J. Simpson case. When the jury for Trayvon Martin case was constituted it was obvious it will be in favour of the white person George Zimmerman as his father was white though he claimed he was Hispanic because his mother was Hispanic. The jury consisted of five white women and one woman who was half black and half Hispanic. Added to that most prosecution witnesses were white who said things that favoured defence. If the jury had consisted five black women and one woman who was half white and half Hispanic the verdict would have been George Zimmerman guilty of murder. If three women had been black and three white there would have been deadlock. The judge was white and her instruction to jury was in favour of white person.
Florida and some states have stand your ground law which allows a person to kill in self-defence. It was meant to protect oneself from burglars or in cases of attack. It was not for following someone, picking up a fight and killing him.
George Zimmerman had shot dead Trayvon Martin on 26/2/2012. Trayvon Martin was walking alone. The police had told George Zimmerman not to follow Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin, picked up a fight, shot him dead, and claimed it was in self-defence. The verdict outraged many Americans. There were protests in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities. One black protestor said it was back to the ‘50s when white persons thought “It is okay to kill a black person.” There was no violence unlike Rodney King case.
Civil Rights leaders have called the murder of Trayvon Martin a hate crime. Jesse Jackson talked of taking the case to next level.
USA should do away with jury system. Judges should deliver verdicts. For that the legislators should amend the constitution as original Article III prescribes that the Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury.

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