Saturday, January 28, 2006
In a recent interview about his film about the tragic terrorist murder of Israeli athletes during the 72 Munich Olympics, Steven Spielberg says, "It saddens me to see how narrow-minded and dogmatic some of the right-wing fundamentalists here in the USA are. . . .I do not claim to be providing a peace plan for the Middle East with my film. But is that a reason to leave it all to the great simplifiers? Jewish extremists and Palestinian extremists who to this day regard any form of negotiated solution in the Middle East as some kind of betrayal?" Is it possible he's right, that the best path for peace between Palistinian Jews and Arabs would be at negotiating table? Is there no dogmatic solution?
Liberal Jews (and all other liberals) don't accept Scripture, including the Old Testament, literally, that is, grammatically and historically. Since they reject Scripture, except as some kind of allegorical moral self-help book, they make decisions based on pragmatic and subjective human reasoning, not rooted in any objective truth. Because of this, they think that all sorts of behavior should be justified and tolerated. This leads to this search to understand the possible justification of an act of terrorism, leading to a kind of moral equivalence between the murdered and the murderers.
Joshua, Saul, David, and Solomon, for instance, could and did know that God wanted them to expel all the Canaanites from the land, primarily through military conquest. By the time that era of Palestinian history was complete, instead of doing what God said, Israel attempted to do exactly what modern day Israel is trying to do, live together in harmony with diverse cultures, relinquishing the purity that God demanded, as well as His protection. Peace comes from agreement upon and the enforcement of God's revealed Truth. If God wishes Israel to take and keep all the land and expel everyone else, then that is the way of peace. Because the Arab side says that they deserve the land, or part of it, doesn't mean they do. If Israel is supposed to have and keep it all, then she should, even if it means ejecting anyone from her land that doesn't agree. Someone may call that extremist, but that doesn't make it so.
This last week, Oprah used an entire show to slam an author she had recommended for her book club for making up (lying about) major features of his non-fiction self-help book. What does it matter whether one needs to take it literally as long as it helps people? And what is the truth? Can anyone really decide that? Oprah says her standard is truth, so she was betrayed by this author. Is Oprah an extremist? Since truth is relative to what works, shouldn't we just say that this author told the truth to the people he helped? The truth about God and God's Truth about everything, the Bible, is even more important. If believing it and practicing it makes someone an extremist in the temporal world, but a victor with God and in eternity, then so be it.