True Religion is not the Problem!



December 1, 2006

For years I have listened to atheists, agnostics, and assorted other critics of “religion,” blame religion for wars, famines, pestilences, or anything else that had an unpleasant connotation. “True” religion is not to blame for any of these problems, but I do agree that “False” religion or “No” Religion are often the true culprits behind many of the basic problems of the world.

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The three majority sects of “false” religion in Lebanon are Shiite Muslims, Sunni Muslims, and Maronites. Maronites are Eastern Rite Catholics. Their heritage reaches back to Maroun in the early 5th century.

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The first Maronite patriarch, John Maroun, was appointed in the late 7th century.

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Today, they are one of the principal religious groups in Lebanon.

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Maronites were originally Aramaic-speaking people. Since the 18th century AD, they have been Arabic-speaking, though, like most Lebanese people, their ethnic background is a mix of Phoenician, Aramaean/Assyrian, Ghassanids (Arab), Greek, Roman, and French Crusaders. All three of these false sects of religion are now in a plucking contest for power over the chicken. They do not meet the Bible qualification for “true religion.” Of course, I favor the Maronites, but only as the lesser of three evils. Eventually they will all get into the same bed to attack the nation of Israel. It is the spotted character

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istics of false religionists that produce the fatherless and widows, as well as their affliction.

James 1:27 – Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

The three articles from the Jerusalem Post, Boston Globe, and YNet News, which follow, give the latest on the Lebanese Looney Tunes Parades.


Article One

800,000 Hizbullah Supporters protesting in Beirut

Associated Press, THE JERUSALEM POST

December 1, 2006
At least 800,000 flag-waving protesters from Hizbullah and its pro-Syrian allies descended on downtown Beirut on Friday in a peaceful but noisy protest to force the resignation of Western-backed Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, who was holed up in his office ringed by hundreds of police and combat troops.

The protesters, which police estimated at 800,000, created a sea of Lebanese flags that blanketed downtown. Hizbullah officials put the number at least 1 million – one-fourth of Lebanon’s population.

“This is by far the largest gathering in Lebanese history,” Hizbullah official Sheik Hassan Izzedine told The Associated Press.

The prime minister went about his schedule, in what appeared to be a tactic to ignore the throngs who quickly began filling the streets and squares before the demonstration was set to begin later Friday afternoon. As heavy traffic was reported on highways leading to downtown, pro-government factions continued to urge supporters for calm.

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“I wish that the prime minister and his ministers were among us today, not hiding behind barbed wire and army armored carriers. He who has his people behind him does not need barbed wire,” Michel Aoun, a Lebanese Christian leader and Hizbullah ally, told a crowd.

The Shi’ite Muslim Hizbullah and its allies mobilized their bases for the afternoon protest, arranging to bus supporters from all over Lebanon to downtown Beirut and handing out free gasoline coupons to people in remote regions.

“Saniora Out!” “We want a free government!” protesters shouted through loudspeakers, and the crowd roared in approval amid the deafening sound of Hizbullah revolutionary and nationalist songs. “We want a clean government,” read one placard, in what has become the opposition’s motto.

Heavily armed soldiers and police closed all roads leading to the sprawling Prime Ministry building that overlooks the demonstration site.

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They unfurled barbed wire and placed barricades to prevent any protests from spilling over into the stone-walled historic building during what some newspapers billed as the “great showdown” between the government and the opposition.

Hizbullah’s security men formed two lines between the protesters and the security forces to prevent clashes.

Although there have been assurances by organizers of a peaceful demonstration, the stringent security measures came amid fears that the protests may turn into street clashes between pro- and anti-Syrian factions or that Hizbullah supporters could try to storm Saniora’s government headquarters.

Tension already was running high between Sunni Muslims, who generally support the anti-Syrian government, and Shiites, who lead the pro-Syrian opposition, and Lebanon’s Christians, who are divided between the two.

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In a stark sign of the divide, the spiritual leader of Lebanon’s Sunnis, Grand Mufti Mohammed Rashid Kabbani, gave Friday prayers at the Prime Ministry in a show of support for Saniora, a Sunni.

“Fear has gripped the Lebanese,” Kabbani said, appealing for the protests to end. “The constitution guarantees freedom of expression, but trying to overthrow the government in the street is a call for stirring up discord among people, and we will not accept this.”

Launching a long-threatened campaign to force Lebanon’s US-backed government from office, Hizbullah and its allies said the mass demonstration would be followed by a wave of open-ended protests.

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But a defiant Saniora vowed his government would not fall, warning in a nationally televised speech Thursday night that “Lebanon’s independence is threatened and its democratic system is in danger.”

Ironically, Saniora asked Lebanese to show support by raising the Lebanese flag on their windows and balconies. Hizbullah’s leader also called on protesters to also carry the same banner, the national red and white flag with the historic Cedar tree in its middle.

But both camps seemed wide apart on what kind of Lebanon they want.

Government supporters accuse Syria of being behind the Hizbullah campaign, trying to regain its lost influence in its smaller neighbor. Hezbollah and its allies, in turn, say the country has fallen under US domination and that they have lost their rightful portion of power.

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Hizbullah had threatened to call for the demonstrations unless it and its allies obtain a veto-wielding share of the Cabinet – a demand that Saniora and the anti-Syrian parties have rejected. The aim of the protests is to generate enough popular pressure to further paralyze the government, forcing it to step down.

Hizbullah ‘s deputy leader, Sheik Naim Kassim, made it clear the fight is against “American tutelage” and said the protest action will continue until the government falls.

The United States has made Lebanon a key front in its attempts to rein in Syria and its ally, regional powerhouse Iran. US President George W. Bush warned earlier this week that the two countries were trying to destabilize Lebanon.

Hizbullah’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, called for the protests to be peaceful.

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From the other camp, the head of the anti-Syrian bloc in parliament, Saad Hariri, said his supporters should not hold counter-demonstrations.

Lebanon has witnessed a string of assassinations of anti-Syrian figures over the past two years, including a prominent Christian government minister gunned down last week and Hariri’s father, former prime minister Rafik Hariri, who was killed in a February 2005 bomb blast.

The battle is a fallout from the summer war between Hizbullah and Israel that ravaged parts of Lebanon. The guerrilla force’s resistance against the IDF sent its support among Shiites skyrocketing, emboldening it to grab more political power. Hizbullah also feels Saniora did not do enough to support it during the fight.

Pro-government groups, in turn, resent Hizbullah for sparking the fight by snatching two IDF soldiers, dragging Lebanon into war with Israel.

Article 2

Hizballah Demands More Government Power in Lebanon

Chanassis Hambanis

Emboldened by this summer’s war with Israel, the radical Islamist Hizballah has gone on the political offensive inside Lebanon, determined either to replace or to bring down the pro-American government. Hizballah and an allied Christian political party led by Gen. Michel Aoun are demanding a government reshuffle that would give them more positions – and would in effect give Hizballah veto power over any legislation. They have threatened to boycott the government or try to bring it down through strikes and street demonstrations if they don’t get more posts.

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U.S. officials say that by gaining veto power, Hizballah would paralyze the government, extend Syrian influence over Lebanon, and ruin Lebanon’s prospects to rebuild.

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(Boston Globe)

Article 3

Hizballah Could Take Power within Five Years

Roee Nahmias

Hizballah could definitely take power in Lebanon within a few years…even within five years,” said Dr. Boaz Ganor, deputy dean of the Lauder School of Government and Diplomacy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya and executive director of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism. (Ynet News)

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