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Complete Introductions Collection 1 - Chapter 8

Ben Huot

June 28, 2011

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Table of Contents

Chapter 8

New Lessons Continue

8.1 Religion and History

8.1.1 Middle East, Africa, and Christianity

African Origins

Many consider the Middle East, to be part of Asia, but the more I study about Africa and the Middle East, the more similar they seem. Biblically, Ham is African and the major descendants are Mizraim (Egypt, North Africa, and Crete/Philistines), Canaan (Modern Israel), Cush (Ethiopia), and Put (Central and Southern Africa). It is likely that the Garden of Eden is in Central Africa and modern genetics can trace the origin of people, back to Central and South Africa.

Genetically, it seems early humans travelled from Central Africa, to North Africa and the Middle East (likely through Ethiopia, across the Red Sea). Linguistically, based on archeology, it is most likely that the major Middle Eastern languages like Aramaic, Syriac, and Arabic were descendants of languages, that originated in Ethiopia. Also, North Africa was a huge forest, about 10,000 years ago, and most people lived there, before they migrated to Egypt, once the Sahara turned into a desert, due to a 1 degree shift, in the Earth's orbit.

Race and Skin Color

Interesting enough, there is no Biblical evidence that the descendants of Ham were all black and color and race are not necessarily related. This is very evident in the Middle East and in Libya, where you cannot tell if someone is from the Middle East based solely on skin color. And in America, people don't ask you first, where you are from, before they discriminate against you, but rather discriminate racially, against anyone with darker skin, whether Latino, African, Indian, Native American, or South/Southeast Asian.

That is why dividing people into groups, like African American and Latin-American make little sense, since there are white people from Africa, there are both light skinned and dark skinned Latinos, and I wouldn't be surprised, if they are treated very differently. Also, if anyone in America that is black is called African American, then why aren't white Americans called European Americans, and what do you call someone, born in Africa, who emigrated to the United States? - they likely have more in common, with recent immigrants, from other parts of the world, than black Americans. Also, much of the world outside America is biased, against people, with darker skin.

African History

Africa was also connected, to the Middle East, via trade, for centuries. Islam spread in Africa, mostly through traders, which one of their major commodities was the sale of human slaves. The Swahili trade language, common in East Africa, is derived from Arabic. The major areas that Islam spread most successfully were in East Africa and just South of the Sahara desert, along what were both referred to as the "shorelines" (of the Sahara Desert and of the Indian Ocean). Up until the Ottoman Empire began to lose its power in the region, the Ottomans had the most political influence in Africa. It was because of the power vacuum, that happened once the Ottoman Empire left in Africa, that lead to Europeans moving in to colonize Africa.

The reason for the lack of stability, in any modern African country, and the common political situation being dictators, running the countries, that keep in power, due to the wealth gained, from mining, is due to the Europeans leaving, during the early Cold War, so quickly and not providing a smooth transition, to independent rule. Later, during the Cold War, Russia tried to befriend many of the new nations, but the US knew they would never leave and so many in Africa blame both the US and Europe, for their situation, but is is a little more complex than that.

Christianity in Africa

We often think of Christianity as coming into Africa, via white missionaries, from Europe and America, but this is not very accurate. Some of the very earliest Christians were in Egypt, North Africa, and Ethiopia, long before most of Europe became Christian. Ethiopia even practiced Judaism, before even the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon, and the most logical explanation, as to where the Ark of the Covenant went, is Ethiopia, as well. Much of the early doctrine, of the Church, was formed in Alexandria and North Africa (including such famous theologians as Augustine). Most of those who were recently converted, in Africa, were converted by fellow African prophets, that often came back, from slavery, in America.

There is a common saying about Christianity and Africa, that goes something like this: When the Europeans came, we had the land and they had the Bible. We closed our eyes and prayed. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land. Some of the biggest Churches in Africa are Catholic, Anglican, and the AICs. It is likely that there are more Africans, who are members of the Church of England, than there are in America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand combined.

The AICs are the fastest growing churches, in Africa. They are often called African Independent Churches and often take their inspiration, from the Ethiopian Church. They have no connection, to any Churches in America or Europe. They follow the Bible well, but very differently, than we do, in America. They are very often supernaturally aware (one of the greatest fears in the African churches is witchcraft) and often follow many of the laws of the Old Testament.

Future of Religion in Africa

The US once feared that communism would take over Africa, but that is very unlikely, because not only is Christianity very compatible with African traditions, most Africans are extremely religious, and it would be hard to be atheist and still be part of the tribal community. Even as more and more Africans move into cities, religion is still fundamental for the average African. Many Africans are proud of being African and actually feel sorry for Americans, because of how most Americans, even though rich in material wealth, are poor in spiritual knowledge.

Africa will likely be the center of Christianity and fulfill an important prophetical role, for a long time to come. Christianity outnumbers Islam 2 to 1, is growing faster than Islam, is culturally relevant in more countries and regions, and Islam had over a thousand years head start. There are now more Africans sending missionaries to Europe, then the other way around. There are also a number of American Anglican preachers being ordained, by bishops in Africa, to avoid having to accept liberal social values, like gay marriage (because of recent decisions by some American Anglican leaders).

8.1.2 How Greek Philosophy Influenced Christianity

How Greek Culture Came to the Middle East

The Greek language and culture first came, into the Middle East, via the conquest of Alexander the Great (who was educated by Aristotle) and the setting up of Greek centers, in a few cities, throughout his empire. When the Roman Empire took over the Middle East, it reinforced this Greek culture. Greek became the international language of scholars and of those in major cities. The elite spoke Greek, while Aramaic was spoken in the higher interior lands and Hebrew was spoken in the lowlands. Syriac was an important dialect of Aramaic, which became the scholarly language, of the medieval era, in the Middle East.

Much of this land was traded back and forth, between the Persian and the Roman Empires, depending on the success, of the current military campaigns, of each side. Persia was slowed down, by having to fight the Mongols, on their eastern borders. Rome was an opportunist and took more and more territory, as situations opened up, but only became a world power once they were able, to take over Egypt and the Middle East, which had a very lucrative trade based economy.

How the Church became Greek

The chief proponent, of Greek culture, was the Christian Church, that was based on the open and international center of scholarship, in Alexandria. Greek philosophy was considered, to work well, with Christianity, because all the scholars were raised in a Greek culture and they outnumbered the Jewish converts. Early Christians' worldview was that philosophy supersedes religion, as they were obsessed with explaining theology, in a rational manner.

From the Greek point of view, religion progressed in 3 stages: first there were pure rituals, second came moral agency, and the third step was speculative philosophy. The Greek view on Christianity was, that everything was guided, by a philosophically based theology, that set about a higher rational purpose: to explain the problems of existence. Morality was based on the speculation, as to the human place, in the universe, duty was involved in our reason for existence as well, and that rituals are the expressions of morality, based on doctrine. Basically, both ritual and law came out of a rationally explained reality.

Rivalry between Christians and Jews

The main rivalry, of the time, that shaped later religious debate, in the Middle East, was started, with the rivalry, between Judaism and Christianity. Many, of the early persecution, of Christians, was pushed, by Jewish zealots, and their influence, upon the political powers, that be. Just as Christians were opening themselves up, to a wider world and embracing new ideas, the Jewish community decided to take the opposite approach.

The Jewish community started a reformation, that pushed for increased focus on rituals and the law and the separation, between the Jewish people, and outsiders. The Jewish community went back to an earlier, more conservative era, while Christians decided, to be progressive, and embrace a more open future. This early persecution was one of the major causes, for the spread of Christianity, beyond the confines, of the Roman Empire.

Why Reject Greek Philosophy?

The problem. with the Greek view. of Christianity. is that it is based on a pagan world view. This comes. from an intellectual approach, to Christianity, based on the flawed understanding, of the relationship, between the rational and the mystical, in the Biblical tradition. The universe and humanity are designed by a rational Creator, but we can only understand Him, by faith, because all the Biblical doctrines are based on the concept of paradox. Just because God is rational does not mean we can explain Who God is, or our relationship, with Him, relying on reason alone.

Christianity, from a Biblical point of view, is not going to be accepted, by those who are elite intellectuals, because the only way, that we can understand God, who is a mystery to us, is by faith, in what we cannot explain. The Bible gets both those who are obsessed with supernatural power and those, who are believers in human wisdom angry, because it shows clearly, that they are both wrong.

The Bible is a sore point, to non-believers, because they cannot reduce it down, to what they can accept, from an emotional, or rational human point of view. The Bible requires, that we first humble ourselves, before God and are saved, not through what we know, or what we can do, but based almost entirely, upon what God has done for us and gives us freely.

Starting from Scratch

This means, that accepting Christ, as our Savior, means giving up doing things our own way and, so we no longer get to receive credit, for what we have done. We give up everything, when we come to God and He then gives us everything. What separates us from God is not unforgivable sin, but our pride, in our own abilities.

Just like when die, we give up all earthly possessions, so, to before being born again, we first give up doing things, our own way. We have to start all over again, in Christ, after we have spent many years accumulating earthly success. The reason why Christianity is so popular amongst the physically weak, materially poor, and persecuted is that there is less for them to give up.

8.1.3 Unknown Religions

Forgotten Religions

Major world belief systems have had different times, in history, where they were at their peak, much as countries have, as well. Buddhism, for instance, peaked, at about a thousand years ago, and Islam has likely peaked, within the last couple hundred years, while it will likely take Christianity another hundred years, to peak (mainly depending on the growth of Christianity in China and the (resurgence) in the US, as well as how the situation evolves in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia).

Some of the major religions, of the past, are not as relevant today. Two of these religions were popular, along the Silk Road, during the Asian Golden Age: Zoroastrianism and Manicheanism. We still have Christian histories, covering this period, as Christianity was also very popular, in this part of the world, in this time period, as well. Today, very few people practice either of these religions, although the very popular Kabbalah likely shares much in common, with these religions.

Origins or Zoroastrianism

The Zoroastrian origins are highly debated, but these early Christians were convinced, of the commonly held belief, that Zoroastrianism went, at least as far back, as to when the Jewish people were taken captive, by the Medes and Persians (Iran). This was about the same time, as the Old Testament prophet Daniel lived. Zoroastrians were famous for their fire temples.

The three wisemen, who came a few years, after the birth of Christ, to deliver expensive gifts, following the star, over Bethleham, were likely Zoroastrian priests. Ancient Persia and ancient India had some very similar religious ideas, one of which was an aversion to writing, which helps explain why there is so little evidence, of exactly when Zoroaster lived, or when the Vedas were first composed.

Zoroastrianism and Christianity

Zoroastrianism is described, by early Christians, in Iran, to be a combination of astrology, sun and star worship, and the indigenous pagan religions of ancient Assyria and Babylon. Also, Christians were persecuted, by the Zoroastrians much like they were, under Islam, or the Jews were, during the Medieval Period, in Europe. Zoroastrians were forbidden, from converting, from Zoroastrianism, to any other religion and Christians were made, to pay higher taxes.

Often, their bishops were prohibited from traveling, to their congregations, or proselytizing, and there were even officially recognized persecutions. The pope of the Persian Church was appointed, by the Shah-in-Shah (King of Kings of Persia), the priests were paid by the Persian government, and the members of the church there were required, to follow the rules, of the church, that they were members of.

But the Church was encouraged to split, by the government, as it was thought to weaken the Church. The state involvement in the Church was so accepted, by the Persian Christians, that they would not all accept a new Pope, until he was approved by the Shah-in-Shah and Christians leaders often used their connection, with powerful Zoroastrians, to help them change Church rules and doctrine.

Practices that Angered Zoroastrians

When Rome first legalized Christianity, things went down hill, for Christians, in Persia, as they were thought, to be disloyal, as the official religion of Persia was Zoroastrianism, and Christianity was always in the minority, in terms of followers. The things, that really upset the Zoroastrian priests (Magi) the most were the burying of dead bodies and the popularity, of taking vows, of chastity, amongst the Christian population.

The Church later encouraged Christians, to marry, and have children, as they found it difficult to find new converts, due to the legal situation. Christianity was popular amongst the artists and craftsmen, the nobles, and the best doctors will usually Christians as well. This also angered the Zoroastrians. The Persian Church successfully spread the Gospel further, along the Silk Road, all the way through Central Asia, to China and India (in areas that presently are some of the most hostile to Christianity).

Church of the East

Many people think that the Persian Church was part of the Antioch Church (which is modern day Beirut, Lebanon), but, although they did use the Syriac language, from the rural areas of Syria (Greek was spoken in Antioch originally), they formed their own Church, called the East Syrian Church, Nestorian Church (although they disagreed with the Nestorian heresy), or Church of the East. The center, of the Church of the East, was Ctesiphon/Seleucia, which was near, what is now Baghdad, Iraq and also near Babylon (of the tower of Babel and the Babylonian Empire). The reason for the various heads of the church (Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, Rome, and Ctesiphon/Seleucia) was due to the heads of each empire wanting one head Christian, to be a kind of ambassador, representing all Christians in the empire, so the King could easily communicate new laws, for all Christians.

Things got really confusing, as to whether the churches, on the borderlands, were under the control of Antioch or Ctesiphon/Seleucia, at any given time, because the same diocese was either part of the Roman or the Persian empire, depending on where the current border was. Ironically, the number of divisions in the Church in Asia, although obviously, causing a weaker church, was actually one of the things that helped it hold on so long, as there was no central structure, that could be taken down, all in one place (just like it is hard, to fight against modern terrorism, for the same reason). The Church of the East eventually accepted most the major "western" Church councils including the Nicene one, but chose slightly different book for their canon. The Church everywhere agreed that practicing occult rituals was forbidden.

Manicheanism

Manicheanism was practiced, by the famous Christian theologian Augustine (who came up with the idea of the Trinity and lived in North Africa), before he converted. It was described, by these early Christians, in Persia, as a secret religion. This is a bad sign, from a Biblical world view, as the Bible talks about how evil is practiced in secret, because of people knowing it is wrong, so they try to hide it. The secret societies are often reported, to be a place, where occult rituals are performed. The word occult itself means hidden.

Manicheanism was very similar, in many ways, to Gnosticism, which came from Plato's philosophy and before that the Kabbala, derived from the ancient indigenous pagan religions of the Assyrians and Babylonians. This is where the Star of David comes from, which is actually the Star of Solomon, as the sign of Judah was a lion and there is no reference, of a star of David, in the Bible. King Solomon, who was King David's son, was famous for ruling over Israel, at the height of its political and economic supremacy and, for the great wisdom, that God gave him.

King Solomon

Solomon was also known, for taking many wives, who later corrupted him and lead him, to practice their pagan religions, as well as being the one chosen, by God, to build the permanent place, for the Ark of the Covenant (where sacrifices were made, to God, of the Bible and where He dwelt, on Earth, by the Levite Priests): the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. In the tradition, of the Christian group, that has historically been the dominant group and long time leader, of Ethiopia, Solomon had the Ark of the Covenant taken from him, after the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon, by their mutual son. This is still the best explanation, as to what happened, to it, since neither the Bible, nor do any of the writings of Israel's conquerors, explained, where it went to.

Freemasons

The modern secret society, called the Freemasons, were originally started, by a powerful group, called the Knight Templars, who became too powerful, due to their lending huge amount of money, to European royalty. The Knights Templar started out, as guards, for European Christian pilgrims, traveling to and from the Holy sights, in the European Crusader's kingdom in Palestine. They produced some of the greatest soldiers of the Crusades. They got some sort, of special status, from the Pope, due to something they found, when digging, under Solomon's temple (their headquarters at the time), which they blackmailed the Pope with. Most of them disappeared, on ships, after the French King rounded up a number of them and tortured them, because he was deep in debt, to them.

They may have went, in many different directions, but there is likely a Scottish and or Swiss connection. The Scottish were excommunicated, by the Catholic church, over their king killing off a rival, in a church, so the Knights Templar (also excommunicated) were offered land in Scotland. One of the key battles, that kept the Scottish independent, from the English had considerable help, from a small group of excellent archers, whose origins were unexplained. The Freemasons have ties to some Scottish clans and the American founding fathers. The Swiss, who were mostly raised sheep, all of a sudden became the source of the best mercenaries in Europe, as well as creating the most famous banking system, which they have never revealed the origins of.

The Cursed Become the Blessed

It is ironic that the evil cursed nations bordering ancient Israel were the very first and most dedicated, of Christians, many of whom kept their faith, up until they left (and still practice it today in America, Europe, Canada, Australia, and India), after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, against centuries of great persecution, but that God's chosen people rejected Him, because they were trying to fit in with and raise their social status, with the surrounding peoples. Many people, who don't know the Bible very well, are perplexed at how different Jesus Christ appears, in the New Testament vs. how God the Father is portrayed, in the Old Testament. But if you read the Old Testament Prophets and the History of Israel, God the Father was just as kind and merciful, as Jesus Christ (Who are one and the same).

8.1.4 Christianity in Asian Golden Age

Introduction

There were more Syriac Christians, at one time, than that of the Latin and Greek churches combined. This was the time period referred to, as the Middle Ages, in Europe and the Golden Age, in Asia. Syriac Christian priests were scholars in fields as varied as diplomacy, linguistics, and medicine.

Christian Doctors

Syriac Christians were the best doctors, at the time, and they were early proponents, of the importance, of fresh fruit and vegetables, in keeping healthy. They used sugar, from India, as medicine and popularized the use of Sherberts (boiled fruit mixed with honey) and Rhubarb, for medicine. They built a teaching hospital in Susa.

Christianity Amongst the Turks

Christianity was popular, amongst the Turkic people, at first, with many of the major kings converting, to Christianity. There were, at least, 8 million converts, amongst various Turkic tribes, during this period. Syriac Christians developed the written language, for the Uigur language, from their center, for translation, Merv. which was later adopted, by Genghis Khan, and his Mongol descendants.

Syriac Christians were treated better, under Mongol rule, than any other government. Genghis Khan's uncle was Prester John (which is a legend of a Christian missionary spreading Christianity into Asia or Africa). Genghis Khan himself believed in one all powerful creator God and it was one of his first laws for his subjects. Many in Genghis Khans royal family were Christians. The Mongols and the Crusaders attempted an alliance, to hold off the Arab retaking, of Palestine.

Many of the major cities (also major Christian centers), along the Silk Road, were destroyed, by Genghis Khan, including: their churches, the people, their libraries, artwork, wealth, and industry. The Mongols killed off a larger percentage, of the Earth's human population, than any other single ruler has ever done, in human history. When the Mongols gained power, they helped rebuild the churches perviously destroyed and removed most of the legal restrictions, on Christians, like having to pay a non-Muslim tax.

Christian Influence on other Belief Systems

Christianity had considerable influence, on the theology and rituals, of a number of different religions. Syriac Christianity was popular, at this time, in southwest and north India. The future Buddha called Maitreya and the Hindu incarnation of Vishnu were likely inspired, by Christianity. The hand symbol commonly used, in meditation, in the Indian belief systems comes, from Syriac Christian practices. Tibetan Buddhism likely based much of their practices and organization upon Christian traditions, like: prayers for the dead, holy water, demons, confessions, red ceremonial clothes, and the Delai Lama (Pope).

In China, Christianity was called the Luminous Religion. Syriac Christian missionaries were first sent, as ambassadors, from the king of Persia to China. In China, during the Tang Dynasty, the Emperor gave monetary support, for churches, in exchange for the Christian priests praying for them and their ancestors. The emperor knew enough about Christianity, to know, that it was irreconcilable, with Buddhism, when he ordered that Buddhists and Christians stop working together ,on the translation of sacred scripture. Syriac Christians developed a simple alphabet, for the Korean language. The lecture Hall of the Koryuji Buddhist temple, in Kyoto, Japan, was once a Christian church.

When Tamberlane and the Chinese Ming Dynasty came to power, Christian communities were persecuted relentlessly, until Christianity fell from prominence, in most parts of Asia.

8.2 Politics and History

8.2.1 The Information Revolution

Predictions

When I was a kid, we heard from futurists, who predicted, that the advent of computers would bring about a technologically based revolution, which would affect society, as much as the agricultural and industrial revolutions. In the 90s, most Americans thought that the revolution was over and the Internet would basically stay the same, that America would be the most affected, and that it would make America more efficient and prosperous, without much of any social or political pain. There is a growing number of people now, that are just waking up, to an entirely different world order, which is just, in the beginning stages, of revolutionary change. Some of the greatest threats, to our nation are: our economic depression and the destruction of the environment.

The Rise and Fall of America

This happened because Europe, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan invested in education and built up their manufacturing capabilities basically handed to them by Americans with no vision. Actually, it was a little different, because the big perceived threat, to America, was the Soviet Union and one of the means which the US did its best, to prevent Europe and East Asia, from becoming communist, was to spend exorbitant amounts of money and resources building them up, from third world nations, to the economic power houses we made them into, by the end of the Cold War.

And it was during World War 2, where the European colonial powers stretched themselves too thin fighting a world war, so that they ended up giving up their empires, to win the war. The British very directly and knowingly handed their world leader status, to the United States. The US became the world's leading superpower, only after Europe almost completely destroyed itself. The US became rich, in the next couple decades, because all the industrial centers in Europe were destroyed and the US had reserve capacity, being unused, because of the Great Depression.

Rise of China and India

China and India found a way to make use of computers and the Internet, to give them a big enough market, to fund their re-emergence and the means to compete for jobs, they were too far away geographically, to be eligible. The other aspect often forgotten is that the Internet, as we now know it, only really took off, when computers reached the magical price point of $500.

This was only achievable, due to the politics and economic decisions, of communist China. China did the same thing as Japan did. The problem with this situation is, who will be what China's was, for Japan. The other problem, that China currently faces is that how long will America keep on buying Chinese goods, as our unemployment rates remain high and is so difficult, to obtain business loans.

Relationship between Technological Revolutions

But before we can even glimpse the possibilities, of the information revolution, we need to look at what happened, with the industrial and agricultural revolutions, to both see the scale of disruption and the relationship, between the different technological advancements. The first thing to understand is that the information revolution, depends upon the industrial revolution, which depends on the agricultural revolution. Contrary to the ideas of the average American consumer, the most important jobs are not software engineer or support centers, but farmers and the entire infrastructure that produces, brings the food to us, and gets rid of its waste.

The agricultural revolution depends on seeds, soil, and water resources, also being reduced by environmental destruction. On top of this agricultural base, the industrial revolution depends on fossil fuels (Coal, Oil, and "Natural Gas") as well as some nuclear. There is also some very limited experimental research occurring, in all the "green" energies, with basically no potential, without fundamental progress in technology (on the level of difficulty faced, with currently inventing and powering time and space travel, or understanding the brain enough to cure Schizophrenia), to make them efficient enough to be viable.

Prior Revolutions

The agricultural revolution brought about the first cities (permanent settlements), writing and records, governments and laws, more specialized and complex jobs, as we know them today and the rise of world powers in the Middle East, major parts of Africa, and most of Southern Asia. Some of the major breakthroughs, of this time include: the cultivation of seeds, domestication of animals, long term food storage techniques, and irrigation techniques.

Before this everything is considered pre-history, but many people have great evidence, that we once had a much more technologically advanced civilization, that was destroyed somehow. The industrial revolution was started, because of a slight warming in weather in England and the rudimentary atomization, of wool production. Factories, street gangs, unions, communism, modern secretive societies, consumer protection laws, telegraphs, photography, and Europeans, as world powers, were some of the results, of this transformation.

Information Revolution

So far, the information revolution has produced personal mass transportation (cars), computers and the Internet (instant access to most media and the digital creation, storage, and transmission of earlier technologies like written documents, music, photography, and movies and related intellectual property issues), outsourcing, globalization, modern terrorism, global warming, and the economic and political rise of Asia. Most of this technology was first introduced, during World War 2, by the NAZI (German) military, and was developed, by the US and Soviet military industrial complexes.

The major factors influencing our future world are the interplay and decisions related to: environmental problems (more powerful and destructive weather, decline in fundamental natural resources, and an increase in the number of people), sustainable energy other than fossil fuels, the rise of global Christianity and Islam (and continued decline of religion in Europe and the United States), and the global economy.

The Solution

The real fundamental issues, that hold our country back, are our naivety and our laziness. If we can find, within ourselves, the will, to fight, for our future and make the necessary sacrifices, we will do well, into the future. The funny thing is that many Americans are afraid of global climate change, but the US actually will be the least affected, by these changes. Europe, Russia, the Middle East, South Asia, and China will be the most affected. The technological developments, that will enable many of these social changes, will be increased reliability, bandwidth, compression, commoditization, and fault tolerance of the Internet infrastructure worldwide.

The US need not become a third world nation. For this to happen, we need to focus on our economy and alternative energy and stop draining our wealth due to buying oil and fighting unending foreign wars. Empires always fall from within and the reason they call it terrorism is that it is only effective in scaring us. If the terrorists were capable of destroying us, then we would be currently fighting an invasion force.

8.2.2 Business and Government

Evils of Government Regulation

We hear how awful communism is our whole life, or any government involvement or regulation, on how businesses operate, no matter how they behave. We hear how terrible environmentalists are, so much, that they are now designated, as terrorists, and we hear about how bad is, is to have any consumer protection laws, or to ever sue a company, whose product kills them our causes an awful disease. It seems like the press has swallowed this false belief whole: that any regulations placed on businesses are some how the same as being communist; that capitalism, with no restrictions is necessary, for democracy; and that businesses are always perfect and government is always evil.

We hear how bad it is, to give money to the poor, but somehow it is ok for the rich, to get welfare. Businesses don't want, to follow any regulations, but then they want, to get bailed out, when they make stupid business decisions. Conservatives talk about how they believe, in the right of states and individuals, but they only apply this, to corporations and only, to get rid of responsibility, for their actions and as an excuse, to starve the government, for money, so that it cannot perform basic services, like law enforcement, emergency health care, and public education.

We constantly are told that what is good, for business, is good, for the poor and that businesses never benefit, from any government services. Businesses benefit from basic infrastructure and related services, like: public transportation, to get their employees to work; public utilities, to keep business factories and offices powered; the public infrastructure necessary for Internet, cell phone, and telephone services; the road system, to get their supplies, to their customers and from their warehouses; and the fire fighters, that protect their investments, from burning, to the ground.

Government Programs Help Businesses

Businesses also benefit, from basic military and police protection and related services, like: the fighting of foreign wars and keeping the sea lanes open, to ensure businesses have access, to cheap and plentiful oil, necessary, for the world economy, to continue running; the law enforcement services, that keep their assets safe from looting, theft, vandalism, and arson; the homeland security services, who pays to rebuild their assets, after natural disasters, protects them form destruction, by terrorism, and guarantees them access, to cheap illegal labor, in the form of illegal immigrants.

Businesses also benefit from seemingly liberal uses, of tax money, like: the saving of natural resources, so that businesses still have what they need and no business is kept, from access, to critical resources, to keep their factories running; the public education system, that gives businesses access, to highly trained employees, available locally and government paid for loan and scholarship programs, like the GI Bill, Pell Grants, that make these possible; government programs, that encourage the purchasing of homes, by middle class Americans, that provide incentives, to take care of and get involved, in keeping neighborhoods safe and clean, keeping property values high; welfare programs, for the disabled and elderly, that keep them off the streets and out of criminal activities; protection, from electronic and other delivery of scams and other information related crimes, like identity theft, that create so much stress on employees, that they either cannot perform their work properly, or encourage them, to steal, from their work, or even scams that target businesses directly, due to government regulations; consumer protection laws, that protect employees, from health problems, that cause downtime, for businesses; and the protection of consumer bank accounts, that protect the banks, from failing, in crises.

Business cannot Replace Government

And, at the same time, businesses both claim they have a higher rate of taxation, than poor people, but end up not paying any taxes, because they find loopholes, in the system. The key issue, that gives a good example, of how pro-business legislation is not good, for consumers, is, that, unlike, in a democracy, businesses allow no governance, by popular vote: businesses, by their very nature, are dictatorships. And the assumption, of the government, of being the only system, of power, that can be abused is ridiculous. The reduction, of the power of government, over business does not allow more freedom, but rather subjects the population, to the whims of businesses.

Many people say, that, between charities and businesses, we can cover the same services better, than the government. We have a good example, of how that works, as we have seen, from the contractors, that provide Department of Defense services: businesses can be just as inefficient and bureaucratic, as the government and often the same services cost more, when done by businesses. And it is a nice idea, that people would give directly, to charities, but the reality is there is barely enough money, to help the poor enough, to keep the system going, with all the sources of revenues, including: charity, business, and government programs. Finally, the reality is, that, when consumers spend less, on taxes, they do not give more, to charities.

8.2.3 The Ends Don't Justify the Means

Wars Without End

One of the really scary things, happening in our country, is that we have another major world war, without end. We had this situation before, in what was called the Cold War, between the United States and the Soviet Union. We had come out of a very brutal war, with terrible acts of cruelty were lived out, by millions of victims, and then, when the political situation switched, these serial killer like personalities were free from punishment, as they now formed the hardest, to replace part, of our defense.

The experiments, done by the CIA, were shockingly similar, to the kinds of things done, in concentration camps and the KGB became very much like the SS and Gestapo. Our own military personnel were subjected, to being exposed, to mustard gas and nerve agents, without their consent or foreknowledge. Mentally ill residents of state hospitals were tortured and brain washed, into being a Manchurian Candidate (hypnotized assassin). The CIAs own agents were drugged, with LSD, as lab rats.

Becoming Your Enemy

During the Cold War, as now, people were so afraid of imminent doom, that anything and everything was justified. The sad thing is that the reason why these things are done is because the public expects the government, to do these things, on their behalf. They just don't want, to have to do it or know about it personally, but if an attack happened and these things weren't done there would be a huge back lash, by the general public. So many people have sacrificed, so much, for our freedom, that it is sad, to see the public give these rights away, when we need them most, out of fear.

Many people justify this kind of behavior, because they believe, that the end justifies the means. They believe it is ok, to do bad things for good reasons, but I believe that doing bad things leads to worse things, until you become what you have been fighting against. The real enemy is not another country, but our own sin and our own response, to the scary things in life. We cannot continue, to get rid of civil liberties, whenever they are inconvenient and expect that we are immune, from becoming or supporting people, who are as evil as the NAZIs or Soviets.

What is Terrorism?

The threat, we are now facing, is a type of war, known as unconventional warfare. It is the direct counterpart, of our own special forces. Terrorism is not meant to destroy the enemy, but paralyze them, with fear and destroy them politically or economically, when the enemy cannot be defeated militarily. Just as in Vietnam, we cannot lose militarily, to any group of people, that resorts to guerilla warfare and the best defense is to avoid fighting against them entirely.

There has never been a long protracted war, that has benefited either side. We fought and won World War 2, in 4 years, and that pushed our country and all our allies, to the very limits. If we spend ten or a hundred times as much money, as the terrorist, we are not winning, even if we beat them, in every battle. World War 1 was one economically and this war will be one or lost, by the strength of our economy.

The strategy, that our enemy is using, is to get us involved, in wars, in countries, where there is little to no infrastructure to destroy and if we do succeed, in controlling the country, it will be at a huge cost economically, politically, and militarily. Then the terrorists will go to another nation and we have to fight another war and this sequence repeats, almost indefinitely, until economic conditions destroys our nation.

What we need to do is either be a clear enemy or a clear friend. We either need to get the people, in power, in these nations, to see us as allies, by converting our entire country, to a very extreme form of Islam, or we need to be mean enough, that they fear us more than the local powers. I think it is unlikely, that we will do the first and the second is only possible, if we no longer depend on oil. If we ever do get off oil, there are things we can do, to defeat a guerilla force, in a desolate country, with no infrastructure.

How to Win

For example, we can send special forces in and poison their oasis', or spread diseases, amongst their livestock. We could also create a DNA specific disease, that targets a specific race. These sound awful, but that is what we need to do. If you see some of the injuries, that they have inflicted, onto our soldiers, your opinion will quickly change. In fact, the terrorists have already used chemical weapons, in IEDs, on our troops.

When we fought against NAZI Germany, and we sent in an air strike, we used what is called carpet bombing. If there was a factory somewhere, within say 20 miles, we just bombed everything, to the ground, within a twenty mile range. We just accepted the fact, that there would be civilian casualties and that was part, of the cost of war. When we fought against the Japanese, we could not get them to surrender, no matter what we did, so, to get their fortified machine gunners, to stop killing our troops, we burned them alive, with napalm flame throwers.

That is what war is like and the people responsible, for getting us into wars are Congress and the President . The military never gets to decide where or when they go to war, although they bear the vast majority of the cost. If you think the military's job is easy, then join yourself. If you want to prevent wars, stop electing politicians that vote that way (which would be both Democrats and Republicans).

8.2.4 American Naivety

American Point of View

Americans are very naive, to how the world works. I read on a blog recently, where a high school kid thought, that instead of devoting billions of dollars, to Department of Defense information warfare, that we should refrain from doing anything, that makes others outside the US mad at us. I have a response that may surprise many: the reason why we are hated is because we are the dominant world power and the world will hate us, until some other country wields the same amount of influence, that we do. We will know, when we are no longer the major world power, because people will hate the next superpower, more than they hate us. Much of the world hated the French and the English, but most don't anymore, because they are no longer world powers.

There are two things, that Americans really don't understand about the world: how things work politically internationally and how other countries respond differently to our intervention, than we would to theirs. They both are due to our ignorance of world history. In America, we seem to think that none of the major world problems existed prior to World War 2 and that we caused all of them. In America, we have a long history of not getting involved worldwide and were content, to ignore most world politics, until World War 2. I think that this is due directly to the American psychological response, to national threats. We are willing to leave others alone, until they directly attack us.

The CIA was designed, for the main purpose, of preventing another Pearl Harbor, from happening, during the Cold War. The Homeland Security Department was set up to deal with attacks, from within America, that were not military threats, but rather psychological threats (like Terrorism). America generally waits, until the last minute, to solve a problem, over reacts, and then ignores any problems again, until the last minute. We are not proactive. It seems that the things we do to win wars often trigger later conflicts. Our support for the Soviet Union during World War 2 made that country a world power, that we fought several major regional wars against (sometimes via allies) in East Asia and the Middle East. The final straw that broke the Soviet Union was the war in Afghanistan, which we trained and armed the same Taliban, that we fight today.

Historical Background

These wars, that we started getting involved in, starting with World War 2, all were happening, in a larger historical context, well beyond World War 1, or even this millennium. Much of this history involves the struggle between 2 religions, that look very different, but in fact are very similar. One of the big problems, that started, in the early Church, was the development of complex doctrines, like the Trinity, by the application of Greek philosophy and the struggle for the survival of Christianity, under many different empires. Most people today think of Islam, as a direct opposite of Christianity. What most Christians, in the US, don't realize is that early Church was far from united, either politically or by doctrine. Many groups of people ended up following what they thought was the one true God, when they were, in fact, being led astray by a heresy, while others were called heretics, but were, in fact, doctrinally correct.

All these variants, of the one true faith, were also entangled, into the politics, of their region. We here a lot about the success, of the Latin speaking Church of Western Europe (France, England, and Italy), now called the Catholic Church. What we haven't heard of is the other 5 major regional centers, of Christianity. Eastern Europe (Greece, Turkey, Balkans, Russia) was dominated by the Greek speaking Church we now call the Eastern Orthodox Church, Africa was dominated by regional Churches in Egypt (who spoke Coptic, the direct descendant of the Egyptian hieroglyphics) and Ethiopia. The other major centers were the Syriac speaking churches (the rural Assyrian regional dialect of what Jesus and the Apostles spoke) in Asia (Syria/Lebanon and Iraq/Iran).

There were many heresies, of the one true God, in the region, at first, including: the Gnostics, the Aryans, the Manicheans, the Zoroastrians (the ancient religion of Iran, before Christianity or Islam), the Jews (Pharisees), and the Muslims. The Arian and the Gnostic heresies quickly lost power, but the other 4 hung around, for a considerable amount of time, with only Judaism and Islam still here today. The success of Islam had a lot to do with politics and timing. Many people in America are aware of Islam, as a religious force, that affects politics, but don't realize that the politics is an important part, of the formation, of the religion of Islam. Basically, Islam united the Arabic speaking tribal people (like the Afghans or the Scots), who came from what is now called Saudi Arabia, which contains the Holy Sites of Mecca and Medina.

Christianity and Islam

One of the reason why the Koran contains many of the same characters as the Bible, but with different theology comes from the Prophet Mohammed hearing many Biblical stories, that were not part of the Bible, and were works of fiction or heresy, that spread amongst the local population. Other reasons include there not being a Bible translated into Arabic by this time and the obsession of the early Church, with confusing technically worded theology, that didn't appeal to the masses. The political situation, that allowed the Arabic people, to take over what we now call the Middle East was a combination of many wars, between the Persian and Byzantine Empires, as well as the persecution, based on obscure theological positions and political rivalry, of major Christian regions, made both the regional powers weak and the local population supportive, of an invasion, from Saudi Arabia.

Islam was, at first, considered a religion, of the Arabic people, and the local Christians (who were the direct descendants of the original inhabitants) were treated better, under Islam, than they were under rival Christian sects. In many ways, both in practice and in spirit, Muslims, in the Middle East practice their religion, that both looks very similar, to how the original Christians practiced their religion and also is more philosophically related, to Christianity, than the synchronization of Greek philosophy and paganism, with Christianity, in the Church, outside of the Ethiopian and Persian Churches.

In America, the only history we study, outside our own, is Medieval English and French history, so we often think of Europe, as being strongly Christian. The reality is that, although the Roman Empire converted to Christianity early on, most of the Germanic tribes like the English and the Vikings took a very long time, to convert and the kings only converted, because they believed, that the Christian God was more powerful, than their pagan gods, so that, as a result, of conversion, they would win more wars. The Church was also the only thing, that held Western Europe together, politically. We don't hear much about the persecution, of Christians, at this time in history, because we only learn about Latin speaking Christianity and then Protestantism.

Christian Persecution

The reality is that Christians were persecuted, under Zoroastrian and Muslim rule, much, in the same way, as the Jewish people were persecuted, in Medieval Europe and at the same time, in history. We hear over and over again about how evil the Crusades were, but we never talk about the Muslim conquests, of the Christian Middle East, North Africa, and Spain, as well as the later invasion of a Muslim empire, into Eastern Europe, from the Renaissance, up until World War 1. We also hear about how evil it is, that the Israelis control the 3rd most holy site, to Muslims in Jerusalem (which sits in the exact location. that the Jewish Temple sat, making it the number 1 holy site. for Jewish people) but we do not hear about Muslim control of the Christian Holy sites of Bethleham, Nazareth, and the Hagia Sophia (The Vatican of the Eastern Orthodox Church, that was turned into a Mosque). We also heard about the evil ethnic cleansing, of Muslims, in Bosnia, but not about the ethnic cleansing of Christians, by Muslims, that were the reason, for the Muslims, being in Bosnia, in the first place, or the ethnic cleaning, of the Syriac Christians, in the Middle East, for hundreds of years, under Tamerlane and the Ottoman Empires.

We here a lot about the rise, of Islamic fundamentalism, in the world today, but the Muslim world has fought the Christian world, so long (even as Europe and America are no longer Christian nations), that the same battle has been going on, for over a thousand years. Even this recent wave, of fundamentalism, is over 100 years old. The difference is, that Europe, even all together, is barely a world power, and Saudi Arabia is one, of the richest countries, in the world, due to our addiction to oil. It is likely, that only a small sum goes, to fund terrorism, but that is still a lot of money, mostly due to alms (like the Christian tithe) given to the major charities, in the Middle East (to help the Palestinian cause, which is mainly done by terrorism). Iran directly and publicly funds terrorism.

The best thing American and European women can do, to help women in the Middle East is to be much less aggressive politically and much more modest in dress, and less promiscuous. The more women gain power, over men, in America in Europe, the longer it will be, before women, in the Middle East are treated decently. Just like the extremism, of Bush brought in what many consider the much more liberal Obama, so the increase in concessions made to women in America, makes things worse, for women in the Middle East.

8.3 Parting Wisdom

8.3.1 Do More by Doing Less

(Religion is the Problem: Religion is the Solution)

New Age Movement

One of the things that is very destructive, to the Church, is the New Age movement, which is very different, than Asian philosophy and religion. The New Age movement strategy is to co-opt many Christian (and other major world belief systems) values, on the surface, and try to string together ecology, quantum physics and supernatural forces, so that they can convince people that Science is the same as magic. The New Age movement often focuses on uniting Atheists with Occultists.

The thing, that most people are not aware of, is that this movement is not going to solve any major world problems and, at the same time, create some real spiritual problems, for those, that get drawn in. This is one of the major reasons, for theology in general, and the Evangelical movement, in particular: to be precise enough about Christian doctrine, so that Christians don't end up thinking that these New Age cults are compatible, with the Bible.

The biggest things to look for, to recognize is, if the movement: has a major sponsor, connected with Hollywood or the entertainment industry; is trying to make money; is trying to unite Science and the supernatural; is trying, to provide Scientific support, for things, that are obviously spiritual; supposed proof, for their ideas, is in Science; they treat Science, as both the problem and the solution; claims, that people, practicing indigenous religions, lived in a utopia; claims, that individuality, is the root of evil; focuses on famous people; and is very vague about their doctrine, or their proposed solutions.

It is common in America, for many non-Christians, to think, that the problem, with religions, starts when they become organized. I am a major criticizer, of many major Christian denominations, but of all the Churches I have visited or been a part of, the pastor was never the problem. And the people, who create the problems, in the Church, are often uneducated and don't have a strong foundation in Biblical doctrine. Most cults have very little structure or organization and many of the abuses done in the name of Christ (mostly by the Catholic church) are both easily shown to be unbiblical and were done more out of political than religious reasons.

False Solutions

We are often told our problems are caused by Europe and America, but China now contributes more to global warming, than the US does. The biggest reason why US companies outsource their manufacturing to China is not to save money, on labor, but to save money by polluting more. And we here a lot about how wonderful alternative medicine is, but you never hear that this is one of the leading causes of animal cruelty. For example, bear bile is used in many traditional medicine treatments. They keep bears in cages so small that they cannot stand upright in them.

We see Asian style cooperation as something to emulate, but the Japanese economy is doing worse than the US. India brags about how tolerant it is, but the reason why they have so few problems is that Pakistan and Bangladesh were split off, because the British found them the hardest to control. Pakistan actually has more justification, for calling itself India, than India does, as it has the Indus river, where the Aryan civilization started in, and the river Indus, from which the words Hindu and India come from.

The Europeans, that think they are so much better than Americans, depend on oil as much as we do, despite all their experimental alternative energy, that contributes virtually nothing, to electricity production. France is using nuclear power and is leaving its storage, for 10 thousand years, for future generations, to worry about. The UK had the same problem that the US had in its housing markets. The European Union is a total failure, as the mostly southern European countries (PIIGS) are having to be bailed out, by Germany and France. America and Canada have many more trees than Europe does, as there are virtually no forests left in Europe. Europe has so many problems with terrorism, as England, for example, has more terrorists, in their country, than Pakistan has.

Some of the things Americans think they should do, to help the world, just makes things worse. Americans think if they buy a hybrid gas-electrical car, that they are helping the environment, but they fail to understand, that they get that electricity from gas or coal and that they would use less oil, if they bought a highly efficient gas powered car, instead. Many people also help raise money for children's charities, which is great, except they are a major source of animal cruelty, because they finance animal experimentation. Many Americans think that they can help the world, by eating fish, instead of beef, but we are running out of fish, worldwide, because so much of the world eats so much fish. Those super efficient light bulbs, that are supposed to last years, have mercury in them.

God's Solution

Many people believe that the solutions are social, economic, or political. Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, and Desmund Tutu are often seen as Christ figures. But Jesus did not lead a social, economic or political revolution or teach a social, economic or political ideology. Although Jesus often healed people with physical, psychological, or spiritual sickness, Jesus said that what we really need is the forgiveness of our sins. While some people were told to give all they had to the poor or to not be hypocrites, Jesus main message was personal salvation. The most important thing Jesus did was not His ministry but His death and resurrection.

Jesus was more interested in who we are than in what we do, as illustrated by His rebuking of Martha and His praising of Mary Magdalene. Our attitude is more important to God, than our accomplishments. Jesus was very critical of the establishment, but He also called His disciples to spread the Gospel and form the Church. Even though Jesus brought in a new contract with His people, and extend this so everyone, Jesus did not change the rules of His law. Jesus appointed the the leader of the Church, who was a traitor and His head missionary, to everyone non Jewish, was the head of the opposition to the Church.

It is not important what we have done, but what God wishes to do through us. Those who were the enemies of Israel were the first to convert to Christianity and those who were chosen by God rejected Him. Even though God intervenes on our behalf, when we are incapable of conquering obstacles, in our lives, God wants us to be mature and responsible and do our best to prepare for problems and only take on projects, that we are prepared for. He wants us to flee from sin and temptations, even though He forgives us. We need to let God determine the direction of our lives, but we need to do the leg work.

Source of Our Problems

The solution to the major world problems is one fundamental spiritually based solution. If you look at what is driving, so much of the destruction of the world and is contributing to the most violence: it can be easily and directly traced, to the sin, of individual people. I have talked before about America not really being a democracy, but the other side is that, if people disagreed enough, with what our country is doing, then we have the power, to resist these policies and force political and economic change. The problem though is with our own selfishness and our desire to be part of a group.

The major problems in the world are driven by our one world economy, which is all based on having enormous amount of cheap energy. Many people often fear what would happen, if all the computers went down, but the real foundation, of our way of life, is on cheap and plentiful oil. America is actually in the drivers seat, as US consumers drive demand, for products and the US is still 1/2 of the world's consumption. We have created a situation, in which we are going to go bankrupt, and it is easy to see why.

We value electronics and cars, we want them to be as cheap, as possible, we don't want the government to interfere, and people in other countries are willing to produce these goods, for less money. We want the ability to have personal transportation and so this sends a huge amount of our money, to the Middle East. Some of this money is used to support terrorism, which we fight against, but are losing, because we spend many times more money, than the terrorists, on fighting them. One of the big reasons why we don't want to do what is necessary, to defeat the enemy, is that we still want their oil, so we don't want to offend them. When the US gets broke enough, the entire world economy will fall apart, because there will not be a big enough consumer market, to buy what China, India, etc produce.

What We Should Do

Many people think the solution to the problem is to not be individuals, but that is exactly the problem: we are not being individuals. Individuality is standing up for what is wrong and doing what is right, no matter what everyone else is doing. We need more will power, to stand up for what is not popular, because the solutions will not be popular. As individuals, we are weak economically and politically. The most effective way, we can influence the situation, is to become born again and pray. The most effective prayer is to pray for God's will to be done.

Even one person praying, like this, makes a huge difference. You will likely never see how your prayers have affected the situation, but they will. God also protects Christians spiritually, much more than He protects us, from other people, so not only will you be more effective spiritually, but you will be safer. The greatest thing, to work on, to change the world, other than prayer is to conquer your own personal sins, in your daily life, by giving more and more of yourself to God. Many Christians fear spiritual forces, but our greatest enemy is our own selfish will.

8.3.2 Tips for Animal Welfare

Background Information

One of the things very close, to my heart, is the health and welfare, of animals. From my experience, with animals, I have found animals, to almost always be, of stellar morality, on all the things, that really matter, so that, when deciding, on whether I should help and animal or a person, I will almost always choose the animal. I think, that improving the life, of even one animal is a worthy goal, for a well lived life and is very important spiritually, as well. One of the things, that really has kept me, from writing more about this, or to get involved, in animal rights organizations, is that it breaks my heart hearing about all the terrible things animals have been subjected to, done not, for their benefit, nor are they aware, of the reasons, or able to choose their fate.

Animals, Money, and the Law

I am not going to talk about all the awful things done, to animals, but I am going, to help you understand the kind of ways, in which you can prevent cruelty, to animals. Animals are experimented on, for a variety of reasons, all related to making sure chemicals or technologies are safe, for human use. Many otherwise fine groups, like many children's hospitals, hurt animals, in their quest, to find new and more effective treatments, for human diseases. Animals are also hurt, in the process of making sure that cleaners and cosmetics are safe, for humans.

There is hope, though. There are less well known children's charities, that do not experiment on animals and you can buy cleaners and cosmetics, that were not experimented, on animals. If a product is labelled "not tested on animals" than you are clear. You can find lists of charities, that do not experiment, on animals and chemicals, that are not experimented on animals, by going to the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) website. The main reason why animals are experimented on is that the chemical companies are using chemicals, that are too toxic, for human use. A good rule of thumb is that, if you think you need, to test a chemical, on an animal, then it is too toxic, for human use.

There are other reasons, that animals get hurt, by humans. Many of these are due to cruel ways, in which animals are made, into food, or young serial killer like personalities. The good news is, that there are groups, that monitor the conditions, of slaughterhouses and help bring about the ban of cruel practices, like foi gras. As times goes by, our laws are being extended, to help protect the rights, of animals, to be treated fairly and humanely. People can now serve time, in prison, for abusing an animal. If you know someone, who is mean to animals, stay away for them, because people, who are mean, to animals, are much more likely, to abuse people, as well.

Pet Care Responsibilities

Some of the ways, in which animals are mistreated usually involve pets. One of the major ways, to make a good life, for your small pet is to give it enough room, to move around in, by letting the animal out of its cage and making sure the cages are big enough, for the animal to move around adequately. For little animals, like hamsters, they have a kind of clear plastic ball, that you can let your hamster roll around in and keep it from getting hurt or lost. Birds should be let out of their cages. I wouldn't worry about a bird escaping, because they will likely find their way back to you. You can also clip their wings so they cannot fly to far, or let them fly around indoors.

There are other ways in which pets can get hurt. Make sure, that you have everything toxic put away, so that none of your animals can get, to them. This is like childproofing, but realize that animals can get into many places, that kids cannot. If you lock up chemicals, in a secure and completely enclosed storage, this should be adequate. Cats cannot be kept in, by fences and rodents can generally get into very small spaces and chew through almost anything. You need to be careful about poisons, that get rid of insects and weeds, because they can make your animals sick. Just because you are not sick does not mean that they are safe. Animals are much lower to the ground and get into things that people usually don't.

Many animals have special needs, depending on their species and/or breed. Some animals need to eat living animals, like reptiles or snakes and some need things, to chew on, like rodents. Different animals are susceptible, to different diseases. Different animals live to different ages. 2 years is long for a hamster, but not as long for a dog. Different animals have different ranges of healthy weight. Taking animals, to the vet is expensive, so make sure you can afford it, before you buy a pet. Also exotic and bigger animals often cost more, than smaller and more common ones. There are legal restrictions, on what kinds of exotic pets, that you can have and how to handle them. Some animals need constant human attention, some are happier with other of the same species, and some need special diets. The best way to find out, about these things, is to read as much, as you can find, about your pet.

8.3.3 Notes on Major Developments

As I have had the same basic beliefs most my life and think out things very thoroughly, I don't end up changing my opinions very often. Here are some major developments, in my ideas, that I came up with, after additional research.

Roman Catholic Church

In some of my early writings, I talked about my interest in joining the Catholic church and I believed that it was the one true Church. I now know better, after I read a book about the Church, in Asia, during the European Middle Ages. If you read my Main Series, in chronological order, you will see this.

Church Establishment

In my earlier work, I talked about how the establishment was one, of the major sources, of problems and recently, I have said, that organized religion is not where the Church's problems come from. How I reconcile these divergent views is that there are two types of Christian leaders.

There are the leaders, who wield power, by their fame and money, like many well known televangelists and other famous Christians, like authors, who, I believe, create many of the problems, in the Church. I also believe these leaders have little evidence, of faith, in Christ. The other type of Christian leader is a spiritual leader, who is part of a Church, like a pastor or seminary professor. This second type of leader is what I believe is part of the solution, to the Church's problems.

What We Should Do

I have given different advice, in different places, in my books, about what we should do, to help the world. In some places I said that we need, to get up, and actually do something, rather than just pray and be the answer, to our own prayers. I also talked about how Jesus did not take part in politics, or even focus on healing. I also said that we need, to pray, for God's will to be done.

The way I put these together is that like Jesus said to different people, who asked what they should do, to go to Heaven, and Jesus gave a different answer each time. All of us can and should pray, but the other things depend on what kind of person we are and what kind of problems we have. Some Christians are workaholics and need to do less, while some Christians have no drive and never get anything done, for God. These two kinds of people need to do opposite things.

Ultimately, God wants us to have balanced and happy lives, and He helps us, but we need to have some common sense as well. Modern psychology is based on Biblical principles and, if your theology does not accept these ideas, as compatible with the Bible, then you will not be following God's will and you will never be happy.

African Situation

Before, I talked about how it is Europeans, who are the root cause, of the instability and violence prevalent, in most modern African countries. I have now refined this, as I have learned, that there are other reasons, for the sad situation, in Africa, including the lack, of a period, of time, for political transition. I also found out, that the Ottoman Empire was intervening, in Africa, long before Europeans were dominant.

I see the same problem happening, in the Middle East and North Africa today, where citizens are revolting against their rulers, without any single widely agreed upon plan, for the future, of their countries. Just like after the Iranian revolution, many people believed, that the government would be a democracy or a communist country, but the Islamic fundamentalists won instead.

Ecology Driven Science

In the past, I said that ecology driven Science is related to my philosophy, but recently I talked about the New Age movement using ecological ideas, to drive interest in the Occult. Just like every other belief system that the New Age movement claims, to be influenced by, this connection is only superficial.

One of the big ideas in Science, that the New Age movement uses, to support their beliefs is quantum mechanics. Quantum Mechanics is a theory, that can only be really understood, through math, as that is what it is based on and the multiple dimensions, referred to, in this theory, are all physical, not spiritual.

Ecology can mean different things, to different people. New Age proponents often like to bring up the interconnections in ecosystems, similarities in DNA, and the idealist view of indigenous peoples, to get people, to give up their personal will, as a way to gain power, over them. It is important, to note, that we are social creatures and that our place, in society, affects us tremendously, so that we can only fully understand ourselves when we learn about others. The flip side of this is that we are individually responsible and accountable, for our choices, that lead to sin/addictions, that the problems in the world are caused, by our poor decision making, as individuals, and that the only thing we can change in life is ourselves.

The non-Christian solutions to our failures is often knowledge and/or discipline, while the Bible alone says, that we cannot fix ourselves, by our own effort. Christianity is fundamentally more spiritual, than most other belief systems, because its values are not material and its solution, to our problems, requires divine (supernatural) intervention. In most belief systems, you feel good about what you have accomplished, but, as a Christian, you feel good, because of what God has done, for you.