Good Fences Keep Jews and Evangelicals Good Neighbors
William A. LevinsonWilliam A. Levinson is the author or editor of nine books on management,...
Missionaries Harassing IDF Soldiers Manning Iron Dome has stimulated a lot of discussion, with some people going so far as to compare missionaries to Nazis who are out to destroy Jews. Evangelical Christians are not the ones who would gladly cut our throats, along with those of the missionaries, for not converting to their depraved Dark Age ideology.
The basic problem is very simple. The missionaries are doing unto us as they would have us do unto them by sharing a belief in Jesus. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" might have worked when everybody lived in the same village, and therefore had the same values and attitudes. The instant you cross national or cultural borders, though, you may find that others do not want you to do unto them as you would have them do unto you. This is what the missionaries fail to realize, but their intentions are nonetheless benevolent. How can we best stop them without tearing down their own beliefs?
Psychological warfare is, as I have stated before, a primarily offensive weapon. It incorporates General Patton's principle that the surest parry is a disabled opponent. When you destroy your enemy's credibility, his propaganda ceases to be relevant. I have advocated the use of PsyWar to destroy Islamism, which has declared war on the entire non-Islamist world by proclaiming it the Dar-al-Harb (House of War). I would emphatically not apply "the surest parry is a disabled opponent" to well meaning but misguided friends, so I will go against my own rule (and Patton's, and Colonel Paul Linebarger's) by advocating defensive psychological warfare; the kind that stops the friend's unwelcome agenda while it builds him up rather than tearing him down.
Operation Good Fences: Keeping Jews and Evangelicals Good Neighbors
How do we stop the missionaries from converting Jews while we actually affirm the missionaries' beliefs? The best way is to show how all the world's religions, with the one obvious exception that proclaims its Allah-given right to kill or enslave anybody who does not belong to it, are mutually reinforcing and mutually affirming. Their foundations all consist of the same thing: the inherent right of all human beings to life, liberty, and property. Noting the human's unique power to kill, no society that did not limit this ability to self-defense would last very long. If the strong could take from the weak, which is in fact what lower animals do routinely, nobody would produce more than he or she could eat for subsistence on the spot. Thomas Hobbes elaborated,
NATURE hath made men so equal in the faculties of body and mind as that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit to which another may not pretend as well as he. For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself.
Laws, religion, and common sense all dictate, therefore, that humans must respect one another's natural rights to life,liberty, and property. Natural law is the foundation of ALL religions, except one.
- The Torah's prohibitions on murder, adultery, and theft incorporate Natural Law.
- Christians call Natural Law the Gospel, or Good News. Some call it The Way, which connects it directly to Eastern religions and philosophies.
- Hindus refer to Dharma, the Right Way. Some elements of Dharma are unique, while others are specific to a person's occupation. Kshatriya Dharma is the Right Way of the soldier and leader. The Bhagavad Gita adds that to die in one's own Dharma is life, while to live in another's is death. This allows us to answer missionaries immediately, "Christianity is your Right Way, and Judaism is ours, so we are both right--as long as we both do what is right for us. If I do what is right for you, it is wrong for me, just as it would be wrong for you to renounce your belief in Jesus." This pretty much ends the argument before it begins, and also sends the missionary away with an affirmation of his or her beliefs instead of a denunciation.
- Asians call the Right Way Tao (Do to the Japanese).
- Dr. Stephen Covey's Principle Centered Leadership discusses Natural Law in detail.
- Henry Ford depicted Natural Law as the Constitution of the Universe.
- Buddhists refer to Bodi-Dharma, or the Good Law. It sounds a lot like the Good News, which brings us to the next point.
This means we can reject Christian theology for ourselves, while not asking the missionary to reject it for himself. We stop him while, at the same time, we affirm his belief as right for him. We can even add that we know how Christianity has turned around the lives of many criminals, down-and-out people, Islamists, and so on, to send him away feeling quite good about himself. Furthermore, if the missionary and Jack Chick want to convert the entire Dar-al-Islam to Christianity, that will save a lot of innocent lives--including Muslim ones. Walid Shoebat is a prominent example of a former Islamist whose life was turned around by Christianity, and who is now a friend and defender of Israel. "For the record, my name is Walid Shoebat. I used to be a radicalized Muslim willing to die for the cause of Jihad until I converted to Christianity in 1994."
Note also that, if Dharma/ Gospel/ Bodidharma/ Natural Law/ the Constitution of the Universe is the will of God, then those who follow it are the REAL Muslims (as defined by acceptance of the will of God) while the throat-cutting Dark Age throwbacks are the musfidun (evildoers), and emphatically not Muslims. This provides us with a PsyWar technique to destroy the very foundation of Islamism.
Here, by the way, is how I would answer a missionary. "You are doing unto me as you would have me do unto you by sharing Jesus. Now, if I was bleeding to death, I would want you to give me a blood transfusion. Would you want me to do unto you as I would have you do unto me? Well, since my blood type is AB+, it would have a 96 percent chance of killing you." This would certainly get his attention, to say the least.
We can, meanwhile, immunize Jews against Christianity's claim to be the ONLY way to Heaven, as follows. There is strong evidence that Jesus and/or his disciples studied Buddhism and Hinduism, and combined some of their ideas with Judaism to get something new.
Christianity = Judaism + Hinduism + Buddhism
Iron Maiden's song about Alexander the Great includes the line, "He paved the way for Christianity." Alexander's geographical explorations certainly opened trade routes, and also pathways for exchanges of information, between India and the Western World. Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity share enough elements, and those from the former religions are much older, to suggest that Jesus adopted Hindu and Buddhist concepts to found a new religion. This provides one means of immunizing impressionable Jews against what the missionaries are trying to sell them.
- The New Testament describes how Jesus fed a multitude with a few fishes and loaves of bread. The far older Mahabharata says Krishna, the ninth avatar of Vishnu, fed the entire world with a single grain of rice. This suggests that early Christians simply adopted a far older story, just as Scandinavians may have adopted the Crucifixion with their story of Odin's death on the World Ash Tree, and subsequent rebirth.
- The concept of a deity who dies (or is murdered), buried, and rises again is common throughout the world. The story of John Barleycorn, who is murdered, buried (planted), rises again, and eventually becomes an alcoholic beverage, is an example. Note that Easter falls conveniently at the time when things begin to rise from the ground, which means it may have been superimposed on previous fertility legends.
- The Christian concept that a rich man cannot get into Heaven is consistent with the Buddhist belief that attachment to material possessions prevents enlightenment. The Bhagavad-Gita says to do one's work for its own sake, and not for a reward. This does not mean that we are not entitled to payment for work or services but rather, as proven by Henry Ford, if we take care of the work, the money will take care of itself. This ancient concept carries over into modern management, where dysfunctional financial metrics are the ruin of many organizations.
- The idea of a demigod as a "bridge" between Man and God also is far from original. Heroes like Hercules, Perseus, and Theseus were universally mortal (i.e. they could die just like Jesus or Krishna), but their semi-mortal status made them realistic role models for ordinary people. A human general could not hope to match the skill of a divinity like Athena (Minerva), but the engineering marvels performed by Hercules were within human reach. Hercules diverted a river to clean out the Augean Stables, and Alexander the Great altered geography itself to capture the fortress of Tyre. Alexander also imitated Hercules' innovative thinking when he cut the Gordian Knot.
- The idea that Jesus will rescue his followers from the world's tribulations in the Rapture can be answered simply with the story of Jatayu, the Vulture King of the Ramayana. Jatayu was actually so righteous that he had earned freedom from rebirth, but he chose instead to keep getting reborn so he could fight for justice on earth! Jatayu, who stays around to defend justice, sounds like a better role model than Christians who evacuate to Heaven before things go really bad (especially because, if they get killed at Armageddon, they go to Heaven anyway). General Patton believed himself to be a similar entity: "And I see not in my blindness/ What the objects were I wrought,/ But as God rules o'er our bickerings/ It was through His will I fought."
- Hinduism had a Trinity long before Christianity: Brahma the Father (Creator), Shiva the Destroyer (of evil), and Vishnu the Preserver.
- The concept of a self-sacrificing deity who is born (that's a major imposition in Hinduism, because the whole idea of achieving good karma is to avoid rebirth), and then dies for humans, originated with Hinduism. It is easy to imagine a hypothetical conversation in which Jesus says, "I died for all Mankind," whereupon Vishnu deadpans, "Only once?"
If the Islamists call me a hypocrite for saying, "Jesus died for Christians, Muslims died for Mohammad," while not believing that Jesus was the son of God myself, I answer that this statement is honest. It doesn't matter whether Jesus actually died for Christians; what matters is that Christians live their lives as though he did. This makes Christianity infinitely superior to an ideology whose followers killed and died for their so-called prophet, which is a historical fact. Furthermore, Hindus believe the same thing about Vishnu, but their Savior (like Jesus, Vishnu's Tenth Avatar is supposed to return to rid the world of evil forever) is even better. He died for them nine times!
This is strong evidence that, while Christianity is certainly a positive belief system that deserves respect and support, it is far from unique or even original. In addition, we can immunize Jews against missionaries by educating them about Christianity's simple but effective PsyWar methods.
Christian (and Islamic) PsyWar Techniques
Propaganda is simply the process of selling an idea, and its intention may be honest or dishonest. Og Mandino's The Greatest Salesman in the World describes how the apostle Paul received ten ancient scrolls on salesmanship from the world's greatest salesman. Paul's preaching had antagonized his audiences, but the scrolls taught him, "Even the word of God must be sold to the people or they will hear it not. …Did I not speak in parables so that all might understand?"
If Paul had approached Romans with, "Repent, ye benighted sinners, lest ye burn in the fires of eternal damnation," we can imagine the hail of rotten fruit, garbage, and dead cats that would have followed his first sentence. Now suppose he said instead, "Our [not "your"] Roman tradition says that Romulus and Remus were the sons of the god Mars." The Romans could have done nothing but agree. "Aeneas, another founder of Rome, was the son of the goddess Venus." The Romans must agree with this as well. "You also know, of course, that Jupiter fathered many demigods on mortal women, just as the Holy Spirit blessed the Virgin Mary with a child. Couldn't Jesus also have been the son of God?" Now the salesman has his foot in the door.
Now it's 1500 years later, and Catholic missionaries are trying to convert bloodthirsty Aztecs who tear the hearts out of human victims, and eat the victims' flesh to acquire their virtues. That sounds like a tough sales pitch, but it really isn't. The missionary shows the Aztec the wine and wafer, and says, "Wouldn't you like to drink the blood and eat the body of God Himself?" The Aztecs also had, quite conveniently, a deity called Tlazolteotl, or Filth Eater. Her function was to devour the sins of those who confessed to her, and the Catholic priests were more than willing to perform this function.
Now suppose Christians want to convert people who worship trees, and celebrate the winter solstice. I can think of a certain holiday that falls only four days from the winter solstice, and the celebrants put up mistletoe (the one thing on earth that could harm the god Baldur). Then <strike>Odin</strike> a jolly saint in a red jacket comes down the chimney to put gifts under the <strike>Irminsul/ Yggdrasil</strike> Christmas Tree.
The Koran defines Abraham and Jesus as Muslims because they submitted to the will of God, although this does not stop Islamists from killing Jews and Christians wholesale. The original intention was, of course, to make it easy to convert Jews and Christians to Islam.
This, of course, brings us to the missionaries' sales pitch, "Yeshua was Jewish." The information shown above should render Jews totally immune to it.
In summary, Rudyard Kipling told us long ago how decent people of different faiths should relate to one another, and this is how we should relate to the missionaries. The bottom line is that decent human beings all belong to the same Lodge regardless of their religion, and those in it must join ranks against the evildoers who would tear it down.
THERE was Rundle, Station Master,
An' Beazeley of the Rail,
An' 'Ackman, Commissariat,
An' Donkin' o' the Jail;
An' Blake, Conductor-Sergeant,
Our Master twice was 'e,
With im that kept the Europe-shop,
Old Framjee Edu1jee.
Outside - " Sergeant! Sir! Salute! Salaam!
Inside - 'Brother," an' it doesn't do no 'arm.
We met upon the Level an' we parted on the Square,
An' I was junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!
We'd Bola Nath, Accountant,
An' Saul the Aden Jew,
An' Din Mohammed, draughtsman
Of the Survey Office too;
There was Babu Chuckerbutty,
An' Amir Singh the Sikh,
An' Castro from the fittin'-sheds,
The Roman Catholick!
We 'adn't good regalia,
An' our Lodge was old an' bare,
But we knew the Ancient Landmarks,
An' we kep' 'em to a hair;
An' lookin' on it backwards
It often strikes me thus,
There ain't such things as infidels,
Excep', per'aps, it's us.
For monthly, after Labour,
We'd all sit down and smoke
(We dursn't give no banquets,
Lest a Brother's caste were broke),
An' man on man got talkin'
Religion an' the rest,
An' every man comparin'
Of the God 'c knew the best.
So man on man got talkin',
An' not a Brother stirred
Till mornin' waked the parrots
An' that dam' brain-fever-bird.
We'd say 'twas 'ighly curious,
An' we'd all ride 'ome to bed,
With Mo'ammed, God, an' Shiva
Changin' pickets in our 'ead.
Full oft on Guv'ment service
This rovin' foot 'ath pressed,
An' bore fraternal greetin's
To the Lodges east an' west,
Accordin' as commanded.
From Kohat to Singapore,
But I wish that I might see them
In my Mother-Lodge once more!
I wish that I might see them,
My Brethren black an' brown,
With the trichies smellin' pleasant
An' the hog-darn passin' down;
An' the old khansamah snorin'
On the bottle-khana floor,
Like a Master in good standing
With my Mother-Lodge once more.
Outside - Sergeant! Sir! Salute! Salaam!'
Inside- Brother," an' it doesn't do no 'arm.
We met upon the Level an' we parted on the Square,
An' I was Junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!