Carving of King Herod and the massacre of the ...

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and are they playing you…like a cheap fiddle?   (part one)

Photo credit: Carving of King Herod and the massacre of the innocents over north porch of Lady Chapel, Glastonbury

My, my my….just one year away from 2012 (the year the Mayan calendar stops on Dec 21) and look what’s going on.  North Africa and the Middle East are on fire,  pent up passions like seething lava, belching and boiling, enveloping and igniting Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Libya….and threatening Saudi Arabia?  What’s going on?

Just like you,  Muslims are Armageddon believers too.  In fact, they believe in it far more fervently than you and I ever could.  In  the world of Islam the grip of the Mullahs over the minds and hearts of the people has not weakened over the centuries as it has with priests and rabbis in other parts of the world.   The Koran is the most important and widely known piece of literature in the Muslim world, therefore they eagerly anticipate the end of days and the emergence of the baby Imam, Madhi,  from the well.  Sounds absurd, I know, but over on our side we struggle to make out which guy in People Magazine might be the Anti Christ and whether or not the 144,000 have been raptured yet.  So who is to say?

Over there, the Shiites despise the Sunni, the Sunni despise the Shiites and everybody despises the Jews.  Over here, the Christians despise the Muslims, the Muslims despise the Christians and everybody….why?

Now, how did all this get started?  With regard to the beleaguered Jews, they were caught in kind of a squeeze play perpetrated upon them by the Holy Roman Empire working through the house of Herod.  The powers that be were hearing disquieting stories of a child who was the King of Heaven, the Son of God.  In the Roman world, Caesar was God.  This was an irreconcilable situation virtually from inception. There was also the little problem of the panoply of gods and goddesses that the people bestowed voluntary tithes to. The priest class in any of these societies were plump with funds, and they could use these funds to bribe and gain influence and favor with the  members of  the legislature, the power structure.

Beliefs are everything.

The Jews had been expecting a Messiah, but for them, their Messiah was expected to perform the miracle of freeing them from the brutal yoke of the Romans.  Christ did not do this for them, therefore according to the dictates of their expectation, he was not the Messiah, not the anointed one.  Furthermore, he was occasionally quite the hooligan, turning over the money changer tables and ranting at them.  The old men of the Sanhedrin were not enjoying these outbursts.  But the real pressure came from the Romans who wanted him dead because he was a threat to the divinity of their Emperor.

Beliefs are everything.

Some thirty or so years earlier, Herod who answered to the Romans but ruled over those regions in those times, had already felt threatened from the moment the bright star first appeared in the night sky over his land.  He knew of the Wise Men and he knew what the Jews were expecting of this newborn.  A dream prompted Joseph and Mary to flee before Herod’s soldiers would find them.   Herod indeed did send his soldiers to slay all male children in the region under the age of two. To Herod, this baby represented the coming of a Jewish revolt.   The Jews were expecting a Messiah and so Herod was expecting a revolution.  He preferred to take savage, preemptive action. I suppose he thought his Roman masters would be pleased.

Beliefs are everything.

To be continued…..