Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dear Readers, I am encountering serious technical problems on/ with my computer. As you may see, I cannot even go to a new line after Dear Readers. If I make a mistake I cannot even delete it. I was told by one computer expert that the keyboard of my computer is broken. I may have to purchase a new computer, since my computer's keyboard cannot possibley be replaced. This is being addressed to you to let you know that I will resume writing and publishing as soon as I can overcome the technical problem I am encountering. Thank you for your patiemce and understanding. Sincerely, Sodium

Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Brief Outline of the Answer to Question (7) of the " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " By Stephen M. Miller.

By Sodium

Reciting Question (7):
" How could Mary have been a pregnant virgin 2000 years before in vitro fertilization ? "

Stephen Miller says that it is difficult to believe in pregnant virgins before the advancement of twenty first century in sciences which has made pregnant virgins medically, scientifically and technically quite possible. He further refers to the fact that the Virgin Mary's pregnancy was mentioned only by Mathew and Luke in the Bible. And Mathew has mentioned it only once in the Bible and has never mentioned again. Mathew's gospel has the following narrative about Virgin Mary:

" While she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit " ( Mathew 1:18 NTL ).

It is obvious to the writer of this blog that the above foregoing is an attempt to throw doubts about the pregnancy of a virgin in ancient time. However, the Christians themselves do not seem to agree on this issue either. Some Christians ask the following question:

" Why it's so tough to believe that God could accomplish 2,000 years ago what human can do today (?) "

But, some other Christians encountered the above question with the following comments, as stated by Miller:

" They doubt this part of the story ( Virgin Mary's Pregnancy ) not because the gospels of Mark and John skip it; those gospels skip everything that has anything to do with Jesus' birth and childhood."

Still, some other Christians say they "doubt the virgin birth for other reasons, too " And their other reasons are the following ones:

" *  Mathew and Luke never mention it again, and it could be deleted without affecting anything else in their stories--almost as it got edited in.."

" * Apart from Mary's song of praise to God in Luke ( 's gospel ), Jesus family never mentioned it."

" * No one else in the Bible mentioned it. "

Based on the above narrative, it is difficult to decide which one of the thoughts or rather one of the  opinion mentioned above is closer to the truth; and which thought can be rejected out of hand immediately, since each thought, or rather each opinion, stands on its own merits.

Final Words
Since Christians themselves cannot agree on the pregnancy of Virgin Mary, one may understand why Stephen Miller has risen the question in the first place.

What is troubling from such doubts is the reflection on certain verses of the Qur'an in which the name of the Virgin Mary is mentioned, so many times, explicitly and beautifully expressing honor and reverence for the Virgin Mary. In other words, the doubts that are being raised by some Christians, about Virgin Mary's pregnancy, cannot be ignored with their connections to specific narratives, concerning the Virgin Mary in the Qur'an. All that must not mean that such specific narratives in the Qur'an have become in doubt too. Not at all. Because what one can gather from all of the above debate only different opinions that must be brought up in the open for better understanding of what's in the Bible. However, opinions remain just that: " Opinion ."  They all could have been wrong in their doubts, including the opinion of  Mr. Stephen Miller.



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Language of a Diplomatic Walk Performed by the Negotiating Diplomats of Iran and the Five Plus One, After Reaching an Agreement on Iran's Nuclear Program.

By Sodium

I have followed and observed and have taken notes since the beginning of the negotiations between the six major powers of the world, specifically between U.S.A., Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and Germany on one hand, and Iran on the other hand. I will refrain, as much as possible, from burdening the reader, of this website,with the almost countless meticulous details that have taken place between the six major powers of the world and Iran, since the interested reader can find such meticulous details elsewhere, which will, most likely, appear, in due process of time, in world newspapers, political magazines and probably in books whose authors would be more qualified than me to do so. But, I may be able to sum up the eleven years of difficult relations and almost the last two years of  negotiations between the six major powers of the world and Iran in the following straight--forward statement:


(1) The fact that Ahmad Jawad Zareef, Iran's Foreign Minister, who has led the Iranian negotiating team, was allowed to walk into the stage in Vienna, ahead of all representatives of the six major world's powers, meaning the five members of the United Nation's Security Council plus one ( U.S.A., Russia, China, France, Britain plus Germany ), to inform the world that they all have finally reached an agreement on Iran's nuclear program. Based on populations, China has the largest population, and the European countries combined have the second largest population. Hence, the Chinese Representative, or the 42 year old lady, Frederica Mogherini, Foreign Minister of the European Union, should have walked entering into the stage, in Vienna, ahead of all other representatives of the Hexane of Powers, or rather the six major world's powers, including Iran. If anyone is na├»ve enough and wishes to dismiss this observational fact, as un-important, that is his or her prerogative, but I will not dismiss the body languages, glaring and movement of the eyes, face expressions, order of walking, order of standing and place of the standing, as diplomats, heads of states, prime ministers and high ranking military generals, as unimportant. Such a realm of unspoken language has its own dynamic and positive or negative effect, in the world of diplomacy. Ask anyone who is well experienced, in the realm of international diplomacy and he or she would, most likely, tell you that this observation is correct.

(2)  The fact that Mr.Zareef of Iran was allowed to walk into the stage, in Vienna, Austria, ahead of all other negotiators has meant, at least to the writer of this blog, that all six major global powers combined have been eager not to antagonize Iran, through an offensive treatment of its lead-negotiator. This unspoken fact in the realm of diplomacy has meant that all six major powers were eager to reach an agreement with Iran, for which each one of the six major powers has certain goals interested to accomplish through such negotiations with Iran. And all these goals have to do with protecting each major power's interest in the Middle East:
(A) Germany, France and United Kingdom: Trade for making huge amounts of money, as Iran gets back its more than $100 Billion which have been frozen in Banks in the West, for the last three decades. You have just read it correctly: $100 Billion, not Million. That is a huge amount of American dollars which are going to boast the Iranian economy and trade, if Iran concentrate on the improvement of the lives of its Iranian citizens who have suffered enough from years of sanctions against their country because of suspicions about its nuclear project and activities. .  .
(B) United States of America's main concern are two folds: One concern is the fact it needs Iran's cooperation in its war against terrorism that it has been waging on for the last 13 years--to be specific since the terrorism acts that took place on September 11, 2001, in New York city and Pentagon in Washington DC . The second concern is the security of Israel.
(C)  Russia: It seems to the writer of this essay, Russia went along with the outcome of the negotiations for two main reasons: Its client, Iran, has, accepted the final terms of the negotiations, and hence, it does not make sense to reject it. The second reason has been the fact that Russia has its own war against terrorism. And in addition, perhaps, it wants to join the forces of the Western powers against the terror of Daesh, (ISIS), in Syria, since Syria has been a firm client to Russia for, at least, the last 40 years--since the days of the late Syrian President Hafiz El-Assad, father of Bashar El-Assad, current President of Syria.
(D)  China is interested in building a future petroleum line from the Arabian Gulf to China, and needs Iran 's cooperation for a possible passage of the petroleum line, (and also a possible gas line), to pass through Iran to reach Chinese proper.

(3) The Iranian  President, Hassan Rouhani, has immediately, after the diplomatic walk in Vienna, Austria, made a speech, addressed to the people of Iran in which he has made it clear that all four goals Iran wanted to accomplish from such a marathon negotiations have been achieved. He has specifically named the four goals as follows:
(A)  Iran will fundamentally maintain its nuclear technological know-how.
(B)  The economic / financial sanctions established mainly by Western powers against Iran will be removed.
(C)  The United Nations sanction will be removed as well.
(D)  Iran's name will also be removed from Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter.

Final Words:
As one combines the diplomatic walk that had taken place into a stage, in Vienna, Austria, and all points (1), (2), and (3), listed above, in addition to their subordinate points, as (A), (B), (C) and (D), it has become clear that Iran has succeeded in its patient diplomacy; and came out at the top from such an enduring marathon of negotiations with six to one odd. The people of Iran have good reasons to celebrate, in the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities, such a victory. The question is: How long Iran and the hexane of the world's major powers can adhere firmly to the terms of the accord ? That is the question whose answer is anyone's guess. No one really knows, for sure. Only the future will tell.

And finally, it is foolish to conclude that Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab countries have ended up the real losers from such an accord. All one needs reviewing carefully the history of the Arabs who have always get rid of their tormentors. The cycle of history is neutral.

Iran's future stability and prosperity depend upon its healthy relations with its neighbors. And it has what is needed to amend its relations with Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab World: by first handing the three islands, it has occupied, since the days of the Shah's rule, back to the United Arab Emirates, the legitimate owners of the islands. Those islands are three in number:
~`The large Island of Tunib.
~ The Small Island of Tunib.
~ The Island of Abu-Musa.

And Iran must stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon and must stop bragging, by some of its politicians, that they are in control of four Arab capitals, and intending to make Baghdad, Iraq, the capital of their future empire   Otherwise, all the people of the Middle East, including the Iranian people will suffer endlessly and wastefully. The leaders of the Iranian Islamic Republic must wise up and do good things, in that part of the world, in good faith, so that the people of the Arab World will be compelled to reciprocate, in kind.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

An Outline Of The Answer To Question (6) Of The " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " By Stephen Miller.

By Sodium

Reciting Question (6):
" God said King Hezekiah would die of an illness, but a few minutes later said he would let Hezekiah live another fifteen years. How can someone who knows everything change his mind like that ? "

Outlining The Answers Provided By Stephen Miller:
~ Miller says that " most Bible experts " say that " God does not change his mind. " and they quote the following quotation from the Bible:

" The Lord is the Eternal One of Israel...He is not a human being, so he does not change his mind
 ( ! Samuel 15:29 NCV ).

~ In order to validate the legitimacy of his question, Miller has provided the following responses or comments:

( A )  " Enter King Hezekiah, sick to death."

( B )  " God sent the prophet Isaiah to tell the king: " Set your affairs in order, for you are going to
 die. You will no recover from this illness " ( Isaiah 38:1 NLT ).

( C )  " Hezekiah broke into sobs and started praying. "
 D )  " Isaiah was walking out of the palace when God told him to turn around and give the king a new and improved message: " God heard your prayers and he is giving you fifteen more years "
( See v. 5 )

( E )  According to the biblical evidences ( A ), ( B ), ( C ) and ( D ), as stated above, Miller says : " That sounds like God changed his mind. "

Moreover, Miller goes on to say that " There are other stories in the Bible that also seem to report God doing a 180 ( degrees change ) " in changing his mind. He list the following biblical stories:

" * Creation do-over: " The Lord saw how bad the people on earth were...He was very sorry that he had made them ( Genesis 6:5-6 CEV ). Up next: the flood.

" * King do-over. " The Lord told Samuel , ' Saul has stopped obeying me, and I am sorry that I made him king ' " (  1 Samuel 15:10-11 ) ". David would replace Saul as Israel's king. "

" * On second thought. After compelling the prophet Jonah to go to Nineveh, in what is now Iraq, and tell the people that their city would be destroyed in forty days, God did not destroy the city. The people repented and God Forgave them ( Jonah 3 ).

Although Bible experts has considered the biblical story as ( Jonah 3 ) specified above as "The clue" . by saying that " It is not who's changing.  It's the people who are changing. All God is doing is changing his plans to accommodate the changed people. "

After debating the issues in considerable length, Miller says the following:

" Some Bible experts don't try to defend the Bible choices of words. Instead, they embrace the mystery of God. They say the Bible writers were simply trying to explain what was going on as best they knew how-- but their know-how was limited. It eas limited because they were only humans."

Final Words:
Because of the fact that the Bible experts have some differences in their viewpoints about what was going on, the validity of the question raised, and the answers given to it, by miller had become more interesting to the writer of this blog. However, one may not be able to avoid the fact that God remains a mystery to all humanity, exactly as the last paragraph stated above by some Bible experts.



Friday, July 10, 2015

A Brief Outline Of The Answer To Question (5) Of The " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " By Stephen Miller.

By Sodium

Reciting Question (5):
" The Song of Songs in the Bible is so sexually charged that it sounds like it needs " rating for a mature-audience. "  What 's it doing in the Holy Bible ? "

A Short Description of the Answer Given By Stephen Miller:
Miller covers so many reasons to prove the validity of question (5) he has risen, as stated  in the above quote. He has done so by referring to specific statements in the Bible and by quoting what certain scholars and Bible's experts had said about the Song of Songs. I have felt un-comfortable  when I read the content of the answer the first time. And I still feel uncomfortable as I try to provide the readers with an idea, or rather a general comprehension of the answers given by Miller. The following quote may be sufficient to provide the readers with a degree of comprehension of Miller's attempt to prove that the Song of Songs should not be in the Bible, as he has made the following comment, followed by a quote from the Bible:

" Consider this sacred sound bite, lyrics from what many Bible experts say was a wedding song: " Your figure is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its cluster.....'  I will climb the palm tree and take hold of its fruit '  " ( Song of Songs 7:7-8 ).

If the above quote is not an explicit description of a sexual act, then it is implicitly so. And it is an embarrassment reading it in the Holy Bible-explicitly or implicitly. 

Final Words:
Before some newspapers editor in the Christian West ridiculing Prophet Muhammad and before Jewish and Christians bigots and Islamophobes start ridiculing Islam, I sincerely and constructively suggest that they examine what their Holy Bible contains. And I am not a Muslim-just trying to be objective in this narrative.



Saturday, July 4, 2015

An Outline Of The Answer To Question (4) Of The " 100 Tough Questions about God And The Bible " By Stephen M. Miller.

By Sodium

Reciting Question ( 4 ):
" The Bible says God gets jealous, but how is that not petty of him ? "

A Summary of the Answer, as Provided by Miller:
~ Human beings have their own jealousy also.
~ When a husband cheats on his wife by having an affair with another woman, she gets jealous, if she really loves her husband. And by the same token, when a wife cheats on her husband, he gets jealous, if he truly loves his wife.
~ In such cases (  of adultery, Miller says: " jealousy is what we expect to see in anyone who loves another and who is hurt by a lover's unfaithfulness."
~ To provide justifications to the question he has raised, Miller has made the following quotes, as they are written in the Old Testament of the Bible:

" I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God "  ( Exodus 20:5 NLT ) "

" Obey the Lord your God, and faithfully follow all his commands that I am giving you today. If you do, the Lord your God will place high above all the other nations in the world" (Deuteronomy 28:1)

~ It seems to the writer of this blog, because of such quotes from the Old Testament of the Bible,  Miller has concluded that " In a way, God married Israel."

He further goes on to say that " Jews cheated on God. "  And  he provide the following comments to prove his points:

" Several prophets compared the busted relationship ( with God ) to adultery. Hosea ( a Hebrew prophet ) went so far as to marry a prostitute who, it seems, would have children by other men. Hosea married her to" illustrate how Israel had acted like a prostitute by turning against the Lord and worshiping other gods " ( Hosea 1:2 NLT ).

~ Miller has finally made the following comments about Christians and Jews:

" When people worship fake gods-especially with rituals that hurt themselves and others-Jews and Christians say jealous God makes a perfect sense."

Fimal Words:
Please notice the difference between the two words, " gods " and " God " as they are written in the last quote. The former refers to the gods that are worshipped by Pagans, while the latter refers to the God in which Jews, Christians and Muslims believed.