A battle is being waged for the minds of humanity. The two opposing sides are Jerusalem and Athens. Jerusalem represents alleged revelations and actual superstition. Athens represents reason and the God honoring practice of following the evidence wherever it leads.
Even though those who promote the Jerusalem idea of replacing our God-given reason with "revelations" make claim to a belief in God and paint those of us who embrace the Athens reason-friendly worldview as being opposed to God, the Jerusalem camp is in reality opposed to God. If Nature's God is real, as all Deists believe, we cannot get any closer to God, or develop a more accurate understanding of God, if we don't uncompromisingly and strongly stick to reason and reality. Once we let go of our gift from God of innate reason, we quickly lose direction and end up a "revealed" religionist or Atheist.
The biggest promoters of the superstition based Jerusalem worldview are the revealed religionists. The most actively dangerous of that bunch are the neoconservatives. The neocons openly promote war for the promotion of their twisted unreasonable worldview. That is why the Iraq War was started. According to Time magazine of January 27, 2003 pp 28-29, the neoconservative movement through the powerful neocon Paul Wolfowitz pushed for the war in Iraq and got it. According to Philip Zelikow, an advisor to George W. Bush and the executive director of the 9/11 commission, the Iraq War was started and fought for the benefit of the Jewish state of Israel. The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament-based neocons have now turned their sights on Iran, and to a lesser degree, on Syria.
The neocon movement is largely based on the teachings of the Jew from Germany Leo Strauss. After arriving in America in 1938, Strauss became a professor at the University of Chicago. He held that position from 1949 through 1969. Wolfowitz was just one of his students who went on to become leading neoconservative US government officials.
Strauss taught that the people must be ruled by a government based on a revealed religion. His idea of the ideal revealed religion that it should be based upon was Judaism. He taught that the Hebrew Bible should be the foundation of society. In the insightful introduction to a collection of Strauss' writings, Jewish Philosophy and the Crisis of Modernity, Kenneth Green writes,
Strauss learned from Maimonides that religion is essential to any healthy political society, and certainly for the moral life of human beings. Over and above this, Maimonides convinced Strauss that Jewish religion, based on the Hebrew Bible, is most essential to ground a 'genuine' morality for almost every human being.
This is the key to the very unprogressive and dangerous neoconservative worldview.
The main idea in the Hebrew Bible that the neocons want society and the world based upon is the supremacy of the Jews and the Jewish state of Israel. The Hebrew Bible is loaded with passages that make this very evident. Not only Deuteronomy 7:6 which openly states the Jews are "above all people on the face of the earth", but also Isaiah 60:10-11 which has God telling the Jews through the Jewish prophet, "And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee. . . . Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought." And don't forget the powerful threatening statement falsely attributed to God in Isaiah 60:12 that flatly proclaims, "For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted." This ancient Jewish psychological warfare is being used successfully today against America. I've had many sincere Christians quote Isaiah 60:12 to me when I asked them why the US would put Israel's interests before the interests of its own people.
To fully demonstrate the unprogressive characteristic of the neocon movement and of the Jerusalem worldview, I'll quote directly from Leo Strauss' speech Progress or Return? The Contemporary Crisis in Western Civilization, which can be found in his book Jewish Philosophy And The Crisis of Modernity. Strauss wrote and said
Judaism is a concern with return; it is not a concern with progress. 'Return' can easily be expressed in biblical Hebrew; 'progress' cannot.
This really sums up the danger we face from the Jerusalem worldview and from its political arm, the neoconservative movement. Do we really want a world without progress??? That is what is in store for us as the neocons continue to have their way.
To clearly point out further differences in the Athens worldview and that of Jerusalem, we need to read more of Strauss. In his essay Jerusalem and Athens, he points out a very fundamental difference when he writes,
According to the Bible, the beginning of wisdom is fear of the Lord; according to the Greek philosophers, the beginning of wisdom is wonder. We are thus compelled from the very beginning to make a choice, to take a stand.
He also writes,
One is thus led to say that the Bible contains both 'myth' and 'history.' Yet this distinction is alien to the Bible; it is a special form of the distinction between mythos and logos; mythos and historie are of Greek origin. From the point of view of the Bible the 'myths' are as true as the 'histories': what Israel 'in fact' did or suffered cannot be understood except in the light of the 'facts' of Creation and Election.
Of course, the Biblical creation story is not possible, neither is the election of the Jews by God to be above everyone else on the planet. Neither of these Bible stories align with our God-given reason.
In his essay Strauss brings out a difference between reason and unreasonableness, between Athens and Jerusalem, which goes directly against the heart of Deism and which is the heart of the Bible. He writes,
. . . the concept of nature is foreign to the Bible.
This realization is what has caused many to reject the Bible and to become Deists!
Leo Strauss is held-up by friend and foe alike as being very intelligent. However, if you read his longwinded defense of the Biblical account of creation, it's very hard to agree! His attempts to make the ludicrous Bible myth of creation sound reasonable are pathetic. If he hadn't done so much damage to society, I'd be tempted to feel sorry for him.
When he attempts to justify the insane and comically stupid Bible story of the fall of man, he really exposes himself as a moron as well as his disdain for women, which is so strong in Judaism and in its two after-births of Christianity and Islam. Not only does he show his contempt for women, he also fully exposes his credulity when he accepts the story of a talking serpent! Strauss writes,
Thus the stage is set for the fall of our first parents. The first move came from the serpent, the most cunning of all the beasts of the field; it seduced the woman into disobedience and then the woman seduced the man. The seduction moves from the lowest to the highest.
I can't help but agree with Clarence Darrow who thought it very strange that nobody seemed to think it odd that a snake/serpent was talking!
Thank you for your help in countering the darkness and unreasonableness of Jerusalem and helping us get the word out about Athens/Deism through your support of Deism. As you can see by the superstition based mindset of Leo Strauss and his neocons, no good can come from belief in unreasonable myths and lies. It's only through the honesty and clear thinking of Deism that the world can be yanked from the jaws of destructive ignorance and put back on the path to Nature's God and God's gift of innate reason.