It's one of those names that became increasingly popular in the country after World War II i. A lot of the soldiers that the Dutch natives met during the liberation were named John which was a top 5 name in English-speaking countries at the timeso the name enjoyed quite some exposure in the entire country and thus many Dutch parents were inspired to give this name to their son.
It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice.
Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character. I used to think that most people like to believe that religion is a benign or positive influence in the world.
As much as I want to believe the positive aspects I have to admit based on the historical and sociological evidence that this is not so, especially during unsettled times of great change. We live in such an era and when it comes to identity, God is the ultimate trump card. If one wonders why the most fanatical individuals and groups on earth are tied to religions, whether it is the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Orthodox Jews, radical Hindus and Buddhists as well as militant Christians.
Of course all of these groups have different goals, but their thought and philosophy are quite similar.
Just look at any place in any time where any religion, sect or cult has gained control of a government. They are not loving, they are not forgiving and they use the police power of the state to persecute any individual or group that is judged to be in error, or even worse has the gall to question their authority.
Since the Christian groups tend to thrive in the West, they only speak in terms of violence, most, with the exception of Russian Orthodox Christians, do not have a government to translation of those words into action.
Many, especially conservative Catholics and some Evangelical and Charismatic Protestants seem for a long for the day when they can assume control of a theocratic government. They cannot calculate and act rationally in pursuit of their self-interest until they define their self.
Interest politics presupposes identity.
In times of rapid social change established identities dissolve, the self must be redefined, and new identities created. For people facing the need to determine Who am I? Where do I belong? Religion provides compelling answers…. In this process people rediscover or create new historical identities.
Whatever universalist goals they may have, religions give people identity by positing a basic distinction between believers and non-believers, between a superior in-group and a different and inferior out-group. That is the certitude of the true believer, especially the religious one.
Secular or atheistic fanatics could care less about the next life, for this life is all that they have. The great American philosopher, Eric Hoffer wrote: The truth is the surrendering and humbling of the self breed pride and arrogance. The true believer is apt to see himself as one of the chosen, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, a prince disguised in meekness, who is destined to inherit the earth and the kingdom of heaven too.
He who is not of his faith is evil; he who will not listen will perish. In fact today when I see the words and actions of these supposed Conservative Christians. Please do not get me wrong. I am a Christian, a priest, a historian and a theologian, but I also know just how insidious those who hold their religion over those of others can be.
While I hold faith dear, I know that it can be abused for the claim of some to have God as their final authority is a sort of trump card with which they are able to justify the most obscene and evil acts against others.
Likewise I struggle with faith every day. If you have read this blog from the beginning you will see chronicle my struggles with faith and its practice, especially in life and politics. I guess that is why I am even more frightened of religious true believers than non-religious true believers.
While the non-religious true believer may sacrifice everything for the sake of power and control in this life, and may in fact commit the most heinous crimes against humanity, their hatred is bounded in space and time to this earth.
The religious true believer is not content with that; their enemies must be damned and punished in this life, but for eternity, without hope of salvation.In , he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of the displaced victims of the First World War and related conflicts.
 Erwin Neher (born ), German biophysicist.
What book changed your life/your perspectives after reading it and how? submitted 3 years ago by Rupey. comments book goes into some detail around the pivotal points in history where humanity broke away from life's natural course by establishing what we today believe to "civilized society." Catch by Joseph Heller.
permalink. The ability to think both rationally and irrationally is simultaneously a blessing and a curse for the human race. In the satirical novel Catch by Joseph Heller, this bittersweet power to reason and think logically proves to be the source of conflict for the protagonist, Yossarian, as he.
There’s a quote by Joseph Heller (from his novel, “Catch 22”) that I think applies here: “The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he . In , 42 is the most common age for an American (U.S.) John who is registered female* with the Social Security Administration.
It is the 1, th most common female first name for living U.S. citizens. Sep 23, · Catch 22 - Joseph Heller Because it's the best book I've ever read. And it's one of those rare books that seems thematically limitless - you always take something new away from it on a reread.