Monday, July 17, 2017

The Holy Land

The ostensible "Holy Land" - considered holy by Jews, Christians, and Muslims - stretches from Egypt to Syria. Before we get started, lets define the word Holy: "exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness." The antithesis of war and bloodshed, wouldn't you say?

The geographical area purported to be consecrated is made up of the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, including the Eastern Bank of the Jordan River. It is synonymous with both the biblical land of Israel and historical Palestine. This ersatz terra firma also refers to a territory corresponding to the modern State of Israel, the Palestinian territories, western Jordan, parts of southern Lebanon, and southwestern Syria.

Pious adherents believe there to be nowhere on earth more sanctified than this segment of the Middle East. In this pseudo sacred space, monotheistic believers are certain that the supreme ruler of the universe entered into a relationship with the human race (never mind the other sextillions of sentient, thinking beings that occupy the universe).

In this Middle Eastern territory known as the Holy Land, lies the ruins of planet earth's oldest civilizations. Located at the junction of Africa, Asia and Europe, the area also serves as a corridor between East and West - a much-trampled and fought over prize for conquering armies. Billions of innocent people have lost their lives on this "holy ground."

For Christians, the Land of Israel is considered holy because of its association with the birth, ministry, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, regarded as the Savior or Messiah, and because it is the land of his people, the Jews (according to the Bible).

Jerusalem is where the plagiarized character Jesus lived, proclaimed his Gospel, performed miracles, was crucified and rose from the dead. His
story is one in a long line of recycled myths borrowed from pagan folklore, such as the myth of Serapis, Horus, Dionysus, Mithras and a host of other pre-Christian saviors. The followers of Jesus venerated places associated with him [with the Roman story], foremost among them the cave at Bethlehem and the Holy Sepulchre.

In the Quran, the term Arabic: الأرض المقدسة‎‎ (Al-Ard Al-Muqaddasah, English: "Holy Land") is used in a passage about Musa (Moses) proclaiming to the Children of Israel: "O my people! Enter the holy land which Allah hath assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin." (Surah 5:21) The Quran also refers to the land as being 'Blessed'.

Amazon Review of "The First Crusade" by Thomas Asbridge:

In The First Crusade, Thomas Asbridge offers a gripping account of a titanic three-year adventure filled with miraculous victories, greedy princes, and barbarity on a vast scale. Beginning with the electrifying speech delivered by Pope Urban II on the last Tuesday of November in the year 1095, readers will follow the more than 100,000 men who took up the call from their mobilization in Europe (where great waves of anti-Semitism resulted in the deaths of thousands of Jews), to their arrival in Constanstinople, an exotic, opulent city--ten times the size of any city in Europe--that bedazzled the Europeans. Featured in vivid detail are the siege of Nicaea and the pivotal battle for Antioch, the single most important military engagement of the entire expedition, where the crusaders, in desparate straits, routed a larger and better equipped Muslim army. Through all this, the crusaders were driven on by intense religious devotion, convinced that their struggle would earn them the reward of eternal paradise in Heaven. But when a hardened core finally reached Jerusalem in 1099 they unleahsed an unholy wave of brutality, slaughtering thousands of Muslims--men, women, and children--all in the name of Christianity.

The First Crusade marked a watershed in relations between Islam and the West, a conflict that set these two world religions on a course toward deep-seated animosity and enduring enmity. The chilling reverberations of this earth-shattering clash still echo in the world today.

Please tell me, what's 'holy' about a territory that has been fought over, an area that has seen billions of innocent people slaughtered since the First Crusade in 1095? That's not a rhetorical question, please tell me what's holy about this macabre 'holy land'? The oxymoron of oxymoron's. 

If this territory is holy, then so should the top 10 most dangerous cities in the world be deemed sacrosanct.
  1. Caracas, Venezuela
  2. Acapulco, Mexico
  3. San Pedro Sula, Honduras
  4. Distrito Central, Honduras
  5. Victoria, Mexico
  6. Maturín, Venezuela
  7. San Salvador, El Salvador
  8. Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela
  9. Valencia, Venezuela
  10. Natal, Brazil
In the USA, Baltimore, MD and St. Louis, MO are #26 and #14 respectively on the list of most dangerous cities in the world. Today and historically, travel in the holy land is extremely risky due to the ongoing conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. Historically, there has never been a region of the world that comes close to the barbarity of this area so absurdly dubbed, The Holy Land.


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