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Citizens of the World

Kenneth G. Ramey

We hope exposure to other concepts and peoples can encourage responsible-individuals to accommodate to necessity rather than commit to impossible dreams or absolute dominance over the lives of others. We can hope. (Mar-31-2009 07:25)




(PASO ROBLES, Calif.) - A citizen of the world is a person who can be comfortable in the presence of others regardless of geographic and political, as well as ethnic and religious backgrounds. Such a person has achieved something that needs to be achieved by a great many more people before there will be a noticeable improvement in human relations.


The Religions of the Book - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - are a major cause for the failure to achieve such a desirable goal, and provide by their history evidence that politics in religion was/is an instrument of divisiveness that prevents the world's peoples from coming together in a common brotherhood.


The problem is what it has always been, reluctance on the part of religious leaders to acknowledge or share with others the authority they claim for themselves. To compromise would be tantamount to admitting they erred in representing the will of God. Hence, those who hold membership in any of the Religions of the Book are locked in the grip of an untenable position.


If man is to find release from his predicament, he must alter his way of thinking, accept compromise, or resort to the only viable recourse, the final solution! The Second Coming of Christ supposedly will occur when Christianity achieves world dominance, and all that refuse to join ranks with Christianity then will be destroyed by fire, as Autos de Fe were intended to demonstrate. I can’t imagine it will ever come to pass.


The last witches in America and Europe were killed in the 18th Century after hundreds of years of a Catholic “solution” that failed then, and will forever fail. But the concept of Christianity as the One Church of all Nations persists in spite of failures the Church has experienced, ignoring that facts of which it disapproves still are facts.


Following the death of Constantine, Rome sought to achieve dominance over its Orthodox partner by means of symbolic-destruction, first by the Iconoclastic Controversy, then by the fraudulently produced Donation of Constantine, purportedly giving to Rome Primacy over all of Christendom [the cause of the first Great Schism] as the first in a series of steps that, as the One God of All Nations, the Vatican believes ultimately will make the Catholic Church Ruler of the World. Others are not so sure.


Arabs borrowed a page from Christianity in the 7th Century when it proclaimed Muhammad the last of God’s prophets, and Islam more than equal to Christianity. In the 8th Century Islam overran the Civilized world, and has since maintained and enlarged its worldwide identity. Attempts by Christians to prove them wrong have always failed.


In a futile attempt to preserve its parochial-dominance, Rome determined either to convince or destroy any and all baptized dissidents [heretics] who refused to bend to its will. Bishops began what Inquisitions finished, and though both did their work with dedicated enthusiasm, Protestantism eventually prevailed [the second Great Schism] and enlightened Catholics now question bishops who cling to the concept of a glorious future.


And, God forbid, American Evangelists are now attempting to do the same thing.


A Controversy at the University of Notre Dame involving President Obama who, as a first-term president and according to tradition, was invited by the University to address the graduating Class of 2009 at its Commencement Ceremony in May has, according to the AP, been met, with “considerable” criticism; Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix describes the selection as ”a public act of disobedience and a grave mistake,” and another bishop has said he will not attend because of President Obama’s support of stem-cell research and family planning worldwide [Catholic births increase its base].


A University paper-poll, reports that 73% of alumni-respondents [old timers?] oppose the invitation, but significantly, more than 97% of graduates responding to the poll support the invitation. The invitation stands, and the President says he is looking forward to addressing the graduates.


A Political Science major at the University says, “I can’t see how Obama’s appearance contradicts Catholic values; it seems a little hypocritical and contradictory to [what] the mission of the university and church should be,” proving himself, and the graduates, better world citizens than some of their Bishops.


Christianity borrowed from Judaism, and Islam from Christianity, and all three are flourishing. Judaism, as are all religions, is composed of sects; persons who hold to the fundamentals, but who worship in their own way [Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin come immediately to mind].




Christianity was a Judaic sect that left the fold to impose its New concept upon the Old, the logical story of which has already been told.


Once established, Christianity was slow to take off; its first three hundred years was a period of competition with more popular pagan religions. Jews dealt with lingering dissidents many of whom, Isaiah revealed, clung to the worship of favorite idols rather than commit to an invisible Jehovah.



Christians enlarged on the Jehovah concept of the Jews, but capitalized on its weakness that lacked a transitional plan from tangible deities to the obscure One God of the Jewish Nation. Christianity used symbols; the arts, the cross, and especially statuary to portray Jesus’ Divinity, and by the Eucharist provided members the means intimately to attach themselves to Him and Catholicism.


Christ - as Jesus was called - to separate his Spiritual Being from his humanity, still posed a problem for Christianity because the Eucharist initially attracted as many condemnations as it did converts. Pagans referred to Christianity as cannibalistic because the faithful were expected “to eat of Jesus’ flesh and drink his blood” the purpose of which was described in “The Blood of Christ.”


The first three-hundred years of Christianity was a period in which the religion in favor was Pagan [persons who did not acknowledge the God of the New Testament] and Christians often became a source of entertainment at coliseums where they were pitted against animals or warriors.


The strength of Christianity, it was said, was its Martyrs. That changed in 312 A.D. when Christianity became the religion of Empire and Constantine granted freedom of religion to all, and put an end to religious persecutions.


Moslems occupied Spain for seven-hundred years till they were expelled in 1492. The expulsion of Jews followed, and its Inquisition [Limpieza de Sangre] removed from Spain anyone not committed to Rome's Catholicism. For its success, the Pope bestowed on Spain’s Monarch’s his Royal Patronage, the right to appoint bishops without recourse to Rome, making them, within their territories, the equal of the pope.


Dutch Netherlands was a Spanish possession, but leaned heavily in favor of Lutheranism that focused on New Testament teachings and Luther’s Justification by Faith over collective church authority.


In 1588 Spain decided to kill two birds with one stone. It sent its Armada north to enforce the loyalty of its wayward subjects, with the added intention of crippling Britain’s sea power that played havoc with Spanish shipping and treasure from around the world. It did neither.


The Armada was defeated by English corsairs, aka Privateers [ships commissioned by a government to attack ships of other countries] in the English Channel, and the remnant of the Spanish fleet was devastated by storms west of Ireland during its ill-fated retreat The Netherlands and its Lutheran faithful existed thereafter without interference from Spain.


In 1606 English Puritans were permitted religious refuge in Rotterdam that over 14-years became less cordial. Habits of nationality and necessity acted as a catalyst in determining Dutch attitudes toward others not precisely of their faith or disposition. The work-ethic of the Puritans may have been learned at the knee of the Dutch who believe God helps those who help themselves. The Pilgrims got the message and in 1620, they sailed aboard the Mayflower for the New World landing at Plymouth the same year.


Jews, in spite of their contribution to intelligentsia [the intelligent, intellectual, or highly educated members of a society] were labeled “God killers” by Christians, and in adopted lands, even when they had lived in them for centuries, were conveniently dubbed intruders and used by leaders as a common enemy.


Nazi Germany encouraged its people to project upon Jews the blame for everything - as if they were witches - and in a rite of purification similar to that perpetrated in Spain five hundred years earlier, set for itself the task of eliminating them.


For the rite to be effective the waste, for which the Jews had become the symbol, needed to be destroyed, and millions of them died in the holocaust.


After WW-II, territory was carved from land occupied by Palestinians to create for Jews a Homeland [Israel] to eliminate criticism by nations of Jews as intruders. Jews have a homeland now, but they are not out of the woods. Israel is determined to resist further abuse and avoid another humiliation, and proved it by winning the Six-Day War against Egypt. Unfortunately, Palestinians from whose lands Israel was carved are just as determined to regain what they lost.


Some Arab nations support Israel's sovereignty in the interest of peace, yet radical Moslems support Palestine in its misguided attempt to destroy Israel, and likely will until, or unless, Palestinians, their supporters, and Israel agree to live peacefully side by side, each in its own State.


Faith Militant was the label given to Christianity when the Church cruelly forced its will upon its members. Survivors rallied around Deism, a concept known as Faith Victorious, a personal faith each can turn to without the intercession of the Church. Militancy has become a way of life [and death], of all The Religions of the Book, but wars have a redeeming quality.


Exposure to other concepts and peoples may encourage responsible-individuals [on both sides] to accommodate to necessity rather than commit to impossible dreams or absolute dominance over the lives of others. We can hope.



The result would be a move closer to the goal of Universal understanding by stressing the unifying feature of individuality versus the divisiveness of forced communal beliefs. For it is the spiritual side of human nature - the Universal Oneness of a common beginning - that unites all manner of men - if once they understand the truth - and cultural definitions and expectations that divide them.



------------------------------------------------Kenneth G. Ramey was a 79-year old "writer without a Website" who is generating excellent, provocative articles on the subject of religion and world affairs. We are pleased that Ken's "lone wolf" presence as a writer in the world has been replaced by a spot on our team of writers at Raised in Minnesota and California during the dark years of the Great American Depression, Ken is well suited to talk about the powerful forces in the world that give all of us hope and tragedy and everything in between. You can write to Ken at:


Citizens of the World

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