Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Test case: Christianity vs Judaism vs Islam

Another religious bruhaha reared its head, today. AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) has been accused of blasphemy for its new slogan: I AM. As in I AM Instant Messaging and I AM Voice Chat.

I AM is the English translation of YaHWeH, the self-proclaimed name of God. Exodus 3:13-15 says, And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations."

In John 8:58, Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am."

In a letter to AOL executives Jonathan Miller, the chief executive officer of America Online, and John Buckley, corporate communications officer, one Ian Millar wrote,
He is the Creator and Savior of the world. He alone is to be worshipped. To take His name in vain, or use as a common thing is blasphemy, a vulgar sin of offense. Perhaps you have not read the Third Commandment, since they have removed it from so many public monuments in the last decade. But breaking it as a means of marketing your products offends the mind of everyone who worships Him.

You must immediately change the name of your program. I can assure you that you will lose business over this marketing tactic from people who worship the Almighty. But worse, you have offended Him by your actions; whether they are deliberate or ignorant. To treat as common the name of God is wicked. God is patient, but mankind is today making an error of epic proportions by the deliberate actions of mocking the Almighty; particularly in the technologically advanced society. His patience with the mockery of mankind will come to an end.

This new marketing idea is bad corporate policy. I implore you to change the name of your programs and rebuke the marketing team who came up with this vile idea. I will stop using AIM and urge all of my colleagues to convert to your competitors, if this is not changed very soon.
In view of the ongoing kerfluffle over the caricatures of Muhammed that appeared in a Danish newspaper, we have a chance to compare the reactions to perceived blasphemy by the three great monotheistic religions of the world, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. What do you think is likely to happen?
Do you think Christians and Jews will burn Danish Flags?
Do you think that masked Christian and Jewish gunmen will storm USAID offices to demand an apology from the US?
Do you think Christian and Jewish jihadists will threaten suicide bomb attacks against AOL?
Do you think anonymous Christian and Jewish terrorists will threaten, "AOL is next!"
Do you think that Israel and the Vatican will withdraw their ambassadors from Washington?
Will the State Depsrtment have to warn Americans not to visit the Vatican or Tel Aviv?
Do you think the Pope and the acting Israeli Prime Minister will demand that President Bush punish AOL?
Will thousands of Jews and Christians take to the streets on consecutive days to shout, "War on America, Death to USA"? Well, possibly in Washington during the presidents SOTU speech, they might.
Do you think President Bush would consider for even a nanosecond sending a delegation to Tel Aviv or the Vatican to discuss a boycott of AOL?

In my opinion, the answers to the above questions are, "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no and no. If Christians and/or Jews are significantly angered by the AOL slogans, then drop AOL services. I don't use AOL and life can be lived relatively peacefully and successfully without AOL. If AOL is concerned about the loss of business and/or bad publicity, then it can change its slogan. Whatever happens, it is my prediction that it will ocurr peacefully and without diplomatic intervention.

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