Submitted by Constance E. Cumbey, October 10, 2007
To my readers:
I don't know what went wrong with the transmission of my Karen Armstrong/Alliance of Civilizations/Share International article. The hyperlinks were missing on the NewswithViews transmission. Since I am on Eastern Time and they are on Pacific time there is a 3 hour time difference and needless to say, I could not phone those poor folk at 3:30 a.m. Pacific time and request a correction. Here is the story as published, WITH LINKS. I'm certain it will be corrected on the NWV edition later today.
P.S. It was promptly fixed and you can go to it by clicking here:
KAREN ARMSTRONG AND THE ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS
I decided it was time that I look in on the Alliance of Civilizations. Internet searching, I found a page on its UNAOC (United Nations Alliance of Civilizations) website. It was labeled “HLG Analysis.” I went there. The first thing I noticed was a fairly new article by Karen Armstrong. Karen Armstrong is a former nun who considers herself a first rate theologian as well as an analytical scholar of world religions. Many others have given her credit for this as well, including but not limited to Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations who appointed her as one of the High Level Group of Personalities to oversee and make recommendations for governments to regulate religious school curriculums globally. Since Karen Armstrong spent years, per her account, in a convent, “under a veil,” I expected her to have some basic grasp of at least Christianity. She is perhaps the most prominent face and voice of the HLG (High Level Group).
Karen Armstrong writes lots of articles and gives lots of interviews. What initially distinguished this one for me was to whom she gave it: SHARE INTERNATIONAL! Share International is the official publication of the “Christ is now here” crowd, specifically Benjamin Crème and his “Maitreya the Christ” company. Sometimes they, with permission, reprint articles from other sources. I looked carefully to see if this was perhaps the case here. It was not. The article was an interview specifically for SHARE INTERNATIONAL by Andrea Bistrich. I am now wondering out loud if Karen Armstrong knew that SHARE INTERNATIONAL was (1) about a new ‘Christ’ who was decidedly not Jesus (and probably not Jewish either) and (2) was the official organ for a group officially seeking a “New World Religion.”
Since Karen Armstrong holds herself out as an expert in comparative religion, I assumed that if she knew even 1/100th of what she is reported to know, that she should have had knowledge of what Share International is about. I decided to “google” for myself. I assume Karen Armstrong is also as Javier Solana accused fundamentalists of doing, “taking full advantage of the global village” and doing her own due diligence google/yahoo searches before lending her name and prestige to one cause or another. Doing my own google search on “Share International” I didn't have to look far. The top ten hits were all about “Maitreya the World Teacher.” You may read the top hit by clicking here.
Well, certainly no ambiguity there! Well let’s go to the interview article itself and judge her theological and scriptural expertise by its content. A few quotes from her SHARE INTERNATIONAL interview will do:
“American Christian fundamentalists are not in favour of democracy; and it is true that many of the Neo-cons many of whom incline towards this fundamentalism, have very hard line, limited views.”
“The Arab-Israeli conflict has also become pivotal to Christian fundamentalists in the United States. The Christian Right believes that unless the Jews are in their land, fulfilling the ancient prophecies, Christ cannot return in glory in the Second Coming. So they are passionate Zionists, but this ideology is also anti-Semitic, because in the Last Days they believe that the Antichrist will massacre the Jews in the Holy Land if they do not accept baptism.”
Baptism? I’m sure she meant to say, “initiation.” The New Agers of whom she has said nothing in expressing her alleged worries over various “fundamentalisms” have clearly written in so many of their books by so many of their prominent writers (Alice Bailey, Gina Cerminara, Benjamin Crème, Barbara Marx Hubbard, and David Spangler to name but a few) that there will be violence against, “the sword of cleavage” and death to those who fail to accept their New Age “Christ.” A relatively less publicized version of the Great Invocation that Lucis Trust promotes as the new world prayer for the New Age contains a stanza, “let light and love and power and death fulfill the purpose of the coming one.”
Well, maybe their New Age Christ repented and decided everybody should be baptized to protect them from his god Lucifer! Fat chance!
Well, now about her theology. Again, I found she was a much better and closer reader than me. Maybe her contemplative time in the monastery showed her hidden texts or was it her post-nunnery Akashic record meditations? Her Christology is certainly most unique for a former religious:
“Luke’s gospel calls Jesus a prophet from start to finish; the idea that Jesus was divine was a later development, often misunderstood by Christians.”
Well, now I know for certain that Karen Armstrong is certainly both a superior reader and theologian to Yours Truly. I have read the Gospel of Luke many times and certainly missed the points that Karen Armstrong raised to Share International the purveyors of a very foreign gospel proclaiming that Jesus is not the Christ, but this “Maitreya”/Betraya or whatever his/its name is supposed to be is divine.
I decided to again read the Gospel of Luke for myself. Far from finding what Karen Armstrong claimed it said, here’s what it said about Jesus’ divinity:
“Fear not Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:31-33)
“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:34-35)
“And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? (Luke 1:42-43)
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11-12)
“And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. . . . Then took he him [Baby Jesus] up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” . . . And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against(Luke 2:26-31)
May I disrespectfully guess that Karen Armstrong in her own inimical way is striving to fulfill the prophetic musings of Simeon? And then, also in the Gospel of Luke was the prophetess Anna, also finding the Baby Jesus in the temple.
“And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:17)
Well, Karen Armstrong is a busy person. Maybe she has no time, given her busy media and Alliance of Civilizations schedule to read the Book of Luke for herself. If she had, she might have noticed this statement from Jesus as recorded in the Book of Luke:
The law and the prophets lasted up until John. From that time the kingdom of God is proclaimed and every man presses into it.
Well you get the point. The Book of Luke from start to finish clearly proclaims the Divinity of Jesus. Perhaps Karen Armstrong confused the statements about Jesus with the statements about John!
Well, I’ve got to put a charitable interpretation on all of this. My most unkind observation is to say that since she left the convent, she has obviously made her divorce from Jesus very final. My charitable interpretation is maybe she, an ex-nun, just got out of the habit!
Finally, maybe her knowledge is so specialized, she just plain doesn’t know. If Karen Armstrong needs a reading list of the Hidden Dangers of the folks she gave that Share International interview to, I could help!