The Principle of exclusion

Bill P. writes:

You wrote: “What is the proper response on our part to this book [the Koran]? To reject it completely.”

In my reading of the material of VFR, you have helped me understand the Bible better. You might consider this to be a strange statement to make.

All my life I have been brought up and educated to “bring things together.” To act “inclusively.” To synthesize, to fuse, to join, to gather together. The one thing I could not understand in either the Old or New Testaments were statements that God, the prophets, or the apostles made that stressed exclusion, separation, and differentiation.

It did not register with me when God would say “I have called you OUT from among … ” Or that we are to be a separate and DIFFERENT people. Statements such as “Cast this thing OUT from the midst of you,” or “Separate yourselves FROM … ” bothered me. They did not jibe with the modern “togetherness” syndrome.

After months of reading VFR and seeing how Islam and the Koran are poison to our culture and civilization, and how the best strategy is to SEPARATE OURSELVES FROM ISLAM, I now see the genius of Biblical statements that stress the separateness of things. Differentiation in the modern political world (as seen through VFR) has taught me the importance of differentiation in the Bible. Exclusion is as much an important operation in the Bible as is inclusion.

Thank you.

- end of initial entry -

April 4

A reader writes:

I don’t know if you were ever observant as a Jew, but your recent post quoting from Bill P. reminded me of havdalah, the short ceremony at the end of shabbos. Havdalah actually means “separation,” and the key word in the main blessing is Hamavdil, “He who separates.” There’s also a havdalah hymn known as Hamavdil. Here’s the main blessing:

Blessed art thou, God, our Lord, King of the Universe Who separates the holy from the mundane, light from darkness, Israel from the nations, the seventh day of rest from the six workdays. Blessed art thou, God, Who separates the holy from the mundane.

Kristor writes:

The principle of exclusion is the principle of creation. In Genesis, God creates the world by separating things out from each other. He stretches out the firmament to separate the waters of this world from those of the surrounding ocean. He separates light from dark, day from night. He separates the sea from the dry land. He separates Adam from all the other creatures, giving him lordship over them. He separates Eve from Adam.

He separates Noah and his family from all their contemporaries; he separates the sons of Noah from each other, into all the nations of the Earth. He separates Abraham from his forebears, separates Ishmael from Isaac, Jacob from Esau; he separates the Samaritans and Galileans left behind in Israel from the Judeans taken captive in Babylon.

What is, is separate from all other things, or else it is not itself at all—does not really exist. What does not differ, is not. Separate comes from Latin separatus, past participle of separare “to pull apart,” from se- “apart” + parare “make ready, prepare.”

Without separation, there can be no parts, or therefore no whole, or therefore no participation, or any failure to participate: no sin, no virtue, no life, no death: no redemption.

And, obviously, if there is no separation between one nation and another, between one people and another, then they are, not two nations or peoples, but one. If two peoples are not separated, then one will disappear, or the other—or both. If we want to live at all, we must live just our own lives, in our own ways.

Separation does not entail discord; indeed, it is the forecondition of harmony.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 03, 2011 10:13 PM | Send

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