|And I Tiresias have foresuffered all
|Enacted on this same divan or bed;
|I who have sat by Thebes below the wall
|And walked among the lowest of the dead.
–T S Eliot
Between April 6 2009 to early September of 2009 I was homeless, and spent time in some so-called dangerous neighborhoods of New York City. The area where I stayed, near Union Square, West Village, East Village, Soho, had developed a reputation to be dangerous neighborhoods. During the period of concern, there were a number of violent events: a new gang had massacred a group of white homeless men in Tompkins square park, and I had briefly spoken to a survivor whose head was shaven and had visible scars on his head from cuts. His friends had not survived the violence, which were apparently the gang’s promotion ritual for their hierarchy. Neighborhoods at night were territorial war zones of sorts. In this period, I had been threatened with violence many times by numerous parties, had been taken to jail a number of times for sleeping at sidewalks and park benches, had been given many police summons for refusing to move from particular locations. On one rainy evening, when I would typically spend time under the shelter provided by an open area with a roof of the theater on Union Square, and the management of the theater would call the police to remove me periodically, and I would explain to the police that given that homeless shelters are full and my priorities override their concerns, the best they can hope for is for me to cross the street and return when they are gone. In the same spot, a young mentally disturbed man came to seek shelter and became convinced that I was practicing voodoo and threatened violence against me — one of the rare times I was certain that the threat was serious. I left the vicinity to find elsewhere to sleep: I went over to the Washington Square Park area where the group of vagabonds I had befriended were musically inclined, and they even had a name for the group: it was “The Asylum”. I returned a week later to see some friends near Union Square and learned that Nordy had killed someone with a knife and was taken to jail, probably never to see freedom again. The only two times I have experienced actual violence were when my companion in homelessness, with whom I had shared my own food many times, became fearful when I started yelling at some gang members in a loud argument near our sleeping area that they should let us sleep at 4 am in the morning and have their argument elsewhere. My companion became so frightened at the prospect of them carrying guns that he woke up, ran to me and hit me a few times from which my eye bled and did not heal for another few weeks. He then proceeded to cozy up to the gang members, referring to them as “brother” and even accepting some money they offered to him. He then told me he would kill me and threw my belongings into the street. I told him to wait so that I could call the police because he had cut my lips as well. I had not reacted physically at all I was so stunned by his strange behavior. He did not wait for the police, and the police who took my 911 call never came.
The only other time any actual violence transpired was when I was sleeping near a shop on cardboard in Soho. The woman who owned the shop had two friends, white men, who she had recruited to remove me from the area. I told them I would move, but since I took too much time, and they apparently had the habit of harrassing homeless people, they created a scuffle and I hurt my knee. They also forced me to leave my belongings and refused to let me reclaim them. I called the police and was able to reclaim my belongings. I did not press charges because the police harrassment was perhaps sufficient justice for their deed.
My experiences in this period had taught me that even expressed intention to harm is not particularly dangerous, and there is a gigantic difference between intention to harm, even expressed, and actual harm. One immediate consequence of this is that for me, when evaluating if someone or some group, or some agency expresses even virulent intention to harm or commit violence, it can be assumed to be hot air around 90% of the time, while actual violence is an entirely different matter.
Now let come to the larger issue, of evaluating which of the religions — Judaism, Islam, or Christianity — is the most violent. In the west specifically, Islam is considered the most violent for an array of reasons, but historically, if we ignore the ‘hot air’ then Christianity must be deemed the most violent from actual commitment. From the appearance of Hernan Cortes in the New World in early 1400s to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the recent violence in Eurasia following the imperial false flag operation during 9/11, not to mention the Crusades for the “Holy Land”, Christianity has had the record for violence, murder, atrocities not singly but in mass. Further, Christianity is responsible for the development of weapons of mass destruction that today plague Earth.
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