Daily Archives: 4 Apr 2011

You Know, Antonio Really Does Have a Point…

When he notes

Shame on all you bibliobloggers — so quick to write blog posts about the presumed ‘lead codices’ hoax; but you have never penned a single word on the greatest biblical forgery of all times: the Shroud of Turin. Never.

Quote of the Day

Hi,welcome to Abercrombie.. our sizes are: small, x-small,anorexic,bulimic,and malnourished.  –  Stewie Griffin

Completely Unsurprising

Divisiveness is what evil is best at.  And fundamentalism too.  But then again, evil and fundamentalism (in all its forms) is evil and evil is fundamentalistic.

Long before the Rev. Terry Jones threatened to burn a Koran, former parishioners say he presided over a church that he treated as a personal fiefdom, imposing a strict orthodoxy that tore apart one Gainesville family after another.   Congregants at the Dove World Outreach Center, who have dwindled to 30 or so in number, are required to vow allegiance to Jones — a pledge that places restrictions on their diets, their ability to hold jobs outside the church and their personal relationships.

Could any further proof that this is no church, but rather a cult, be needed?  No.  NEIN!

For Chris Nassoiy, 25, and for most members, the last restriction is by far the most painful. He has seen his parents only once since they left the church in 2009, when he gathered his belongings from his childhood home.

Jones (like his forebear Jim Jones) presides over a cult and nothing else.  And not even a clever cult like the Mormons.  This cult of TJ is TP.

The most pressing question though is- how can people fall for such stupidity and theological ignorance?  Easily, when they don’t know diddly about the Bible.  People like Jones prey on such ignorance.  But as I said, he’s evil, and evil loves to make prey of the senseless and unsuspecting.

[And now we can all await the mennonite’s defense of Jones… it’s sure to come, as he feels obliged to defend all sorts of depravity under the guise of love falsely called such.]

Libya is Ready to Hold Elections and Reform its System…

As long, apparently, as Gaddafi stays in power…

Libya is ready to hold elections and reform its political system but only its own people can decide whether leader Muammar Gaddafi can stay at the helm, a government spokesman said on Monday.  “We could have any political system, any changes: constitution, election, anything, but the leader has to lead this forward. This is our belief,” said Mussa Ibrahim, when asked about the content of negotiations with the West.  “Who are you to decide what Libyans should do? Why don’t they (Western powers) say: we need the Libyan people to decide whether the Libyan leader should stay or go, to decide whether to have a different political system or not. “No one can come to Libya and say: you have to lose your leader or your system or your regime. Who are you to stay that?” He added Libya regretted Italy’s decision to back the rebels.

Oh bizarre…

Harvard Profs are Top Notch? Don’t Bet the Farm on It

There’s an absolutely blistering review of a new book by a Harvard English prof. that anyone considering taking her courses may want to take with utmost seriousness.  It seems, if the reviewer is correct, all one needs to do to get a job teaching at that formerly prestigious institution is know the right people.  It stats thusly, and just get’s better-

Marjorie Garber’s new book brought me back to my days as an English professor; I thought I was reading a freshman essay. My marginal comments might as well have been written in red: “What is the point of this paragraph?” “Where are we in the argument—and what exactly is the argument?” “Sloppy thinking.” “You need to unpack this.” “Again, is there a point here, or just a mass of notes?” “You have to develop your thesis, not just keep reiterating it.” The Use and Abuse of Literature purports to be a rallying cry for serious reading by a decorated and prolific Harvard professor, but once you pick your way through its heap of critical detritus—its mildewed commonplaces and shot-springed arguments, its half-chewed digressions and butt ends of academic cliché—you uncover underneath it all a single dubious and self-serving claim: that the central actor in the literary process is, what do you know, the English professor.

It sounds like one of James Barr’s reviews.  Harvard might want to examine its hiring practices or at least sit in on Prof’s classes from time to time to see if they know what they’re doing.  It’s your money (if you have a kid at Harvard), you should know who they’re paying.

Sugar and Spice and Everything… Oh Forget it. Those Days are Gone Forever

Now many teen girls are just as violent and vicious as boys and some even more so.  Take this example, for instance-

Three teenage girls in western Pennsylvania have been charged with aggravated assault and other crimes in a fight that was recorded and posted on Facebook.  Somerset Police Chief Randy Cox announced the charges Monday against the girls stemming from the March 2 fight. Two are 15 and one is 13. Their names are not being released because they are charged in juvenile court.  A 14-year-old victim was left with a concussion. Cox says the victim’s mother told police a teenage witness recorded the fight on a cell phone and posted it on Facebook.

Kids these days.  Even more depraved than their parents.

The Stupidity Associated with the Lead Codices Just Reached a New Low

Now, claims are being made that the lead codices give evidence that Jesus was an openly gay man.  Seriously, if anyone had any doubt as to the absurdity of this find this is the clincher.

The most astounding finding from the newly discovered lead codices is that Jesus Christ was unambiguously and openly gay. He and his disciples formed a same-sex coterie, bound by feelings of love and mutual support. There are recorded instances of same-sex activity – the “beloved disciple” plays a significant role – and there is affirmation of the joys of friendship and of living and loving together.

Stupidity, thy name is rank and ignorant groundless speculation.

James Kugel’s Cancer

Kugel’s most recent and most personal book, In the Valley of the Shadow, does not profess to be a work of scholarship, although it does reflect his deep and wide-ranging knowledge. It is, rather, the fruit of Kugel’s reflection on his state of mind when he learned that he had a serious form of cancer. He describes this state as a moment when the background music of life abruptly ceased, leaving him suddenly small and alone, surrounded by a great silence. Looking  back on this moment, Kugel finds in it something of (as his subtitle puts it) “the foundations of religious belief”: a sense of stark confrontation with the divine.

There’s much more.   It’s fascinating how the words ‘you have cancer’ change people.  It’s bizarre as to why, unless we somehow or other think we’re going to live in this world forever.  Or maybe we just never believe that we will die.

AIPAC Exposed As Merely one Piece of the Problematic Puzzle

Today’s must read essay commences

AIPAC is only part of a widely corrupt US political system which is based on wealth-driven interests, analyst argues.

True words. And then, excerpting from an email which the essayist received,

I work on Capitol Hill and I disagree with you about AIPAC. You make it seem as if AIPAC is the only lobby that gets what it wants through threats of cutting off campaign contributions, as if only AIPAC dictates legislation through intimidation. Wrong! My colleague who handles the Israel issue confirms your analysis. But it is no different on the domestic issues I cover. The issues of jobs, health, taxes, the environment, regulation to protect kids’ health, oil drilling, workers’ safety, education, guns – they are all dictated by lobbies just as overbearing as AIPAC. All we do up here is cater to rich, selfish people and their special interests. And their interest is cutting all social programs so we can keep cutting taxes to make them even richer. True, most of them do not brag as much as AIPAC but that does not make them any better or worse, just smarter (AIPAC gets more negative attention because of its swagger). Big deal. The public is getting screwed eight ways to Sunday by special interests and AIPAC is just one of them. Do not mislead your readers into thinking it is unique. Not only is it not unique, it is insignificant in the sense that it is not the guys robbing the poor to put money in their own pockets. They own US Middle East policy. But the real fat cats own everything else.

The essay is must reading in its entirety.  Americans are being duped and our country is being manipulated by special interests.  And we (and especially our politicians) are letting it happen.

Hmmm… Now Who Would Murder a Pro-Palestinian Actor?

So despicable.  What a vile and cowardly act.

The Israeli-Arab actor Juliano Mer-Khamis was shot to death in Jenin, Palestinian police in the West Bank announced.  The actor was shot by a number of masked men who fired at him while he was sitting in his car near the theater he established, afterwards fleeing the scene, witnesses say. Mer-Khamis has resided in Jenin and Haifa alternately. …  The 52-year old Mer-Khamis, a pro-Palestinian political activist born to a Jewish mother and Arab father, has previously received death threats after establishing the Freedom Theater at Jenin’s refugee camp.  Jenin Governor Kadura Musa denounced the murder, saying he “strongly condemns the murder of Mer-Khamis, who showed solidarity with the Palestinian people.”  Musa stated that Palestinian security forces have yet to obtain any information on the identity of the killers, but noted that a special committee will be set up to examine the circumstances of the incident.

In some parts of the world you speak you mind and stand up for what’s right to your own peril.  (Via Matthew Kalman on FB).

It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Evening

The arrow indicates my location and this is the National Weather Service radar from a minute ago.

Terry Jones Didn’t Kill 2 US Soldiers…

But he did give their killers the bullets.

It’s day four in the madness called the Afghan Qur’an uprising, and

The two soldiers were attacked inside a military compound in Maymana, northern Afghanistan while they were holding talks with a local police chief called Colonel Najmuddin.  Col Najmuddin, who uses only one name, said: “I was meeting with some American advisers who had come to my office. We were sitting inside talking.  Two of their soldiers were outside the office guarding, along with one of our personnel.  “We heard gunshots. When we came out we saw that our guy had shot the two American soldiers dead and himself had escaped. We are investigating this.”

So, no, Jones isn’t directly responsible for the deaths of so many in the last 4 days, but he has blood on his hands because it was his act of hatred and stupidity that stirred the actions of the insane and murderous.  Handing a lunatic a gun when you can well imagine what he will do with it is an act of the evil.

Philip Davies on Lead Codices (via Sheffield Biblical Studies)

Philip offers a few observations. As always, worth reading.

[editorial note: Philip had identified modern images prior to the great online debates] The following is a general introductory summary by Sheffield Prof. Emeritus Philip Davies on the now famous lead codices (some images are available here): Having long been involved in the Dead Sea Scrolls (and in the campaign to force the publication of many of them) I was approached by a British scholar who had been given access to some finds in a Jordanian c … Read More

via Sheffield Biblical Studies

Visiting Professorship

From Viv Rowett this notice

Cliff College, Calver, a Methodist lay-training college fourteen miles SW of Sheffield has a vacancy for a visiting lecturer in Old Testament, involving a total of some  thirty lectures in one semester from September, manageable in either one or two visits a week. Considerable flexibility is possible to suit an appropriate applicant. Further details are available from Rev Dr Peter W.Ensor, Cliff College, Calver, Hope Valley S32 3XG.   (e-mail pw_ensor@yahoo.com).

Sounds grand for some Brit.

Breaking News: The Archaeological Discovery of the Century!

This find will come to be known as far more important than the Dead Sea Scrolls, or any other artifact, according to its discoverer, one Myrtle Slanks.  In private correspondence, Slanks writes,

Dear Jim (if I may speak so familiarly), I wanted to share with you a recent discovery that will rock the biblical studies world.  During excavations in Jerusalem we have uncovered, and verified by the most stringent chemical analyses, the very ashes of the Red Heifer that were sacrificed during the ministry of Jesus!

It’s hard to believe I know but all of the information proving this incredible fact will be published in the next issue of The Review of Biblical Archaeology, Spring, 2011, pp. 1-97.  You and your readers are invited to read the essay and all the proofs it contains and if you or they have any questions or comments feel free to email me at Myrtle.Slanks@gmail.com.  Or, at myrtletheexplorer@yahoo.com.

As this is the first time I have written I want to introduce myself.  I studied at a prestigious (and accredited) institution of higher learning on the East Coast of the United Kingdom.  I was a music major in college but I took an interest in art in graduate school and whilst studying art history in Israel I participated in a dig with Mazar.  She taught me everything I know about archaeology and has been the inspiration for all I do.

I attach for your dissemination photos of the ashes of the Red Heifer- please do feel free to share them as you wish.  They, along with others, will appear in the upcoming essay previously mentioned.

We are very excited here at the Institute for Bull Studies (of which I am the director) and we look forward to this blockbuster news spreading like a virus across the internet and we will shortly also set up a Wikipedia page thus legitimizing and proving our claims.

Yours sincerely,

Myrtle.

Here are the photos.  I’m more than confident that this find is just as legitimate and just as ancient as the recently found ‘lead codices’.

Yes Indeed (via Εις Δοξαν)

You tell ’em Ezra!  Those are the facts.  Rob Bell and all his theologically bankrupt sycophantic followers ought to have to read and ponder the truthiness of the passage from 4 Esdras.  True words.

55 Therefore do not ask any more questions about the multitude of those who perish. 56 For they also received freedom, but they despised the Most High, and were contemptuous of his law, and forsook his ways. 57 Moreover they have even trampled upon his righteous ones, 58 and said in their hearts that there is not God — though knowing full well that they must die. 59 For just as the things which I have predicted await you, so the thirst and torme … Read More

via Εις Δοξαν

The Pentagon Spent about $600,000 For a Fairy Riding a Frog Statue

Department of Defense (DOD) employees moving into a new building this fall may start their days walking past a sculpture of a toad with a ten-foot fairy on its back. Federal facilities have never been renowned for their challenging public art, but critics have gone on the offensive since it was revealed that the piece, one of four finalists for the site’s installation, would cost $400,000-$600,000 and would be viewed largely by the same group of about 2,500 employees each day.

That’s bonkers.  The government constantly whines that it has no money and yet it spends half a million on a stupid statue?  That’s like finding out the person who’s come begging for money to buy formula for their hungry baby has just been seen at Office Max picking up a new laptop.  Just exactly how stupid is our government?  Stupid enough to pay large cash for a sculpture of a frog with a fairy on its back.

Plus, it’s a goofy statue!   Arghhh….

Francesca Stavrakopoulous’ ‘Did God Have a Wife’ Is Available on YouTube

In four parts-

One, Two, Three, Four.

If you aren’t in Britain (or don’t know the mystical key to viewing British TV) then you probably haven’t seen it yet. Now you can. With thanks to Antonio for the heads up.

Thoughts on the Jordan Lead Codices (via Daniel O. McClellan)

Very thorough, very intelligent, and very useful. I hope Dr. Jim includes it in the next Carnival.  Tom Verenna also does a roundup.

Thoughts on the Jordan Lead Codices There’s still a lot of confusion and misinformation circulating about the Jordan lead codices, and I thought I would summarize some of the main issues and some considerations that should be taken into account. I’m not going to describe the background of the plates’ putative discovery and early life, but you can find much of that background, and commentary, at the following links: The Jewish Chronicle Online Daily Mail, 2 PaleoJudaica, 2, 3 Jerusa … Read More

via Daniel O. McClellan

More Israeli Encroachment into Palestinian Neighborhoods

Jerusalem officials were asked Monday to give preliminary approval for the building of 942 new apartments in a Jewish development in the city’s contested eastern sector, threatening to create new friction ahead of the Israeli president’s White House visit.  Although it would take years before construction starts, the project in the neighborhood of Gilo will likely infuriate the Palestinians at an especially delicate diplomatic moment. Israeli President Shimon Peres is scheduled to meet Tuesday with President Barack Obama to explore ways to jump-start stalled Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

But again don’t worry, Zionists, America will stand by silently and allow Israel to do whatever it wants.   Obama and of course the Congress are far too afraid to stand up to their masters and demand justice for the Palestinians.