Daily Archives: 16 Sep 2011

The United States Applauds Libya’s Rebels Being Welcomed into the UN…

But rejects Palestinian membership?  What’s wrong, US, doesn’t the West Bank have enough oil for you to care?  Or, as Jonathan Rugman put it on twitter-

So the UNSC unanimously gives Libya’s 6 month old rebel leadership a UN seat – and expects the Palestinians to keep waiting after 60 years?

The perfect question to put to Clinton and our cowardly and simperingly weak spined leaders.

More Stupid Atheist Tricks

As though such absurd behavior changes anything or makes any impression except to prove the angry atheists simple minded fools-

An outspoken California atheist group is taking a page out of Terry Jones’ book, and more than one page out of the Good Book. Backyard Skeptics will hold a demonstration on Huntington Beach tomorrow in which they rip pages out of the bible that they say depict immoral teachings, the Orange County Register reports. “There are plenty verses in the Bible that if you did any of those things today, you’d be thrown in jail immediately,” group director Bruce Gleason explains.

Ignoramus.  If the persons involved had any insight at all or ability to think they wouldn’t bother with such blinkered nonsensical blatherings.  Alas, however, the angry atheists can’t be expected to be thinkers given the fact that they are fools.

Such persons are to atheism what Fred Phelps is to Christianity: an embarrassment.  The decent and sensible atheists must cringe every time such buffoonery occurs, perpetrated, as it is, by snivelling publicity whores.

‘Bishop’ Eddie Long is About to Be Exposed…

By one of his accusers in a ‘tell-all’ book that will doubtless provide the silly people foolish enough to buy it more than enough grist for the depravity mill.

Centino Kemp, the fifth accuser in the Bishop Eddie Long sex scandal, has written a book about his affair with the megachurch pastor, titling the work The First Lady. The book is co-authored by T. Benson Glover.

Listen up, people, if you’re going to spend money on books, buy books that are worthwhile, not filth about filth. If you buy it,

Thank You Scott Bailey

He’s made a few graphics for me to use when I wish to show approval or disapproval of whatever.

Scott’s More Empathic Than I

I can’t empathize with or sympathize with pentebabbleists. They are, in the truest sense of the word, Schwärmerei.

Empathizing With Delusional Christians You don’t have to hang around this site very long to arrive at the conclusion that I probably have a bit of an unhealthy fascination with the dark underbelly of Christianity. People who imagine themselves influencing events on the world stage, people acting nonsensical and foolish, people pretending they can do magic, people being willfully and stubbornly ignorant… unfortunately the list goes on, and after several years of writing articles, hig … Read More

via

Update on the Welsh Mine Tragedy

The BBC has just announced that all 4 of the trapped miners have now been found dead.  This is so very sad.  May they rest in peace and their families and friends live with some semblance of peace.

Oral Tradition in Ancient Israel

Providing a comprehensive study of “oral tradition” in Israel, this volume unpacks the nature of oral tradition, the form it would have taken in ancient Israel, and the remains of it in the narrative books of the Hebrew Bible. The author presents cases of oral/written interaction that provide the best ethnographic analogies for ancient Israel and insights from these suggest a model of transmission in oral-written societies valid for ancient Israel. Miller reconstructs what ancient Israelite oral literature would have been and considers criteria for identifying orally derived material in the narrative books of the Old Testament, marking several passages as highly probable oral derivations. Using ethnographic data and ancient Near Eastern examples, he proposes performance settings for this material. The epilogue treats the contentious topic of historicity and shows that orally derived texts are not more historically reliable than other texts in the Bible.

I love books that unpack things.  If only they could vacuum and work on the car too they would be perfect!

[The term ‘unpack’ should be abandoned by everyone except travelers.  And  so should missional and liminal- stupidly overused words now empty of value].

What’s That You Say? A Politician May be Corrupt????

Well that’s never happened before

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Friday he doesn’t know anything more about an FBI raid on the home of one of his top aides beyond what he’s seen reported in the press.

Walker said “it’s hard to tell” whether he should be concerned about Wednesday’s raid on the home of Cynthia Archer, who was his aide while Milwaukee County executive and followed him to work in state government when he was elected governor.

The raid came amid a secret Milwaukee County investigation that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, citing unnamed people familiar with the case, has reported focuses on whether county staffers in Walker’s office did political work on the taxpayer dime.

Those Repubs sure love to travel on the taxpayer’s dime and denounce the poor who live off the State.  We call that hypocrisy.  Politicians call it normal behavior.  But it’s just more political dirtbaggery.

A Public Lecture At the University of Chicago

This would be fun- but it coincides with the Reformation Spirituality Conference I’m already committed to attend. But if you’re in Chicago-land, you should go.

lecture series at uchicago divinity school: the matter of israelite religion Don’t miss this excellent lecture series at the University of Chicago Divinity School entitled, “The Matter of Israelite Religion.” The four-part lecture series, cosponsored by the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies: “will highlight recent material finds relevant to, and theoretical advances in, the study of ancient Israelite religion, with implications for biblical literature and ideas.” The lectures are scheduled as follows: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1 … Read More

via XKV8R: The Official Blog of Dr. Robert R. Cargill

Pagan Paris Where Prayer is Prohibited

Starting today, praying in the streets of Paris is illegal, and Interior Minister Claude Gueant said the ban could soon be extended to the rest of France, particularly to Nice and Marseilles, where “the problem persists,” the Telegraph reports. The “problem” in this case being Muslim worshipers filling the streets during Friday prayers. Gueant says there are two roads in Paris’ Goutte d’Or district where “more than a thousand” people block the streets.

Muslims should be allowed to pray where they need to- as should anyone else.  If the French don’t complain when union strikers block the streets why should they when pray-ers do?

France isn’t secular- France is devoted to godlessness.  France worships at the altar of unbelief to the god of nothingness.

The Palestinians Have Been Patient Long Enough

Their President has laid out, just today, his plan to present to the United Nations a bid for recognition by that body of a Palestinian State.

President Mahmoud Abbas spells out his plans for a Palestinian state that he hopes the United Nations would acknowledge.

I hope that it will too, so the people of the Middle East can get on with the business of peaceful co-existence and mutual respect.

Barbarous Pakistan

Among the flood victims of Sindh (South of Pakistan), Christian and Hindu “Dalits” families, considered the “untouchables”, are thrown out of refugee camps set up by the government and do not receive humanitarian aid. This is the complaint which comes from the Catholic diocese of Hyderabad, confirmed by non-governmental organizations.

Barbarians.  All aid to Pakistan should end RIGHT NOW and not be reinstated until it is equitably and fairly distributed to EVERYONE in need.  There’s nothing worse than prejudice- unless it’s underwriting and enabling prejudice.  And that the government (which continues to receive BILLIONS of US tax dollars) is behind it- well that’s infuriating.

Calvin, on Twitter?

Evidently they have iPhones in heaven…

via

The Welsh Mining Disaster

Sadly two men have been found dead in a dreadful mine accident in Wales.

Two of four miners trapped in the flooded Gleision Colliery have been found dead, police have confirmed, but experts say they are continuing to pump in oxygen in a bid to keep the remaining men alive. One of the men, who have has not been named, was apparently just minutes from safety when he was overwhelmed by a tide of water as he tried to flee. He had followed the same escape route out of the colliery, near Cilybebyll, Pontardawe in the Swansea Valley, as two of his colleagues but failed to make it to the surface.

So very heartbreaking for all those directly involved. God help them.

From Homeschooling to Home-Churching…

Says the Onion

A new trend in the religious upbringing of children has recently emerged in the heart of the Bible Belt. “Home-churching,” the individual, family-based worship of Jesus Christ, is steadily gaining in popularity, as more parents seek an alternative to what they consider the overly humanist content of organized worship.

Bahahahahaha!

Norville Tucker, who moved his family to the woods outside Shelby, AL in 1998 to “escape the damaging cultural influences of urban Mobile,” is widely credited with pioneering the home-churching movement. Tucker said he was inspired to home-church when his 10-year-old son Macon returned from Sunday school singing a lighthearted song about Zacchaeus, a tax collector befriended by Christ, and then later recited the parable of the Good Samaritan. “I couldn’t believe that the liberal elite had infiltrated even the study of our Holy Scriptures,” Tucker said. “It was bad enough that my youngsters were being taught evolution in public schools, but when I discovered they were learning to embrace foreigners and Big Government in Sunday school, I drew the line.”

!!!!!!!

And now the best part

Home-churchers create their own services, emphasizing close readings of Old Testament books led by a parent, and sermons that often exceed two hours. Proponents of home-churching argue that, when handed down by family members, biblical teachings take on a more direct, personal meaning. Additionally, they say home-churching reinforces familial bonds.

The Onion has nailed both the absurdity of ‘seclusion from society’ and the ridiculousness of  the ‘we can do it better ourselves and don’t need anyone else because we’re better than everyone else’-ness of lots of homeschoolers. Well done, Onion, well done.  After all, what kid DOESN’T want to be cooped up with their parents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week…

The Least Religious Country: Estonia

From the Guardian:

Estonians, and especially the young, have turned their backs on organised religion, but belief in neo-paganism is thriving.

Furthermore

Estonia and the Czech Republic are the two nations that often claim to be the least religious in Europe. And they seem to be proud of their unbelief. According to the census of 2000, 29% of the total population considered themselves as adherents of some religion. Almost 14% of them were Lutherans (in the 1930s the percentage of Lutherans was over 80), and about 13% Orthodox Christians divided between two churches: one under the canonical jurisdiction of ecumenical patriarchate and the other under the jurisdiction of Moscow patriarchate.

A Eurobarometer poll in 2005 found that only 16% of the Estonian population believed in God. With this number, Estonia hit the bottom of the list. However, at the same time more than half the population (54%) believed in some sort of spirit or life force. Thus it could be claimed that 70% of the Estonian population are believers, at least in some sense of the word. Professor Grace Davie’s description of the British religiosity as “believing without belonging” seems to fit to the Estonian context as well.

The churches are on Sundays mostly empty and the ignorance of religion is widespread. According to the available statistics and surveys, the membership of religious associations in Estonia remains under one fifth of the total population.

Churches in America are mostly empty on Sundays too- so American ‘religiosity’ is in name only (else we wouldn’t have the world’s worst murder rate).  Anyway, I’m not at all convinced that the Estonians and Czech’s should be proud of the fact that their populations are pagan.  Rather, it’s something to be ashamed of.

In Memoriam Heinrich Bullinger

Heinrich Bullinger died on the 17th of September, 1575, after having served as the Pastor of the Great Minster in Zurich for over 4 decades.  He wrote over 10,000 letters (!) – corresponding with persons all across Europe, including Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon and thousands of others.

In his heyday, he was far more influential in Britain and Switzerland than Calvin, and he authored dozens of books.  But he is probably most well known (when he is known at all) as the author of the Second Helvetic Confession.

There has been a revival of interest in Bullinger in the last decade or so, with many of his more important works being published in a modern German edition of 7 volumes (along with the massive complete edition of his works which is still underway).

Here are some portraits of the propagator of Reform:

The Evil Teen

A Springfield-area teenager has been arrested on charges that he abducted a 5-year-old girl from her bed and then sexually assaulted her in a wooded area near her home, Fairfax County police said Thursday.

The 16-year-old was arraigned on four charges in Fairfax County juvenile court Thursday in connection with the Aug. 27 incident.

An intruder broke into a townhouse in the 7000 block of Brocton Court in Springfield after midnight on Aug. 27, went upstairs and took the girl from her bed, Fairfax County police have said. The girl’s parents and 1-year-old sibling were at home, police said. They said the parents did not realize that the girl had been abducted until she returned home about 4 a.m. and told them what had happened.

Appalling.  This boy needs to be locked away.  He will rape again if he isn’t secluded in prison.  And he’ll probably do far, far worse.  Incarceration is the only way to keep people safe from this early-starting predator.

Oh Bibi, You’re Such a Liar

Peace Now reports

The government expropriated an area of 815 dunams (202 acres), similar in size to the Old City of Jerusalem, in order to legalize the illegal outpost of Haresha, whose area is only 70 dunams (17 acres). According to a statement submitted by the government to the court in a petition by Peace Now against illegal houses built in the outposts of Haresha and Hayovel, the government has confiscated 815 dunams for legalizing the outpost of Haresha (from the Palestinian villages of Mizra’a Al-Qibliya and Al-Janiya, west of Ramallah), and another 189 dunams (47 acres) from the Palestinian village of Qaryut, north of Ramallah, for legalizing the outpost of Hayovel.

All this in spite of the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that Israel wouldn’t expand illegal settlements back in 2009.

The Israeli government has committed many times not to expropriate land to expand settlements. That commitment was part of the agreement between Prime Minister Sharon and President Bush concerning the settlements, and Prime Minister Olmert also repeated it on a number of occasions. Prime Minister Netanyahu also reiterated Israel’s commitment not to expropriate new land. For example, in his Bar Ilan speech he announced: “We have no intention of building new settlements or of expropriating additional land for existing settlements.”

Hey, Christian Zionists, how do you feel about supporting immoral deception?  Or doesn’t your Christianity extend to ethics?

It is past time for the Palestinians to be treated fairly and respectfully.  So no wonder that the Israeli government is doing everything it can to ensure they are denied their own State.

[With thanks to Matthew Kalman for pointing out the report].