Daily Archives: 5 Jan 2012

More Barbaric Violence Against Nigeria’s Christians

Al Jazeera reports

Gunmen have stormed a church service in Nigeria, killing six people and wounding 10, the church’s pastor said, the latest in a string of attacks that has raised fears of sectarian conflict in Africa’s most populous nation.  “It was around 7:30 pm (1830 GMT),” Pastor John Jauro told AFP news agency of Thursday’s attack in the city of Gombe.  “I was leading the congregation in prayers. Our eyes were closed when some gunmen stormed the church and opened fire on the congregation. Six people were killed in the attack and 10 others were wounded.”  He said there was confusion as worshippers sought to flee at the Deeper Life Christian Ministry Church.  Local police spokesman Ahmed Muhammad confirmed the attack, but declined to say how many people the gunmen killed and wounded.  The attack comes after a purported spokesman for Islamist group Boko Haram on Sunday issued a three-day ultimatum for Christians living in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north to leave the region or they would be killed.  There was, however, no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Meanwhile in America on any given Sunday (not to even raise the issue of the miserably low attendance for services on other days of the week), most Christians much prefer to forego worship altogether, fearful that they might have to wait too long in the buffet line at the local eatery if they trouble themselves with church stuff.

Reason 32,909 That God Should Destroy the World

Sweden may not condone file-sharing—it’s still illegal—but the country is officially OK with belief in the practice. Some 3,000 passionate file-sharers have gotten their beliefs recognized as an official religion. The Missionary Church of Kopimism—as in, “copy-me-ism”—has sought official status in Sweden since 2010, and it’s finally won the battle, TorrentFreak reports. The decision follows a pair of rejections; authorities wanted Kopimism to define its prayer practices.

And that’s not the worst part.  The worst part is found in the story survey-

Yup- 52% of the people reading the story think it’s a fine idea…  Imbeciles.    That thump you just heard was me hurtling a screaming geek into the fiery pit.

Prayer: As you can see, dear God, people aren’t getting smarter or better, they’re getting dumber and worse.  Feel free to call it all off.  Your friends, the sane.

That’s Taking ‘Toughen up Princess’ to a Whole New Level

When I complain about something my little Aussie friend Mark Stevens tells me, invariably, ‘toughen up princess’.  But teachers in Illinois have taken that sentiment to the extreme, ignoring a little kid injured in a fall when he complained of being hurt and telling him to get back to class.  The problem is, he had a broken leg and a concussion- so he had to crawl 300 feet…

Teachers in a suburban Chicago school may deserve a failing grade after they allegedly forced a kindergartner to crawl to his classroom across an icy playground — with a broken leg and a concussion, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.  Rahul Chandani‘s parents filed a lawsuit in Cook County District Court claiming their son didn’t receive any medical care after he fell and hit his head on an icy playground at Devonshire Elementary School in Skokie, Ill.  “His teacher told him, ‘You’re a big boy — I can’t carry you,'” the boy’s mother, Priya Chandani, told the newspaper. “She told him to walk back, but his leg was broken so he fell again and then had to crawl at least 200 to 300 feet back to the school building.”

Way to be heartless there teacher.  I sure hope the kid’s parents win their suit.

Pastors, Just Say No to Strangers and their Wedding Requests

An article in the HuffPo by a ‘wedding expert’ advises those preparing to be married to check out their officiant. I have no problem with that. I just think Pastors should do the same. So I’ve adapted Sharon’s godless suggestions for weddings for the godless so that Pastors can put into practice the necessary firewalls against participating in the farcical weddings of unbelievers.

1. Be sure they’re legit. People who have been married half a dozen times are poor candidates. As are those who have been shacking up for a decade. If the couple isn’t willing to place God at the center of their life together, then you should have no part in it.

2. Ask God for suggestions. Don’t marry a couple just because they want you to. Nothing in Scripture requires you to perform wedding ceremonies and these days most of the time they are as much a joke as the marriage which they preface. You DON’T HAVE TO MARRY ANYONE.

3. Take a meeting. If the couple refuses counseling, send them to the Episcopalians. They don’t care who they marry. And if the bride turns into a Bridezilla, just tell them that they’ll have to go elsewhere. There’s no call to subject yourself to the absurd abuse of a hate-filled manipulative foul mouthed Bridezilla.

4. Check out the scripts. If their self-written vows are imbecilic, show them the door.

5. Ask the couple to read out loud. If they can’t manage that they surely should not be married.

6. Ask what the couple will wear. If the bride is sporting a white dress and her four children are in train behind her, tell her that you aren’t interested in mocking the notion of marital purity and tell her to wear red or black.  And if the groom is wearing a dirty t-shirt and hunting shorts it’s a good sign he’s not taking any of it seriously or reverently.

7. Ask if you can customize the ceremony. If they don’t want God mentioned, or if they have no use for God, show them the door.

8. Check your gut. If you aren’t comfortable with the folks in front of you, don’t take part in joining them in marriage.

Remember, Pastor, weddings are a favor you grant a couple with whom you have a spiritual relationship. Random strangers and unmitigated pagans have as much right to claim a favor from you as someone at the mall has the right to demand you give them a ride to the liquor store.  Tell them that there’s a Justice of the Peace and he’s happy to marry anything.

Why is the American Family Association so Ignorant?

This is embarrassing for all of us who consider ourselves Evangelical.  It demonstrates a level of ignorance and blindness (willful at that) only matched by holocaust deniers and flat-earthers.

The AFA’s ‘experts’ attribute HIV to recreational drug use… Astonishingly ignorant.

Weird Email all at Once

First, this from the twitter-

Is it because I post so much on the subject?  [scratching head].  I do have to say, though, that the next one did cheer me:

That really isn’t necessary, Change.org.  I already rule.  But I’m sure your kind offer will cause much weeping and gnashing of teeth amongst the lagging-behind-in-Alexa-(the only true honest source of traffic goodness)-bibliobloggers, the whiny angry atheists, the dilettantes, and the pseudo-archaeologists along with the rest of my mortal foes.

African burial grounds… more power… what next?  Cats?

Study Archaeology at Tel Aviv

Biblical Israel and Judah: The Archaeology and History of Israel during the Iron Age 
• Weeks: 3-4
• Credit: 4
• Lecturer: Prof. Israel Finkelstein

The course confronts the archaeological finds, the biblical text and ancient Near Eastern records in an attempt to reconstruct the history of ancient Israel. It covers the Iron Age I-II. It deals with specific sites as well as
broad phenomena related to biblical history.

The Archaeology and History of the Land of Israel during the Exilic and Post-Exilic periods
• Weeks: 5-6
• Credit: 4
• Lecturer: Prof. Oded Lipschits

The aim of this course is to analyze the archaeology of Judah between the late  7th and 4th centuries BCE as a tool for understanding the history of the land from the period when Judah was a Babylonian vassal kingdom, to the period when it was a Babylonian province (the “Exilic period”), through to the period when it was a Persian (Achaemenid) province (the period of “Return,” the time of Ezra and Nehemiah). Lectures will include discussions of the methodology of historical reconstruction of the biblical periods using biblical and other historical sources, as well as ways to combine archaeological material in the historical discussion.

And much more.  Intrigued?  There’s loads of information here.  If you can take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity, why miss it?

His Family Killed Him Because they thought he was a Witch…

No, not in some backwater third world hovel filled with tree worshiping pagans, but in Britain!

Kristy Bamu, a teenage boy, was tortured and drowned because a relative believed he was a witch, the Old Bailey heard today. Kristy, 15, was in such pain after days of being attacked with sticks, a metal bar, hammer and chisel that he begged to die, jurors heard. His brother-in-law Eric Bikubi was joined by his partner, Kristy’s sister Magalie, in the horror, said Brian Altman QC, prosecuting. And his other siblings were forced to join in before they were all placed in the bath to be hosed down in cold water with a shower head by Bikubi on Christmas Day, 2010. ”It was only when he realised that Kristy was not moving that he stopped what he was doing and pulled him from the water. By then it was too late,” said Mr Altman.

Blind barbarous fools.

Prize Find: Horned Altar from Tell es-Safi Hints at Philistine Origins

That’s the title of an essay by Aren Maeir that appears (and this pains me but I must do it because, 1), I have the highest regard for Aren; and 2), every now and then even BAR manages to publish something people should read) – here:  Biblical Archaeology Review 38(1): 35.

While uncovering an impressive destruction level dating to the second half of the ninth century B.C.E., when Gath was the largest of the five cities of the Philistine “pentapolis” and perhaps the largest city in the Land of Israel during the Iron Age, we found an exceptionally well preserved horned stone altar reminiscent of the Israelite horned altars described in the Bible (Exodus 27:1–2; 1 Kings 1:50).

I appreciate Aren sending along a copy.

Da Gesù al cristianesimo

Thanks to the very kind Mauro Pesce, a copy of his very recent (published in September, 2011) volume  Da Gesù al cristianesimo arrived in the mail back in December from the publisher for review.  I mentioned it some weeks ago and I really am quite appreciative that it was sent so quickly.

The volume consists of two major divisions:

Gesù (in five chapters)
Nascita del cristianesimo (in five chapters).

Naturally it also contains an introduction (Presentazione) and a conclusion (Conclusione) along with a very thorough bibliography.

My review is here.  In a word- this volume is: invaluable.

Boy, Talk About ‘Historical Revisionism’, No One Does it Better than the IDF Rabbinate

Many maximalists accuse minimalists of historical revisionism. But oh how wrong they are! If you want to see an example of the crassest sort of historical revisionism you need look no further than the Rabbinate of the Israel Defense Forces!

Israel’s military rabbinate released an educational document ahead of the holiday of Hanukkah last month, featuring a photo of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount without the Dome of the Rock, Haaretz learned on Thursday. The photo was featured in a packet prepared by the Military Rabbinate issued to Israel Defense Forces bases ahead of Hanukkah, under the section titled “The Festival of Jewish Heroism,” which included an article and a quiz on the Jewish struggle against Hellenistic rule.

See for yourself:

Really shockingly wrong.  It combines deception, pseudo-archaeology, and wretched theology all in one disturbing package.

The Heresy of the Prosperity Gospel takes a Lashing from a Swaggart

Our Portugese friend writes

Achei este vídeo muito interessante. É de um pastor, chamado Donnie Swaggart, que faz um colossal e profético desabafo contra a satânica “lixologia” da Prosperidade, ou “evangelho positivista”, uma praga que está destruindo o meio cristão, mormente do lado protestante. Senti a necessidade de postar este vídeo pois me solidarizo com a raiva e indignação do sr. Donnie em sua ojeriza a esta maléfica praga que causou tanto caos no meio, fazendo surgir dementes como Benny Hinn, Edir Macedo, Waldemiro Santiago e outros.

The video is in English and subtitled in Portugese

Nicely done, really. ‘Shame on you’ is the refrain leveled against the prosperity heretics.

It’s Best if You Not Allow Ronald Dalton to Babysit for You

A Bean Station man accused of setting a stuffed animal on fire on a stove and hurling it at a 9-year-old boy he baby-sat is set to appear before a judge Thursday on an aggravated child abuse charge. Ronald B. Dalton, 53, was arrested over the weekend after the boy’s mother dialed 911 to report the incident that took place at his Amanda Lane home, said Bean Station Police Chief Phillip Robinette.

According to an arrest report, Officer Jason Mathis was dispatched to a convenience store on U.S. Highway 25E on Dec. 30 to investigate an assault that took place while the boy’s mother was at work. The boy’s mother, who works at the store, told police her son said Dalton put a teddy bear on a stove in his home and lit it on fire, Robinette said. “Mr. Dalton then threw the stuffed animal which was on fire on (the child),” Mathis wrote in his report. “The boy’s shirt did catch fire but the child was able to put the fire out.”

Honestly, if you dislike children or have as little patience as Dalton, you shouldn’t babysit. Ever.

Robert Deutsch: A Further Observation on the Jerusalem Seal

He writes

Another observation regarding the Temple Bulla. One can see a ridge on the right side of the impression which indicates that the seal used to impress the bulla was perforated. Usually the traces of the seal’s perforation are not found on bullae but on this sample it appears because on the right side the seal was deeply impressed and shifted to the left. This phenomenon can be understand if we will imagine the seals owner holding the seal in one hand and pressing it in the lump of clay which he holds with two fingers in his other hand.

In addition, I will suggest to excavators to clean the back of the bulla and take good photos in order to find the finger prints of the seals owner which must be there awaiting to be discovered.

Robert Deutsch

Here’s the photo he attached along with his indication of the ridge- (click to enlarge) –