The Dark Side of Heinrich Bullinger

Bullinger had a bit of a temper and he focused his wrath primarily at heretics.  He firmly believed that they should be executed.  Period.  He was absolutely in favor of the execution of Servetus (see the previous quote) and when one particular defender of Servetus (and opponent of the execution of heretics) named Castellio died in Basel, Bullinger wrote a friend

The best thing has happened: Castellio of Basel has died.

Everyone, even the most congenial, have their moments, don’t they…

Quote of the Day

I believe that he [Servetus] fled to Geneva by the providence of God so that she [Geneva] might cleanse herself from the Charge of blasphemy and heresy among many people by giving him a deserving punishment. But I hear that they [the Perrinists – foes of Calvin in the city] actually protect that most good-for-nothing fellow out of hatred for Calvin. — Heinrich Bullinger

I Knew it Was A Lie: The Swede ‘Trapped in His Car’ Fraud

The rescuer of Sweden’s ‘igloo man’ Peter Skyllberg believes the car in which he was trapped was never completely sealed shut by snow, casting doubt on the incredible story of survival. … The story of Peter Skyllberg’s survival was hailed as “the case of a lifetime” by Swedish doctors, while outdoor experts were amazed that someone could endure such inhospitable conditions for so long. But now questions are being raised about the veracity of his tale. One of his rescuers has told The Sunday Telegraph that he believes the car in which he was trapped was never completely sealed shut by snow, while other local residents claim that it would have been easy for him to escape if he wanted to.

No one lives for months in a car without food, eating only snow. I’m surprised anyone believed the tale in the first place.

If You’re A Muslim In Pennsylvania, It’s OK To Attack People..

At least according to one maniacal judge.

Judge Mark Martin, an Iraq war veteran and a convert to Islam, threw the case out in what appears to be an invocation of Sharia law. The incident occurred at the Mechanicsburg, Pa., Halloween parade where Ernie Perce, an atheist activist, marched as a zombie Muhammad. Talaag Elbayomy, a Muslim, attacked Perce, and he was arrested by police. Judge Martin threw the case out on the grounds that Elbayomy was obligated to attack Perce because of his culture and religion. Judge Martin stated that the First Amendment of the Constitution does not permit people to provoke other people. He also called Perce, the plaintiff in the case, a “doofus.” In effect, Perce was the perpetrator of the assault, in Judge Martin’s view, and Elbayomy the innocent. The Sharia law that the Muslim attacker followed trumped the First Amendment.

That’s insane and this judge needs to be removed from the bench, yesterday.  What lunacy.  Via Jim Barr of FB.

From the Archives of Zwingliana: Church Discipline and Church and State

J. Wayne Baker’s Christian Discipline, Church and State, and Toleration: Bullinger, Calvin, and Basel 1530-1555 from 1992 is a grand read and grandly interesting-

English: Heinrich Bullinger Deutsch: Heinrich ...

The recently published book, «Heinrich Bullinger, Vater der reformierten Kirche», serves to remind us that Bullinger was in many ways the father of the Reformed churches. His legacy lives on even today in covenant theology and federal political philosophy, and in a variety of other ways in churches that trace their origins to sixteenth-century Switzerland. This study, however, focuses on areas in which Bullinger had little lasting impact – church discipline, the relationship of the church to the civil government, and toleration-, and how Bullinger and Calvin related to each other on these topics, especially in connection with Basel.

Give an Afghan a Gun…

And he’ll turn on you and kill you with it.

Two American officers were shot dead inside the Interior Ministry building here on Saturday, and NATO responded by immediately pulling all advisers out of Afghan ministries, in a deepening of the crisis over the American military’s burning of Korans at a NATO army base.


Although there was no official statement that the shooter was an Afghan, in an e-mail sent to Western officials here from NATO headquarters the incident was described as “green on blue,” which is the military term used here when Afghan security forces turn their weapons on their Western military allies.

The killings, which happened within one of the most tightly secured areas of the ministry, add to the drumbeat of concern about a deepening animosity between civilians and militaries on both sides that had led to American and coalition forces being killed in increasing numbers even before the Koran burning ignited nationwide rioting. And the pullout from the Afghan ministries suddenly called into question the coalition’s entire strategy of joint operations with Afghan forces across the country, although General Allen said NATO was still committed to fighting the war in Afghanistan.

Arm a people that don’t want you there and you shouldn’t be surprised when they turn against you.

Coverage of Religion in the News? .07% of Volume

Via Stuart over at eChurch

… the The Pew Forum notify us of the fact that between 2010 – 2011 religion news coverage dropped to a dismal 0.7%.  You can download the full report here in PDF format. Here’s a few salient points:

Religion ranked 22nd on the list, receiving about the same level of attention as immigration, transportation and race/gender/gay issues.

The biggest religion stories of 2011 involved tensions over Islam.

Compared with topics such as politics and the economy, religion does not typically receive a lot of attention from the mainstream news media, and 2011 was no exception. When religion did make news, it was often because of accusations about extremism or intolerance.

None of the top religion-related subjects among bloggers in 2011 was a top story in traditional media outlets.

Bloggers focused on such topics as the Rapture predictions of a Christian radio host and science and religion. Bloggers also tended to cover religion in a less sustained way than the mainstream media.

A quarter of the coverage (25.0%) focused on religious beliefs and practices, touching on many different faiths. Nearly equal in attention was the theme of religious violence and extremism, which was found in 21.6% of the coverage studied. The vast majority of these stories focused on concerns about extremism in the Muslim community.

Another theme was religious tolerance, which accounted for 9.0% of the religion coverage and also included many stories dealing with Muslims. Other themes receiving significant attention were church-state issues (14.6%) and religion and politics (16.8%). And 4.1% of the coverage focused on religion-related scandals.

As with traditional media, religion received less attention in social media in 2011, particularly in blogs. Overall, religion was among the top five subjects covered in the blogosphere for only five weeks of the year. That is about half the number of times religion appeared among the top five weekly topics in 2010 (12 weeks) and 2009 (11 weeks).

For the three years that PEJ and the Pew Forum have conducted such tracking, the discussion of religion in social media generally has aligned with the coverage in mainstream media. That was not the case in 2011, however. None of what emerged as the top religion stories in the mainstream media were hot topics in the blogosphere during the year.

The subjects that moved bloggers included the Judgment Day prediction by Harold Camping, head of the Family Radio broadcast network. Camping predicted that Saturday, May 21, would be Judgment Day and the Rapture would occur, transporting faithful Christians directly to heaven and leaving behind others on Earth to suffer through the Tribulation, as some Christians believe is prophesied in the Bible. When the day came and went, many bloggers characterized Camping’s followers as naïve. But a number of religious bloggers also discussed the incident with more sympathy for Camping, and a few commentators also said they felt badly for those who had devoted so much time and energy to the cause.

The second-biggest religion story in the blogosphere, as measured on a week-by-week basis, was a July 18 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times that discussed the “psychological mechanisms behind faith.” The op-ed was the second-most linked to story in the blogosphere for the week of July 18-22, accounting for 17% of blog attention.

Twitter users did not focus very much on religion in 2011. In only one week during the year did a story about religion rise to the ranks of the top five most-tweeted topics, and that was during March 21-25, when the future of religion was much discussed on Twitter. It was instigated by a BBC story about a team of researchers who studied census data worldwide and predicted that religion is headed for extinction in such countries as Australia, Canada and Ireland.

For all of America’s talk about religion the truth is, and remains, folk just aren’t all that interested in it.  They’re interested in ‘bread and circuses’, which is why the media covers the death of an entertainer for countless hours but has never devoted the same amount of time to anything that matters.

More ‘Jesus Family Tomb’ Hype and Yet ‘Another Earth Shattering Discovery….’

From the Discovery Museum, word of an event this week at their establishment (via email)

James Tabor and Simcha Jacobovici, authors of the new book entitled “The Jesus Discovery,” will be on hand [February 28th at 11 a.m.] to reveal new evidence related to Jesus, the Resurrection, the birth of Christianity and the Jesus Family Tomb (the ossuaries featured in the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit that Simcha suggested once held the bones of Jesus himself). The discovery comes after the two explored a new tomb in Jerusalem following the discovery of the Jesus Family Tomb.

Uh huh…  Further from the ‘press release’ (it’s not really a press release if its simply self promotion, is it) –

LOCATION: Discovery Times Square, 226 West 44th Street, (Between Broadway and 8th Avenue, NYC)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Backdrop to include newly installed display of the tombs where the discovery was made, featuring original and replica artifacts. Interviews with Tabor, Jacobovici and Discovery Times Square will also be available.

MEDIA: Adam Miller – 201-964-2390
INQUIRIES: Nicole Hayes – 201-964-2372

All timed to sell their book too…

You have to give them credit where credit is due- they know how to use the media to sell their stuff and market themselves. It’s a shame that real scholarship hasn’t figured out how to do it too.

The World has Let Syria Down

Syrian activists deplored the outcome of an international “Friends of Syria” conference, saying on Saturday that the world had abandoned them to be killed by forces loyal toPresident Bashar al-Assad.  The Syrian military took its bombardment of the rebel-held Baba Amro district of Homs into a fourth week as the Red Cross tried to evacuate more distressed civilians from the city.

“Negotiations have resumed with Syrian authorities and the opposition in order to continue evacuating all persons in need of help,” said Hicham Hassan, spokesman of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva.  “We hope to be able to carry out many more life-saving operations,” he said. “We are hopeful the ICRC will also enter Baba Amro today.”

But activists in Homs were despondent about Friday’s Friends of Syria meeting in Tunis and suspicious of the ICRC’s efforts because they involved the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, viewed as compromised by its links with the government.  “We refuse to work with the local Red Crescent,” said Nadir al-Husseini. “The government’s demand to use the Red Crescent is a dirty trick because this group is not independent, it is under the control of the regime. We have no trust in them.”

Shame on us all.