Daily Archives: 10 Mar 2012

Theological Exegesis: An Observation

The fact that some people are just ‘discovering’ theological exegesis only means that they haven’t read very much, or very widely, or very well.

In Britain Christians Can’t Wear Crosses at Work, Some Will Argue

Christians do not have a right to wear a cross or crucifix openly at work, the Government is to argue in a landmark court case.

And

In a highly significant move, ministers will fight a case at the European Court of Human Rights in which two British women will seek to establish their right to display the cross. It is the first time that the Government has been forced to state whether it backs the right of Christians to wear the symbol at work.

A document seen by The Sunday Telegraph discloses that ministers will argue that because it is not a “requirement” of the Christian faith, employers can ban the wearing of the cross and sack workers who insist on doing so.  The Government’s position received an angry response last night from prominent figures including Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. He accused ministers and the courts of “dictating” to Christians and said it was another example of Christianity becoming sidelined in official life.

Utterly insane. Utterly inconceivable. But again, the tyranny of the tiny minority rears its filthy head.

Iraq… Where They Kill You For Your Hair Style

This is the country that our young men and women have fought for???

Iraqi activists sounded the bell over the killing of dozens of teenagers by religious police for having “emo” haircuts.  Activists told the Cairo-based al-Akhbar daily that at least 90 Iraqi teenagers with “emo” appearances have been stoned to death by the Moral Police in the country in the past month. The violent crackdown against “emo” Iraqi teenagers came after the Iraqi interior ministry declared them as “devil worshippers.”

“The ‘Emo phenomenon’ or devil worshiping is being probed by the Moral Police who have the approval to eliminate it as soon as possible since it’s detrimentally affecting the society and becoming a danger,” according to a statement by the interior ministry.  “They wear strange, tight clothes that have pictures on them such as skulls and use stationery that are shaped as skulls. They also wear rings on their noses and tongues, and do other strange activities,” the statement added.   The statement said that Iraq’s Moral Police was granted approval by the Ministry of Education to enter Baghdad schools and pinpoint students with Western appearances.

What barbarism.  What a country, filled with lunatics (or they’d put a stop to this).  Sure, Emo kids are creepers, but they shouldn’t be killed for it.

Rush Limbaugh is a Pill Popping Sex Tourist

Al Jazeera has a perfectly scathing, perfectly phrased, perfectly accurate expose of the pill popping perv-

Rush Limbaugh - Caricature

Rush Limbaugh - Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Rush Limbaugh’s recent meltdown – his three-day sex-crazed rant/attack against Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, whose congressional testimony made no mention of her own sex life – has a rich and strange collection of backstories to it, none of which include the sort of follow-on this story has had, complete with pseudo-apologies and the subsequent, ongoing loss of sponsors, which might even conceivably damage or imperil his career. Of those backstories, his own shady past as a pill-popping sex tourist is only the most lurid, not the most instructive. That only goes to underscore what’s already self-evident: that Limbaugh’s diatribes are heavily implicated in what psychologists call “projection” and the rest of know as “the pot calling the kettle black”.

Much more instructive, to get things headed in a more fruitful direction, is Limbaugh’s long history of similar sorts of vindictive, name-calling attacks.  Media Matters has provided several illustrative lists, such as  “Rush Limbaugh’s Decades Of Sexism And Misogyny“, “The 20 Worst Racial Attacks Limbaugh’s Advertisers Have Sponsored“,  “Ten Of Limbaugh’s Worst Advertiser-Sponsored Attacks On The Poor” , “Limbaugh’s Advertisers Sponsored These Ten Attacks On Unions” – and a more all-purpose list – “15 Of The Worst Comments Limbaugh’s Advertisers Have Sponsored Since 2004“.  These collections served to illustrate how continually Limbaugh resorts to similarly themed name-calling, thus reinforcing the point Media Matters made early on, that Limbaugh hadn’t just used a couple of “poorly chosen words” to describe Fluke, he had engaged in three days of prolonged haranguing including 46 separate attacks.

What’s more, they were all based on a lie, since Fluke never said anything about her own sex life. Fluke is a past president of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice, and her testimony reflected that role – it was not about her, personally, but about the experience of other law students, individually and collectively, and about the broad impact of the denial of reproductive health care, not just with respect to preventing unwanted pregnancy. In fact, Fluke specifically cited other health impacts, such as cancer prevention.

Surprising in all this is the fact that he still has sponsors.  But that’s easily explained- he has followers and those followers buy what he sells.  Indicating only one thing- they are as immoral as he is.

Quote of the Day

The preacher’s job is to proclaim the faith, not to provide entertainment for unbelievers–in other words, to feed the sheep rather than amuse the goats” ~ J.I Packer

Oded Golan’s Counterclaim

Golan, (or more likely one of his lawyers) writes, in counterclaim to Joe Zias’s insistence that Rahmani testified-

  1. An official IAA document entitled “Summary Report of the Work of the Committees Testing the Inscription Known as the Jehoash Tablet and the Ossuary Known as the Yaakov Bar Yosef Ahui d’Yeshu Ossucary” (the James Ossuary) dated June 20, 2003, prepared by the deputy managing director of the IAA at the time, stated (p. 2, lines 17-18 of the Hebrew report):
    “It has been determined that the committee members shall consult with Prof, Yosef Naveh (expert in ancient Hebrew script) and with Dr. L. Y. Rahmani (expert in ossuaries), as they see fit.”
  2.  Y. L. Rahmani, one of the oldest members of the IAA, examined the ossuary at the Rockefeller Museum (IAA offices) in 2003. Rahmani did not issue any written document on the inscription. There is no report that Rahmani discovered anything suspicious that might indicate that the inscription or part of it is a forgery.  There is also no report from any of the committee members who spoke with Rahmani at the time (and/or from any of the IAA members who spoke with him) of any claim that Rahmani found anything suspicious in the inscription which would indicate that it is forged.
  3. During the trial, the IAA and the Prosecution presented as witnesses all the researchers who they believed might contribute, even slightly, to the argument that the ossuary inscription is a forgery in part (Recall that the charge stated that the first half of the inscription is ancient while the words “Ahui d’Yeshu” were added in modern times). When it discovered that Rahmani could not support this position, the State decided not to call him to the witness stand as a witness for the prosecution. This, in contrast to what Zias states, Rahmani never testified in court. And in contrast to what Zias states, I never stated that Rahmani testified.
  4. I did not call Rahmani to testify since most of the prosecution witnesses (including Dr. Ada Yadeni, Prof. Hagay Misgav, Prof. Ahituv, Prof. Andre Lemaire, Prof. Ronny Reich, Orna Cohen, and others) testified that to the best of their judgment, the entire inscription on the ossuary is ancient, and since I had a long list of additional experts including patina experts, who examined the inscription and agreed to testify  that the entire inscription is ancient (including Prof. W. Krumbein, Dr. Shimon Ilani, Dr. Amnon Rosenfeld, Prof. Yoel Kornfeld, Prof. James Harrell and others).

Whether Golan correctly represents the facts may or may not be the case. One thing is certain, he has a vested interest in insisting that the ossuary inscription is legitimate and with the verdict to be rendered this week it makes sense that he would try to put his own spin on things.

Whether or not he and the others are found guilty is at this point totally irrelevant. No one in the archaeological community is going to have anything to do with any Golan ‘artifact’. His reputation as an honest antiquities broker/dealer is thoroughly undermined. He may be able to sell things in the future, but he will have to do it through third parties.

Palestine’s Heritage Site Submission

Palestine is submitting 20 sites to UNESCO for inclusion on the list of protected places.

On its first day as a full-fledged UNESCO member state, Palestinian officials wasted no time announcing plans to submit the names of 20 sites in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza for nomination to the World Heritage List.

“Within the next few days, we will submit a tentative list of 20 sites to be added to the list,” Omar Awadallah, head of the U.N. department at the Palestinian foreign ministry, told the AFP.  “From today we are a full party as a state so now we can start all the things that states can do within the rules of the convention; one of them is that we can submit our list to the World Heritage Committee.”

The list includes historic sites like Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity (believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ), the Old City of Hebron, the Qumran caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, and Umayyad Palaces like Khirbat al Mafjar.

With thanks to James Waddell on FB for the tip.

Reminder: Call for Carnival Submissions

Read a good post on one of the biblioblogs lately?  Written one?  Don’t be shy, submit them.  Drop me an email or a comment and I’ll check them out.  The Carnival goes up on April 1 so I need your recommendations by March 30.

Good News For all those Poor, Oppressed Teens!

But How Will Emergents and ‘Seeker Sensitive’ Get Folk to ‘Church’ Now?

When they’re losing their bowling alleys…  How can ‘christi-tainment’ survive?

Church bowling alleys are disappearing fast. There are probably fewer than 200 left , says Neil Stremmel, of the U.S. Bowling Congress.

Tragic…. [not].  Kierkegaard was right in the 19th century saying ‘the Church has been turned into a theater and theaters have been turned into houses of worship.’  He’d repeat that sentiment today a million times because churches are more concerned with entertainment than worship and celebrities are worshiped more frequently than God.

You’re Safer in New York than Knoxville

Not 2 days pass without the local news reporting some ridiculously violent crime here.  It’s safer in NYC.

Two people are in the hospital after a late night shooting and car jacking.  Knoxville police say officers responded to a shooting call just before 11:15 Friday night near the intersection of Selma Avenue and Skyline Drive.

When police got to the scene they found a male victim laying face down in the grass near the intersection with several gunshot wounds, and Chevy Tahoe with the doors wide open.  Witnesses at the scene told police that the victim and his girlfriend arrived in a Jeep Cherokee and made contact with people in the Chevy Tahoe.

Soon after, witnesses say the people near the Tahoe started shooting at the victim and his girlfriend. That’s when the victim got out of the car and ran, but he only got a short distance away before collapsing into the grass. Witnesses say one of the suspects jumped into the Jeep with the girlfriend still inside and drove off.

And they say Southerners are friendlier… maybe on the surface, but underneath there’s a swirling riptide of violence just waiting to erupt.  Personally I’d rather have someone ignore me on the subway than have someone grin at me, say ‘howdy’, and then shoot me.