Daily Archives: 14 Apr 2012

Quote of the Day… Sort Of…

I’m watching Indiana Jones… That makes me a biblical archeologicalist.  — Joel Watts

[I don’t know what an archaeologicalist is but I’m pretty sure Joel’s one…]


Here’s an intriguing piece in Al-Jazeera

Even Jews can be barred by Israel from travelling to Bethlehem – for the thought crime of supporting Palestinian rights.

Thought Crime… how ‘1984’.

What difference will it make to the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank when the world meets their demands for freedom and self-determination?  One difference it will make: like other peoples of the world, the Palestinians will get to decide who they can invite to visit them.  Right now, if you, as a citizen of the United States, Canada, or Europe, decide that you want to visit Bethlehem, a Palestinian city in the West Bank – the same Bethlehem that Christians believe to be the birthplace of Jesus – you have two ways to begin your journey. You can fly to Israel, and cross the 1967 border to the West Bank. Or you can fly to Jordan, and cross to the West Bank over one of the bridges. But whichever way you go, you cannot pass to Bethlehem without the permission of the Netanyahu government, which controls all paths you can take to Bethlehem.

If you are a Likud supporter, flying into the Israeli airport should present no problem. But if you are a supporter of Palestinian rights, the Netanyahu government could stop you from going to Bethlehem on purely political grounds – even if you have never committed any crime and have no intention of ever committing one, even if you have never attended a Palestinian protest in the West Bank and have no intention of attending one. You could be barred by the Netanyahu government from going to Bethlehem simply for the thought crime of supporting Palestinian human rights.  Indeed, even Jews from the US can be barred by the Netanyahu government from travelling to Bethlehem for the thought crime of supporting Palestinian rights.

Amazing. Just simply indefensibly amazing.

The Netanyahu government says that it will “round up activists who land in the country and deport them”, which is again a spectacular fact. Apparently, you can be deported by the Netanyahu government not because of what you do, but because of who you are. If you are an “activist”, then Palestinians welcome you to Bethlehem, but you may not be able to get there, because the Netanyahu government may deport you for being such an “activist”.

Good grief. Seriously.

So far, there has been scant press coverage in the US of “Welcome to Palestine”, and this again is a spectacular fact. But the good news is that, thanks to the wonders of the internet, we don’t need to wait on the New York Times and the Washington Post. We can follow and spread the news on Welcome to Palestine on Twitter using the hashtag #fly2palestine.

And I’m going to. Some of us still believe in freedom.

And perhaps even more amazingly, a Swedish tourist was made to sign a ‘political contract’ upon entering Israel:

Check this out. This is a “contract” that a Swedish citizen was required to sign upon entering Israel via the Eilat land crossing:

click to enlarge

The government of Israel wants nothing more than to muzzle all dissent.

Israel May be Called a Democracy, But it Sure Isn’t Acting Like One

More than 60 percent of the 1,500 pro-Palestinian activists due to arrive in Israel on Sunday to take part in a fly-in protest have received notifications from airlines that their flights were canceled, the spokesman for the “Welcome to Palestine” protest told Haaretz on Saturday.  The activists were planning to arrive in Israel to participate in a protest against West Bank settlement construction that was scheduled to take place on Sunday. Last July, a similar “fly-in” took place, with more than 300 international activists arriving in Israel. Of those activists, 120 were detained.

How is that any different than the way Iran acts?

“Israel passed lists of hundreds of activists to companies, along with a letter in which it claimed that they were coming to carry out a provocation and disturb the peace, and this is just not true. It is very unfortunate that these companies bowed to Israeli pressure,” said Qumsiyeh, who added that he has no doubt that some of the activists and Palestinian organizations – including his own – will pursue legal action against the companies.

It’s simply immoral and undemocratic to call anyone who opposes a policy of any government a disturber of the peace.  Israel is acting unjustly.

Appearance and Truth Aren’t Always the Same Thing

In this photo it appears as though Kate Moss’s daughter is hugging her mom.  But look at the little one’s hand… it’s been airbrushed such that two of her fingers are completely gone.

The moral of the story?  Photos can be doctored for lots of reasons.  Just because you see a picture doesn’t mean you’re seeing the truth.  This holds, as well, for pictures of ‘biblical artifacts’.

Not Sure If You’re Male or Female? It’s Ok,There’s A Pronoun for You Now…

Or do you want to spare your child the burden of being gendered?  Fear not, the Swedes have come to the rescue…

Earlier this month, the movement for gender neutrality [in Sweden] reached a milestone: Just days after International Women’s Day a new pronoun, hen (pronounced like the bird in English), was added to the online version of the country’s National Encyclopedia. The entry defines hen as a “proposed gender-neutral personal pronoun instead of he [han in Swedish] and she [hon].”

Absurdly, there’s much more on the topic…  here.  Soon a new version of the Bible in Swedish may appear in which God creates not male nor female, but ‘it’.

The First Bible of the Church: A Plea for the Septuagint by Mogens Müller

Now here’s a resource worth having for sure!  It’s been many years since I first read Mogens brilliant book and I’m excessively pleased that the folk at Logos are offering it for a pittance.  It’s worth three times the price (which is about what I paid for the hardback).

The First Bible of the Church is Mogens Müller’s research into the shape of the Hebrew Bible at the time of the New Testament, with a special focus on the significance of the Greek translation, the Septuagint. He argues that the Septuagint and its reception in the early Church should give it a level of authority on par with the Hebrew Bible. This fact is especially important because the Septuagint is extensively used in the New Testament writings, whereby it—and not the Hebrew Bible—is the most obvious candidate for the title of the first Bible of the Church.

I guarantee you’ll learn a lot from it.

Rick Warren Proves His Theological Ignorance, Yet Again

Apparently Warren hasn’t ever read the Bible, or any decent theology. If he had he would know that of all the created things on earth, only humanity receives the ‘breath of life’, and ‘becomes a living soul’. Therefore, mankind occupies a special position in relationship to both God and other created things. Plants don’t have souls and neither do animals (fish, dogs, cats, goats, cows, etc.).

Tapper relays a Facebook question: Do dogs go to heaven? Said Warren, Absolutely yes. I can’t imagine God not allowing my dog into heaven. Cats, too, Warren added. “Why not.”

I realize that many folk, like Warren, aren’t sufficiently informed concerning things theological and because they love their pets want them to live forever; but it just isn’t scriptural. Wishful thinking won’t make it so. When beasties die, they just simply die; just as do plants. Warren is a miserable theologian. He may be a Christian; he may even be a real Pastor; but he is no theologian nor is he a scholar of the Bible.

If ‘I can’t imagine God not letting my _______ into heaven’ is the criterion, then boy do I have a list of both ins and outs.

In Memory of Handel…

Who died on this date in 1759. He was no Mozart, Bach, or Haydn, but he was in the top ten of the all time best-

So, .3% seems Fairly Poor…

How’d the ‘Jesus Discovery’ do?  Barely better than one of the gazillion repeats of law and order…  (and the worst of any 10 pm time slotted show) and much worse than Swamp People….

That’s not the whole list of course.  It’s the very bottom.  Click the link above to see who did well.