Daily Archives: 7 Sep 2012

Jim Garlow: False Prophet or Just Delusional ‘Pastor’?

Few Religious Right leaders can match Jim Garlow for delivering dire doom and gloom warnings about what is in store for America and Christians if the church does not rise up and make sure that President Obama is not re-elected.  Today, he joined Tony Perkins and Tim Wildmon on “Today’s Issues” where he bluntly declared that there are only “61 days of America left” because if Obama is re-elected, America will become permanently unrecognizable. As such, it is imperative that Christians become “unbelievably bold,” just as Perkins and Wildmon have been, for which they will one day be hailed by historians.

Hailed as lunatics and charlatans and deceivers perhaps.  If Obama is reelected (and now I hope that he is, just so that this false prophet will be exposed), I hope the delusional Garlow will resign his position and apologize for lying in the name of God (the thing about such people which ALWAYS annoys me).

Users of Wikipedia Are Fools; They Trust a Lie

Hear me well:  IT CANNOT BE TRUSTED as in any meaningful way reliable.  If you doubt that simple statement of fact, behold:

Dear Wikipedia,

I am Philip Roth. I had reason recently to read for the first time the Wikipedia entry discussing my novel “The Human Stain.” The entry contains a serious misstatement that I would like to ask to have removed. This item entered Wikipedia not from the world of truthfulness but from the babble of literary gossip—there is no truth in it at all.

Yet when, through an official interlocutor, I recently petitioned Wikipedia to delete this misstatement, along with two others, my interlocutor was told by the “English Wikipedia Administrator”—in a letter dated August 25th and addressed to my interlocutor—that I, Roth, was not a credible source: “I understand your point that the author is the greatest authority on their own work,” writes the Wikipedia Administrator—“but we require secondary sources.”

Wikipedia doesn’t care about facts.  It simply requires two imbeciles agreeing on any falsehood and that’s sufficient for them.  One truth, to them, one fact, doesn’t outweigh two dilettantish opinions (they call them sources- what a farcical use of the word that is).

And the thing is, this isn’t the first time this sort of thing has happened.  It happens with sickening regularity.  And still, some Profs are happy to send their students to Wikipedia and some students actually feel intelligent using it!

Our ‘open letter’ writer has loads of details in his lengthy plea for Wikipedian truth.  But he’s spitting in the wind, for the moment any correction is made, if it ever is, the minions of ignorance and stupidity will descend on the page and bastardize it afresh.

Wikipedia needs to be banned as a source by Universities and Colleges, and by all people of even remotely good sense.  It isn’t reality that’s found on its pages, it’s Wikiality, it’s a lie.

How Many Parents Will Overlook Evil to Satisfy Their Own Drug Habit?

On the local news, the story of a pill pushing pedophile who supplied a ‘mother’ with pills and then began to supply a 12 year old girl too.  Then, according to the report, he cut the kid’s supply off and forced her to perform sex acts to get the drugs he had gotten her addicted to.  That’s where we pick up the tale-

… the victim’s mother had suspicions something inappropriate was happening, but she never told authorities.  Smith [the detective investigating the crime] says her addiction to pills overshadowed her concerns. “When that becomes your priority, everything else is on the back burner, and her daughter suffered because of that. And her daughter will have to live with this for the rest of her life.”

This story is doubtless, sadly, repeated time after time after time in the oxy crazed homes of wretched parents who only care about getting high and are happy enough to sell their children to pushers for the privilege.

There’s a special plot in hell for pedophiles and pill pushers and chained right next to them are the selfish ‘parents’ who treat their own kids as nothing more than payment for pills.  And that plot is square in the mouth of Satan himself, where the perverse are forever chewed, swallowed, excreted, and rechewed.  A quite fitting fate indeed, as they become in death what they were, in truth, in life.

Satan chewing pedophiles and pill-baby moms and dads

Kids These Days… And their Parents Too…

A missing 13-year-old girl has been found safe, though 700 miles away from home. It turns out the Texas teen had gotten into an argument with her parents about a boy she met online via Xbox and decided to run away. She snuck out her bedroom window, took her brother’s car, and set out for Kentucky to meet up with her 12-year-old beau, reports the Houston Chronicle.  A Tennessee state trooper pulled over the girl in Nashville after he noticed her car matched the description in an Amber Alert. Though a few years away from getting her learner’s permit, she somehow managed to navigate 700 miles cross-country. (She still had another 130 or so miles to go.)

As she crossed Texas none of the lawmen down there apparently thought anything was amiss…  Same must have been true in Arkansas.  At least our troopers here are alert.

Meeting people online… one might as well take out a Craigslist personal ad and hook up with a pedophile.  Do kids these days not know how dangerous online meetings are??  Are their parents not telling them stringently enough?  Come on parents, do your job.  Here’s an idea- know what your kids are doing.

(And if you say ‘but I can’t’, well then, you should never have become a parent in the first place.  Taking care of your children is YOUR responsibility- you can’t slack off and then blame the difficulty of it all for your indolence and apathy).

The Bible and Homosexuality, Once More

The learned Adrian Schenker is one of the contributors to this new volume, just reviewed in RBL. From the review-

In the second essay Adrien Schenker turns from narrative to legislation in a discussion of Lev 18:22 and 20:13. He proposes three reasons for what he sees as the prohibition on sexual relations between men, all three of which have a social rather than an individual focus. The first two, the maintenance of Israel’s national exclusivity and the protection of fertility, he characterizes as historically contingent, but the third, the preservation of harmonious family relations, is different. Roles within families must be clear, in order to maintain the stability of the family unit: the “attraction between members of the opposite sex is difficult enough without adding to it the complication of love between two men. For love relations between men add to occasions of friction with the family” (56). As though to underscore the universality of this claim, Schenker argues that, although the composition of Lev 18:24–30 and 20:22–24 may date from as late as the fifth or early fourth centuries B.C.E., such “rules [about ‘licit and illicit sexual relations within families’] are deeply rooted in minds and consciences. This is why they change rarely and not easily” (68).

This third reason for the prohibition on homosexual relations, then, would seem not to be historically contingent, and Schenker backs up his claim by stressing the literary position of the prohibition, closely associated with those other notable durable taboos, incest and adultery. Schenker has set out a clear and coherent rationale of the traditional interpretation of these texts. But there are places where the reader can glimpse an ideological substratum. For instance, by analogy, he declares, a law “is always capable of a number of applications that are implied in its formulation” (70). This is why, he goes on, “we can state the probability that, according to the Bible, sexual relations between women is also prohibited” (70), and he cites Paul for support. Women must not be allowed to slip through the net! The logic here is more convenient than convincing.

Again, his uncompromising reading of the two texts falters in the face of Lev 20:13. If homosexual relations really are an abomination, then surely the death penalty is a fitting punishment, as indeed as the law in England, at least, recognized until the nineteenth century (and, of course, this situation still obtains today in certain parts of the world). But for Schenker this “penalty is intolerable for modern sensibilities” and “that one should kill those who practice it [homosexual relations] seems rightly barbarous and inhuman” (63). To get around this problem, Schenker argues that the acts listed in Lev 20 were carried out in secret and that the severity of the penalty was intended to induce the offenders to confess all to the priests and to receive a lighter punishment. These “penalties are not executed but rather commuted in an act of grace and by compensation” (65, emphases original).

Once more convenience triumphs over logic. In his conclusion Schenker comments that “the question that the Bible can raise with respect to contemporary thought is this: does not homosexuality that is lived and publicly recognized contribute to the disintegration of a society already prey to disintegration?” (70). For this reviewer at least, the question is this: Does not the author realize that, never mind the death penalty, the very prohibition of homosexuality in Leviticus, if such it is, is “intolerable for modern sensibilities” and “rightly seems barbarous and inhuman”?

I’m going to have to get it.  I can scarcely believe the reviewer has rightly, or fairly, apprehended what Schenker is doing so following my own requirements, I’ll read Schenker himself rather than settling for simply reading about Schenker from the viewpoint of another.

Bloggers and Their Tattoos, Again

If you thought the last disclosure of bloggers’ secret tats was disturbing…  behold…

Deuteronomy in Recent Research

Thomas Römer has just uploaded, for your reading pleasure, his essay « Das deuteronomistische Geschichtswerk und die Wüstentraditionen der Hebräischen Bibel », in H.-J. Stipp (ed.), Das deuteronomistische Geschichtswerk (ÖBS 39), Frankfurt a.M. et al.: Peter Lang, 2011, pp. 55-88.

You can download it here.

This Has to be The Best Day of My Life…

Look who’s just decided to follow me on the twitter!

This is way better than the day I found out Steve Inskeep (@nprInskeep) was following me…  Shimmer Body Art…  the same cosmetics that Joel Watts uses!  I have ARRIVED!

Tina Brown Should Be Awfully Proud: The Daily Beast Has Run out of Things To Report

So they’ve stooped to this…

Erasmus Only Read a Little Bit of Zwingli’s ‘Archeteles’

And he didn’t like it. Which reminds me of those people who read 4 pages of a book and review it or who read 3 sentences of a 30 page article and dismiss it. It is impossible to give anything a fair hearing on the basis of a snippet. One would think Erasmus would have been smarter than some of our bloggers and biblical ‘scholars’ but, alas…

Here’s the entirety of Erasmus’ letter, written on 8 September, 1522:

“I have read some pages of your apology [Archeteles]. I beseech you for the sake of the glory of the Gospel, which I know you would favour and which we all who bear the name of Christ ought to favour, if you should issue anything hereafter, treat so serious a matter seriously, and bear in mind evangelical modesty and patience. Consult your learned friends before you issue anything. I fear that that apology will cause you great peril and will injure the Gospel. Even in the few pages that I have read there are many things I wanted to warn you about. I do not doubt that your prudence will take this in good part, for I have written late at night with a mind that is most solicitous for you. Farewell.” (Jackson’s rendition).

Jackson goes on to relate

This [the Archeteles]  is Zwingli’s reply to the admonition which the Bishop of Constance, the diocesan of the city of Zurich, addressed to the chapter of the Great Minster on May 24, 1522. Zwingli was not mentioned in it but rightly regarding himself as the chief agent in bringing in the new ideas which were condemned by the Bishop, he made this reply. His delay in doing so was probably due to his absorbing occupations in other directions. The treatise was written hastily, he informed Myconius, in sending him a copy (August 26, 1522).

There are numerous allusions to the treatise in the Zwingli correspondence. Thus Zwingli in writing to his bosom friend, Myconius, on August 23, 1522 (Werke, n. e. vii., 567), promises him a copy, and this promise he redeemed on the 26th (ibid., 569); on April 11, 1524, he alludes to it when writing to Konrad Hofmann (vii., 169), and lastly to Konrad Sam in Ulm on February 12, 1527 (Schuler and Schulthess ed., viii., 28), he imparted information regarding it as Sam was somehow unacquainted with it. In letters to Zwingli from Michael Hummelberg on August 26, 1522 (Werke, n. e. vii., 574), the same on September 4 (p. 578); Melchior Macrinus, on September 30 (p. 588, he calls it α καὶω); Sebastian Meyer, on November 11 (p. 612); Johannes Zwick, on November 27 (p. 820); and Hedio on February 10, 1523 (viii., 22), mention is made of it. (The Latin Works and The Correspondence of Huldreich Zwingli: Together with Selections from His German Works, Volume 1 (S. M. Jackson, Ed.).

If you want to know what someone (and in this context, I’ll specify and say, biblical scholars and theologians) says, read them in their entirety.  Don’t take someone else’s word for it- make up your own mind.  If NT Wright or Ben Witherington or an Angel from Heaven tell you something about what someone else thinks, don’t believe them until you read that someone for yourself.

Say What You Wish, The Fact Remains…

That the Word of God has long since ceased to hold sway over many Christian’s lives.  If it were otherwise, their lives would show it.

Recent Essays Published by Israel Finkelstein

First, in Revue BibliqueTELL EL-FARAH (TIRZAH) AND THE EARLY DAYS OF THE NORTHERN KINGDOM.

The article deals with Stratum VIIa at Tell el-Farah (North), location of biblical Tirzah. This layer should be dated to the very late Iron I and the early phase of the Iron IIA, meaning that it covers the early days of the Northern Kingdom in the late 10th and early 9th centuries BCE. Stratum VIIa features a sparsely built, comparatively poor, unfortified settlement that seems to have expanded over a relatively small part of the mound – an area of ca. one hectare of the acropolis. This settlement served as the seat of the early kings of Israel, and thus much can be learned from it about the nature of the territorial kingdoms of the Levant in their formative stage. What we know about Tirzah reflects on other capitals in the region at that time—first and foremost Jerusalem.

And the second, from the Journal of Archaeological Science- Human impact around settlement sites: a phytolith and mineralogical study for assessing site boundaries, phytolith preservation, and implications for spatial reconstructions using plant remains, with Dan Cabanes, Yuval Gadot, Maite Cabanes, Steve Weiner, and Ruth Shahack-Gross.

Defining the extent of human activity around settlement sites is of particular significance in archaeology as it may define peripheral activity areas and thus the site’s boundary. In Near Eastern archaeology, site boundaries are usually defined by the presence of architectural and other macroscopic archaeological remains. Here we use the phytolith concentrations and morphotype assemblages, as well as changes in the mineralogical composition of the sediments in and around the small Iron Age site of Izbet Sartah in central Israel to determine the site boundaries. The site has a shallow stratigraphy and highly bioturbated sediments. Coincidental changes in the clay/quartz ratio and phytolith concentrations define the boundary between high and low impact anthropogenic activities. This boundary is generally some 20 m away from the architectural remains. In addition, we note that the phytoliths in the site’s core show clear evidence of having been affected by chemical dissolution (i.e., diagenesis), while those in the vicinity of the site’s boundary have undergone severe diagenesis. These observations indicate that phytolith diagenesis will affect site boundaries determination, as well as phytolith-based reconstructions of activity areas. We propose that phytolith preservation depends on the initial amount of available silica, the depth of burial with respect to the active root area of modern vegetation, and the presence of fresh phytoliths in the soil.

With thanks to the good Professor for sending along a copy of both.

Finally, Some Good News from Pakistan

The Pakistani Christian girl who has been in police custody for more than three weeks after being accused of desecrating the Qur’an is to be released from prison after a judge granted her bail.  Rimsha Masih, who is thought to be 14, has been at the centre of an international furore over Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

Brilliant.

Where in the World is Chris Tilling Now?

He’s gone to the far east, to visit Japan.  Awesome!  Except, poor guy, he just can’t keep himself moral and upright

Japanese police have arrested a 61-year-old man accused of stealing more than 1,100 library books.  Officials say Chris Tilling Mitsuka Suizu was initially arrested in July for taking a few books from the public library in Nagato, in western Japan. When police searched his home in the city of Ube, Suizu admitted to taking 1,170 books over a seven-year period, and stashing them at home, where he lived with his wife and two children.  The estimated value of the paperbacks? More than $25,000.  “He loves books,” Nagato police spokesman Yosuke Miyoshi told ABC News. “He didn’t just want to read them. He wanted them by his side.”  Miyoshi said the volumes, taken from 15 local libraries, ranged from encyclopedias to history books and books about insects.

Chris Tilling: book robber.  (And that’s why you should never loan him a book- he will never give it back!

The Evolution of …

via Ref.ch