How To Do Schadenfreude Right

הָאֵל֘ תָּמִ֪ים דַּ֫רְכּ֥וֹ אִמְרַֽת־יְהוָ֥ה צְרוּפָ֑ה מָגֵ֥ן ה֜֗וּא לְכֹ֤ל׀ הַחֹסִ֬ים בּֽוֹ׃  כִּ֤י מִ֣י אֱ֭לוֹהַּ מִבַּלְעֲדֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה וּמִ֥י צ֜֗וּר זוּלָתִ֥י אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ׃  הָ֭אֵל הַמְאַזְּרֵ֣נִי חָ֑יִל וַיִּתֵּ֖ן תָּמִ֣ים דַּרְכִּֽי׃  מְשַׁוֶּ֣ה רַ֭גְלַי כָּאַיָּל֑וֹת וְעַ֥ל בָּ֜מֹתַ֗י יַעֲמִידֵֽנִי׃  מְלַמֵּ֣ד יָ֭דַי לַמִּלְחָמָ֑ה וְֽנִחֲתָ֥ה קֶֽשֶׁת־נְ֜חוּשָׁ֗ה זְרוֹעֹתָֽי׃  וַתִּתֶּן־לִי֘ מָגֵ֪ן יִ֫שְׁעֶ֥ךָ וִֽימִינְךָ֥ תִסְעָדֵ֑נִי וְֽעַנְוַתְךָ֥ תַרְבֵּֽנִי׃  תַּרְחִ֣יב צַעֲדִ֣י תַחְתָּ֑י וְלֹ֥א מָ֜עֲד֗וּ קַרְסֻלָּֽי׃  אֶרְדּ֣וֹף א֭וֹיְבַי וְאַשִּׂיגֵ֑ם וְלֹֽא־אָ֜שׁוּב עַד־כַּלּוֹתָֽם׃  אֶ֭מְחָצֵם וְלֹא־יֻ֣כְלוּ ק֑וּם יִ֜פְּל֗וּ תַּ֣חַת רַגְלָֽי׃  וַתְּאַזְּרֵ֣נִי חַ֭יִל לַמִּלְחָמָ֑ה תַּכְרִ֖יעַ קָמַ֣י תַּחְתָּֽי׃  וְֽאֹיְבַ֗י נָתַ֣תָּה לִּ֣י עֹ֑רֶף וּ֜מְשַׂנְאַ֗י אַצְמִיתֵֽם׃  יְשַׁוְּע֥וּ וְאֵין־מוֹשִׁ֑יעַ עַל־יְ֜הוָ֗ה וְלֹ֣א עָנָֽם׃

(Ps 18:31ff)

And that, as they say, is how to do Schadenfreude right!

The Israeli Government is Lying About Iran

Here’s an object lesson that shows just how far some press—and even Israeli government officials—have gone down the rabbit hole on Iran issues by propagating a story reported on a conspiracy website. The dubious tale goes like this: there was a huge explosion at Iran’s main nuclear facility at Fordow, near the city of Qom, leaving hundreds of workers … trapped in the underground facility.

The facility is the source of much trepidation in Israel, where fears of insufficient military capabilities make the nuclear plant impenetrable to Israeli attack.

The report came from a completely unreliable character writing for none other than World Net Daily, a website most famous for being the most prominent hub of the “Birther” conspiracy theory positing that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim and not American (among other conspiracy theories about the Obama administration). What’s more, the story, thanks to a firm denial by American officials, reveals yet another rift between the Obama administration and Israel’s government over Iran—a rift that can be laid nowhere except at the feet of overeager Israeli officials.

Yup… That’s the way Bibi’s government works: duplicity, deception, and misinformation.  Notice the bits I’ve put in bold for emphasis.  And there’s more- which do read.

Fun Facts from Church History: A Note on Zwingli’s Sister Anna

cranach_zwingliAnna married Leonard Tremp, a master tailor in Bern, who eventually became a leading citizen and was an ardent promoter of the Reformation there. Four letters from him to Zwingli have been preserved, all in German with a Latin translation: vii., 483, in which he warns Zwingli against going to the Baden conference lest he be murdered on the way; viii., 23, in which he speaks of various cantonal matters; viii., 195, which seems to be imperfect; viii., 276, in which alone does he mention his wife, confesses his personal fault in regard to the treaty between Geneva and Bern, which Zwingli had strongly deprecated; and one letter to him and Zwingli, vii., 524.

These letters show the intimate footing he stood on with Zwingli. So in the letter from Haller to Zwingli, dated January 28, 1522 (vii., 189), Tremp and his wife are thus mentioned: “Tremp, most affectionate of your friends, and his most worthy wife are well and hope that you are also in the best of health.” And Zwingli sends remembrances to Tremp when writing to Bern, e. g., vii., 319. It was from Tremp’s house that Megander and Haller wrote to Zwingli on March 2, 1531 (viii., 583).*

Everyone in Zwingli’s family embraced reform.  Wisdom- it’s genetic.

______________________
* S.M. Jackson, Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531).

In Which Rick Warren Proves, Again, He’s Only Interested in One Thing: Self Promotion

fraud

For Warren and those of his tribe- the publicity seekers and self promoters- any publicity is good publicity.  Here Warren sees a chance to point out to folk that he’s been mentioned by Newsweek and he’s nearly giddy over it because he desires nothing so much as he desires public notice.  Rick Warren is rick warren’s ‘gospel’.   Warren is utterly incapable of uttering the words of John the Baptist- ‘He (Jesus) must increase and I must decrease’.

A fitting reminder of Fr. Brown’s really awesome work.

PEJE IESOUS

I have been thinking about the Jesus criteria quite a bit lately. After having my seemingly unsophisticated views demolished by the likes of Keith, LeDonne and company, I picked up Helen Bond’s recent book on the historical Jesus, in which she seems a little more optimistic about the continued use of the criteria. (By the way, Nijay Gupta has recently reviewed this book on his blog.) Well, today while grocery shopping in anticipation of the “massive snowstorm” about to hit eastern NC (read: less than one inch), I was listening to a series of audio lectures on my iPod given by the late Ray Brown. The lectures were given shortly before Brown’s death in the late 1990s. When discussing the formation of the Gospels and the historical Jesus he introduces the criteria (about which he was skeptical for reasons other than recent arguments) and comments:

The…

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An Update on the ‘Lead Codices’

SOTS passes along this note from the inestimable Philip Davies on the codices.  Philip writes-

Prince Hussein addressed the Seventh World Archaeological Congress in Amman earlier this month. During a preliminary meeting of government officials and other interested parties, it was proposed that he should announce (a) that lead codices have been found in Jordan and were worthy of study; and (b) that scholars and institutes were invited to come and study them. Barbara Porter, the Director of ACOR (American Center of Oriental Research) urged the government not to make the announcement and so it was abandoned. The reason for this compliance, I understand, is that the government backed down is that it does not want to upset its relationship with ACOR, which has a great deal of influence in Jordan. It funds numerous excavations and bring a lot of money to Jordan.  ACOR became a private institution in 1993. No reason was given by Dr Porter for her veto and no public statements have been made by any party. Any members [of SOTS] with connections to ACOR or senior personnel may like to write and ask the reason for this action, which seems hard to understand.

Philip Davies

So, that’s the latest- just for those following the tale.

Iran’s Barbarity in Sentencing Pastor Abedini to Eight Years

An American pastor who has been jailed in Iran since September has been sentenced to eight years in prison, the U.S. State Department said Sunday.  Spokesman Darby Holladay said the department is calling on Iran to respect Saeed Abedini’s human rights and release him.

Earlier this month, Iran’s semi-official news agency, ISNA, quoted Abedini’s attorney, Nasser Sarbazi, as saying his client stood trial in the Revolutionary Court on charges of attempting to undermine state security by creating a network of Christian churches in private homes.  The pastor, who is of Iranian origin but lives in Boise, Idaho, has rejected the charges.  “Mr. Abedini’s attorney had only one day (Jan. 21) to present his defense, so we remain deeply concerned about the fairness and transparency of Mr. Abedini’s trial,” Holladay said.

Iran needs to exercise justice instead of anti-Christian vengeance and free Pastor Abedini.   It is an act of barbarity to imprison a man, any man, or woman, or child, for the free and peaceful practice of their faith.  And American Christians need to let their voices be heard in the White House and at the State Department.  Free our brother.

More on the So-Called ‘Anti-Semtic’ Sunday Times Cartoon of Netanyahu

A cartoon that appeared in this London’s Sunday Times this week depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall with blood-red colored cement, trapping in between the bricks Palestinian-looking figures, is causing the latest is-it-or-is-it-not-anti-semitism furor.

The usual suspects have all weighed in: the Anti-Defamation League, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, clamoring for the venerable cartoonist Gerald Scarfe’s head and asking how the pro-Israel Sunday Time’s proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, could allow such a travesty. …

Pillorying Scarfe and his cartoon cheapens a noble cause, as this was not anti-Semitic by any standard. Here are four reasons why:

Which you should go to Ha’Aretz and read.  It’s a very nice piece and I thank Niels Peter Lemche for pointing it out.