Politicians Say The Darndest Things

From Raiders of the Lost Ark

From Raiders of the Lost Ark

Yes, this is not going to get old. When the weather outside is frightful, and the fire is not so delightful, and there are no reports of UFOs landing on the White House lawn, I can always count on politicians saying the darndest things:

That’s it. That’s the answer. There was a person. There is a person who supervised the design of all life on this planet. A quick search of the CNSNews article does not reveal the identity of this person. Does Dr. Carson anywhere say who this person might be? Does Dr. Carson conjecture who this person might be? Does Carson even know? The world wonders.

Not to be outdone, noted politician and former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee has stepped forward to fill in for the absent UFOs. He has help.

Meet Harry Moskoff, the man who is becoming known as the “Jewish Indiana Jones.” A filmmaker and researcher by hobby and an IT specialist by trade, Moskoff has spent the last 25 years of his life dedicated to uncovering the location of the Lost Ark.

“Truth of the matter is, for the last 25 years, it’s been a personal hobby of mine to find the Makom Hamikdash, the exact location where the Jewish Temple once stood,” he told Breaking Israel News.

Inspired by the teachings of Maimonides, Moskoff has met with world renowned rabbinical and archaeological authorities in Israel as he comes closer to finding the Lost Ark.

Moskoff’s book is The ARK Report: The Ark of the Covenant and the Tunnels of Israel. A co-author is Rabbi Issamar Ginzberg. Prominent is a lengthy interview with the former governor. Mother Jones cites an excerpt from this interview:

HUCKABEE: One of the great things about archeology is that it’s never controverted a biblical truth. It’s always affirmed it. Archeology is one of the best friends truth will ever have. It’s certainly one of the best friends the Bible will ever have, because every discovery validates that which has been presented in scripture. And those who want to say well, the bible, we can’t depend upon it; so far what we can know is that when there’s an archeological (sic) discovery, it brings a validation to the point of the Bible,rather than to a repudiation of it. That ought to be comforting to every person of faith. Now, will that result in the world standing back and saying, well, we didn’t know that you have these archeological and historical facts now to back it up, so we’re going to change our view?

Governor Huckabee goes on to say people’s views are not going to change, and observes this is a sad fact.

It may be only a sad fact for Governor Huckabee, but it’s another side of this that bears attention. That other side would be the Governor’s fact-deficient statements regarding archeology and the Bible. Contrary to what Governor Huckabee believes, contrary to what Governor Huckabee wants us to believe, archeology does not support the Bible. Nor does history. Where to start?

Let’s start in the beginning:

Genesis 1 King James Version (KJV)

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

No.

No archeology, no history, no findings of fact support the first few sentences of the Bible. The same goes for the first few paragraphs, the first few sections, the first few books, and hardly a word of the remainder. All rigorous analyses of the geological evidence produces the conclusion that the Universe came into being about 13 billion years ago, and that the Earth was formed from remnants of an exploded star about 4.5 billion years ago. Facts being what they are, the Bible contains two accounts of the creation of the Earth. And they contradict each other.

Daniel Lazare “is a journalist and author of three books.” An item he wrote for Harper’s Magazine in March 2002 discusses a number of conflicts between the Bible and reality. A prior post from The North Texas Skeptics highlights some troubling issues:

  • Use of camels. Abraham sent out a servant with camels to find a wife for his son, Isaac. This was about 2100 to 1800 BCE Actually, camels were not much used for transport in this area until after 1000 BCE
  • Isaac and Abimelech. Abimelech was king of the Philistines, and Isaac sought help from him, which could not be much later than 1800 BCE Problem is, there were no Philistines present until after 1200 BCE
  • Heshbon and Edom. Hebrews fought King Sihon at Heshbon and also the king of Edom. But these two cities did not exist at the time of the supposed battles.
  • Forty years in the Sinai. Archeologists cannot find any trace of such a large number of people living in the Sinai during the time the Jews were supposed to be wandering or camped there.
  • Invasion of Canaan. There is no indication of an invasion. It appears “a distinctive Israelite culture arose locally around 1200 BCE as nomadic shepherds and goatherds ceased their wanderings and began settling down in the nearby uplands” according to Lazare. 2 The Israelites were there all along and were much like other cultures in the area at that time. They differentiated themselves from the others by abstaining from pork, as evidenced by a lack of pig bones in the archeological digs.
  • Envy of the hillbillies. Supposedly David and Solomon of Judah built a great civilization and lived lavishly during the time 1005 to 931 BCE and also ruled over the kingdom of Israel to their north. Archeological evidence does not indicate the southern mountain tribes were all that prosperous. Evidence does exist for a prosperous and worldly tribe of Israel, and there is no indication the two nations were ever joined.

I wrote the above review and used the term “Jews” when “Hebrews” would have been correct.

Given this, it would be well for Governor Huckabee, when he has time in his busy schedule (running for President) to cite some factual research to back his assertions. It may be well, but it will not be likely to happen. The Governor has dug himself in too deep. Start with a Newsweek interview eight years back:

I wanted to follow up on a question you and the other candidates got at the YouTube debate about whether you believe every word in the Bible. Do you believe the Bible is inerrant?
I believe it is. There are some things in the Bible that were clearly intended to be figurative: “If the eye offends thee, go pluck it out.” Did Jesus mean that we were supposed to take our fingertips, reach deep into our eye and pull it out if we see something we don’t think we should see? Obviously not. “Inerrant” means if you follow the direction of the Bible, it will not lead you into error.

Governor Huckabee may have said a number of things following his first sentence, but those four words are going to be hard to back out.

Be assured we will be hearing much more from the former Governor of Arkansas.

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

One thought on “Politicians Say The Darndest Things

  1. Pingback: Politicians Say The Darndest Things | Skeptical Analysis

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