People Unclear

This is number 20

I keep wondering why I have to do this time and again. And then I remember. Human stupidity.

Here are snippets from a Facebook conversation that caught my attention. First the opening, posted by JP, with minor edits:

September 13 at 7:14 pm

More than just a little ‘tongue in cheek’, but a great message anyway that hits at the heart of the left’s irrational hatred of people of biblical faith.

Who Will Rid Us of These Christians? They’ve Done Something Else Now. | The Resurgent

If you believe in the THERESURGENT.COM Like

So I am just now looking into TheResurbent.com. Here are some current headlines on the site:

Dean Baquet and Jeff Bezos are The Despicables; In Comparison, Hannity and Limbaugh are Positively Neutral

Yes, it’s that last item that got posted to Facebook. It’s by Erick Erickson, and it’s interesting to see what it’s about.

If you believe in the “imaginary sky god” you are treated with utter contempt by the left these days. Your Jesus is a bigot unless he is not the real Jesus and you people are contemptible bigots. In Georgia, even the Republicans hate you and are planning on revising adoption laws to prohibit Christians from helping the state place children in adoption and foster families. You would think Christians would learn from all of this, but instead they have gone and done something even more ridiculous to highlight just how absurd they are.

Christians across America have contributed more personal funds and more sweat equity than any other group in organized efforts helping the people of Texas and now Florida and Georgia due to Harvey and Irma. In fact, Christian non-profits like the North American Mission Board, Salvation Army, and Samaritan’s Purse have been more active in helping FEMA than the Red Cross or other secular non-profits. In fact, in Miami, the Red Cross did not even show up to run shelters that were designated as Red Cross shelters.

But those silly Christians have stepped in. They have proven even more ridiculous because FEMA will not help Christian churches damaged by Harvey or Irma rebuild. Everybody else can get disaster relief funds to help rebuild destroyed property, but not those Christians. They are on their own. And still they keep helping FEMA and everyone else.

Christian non-profits were the first on the scene after Harvey and were the first on the scene as Irma was blowing through Florida and Georgia. They took on the obligations of other non-profits that did not show up to help. And really, as every good Democrat knows, these Christians should not be out doing anything other than baking cakes for gay weddings. They’re just so ridiculous.

Lest any reader  missed the point of the headline’s wording, it is historical:

“Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” (or turbulent priest) is a cry attributed to Henry II of England, expressing his frustration regarding his conflicts with Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170. While this was not a direct order, upon hearing this comment from their sovereign, four knights—Reginald FitzUrseHugh de MorvilleWilliam de Tracy and Richard le Breton—traveled from Normandy to Canterbury and killed Becket.

See, the king’s language is supposed to have been a code to the knights to do the deed, leaving the king’s hands clean of blood.

The gist of the posting is that Christian churches have stepped up to the plate and provided relief where the government fell short, yet FEMA will not use tax money to assist reconstructing damaged churches. There may or may not be an issue there, but what caught my attention was the first sentence, “If you believe in the ‘imaginary sky god’ you are treated with utter contempt by the left these days.”

Getting back to  the Facebook conversation, a response to that by DM:

Many take issue that Christianity is biblical faith – that it is “the faith once and for all delivered to the saints”. Even John Hagee has recently confessed, “Christianity is rooted in many pagan doctrines”. Doctrine is everything.

The John Hagee reference is to a pastor close to where I currently live in San Antonio, Texas:

To put this straight, a ten-thousand-ton rock, that has been on a collision course with Earth for likely millions of years, finally succumbed to the laws of physical science and completed its journey to the surface of Earth about a thousand miles east of Moscow, just north of the Kazakhstan border with Russia. And this was a message from God? Considering it may have been, the message was what? We are left to figure that out. Everybody gets his own shot at interpretation. Mine is that this was to herald the release, six days later, of Terry George‘s Stand Off. I’ve been wrong before.

In any event, God certainly does move in mysterious ways, his miracles to perform. Equally mysterious would be if God were to clue in to social media to push his roll outs.

Pastor Hagee refers to astronomy as “God’s High-Definition Billboard” (page 16). And he quotes Acts 2: 19– 20:

If you are not already aware, Pastor Hagee’s Cornerstone Church is massive, located at the intersection of Stone Oak Parkway and Sonterra Place. I receive periodic emails from Hagee’s Christians United For Israel.

All that said, let’s continue with the conversation. After a number of additional exchanges I felt the need to chime in:

John Blanton “Irrational hatred?” How about shocked dismay? Biblical faith is one of the dumbest concepts to plague humanity in recorded history.

https://skeptic78240.wordpress.com/…/the-comfort…/

Well, that was engineered to produce a reaction of some sort. Here is the first,  from JP:

John Blanton: OK, so you are a man of no discernable faith who mocks those of discernable faith. All you demonstrate is an unwillingness to engage the real world where truth often is stranger than fiction and where the senses really do not tell even most of the story. Trust me when I say your mockery of others doesn’t in any way become you.

I didn’t fix the spelling.

Some analysis:

First, “a man of no discernible faith.” Of course that is premature. I do have faith, but I try not to have faith in false and foolish things. I may have commented subsequently that I have faith the sun will come up in the east.

Second, “an unwillingness to engage the real world where truth often is stranger than fiction and where the senses really do not tell even most of the story.” Here’s an open challenge. Who wants to claim that religious faith, especially the God of Abraham, represents the real world? While I agree that sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and that sometimes fiction seems to make a lot of sense, there is no way that our senses interact in a discernible way with the faith in question. Specifically, the God of whom JP speaks, has neither been seen nor heard by any person, nor have there been any material actions that are attributable to this God. JP’s impression of what represents the real world is extraordinarily disjoint.

Third, “I say your mockery of others doesn’t in any way become you.” It does not? It certainly does become me. It is the moral duty of any thinking person to put the lie to this kind of nonsense and to hound it “around perdition’s flame” until it finally expires of a mountain of shame.

DK, an actual acquaintance and a Facebook friend added this:

It’s far easier to throw tomatoes than to grow them.”

JP added to DK’s response:

Yes it is. And that truth holds for both Blanton’s off subject post as it does for those who accuse practicing Christians of being pagans, though we may certainly disagree about the efficacy of individual practices.

First of all, DK’s tomato allegory is an allegory to end all. What an incredible summation! My response was:

John Blanton It helps when you are given tomatoes to throw. And let’s not talk about “faith.” Let’s talk about presence of mind. What straight-thinking person believes all this malarkey?

Of course, my tomato allegory was equally weak. I added a response:

John Blanton Do I call Christians Pagans? Do I call Pagans Christians? Do I call Christians Muslims? Do I call Muslims Christians? Do I call Christians Jews (close to the truth)? Do I call Jews Christians? Inquiring minds want to know.

Yes, my correspondents missed completely that I did not call Christian’s pagans, and at this point I waxed satirical.

There is much more to this conversation, and I made an attempt to capture all of it, hopefully to return to it when the occasion arises.

To the point, religion, and especially the so-called Judeo-Christian faith (includes Islam), is a large heap of BS, and righteous people need to be open and to point this out on a daily basis. As it is, there are people out there with this religious mindset, and they vote. Public policy is set, laws are passed, damage is done. Do not stand idle.

 

 

 

 

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Selling It

Hopefully Not The Beginning of A Lengthy Series

Yes, the picture says it all. Some may not know, but I subscribe to the newsletter of Dallas, Texas, Pastor Robert Jeffress, head of the 13,000-member  First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. This came in an email to me shortly after 58 people were murdered by a millionaire gunman, who subsequently killed himself. Over 500 others were otherwise injured. The message is that financial gain knows no missed opportunity.

The email came with a link to a page hawking one of Pastor Jeffress’ books:

REQUEST YOUR COPY OF A PLACE CALLED HEAVEN: 10 SURPRISING TRUTHS ABOUT YOUR ETERNAL HOME

Start living today with eternity fresh in mind!
Brand-new hard-cover book from Dr. Jeffress and the ministry-exclusive DVD/CD set opens the Scripture to answer your questions about heaven!

Explore …
• Three popular myths about God and Heaven
• Is Hell a real place … and would God really send someone there?
• Six things you and your loved ones can do to prepare for Heaven

Please be as generous as possible — and learn as much as possible — about your everlasting home!

Use the form below to request the book with a generous gift to Pathway to Victory.

You are asked to select amounts of $25, $50, $100, $250.

First Baptist in Dallas is, if nothing else, about money. From Wikipedia:

Under Dr. Jeffress’ leadership, the First Baptist Church of Dallas broke ground on the construction of a new 3,000-seat Worship Center.  As of 2013, it was the largest Protestant church building campaign in modern history.  The $130 million church campus officially opened for Easter Sunday worship on March 31, 2013

Not mentioned in the above item, the perception in Dallas is that First Baptist serves the richest and the most conservative clientèle of a rich and conservative cluster. Jeffress’ conservative politics are never to be questioned. Wikipedia:

Dr. Jeffress is a Fox News contributor and a faith advisor to President Donald Trump.

Jeffress supported Governor Rick Perry in the Republican presidential primaries for the 2012 presidential nomination. On October 7, 2011, he provoked a national controversy when he introduced Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, by indicating that one of Perry’s rivals, Romney, of Massachusetts, is opposed to Christianity. According to Jeffress, Romney’s Mormonism contradicts the teachings of Jesus Christ. He had previously made a similar statement during the 2008 presidential primaries. Nevertheless, in April 2012, Jeffress endorsed Romney for president because of the pastor’s strong opposition to the re-election of Barack Obama.

I may be missing something, but the perception is there is a common theme running through here. May Jesus have mercy on our souls.

People Unclear

An ongoing scandal – number 19

Laura Ingraham has been popping up on my news feeds for the past few years, always in relation to some conservative viewpoint. I never paid much attention before. It’s time. From Wikipedia:

Laura Anne Ingraham (born June 19, 1963) is an American TV and radio talk show host, author, and conservative political commentator. She hosts the nationally syndicated radio show, The Laura Ingraham Show, is the editor-in-chief of LifeZette, a long time Fox News Channel contributor, and starting October 30, 2017 will host her own FNC show, The Ingraham Angle, weeknights at 10 p.m.

All right. I’m comfortable with that. Here’s what brings me some distress:

Ingraham: “I also think we should remember that we’ve done a lot to kick Christianity, God, to the curb in our society in the way we treat each other, in some government policy, in our schools”

That’s from a recent post on MediaMatters. The quote is apparently from a session of Fox & Friends on 3 October. There is some more, but the salient point is the matter of kicking God to the curb. Others commented:

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): You mentioned religion. We all have our cross to bear, right? We all are sinners, and we fall short. This guy, his brother said, did not have religion in his life. You wear your cross. I heard you last night say you went to St. Patrick’s to pray. There were a lot of people there lighting candles and praying. And then I heard you say Big & Rich, when they sang on stage “God Bless America” an hour before some of [the concertgoers] were killed to go meet God, that you said that was such a gift to their families, and I agree with you.

Earhardt remarks the Las Vegas shooter had no religion, and she mentions this as though it were significant. The fact is, having a religion seems not to matter when it comes to mass murder:

How much does it cost to kill 14 people and terrorize a city?

About $4,500, according to an NBC News analysis of the pre-tax cost of the guns and explosives assembled by Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik for their attack on an office holiday party in San Bernardino, California on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

In this case two deeply religious people went on a killing spree, all in the name of religion. To be sure, Ingraham and others will argue this is not the religion they want in our schools. Really? These people prayed to the same God that Christians and Jews pray to. It’s the God of Abraham, the same Abraham who was willing to kill his son on instructions from God. But it’s not Christianity. That makes a difference?

Eric Robert Rudolph (born September 19, 1966), also known as the Olympic Park Bomber, is an American domestic terrorist convicted for a series of anti-abortion and anti-gay-motivated bombings across the southern United States between 1996 and 1998, which killed two people and injured over 120 others.

Rudolph is not alone in demonstrating that Christian belief is no inoculation against mayhem:

James Charles Kopp (born August 2, 1954) is an American citizen who was convicted in 2003 for the 1998 sniper-style murder of Barnett Slepian, an American physician from Amherst, New York who performed abortions. Prior to his capture, Kopp was on the FBI’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. On June 7, 1999 he had become the 455th fugitive placed on the list by the FBI. He was affiliated with the militant Roman Catholic anti-abortion group known as “The Lambs of Christ“.

“Lambs of Christ,” indeed. When do we get to meet the Goats of Christ. But I wax sarcastic. Issues with Laura Ingraham run deeper. Getting back to the Las Vegas shooting:

On the October 5 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group’s The Laura Ingraham Show, host Laura Ingraham used her platform to spread conspiracy theories about the massacre in Las Vegas, NV. Ingraham claimed photos of the shooter’s room “were selectively leaked” to the media and “look[ed] like a scene from a Law & Order” episode because everything is “perfectly laid down.” Ingraham implied that these selective photos were staged and leaked to support Democrats who were “speaking from the same [gun control] script” since the attack. Ingraham also baselessly suggested that the shooter was inexperienced with firearms and “clearly in poor health” to cast doubt on the possibility he acted alone.

To be sure, law enforcement agencies are thinking the shooter may have had an accomplice, but it’s not due to his state of health. Unlike many jihadists of late, the Las Vegas shooter appeared to have an escape plan. That said, no accomplice has been identified. The above from MediaMatters is a summation. A pertinent quote is in order:

INGRAHAM: Selective leaking of photos. The press has an overwhelming lack of curiosity as to why those photos were selectively leaked, and where are the other photos? Where are the press folks asking questions about the check-in of Mr. Paddock? When he checked-in by himself, 10 significant-sized bags that held these weapons? Where’s that? Where’s the video? You’re releasing video of body cam — like one body cam video, as far as I can tell just one. You know all those police officers had body cams. One body cam video. And these pictures of the cart and the — it’s just very curious. But you notice how the media, they’re only on gun control. They’re not on — well, wait a second. How is this even possible for one man, with no significant weapons training —

I note from Wikipedia that “In 2012, Ingraham was rated as the No. 5 radio show in America,” and that is telling on the American audience. The quote above indicates there is not a boat load of deep insight going to waste here. And, yes, you guessed it. Ingraham is not alone in casting about for conspiracies. My Facebook feed is alive with them [a bunch of stuff deleted]:

If Ingraham has issues with deep insight, she has ample company. May Jesus have mercy on our souls.

People Unclear

An ongoing scandal – number 18

It is becoming apparent a bunch of people did not get the memo. It is wrong to believe in false stuff, and it especially wrong to believe in false and stupid stuff. Some people are unclear on the concept. Who, you might ask? How about a favorite of all, former Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson:

Yes, Pat Robertson blamed the Vegas shooting on ‘disrespect’ for Trump and the national anthem

The Las Vegas attack was the result of disrespect for President Trump, televangelist Pat Robertson told his viewers Monday.

There is “violence in the streets,” Robertson said, because “we have disrespected authority. There is profound disrespect for our president, all across this nation. They say terrible things about him. It’s in the news; it’s in other places.”

That is, of course, depressing to hear. People disrespecting the President of the United States. Even worse, it’s causing death and destruction. Particularly, 58 (one count is 59) people were murdered at a Las Vegas musical concert Sunday night, and over 500 were injured. I would be the last to downplay the connection, but I’m thinking this may deserve some Skeptical Analysis.

First, an analysis of what motivated the supposed shooter, one Stephen Paddock. Obviously he was thrown off track by all the indignities being heaped upon the current president. The connection is clear. Clear, that is, to former Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson. Drawing that conclusion from the void of evidence spilling out of the case takes a mind of immense comprehension. Or else a mind of immense disjuncture. I will leave it up to the reader to decide which.

Then there is the matter of scorn being heaped on a sitting president. Pat may have a point there.

Anyhow, these came across my wire, mostly by way of Facebook, in the past months. How’s that for respecting the office of President of the United States? But then, nothing has been said about disrespect for President Trump. So, let’s talk about it.

Are you tired yet of disrespecting this President? I’m not. I’m just getting warmed up.

Meanwhile, Pat, while you still have two braincells to keep each other company, think before you make any more absurd statements.

People Unclear

An ongoing scandal – number 17

I’m wondering whether I should quit putting out these memos. Apparently nobody reads them. Included in “nobody” would be former judge Roy Moore of Alabama. That he has not read the memo has been long apparent. From the Huffington Post:

Alabama Senate Front-Runner: Evolution Is Fake And Homosexuality Should Be Illegal

By Antonia Blumberg

U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has approached his work over the decades as he once approached mastering kickboxing and building a house with [his] own hands: with laser focus and a fervent belief that he has God on his side.

Moore, 70, is vying to become the next U.S. senator for Alabama, and his chances are looking good. A poll released Monday by Louisiana-based JMC Analytics and Polling found that the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court holds an 8-point lead in the Republican primary run-off over his opponent, U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed by Alabama’s governor in February to temporarily fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Whoever wins will face Democrat Doug Jones, whose odds are low in the overwhelmingly red state.

Right out of the gate this says something. Especially it says something about the great state of Alabama, previously discussed. The matter of Roy Moore has been covered previously here:

There is one thing his critics (that would include me) can appreciate about Judge Moore, and that is he does not hide his intent behind noble claims of advancing morality in the name of all faiths. It actually is refreshing to see a public official, such as Moore, come out and state that this country is for Christians (Jews if they behave themselves), and the rest of you idolaters can just go screw off. I’m sorry. Did I say Christians? I meant some Christians. Joel N. Shurkin has researched and posted a better hash of this issue than I could ever have done:

Including a fairly lengthy discussion of Moore’s doings and past history. In brief, from Wikipedia, Roy Moore was elected Chief Justice of Alabama in 2001, and apparently without much hesitation, he commenced to trample on constitutional law by commissioning a monument enshrining the biblical Ten Commandments and having the sculpture installed in the Alabama Judicial Building. Consequences ensued.

Suit was filed against this legal breach, and a federal court ordered the monument be removed. Judge Moore was the person in charge of the facility, and he refused to comply with the court order. For this official impropriety he was removed from his position of Chief Justice. Additional political involvement ensued, following which Roy Moore again ran for Chief Justice and was again elected by the people of Alabama—may Jesus have mercy on their souls.

Once again Judge Moore misapplied his position by defying a higher court that ruled against Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage. He resigned his position and is now running for the United States Senate, a position he is likely to obtain.

What makes Roy Moore’s ascent to such an elevated position is his lack of understanding of some basic truths. We can start with his defiance of modern science. From The Washington Post:

The last 50 years, Moore argued, have witnessed the tragic removal of God from public life, from schools, from government, something that was never intended under the Constitution’s establishment clause. “There is no such thing as evolution,” he said at one point as he waited for his lunch. Species might adapt to their environment, he continued, but that has nothing to do with the origins of life described in the Bible. “That we came from a snake?” he asked rhetorically. “No, I don’t believe that.”

Of course, Roy Moore is correct in believing snakes are not ancestral to people. Studies of biological evolution indicate snakes and people share a common ancestor with no direct line of descent from one to the other. What is obvious from his statement, however, is complete ignorance of some high school science. What is appalling is his flaunting of his ignorance followed by Alabama voters’ acceptance. Would always your worst enemies be ever so benighted.

But here is what’s adding drama to this mess. Current President Donald Trump, no stranger to benightedness, is supporting Moore’s opponent Luther Strange in the Republican primary race. I am keenly aware how much Donald Trump dislikes losing, but this race has all the look of a big smashup for Trump. It’s going to fun to watch.

Of secondary interest is who is supporting Moore. Prime would be former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former Trump advisor Steve Bannon, neither of whom seem to have their heads on straight. Palin is no stranger to these pages, for a time getting her own series. Few deserve the honor more. Palin’s association with the factual world is tenuous at best. From an old news story:

Soon after Sarah Palin was elected mayor of the foothill town of Wasilla, Alaska, she startled a local music teacher by insisting in casual conversation that men and dinosaurs coexisted on an Earth created 6,000 years ago — about 65 million years after scientists say most dinosaurs became extinct — the teacher said.

After conducting a college band and watching Palin deliver a commencement address to a small group of home-schooled students in June 1997, Wasilla resident Philip Munger said, he asked the young mayor about her religious beliefs.

Palin told him that “dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time,” Munger said. When he asked her about prehistoric fossils and tracks dating back millions of years, Palin said “she had seen pictures of human footprints inside the tracks,” recalled Munger, who teaches music at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and has regularly criticized Palin in recent years on his liberal political blog, called Progressive Alaska.

It is small comfort to know that Steve Bannon is the more rational of the two.

Call me an alarmist if you wish, but the United States is about to be saddled with yet another nut case senator. Could things get much worse?

Wait! Donald Trump is President of the United States. Never mind.

People Unclear

An ongoing scandal – number 16

Apparently some people working for United States government did not get the message:

Rep. Randy Weber Tearfully Begs God To Forgive America For The Sins Of Legal Abortion And Marriage Equality

By Kyle Mantyla | April 27, 2017 10:33 am

Last night, nearly two dozen members of Congress joined Religious Right activists in Washington, D.C., for the annual “Washington – A Man of Prayer” event, held in Statuary Hall inside the U.S. Capitol.

Organized by The Jefferson Gathering, which is a project of right-wing pastor Jim Garlow’s Skyline Church in California, the prayer event was kicked off by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan while Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., served as honorary hosts.

All right. This is so not news. There has got to be more. Fortunately there is more:

Over the course of an hour and a half, 20 different members of Congress took to the podium to lead the gathering in prayer, including Rep. Randy Weber of Texas, who repeatedly choked up while begging God to forgive this nation for the “sins” of legal abortion and marriage equality.

Never once mentioning the election of Donald Trump as President. Yes, the United States has committed numerous sins, and Congressman Weber knows just which ones need to be forgiven. But who, pray tell, is it who is supposed to forgive us of these sins? Only Weber knows. He invokes a non-existent entity rather than some authority empowered to forgive all sins. All he needs to do is to ask me. I will offer forgiveness. And you can take Sunday morning off.

People Unclear

An ongoing scandal – number 15

The meme doesn’t have anything to do with this installment of People Unclear. But it was handy, and the Reverend Jeffress needed some more exposure. Anyhow, here’s what’s wacko today:

Biblical prophecy claims the world will end on Sept. 23, Christian numerologists claim

A Christian numerologist claims that the world will end next Saturday when a planet will, supposedly, collide with Earth.

Saturday, 23 September 2017. That’s today, and I’m planning on taking the rest of the day off. After I take Barbara Jean out to dinner.

No, wait! This deserves more. It needs some Skeptical Analysis. Here’s more from Fox News.

According to Christian numerologist David Meade, verses in Luke 21:25 to 26 are the sign that recent events, such as the recent solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey, are signs of the apocalypse.

Let’s examine that:

Luke 21:25-26 King James Version (KJV)

25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

And that is that. Nothing about 23 September, in any year. But wait! Fox News has still more:

Sept. 23 is a date that was pinpointed using codes from the Bible, as well as a “date marker” in the pyramids of Giza in Egypt.

This is getting deeper than I can probe before dinner. Back to Fox News for additional detail:

Meade has built his theory on the so-called Planet X, which is also known as Nibiru, which he believes will pass Earth on Sept. 23, causing volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and earthquakes, according to British newspaper The Sun.

The Sun link points to the following:

Conspiracies about the mysterious planet named Nibiru suggest it could be headed towards Earth to destroy it on September 23.

It was first mentioned in 1976 by author Zecharia Sitchin in his book The 12th Planet.

He believed the planet is home to ancient aliens called the Annunaki who he claimed created the human race.

Aw, rats! I have a copy of the Sitchin book, but it’s not handy right now, And Amazon wants $16 for a Kindle edition. Barbara Jean would never sign off on the purchase. However, a PDF download is available from FreePDF. Here’s the cover:

Here’s what Sitchin has to say by way of introduction:

GENESIS
THE PRIME SOURCE for the biblical verses quoted in The Twelfth Planet is the Old Testament in its original Hebrew text. It must be borne in mind that all the translations consulted of which the principal ones are listed at the end of the book – are just that: translations or interpretations. In the final analysis, what counts is what the original Hebrew says.
In the final version quoted in The Twelfth Planet, I have compared the available translations against each other and against the Hebrew source and the parallel Sumerian and Akkadian texts/tales, to come up with what I believe is the most accurate rendering.
The rendering of Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Hittite texts has engaged a legion of scholars for more than a century. Decipherment of script and language was followed by transcribing, transliterating, and finally, translating. In many instances, it was possible to choose between differing translations or interpretations only by verifying the much earlier transcriptions and transliterations. In other instances, a late insight by a contemporary scholar could throw new light on an early translation.
The list of sources for Near Eastern texts, given at the end of this book, thus ranges from the oldest to the newest, and is followed by the scholarly publications in which valuable contributions to the understanding of
the texts were found.

[Zecharia Sitchin, The 12th Planet. From the introduction]

Well, that explains a lot. A hair de loon writes a book of fables, sourcing another book of fables, and another master of confabulation picks up on that, and suddenly nobody has any place to go come Sunday, 24 September. And I had a trip out of town planned.

It’s a good thing I don’t believe in fairy tales. Unlike some politicians I could name.

People Unclear

An ongoing scandal – number 14

Some people do not get the concept:

A U.S. Air Force chaplain who ministers to thousands of men and women at an Ohio base is asserting that Christians in the U.S. Armed Forces “serve Satan” and are “grossly in error” if they support service members’ right to practice other faiths.

In an article posted on BarbWire.com three days ago, Captain Sonny Hernandez, an Air Force Reserve chaplain for the 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, criticized Christian service members who rely on the Constitution “and not Christ.”

He wrote: “Counterfeit Christians in the Armed forces will appeal to the Constitution, and not Christ, and they have no local church home—which means they have no accountability for their souls (Heb. 13:17). This is why so many professing Christian service members will say: We ‘support everyone’s right’ to practice their faith regardless if they worship a god different from ours because the Constitution protects this right.”

I think I have this straight, so let me expand on it. Captain Hernandez thinks people—in this case members of the Air Force—should not tolerate other religious beliefs. Hernandez cautioned that Christians should be intolerant, but by extension this should extend to the notion that practitioners of other religions also need to be intolerant. Else the implication is that Christianity is the one true religion, and the others are a wagon load of bunk. That’s worth examining.

Christianity:

  • This planet and everything on it are slightly more than 6000 years old.
  • Snakes and donkey’s can talk.
  • There is an unseen person in the sky who has pre-ordained all events on this planet and is also infallible, but this person is sometimes wrong and will accept pleas from people to accept his mistakes and make changes in the plan.
  • People who have died can come back to life.

And that’s only a scraping of the surface. There are multitudinous other factual flaws in Captain Hernandez’s one true religion, which kind of puts a new definition to the term “true.”

I concede that some of the flaws listed above can be attributed to another religion and were inherited by Christianity, but since Christianity is based on Judaism it now owns these flaws and cannot reject them without doing serious damage to itself.

Yes, it is time for the pot to quit calling the kettle black, to coin a phrase. It’s time for Captain Hernandez to climb down off his high horse and admit he is peddling bull shit of equal quality to all the others. Once he accepts this bit of wisdom he can get back to his supposed purpose in the Air Force and stick to telling the troops, “You all do good, and always be kind to one another.”

But then, I could have told them that, leading us to wonder what purpose Captain Hernandez serves in the Air Force. Some people are unclear on the concept.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.

Trump News

More From Trump News: Number 5

Repeating myself

I subscribe to a newsletter from Trump News. That’s the sender’s name when their daily report shows up in my inbox. The site is EnVolve.com, and the screen shot above is their masthead. I am 100% sure this site is in no way associated with Donald Trump. If I had to bet the farm, my bet would be EnVolve.com is a for-profit concern whose business model is playing to an audience. And I don’t own a farm. That aside, the target is ultra-conservative America, and here’s what’s latest. See the headline:

Yeah, if that image seems a little jacked, it is. For some reason Web designers these days think pastel on white is so cool. It also makes it so hard to read when I pull a screen shot and paste it into a story. Anyhow, follow the link:

‘If You Support Traditional Marriage DON’T BUY OUR COFFEE,’ Says Starbucks Exec

Starbucks isn’t just supporting homosexual marriage…they are fighting AGAINST traditional marriage. This is a battle cry. A final assault of Liberalism before Conservatives make homosexual marriage illegal. This is like a Muslim call to prayer. Will you stand and fight for what God has proclaimed? Marriage is between ONE man and ONE woman!! If Starbucks wants a fight then it’s a fight they’ll get. Christians make up the majority in this country. Let’s return fire by DUMPING STARBUCKS!! Let’s make this the biggest mistake they’ve ever made! If every Christian stood up to this Starbucks would be FORCED to apologize. Do you agree?

All right. I’m beginning to get the message. This is another screed by Thomas Robertson, and it has something to say. Conservatives, supposedly conservatives who support Donald Trump, are against homosexual marriage. I use the term “homosexual marriage” because it is more accurately equivalent to “same-sex marriage.” Anyhow, this is also about support for traditional marriage. By traditional marriage Robertson says he means, “Marriage is between ONE man and ONE woman!!” With two exclamation marks. That’s what Trump supporters mean by traditional marriage. Apparently traditional  marriage includes means one man and his first wife and one man and his second wife and one man and his third wife, with an appropriate amount of adultery in between thrown in for good measure.

Apparently conservative politicians have a relaxed view of traditional marriage. Examples abound:

Limbaugh has had four marriages, three divorces, and no children. He was first married at the age of 26 to Roxy Maxine McNeely, a sales secretary at radio station WHB in Kansas City, Missouri. They were married at the Centenary United Methodist Church in Limbaugh’s hometown of Cape Girardeau on September 24, 1977. McNeely filed for divorce in March 1980, citing “incompatibility.” They were formally divorced on July 10, 1980.

And so on. Then there is ace conservative Newt Gingrich:

Gingrich has married three times. In 1962, he married Jacqueline May “Jackie” Battley (February 21, 1936 – August 7, 2013), his former high school geometry teacher, when he was 19 years old and she was 26. They have two daughters from their marriage: Kathy Gingrich Lubbers, married to Paul Lubbers, is president of Gingrich Communications, and Jackie Gingrich Cushman, the wife of Jimmy Cushman, Jr., is an author, conservative columnist, and political commentator, whose books include 5 Principles for a Successful Life, co-authored with Newt Gingrich.

In the spring of 1980, Gingrich left his wife after beginning an affair with Marianne Ginther.

I din’t have to  reach very far back in my list of Trump supporters to find Ted Nugent:

Nugent has been married twice and has five children. In the late 1960s, prior to his first marriage, Nugent fathered a boy, Ted (Mann) and a girl, whom he gave up for adoption in infancy. This did not become public knowledge until 2010. The siblings were adopted separately and had no contact with one another. The son learned the identity of his birth father in 2010 through the daughter’s quest to make contact with him and their birth parents. According to a news report, over the years Nugent had discussed the existence of these children with his other children.

He was married to his first wife, Sandra Jezowski, from 1970 to 1979. They had two children, son Theodore Tobias “Toby” Nugent and daughter Sasha Nugent. Sandra died in a car crash in 1982.

His second marriage is to Shemane Deziel, whom he met while a guest on Detroit’s WLLZ-FM, where she was a member of the news staff. They married on January 21, 1989. Together they have one child, son Rocco Winchester Nugent.

In 1978, Nugent began a relationship with seventeen-year-old Hawaii native Pele Massa. Due to the age difference, they could not marry so Nugent joined Massa’s parents in signing documents to make himself her legal guardian, an arrangement that Spin magazine ranked in October 2000 as #63 on their list of the “100 Sleaziest Moments in Rock”.

Another person, who may or may not be a supporter of Donald Trump, is Kim Davis:

Davis has been married four times to three different men. The first three marriages ended in divorce in 1994, 2006, and 2008. Davis is the mother of twin sons, who were born five months after her divorce from her first husband. Her third husband is the biological father of the twins who were adopted by her second husband, Joe Davis, who is also her fourth and current husband; he supports her stance against same-sex marriage. One of Davis’ sons, Nathan, works in her office as a deputy clerk and has taken the same position of denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Whatever counts for traditional marriage in the conservative mindset, it has good company with a noticeable bias against all things not Christian. “This is like a Muslim call to prayer.” All right. All of you out there who do not bend a knee to The Chosen One had better take heed, because you know there is only one true God, and that is the God who invented a peculiar sin and caused the two people he created to commit that sin and then punished them and subsequently all the human species by destroying all but a chosen few and later impregnated a teenage girl so she could give birth to himself in human form so himself could be made to suffer and be executed for heresy so he could come back alive and walk among other people for forty days before flying off into outer space without a spaceship. And you had better believe in that god only and never visit a Starbucks again.

Full disclosure: I don’t drink coffee, and I  never patronize Starbucks, and I puzzle at the multitudes who appear to worship this foul-tasting magic bean. But that’s just me (rather, I).

And for the record, traditional marriage is a man and two women:

1 Samuel 30:5 King James Version (KJV)

And David’s two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.

No, wait. Make that a man and several women:

2 Samuel 12:8 King James Version (KJV)

And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.

Make that a man and several women plus another man:

2 Samuel 12:11 King James Version (KJV)

11 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

Actually, make that one man and several hundred wives plus a few hundred other women just for pleasure:

1 Kings 11:3 King James Version (KJV)

And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.

And if you are not square with all this, then Starbucks is your kind of business.

Friday Funny

Number 74 of a series

Yeah, I’m being lazy again. Casting about for something funny this Friday I lurched over to the cross-over world of politics and religion. And this I found most amusing:

During last year’s presidential campaign, some Christian leaders compared Donald Trump to various biblical kings, most often as a modern-day David, an imperfect man chosen by God to lead Israel.

On Tuesday, televangelist Paula White, a prosperity gospel pastor and spiritual adviser to Trump, made another scriptural comparison — this time between the president and a Jewish woman in the bible.

That appeared in The Washington  Post last week. For additional clarification:

“Because God says that he raises up and places all people in places of authority it is God who raises up a king. It is God that sets one down,” White said on the show.

For those wondering how Donald Trump became President of the United States, now you have your answer. Please try not to laugh.