Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Titanic, yes; Jesus’ tomb, I don’t think so

James Cameron of Titanic discovery fame claims he has found the tomb of Jesus as well as a son, Judah.

He claims he has verified the discovery in part through DNA analysis. Supposedly it took 20 years.

First, with whom did he compare DNA? If you’re Catholic, he didn’t have anybody in his lineage, so Cameron has no point of comparison.

Speaking of this, he claims Mary Magdalene is the momma of Judah, but says here this isn’t some Da Vinci Code nonsense.

But, out of 10 stone caskets supposedly found 27 years ago when construction workers were cutting out space to lay a foundation for an industrial park building. Those 10 caskets were named: “Jesua, son of Joseph, Mary, Mary, Mathew, Jofa and Judah, son of Jesua.”

Israel's prominent archeologist Professor Amos Kloner didn't associate the crypt with the New Testament Jesus. His father, after all, was a humble carpenter who couldn't afford a luxury crypt for his family. And all were common Jewish names.

I totally agree. Why Cameron would be peddling this, I don’t know. And I can’t believe the DNA comparison part of it, period.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Reason No. 972 astrology is nutbar: What the hell is a “stealth Leo”?

Helen Mirren talks about being an astrological Leo, then about her latest director, Stephen Frears, being a stealth Leo. Is that like being a “stealth INSF” in Jungian personality typecasting? It just goes to show that, if you want to salvage some faith-based idea out of pseudoscience, you’ll bend your mind far enough to do so.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Karma: The greatest religious evil ever perpetuated?

Maybe it is. (In saying this, I’m referring to the traditional Hindu-Buddhist metaphysical doctrine, not the metaphorical “what goes around, comes around” phrase — unless that phrase reflect a person’s underlying metaphysical belief.)

And I hold this belief whether the believer in karma believes in the reincarnation of a personal soul or an impersonal life force.

First of all, I find it as intellectually incomprehensible as any Western doctrine, including the traditional Christian one of original sin plus hellfired damnation.

Second, from a philosophically-based psychological standpoint, i.e., the problem of evil, I find it as psychologically disturbing as any “Western” belief.

Finally, from an emotional and highly personal standpoint:

I find karma far more emotionally offensive and abhorrent than any Western belief, including original sin plus hellfired damnation.

I say this as a survivor of various events of sexual and physical abuse.

Neither I, nor millions of other boys and girls at home, nor any Catholic altar boys, fucked up so badly in a previous life as to literally … in a pre-adult stage of this life. Period. End of story.

So, let’s remember that Eastern religions aren’t necessarily “good” in comparison to Western ones.

And as for sane, Western-raised adults who eventually buy into some belief in karma, and still want to hold it after thinking about something like this, especially while claiming to be “enlightened,” they can go fuck themselves in this life.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Martin Luther: Lutherans can’t explain away his remaining trapped in fear

Ten years or so after his “Damascus road” flash of insight into being saved by grace alone, depending on your start date for counting, Martin Luther assembled his Small Catechism of biblical and post-biblical doctrines and documents.

For all of these, he developed interpretive explanations of what they really meant, or should really mean, in Christian life.

The first of these was the Ten Commandments.

For the First Commandment in non-Jewish reckoning, Luther said, “We should fear, love and trust in God above all things.”

For each of the remaining ones, his explanation began, “We should fear and love God …”

Hmm. If one were really free of the belief that we are “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” to flash forward ahead 200 years from Luther’s time, shouldn’t the word “love” have come first, as the primary motivation to live the Christian life?

Then “trust”?

Then “fear,” only because people aren’t perfect?


When I was growing up, and we had to learn all this as part of Lutheran confirmation instruction, I was told by dear old dad, who also happened to be dear old pastor, that, well, “fear” didn’t really mean “fear.”


You can’t hold Martin Luther up as a brilliantly creative translator of the Bible into German on the one hand, and claim he meant something besides fear when he used the word “fear” on the other hand.

Martin Luther was still, above all else, afraid of God. Afraid of God and ridden and riddled by anxieties, it’s no wonder he was morbid and morose more often than in-house biographies of the man will tell you.

(Nor will they tell you that much of the story of Oct. 31, 1517 is myth invented not just years but a decade or more after the fact.)