Monday, May 31, 2010
Cut off the pipe to the well head.
Put a collar on it, to make sure that jagged edges can't tear.
Wrap the mud hose in a huge, long sock.
Jam it down the well.
Fill the sock with mud.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
One of my Vietnamese clients and friends, discussing those photos with me, made the following observations.
"Pete, the reason why the Vietnamese who are not Buddhist monks are walking by like they did not care is because none of them believed that the monk was alive when he was brought to the scene. The reason why there were so many monks at the scene surrounding the taxi is that they were helping the Viet Cong taxi driver act out a lie for the foolish American reporters invited to the scene. The Viet Cong murdered the monk in advance, and then proposed to the other Buddhist monks and nuns that the government would be embarrassed if the dead body were forced into a lotus position and then doused with gas and set afire, and the American press were fooled into thinking that he burned himself. Most of the people in the intersection are aware of the game, and thinking to themselves, 'Oh, no! More Viet Cong bullshit! And now they have the monks and nuns playing their stupid game! Where did they murder that poor monk?'"
Lo and behold, if you check you will find...
(1) Statements stating that the monk did not move -- not even twitch -- as he burned. He was as still as a dead man.
(2) Statements which, while claiming that Thich Quang Duc walked under his own power, and sat down under his own power, and affirmatively instructed that he be doused with gasoline so that he could be set on fire, were made by the reporters who did not actually WITNESS these details, because a vast crowd of monks and nuns, "seven people deep," surrounded this process, preventing anyone from seeing anything.
The Vietnamese man who explained the ruse to me is a devout Buddhist.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
In Aldous Huxley's 1952 historical novel, "The Devils of Loudon," a 17th century priest is endlessly promiscuous with local non-juvenile females and finally impregnates a local prince's daughter, while he angers a convent of sexually-deprived nuns by refusing to become their spiritual adviser and, worst of all, insults Cardinal Richlieu. As the people he has angered engage in fenzied revenge, the priest finds God -- and the great irony of the book is that the priest has shed his devils, while his haters have become them.
That kind of drama is still with us. On Thursday, May 13, 2010, Ohio's famous Hitchhiker Killer, Michael Beuke, was executed by lethal injection in his prison in Lucasville, Ohio.
Beuke admitted his crime: In 1983, to get a car to rob a bank to get the money to pay for a lawyer in a drug trafficking charge, he posed as a hitchhiker, murdered one driver and badly injured two others, when they stopped and offered him a ride as an act of charity.
He pled, and received the death penalty. He managed to stretch his life more than 25 years with legal process. Finally, he was executed.
At his execution, he apologized to the relatives for his crime more than 25 years before, and died saying the "Hail Mary."
The daughter of one victim, Dawn Wahoff, thought, "You're stalling."
Susan Craig, widow of another victim, said, "Sorry doesn't cut it."
Across the world, bloggers wrote things like, "Welcome to Hell, you bastard."
Question: Does bathing in feelings of revenge while the wrongdoer prays mean that the ones screaming that way for revenge are fellow sinners who, given precisely the same pre-murder background as Beuke, would murder, too, precisely like he did?
Our father used to say, "Pete, do you know what neighbors are like? If they catch your dog crapping on their lawn, they will want you to die, and they will hate you for years."
I think that he may be right.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
My wife and I just watched the 1986 Jeremy Irons / Robert DeNiro film "The Mission." Very loosely based on history, the movie concerns a mission village established by the Jesuits in 1750s South America. Jeremy Irons is the local head of the Jesuit Order. Robert DeNiro is a slave trader. Jeremy Irons establishes a mission village for the Indians with sovereignty. The mission annoys the heck out of the Portugese, who wish to seize and enslave the Indians, but can't so long as the mission enjoys legal protection. Robert DeNiro, slave trader, nibbles at the edges of the cookie, so to speak, as he regularly endeavors to enrich himself by capturing Indians to enslave around the mission.
But, God has another fate in mind for the Robert DeNiro character. First his girlfriend tells him to take a hike -- and then he catches his own beloved brother in bed with his girlfriend! The brother realizes that the Robert DeNiro character is about to go out and kill someone. So, the brother pursues the Robert DeNiro character into the street, and picks a fight with him so that he will be the one who suffers and dies, and the Robert DeNiro character kills him.
Consumed with guilt, the Robert DeNiro character goes to the cathedral, sits in a room there, refuses to eat and waits to die.
The bishop asks the Jeremy Irons character to intervene. He does, by calling the Robert DeNiro character a coward for not letting him, the Jesuit priest, punish him for his crime. Bent on his own destruction, the Robert DeNiro character takes the bait, and agrees to accept whatever punishment the Jeremy Irons character imposes.
The punishment is this: He has to bag all of his slaving equipment and weapons in a net and drag the ball of material up into the high jungles, crawl up to the Indians whose family members he has killed, injured, kidnapped and enslaved, and beg their pardon.
The journey is torturous. The other Jesuits are shocked at the suffering the punishment entails, and at one point hack away the ropes connecting the slave trader to his impossibly heavy burden. The slave trader himself ties himself to his burden again.
When the group arrives in the Indians' lands, the slave trader crawls up to the Indians, dragging his heavy load behind him, crying. The astonishment of the Indians at this remarkable site knows no bounds, and they burst out laughing. The slave trader offers them his neck. Instead of cutting his neck, they cut the rope connecting him to his slaving equipment, and forgive him. Not only does he begin serving the Indians in the mission, but he becomes a Jesuit priest!
That new status quo becomes the setting for the main story. The Portugese demand that the papacy surrender its sovereignty over the mission, thus ending the protection of the Indians against the Porugese slavers, or face having the Jesuits expelled from Portugal. The pope sends a legate to South America to decide the case. The legate is shocked at the Jesuits' success in converting the Indians, but he lacks the backbone to oppose the Portugese's extortion.
The legate decides in favor of the Portugese and orders the Jesuits to depart. The Jeremy Irons character resolves to disobey the order, but will oppose the Portugese in a non-violent fashion, only. The Robert DeNiro character resolves to disobey the order, but he renounces his vows of obedience, and with other Jesuits begins to prepare for war on behalf of the Indians.
The Indian men follow and train with the Robert DeNiro character. He leads them into battle against a powerful Portugese force. As the Indians begin to be overwhelmed, the Robert DeNiro character is shot and severely wounded.
But as he lays on the ground dying, he is curious -- how will the Jeremy Irons character do, with his peaceable approach? He watches carefully as the Jeremy Irons character, carrying the Holy Eucharist in procession at the head of a huge group of Indian children, women and old men, leads them toward the Portugese army.
At first the Catholic Portugese soldiers are shocked and confused by the procession of priest, children women and old men walking towards them. But, as the Robert DeNiro character watches, the soldiers fire into the procession, murdering women, little children and then, finally, the priest carrying the Eucharist, so that both approaches had the same result -- death -- except that the violent approach sought to protect the women and children, while the non-violent approach led them peaceably to their deaths.
So, which approach is better?
I have tried the non-violent approach twice. Doing so generated an unforeseen result on both occasions: The enemy to whom I was kind reviled me and hurt me even more BECAUSE I was non-violent and kind!!!
Proverbs at 25:21-22, and Romans 12:20 assure us that if we respond to our enemy's hatred with love, "by doing so you will heap burning coals on his head."
It didn't occur to me, as I read this challenge by the Holy Spirit years ago, that burning coals hurt, and the enemy, as a consequence, responds by hitting harder!!!
In the second case, a Vietnamese woman I helped in extraordinary ways to survive her separation and divorce from her violent husband began to revile me "out of the blue," one day. I saw her on the phone with someone, arguing for about half an hour. I heard her last few words, in English: "Okay, but he's going to be very confused!" Then she laughed and said, "Peter, you're fired as my lawyer." And, over the next few weeks, "Stop calling me by my nickname. We can't be seen together in public. And you can't babysit Nhu anymore."
The woman's sudden reversal, from friendship to raw, abusive hatred, made my head spin. But Nhu was like a daughter to me. Not seeing Nhu was devastating. I loved that little punk, more than my own life.
She did this just as I was about to give her money which I knew she desperately needed. I thought, "Should I? Or, should I retaliate and break my promise?"
I decided in favor of responding to mindless hate and to "evil on the march" with love.
The woman worked in a nail salon. They give manicures and pedicures to men, too. I went in and asked her for a manicure and pedicure. She treated me with cold, silent hatred, as she rendered the requested services. At the end, I tipped her by giving her an envelope stuffed with cash, and left.
While she continued treating me like dog droppings in the gutter, on a second occasion I left her a second envelope stuffed with cash.
We got to see little Nhu again, after Nhu cried for 6 months to be babysat by us. But, the mother took her away again. It has taken me a year just to become functional again after losing my "daughter."
So, in my personal experience just described, I made myself the Jeremy Irons character. The effect was the same thing seen in the movie ... I was "shot and killed." (The Vietnamese woman's kid was, too, like the kids in the movie. I am certain that that little one missed me terribly.) Despite the terrible pain, I am proud that I did what I did. I think that maybe this is the only way to change the world.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
In the first book, Theophilus,
What "first book"? Answer: Luke's gospel.
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
"Through" the Holy Spirit is interesting wording. I checked. The translation is correct. The underlying Greek word dia implies that the Holy Spirit's action was somehow key to the process -- by informing Christ; or by informing the Apostles.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
"Forty" is the number type, or number symbol, meaning "testing" or "preparation." It would have been the Apostles who were being "prepared."
While meeting with them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
On Pentecost, right?
When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”
"Cloud" = "justice" in Bible typology. Perhaps He was taken up by a cloud to fit the angels' prediction respecting how He will return -- "as you saw Him going." I.e., He will return with clouds, at the second coming, to impose "justice" on the Earth.
The angels appear as "men" (no wings) because the Man Type = "God," "representative of God" and "empowered by God." This would be a case of the second use, "representative of God."
When Jesus returns, it occurs to me that for all people to see Him coming at the same time He's going to have to overcome the curvature of the Earth, I suppose by making sure that the view of His coming goes around the Earth, or by return o that we see Him coming in our minds. I belive that it will be an overpowering, shocking thing.
I also believe that it will happen soon.
Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
R. (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
For king of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
Is God "king of all the Earth" now? Or, does chaos reign, and are prayers not answered?
I think that God reigns today. Chaos reigns only to the extent that God permits us to walk away from Him and so reject Him, except to the extent that others repair the damage that we o hen we are evil in that way.
Payers are answered -- always, every single time -- but maybe not in the way we intend.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
One of my favorite jokes is about the Vietnam War. A young American soldier is patroling the roads in Binh Duong Province when he comes across a farmer walking down the road. The farmer knows some English, and they begin conversing. After awhile he notices that there is a Vietnamese woman following them, with two dogs, about 100 meters to the rear. The American soldier asks, "Who's that?" and the farmer answers, "Oh, that is my wife!"
That the wife must always walk in the rear upsets the soldier, and he gives a lecture to the farmer on how to treat women, The farmer smiles condescendingly as he listens.
The soldier left Vietnam a few years later, with the end of the war, there, but he returns to Vietnam 20 years later, as so many Vietnam vets have done, and catches a bus to Binh Duong Province.
He is glad to see that the roads which he used to patrol had not changed much. Suddenly, ahead of him, he sees the same farmer he had talked with that day 20 years before. This time, however, the wife is walking 50 meters ahead of the farmer.
Delighted to see such a change, the American runs up to the farmer, greets him in the Vietnamese tongue, and then he begins to compliment the farmer for having grown so much, emotionally and philosophically, that he had begun to let his wife walk in front of him.
The farmer smiles and says, "Land mines."
As I came to know the Vietnamese over the years, I saw that this joke parodying the Vietnamese attitude toward women is not wide of the mark.
My first encounter with that attitude occurred as follows.
One blistering hot day, I was invited by my Vietnamese neighbors to an afternoon of cold drinks in their air conditioned living room. When I got there, I saw that about 10 Vietnamese men were in attendance. I said to the husband, "Thanh, where's Trang and little Nhu?"
"It's okay, Peter," he answered. "Trang is shopping. She took Nhu with her." I thought to myself, "Well, at least she is doing something she would like to do, in an air conditioned mall."
About 10 minutes later, the front door exploded open. There was Trang, soaked with sweat, with a heavy bag of groceries in her left arm, a baby of one of the other men in her right arm. The baby's diaper was soiled, and feces was overflowing out of the diaper onto Trang's right arm. Little Nhu, hot and tired and cranky, was pulling on Trang's left arm, crying, making demands, despite the groceries. None of the men even looked Trang's way. They continued drinking, laughing and talking.
I watched Trang put the groceries on the table, lay the baby on a towel on the kitchen floor. I heard her wash off her arm in the kitchen sink. Then, with little Nhu still pulling on her arm and crying and begging in Vietnamese, Trang rushed out the door to get more groceries.
My foolish American conscience was too big for all of this. When Trang came back in, this time carrying two bags of groceries, and Nhu still pulling on her arm, crying, and the men continued ignoring her, I stood up and loudly said, "TRANG!"
Trang stopped dead in her tracks and the room fell silent and all turned toward me. I said, "Trang, there's an empty seat here in the air conditioned living rom. I know, because I just got out of it. I will take Nhu and find out what she wants and make her happy. Thanh will fix you a cold drink while you sit in my seat here in the air conditioned living rom. The baby's father will clean the baby and change his diaper. The other men here will bring in the rest of the groceries and put them away."
All stood frozen, for about 10 seconds. Finally, Trang said, "Mr. Peter, I know what you are trying to do, but it will do no good."
Receiving these words as affirmation that Trang had reassumed her low place vis-a-vis men, and forgiving me for being a stupid foreigner, the Vietnamese men suddenly went back to laughing and talking and ignoring Trang. Figuring that I had caused enough revolution for the day, I self-consciously went back to bonding with the men.
Happy Mother's Day!
Saturday, May 8, 2010
In July, 1841, on the Hoboken, New Jersey, side of the Hudson River, across from Manhattan, New York, the body of a beautiful 21 year old girl, Mary Rogers, was found floating in the water. She had been bound, raped and strangled.
Despite useful tips to New York City Police, authorities were never able to discover the perpetrator, and the case became an unsolved mystery.
A little more than a year after Mary Roger's death, a magazine called Snowden's Ldies' Companion ran the first of a series of three fictional pieces by famous author Edgar Allan Poe called "The Mystery of Marie Roget," in their November, 1842 issue.
In that series, though the setting for the story is Paris, France, Poe employs many of the details of the Mary Rogers murder. In fact, his knowledge of the details of the Mary Rogers murder is complete -- as good as, if not better than, that of the police investigating the Mary Rogers murder.
It turns out that Poe may have known Mary Rogers, personlly, having met her in late 1838 at the Manhattan tobacco store where she was working at the time. Lo and behold, in 1838 was was seen in Hoboken, New Jersey in the compay of a man fitting Poe's desription.
On July 25, 1841, Mary told her fiance that she was traveling to her aunt's house for the day, and asked him to pick her up there that evening.
Investigation showed that Mary, who attracted attention by her wonderful appearance wherever she went, was seen to be enjoying the company of six unruly men as the company disembarked from the ferry from New York to Hoboken. Three men arriving by another boat, struck by the sight, unusual at the time, of such a beautiful young lady in the company of six male ne'er-do-wells, approached Mary and inquired into her welfare. Finally, a man in Hoboken testified that he saw Mary with a man once gain fitting Poe's general appearance at a road-house called "Nick Mullen's" in Hoboken near Elysian Fields, a wooded area on the Hoboken waterfront.
Mrs. Loss, the proprietor, initially told police that Mary Rogers and the man had enjoyed a meal and passed some time at her establishment, and that afterwards they had ambled over to the woods, and that she, Mrs. Loss, may have heard the girl scream.
On her deathbed in November, 1842 -- after she could have seen the first installment of Poe's story in Snowden's -- Mrs. Loss changed her story to one which did not fit the facts, to the effect that Mary Rogers died during an abortion in her establishment.
The fact that Poe knew the victim, and had the opportunity to carry on with her, and his intimate knowledge of the case, all make one wonder whether the dark side of Poe's character might not have seized control of his life at the time, induced him to engage in rape and murder, and then tempted him to try to relive his exciting crime, and even profit from it, in Snowden's magazine articles.
While I try to structure this blog as a kind of semi-religious variety magazine, I'm fairly clear that, while it is far from pornographic, it is not for kids.
So, here goes my first joke...
I got this one from a Vietnamese friend, Trang.
Mr. Potato and Ms. Potato go into a tavern for some time together, some drinks, some talk.
As she comes to their table to serve them, Waitress Potato sees Mr. Potato and thinks, "ZOWEE! WHAT A SPUD!"
So, Waitress Potato is especially ingratiating when she serves Mr. Potato. She jokes, she laughs, she compliments him, and she brings him a free drink. She ignores Ms. Potato, who's really uncomfortable with this. There's no doubt about it, Waitress Potato is flirting.
But, Mr. Potato is kind of slow. He's not responding.
Finally, Ms. Potato has to go to the bathroom, and Waitress potato closes-in for the kill. She brings Mr. Potato another free drink. She starts asking questions. She's killing herself trying to get him to respond.
But he's just not getting the message.
Finally, Waitress Potato says, "Listen, I've been killing myself trying to flirt with you, but I just don't seem to be getting through. Ms. Potato is going to be back from the bathroom any second. So, tell me quick...
"Are you Herr's, or are you Frito-Lay?"
The Bible readings chosen by the Church for Mass all somehow speak to the same theme -- and they aren't just a repeating of the theme, but a development of the theme. One should always try to see within the array of readings how the theme is developed.
When the priest giving his homily at Mass zeroes-in on the gospel, only, this frequently amounts to an abandonment of the overall theme of the readings.
Let us reexamine the readings for May 9, 2010, to see if we can perceive the theme developed.
Ultimately, we will be able to rearrange the order of the readings , to better understand how the theme is developed.
FIRST READING: In the Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit tells the Church that Gentiles need not be circumcized -- a good example of the Holy Spirit's action in the Church.
PSALM: Here we ask God to let His face shine upon us.
SECOND READING: From the Book of Revelation, a picture of Heaven.
GOSPEL: Jesus predicts that the Holy Spirit will come and teach His Church.
Can you arrnge them in a way that comprises a development?
PSALM: Here we ask God to let His face shine upon us.
GOSPEL: Jesus predicts that the Holy Spirit will come and teach His Church that, in other words, the Holy Spirit will become the answer to the prayer asking God to let His face shine upon us.
FIRST READING: In the Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit tells the Church that Gentiles need not be circumcized -- a good example of the Holy Spirit's action in the Church -- so, here the Holy Spirit comes in fulfillment of Jesus' prediction.
SECOND READING: From the Book of Revelation, a picture of Heaven. In other words, the place the Holy Spirit leads us to, by his teaching.
When you comprehend the development WITHIN the readings structure, you fully comprehend the readings.
Friday, May 7, 2010
I have written about a dozen articles published in two Catholic magazines on Bible interpretation and Catholic theology.
I have been engaging in, or mentoring, Bible study for 30 years.
I have lectored at Mass for decades.
I have 16 years of Catholic education under my belt.
I have mentored RCIA.
Still, I have been kicked-out of Karl Keating's "Catholic Answers Forums" twice.
The first expulsion, several years ago, occurred after I caught the Forum Administrators tricking me into publishing in a fake screen! It looked to me like I was posting, but no one else could see my posts.
I'm an attorney. When I publish on the web for The Faith, I lose money. In effect, the Catholic Answers folks were stealing from me by their fraud. Somewhere in my computer, I have the posts verifying this.
After a few years, they let me back in.
After they did so, I made sure that I was the picture of Christian fellowship. Nasty, fundamentalistic Bible literalists in the site condemned me, condemned me, condemned me for denying that the Garden of Eden story is historical and for asserting, instead, that it is symbolic.
They would declare me "anathema" for running afoul of Middle Ages anathemas condemning those who found parts of the story to be non-historical.
I responded by gently reminding the fundamentalists that reasonable minds could differ, and that, for example, even they, the fundamentalists, and even site theologians, declared expressly that Mary did NOT "die," and then I quoted Pope Pius XII's expressly infallible encyclical declaring that Mary DID "die." I gently pointed-out that the fundamentalist radicals heavily populating Catholic Answers Forums would then engage in the practice of making "fine distinctions" to dispose of teachings they did not like, and then condemn to Hell those who differed with them. I would then say things like, "Dear brother-in-Christ, please, therefore, have patience with me!"
This went on and on and on, like that.
One day, without warning, this note from CAF administrators interrupted my posting...
Your account has been locked for the following reason: agenda incompatible with CAF's purpose
This change will be lifted: Never
There were no warnings from Administrators, no discussion with Administrators, no nothing.
So, the other day I sent them an e-mail...
A few months ago, I was banned, without warning, after I was absolutely kind and gentle, even to those who insulted me.
I have not got the slightest idea what I did wrong.
What did I do that earned perpetual banning?
I have authored several articles in Catholic magazines. I lovethe Church.
Why did this happen?
Peter J. Dawson
CAF Administrators responded...
Our records show that your case has already been discussed with you extensively. We can only recommend that you seek out another discussion forums site on the Internet where you can participate. God bless.
Catholic Answers Forums(http://forums.catholic.com)
Believe me, gentle friends, this is simply a lie by a major website claiming to be Catholic.
There was no discussion with me at all -- at all.
So, I took them to task. I responded...
Actually, nothing was discussed with me at all this time. One day I was posting happily and kindly. The next day I was banned for having goals inconsistent with Catholic Answer Forum's agenda.
Could you please e-mail to me a copy of the extensive discussion?
Peter J. Dawson
I knew that they either had to confess sin, or lie again in the form of an excuse to not provide the evidence which they claimed to exist.CAF Administrators chose to lie again. Here it is, drag-copied from their e-mail to me!...
I’m sorry, but we do not have the time or resources to reopen your case and re-discuss it with you. We consider the case resolved and ask you to accept that decision. Thank you.
Catholic Answers Forums (http://forums.catholic.com)
In response, I told them what I was about to do...
Please, friend, you need not apologize. Since I knew that you were lying about "extensive discussion" this time despite the overt Catholicism of the website, I knew in advance that you could not possibly do anything but lie, unless you came clean.
I am now going to publish your lie in my blogsite, so that people will know to avoid Karl Keating's organization.
This will hopefully punish organizations like yours for using the "Catholic" name, and help to drive you out of the Church.
Peter J. Dawson
So, here it is, friends.
Stay away from Karl Keating's Catholic Answers Forums! They lie!
UPDATE: Though I never asked for a reopening of my case and a rediscussion -- I only wanted them to drag-copy the alleged "extensive discussions," and e-mail the "extensive discussions" to me, and I would remove this post! -- and though they said that they suffer from lack of time and resources, the CAF Administrators have answered once again -- of course without any copies of proof of alleged "extensive discussions":
Internet etiquette involves seeking permission before publishing private email correspondence. We cannot prevent you from posting to your site whatever you wish, but please be aware that we have not given and do not give you permission to publicly post the ForumAdmin Staff's emails.
Catholic Answers Forums
I left the whole thing in their hands: All they have to do is e-mail to me a copy of their "extensive discussions" with me about how I have an "agenda incompatible with CAF's purpose."
If they send me actual copies of these "extensive discussions," then, PFFFFFFTTTTT, it's gone! This post will disappear.
In my response to CAF's denial of permission to publish their e-mails to me, I asked them, "Why would you even CARE if you have given me permission to publicly post the Forum Administration Staff's e-mails? Are you afraid that you might be ASHAMED of your own words, if publicly examined? That you might be caught LYING?
"Or, instead, are you hiding fault like a bishop who settles a sex lawsuit by paying a settlement which bribes a victim to not publicly talk about the facts?
"This kind of stuff is EVIL, and we Catholics are SICK of it."
I end by saying, "Please, leave the Church. We are SICK of the lying."
Science has enabled tiny things to do amazing jobs. For example, in the article on the Thousand Year Certificates of Deposit, I calculated the ultimate value of a $1,000 1,000 year CD with 3% interest compounded annually by multiplying $1,000 x (1.03 to the 999th power). I did it with a 3" x 6" x .75" Casio fx-115s Scientific Calculator with a wonderful "X to the Y Power" function and scientific notation yielding results in powers of 10.
That is amazing, isn't it?
But such technology really does have its "dark side."
We really have reached the point where we have bug-sized flying spy machines, like the Scarab in Raymond Z. Gallun's 1936 short story of the same name, able to enter terrorist hideouts -- and homes -- and spy upon events there.
And, we have arrived at the Era of the Nanites.
Nanites -- robots the size of large molecules or somewhat larger, have already entered the stream of commerce around us. There are problems with robot theory. For example, what is referred to as Brownian Motion -- natural molecular vibration -- already places a limit on robot size. If a nanite were to be too small, it would shake too much to be useful. (Theoretically, if a nanite were made to be too small and too simple, it might become an uncollapsed, invisible quantum probability cloud!) But, for example, we already have windows covered with nanites engaged in keeping the windows clean!
Physicians are afraid of nanotechnology, in another way: If self-replicating nanites were to enter a human body, would the body's immune system recognize them as a non-organic threat? Or, instead, would it sit by, idle and stupid, while nanites designed to enter and attach to human bodies and replicate and further infect human bodies until an infected person's body turns into a pile of nanite garbage, do their work and kill a nanite-infected victim?
Which brings us to an amazing topic -- Morgellons Disease.
Several years ago, a really odd item hit the news: People in certain locales were developing a medical condition caused by no identifiable germ in which they would suffer from persistent skin lesions, red, white and blue body hair, and a persistent, utterly maddening sensation of bugs crawling under their skin, biting and stinging them.
Some derisively referred to the disease as "delusional parasitosis." In other words, "The people complaining about this alleged disease are simply nuts."
But, today, the web is full of photos of the skin lesions and accompanying bizarre red, white and blue hairs.
And, to this day, no one has found a microorganism which can be blamed for the condition.
The strange sickness generated its own urban-legend-level explanation: Morgellons Diease is a biological warfare experiment by an intelligence agency contractor using nanites. The utterly-disabling lesions and maddening sensation of bugs crawling, stinging and biting under the skin, intended to disable soldiers of invading armies, are caused by molecule-sized robotic entities released into the atmosphere by Air Force planes flying over locales where the disease has appeared. The red, white and blue body hairs caused by the disease are intended as a joke taunting the enemy with a the concept, "Uncle Sam did this to you."
Is the urban legend analysis wrong?
I don't know. Those red, white and blue hairs are awfully strange!
This Gospel, as set forth, seems to contain no types, or symbols. It is pure theology.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.
This portion seems to mean, "You can tell if you love God. It's simple: Do you keep the commandments?"
One of the things that has happned in my life is that I have met two very special kinds of people: People so wonderful and gentle that they seem to glow with goodness, almost. Also, I have met people in the role of deus ex machina.
"Deus ex machina" means "God from the machinery." It is a figure of speech which originated centuries ago when the stage hand, helping to run the curtain and the props from a catwalk above a stage, would lose his balance and come crashing to the stage floor in front of the crowd. He would get up, and sometimes try to fit into the play by pretending to be a god or angel descending from above to involve himself in human affairs. The figure of speech ultimately came to refer to those individuals we meet in the middle of desperate situations in every day life who, out of sheer kindness, save the day by their assistance.
Be a deus ex machina.
But not just in a single little adventure.
Do it all of the time. That doesn't mean, "Spend money." Don't worry -- God will supply resources.
Just be a bold builder.
“I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you.
There's an interesting line in Acts 13:2. Most Christians view the Holy Spirit as a kind of "quiet assister," who only very quietly "whispers" God's will to our minds, and only silently conveys God's strengthening grace to us. Acts 13:2 quotes the Holy Spirit aying something, as though He were a person standing there...
2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.”
Catholics today are deeply shook-up by the priest sex case crisis.
When Jesus said, "I will come back to you," John 14:29, "And I will be with you until the end of time," Matthew 28:20, He meant simply that, and knew that it would involve things like the current situation.
So, relax, and have faith!
Thursday, May 6, 2010
My wife and I never had a daughter. Our daughter Rachel died in utero of a cord accident about a week before her due date.
God gave me a daughter in another way -- when the Vietnamese family moved next to us years ago, I think in 2004, their 4 year old daughter, little Nhu, introduced herself to me, and in short order we were "as thick as thieves." I loved that kid! I still do. I regarded her as a daughter. She sometimes jokingly called me "Dad." She was such joy in my life, and I still thank God for having known that little one.
One day, I was driving her past my house to her own, when little Nhu said, "Mr. Peter! Look! There's a turtle walking away from the tree on your lawn! For Vietnamese, that's bad luck, Mr. Peter!"
We jumped out of the car and ran to the turtle, and picked it up to keep it from going into the street and being squished by a car, and put it in my wife's garden.
I took Nhu to her house. She went back to her bedroom to change, while I stayed in the living room, tinkering with her family's piano.
Suddenly I heard an urgent knock at the door. My son Josh saw that I was calm, and said, "Dad, didn't you hear the thump?"
I said, "No, Josh. What are you talking about?"
He said, "The giant oak tree on the front lawn just collapsed and slammed into the front of the house!"
From her bedroom Nhu, who had been listening, yelled, "There's your bad luck, Mr. Peter!"
It was bad luck, all right -- about $16,000.00 in damage.
Nhu's parents roared with laughter, when they heard about the turtle followed by the bad luck.
I have read two roach-in-the-soda-bottle cases. In one case, the soda company's defense attorney held a dead roach in the air above his mouth in front of the jury, smiled, and popped it into his mouth, chewed, swallowed and smiled.
In the other case, the roach was alive when the lawyer did it!
I think that if I saw such a demonstration, I would award $1,000,000.00 to the "victim"!!
Remember those blurbs here and there in the media along the lines of, "The average person eats 13.2 spiders in his life, in his sleep"?
Well, it's at least somewhat true. Once last year, in the middle of the night, I awakened with start, choking and gagging. I jumped out of bed, ran into the bathroom, so that I did not wake my wife with the choking and gagging sounds, inhaled carefully over the sink, and coughed as hard as I could.
A little projectile fired out of my mouth into the sink. I carefully flushed it with water, and there it was -- a very traumatized spider.
Everyone, especially teenagers, follow this rule in life: Make the people around you smile. It really is that simple. When you die, and it is judgment time, God will ask, "Peter, what did you do to make the world I placed you in a better place?" In effect, He will be asking, "How did you leave them smiling, Pete?"
(1) Sense of humor. This is really the hardest thing you will ever do.
(3) Be positive (but not to the point of lying!).
(4) Surprise the world around you, with forgiveness.
(5) Let people see you honoring God.
A few people have asked me to re-publish my MRSA advice. Here it is...
Please pardon the extremely personal details, here. The disease MRSA unfortunately gets into our most personal nooks and crannies. To fight it successfully, we have to "get personal." Sorry.
About 8 years ago, my wife worked in a privately-owned parolee supervision facility in Camden, New Jersey. She shook hands with a parolee fresh out of Camden County Jail, she scratched an itch on her hand, and within 48 hours she had a MRSA infection.
We did not understand MRSA well, then. The disease quickly spread to our 3 sons, probably via sweat left behind on the toilet seat.
About a year later, I finally got the disease, and I got it big time. It just about killed me.
We have learned a lot. Here is what we learned.
The disease has one great goal -- to eat the iron molecule in your hemoglobin. Its processes, in doing so, dissolve flesh. So, MRSA boils tend to bleed like crazy when they pop -- like giant bullet wounds. If one pops, try to get it to pop in the bathtub. You will understand why when it happens. There will be blood everywhere.
Doctors tell you, "Don't try to pop them!" They are afraid that if you squeeze, they will break on the underside -- into your flesh. This causes a very fast moving, extremely dangerous infection called "cellulitis." If you don't stop it, you will die. (Once I came with about 24 hours of dying. A neighbor of ours -- who did not get it from me -- did die.)
MRSA kills. The variety I had had a 15% death rate -- 1 out of 6 people. Years ago, a client died after I caught it and I sent her a letter without realizing how dangerous it was and how easily it spread. I always wondered, Did I cause that, though the mail?
When, after I, myself, nearly died of cellulitis, I sat down with an infectious disease specialist. He explained that my skin was probably infected with huge invisible patches of MRSA bacteria which were 90% washed off every day I took a shower, but which rejuvenated themselves during the day every day so that by night I had fully reconstituted patches of MRSA all over my body, ready to infect me through a break in the skin, or to similarly infect others. He recommended that I shower 2 to 3 times a day, every day for a year. He prescribed pHisohex as a shower soap.
At first I showered thrice daily with pHisohex, but I started getting sick, and I realized that I was poisoning myself with the pHisohex. 3 times a day is too much. So, I switched to the cheapest soap on the shelf -- Ivory. Every day, three times a day, I soaped myself head-to-toe with Ivory -- scalp, hair, skin. The "dark places" were critical -- armpits, crotch, scrotum and anal area. Complete soaping and rinsing was absolutely necessary.
It worked. After I became "the world's cleanest human being," I clearly became non-communicable.
Except in two ways: Sex and potty.
At one point the MRSA entered and attacked a testicle. The doctor said, "IMPOSSIBLE! THE pH IS WRONG!!!" But then he saw my swollen testicle, fell quiet, and asked me if I would agree to castration, to save my life!!!!!!!!!!
It was at that point, in my raw desperation to save my masculinity, that I discovered, on my own, the most effective treatment of MRSA -- POWER WALKING.
At that time, I was deeply, deeply, deeply depressed. So, I forced myself to walk at a forced march rate -- 4 mph -- 9 miles a day, 6 in the early morning, 3 at night, with hard breathing, to work on the depression.
Immediately -- and I mean "immediately," within 24 hours -- the terrifying MRSA infection in the one testicle began to clear up. I thought to myself, "That's too fast a result for the walking to be strengthening my immune system." My theory is that MRSA invades my corpuscles through the same oxygen receptor point on my hemoglobin that oxygen uses in the lungs, in effect lodging a kind of "molecular fat man" in the doorway to the kitchen, literally starving the MRSA to death.
MRSA's average life span is 20 minutes. In a random colony there's going to be substantial front-end and back-end generational overlap. So, to effectively attack the MRSA, the power walking probably has to be a full hour at a bite, at least, to cover "grandparents," "parents" and "kids."
My family doctor, DO Leonard Kabel ("Mr. Castration") was amazed at the results of just walking every day for a week. After 7 days, my giant inflamed testicle had shrunk to below normal size. (Damage. The testicle has taken about 5 years to go back up to normal size.)
Word spread. A pediatrician called me and asked what I had done. He almost cried as he told me about infants in his practice that had died. I told him about the showers and forced march walking, and suggested hyperbaric oxygen for invalids and babies.
So, I had two weapons now -- Ivory soap showers, and a forced-march walk to super-oxygenate the blood. (My fingertips turned bright red after each walk, due to the super-oxygenation.)
Problem solved? No. I could tell, from break-outs after sex, even when sex immediately followed a very, very thorough shower, that I carried MRSA (despite the bad pH) somewhere in my reproductive tract -- probably in the undoubtedly-internally-severely-scarred testicle.
We thought that condoms might help. (My wife is no longer ovulating. So, no life-interest was invaded by condom use, while I protected what Catholic theology calls the "unitive interest.") But, surprisingly, condoms made little difference! I thought, "What??????!!!!"And then I realized that the MRSA bacteria were in my sexual sweat.
I also read that MRSA tends to be enteric -- in the feces in the bowels. What a perfect hiding place!, I thought.
But then I had an idea: Tums. Those disgusting little MRSAs could take testicular pH, and urinary tract pH -- but could they take a cloudburst of Tums?
So, secretly, I decided to risk calcium poisoning.
I bought a large bottle of Tums (I weighed 222 pounds) and, on a Friday (so that I could afford to get very, very sick) I ate 1 Tum every half hour, from sun-up to bedtime. (About 6 a.m. to midnight -- over 30 Tums!!!) I ate plenty of well-masticated food and drank plenty of water mixed with psyllium fiber -- Metamucil -- all day, to drag the Tums into every dark corner of my bowels. (The psyllium fiber kept the calcium from giving me terminal constipation.)
And I got very, very, very sick that night -- the mother of all bellyaches. I was in agony for hours, bent-over double in g-i tract pain.
I recovered by morning, and forced myself to do a power walk, to top it off with a good heavy load of O2. Gradually, we dispensed with the condoms. I even got Rise's permission to dispense with showers before sex, as an experiment. Nothing. So far, so good -- until last week. Pop. One popped-up on my thigh.
But then I saw that one son had an outbreak on his neck. Did I get reinfected by him, or did he get reinfected from me?I don't know. The jury is still out.
Are your boils MRSA? Test: MRSA has a distinctive smell -- a very sweet smell in your armpits and in the crevices to the left and right of your crotch. If it smells wonderful there, in those places, while you are suffering from really nasty boils, in my opinion you've got MRSA.
Another test: Sit in the bathtub, with water pretty hot (and a quarter of a cup of bleach in the bath water). The hot water immediately drives the MRSA out of your skin into the form of little teeny whiteheads. These are incipient MRSA boils. If your bathwater is hot, and if it has the one quarter cup of bleach in it, take a raspy sponge, and dipped it in bleach, and very gently rubbed the whiteheads open. Gently. Gently. (Otherwise, you'll just reinject yourself.) Rinse the sponge like crazy in the bleachy water after each opening.
In any event, 3 Ivory Soap showers a day, being careful to get those dark places.
And walk, walk, walk, walk, like a crazy person, for an hour at a stretch.
With those weapons, you can control it -- if you're lucky, until your immune system finally overwhelms it.
It occurred to me that if your skin can't take the beating of 3 soapy showers per day, there's always the cancer-causing tanning booth.
I'll risk cancer to fight flesh-eating MRSA any day of the week.
No matter what, I've described a personal odyssey, here, some of it pretty darn foolish.
If you have MRSA, print this piece and take it to your doctor, and ask him what his opinion is, before you do anything. Please. That Tums thing was really dangerous!
In the Middle Ages, it became customary for the Kings of England and France to try to avert war by meeting and negotiating under an 800 year old elm tree in the middle of a large field near Gisor, France. The elm was enormous, and provided the only shade in the vicinity.
In the year 1188, the English under Henry II and the French under Philippe II made arrangements to negotiate under the tree. It was a terribly hot day. The small English army arrived first and gathered under the tree in the shade, following a kind of "first come, first served" rule. The French army arrived shortly afterwards, and waited in the sun, while the leaders negotiated.
The hours dragged on. As the sun rose higher and higer in the sky, the the French army sweltered, while the English enjoyed the cool breeze under the elm. The French soldiers grew impatient and demanded their turn out of the sun, in the cool shade under the boughs of the tree. The English army refused to budge.The negotiations were going nowhere fast.
Finally, a cocky Welshman in the English army responded to the anger of the sizzling French in a singularly unwise fashion. He loaded an arrow onto his bow, fired it over the heads of his English friends, and, THUNK, it pierced the chest of a French soldier.
That was too much, of course. The two armies exploded. The French began to yell, "Cut down the tree! Cut down the tree!," and they began to hack their way through the English army with swords and axes, to gain access to the tree trunk.
The English soldiers began to strip off their armor and wrapped it around the tree's trunk, to protect it.
The angry, disgusted French soldiers succeeded in getting to the trunk, and they began to chop away, while the English fought to save the tree. Suddenly, the trunk groaned loudly, and the tree fell.
The two armies, exhausted, and thoroughly disgusted, packed-up and went home.
Rev 21:10-14, 22-23
This is an unusually clear reading from the Book of Revelation. For a few reasons which we will get to, it is clear that the selection is a portrait of the afterlife.
The angel took me in spirit to a great, high mountain
The hills of Jerusalem are not "great, high mountains." They are small, relative to their geographical context."Mountains," on the other hand, are the Bible type, or symbol, for "God's dwelling place."
and showed me the holy city Jerusalem
coming down out of heaven from God.
So, this Jerusalem is one from God!
It gleamed with the splendor of God.
Its radiance was like that of a precious stone,
like jasper, clear as crystal.
"Stone" = the Rock type which is the type, or symbol, of "the Church."
It had a massive, high wall,
with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed
and on which names were inscribed,
the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites.
"Twelve" is the number type, or number symbol, meaning, "all of the tribes of God's people."
There were three gates facing east,
three north, three south, and three west.
"Three" is the number type, or number symbol, meaning, "the will of God." "Gate" or "door" is the type of symbol referring to "Christ." "East" means "Christianity." "North," like "mountain," means "God's dwelling place." "South" means "the ungodly." I believe that "west" is the type, r "sybol," for "sin." So, it looks like the intent of this portion of the picture is to tell us, "God's will" ("three") "is that the Christians" ("east"), "the Godly" (north"), the sinners" ("west") "and the ungodly" ("south") should enter Heaven by Christ" (gates").
The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation,
on which were inscribed the twelve names
of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
"The wall" = "the Church," I am sure.
I saw no temple in the city
for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb.
"Temple" is also the type, or symbol, for "the Church." No church is needed in Heaven.
The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gave it light,and its lamp was the Lamb.
"Sun" = "a testing presence of God." "Moon" = "the lesser light which rules the night" -- Lucifer. No "testing presence of God," no Lucifer, will be in Heaven, either.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
R. (4) O God, let all the nations praise you!
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
One of the really wonderful things about God is that if you go to Him and ask for help, He will not ignore you. He always answers -- maybe not in the way you want, but rather in the way you need. The last two lines funtionally assures us that His help covers not only "salvation," but also our "way on Earth."
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
Americans have to remember that God does not follow the biggest guns. Napoleon said that -- and look what happened to him.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
Fearing God" does not mean "fearing" God. It means respecting God enormously, in thought and deed.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
As a nine year old during the Cuban Missile Crisis I was literally worried sick. I remember lying in bed, crying, and my parents laughing at my explantion that "World War III could start any minute." Revelations decades later confirmed that my fears were well-founded. Soviet torpedo and missile boat commanders had in fact received orders permitting them to launch in the event of any aggressive acts by the United States. Two American spy planes had been fired upon by Soviet forces and struck. One was downed. The other made it back to base. Had we retaliated, World War III would have been the result. A Soviet attack submarine, B-59, was cornered by American forces. The crew was running out of air. The angry, tired Soviet submarine captain ordered that his nuclear torpedoes be loaded into torpedo tubes for firing. Destroying several American ships with one blow surely would have started World War III. Deputy Submarine Commander Vasiliy Arkhipov, well-comprehending that firing the torpedo would be the shot that ended the world, talked the tired captain out of firing.
I think that all of this occurred on the day I was worried sick in bed, crying.
I have heard that a Soviet nuclear missile boat off the American coast actually disobeyed an affirmative launch order, during the Missile Crisis.
In any event, this post is about another incident involving Soviet and American military forces -- not the Missile Crisis. The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis was just background.
Many of us recall the loss of the USS Scorpion, one of our newest attack submarines. It failed to return to base in the end of May, 1968, and was presumed lost with all on board. Somehow, we located it, in 11,000 feet of water, and the bathyscaph Trieste II took several thousand photos of the wreckage.
What very few know is that there was a handshake agreement between the Soviet Union and America pursuant to which America would not ask about what happened to the Scorpion in May, 1968, if the Soviet Union did not ask about what happened to a Soviet Nuclear Missile Submarine K-129 in January, 1968.
And very few are aware that the Soviet Union finally told us precisely where the Scorpion wreckage was located -- because they sank it -- just as we knew pretty much precisely where K-129 was located, so that the U.S. ship Glomar Explorer was later able to raise all or a part of it -- perhaps because we sank it.
In other words, in 1968 the United States and Soviet Union had reached the point, in the middle of the Vietnam War, where we were sinking each other's submarines.
The public, in each country, was told that their country's submarine's loss and deaths of the sailors were accidental.
In fact, they were casualties of war.
Several attempts have been made to pierce the impenetrable curtain of secrecy surrounding each incident.
One interpretation of the evidence connected with K-129 is quite frightening, and far too controversial to ever be the subject of a movie -- Soviet Missile Submarine K-129 Commander, Rear Admiral Rudolf A. Golosov, "went renegade" and was caught by the United States positioning his boat for a nuclear attack on Pearl Harbor. We gave chase, and sank his submarine.
The Soviet submarine forces, outraged at the loss of what they believed to be innocent comrades on board K-129 in January, 1968, sank the Scorpion in May, 1968.
Lo and behold, as though perfectly aware of the nature of such a sinking -- a misguided-but-understandable limited retaliation for our justified sinking of K-129 -- on May 22, 1968, only a few hours after the sinking of the Scorpion, Naval Intelligence Agents seized all recordings of the sounds of the attack on the Scorpion and sinking, recorded by United States underwater Sound Surveillance System, SOSUS.
Rather than go to war over the attack, American officials decided to bury the Scorpion incident as an accident.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Some folks bet on the creosote bush in the Mojave Desert, which seems to be 11,000 years old.
But even the creosote bush is overwhelmed by a peculiar biological fluke. Near Carlsbad, New Mexico there is a salty lake containing bacteria in the spore state which are about 250 million years of age. The bacteria, dubbed "B. permians,' can be reanimated, making them the oldest living things on Earth at the moment of reanimation.
$1,000 held for 1,000 years at 3% compounded annually = $1,000 x (1.03 to the 999th power) = 6.67 QUINTILLION dollars.
As related, the European courts later struck the notes down essentially for bestowing unlawful amounts of economic power to individuals.
My other favorite story of the same sort, exhibiting the power of geometric progression, is that of the two men playing chess. One says to the other, "If I win, I want you to pay me one grain of rice on the first square of the chess board, two grains on the second square, four on the third square, eight on the fourth, and so on, doubling the number of grains to the 64th square of the chess board."
The other man idly agrees, and loses, and has his servants bring a basket of rice to begin paying-off the wager.
The numbers of grains of rice mount in this fashion
You can see what is happening. We are less than one-third of the way through the 64 square board, and the numbers are getting huge.
Years ago I read that by the time we get to the 64th square, the accumulation of rice is equal to about 9 cubic miles.
Acts 15:1-2, 22-29
Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved.”
Circumcision -- the Jewish bris -- is a Jewish rite foreshadowing Christ. How in Heaven's holy name does a circumcision, of all things, foreshadow Christ?
In Bible typology -- Bible symbols -- the Man Type symbolizes (1) God; (2) representative of God; and (3) empowered by God.
The male organ is the epitome of the Man Type. Though it is our humblest organ, it oddly functions as the symbol of the Most High. As Paul observes, God gives greater honor to the lowly members. I Corinthians 12:24.
And what do we see in the circumcision rite? We see that the God figure is stripped and bloodied -- just as Christ was!
So, in the circumcision rite, Jewish men were "Christed" with a "ritual picture" of the stripped-and-bloodied Christ for centuries!
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
Paul and Barnabas, Apostles to the Gentiles, know that there will be zero support for the new Faith among the Gentiles they are going to if the men all have to be circumcized. Why ask this of them if Christ has come, thus fulfilling the foreshadowing so that foreshadowing is not longer necessary?
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders
about this question.
The apostles and elders, in agreement with the whole church,
decided to choose representatives
and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.
The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas,
and Silas, leaders among the brothers.
This is the letter delivered by them:
“The apostles and the elders, your brothers,
to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia
of Gentile origin: greetings.
Since we have heard that some of our number
who went out without any mandate from us
have upset you with their teachings
and disturbed your peace of mind,
we have with one accord decided to choose representatives
and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are sending Judas and Silas
who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:
‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,
namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols,
Because such is blasphemous, right?
from blood, from meats of strangled animals,
Apparently because we now have the Eucharist, which blood and the meat of strangled animals foreshadowed.
and from unlawful marriage.
If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.’”
So, Paul won this one.
Though the Jewish rituals concerning meat and strangled animals were still preserved by this First Council of Jerusalem, Paul says of Christ, in his subsequent letter to the Ephesians, that "in his Own flesh He abolished the law with its commands and precepts." I.e., none of the Old Testament rituals foreshadowing Christ are necessary anymore, because they foreshadow, and the Foreshadoed One has come!
Some might nastily answer, "BUT YOU ARE CONTRADICTING INSPIRED SCRIPTURE! WHEN GOD ESTABLISHED CIRCUMCISION AS A REQUIRED RITUAL, HE CLEARLY SAD THAT THIS HAD TO BE DONE 'THROUGHOUT THE AGES.'" SEE GENESIS 17:9, 12.
The Catholic Church actually agrees with this. "Thoughout the ages," to join the perpetually-valid Old Covenant of Judaism, one must be circumcized if one is male.
But just because Judaism is still a valid covenant does not mean that that of Christ is not also valid.
I greatly injured my computer the other day when I tried to eliminate a bug which had been ailing it for years. So, I'll be a little scarce here until I straighten out the problem.
Please check in every now and again to see if the presses are rolling. Also, go over the past material to see what you might have missed.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
...But sometimes they make me crazy.
As the Gulf well leaches oil onto beaches and wetlands, wiping-out life, Envoronmentalists exhibit rage, screaming, "WE TOLD YOU SO!!!"
But, at the same time, they are fiercely opposed to the Cape Cod wind turbines, intent on making such oil drilling less necessary.
There Oughta Be a Law (TOBAL): Any environmentalist who says both is prohibited from turning on the lights or driving a car.
Some interpret these mysterious words to refer to the Time of the Gentiles, the beginnings of the Gentile Church after Christ's resurrection.
Others interpret the verse to refer to the events described in the following verses -- by seeing Jesus in the Transfiguration, Peter, James and John saw "the Son of Man coming in his kingdom."
But still others offer the following story to explain Christ's words.
In the Middle Ages, Crusaders returning to Europe with the Army of Richard in 1192 A.D. reported stories of a Jewish man whom they called "Cartaphilus" and "the Wandering Jew" which went as follows.
During the Way of the Cross, while Christ was still carrying His cross before Simon of Cyrene was drafted to take over that job, a Jewish man who had been hired as a doorkeeper in the Judgment Hall of Pontius Pilate saw Christ stop to rest. Intent on being seen throwing his weight around a little bit, Cartaphilus walked up to Christ and told him to be on his way.
Jesus supposedly answered, "I will go now, but you will wait [i.e., to go to his death] until I return." Cartaphilus did not understand the words, and Roman soldiers shoved him away from Christ and pushed him back into the crowd.
As the years passed, family and friends began to remark at how fit and young looking Cartaphilus was able to stay despite his age.
Ultimately, family and friends began to die of old age, while he always looked young. People became afraid of him, and drove him out of their village, forcing him to travel to places where no one would know him, again and again and again.
The name "Cartaphilus" was probably not a real name, but rather an ancient version of a made-up name reflecting prior travel like "Johnny-Come-Lately." It is composed of two Greek roots meaning "map" and "lover" -- because he was forced to travel so much so that he could always be living someplace where people were not afraid of him, his chronic need to travel also made him a "map lover."
There were various mentions of Cartaphilus in the years following the Third Crusade. The best recorded one is that of a Roman Catholic Bishop of Armenia who visited St. Albans Abbey in England in the year 1228, preserved in a chronicle called Flores Historiarum. The Bishop of Armenia claimed to have struck up an acquaintance with Cartaphilus, and reported that he had converted to the Catholic faith.
Beginning in the early 1700s, the stories of Cartaphilus acquired a new twist. A man calling himself the Count of St. Germain appeared in Venice in 1710 and struck up a friendship with Countess von Georgy. He had a handsome Jewish appearance, seemed to be about 45 years of age, and was deeply intelligent. The countess saw him 50 years later, in 1760, noticed that he looked identical and also still about 45 years of age, and asked him if it was his father she had met in Venice in 1710. The Count replied that, no, it had been himself. The shocked countess accused him of being a demon.
In 1740 the Count appeared at the court of the French King Louis XV and among other things claimed to have personally known Christ (as Cartaphilus). He shocked his listeners with his detailed knowledge of history.
He appeared in England in 1745, he may have been vested with governing authority over a portion of India by the East India Company in 1752, he was definitely seen in India in 1756 by Sir Robert Clive, in 1753 Giacomo Casanova declared him too good to be true, in 1760 Louis XV (who by then must have become suspicious about his persistent youth) dispatched the Count of St. Germain to the Hague respecting a peace treaty between Prussia and Austria.
In 1762 the Count was in Russia, where he had a hand in deposing Peter III of Russia and in elevating Catherine the Great to the Russian throne.
In 1769 he returned to Venice and opened a factory for the manufacture of synthetic silk.
In 1774, Louis XV died. The Count, introducing himself to Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and warned them about the coming revolution. Marie Antoinette, years later, recorded her regrets respecting ignoring his warnings.
In 1784, a German prince announced the Count's death.
But in 1785, he was clearly back in France.
In 1820, Mademoiselle d'Adhemar, 45 years after seeing him in Paris, also reported that he had not aged at all.
In 1870-1871, French Emperor Napoleon III, fascinated by "the man who wouldn't die," accumulated records about him in a year-long investigation, but the records were destroyed in a fire.
Reports of meetings with the Count of St. Germain continued for years thereafter, including occultist Annie Besant, as well as French singer Emma Calve.
By this time the occultic crowd had gotten hold of the Count of St. Germain idea, and they never let it go, and lore respecting him becomes hopelessly lost in occultic claims, and as a consequence the modern media, making ample use of the occultic nonsense, bury reputable truth in the mindless speculations of idiots.
If there is a Count of St. Germain "out there," it seems likely that he has counted it unwise to reveal himself publicly any longer -- no place on Earth is safe from the prying eyes of modern mass media -- Cartaphilus, finally, would run out of places to live, if our ugly media get hold of him.
If the story is true -- and, who knows?, it just might possibly be true; God can do anything! -- God might have a special job in mind for Cartaphilus near the end of time.