Category: agnostic

Those who can see the static pattern in the ce…

Those who can see the static pattern in the center moving…have a natural propensity to believe in a god/prime mover… That’s right…just about everyone…! It’s just that conscious, rational, reasonable people…have learned to not blindly trust their fertile, primitive imagination… 

Only humans have invented stories to explain their imaginings/superstitions/irrational fears

…and credited the gods they created, for giving their imaginings to them…believing the very stories they invented…

“Once we realize this omnipresence of the imaginary in the everyday…nothing special is left to explain concerning religion…”  

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13782-religion-a-figment-of-human-imagination/

“In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to
unravel religion’s “DNA.” They have produced robust theories, backed by
empirical evidence (including “imaging” studies of the brain at work),
that support the conclusion that it was humans who created God, not the
other way around. And the better we understand the science, the closer
we can come to “no heaven … no hell … and no religion too…”  

https://evolutionnews.org/2011/07/imagine_which_came_first_god_o/

“…religious love is only man’s natural emotion of love directed to a
religious object…religious fear is only the ordinary fear of commerce,
so to speak, the common quaking of the human breast, in so far as the
notion of divine retribution may arouse it…religious awe is the same
organic thrill which we feel in a forest at twilight, or in a mountain
gorge; only this time it comes over us at the thought of our
supernatural relations…

…you might say that we were “designed” by natural selection to feel love
and awe and joy and fear. (So long as you understand that “designed” is a
metaphor; natural selection isn’t like a human designer who consciously
envisions the end product and then realizes it, but is rather a blind,
dumb process of trial and error.) But to say that these emotions are a
product of “design” isn’t to say that when they’re activated by religion
they’re working as “designed.”

What kinds of beliefs was the human mind “designed” by natural selection to harbor? For starters, not true ones…
we seem to be “designed” by natural selection to be (readily) brainwashed.

Survival depended on social support: sharing food,
sticking together during fights, and so on. To alienate your peers by
stubbornly contesting their heartfelt beliefs would have lowered your
chances of genetic proliferation.

Maybe that explains why you don’t have to lock
somebody in a closet to get a bit of the Stockholm syndrome. Religious
cults just offer aimless teenagers a free bus ride to a free meal, and
after the recruits have been surrounded by believers for a few days,
they tend to warm up to the beliefs. And there doesn’t have to be some
powerful authority figure pushing the beliefs. In one famous social
psychology experiment, subjects opined that two lines of manifestly
different lengths were the same length, once a few of their “peers” (who
were in fact confederates) voiced that opinion.

Given this conformist bias in human nature, it’s
not surprising that people born into “primitive” religions—or any other
religions—accept an elaborate belief system that outside observers find
highly dubious…

…defenders of religion would be ill advised to stake its validity on the claim, as Otto suggested in The Idea of the Holy,
that at the dawn of religious history lies some mystical or revelatory
experience that defies naturalistic explanation.

Because the more we
learn about the labyrinthine and sometimes irrational character of human
nature, the easier it is to explain the origin of religion without
invoking such a thing.

Religion arose out of a hodgepodge of genetically
based mental mechanisms designed by natural selection for thoroughly
mundane purposes…”

http://evolutionofgod.net/excerpts_appendix

“You can never convince a chimpanzee to give you a banana by promising
him that after he dies, he will get limitless bananas in chimpanzee
Heaven. Only Sapiens can believe such stories…
” 

http://www.ynharari.com/topic/power-and-imagination/

“Idaho Republicans fail to protect children f…

“Idaho Republicans fail to protect
children from faith healing parents, and fail to punish negligent
parents who choose to substitute prayer for medical treatment. By
failing to act, Idaho Republicans put children at risk, and continue to
have the blood of innocent children on their hands…”

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2018/02/183-coffins-idaho-children-killed-faith-healing-parents/


members of the Followers of Christ told lawmakers at hearings last fall
and spring that they believe using medicine is a sin, akin to “sorcery”
and “witchcraft.”

…”  http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2018/feb/19/protesters-calling-for-repeal-of-idahos-faith-heal/


In Idaho and more than half the other states, some kind of religious
exemption allows parents to withhold medical treatment from a child….”  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/in-idaho-medical-care-exemptions-for-faith-healing-come-under-fire/2018/02/19/18ef29f0-11b5-11e8-8ea1-c1d91fcec3fe_story.html?utm_term=.f9847431815b

confrontingbabble-on: “And the Lord said…”Go …

confrontingbabble-on:

And the Lord said…”Go into all the world…and collect cash…and spend it on property…build a multi-million dollar personal library in your own name…make friends with the super rich and powerful…the very top of the top 1%…”   ….the bible, by their actions…


Billy Graham was also a wealthy man, leaving behind a fortune of real estate holdings, book royalties, and more…
That would rank Graham as one of America’s eight richest pastors, Beliefnet.com
reported…Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association have purchased
vast acres for various museums, libraries, and religious training
centers, and spent tens of millions in their construction.The Billy Graham Library, opened in Charlotte in 2007, was built at a reported cost of $27 million. In 1972 the association bought more than 1,000 acres in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains,
where the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove now stands. It’s a
spiritual retreat center that hosts groups and individuals for special
events like “Navigating Life’s Challenges,” a two-night seminar that costs $109 to $447 per person…
“Sincerity,” he said, “is the biggest part of selling anything—including
the Christian plan of salvation… I am selling the greatest product in the world…”  http://time.com/money/5168865/billy-graham-net-worth-quotes-money-greed/


Ahead of Graham are: Creflo Dollar ($27 million), Joel Osteen ($40
million), Benny Hinn ($42 million), Pat Robertson ($100 million), and
Kenneth Copeland ($760 million), who operates on a 1,500-acre campus
near Fort Worth that reportedly includes a private airstrip for Kenneth
Copeland Ministries’ Gulfstream V jet…” 

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/money-and-power/a18565083/billy-graham-net-worth/

“He died on Wednesday at 99 after battling failing health and severe memory loss due to hydrocephalus and Parkinson’s disease…” 
http://www.newsweek.com/billy-graham-net-worth-814750

Compare this to “The LORD will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on
you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt…
” Deut 7:15

6 Sickening Details You Won’t Read in Billy Graham’s Fawning Obituaries…

“Graham is getting tributes from all corners right now. And he deserves
praise for supporting the civil rights movement, supporting Nelson
Mandela during his imprisonment and embracing Muhammad Ali during the fall-out of his conversion to Islam.

But while Graham certainly did many great things, he also said and
did some awful things.
And because he was so respected, his deeds were
very influential.

1. Graham helped normalize ultra-rich pastors.
Graham’s wealth, and focus on more wealth…certainly not a vow of poverty.

2. Graham once preached that AIDS was the judgment of God. “Is AIDS a judgment of God?” he had said in Columbus, Ohio in 1993, “I could not be sure, but I think so.” Graham quickly backtracked on this one, saying that he didn’t believe that and didn’t know why he said it. Nevertheless, this dog-whistle was heard by too many.

3. Graham wrote a memo to President Nixon urging him to commit a war crime in Vietnam. Unlike many Christian leaders, Graham supported a very specific military strategy in the Vietnam war. He wanted Nixon to use nuclear weapons to destroy the dikes that manage flooding in North Vietnam. This plan was something Henry Kissinger dismissed as “just too much.”

4. Graham was anti-Semitic. Graham used the whole “I don’t believe that and have no idea why I said it” thing a few times. For example, after taped conversations revealed that Graham made anti-Semitic statements to President Nixon.
Specifically, he told the president that Jews control the media, and
that this was dangerous: “This stranglehold has got to be broken or this
country’s going down the drain.” Nixon agreed with this, and Graham
suggested that if he got elected to a second term “we might be able to
do something.”

5. Graham had backward views on women. He criticized feminism and is the namesake of that weird rule that Mike Pence lives by, never spending any time alone with any woman besides his wife.

6. Graham raised his boy wrong. In
his 1997 autobiography, Graham was regretful of his involvement in
politics, writing that, “If I had to do it all over again, I would also
avoid any semblance of involvement in partisan politics… there have been
times when I undoubtedly stepped over the line between politics and my
calling as an evangelist.” And yet, Graham failed to impart this wisdom
on his son Franklin Graham, who took over the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and who has taken the lead in defending and legitimizing Donald Trump to evangelicals. Franklin Graham told his flock to “hold your nose and go vote,” has said that the thrice-married serial philanderer is a “changed man” that “all Christians need to get behind him.”

https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/6-sickening-details-you-wont-read-billy-grahams-fawning-obituaries

See also Hitchens on Graham…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubLu-9SicSM

Faith is no longer a virtue in America…

Faith is no longer a virtue in America…:

““For McGregor and millions of other Christians, it is unnerving to
live in a world where the sister of a despot is normalized and
glamorized…but a man of faith is considered “mentally ill.”

Since the beginning of the 1970s, people who sit in a pew every
Sunday are decreasingly represented in the industries that control our
popular culture, entertainment, media and politics. Part of the reason
for this is demographics. While the United States is home to more
Christians than any other country in the world, according to data
compiled by Pew Research Center, and roughly 7 in 10 Americans identify
with some branch of the Christian faith, the percentage of adults over
18 who describe themselves as Christians has dropped by nearly 8
percentage points in just seven years, from 78.4 percent in 2007 to 70.6
percent in 2014.

Unsurprisingly, residents of red states are more
religious (Alabama is most religious at 77 percent), while people in the
coastal states, where the bulk of our media and entertainment is
created, are much less religious (Massachusetts is least religious at 33
percent).

This empathy gap often isolates people of faith as they are depicted
as being odd, unhinged, outside the norm — or “clinging to their
religion,” as Barack Obama once said on the campaign trail.

People of faith, meanwhile, are never confused by their roles as
citizens, said McGregor. “We try to communicate with everyone
respectfully* with understanding* . . . and, of course, civility*.”

Or as Pence said in response to the boos at “Hamilton”: “This is what freedom sounds like.”This country was built on tolerance towards all peoples*, including
religious ones. The cultural elite should remember that mocking them is
no different from mocking someone because of their race, gender or
sexual persuasion — groups they so fiercely and rightly work to protect.”

* except gays, minorities, women, children, unbelievers, Muslims, evolutionists…etc

https://nypost.com/2018/02/17/faith-is-no-longer-a-virtue-in-america/

Woman Who Claimed Veganism And Faith Cured Her…

Woman Who Claimed Veganism And Faith Cured Her Cancer…Dies Of Cancer…:

“"It’s over, it is done with, I am healed. I feel it in my spirit and in my body,“ she said.

Sadly, Mari passed away in December after her breast cancer spread to her liver, lungs, and blood….

Her niece explains in a new video that
Mari had already been through chemotherapy once, as well as having a
double mastectomy, and did not want to do it again, which led her to
choose a raw vegan diet and juicing.

Of course, changing to a healthy diet if you didn’t already have one
gives your body the best sporting chance to fight an illness, but this
should be alongside the recommended medical treatment, not instead of.

And the danger in making these misinformed pronouncements on a
platform like Youtube is that other people will hear claims like "I
recovered from cancer with this [juicing] machine,” and follow suit,
resulting in what may have been preventable deaths.

Macmillan, the cancer support group, recommends a balanced diet for cancer patients,
as well as taking whatever treatment is recommended to you by a
physician. If you are concerned about your diet they suggest that
doctors or nurses can refer you to a (REGISTERED) dietician…”

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/youtuber-who-claimed-veganism-and-faith-cured-her-cancer-dies-of-cancer/

“And the Lord said…”Go into all the wor…

And the Lord said…”Go into all the world…and collect cash…and spend it on property…build a multi-million dollar personal library in your own name…make friends with the super rich and powerful…the very top of the top 1%…”   ….the bible, by their actions…


Billy Graham was also a wealthy man, leaving behind a fortune of real estate holdings, book royalties, and more…
That would rank Graham as one of America’s eight richest pastors, Beliefnet.com
reported…Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association have purchased
vast acres for various museums, libraries, and religious training
centers, and spent tens of millions in their construction.The Billy Graham Library, opened in Charlotte in 2007, was built at a reported cost of $27 million. In 1972 the association bought more than 1,000 acres in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains,
where the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove now stands. It’s a
spiritual retreat center that hosts groups and individuals for special
events like “Navigating Life’s Challenges,” a two-night seminar that costs $109 to $447 per person…
“Sincerity,” he said, “is the biggest part of selling anything—including
the Christian plan of salvation… I am selling the greatest product in the world…”  http://time.com/money/5168865/billy-graham-net-worth-quotes-money-greed/


Ahead of Graham are: Creflo Dollar ($27 million), Joel Osteen ($40
million), Benny Hinn ($42 million), Pat Robertson ($100 million), and
Kenneth Copeland ($760 million), who operates on a 1,500-acre campus
near Fort Worth that reportedly includes a private airstrip for Kenneth
Copeland Ministries’ Gulfstream V jet…” 

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/money-and-power/a18565083/billy-graham-net-worth/

“He died on Wednesday at 99 after battling failing health and severe memory loss due to hydrocephalus and Parkinson’s disease…” 
http://www.newsweek.com/billy-graham-net-worth-814750

Compare this to “The LORD will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on
you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt…
” Deut 7:15

How Safe is Your Church?

How Safe is Your Church?:

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“In her book, Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists, and other Sex Offenders, clinical psychologist Anna Salter
outlines the results of numerous studies that clearly demonstrate the
prevalence of this offense and the dangers of those who offend. Here are
just a couple she mentions:

Abel Harlow Child Molestation Prevention Study: This study found that pedophilia molesters average 12 child victims and
71 acts of molestation. An earlier study by Dr. Abel found that out of
561 sexual offenders there were over 291,000 incidents totaling over
195,000 total victims. These are enough victims to fill 2 ½ Superdomes!
This same study found that only 3% of these sexual offenders have a
chance of getting caught.

Russell Study: This study revealed that up to 38% of women were molested before turning
18 years old. This same study found that up to 16% of boys are molested
before they turn 18 years old. Dr. Russell also discovered that only 5%
of child sexual abuse had been reported to law enforcement.

In her book, Dr. Salter revealed that her own interviews of sexual
offenders found them admitting to having perpetrated between 10 and 1250
victims. She also writes that every offender she interviewed had been
previously reported by children, and the reports were ignored.

It is critical to note that this abuse is no less prevalent within
the faith community. In fact, there are studies that demonstrate that
the faith community is even more vulnerable to abuse than secular
environments.
The Abel and Harlow study revealed that 93% of
sex offenders describe themselves as “religious”
and that
this category of offender may be the most dangerous.

Other studies have
found that sexual abusers within faith communities have more victims and
younger victims.

This disturbing truth is perhaps best illustrated by
the words of a convicted child molester who told Dr. Salter, “I considered church people easy to fool…they have a trust
that comes from being Christians. They tend to be better folks all
around and seem to want to believe in the good that exists in people.“
“   https://religionnews.com/2014/01/09/startling-statistics/

And…

“…the story of child sexual abuse in churches is a story of shocking moral
failure. Story after story has appeared in the media in Australia in
recent years of terrible sexual exploitation of children – and if that
were not bad enough, the cover-up of those crimes by superiors in the
Church who, for whatever reason, chose not to involve the police or to
act protectively towards children. These are not just Australian
stories. In the Catholic Church at least, these patterns have been
replicated in many countries across the western world

..” http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2013/10/25/3877103.htm

“The scale and nature of abuse uncovered in Catholic institutions is
staggering. Between 1980 and 2015, 4,444 people reported allegations of
child sexual abuse to Catholic authorities. There were 1,880 Catholic
leaders subject to allegations of abuse in over 1,000 separate
institutions. In total, 7% of Catholic priests in Australia between 1950
and 2010 were accused of child sexual abuse. In a reversal of the
gendered pattern of abuse in the general population, 78% of Catholic
abuse claimants were male; 22% were female…”  http://theconversation.com/royal-commission-recommends-sweeping-reforms-for-catholic-church-to-end-child-abuse-89141

Further…

“…religious abuse refers to psychological manipulation
and harm inflicted on a person by using the teachings of their
religion. This is perpetrated by members of the same or similar faith,
and includes the use of a position of authority within the religion.[2]
It is most often directed at children and emotionally vulnerable
adults, and motivations behind such abuse vary, but can be either
well-intentioned or malicious.[3] Even well-intentioned religious abuse can have long-term psychological consequences, such as the victim developing phobias or long-term depression.
They may have a sense of shame that persists even after they leave the
religion. A person can also be manipulated into avoiding a beneficial
action (such as a medical treatment) or to engage in a harmful behavior.

Physical abuse in a religious context often takes the form of beatings,
illegal confinement, neglect, near drowning or even murder in the belief
that the child is possessed by evil spirits, practicing sorcery or witchcraft, or has committed some kind of sin that warrants punishment…”  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_abuse

“This Study  brings  to  the  attention  of  the  highest  level  of  the  United  Nations  the  horrific  scale of all forms of violence suffered by girls and boys at the hands of adults throughout the world. The Study process and outcome are also an affirmation of the involvement and capacity of children.

Children’s  hopes  and  expectations  demand  that  States  act  now  with  real  urgency  to  fulfill  their obligations to children as rights-holders. Not only Governments, but individual adults throughout the world must accept, finally, the core message of the Study: that no violence against girls and boys is justifiable, and that all violence against them is preventable. All violence against children is a violation of their equal human right to respect for their human dignity and physical integrity…” 

https://www.unicef.org/lac/full_tex(3).pdf

https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/child-abuse

Consider the findings of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment)…http://www.netgrace.org/

Watch…https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=inoCbgOaI3I

Who am I…What am I…?

I believe that only things that are in god’s will, happen to me…yet still go to the doctors…

I believe the bible is the absolute word of god…yet don’t read it, or follow 98% of it’s instructions…

I believe god will provide for all my needs…yet accumulate wealth…for the things that I need now and in the future…and admire those that horde obscene amounts of wealth…

I believe god is protecting and watching over me…yet take out insurance…lock my doors…build walls and gates…and insist that everyone, including those with diminished mental capacity…have the right to own many effectively fully automatic, military grade assault weapons…

I believe my god commanded me to love everyone…and treat others as I want to be treated…yet I defend the theft of property from powerless inhabitants… everywhere in the world…and oppose equal rights for minorities…or aid for those who are infirm and suffering…and when I get into positions of political power…I support lying to everyone, to further the objectives of the wealthy…or to exchange preferential treatment for the wealthy…for their “contributions” to me, and their endorsement…no matter who in society it hurts…or how much of the environment it destroys…

My preacher tells me about divine provision…but then asks me to give him 10% of my income…so I go right ahead and do just that…

I believe I am in a personal relationship with god almighty…who personally gave morality to us…and my religious leaders meet with god…and speak directly for him…yet believers like me, and my leaders…are in the highest band of child sex offenders…prison inmates…defrauders of the weak and gullible…the exceedingly greedy…

Hello…I am a prosperity-proves-god’s-favor* Christian…and I am part of the problem facing civil society…

Refer…https://thinkprogress.org/bad-theology-conservative-benefits-1d42ef90b387/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2017/mar/28/america-party-less-caring-21-century-republicans-gop

https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-core-values-of-the-Republican-party

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/christianitys-hijacked-brand_us_59776eb5e4b0c6616f7ce56e

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/09/06/white-christians-decline-but-still-dominate-republican-party/634536001/

* no matter how we got it…! And therefore, that the poor are unfavored by god…!

Is the Bible a true story? Special Report…

Is the Bible a true story? Special Report…:

“Beauty and biblical evidence both lie in the eye
of the beholder, it seems. No evidence of the events described in the
Book of Genesis has ever been found. No city walls have been found at
Jericho, from the appropriate era, that could have been toppled by
Joshua or otherwise. The stone palace uncovered at the foot of Temple
Mount in Jerusalem could attest that King David had been there; or it
might belong to another era entirely, depending (on) who you ask.    

Eighteen years ago, on October 29, 1999, Haaretz
published an article by Tel Aviv University’s Zeev Herzog, whose message
was spelled out in the very headline: The Bible: No evidence on the
ground.        
         

Of what? No evidence that
the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt, passed through a miraculously
parted Red Sea, wandered the Sinai Desert for 40 years or indeed any
years, and no evidence that they conquered the land of Israel and
divided it up among 12 tribes of Israel.

The renowned archaeologist also
shared his suspicion that David and Solomons “United Kingdom,” described in the Bible as a regional power, was at most a minor tribal domain.

“Jehovah, the God of Israel, had a wife and the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only towards the end of the period of the kingdom, not at Mount Sinai, Herzog also wrote.        
         

The unbridgeable gap Herzog
described between the Biblical tales and the archaeological findings was
nothing new, to researchers. Israeli archaeologists have long thought
as much, based on biblical criticism theories originating in Germany
during the early 19th century. The general public, however, was shocked.
       
         

Today, 18 years on, armed with cutting-edge dating and molecular
technologies, archaeologists increasingly agree with Herzog that
generally, the Bible does not reflect historical truths.

Meanwhile, everybody wants
to know whether the Bible is literally true, from the layman to the
clergy, to the political echelon, pertaining as it does to questions of
identity and our right to the land.        
         

Among archaeologists, the camps have split
according to academic institution: In Jerusalem the biblical
(maximalist) camp dominates, for instance arguing that the impressive
palace found in the City of David practically had to have belonged to
David. In Tel Aviv, the critical (minimalist) camp prevails in Tel Aviv,
arguing that there is no evidence to buttress the bible, and that the
palace in Jerusalem evidently doesn’t date to the Davidic era.
       
         

The founding fathers of
Israeli archaeology explicitly set out with the Bible in one hand and a
pick in the other, seeking findings from the biblical eras, as part of
the Zionist project. But as excavations progressed in the 1970s and
1980s, rather than substantiation, what began to pile up was
contradictions.        
         

In Jericho no wall was found
from the era that Joshua was supposed to have lived, around the
mid-13th century B.C.E., that he could have caused to tumble down. No
evidence has been found that a large new group of people entered into
Canaan during the post-Exodus settlement period.        
         

There is, in fact, no evidence to substantiate Exodus.        
         

In Jerusalem, no concrete
remains have been found from the purported glorious United Kingdom, and
nowhere is there ex-biblical evidence of the kings David or Solomon
either, with the possible exception of the "Beitdavid” inscription (more
on that below). Nor do major archaeological tells conform to biblical
descriptions, until after the period of the purported United Kingdom.  
     
     
     

The last 18 years of digging
have changed basically nothing about the very earliest Biblical
periods, for all the advances in archaeological technique.

Archaeology has not been
able to find the Patriarch Abraham, or signs of his heirs. There is no
evidence that the Children of Israel ever went to Egypt, or fled it in
the Exodus.

Israeli archaeology was late to adopt carbon-14
dating techniques, and until recently dated sites relying largely on
pottery. Today not only is C-14 being used to date organic materials:
advanced techniques enable inorganic materials and structures to be
dated as well. And the new discoveries occasionally rock the boat, in
both camps.        
         

If anything, archaeologists
find inconsistencies between the biblical accounts and the facts.
For
example, the Book of Genesis mentions camels, but the earliest domestic camel bones found in Israel date to around 930 B.C.E., about a millennia after their appearance according to the Bible.        
         

Ditto the Philistines, who seem to have actually sailed to the Holy Land only centuries after the Bible says they did.        
         

Genesis 21:34 for instance says, “And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time.” That seems anachronistic. Genesis 26:1 adds: “And
there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the
days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines
unto Gerar.” Famine was likely but the Philistines weren’t supposed to live there in Abraham’s time.        
         

No evidence has been found
of ancient Hebrews in Egypt, or of their subsequent passage through the
Sinai
.

Few (outside the observant community) dispute that the scripture
is not a reliable description
, though some argue that even if masses of
people trooped through the desert, even for 40 years, they wouldn’t
necessarily leave any traces behind. They would have sheltered in tents,
not erected stone buildings, and their footsteps are long vanished from
the sand.    

Another snag is that Egypt
itself ruled the Land of Israel at that time of the purported Exodus.

Even if the Children of Israel fled from Egypt, they would just have
reached another territory under Egyptian control.

It is hard to find a
mainstream archaeologist prepared to defend the biblical description of
events.
There, in 18 years, nothing has changed.

For instance, no remains
of a city wall have ever been found at Jericho from Joshua’s era (about
the mid-13th century B.C.E.) Other cities that are mentioned in the
story of the conquest did not even exist during that period.
       
         

In any case, most
archaeologists now agree that the Israelite-Jewish identity arose from
traditions that developed among the inhabitants of Canaan. It was not
brought from outside by invaders.

The most ferocious dispute is whether a united kingdom, ruled by kings David and Solomon, ever existed.        
         

The Bible describes a
regional power with its capital in Jerusalem that controlled extensive
parts of the Land of Israel.        
         

Five years before Herzogs
article in 1999, Avraham Biran discovered a Hebrew inscription at tell
Dan bearing the word beitdavid – the House of David. Believers claim
it’s extra-biblical evidence that the great king existed; others say
that could refer to any David. Or to something else entirely.        
         

The critical camp argues that a century of
excavations in Jerusalem and elsewhere indicates that David and his
sons, if they existed, ruled a fairly small, remote hill town, no more.
There is no evidence of the existence of a large and powerful kingdom in
the hills in the 10th century B.C.E
., they say.

Professor Israel
Finkelstein, a father of the critical thesis, suspects the biblical
descriptions of David’s kingdom conflated two unrelated elements. One is
a historical memory of the northern Kingdom of Israel, with its capital
in Samaria: a larger, more powerful kingdom than the southern Kingdom
of Judea, which was destroyed by the Assyrians not long before the
biblical stories were compiled in Jerusalem. Refugees from the northern
kingdom came to Jerusalem, bringing with them stories that were
integrated into the text.        
         

The second element was the
political and religious interest of kings of Judea, under whose auspices
the Davidic texts were written.        
         

The great and glorious
kingdom was a glorious kingdom-to-be, the one that was yet to happen,“
Finkelstein postulates. "There may have been a unified kingdom, but it
was ruled from Samaria. Judean writers adopted the idea and made it
their own years after
the fall of the northern kingdom [of Israel].”    
   
         

Even the most enthusiastic
supporters of the biblical approach are unable to say what the name of
that glorious unified kingdom was, Herzog stresses.        
       

Jerusalem is the critical
camps trump card.
In the 18 years since Herzogs article, the historic
tell of Jerusalem, which descends from the Temple Mount
to the Kidron Stream, via the neighborhood of Silwan, including the
so-called City of David, has been dug up like never before.        
         

Yet as the vast majority of
archaeologists would agree, with the exception of a few controversial
sites which we’ll come to in a moment – the capital of a unified kingdom
of David and Solomon has not been found.
       
         

There is evidence of
settlement, says Dr. Doron Ben-Ami of the Antiquities Authority. Weve
found the Jerusalem of the 10th century B.C.E., but it was a paltry
settlement with no monumental construction. If you are letting
archaeology speak, that is what it says. If you take the Bible and start
searching with candles, it isn’t archaeology any more.
       
         

Ben-Ami, now the chief
archaeologist for the Central District at the Antiquities Authority,
excavated the largest site in Jerusalem in recent decades, the site
formerly known as the Givati parking lot by the Old City of Jerusalem.  
     
         

In the layers that have been
peeled off, evidence was found of the entire lifespan of Jerusalem: an
Ottoman baking oven, a Byzantine gold hoard, a Roman farmhouse, a Seleucid fortress, a Hasmonean
house, down to findings from the period of the Kingdom of Judea in the
9th century B.C.E. Beneath that level, nothing was found.
       
         

The Givati parking lot is not unique. For all the discovery that Jerusalem has been occupied for some 7,000 years, it hasn’t produced many findings from the period of David and Solomon, the 10th century B.C.E.        
         

Earlier periods, the
Jebusite and Canaanite stages of the city, before it was conquered by
David, did yield many findings inside the City of David digs, including
sophisticated defense and water systems. But researchers are having
difficulty identifying an imperial capital of a mighty unified kingdom
as described in Scripture.
       
         

Most researchers therefore
suspect that at during the so-called Davidic era, Jerusalem was at most a
town
, smaller than the Canaanite Jerusalem that preceded it and the
Jerusalem of the days of the independent Kingdom of Judea that came
after it.

If King David had a palace
in the City of David, its remnants have not been discovered in
excavations
, despite the loud declarations, Herzog himself wrote.

Questioning the reliability
of biblical depictions is perceived as questioning of our historic right
to the land, Herzog wrote in 1999. It turns out that Israeli society is
ready in part to acknowledge the injustice that has been done to the
Arab inhabitants of the land, and is prepared to accept equal rights for
women, but it is not strong enough to embrace the archaeological facts
that challenge the scriptural myth.“

Read in full…https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/MAGAZINE-is-the-bible-a-true-story-latest-archaeological-finds-yield-surprises-1.5626647

100s of child porn images, LSD, ecstasy found …

100s of child porn images, LSD, ecstasy found in Boise priest’s home, prosecutor says…:


Longtime Catholic Rev. W. Thomas Faucher, 72, was brought into court in a
wheelchair Monday evening for his arraignment on 14 different charges. 

Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Kassandra Slaven offered more context
Monday. She said some images on Faucher’s computer involved young
children, including infants and toddlers. The images included children
being subjected to different sexual acts and torture, she said.

Slaven also described email
conversations where Faucher reportedly traded images and talked about
his “sexual interest in children.” She said Faucher has a “very
sophisticated knowledge” of exchanging and viewing child pornography.
And in certain chats investigators viewed, she said, he expressed a
desire to molest children. One such chat screen was open on his computer
when police served the search warrant, she said.

“(Faucher) is well-liked and well-known,” Manweiler said. “He counts
among his good friends people at the highest level of both branches,
both of state government and our local government and some judicial
officials here in Ada County.” 

Faucher has been retired for three years. He previously was an active priest and canon lawyer,
and was an activist on a number of church issues, including the sexual
abuse of children by priests.

Faucher has long criticized the
Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse by its priests. Earlier in
2002, while based at Sisters, Oregon, he told one gathering
that the church was looking the wrong way at incidents of molested
children, and that Cardinal Bernard Law “should resign” for the events
eventually documented in the 2015 movie “Spotlight.”

Faucher wrote to the Statesman in
2010 that 82-year-old Pope Benedict XVI should retire because he was
“much too old to lead the church through this mess.”

As a canon lawyer, Faucher sometimes represented other priests, such as in 2014 regarding a priest who had been removed from a parish in Bend, Oregon, for undisclosed reasons.”

http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/local/crime/article198567664.html