I recently finished two books, one after the other, about the historical (as opposed to theological) existence of the man we call Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth is the historical man. Jesus Christ in the theological man. The two books, in chronological order (but in my reverse reading order), are Bart Ehrman’s “Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth“, and Reza Aslan’s more recent “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth“. As you can surmise, both of these books explore the question of who the actual man named Jesus was, as opposed to the myths and religions we’ve created around him. In short, they attempt to analyze the latest historical scholarship about him, while regurgitating it for the layman. In the process they give their own considered opinion about exactly who Jesus was.
Ricky Gervais wrote an incendiary article for the Wall Street Journal a few months ago, titled “Why I’m an Atheist”. Perhaps you saw it? It was around Christmas. It got the dander up of many Christians who seem to always take offense whenever someone says they are not a Christian, and don’t believe in god, giving well thought out and articulate reasons why, as if they were insulted in some way.
In 2005 the Supreme Court ruled in two cases involving the public display of the Ten Commandments. One of the cases involved two counties in Kentucky. The two counties in Kentucky attempted to modify their displays after the ruling, by adding part of the Declaration of Independence, the Mayflower Compact, the national motto, and other statements referring to God and the Bible, in an effort to dilute the religious impact of the displays, and in order to meet the guidelines set down by the Supreme Court for proper display of the Ten Commandments. If you remember, the display in Texas was allowed, but those in Kentucky were not.
I really should read the Bible. I’m not one of those atheists who claims that my reading of the Bible actually caused my deconversion. I haven’t read it from cover to cover, primarily because it’s written so archaically, that I can’t get through it, and because there’s really no point to reading it. Logic says that you don’t put the cart before the horse, and logic also says you don’t read the Bible to find evidence of the existence of god. God must be proven first before I’d read it for that reason (and what other reason to read it?). To say god exists because the Bible says it’s true is circular.
Another 10C controversy has come down the pike. This time it’s in Giles County, Virginia. Apparently, the School District was asked to remove prints of the 10 commandments from schools, and at first agreed on the advice of their attorney; but then after another School Board meeting at which a large throng of Christians asked that the decision be reversed, it was. So now a law suit will be filed, and the School Board will lose, and attorneys will make a lot of money (not a bad thing by itself 😉 ), and taxpayers will pay that money to them. They never learn.
Calling it a “patriotic exercise,” Flynn said the bill is geared to teach youths about history and principles.
Interesting quote, wouldn’t you say? Could be about anything, and depending on the subject, might be very helpful, very explanatory. But in this case, it’s about a Texas legislator, a Republican, who recently introduced a bill in the Texas legislature that would ensure that any Texas teacher who wants to can display the Ten Commandments in a classroom.
Recently, Salin Palin, noted Constitutional scholar, opined on the state of the law on The O’Reilly Factor. When asked to compare America today with America in 1776, she read off her palm:
Well, that new kind of world view that I think is kind of a step towards a fundamental transformation of America that some want to see today, I think, again, that it is an attempt to revisit and rewrite history. (entire sentence, sic) I think we should kind of keep this clean, keep it simple, go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant. They’re quite clear that we would create law based on the God of the Bible and the 10 Commandments. It’s pretty simple.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the only source of morality we need is the Golden Rule. Morality is the code of conduct we humans impose on ourselves in dealing with other humans. I suppose we could have a separate morality for our dealings with animals and plants, but for purposes of creating a harmonious environment for humans on this planet, the Golden Rule is the key.
By now most of you are familiar with the Supreme Court case, Salazar vs. Buono, that will be argued soon concerning the cross that was erected in the 1930s by the VFW on what became Federal land in the Mojave desert to memorialize the fallen soldiers of World War I. The usualsuspects are gearing up on both sides to get rid of it, or keep it, depending on one’s point of view. In the meantime, it remains wrapped in plywood pending Supreme Court review this term.