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Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 6.42.00 PMOr, there ain’t no sanity clause! (It’s a Marxist thing – Harpo, Groucho, Chico, and even Zeppo.)

The Family Research Council is upset because gays and transgendered individuals are signing up for health insurance.  There are conservatives who are upset because Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty is being persecuted for being a born-again Christian, because he stated his hatred of gays.  I’m not quite sure

Once again Rush Limbaugh has shown why I quit listening to him in 2007.  He now thinks that the discussion about Santa being white is Stalinism. Yes, he is either that ignorant, stupid, or that much of a rabble rouse.  My vote is on the latter.  He says that Santa has always been white.  Saint Nicholas was Greek.

“...The numerous miracles St. Nicholas is said to have wrought, both before and after his death, are outgrowths of a long tradition. There is reason to doubt his presence at Nicaea, since his name is not mentioned in any of the old lists of bishops that attended this council. His cult in the Greek Church is old and especially popular in Russia. As early as the sixth century Emperor Justinian I built a church in his honour at Constantinople, and his name occurs in the liturgy ascribed to St. Chrysostom. In Italy his cult seems to have begun with the translation of his relics to Bari, but in Germany it began already under Otto II, probably because his wife Theophano was a Grecian. Bishop Reginald of Eichstaedt (d. 991) is known to have written a metric, “Vita S. Nicholai.” The course of centuries has not lessened his popularity. The following places honour him as patron: Greece, Russia, the Kingdom of Naples, Sicily, Lorraine, the Diocese of Liège; many cities in Italy, Germany, Austria, and Belgium; Campen in the Netherlands; Corfu in Greece; Freiburg in Switzerland; and Moscow in Russia. He is patron of mariners, merchants, bakers, travellers, children, etc. His representations in art are as various as his alleged miracles. In Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, they have the custom of making him the secret purveyor of gifts to children on 6 December, the day on which the Church celebrates his feast; in the United States and some other countries St. Nicholas has become identified with Santa Claus who distributes gifts to children on Christmas eve. His reliScreen Shot 2013-12-18 at 6.44.52 PMcs are still preserved in the church of San Nicola in Bari; up to the present day an oily substance, known as Manna di S. Nicola, which is highly valued for its medicinal powers, is said to flow from them…”

You really want my version of Santa?  I hate to tell you this, but – the way I see Santa?  I see Santa as someone who cares about little kids, who believes in helping others, and makes the human race look good.

How dumb has the far right become?  Well, evidently some of ‘em can’t even tell the difference between a satirical tale and reality.   Let’s just say that stupid is as stupid dues is alive and well, and living at the National Review, FOX News, and various and sundry other conservative outposts this season.  The FOX News War on Christmas is now so nasty, a decent woman, volunteering as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army was punched in the face by a good ‘Christian’ who was insulted when she told her happy holidays!

How dumb are they?

“…The hoax began last week, when the site – which includes a disclaimer that its stories are satirical – reported that a 9-year-old boy was suspended for extending the holiday greeting to his homeroom teacher, who was described as “an outspoken atheist.” That set off many readers who encountered the story, which slipped perfectly into the “war on Christmas” narrative pushed by pundits peddling books. The story garnered more than 20,000 likes and shares from the National Review’s Facebook page, and it was linked more than 400 times on Twitter.

Dozens of conservative websites and blogs also picked up the story, which also included a link to a Change.org petition and a link to the fictitious teacher’s email address. The story identified the school as Argon Elementary, which doesn’t exist, but is similar to the real-life Argonne Elementary School, whose administrators heard from some of those angry readers.

Rev. Craig Donofrio of KFUO.org in St. Louis was among those readers who contacted the real-life principal, Cami Okubu.“Thank you for your monumental blunder, it will provide me weeks of material on my show,” Donofrio wrote. “Keep up the terrible work. It makes my job so much easier! MERRY CHRISTMAS! Craig.” Donofrio told the San Francisco Chronicle that he was disappointed to learn he had been duped….”

For some strange reason, the far right just can’t deal with the new pope.Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 6.50.00 PM

“...If, as Pope, Francis has tempered his opinions on matters of sexual morality, his advocacy for the poor has become even more acute. In last month’s exhortation, Francis expanded his critique of the world economy: “In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which becomes the only rule.” This problem is fundamental to every problem: “Inequality eventually engenders a violence which recourse to arms cannot and never will be able to resolve.” Conservative critics faulted Francis’s analysis. Rush Limbaugh called it “pure Marxism.” Samuel Gregg, the author of “Tea Party Catholic,” writing in National Review, was more respectful but still rejected the Pope’s “straw-man arguments about the economy.”…”

One wonders where this finally stops.

After all, Neal Bortz ponders, if Santa can be Black then can Martin Luther King, Jr. be white?

This should lead one to ask, since Rudolph has a red nose, does Rush Limbaugh consider him a Commie plant?

The War on Christmas is about persecuting Christians.  Right?

“...Robert Jeffress appeared on AFA’s “Today’s Issues” program yesterday to discuss “why should atheist celebrate Christmas” and the overall “War on Christmas” in general with host Tim Wildmon. During the course of the discussion, Jeffress admitted that the supposed persecution of Christians in America is nothing like what is faced by Christians in repressive nations around the world, but still insisted that the War on Christmas “is not a phony war” and isScreen Shot 2013-12-18 at 6.46.56 PM, in fact, part of the same persecution that Christians are suffering in other nations. Wildmon wholeheartedly agreed, asserting that “the road to more serious persecution” starts with things like the War on Christmas “when you start marginalizing people and marginalizing their faith, and that’s what some of the secularists are attempting to do with the Christian faith in America”…”

How bad is it?  I’ve been saying that the far right is turning the Bible into something that isn’t. Adam Schlafly, son of senile old bat Phyllis, is working on just that, in Conservapedia. I thought it was something of a joke, but they have a Conservative Bible Project.

Want an example?  Let’s take Matthew 19.  As an Episcopalian, I like the New Revised Standard Version.  It’s the rich young ruler tale.  Verse 24 is the clincher.

16 Then someone came to him and said, ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?’ 17And he said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.’ 18He said to him, ‘Which ones?’ And Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; 19Honour your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ 20The young man said to him, ‘I have kept all these; what do I still lack?’ 21Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ 22When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, ‘Then who can be saved?’ 26But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.’

Now, this is the rewritten conservative version:  Note verses 24 & 26.

16 Then someone came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing should I do, so that I may have eternal life?” 17And He said to him, “Why do you call me ‘good’? There is only one good Person. And if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not commit perjury; 19 “‘honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'” 20 The young man said to Him, “I have kept all these things from my youth until now. What more must I do?” 21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come and follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard that last, he went

away feeling sorry, because he had many possessions. 23 Then Jesus told His students, “I tell you truly, that a rich man will enter the Kingdom of heaven only with difficulty. 24 And I say again to you, that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for an idle miser to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When His students heard that, they were very much amazed, and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26 And Jesus told them, “I tell you truly: You who have followed Me, in the Regeneration event, when the Son of man will sit on the throne of His glory, you will also sit on twelve thrones, to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.

You might want to also note the commentary on verse 24:Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 6.46.29 PM

“…”rich man” had a different connotation then than now. “Idle miser” better captures the original meaning….”

And – that is how the far right gets away with worshiping the rich.  “Rich man” had a different meaning 2000 years ago.  Yea, right.

The commentary on John 3:16 & 17 is classic:

“…This is one of the most quoted verses, and a target of liberal bias; instead of “eternal life,” The Message states “a whole and lasting life.” While it is true that the eternal life promised starts at the moment of salvation, prior to death, it is NOT a promise of a “long life” in this world, but of a DEEPER life now, and an eternal one later. Wherever the Greek word κόσμος appears in this book, John means all of the people in it, not some aggregate of custom or some impersonal object. Also, “Only Son” (capital “O”) is better than “Unique Son

,” because all persons are unique already.
The translation of κόσμος with “you” is problematic:
In the rest of Jesus’s speech, Jesus addresses Nicodemus this way.
It runs against the style of the gospel, as John generally doesn’t address his readership directly or has his protagonists addressing it. Jesus did not seek to save the “world” with its materialistic and environmental connotation; He saved “mankind”...”

A few months ago I had a run-in with a Christian Reconstructionist, who said I had the wrong story when it came to the adultress and throwing the first stone. John 8:1-10

 2Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them. 3The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4they said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ 6They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ 8And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ 11She said, ‘No one, sir.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.’]]

The conservative commentary:

“…The evidence is overwhelming that verses 1 – 11 are not original to John. See Essay:Adulteress Story for an extended examination of the issues relating to this passage, including the talk pages of that essay. You can also see the wikipedia article on this story, which contains a very detailed and accurate listing of the textual evidence relating to this story. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_and_the_woman_taken_in_adultery (the one note I would make relating to the textual evidence is that most scholars now agree that P66 and P75 are second century documents, not third century, as this article states). See the talk page here for an explanation of my views and reasoning regarding this passage, including why I believe this event actually happened, but still hold that it should NOT be included in the bible….”

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 6.47.28 PMThey say that the story is absurd and is not part of the original Bible.  One conservative translation of the Bible, says that it is not there.  This is the conservative version commentary:

“…One thorough analysis concludes, “Biblical scholars are nearly all agreed that the Story of the Adulteress (also known as the Pericope Adulterae or the Pericope de Adult

era) usually printed in Bibles as John 7:53-8:11 is a later addition to the Gospel. On this page I present some extended quotations from scholarly works that explain the reasons for this judgment.”[5]
The conservative, evangelical translation of the Bible (NIV) flatly says,[6] “The earliest and most reliable manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53-8:11.”
A Jewish scholar pointed out multiple absurdities in the story:[7]
That a woman taken in the act of adultery should have been brought before Jesus (and apparently without witnesses of her crime); that such an utterly un-Jewish, as well as illegal, procedure should have been that of the “Scribes and Pharisees”; that such a breach of law, and of what Judaism would have regarded as decency, should have been perpetrated to “tempt” Him; or that the Scribes should have been so ignorant as to substitute stoning for strangulation as the punishment of adultery; lastly, that this scene should have been enacted in the Temple, presents a veritable climax of impossibilities.
Some defend continued inclusion of the passage based on a fear of a “slippery slope,” that other passages will be questioned or removed if this one were. But there are very few other passages in the New Testament that are even questioned, and none of these have any doctrinal significance.
Amid this scholarship, why is the emphasis on this passage increasing? The answer lies in its liberal message: do not criticize or punish immoral conduct unless you are perfect yourself. Liberals cite this passage to oppose the death penalty, a misuse that has been criticized.[8] But one need not be perfect before he can recognize wrongdoing in himself. The Mosaic laws clearly state death as a punishment for sin. So the argument that an individual must be perfect is not relevant. The God-ordained government has the responsibility for pu

nishment. Civilized society may not depend on stoning to deter immoral crimes, but it does depend on retribution enforced by people who are themselves sinners….”

There is a little problem with this:

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 6.46.41 PM

“...Until recently, it was not thought that any Greek Church Father had taken note of the passage before the 12th Century; but in 1941 a large collection of the writings of Didymus the Blind (ca. 313- 398) was discovered in Egypt, including a reference to the pericope adulterae as being found in “several copies”; and it is now considered established that this passage was present in its usual place in some Greek manuscripts known in Alexandria and elsewhere from the 4th Century onwards. In support of this it is noted that the 4th century Codex Vaticanus, which was written in Egypt, marks the end of John chapter 7 with an “umlaut”, indicating that an alternative reading was known at this point….Almost all modern translations now include the Pericope de Adultera at John 7:53-8:11; but some enclose it in brackets, and/or add a note concerning the oldest and most reliable witnesses.…”

But, the fact that the passage now dates back, at least to the year 200AD if not earlier doesn’t stop the far right, Christian Reconstructionist from lying.  It doesn’t fit their agenda that Christ forgave the adulteress.

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