Sunday, November 27, 2016

Salkin does it again

Jeffrey Salkin just can't seem to help himself. Everyone and anything he likes even a little bit he magically converts to Judaism. His latest installment of delusional wishful projection is "Thanksgiving is a Jewish Holiday." The premise, like previous Salkin "conversions", is incredibly flimsy. According to the tippler of Martini Judaism:
"Franklin wanted the Great Seal of the United States to feature a scene of Moses standing at the shores of the Red Sea, and the waters preparing to devour Pharaoh and his armies."
An immediate red flag is that he offers no citation what so ever. Having a background in history I am aware of a wide range of arguments our founding fathers had but never came across this one. I assume he either made this one up or got it from an equally credulous fool. Even if the story had merit it still doesn't make the idea "Jewish." All his arguments stem from this type of nonsense. He conflates specific Jewish rites and rituals with a variety of rather universal concepts. He also never seems to note that there is plenty of reason to believe that a wide variety of the stories and pracices of early Judaism were borrowed from the religions that preceded it or were contemporaneous to it. Is Salkin really really Assyro-Babylonian, Egyptian, Zoroastrian, Scythian....?

Basically, by Salkin's very feeble standards everything is _______ (fill in your favored bias). You can make any claim you want about anything since the only real measure is your own preferences and ability to shovel bullshit. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Did Francis just denounce the Catholic Church?

I find it rather interesting that Religious News Service ran thes two pieces simultaneously: "Pope Francis denounces growing 'demonization of enemies and outsiders'" and "Because of the U.S. bishops’ voters guide, I may leave the church." The latter being just another of many instances where the Catholic Church does smear and lie about any individuals or groups it doesn't like. Though, it has been years since I routinely attended church I have been to plenty of masses and religious based gatherings, Catholic or otherwise, over the years. And, yes as an atheist I have attended a variety religious rites, rituals, ceremonies.... I have often heard phrases like "faithless", "unfaithful", "without faith", and so forth. It was clear that the priests meant atheists and in some instances non-Christian or even non-Catholic. In every instance, what followed those words and phrases was derogatory and degrading. They went out of their way to use their pulpit to demonize.

So, until Francis actually backs up his rhetoric with something of substance I have to assume he is either very deceitful or incredibly self-deluded. If he isn't just using another PR ploy he needs to wake the fuck up and deal with the fact that his Church is involved in the demonization that he claims to oppose.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Tomb of Pandering Bullshit

So begins the start of another silly season. A recent New York Times piece, "Crypt Believed to Be Jesus’ Tomb Opened for First Time in Centuries", is as credulous as it is pandering. The very notion that there is an actual tomb of Christ is a huge assumption based on the flimsiest of "evidence." Even more ridiculous is the idea that the location is known. Three of the four Gospels briefly mention the burial. I do mean briefly. The only physical description given in Matthew (28), Luke (23-24), and John (20) are that it is "hewn from stone." That's the full extent of the descriptive details of Christ's "tomb." Basically, any cutout space in rock within the limits of old Jerusalem could be claimed as the tomb of Christ.