Book of Oppositions | Pocket Full of Mumbles |

 

This world is one big game of "Go"-- Black against White, Light against Darkness --and we all have a choice to make: Do we war FOR the Light?

...or against it?




Lefties Everywhere Soon Will Be Salivating....

The Brad Blog has an interesting piece, touted as Gospel, by none other than Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Get this-- George Bush, not only did he steal the 2000 election, but now Mr. Kennedy has convincing proof-- to Kennedy, and conspiracy theorists everywhere --that Bush stole 2004 election as well...

"A damning and detailed feature article, written by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., for Rolling Stone and documenting evidence of the theft of the 2004 Presidential Election is set to hit newsstand this Friday...

"The article -- headlined on the cover as "Did Bush Steal the 2004 Election?: How 350,000 Votes Disappeared in Ohio" -- has been several months in development and will contend that a concerted effort was undertaken by high-level Republican officials to steal the Election in Ohio -- and thus the country -- in 2004!"

Also, it would seem that "evidence shows Ohio Sec. of State J. Kenneth Blackwell was "certainly in on" the scheme" as well. How convenient, a Black Republican doing very well against his "White," more preferrable-to-Democrats, opponent. Move along folks, no hidden agenda here!

I refuse to prejudge Mr. Kennedy solely on his familial ties, or the fact that he's environmentally... funny, or the fact that Mr. Kennedy has his own "weekend show on Air America Radio." No, instead I think I'll wait to read the article itself in the new issue of Rolling Stone... Liberal Media. But I think the second comment to this post puts the whole Kennedy story into perspective.

"Glad one of the Kennedy's is showcasing this story-pointing to 'elephant in the room'...right on time for the '06 midterms."
--Devin


When all else fails, dig out the hackneyed democratic script.


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posted by ELAshley @ 7:31 PM, , links to this post


Number of Details 
in a Prophecy Chance of Fulfillment

______________________________________________________
1 detail = 1 chance in ........................ 2
2 details = 1 chance in ........................ 4
3 details = 1 chance in ........................ 8
4 details = 1 chance in ....................... 16
5 details = 1 chance in ....................... 32
6 details = 1 chance in ....................... 64
7 details = 1 chance in ...................... 128
8 details = 1 chance in ...................... 256
9 details = 1 chance in ...................... 512
10 details = 1 chance in .................... 1,024
11 details = 1 chance in .................... 2,048
12 details = 1 chance in .................... 4,096
13 details = 1 chance in .................... 8,192
14 details = 1 chance in ................... 16,348
15 details = 1 chance in ................... 32,768
16 details = 1 chance in ................... 65,536
17 details = 1 chance in .................. 131,072
18 details = 1 chance in .................. 262,144
19 details = 1 chance in .................. 524,288
20 details = 1 chance in ................ 1,048,576
21 details = 1 chance in ................ 2,097,152
22 details = 1 chance in ................ 4,194,304
23 details = 1 chance in ................ 8,388,608
24 details = 1 chance in ............... 16,777,216
25 details = 1 chance in ............... 33,544,432
26 details = 1 chance in ............... 67,108,864
27 details = 1 chance in .............. 134,217,728
28 details = 1 chance in .............. 268,435,456
29 details = 1 chance in .............. 536,870,912
30 details = 1 chance in ............ 1,013,741,824
31 details = 1 chance in ............ 2,147,483,648
32 details = 1 chance in ............ 4,294,967,296
33 details = 1 chance in ............ 8,589,934,592
34 details = 1 chance in ........... 17,179,869,184
35 details = 1 chance in ........... 34,359,738,368
36 details = 1 chance in ........... 68,719,476,736
37 details = 1 chance in .......... 137,438,953,472
38 details = 1 chance in .......... 274,877,906,944
39 details = 1 chance in .......... 549,755,813,888
40 details = 1 chance in ........ 1,099,511,627,776
41 details = 1 chance in ........ 2,199,023,255,552
42 details = 1 chance in ........ 4,398,046,511,104
43 details = 1 chance in ........ 8,796,093,022,208
44 details = 1 chance in ....... 17,592,186,044,416
45 details = 1 chance in ....... 35,184,372,088,832
46 details = 1 chance in ....... 70,368,744,177,664
47 details = 1 chance in ...... 140,737,488,355,328
48 details = 1 chance in ...... 281,474,976,710,656
49 details = 1 chance in ...... 562,949,953,421,312
50 details = 1 chance in .... 1,125,899,906,842,624
51 details = 1 chance in .... 2,251,799,813,685,248
52 details = 1 chance in .... 4,503,599,627,370,496
53 details = 1 chance in .... 9,007,199,254,740,992
54 details = 1 chance in ... 18,014,398,509,481,984
55 details = 1 chance in ... 36,028,797,018,963,968


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posted by ELAshley @ 3:38 PM, , links to this post





The Anatomy of a Republican....

via the mind of a Blind-to-Self and Hypocritical Democrat. Yuck it up boys! You wouldn't know a Republican if he shook your hand, much less point one out in a crowded restaurant. The ideals that constitute a Republican cannot be seen with the human eye, they are discerned by the actions of the individual... not the speech.

It never surprises me how ignorant these people show themselves to be, who open themselves so easily to the inevitable serving of crow that all too soon gets laid before them... Simply because of their idiocy.

Democrats are not stupid, so it makes me wonder why they fall so easily into the very traps they lay for Republicans. And yes, I'm getting tired of the childishness on both sides of the aisle. Yet there seems to be more of it coming from the Dems. Why is that?

...

Yeah, I'm feeling better.


Read the entire article...

posted by ELAshley @ 9:13 PM, , links to this post





Crappy Day... Scary Day

This morning about 11am I noticed my right foot was numbing. Shortly thereafter I noticed a similar problem with my right hand, and an aching in the right upper arm. My blood sugar was 154 this morning... Not particularly good.

I knew I had to call in my prescriptions anyway, so after a call to Wal Mart, and a quick gobbling of the med I did have on hand I figured... "It'll pass."

I fixed some lunch: Roasted Salmon, and Miso soup-- fairly bland. Then decided to go see X-Men 3. Lower leg still tingling, with a popcorn [bad, bad, popcorn!] and a bottle of water, and a twix... Force of habit... A very bad habit. The theatre quickly fills, the movie begins, and 30 minutes later a wave of... Not sure how to describe it, but my chest fluttered, and I suddenly felt zapped of all my strength. This hasn't happened to me since last November. I've been a good boy, minding my peas and carrots. Well... A lot better than I had been.

So there I am. The theatres full. The movies cool. But then I'm thinking stroke. Numbness on only one side of my body... Even if it was only the hand and foot. so I get up and leave, not wanting to die in the middle of a crowded theatre.

I drove to Wal Mart, picked up my prescriptions and testing strips, and headed to the house. Blood sugar tested at 289. Boy am I freaked at this point... freaked and feeling like a dead sack of potatoes. So I take half a tab of Amaryl. 30 Minutes later, I tested again: 295, take another half tab of Amaryl, test blood pressure and heart rate. BP: 96/79, a little low; HR: 96, a little high.

I've spent much of the afternoon dozing and testing my blood. Last check at 9:30 I was at 174, still too high, but coming down. Tomorrow-- assuming I'm alive in the morning --I'll take a whole tab of Amaryl (normal daily dose is only 1/2) and watch the diet like a hawk.

The real problem here is, I know I can heal my body of the conditions that constitute diabetes, Type II. Diabetes is not a disease, but rather a laundry list of symptoms and conditions brought on by poor food choice. Nothing I've found online or in books has challenged this belief. I know exactly what causes diabetes, and I know exactly what I have to do to correct what's happening in my body, enough so my body can repair itself.

The problem, is will power. No artificial oils, period; complete saturation of 90 essential nutrients daily; large doses of Chromium, Vanadium, and Zinc. Eat fresh, and eat natural... Nothing processed, no partially hydrogenated oils, no simple sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup. No MSG, and no caffeine, which means no diet soda.

I will never be able to lose weight as long as I'm on my diabetes med, and as long as I'm on the med, I'll never corrected the problems inside. I am fearfully and wonderfully made, my body is designed to correct and fix itself, it in fact knows no other purpose but the maintenance and repair of itself.

I am my body's own worst enemy. If anyone out there is the praying kind, I would appreciate being added to yours... Specifically for strength of will, determination, and obedience.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your prayers. May God richly bless you all.


ELAshley


P.S. It's now 141, and I'm so hungry I could eat 40 horses. But I won't. Firstly, I don't have any access to horses, and secondly, I'm afraid to eat at this point.


UPDATE 1: Monday, May 29, 10:39 AM
Blood sugar was 140 this morning. Took the meds (half tab), had a very small breakfast, and went for a walk. Began to feel bad again, so I tested the blood sugar again... 205. I just took the other half tab; I wait an hour an see if the blood sugar has gone down, but it would seem the Amaryl is no longer working. I hope this in not the case, and I hope this doesn't mean I'll need to begin taking insulin. That would make the cure much more illusive. Well, I have an appointment on the 1st with Dr. Johnson. We'll let him decide.


UPDATE 2: Monday, May 29, 12:54 PM
I tested again at 11:30: 166; better. Went back to sleep. It's time for some lunch, but honestly, I'm afraid to eat... but I will.. I've just tested again and my sugar is at 149; it's coming down. The real test will be to see how my body reacts to lunch: Roasted Salmon again, and a small salad, no dressing. Then I'll have to get ready for work. I should call in sick, but I won't... I have to get control of this. We'll see what happens after lunch. I may end up having to check myself into the hospital. I hope that won't be necessary.


UPDATE 3: Monday, May 29, 2:20 PM
I've just tested my blood sugar: 144; it's actually come down... not spiked... so perhaps the worst is over. Time will tell. I'll have to buy more testing strips tomorrow as I'm close to out (only 25 per pack, and only 6 left)... it's been a busy 24 hours. And God willing it's almost done.

3:45 PM -- Blood Sugar = 135... much better.
6:35 PM -- Blood Sugar = 89 ... Low end of normal range (80-120)
6:55 PM -- Dinner-- Tuna, peas, 2 deviled eggs
8:10 PM -- Blood Sugar = 109... Excellent
10:25 PM -- Blood Sugar = 126... Good

I'll test one more time before bed, but I believe I've got a handle on it now. Thanks everyone for your support.

11:50 PM -- Blood Sugar = 112... Excellent


UPDATE 4: Tuesday, May 30, 8:00 PM
Things seem to have gotten themselves back to where they should be, better in fact than what they were. That's only because of my serious lack of food yesterday, but I believe if I keep at the right foods, and not cheat as much as I had been, perhaps I'll finally get a handle on this. Thanks everyone for your prayers and well wishes. They are greatly appreciated.

8:00 AM -- Blood Sugar = 138... Fair, but a lot better than mornings have usually been.


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posted by ELAshley @ 9:55 PM, , links to this post





Exorcising an Old Ghost

The song has been running through my head for most of the last week. In truth, it's always been there, but for some reason it's lately been screaming for attention. So, wish granted.

I don't remember exactly when I first heard this song, but I know I was very young, in either Spain or the Azores... Could even have been Libya, though I doubt it.

After a bit of Googling, I found the lyrics, and it turns out it's from a poem written by A. A. Milne the creator of Winnie the Pooh. How a poem by Milne made it onto a radio on some foreign shore I cannot say... But it's enough that the ghost is now placated.


"Buckingham Palace"
--by Alan Alexander Milne 1882-1956

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
Alice is marrying one of the guard.
"A soldier's life is terrible hard,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
We saw a guard in a sentry-box.
"One of the sergeants looks after their socks,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
We looked for the King, but he never came.
"Well, God take care of him, all the same,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
They've great big parties inside the grounds.
"I wouldn't be King for a hundred pounds,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
A face looked out, but it wasn't the King's.
"He's much too busy a-signing things,"
Says Alice.

They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace -
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
"Do you think the King knows all about me?"
"Sure to, dear, but it's time for tea,"
Says Alice.



Oddly enough, I still have the melody in my head... so now it's time to work it out on the six-string...

UPDATE: Monday, May 29 -- BenT says he has this tune on MP3. Here's hoping he digs it out and sends me a copy.


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posted by ELAshley @ 9:45 PM, , links to this post





The Left Needs to Fire Their Slogan Master

Democrats/Liberals call Republicans/Conservatives.....

NeoCons

Conservatives/Republicans call Liberals/Democrats.....

Moonbats

Now honestly, in a fair fight who would win?
Moonbats, those loveable leathery-winged bug-eaters lack opposable thumbs and therefore cannot operate the weaponry Neocons would use to blow those moonbats out of the sky. Neocon sounds so... militaristic, capable, deadly. Moonbats? Defenseless bug-eaters... no real threat at all except, perhaps, from rabies.

Someone on the other side of the fence needs to be canned. NeoCon's [New Conservatives]? Is that the best you could come up with?

It was probably the same committee that came up with the Democratic "Contract with America"

"...We're going to get bin Laden!"

Really? What... We should elect you guys because you promise to get a guy you're supposed to be trying to get right this very minute? Mental Giants! That's what you guys are. Mental Giants. We Neocons bow to your superior intellect!


Read the entire article...

posted by ELAshley @ 8:37 PM, , links to this post





Signs of Dissention in the Ranks....

Yes, I do actually read the Lefties. I don't link many here, because, well, many of them are so off the wall that I end up shaking my head in disbelief and going somewhere else. Some are actually psuedo-intellectuals, but many are just... trying to be nice here... .... I give up. No, wait...

"Well-intentioned intellectual strays"

...Nah, that's not particularly nice, so, moving on!

Arianna Huffington, however, is not entirely Kooksville-- more than a few of her contributors are, but not Ms. Huff. ANYWAY! Reading through some of her commentors, it's becoming more and more clear that the Left is as disappointed, if not more so, than the Right is in it's elected leaders...

Here's a few choice comments right off the top... The topic? Hillary and Bill


"I have yet to hear of even one Democrat who supports Hillary on this site.

"I think she and McCain ought to be on the same ticket so that we can reject them both with a single vote.

"Both are disgusting demogogues and anything but what this country needs right now."
--proud2bindy


"Like Feinstein, Hillary still doesn't get it. You can't work with the Republicans. You have to throw them out, and the only way to do that is to admit they suckered you and pledge not to let them do it again.

"The problem with millionaire leaders lake Feinstein, Clinton, and Kerry, is that if they lose, they go home to their mansions and holdings, and WE take the hit. Their wealth insulates them from their failures.

"And yeah, it's class warfare. They started it."
--slideguy


"I refuse to vote for Hillary. Period."
--Keemia


"I can understand the DLC proclaiming that 72% of Dems support Hillary but the DNC under Howard Dean? Gawd...

"I worked my duff off to get Bill Clinton elected the first time around and donated a boatload of cash to do so. What did we get for my effort and the effort of millions of fellow Dems? A brilliant guy makes it to the Oval who consciously embraces the most idiotic, self-destructive streak imaginable--> a penchant for selfish regard that hobbled his ability to get done what we wished and fed the voracious and hypocritical neocon appetite for smug outrage. Gee, thanks Bill.

"Clinton never screwed over the Republican party or its base. He screwed us. So fuck Bill Clinton and his fury at being questioned about his pandering, self-serving, trangulating wife. Message to Bill and Hillary: We owe you NOTHING! Got it, pal? Zip. Zilch. Zero. Giving Hillary a free pass, Mister Bill, will not happen, should not happen and no pissy bleating on your part will force voting Dems into such undeserved genuflection.

"We deign to be polite because that's our nature but seriously, who the fuck do the Clintons think they are getting miffed at a perfectly justifiable question? Hillary, a total milquetoast as a senator, will kill our future in pursuit of her own ambitions. Any Hillary promoters out there have got to wake up to that fact. For God's sake, in a nation of 250 million we most certainly have fresher faces and ideas to support."
--MartinSchenk


"The presidency is not inherited, it is earned. Hillary still has time to earn my vote, but I prefer candidates who show courage every day, not just on the eve of an election."
--pheidole


"Why oh why doesn't anyone tell it like it is with Bill C? Were it not for his addictive sexual behavior Al Gore have been prez, no sweatsky! No W. no war, no environmental carnage, and so on! "It's Bill stupid!" as Carville certainly would not ever say! Now, his wife stood by him. Are wee supposed to respect this latter day Tammy Wynett behavior, much less think of H as a prez? She appears to be a good senator, let her stay there."
--dg


And Republican's are worried about a Hillary campaign? I guess it depends on who gets the Republican nod. McCain? Hill's a shoe in -- better the devil you know, and all that. But there's definitely some major dissention in them thar ranks, troops. The battle won't be bloodless, but it ain't likely t'be lost neither. But who am I kidding. We've got two years to watch both parties castrate themselves before the American public... to say nothing of the rest of the world... with the willing and gleeful support of our esteemed media elite.

It promises to be quite a brouhaha.


Knowt 2 Self.... buy popcorn, diet Mello Yello, sunflower seeds, toothpicks


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posted by ELAshley @ 7:48 PM, , links to this post





"If you choose not too decide you still have made a choice..."

Sticking with the Rush motiff...

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of thing Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
--C.S. Lewis


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posted by ELAshley @ 3:32 PM, , links to this post





The Proper Response to Oath Breaking Judges

Oath Breakers because they fail to defend the Constitution of the United States... Because they are seemingly ignorant of what our founding document actually says... A document that any graduating 12th grader understands. In Russel Springs, Kentucky, anyway...

Judge Blocks Prayer at High School Graduation
May 19, 2006

RUSSELL SPRINGS, KY. (AP) - The senior class at a southern Kentucky high school gave their response Friday night to a federal judge's order banning prayer at commencement.

About 200 seniors stood during the principal's opening remarks and began reciting the Lord's Prayer, prompting a standing ovation from a standing-room only crowd at the Russell County High School gymnasium.

The thunderous applause drowned out the last part of the prayer.

The revival like atmosphere continued when senior Megan Chapman said in her opening remarks that God had guided her since childhood. Chapman was interrupted repeatedly by the cheering crowd as she urged her classmates to trust in God as they go through life.

The challenge made the graduation even better because it unified the senior class, Chapman said.

"It made the whole senior class come together as one and I think that's the best way to go out," said Chapman, who plans to attend the University of the Cumberlands with her twin sister Megan.

The graduation took place about 12 hours after a federal judge blocked the inclusion of prayer as part of Russell County High School's graduation ceremonies.

U.S. District Judge Joseph McKinley granted a temporary restraining order sought by a student who didn't want prayer to be part of the graduation exercises at the south-central Kentucky school, about 110 miles southeast of Louisville.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky filed suit on behalf of the unidentified student on Tuesday.

ACLU attorney Lili Lutgens said she was pleased with the judge's order and "very proud of my client for standing up for the Constitution." Lutgens said prayer would be unconstitutional because it would endorse a specific religion and religious views.

"He did not feel that he should have to sit through government-sponsored prayer just to receive his diploma," Lutgens said of the student.

The student, through his attorney, had previously appealed to Russell County High principal Darren Gossage to cancel the prayer, a request Lutgens said the principal denied.

Keith Ellis, an assistant principal at Russell County High School, said the school has a long tradition of prayer at graduation, something that will change with the judge's ruling.

"It will definitely change what we've done in the past," Ellis said.

Russell County School Superintendent Scott Pierce called himself a "person of faith" and said he was pleased with the response to the ruling by the senior class.

"This was a good learning process for them as far as how to handle things that come along in life," Pierce said. The response of the students showed an ability to be "critical thinkers."

"They exhibited what we've tried to accomplish in 12 years of education - they have the ability to make these compelling decisions on their own," Pierce said.

Chapman said the ceremony turned out better than it would have without the controversy.

"More glory went to God because of something like that than if I had just simply said a prayer like I was supposed to," Chapman said......


As Solomon rightly pointed out in a comment on another post, the phrase "Separation of church and state" do not appear in our Constitution. Here is the relevant letter, in its entirety, from which we get the aforementioned thorn in our Constitution's side...

"Gentlemen, — The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State.

"I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem."

--Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT
January 1, 1802


You can interpret this any number of ways, as is demonstrated in the ongoing clash between religionists and secularists today, as highlighted in the article I'm quoting above, but the fact remains that the 1st Amendment was written to insure that the new and burgeoning republic that was the United States of America would not create a state church as did England. No one would be forced to attend, no one would be forced to belong, and no one would be forced to tithe to any one specific and Lawful-- under the Constitution --Church of America. Congress would "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Sadly, Secularists only see the Establishment clause. And ignore altogether the Free Exercise clause.

If any law or judge abridges the rights of American citizens to exercise freely their constitutional right to worship as they choose, when they choose, and where they choose, that law or judge has forsaken his/her oath of office.

Perhaps a town council somewhere wants to avoid allowing Muslims from staging a 'stoning of the devil' in the town square. How can they say no if they allow Christians to drag a cross through downtown during Easter week (which frequently happens where I live)? They can't. But neither can they deny either party the right to publically proclaim their faith. Quite simply, the town council's hands are tied... they must allow Muslims and Christians their public displays of faith equally. This does not amount to an endorsement of religion, only the allowance of the free exercise thereof... and it's most decidedly "Constitutional."

A manger scene is no longer allowed on public property? THAT is unconstitutional. By very definition, the Public Square belongs to the public... not to any town/city council. At any given election, the "Public" can vote out every member of the city council and begin anew-- it rarely happens but the possibility remains. The City, being an entity incapable of owning anything*, has no power in itself to deny or approve anything. It is to the elected officials that the public looks to for answers and services.

So... Where in the Constitution is a single individual, or minority of individuals, allowed to effect the abridegment of the rights of the majority, in respect to the worship of God?

Nowhere.

I am personally proud of these young Americans for expressing their "Free Exercise Thereof."

There's hope for America yet.

----
* The Public owns the city, and the Public governs the city through the offices of city and county commissioners, judges, district attorneys, and school board members, sheriffs, police chiefs, managers and mayors. Buildings and streets don't own anything, people do.

the same is true of taxes... Corporations don't pay taxes, Business don't pay taxes... People do.


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posted by ELAshley @ 5:50 PM, , links to this post





Why Rush Heads my List of Favs

Not because Neal Peart is an America Basher, not because of Geddy's voice, not because of Alex's mystifying ability on guitar...

But because of Lyrics like these in unison with Geddy and Alex. Rush, IMHO, is the tightest 3 member band there is, musically speaking... No other 3-man combo comes close.


The Trees

There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the maples,
(And they're quite convinced they're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade.

There is trouble in the forest,
And the creatures all have fled,
As the maples scream "Oppression!"
And the oaks just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
"The oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light."
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.


I've always been drawn to music and musicians whose lyrics are as important-- if not more so --as the music. Some of those on my list don't necessarily apply... it just so happens I like their music. It's that simple.


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posted by ELAshley @ 3:26 PM, , links to this post





Make of this what you will...




When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.



No Second Troy

Why should I blame her that she filled my days
With misery, or that she would of late
Have taught ignorant men most violent ways,
Or hurled the little streets upon the great,
Had they but courage equal to desire?
What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this,
Being high and solitary and most stern?
Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?

--William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)


Samuel Taylor Coleridge, is the only other classic poet I like... author of such notables as Kubla Khan, The Second Coming, and Rime of the Ancient Mariner.


"For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise."

--Samuel Taylor Coleridge -- Kubla Khan


"To stand within The Pleasure Dome
Decreed by Kubla Khan
To taste anew the fruits of life
The last immortal man
To find the sacred river Alph
To walk the caves of ice
Oh, I will dine on honey dew
And drink the milk of Paradise"

--Neal Peart, Rush -- Xanadu



Now, I ask you all... What would the world be without poetry?


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posted by ELAshley @ 1:12 AM, , links to this post





Technically Hearsay - Frightening Nonetheless




'Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinijad has been overheard promising the "end of history in two or three years." '
--Former Israeli Military Intelligence chief Aharon Ze'evi


Ze'evi said he foresees this war breaking out on Israel's northern frontier, against Syria and Hezbollah.

The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
--Isaiah 17:1


Hearsay? Yes. To be viewed with a measure of scepticism? Perhaps. Out of the realm of possibility? Absolutely not.


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posted by ELAshley @ 11:40 AM, , links to this post





Never fear being hated

The following commentary is adapted from an address by Rabbi Shmuley to his son Mendy in synagogue on Saturday, May 6, 2006.


Mendy, today is your Bar Mitzvah. As your father, I want to help inspire you on this momentous occasion with words that I hope will stay with you forever.

In your Torah portion, you read God's seminal command, "Be holy, for I the Lord your God am Holy" (Leviticus 19:2).

To be holy is to be set apart. The Sabbath is holy because its restfulness distinguishes it from the work days of the week. The Temple in Jerusalem is holy because its consecrated space is set aside for lofty spiritual pursuits.

If one is to be holy, Mendy, then one must be different.

When all the world was worshipping idols, carved from stone and sculpted from rock, Abraham affirmed the invisible Creator who hid behind the starry night. When all of Egypt enslaved an innocent people, Moses distanced himself from his royal upbringing by striking an Egyptian taskmaster who mercilessly beat a helpless slave.

In so doing, both these men exuded a preparedness to be hated for their righteousness. Abraham would henceforth be called, Avraham Haivri, the man who dared to stand apart. Moses would be forced to flee his native country, only to return and bring the mighty Egyptians to their knees.

What does it mean to be a Jew, Mendy? It is the courage to be different. Benjamin Disraeli, the celebrated British prime minister, expressed that difference in response to an anti-Semitic parliamentarian's derogatory reference to him as a Jew: "Yes, I am a Jew and when the ancestors of the right honorable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon."

You now become a man Mendy, and you have a choice as to what kind of man you will be. Small men want to be loved. But big men are prepared to be hated. Small men tailor their actions to suit the multitude. But big men will do the right thing no matter how much it inflames the masses.

Abraham Lincoln was detested by both South and North as he fought for the highly unpopular cause of emancipation. Winston Churchill was loathed in Britain for speaking out against Chamberlain's fictitious peace with Hitler. And Martin Luther King Jr. was cut down by an assassin's bullet as he pointed out the injustices practiced against black Americans. No great man or woman has ever lived who was not prepared to be hated.

Do not the make the mistake on your Bar Mitzvah, Mendy, as you bask in the adoration of family and community, that popularity is virtuous. On the contrary, as you steel yourself to become a man, prepare yourself to practice justice whatever the consequences.

While the rest of the world will strive to be loved, you strive to be holy. Do what's right even it costs you friendship. Do what's virtuous even if it leaves you lonely. Seek to impress not your fellow man, but none but God alone.

How many Jewish students did I meet in my 11 years at Oxford who were afraid to be different, terrified to stand apart. They would arrive at the university with their yarmulkes and quickly take them off. They weren't just abandoning God, they were betraying themselves, displaying weakness and a desire to be part of the pack.

Remember, Mendy, when we traveled in an RV to Badlands National Park, in South Dakota? There was a terrible storm, and we saw hundreds of cows that herded together, out of fear, under the thundering skies. And that's what most people do, Mendy, as they confront that one great fear in life, that they won't be loved. The herd instinct is a reaction to the fear of being different, of being rejected, of being an outcast. The desire to be loved is so strong that most people are prepared to erase their individuality, obliterate their uniqueness, just in order to be accepted. Abraham Lincoln once remarked that the tragedy of being human is that while all of us are born God's original, most of us die man's imitation and copy.

There are kids prepared to start taking drugs just to win friends. There are teenage girls who are prepared to have sex with boys in the false belief that by delivering their bodies the boy will offer up his heart.

You be different, Mendy. Never look to be loved. Look to be holy. Don't look to be popular. Look to be righteous. Endeavor not to fit in, but to remain you.

The prophet Micah said it best: "What does God require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God." Walk with God, Mendy, even when it forces you to walk without human company. Walk with God even when if feels, as did in Auschwitz, that God Himself has ceased to walk with you.

In my life, I have often made the mistake of thinking that being loved was more important than being holy. I always wanted to do virtuous things with my life, but I wanted to be known for those good things. And in my quest for recognition, I made big mistakes, like believing that Hollywood celebrities would be a proper way to promote Godly values. My need to be loved was too great, the desire for external affirmation too overpowering. I was flattered that famous people admired me.

Now I know that my error was simply to want to be loved rather to be righteous. Had I wanted to be holy, I would never have lent credibility to a rock star who made himself into an idol. Had I wanted to be holy, I would still have written controversial books like "Kosher Sex," to save marriages. But I would have paid greater homage to my detractors, in the knowledge that one learns far more from one's critics than one's fans.

Devote your life, Mendy, to being a Kiddush Hashem, to making God shine. Act compassionately, and you will make God glitter. Greet people with dignity, and you will make God sparkle. Give a homeless man a dollar, and you will make God shimmer. Control your temper, and you will make God glisten.

You have made me proud to be your father. But from today, you become a man. Be a big man, Mendy. Live for the big things that electrify the heavens and causes the earth to quake.

--Rabbi Shmuley Boteach


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posted by ELAshley @ 9:15 PM, , links to this post





Harsh Commentary from Patrick Buchanan

Selected Quotes from...

Whose God may we mock?

If "such lies and errors had been directed at the Quran or the Holocaust," said Archbishop Angelo Amato, the Vatican's secretary for the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, "they would have justly provoked a world uprising..."

In the 1990s, the British novelist Salman Rushdie spent years in hiding after Ayatollah Khomeini issued a "fatwa" calling for his killing for publishing the blasphemous "Satanic Verses." In the 1970s, the film "Muhammad," starring Anthony Quinn, was pulled from many U.S. theaters after bomb threats. The film had offended Muslim faithful by showing the face of Muhammad...

In nine countries of Europe, Holocaust denial is a crime. In the United States, to deny the Holocaust happened or suggest that it has been exaggerated is not a crime, but marks one down as a social leper...

If "The Da Vinci Code" is based upon facts, no other conclusion follows than that to be a Catholic is either to be in on this fraud or to be the dupe of those perpetuating it. But if it is fiction, why would Hollywood put out so viciously anti-Catholic a film that can only have the effect of undermining the faith of millions of Christians?...

Like the "Hitler's Pope" smear of Pius XII, a man who did more than any other to save the Jews in World War II, "The Da Vinci Code" is a Big Lie that, though readily refuted by the facts, will be believed.

But that it will be a box-office smash, that it is the subject of lavish praise in the press, that it is the best-selling novel of the 21st century, tells us we live not just in a post-Christian era, but in an anti-Catholic culture not worth defending or saving, for it is truly satanic.


PERSONAL NOTE:
We needn't worry, of course. Why, you ask? Because we Christians are just overly sensitive... At least that's what the rest of the world says-- it's just a movie, for cying out loud. But we deserve this, you know. Our military has stamped and tramped unwanted throughout the third world, and more; tracking mud from our imperial jackboots through the pristine mansions of despots, tyrants, murderers, and democratically elected leaders, goose-stepping and forcing the world to eat our Big Mac's...

We've brought this on ourselves. We hate Muslims, and love Jews, and to the intellectual elite we are 180 degrees off target. Muslims are peaceful, Jews are war mongers, and Christians! Well, we crusaders aren't any better than Jews. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if one day we're all rounded, shoved into boxcars, and sent to internment camps where hot showers and fresh baked bread await us all. We'll all be re-educated, forced to drink kool-aid, and asked to choose other gods. Buddha? Krishna? Allah? Odin? Cthulhu? Doesn't matter which, so long as it isn't God Almighty. If we refuse? Well, there's always the hot showers and fresh baked bread.

Am I over-reacting? It's just a movie after all.


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posted by ELAshley @ 8:11 PM, , links to this post





Detour, Part 7 - Isaiah 1:18 and the Introduction of Logic




"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

--Isaiah 1:18 - circa 740-680 B.C.


Things which are equal to the same thing are also equal to one another.

Things which coincide with one another are equal to one another.

The whole is greater than the part.

--Axioms 1,4 & 5


There once was a fish that leapt out of it's fish bowl, placed a sombrero upon its head, picked up a nearby Spanish guitar, and began strumming accompaniment to its own rich tenor of a voice warbling-- as only a goldfish can --Mozart's, The Marriage of Figaro. This is enough to label the start of a great story as completely and utterly fictitious, and rightly so; It is, after all, preposterous.

But how about this one: God decides before ever He makes man, that He'll one day take on human flesh, and die a human death, that His pure, untainted blood will make reconciliation possible for every man, woman and child, who will otherwise be condemned to eternal separation from Him in a literal, burning, fiery demense called the Lake of Fire... But only on the condition they accept His free gift with whole heart, and believe that, being God, Death could not hold Him, and so He raised Himself up after 3 days by His own power.

Sound preposterous? Well, if things which are equal to the same thing are also equal to each other, and if things which coincide with one another be equal to one another, then yes, the second statement is also preposterous.

Without looking deeper both statements are false. So let's look deeper.

As to the goldfish--

1) Goldfish cannot live out of water. They have no lungs and therefore cannot breathe air.

2) Even if a Goldfish did leap out of its bowl it could not stand upon the ends of its tail, or place anything upon its head since it has not the mechanisms for grasping and manipulating what is grasped.

3) As the Goldfish could not hold anything in its fin, it certainly couldn't pick up a nearby Guitar-- assumed to be a standard sized guitar because it is Spanish, and therefore made with the assumption that a human would play it.

4) Since the Goldfish could not pick up the guitar in question, it therefore could never strum it.

5) though it has yet to be proven conclusively-- to my knowledge, at least --that Goldfish have vocal chords (and even if they did, without lungs and air passing over said vocal chords) they most certainly cannot sing, let alone speak.

6) And lastly, though it has yet to be proven conclusively-- to my knowledge, at least --it's a safe assumption that Goldfish have no capacity to understand human language, and so could never articulate the words of any portion of Mozart's, The Marriage of Figaro or any other literary work musical or otherwise.

7) Therefore, the first tale is unquestionably false.


As to the second tale:

1) It relies on the assumption that God did indeed inhabit human flesh. This is borne out in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 54:5, Jeremiah 23:6, 33:16, Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:26-35, John 1:1-2,14,291,36, 8:56-58, Acts 20:28, 1 Timothy 3:16, Revelation 1:1-11, 5:12, 19:11-16, 21:5-7, 21:22-23, 22:12-20... To name a few.

2) Relies also on the veracity of God's word. Can God be trusted to tell the truth? See Detour, Part 2 for an indepth look into this aspect of God's nature.

3) Assumes that the blood of God is the only substance capable of washing away the sins of the world.

4) As none of the 3 previous assumptions violates any physical laws-- as with the Goldfish --in respect to God, His nature, or his capacity to perform the miraculous2, one must therefore conclude that the second tale is at least reasonably true.


In Isaiah, chapter one, God pleads with Israel, and attempts to reason with her...

"Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." --Isaiah 1:16-20

And this has always been His focus. To see Israel-- and in a more spiritual sense, all nations through Israel --repent and enjoy the blessings of God. But if being good and learning how to "do well, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, [and] plead for the widow" were enough, what need would man need of sacrifice or blood? Herein is where logic finds its usefulness in interpretation.

Let's indulge in a bit of creation, to establish a set of guides for interpreting and comparing verses of scripture, in respect to their application.

Axioms of Translation:

1-- God cannot lie
2-- The truth of one statement cannot negate the truth of another statement
3-- If the truths two or more verses appear to be contradictory, the verses must be viewed as possessing dissimilar contexts

What this means is: As God cannot lie, if two seemingly similar verses appear to contradict, the context, or underlying meaning of one must differ from the other.

In application: John 10:28-30, Luke 9:62, Mark 4:3-9, 14-20

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.... The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.


In John 10:28-30, Jesus claims that those to whom He gives eternal life shall never perish, that no one can pluck them from the Father's hand, and therefore no one can pluck them from His [Jesus'] hand3.

But with Luke 9:62 Jesus says those who turn back after having began their walk with Him, they are unfit for the Kingdom of God.

Many Christians take Luke 9:62 to mean that Salvation, once given, can be lost should one turn away from God. But to believe this is to negate what was stated in John 10:28-30. Since it is an absolute truth that once one is the recipient of eternal life through Christ Jesus that one cannot be plucked from the fathers hand by anyone, then Luke 9:62 must have a different context.

That context is offered in Mark 4:3-9, 14-20. Some never see the germination of God's word in their hearts because Satan has stolen the word. Some see germination occur but because they lack root, the word quickly dies in them. Still others are choked by their love of the world and all the things in it. Only a few ever see the word of God prosper in their hearts and grow and bring forth fruit. Quite simply, those who turn back, and therefore being unfit for the kingdom of God, must never have seen the word of God take genuine root in their hearts to begin with, and are therefore not in possession of eternal life at all.

Many will argue this point, but the fact remains... God cannot lie. So if a man confesses faith in God, His son Jesus, and the fact that God raised Him from the dead4, and in short order turns away from God, living a Godless life, and like a dog, returns to his vomit5, THAT man must examine the truth of his conversion or risk dying-- as all men must --and discovering too late that he was never a child of God. God's word does not return void. It always accomplishes its purpose: To either save the hearer from the sure punishment of Hell, or to judge him on the last day. Our heartfelt decisions determine the return.

Some verses appear to build upon each other, adding more layers of complexity, but unless God's word states specifically that these verses are in addition to the first, the scope and breadth of the first verse [or point of doctrine] is unchanged, and any requirements demanded by these later verses, while related, should be viewed as being more illuminating, but not more taxing.

Example: Is water baptism a requirement for entry into heaven?

Romans 10:9 states that one must only confess with the mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in the heart that God has raised him from the dead to be saved.

So, to be saved one must...

1-- Make verbal confession of who Jesus is. He is Lord of lords and King of kings6
2-- Hold to the heartfelt belief that He has been raised from the dead

...And that's all.

Water Baptism therefore is above and beyond, but not in addition to, Romans 10:9...

1-- Confession is made, inwardly, silently, privately, openly, publicly, etc.
2-- Equal partner to this confession is the firm belief that Jesus has been raised from the dead
3-- Water Baptism is then a public confession of the aforementioned inward confession, as well as the public acceptance of fellowship into the worldwide body of believers-- The Bride of Christ.

All believers SHOULD be baptized, which is symbolic of the new birth (full immersion is implied here), but baptism is not always feasible, as in deathbed confessions. As to requirements for Baptism, there is only one, as demonstrated by Phillip with the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:36-37...

"And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."

Belief is the only requirement. Why? How else can one be saved without belief, as in Romans 10:9?

I could go on and on but the point is made. God has not made this thing called 'Salvation' burdensome or difficult. It is easily understood by the simplest of men by the exercising of just a little logic and common sense.


----
1 "Taketh away the sin of the world": As opposed to simply covering, "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins." Hebrews 10:4. The penalty of sin is death, and as life is in blood, Leviticus 17:11, blood is the requirement for the covering of sin.
2 Miraculous-- Defined as an occurrence beyond human understanding and capability.
3 "I and my father are one" --verse 30, John 10
4 Romans 10:9
5 Proverbs 26:11
6 1 Timothy 6:15, Revelation 17:14, Revelation 19:16

---------

Next:
Interlude No. 2

Previously:
Detour, Part 6 - Types and Antitypes
Detour, Part 5 - Jesus of Nazareth and Statistical Improbabilities
In Preparation for Detour, Part 5 - Exhibit B
In Preparation for Detour, Part 5 - Exhibit A
Detour, Part 4 - Comparing Translations to Established Christian Doctrines
Interlude No.1
Detour, Part 3 - Manuscripts, Translations, and "Why the KJV?"
Detour, Part 2 - The Nature and Limits of God... and why this is important
Detour, Parenthetical - "What Will Shortly Follow"
Detour, Part 1 - "Preamble"
Warning: Detour Ahead


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posted by ELAshley @ 9:45 AM, , links to this post





In Opposition V

A
Genuine Christians do not wish that anyone die and go directly to Hell. A genuine Christian takes to heart the parable that begins at Luke 14:16...

[16]Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: [17]And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. [18] And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. [19]And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. [20]And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. [21]So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. [22]And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. [23]And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. [24]For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.


B
Genuine Muslims wish all unbelievers, especially Jews, a swift descent to Hell.

Abu Nasser, a senior leader of the Al Aqsa Brigades in the West Bank, rejoiced in [Daniel] Wultz's death... "This is a gift from Allah. We wish this young dog will go directly with no transit to hell," [he] said.

C
There is only one God, yet two struggle one against the other. The God of Israel-- and Christianity --is diametrically opposed to the god of Islam. One of the two, therefore, is false a false god, whose false religion has it's foundation planted in hell... And Satan himself is its god.

Just to be clear... Satan in not God's opposite. God has no opposite.


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:10 PM, , links to this post





Evidences of Snow?

Are we already seeing evidence of Tony's new position, and his 'expanded' role and input? Is the President's speech tomorrow night [remember to reset VCR. "24" will air immediately after the Bush address] evidence of Snow in the White House?

At least I don't have to choose between two equally-riveting program events tomorrow night.*



*Expressed without a single ounce of sarcasm


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posted by ELAshley @ 12:09 PM, , links to this post





More on Flannery O'Connor's Misfit




The Misfit

Modern film has nothing on Flannery O’Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find, though it isn’t hard to imagine Robert De Niro as The Misfit playing against Jessica Tandy as the Grandmother. While both are strong characters, it's The Misfit that makes the show. His compulsion to inflict mayhem on a world that has failed him is the least of his sociopathic tendencies. To the utter depths of his soul he is a monster. Throughout his short appearance in the story, he exerts a god-like power over life and death, with commission to dispense it.

Like Abraham who pled with the Angel of the Lord to spare Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of a single righteous man, The Misfit sees himself as a man whose task it is to find, in his own time, a good and worthy man. But unlike Abraham, he is not content to allow God the decision, and feels no compunction in pulling the trigger himself should a victim find himself unworthy of the life he owns. In fact, he feels it his duty. That he’s a cold-blooded killer, O’Connor iterates from the outset, and while his crimes aren’t spelled out, they are certainly implied. But his crimes are secondary to their motivation. Like Diogenes with his lamp, The Misfit is also searching through a dark world for a patch of light, hoping to see for himself what Jesus saw in mankind. When Jesus raised the dead, The Misfit explains, "He thown everything off balance." For when a man dies, he is supposed to remain dead. And this is the Crux Grammata of The Misfit’s whole existence: to find a man so good that Jesus would raise him from the dead. The Misfit, therefore, is become the antithesis of Christ, a dark messiah to challenge the messiah of Light. "Here's one!" He seems to shout heavenward, having planted three nails in the grandmother’s heart. "Is this one good enough?" And because he gets no answer, he continues on, wishing all the while that he understood what Christ had done. "I wisht I had been there." He says. "It ain’t right I wasn’t there, because if I had been there I would of known and I wouldn’t be like I am now." The Misfit feels he’s been denied his right as messiah-- despite his black countenance --to have been present at Lazarus’ resurrection. It was his right to ask Jesus, "Why?" And having been denied this right, Jesus is therefore responsible for The Misfit’s present state.

But O’Connor’s Misfit is also on a quest for perfection, in both life and death, measuring the world, circumstance, and humanity against the unstained perfection of the Madonna-figure of his own dear mother. The Misfit expected better from the grandmother. Without a doubt, he finds her the sole cause of her family’s destruction. He dealt with her patiently, hoping to see some redeeming quality in her. But she wasn’t good enough. Who could measure up to the standard of The Misfit’s mother? God never made a finer woman. Of his only personal victim in the story, he says, "She would have been a good woman, if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life." Some people never learn anything of humility, and it didn't take long for The Misfit to recognize the lack of it in the grandmother. It was pride that killed her and her family, that and her inability to let sleeping dogs lie. It is quite probable she and her family might have survived their encounter with The Misfit and his gang of cutthroats, had she simply kept her mouth shut. "You’re The Misfit!" she said. "I recognized you at once." And he is both pleased and dismayed at being known.

Underlying everything is a well-honed sense of self-preservation, precariously balanced by a desire to preserve life, rather than take it. It is his statement to the grandmother that is most telling, "...it would have been better for all of you, lady, if you hadn’t of reckernized me." He doesn't want to kill. "I would hate to have to," he says. But with a word to his disciples, her family is led off in groups and murdered. It is too late for them. Surely he can't be as bad as people have made him out to be. There's good stock in him. He comes from good people. Why, he was one of her own babies, one of her own children....

Bang! Bang!! Bang!!!

And there she lay, nailed to the cross of her own presumption. How dare she compare herself to the purity of his holy mother? How dare she stain a good woman’s memory? It is his sense of preservation that drives him to murder her-- the preservation of blessed memory --for a woman who hasn’t enough sense to keep her mouth shut in the face of a known killer, is too much of a liability. Jesus won't raise this one. She isn’t good enough. And the secret of his whereabouts is safe.

It is the world’s turn to be judged, and it’s The Misfit’s sole purpose. He is both angel and devil, both humble and righteous, and no one is above his law. Even innocence isn’t safe within The Misfit’s sphere of influence. His own daddy’s heart was pure gold, and if God wouldn't raise him from the dead, is anyone worthy?


ELAshley
April 11, 2001


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posted by ELAshley @ 11:57 PM, , links to this post





...And Speaking of Constructs*

The Deconstruction of Paper Houses

A man builds a house. He imbues it with life, and pride, and like its builder, it too is doomed to die. All things pass. But houses seem to resent this fact, more so than their builders. Edgar Allen Poe, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Flannery O'Connor have each written of this phenomenon: houses that absorb sickness and resent the deaths that chase them down the long years. One is a house entire, bent on the destruction of a family line. The next is an upper room, like a lump of tumor spreading its disease, and driving its prisoner insane. The last is a house of clay-- of flesh --brimming with hatred, and a desire to destroy anyone unworthy of the life they own. Each house was designed to destroy, and each imbued by its author with desire, and power enough to its purpose, yet their methods, as well as the forms they were given, are worlds apart.

In The Fall of the House of Usher, Mr. Poe describes a house so filled with bitterness over its neglect, that it actively pursues the deaths of Roderick and Madeline, the last of the Usher's. It is Roderick, more so than Madeline, who has allowed the tarn to grow and fester, thereby sealing the house's doom. It is sinking into stagnation, bereft of its previous glory, and it wears its wounds visibly. Ushers visitor sees the "barely perceptible fissure which [runs] from the roof of the building in front…to the sullen waters of the tarn." The very sight of the house so worked upon its visitor’s imagination, as to allow him a glimpse of its pain and the atmosphere that surrounded it-- the reek of decaying trees, the gray wall and the pestilence of the tarn itself.

The sickness that afflicts the house of Usher afflicts the House of Usher as well-- Madeline more so than Roderick. The house has poured out its sickness, and tied its fate to the thread that ties Madeline to the land of the living, and Roderick’s life is connected to Madeline’s. This theme is borne out with Poe’s conclusion. It is impossible that Roderick should survive his sister. Her false death and premature burial is seen not only in the house’s state and condition, but in the hysteria that encompasses Roderick. He knows he has buried her alive, that she has only "succumbed to the prostrating power of the destroyer" yet again. And it’s this same power that kills him dead, "borne to the floor a corpse". And with its task fulfilled the house of Usher crumbles and sinks into "the sullen waters of the tarn." Gilman’s upper room is less brutal but no less insidious in its desire to destroy, and O’Connor’s Misfit is entirely indiscriminate.

The Yellow Wallpaper’s upper room, however, is not consigned to the desolation of a specific family. It’s not as powerful as Poe's house of Usher, or as conscious of its purpose as O'Connor's Misfit. Whereas Poe’s construct worked its task by weakening the spirits of its occupants, Charlotte Gilman’s upper room required a victim already weakened; whose mind was already primed for the room’s garish and insidious wallpaper. While the entire of Poe’s construct was diseased and neglected, this house is subtler in its destruction. The house itself is beautiful-- only the upper room has anything of madness in it. It is the carcass of a dead dog on a fresh cut lawn, and only the room's prisoner can see or sense it.

Prolonged exposure to its corrosive interior wouldn’t lend this impression to just anyone however, this room preys on the sick. The prisoner, a new mother suffering from postpartum depression, or something much deeper, cannot escape the upper room. She is given nothing to do but watch the patterns and shapes within the wallpaper coalesce and separate themselves from the confusing pattern. In time she begins to see the ghosts of women-- perhaps those that have come before her --creeping along the baseboards, and in time sees herself in the pattern. In this, the upper room offers the narrator an escape, by showing her what’s in store for her if she stays. But rather than simply refusing to be confined in the room any longer, she chooses to strip the wallpaper from the walls in an attempt to free herself. "I've got out at last," [she says in the end], "...and I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back in." The upper room had fulfilled its purpose at last. One cancerous cell within the body of the house, reeking of insanity, has passed its madness on to another. Like the house of Usher, its capacity for destruction is now gone, collapsed in tattered strips of "unclean yellow" and "lurid orange". But Flannery O’Connor’s monster is not so easily laid to rest.

The Misfit-- the house that society built --seeks the how and why of his being, more than the death of innocents. But fictional characters being what they are-- constructs of ink and page, and controlled by the pen that shapes them --must fulfill their author’s purpose, and Flannery O'Connor has shaped The Misfit for murder. A Good Man Is Hard To Find is not the story of a traditional house, as are Poe and Gilman's constructs, but its form embodies the soul of a destroyer nonetheless. The first two houses are forced to await their deaths, hoping age, neglect, or natural disaster might quicken the process. The Misfit, however, isn't content to wait. He is hunted, and his demise actively pursued by outside forces. And so he fights back, hoping to preserve himself long enough to find his answers, perhaps shaking a fist at his creator and screaming, "Why have you made me this way!" But the author is strangely silent as to why The Misfit is as he is.

The house of Usher and the upper room have no such luxury of voice. The groanings of a house crumbling, and a skulking phantasm within the two-dimensional confines of a room’s wallpaper are all the voice they have. For these two houses the task of destruction is easier, in that their victims are unsuspecting to the very end. Also, while the first two houses are capable of nothing more than the powers penned into their construction-- houses behaving as houses, rooms as rooms --The Misfit does not require its victims to come to him; he is quite capable of hunting them out-- flesh behaving as flesh. If The Misfit could be said to identify with anyone in these three stories it would be that of Madeline Usher. "I was buried alive," he says, buried in the confines of a cell, and clawing his way out, much like she had done. But The Misfit is not content to die upon gaining his freedom, so he runs, trying to escape the corner O’Connor has penned him into. Seeing he cannot escape her, he gives in to the compulsion penned into his construction; resigned to murder, yet fleeing his own demise.

Stephen King once asked in his novel, Salem’s Lot, whether a house might absorb the things that were done within its walls. Could a house, in time, become evil, if evil filled its rooms? Poe, Gilman, and O’Connor all seem to think so, as evidenced by their constructs. As to why houses become what they do, it’s impossible to know with any certainty, but it’s clear, whether one cares to admit it or not, that some houses give off feelings of foreboding, and some radiate peace. A house’s construction does not stop with the last daub of paint or the final picture hung... The things one chooses with which to fill its rooms continually shapes it-- be it love, indifference, or murder.


ELAshley
May 6, 2006


----

*"...But Jesus was neither Liberal nor Conservative; which are merely constructs of fallen man."


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posted by ELAshley @ 11:38 PM, , links to this post





I Think I'll Write a Book & Call It....




"Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them:
A Fair and Balanced Look at the Left"


What a bunch of Hypocrites you guys are!!!


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:23 PM, , links to this post





Look in the Mirror, boys! Can you say, "Hypocrisy?"




Clinton NSA Eavesdropped on U.S. Calls

During the 1990's under President Clinton, the National Security Agency monitored millions of private phone calls placed by U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries under a super secret program code-named Echelon.

On Friday, the New York Times suggested that the Bush administration has instituted "a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices" when it "secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without [obtaining] court-approved warrants."

But in fact, the NSA had been monitoring private domestic telephone conversations on a much larger scale throughout the 1990s - all of it done without a court order, let alone a catalyst like the 9/11 attacks.

In February 2000, for instance, CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft introduced a report on the Clinton-era spy program by noting:

"If you made a phone call today or sent an e-mail to a friend, there's a good chance what you said or wrote was captured and screened by the country's largest intelligence agency. The top-secret Global Surveillance Network is called Echelon, and it's run by the National Security Agency."

NSA computers, said Kroft, "capture virtually every electronic conversation around the world."

Echelon expert Mike Frost, who spent 20 years as a spy for the Canadian equivalent of the National Security Agency, told "60 Minutes" that the agency was monitoring "everything from data transfers to cell phones to portable phones to baby monitors to ATMs."

Mr. Frost detailed activities at one unidentified NSA installation, telling "60 Minutes" that agency operators "can listen in to just about anything" - while Echelon computers screen phone calls for key words that might indicate a terrorist threat.

The "60 Minutes" report also spotlighted Echelon critic, then-Rep. Bob Barr, who complained that the project as it was being implemented under Clinton "engages in the interception of literally millions of communications involving United States citizens."

[...]

Still, the Times repeatedly insisted on Friday that NSA surveillance under Bush had been unprecedented, at one point citing anonymously an alleged former national security official who claimed: "This is really a sea change. It's almost a mainstay of this country that the NSA only does foreign searches."


NewsMax
Sunday, Dec. 18, 2005



Oh!!! I forgot! NewsMax is just another "poorly sourced" right-wing news outlet just like WorldNetDaily, and so, not to be trusted! Boy! LOL!You guys really told me!

Har Har!!!



UPDATE: Sunday, May 14 -- 12:20pm

TuboatCapn has also seen the light


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:08 PM, , links to this post





Repeating My Comments at ER's Place...




Rage!?

That's all I see here.... Rage, and foaming at the mouth.

"The country's going to hell in a handbasket!" "Bush is destoying our civil liberties!" "He's a lawbreaker!" "An oathbreaker!" "Impeach the man!" "He's making a list!" "Checking it twice!" "Trying to find out hoo's notty and nice!" "And we're not gonna stand for it!!!!"

Good Grief!

I'm tired of hearing Dem's accuse Repub's for buying into the lies and distortions foisted on the American public by the administration, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc. et al.... and for generally being nothing more than harpies and lickspittles for the corrupt Republican congress and Republican administration.....

I'll say it again... Good Grief!!! Look in the mirror boys! It's exactly the same on your side of the political fence. I see nothing but ill-tempered harpies, and foul mouthed lickspittles with lips firmly planted on the butts of such buffoons as Olbermann, Matthews, CNN, Pelosi, and the hideously droll and morose Reid! What a bunch of liars the Democratic party is! Oh, the depths to which they have sunk!!!!!

Does anyone realize that the USA today piece was not even a new story?!? The New York Times first told the world about this on Dec 24, 2005. This WAS a timed re-hashed hatchet-job drummed up by the Left for the very purpose of casting doubt on the confirmation of Mr. Hayden.

Democrats and the press, under the hypocritical and disingenuous auspices of "serving the publics' best interests" have, since the beginning of this current administrations tenure, sought to bring down George W. Bush. It's Tit for Tat. We did it to your man Clinton and by god it's your turn to do it to our guy George. Well go for it! Drag us all into the toilet while you're at it! Praise the leakers of national security! Heap Pulitzer's on them! Stand them up as model Americans! -- while glossing over the whole treason thing... They're nothing but hypocrites... everyone of them!

I am sick to death of politics, and I am sick to death of idiots who parrot everything coming out of the mouths of their favored false-RhetOrators.

Want to know what's really killing this country? It's people like us, bitching about the other side for no other HONEST reason than because we hate the other side! Deny it if you wish, I'm tired of it all. And right now? I just don't care anymore.

But therein lies my problem... I can't stop caring! Who else besides me, and others like me, will defend the truth? Certainly not the hypocritical Left!!

Ahhh, don't bother!!! I see the mirror! Why can't you ?!?!?!


UPDATE: Erudite Redneck's response can be read here... It's not at all what I expected, and for that I am grateful.


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posted by ELAshley @ 10:03 PM, , links to this post





More Uranium Reportedly Found in Iran

May 12, 2006
By George Jahn

VIENNA, Austria (AP) - The U.N. atomic agency has found traces of highly enriched uranium at an Iranian site linked to the country's defense ministry, diplomats said Friday. The finding added to concerns that Tehran was hiding activities that could be used to make nuclear arms.

The diplomats, who demanded anonymity in exchange for revealing the confidential information, said the findings were preliminary and still had to be confirmed through other lab tests. But they said the density of enrichment appeared close to or beyond weapons grade - the level used to make nuclear warheads.


Scary stuff. And American politicians spend all their time doing what? Fighting amongst themselves? God help us all!


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posted by ELAshley @ 4:24 PM, , links to this post





Saint Oprah? Is this what the country has come to?

"The guest is sitting beside her, but what she's really doing is exuding this powerful message of 'You are a sinner, yes, you are, but you can also find salvation.' What I find intriguing about it is it's delivered with no religiosity at all, even though it has a powerful Baptist, democratic, enthusiastic tone...

It has to do with this deep American faith and yearning to be reborn. To start again."


--Jim Twitchell, Professor at the University of Florida
Self-described cultural anthropologist


I'm commenting on this for a couple of reasons. First, the station I work at airs Oprah every weekday at 4. And it is my belief that just as it is not good for children under 3 to watch television of any kind, it is not good for adults and/or free thinking people to watch too much Oprah. Sadly, I watch too much Oprah.

Secondly, Oprah has become very iconic, and has been lifted up far too high as media's defacto Paragon of "acceptable" Virtue. She may have been brought up in church as a wee lass, but she has strayed so far afield (as do the comments on any given post here at PFoM's) as to make her spiritual beliefs completely unrecognizable, as far as Christianity is concerned.

But don't let that last statement cause to you get all goggle-eyed with apoplectic incredulity... Oprah does a lot of good, and the rest of the world would do well to emulate her generosity. I simply believe far too many people wait with baited breath each afternoon for the next pearl of wisdom that slips past her lips.

From the Article:

"I live inside God's dream for me. I don't try to tell God what I'm supposed to do... God can dream a bigger dream for you than you can dream for yourself."
--Oprah Winfrey

"I think that if this were the equivalent of the Middle Ages and we were to fast-forward 1,200 years, scholars would definitely think that this Oprah person was a deity, if not a canonized being."
--Blogger Claire Zulkey

"I've said to a number of people — she's today's Billy Graham.... People who have no religion relate to her."
--Marcia Nelson
Author of "The Gospel According to Oprah"

"Our culture is changing, as churches are in decline and the bulk of a new generation is growing up outside of religion"
--Chris Altrock, Minister
Highland Street Church of Christ, Memphis
On the phenominon he refers to as, "The Church of Oprah"


If Oprah is a Christian you wouldn't know it by her speech. Her deeds perhaps, but not her speech. And last time I checked, good deeds don't earn anyone a pass to the penthouse. But it's not my place to question her position in regard to her status eternal. The Bible does say to "try the spirits and see if they be of God." And judging strictly by her public life she's certainly better than most, but again, that doesn't buy her any favors.

Listen to someone long enough, and you'll hear everything that person believes about faith, and God. So far, I haven't heard enough to say I'll be seeing her on the other side.

So I'm adding her to my prayer list.


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posted by ELAshley @ 3:25 PM, , links to this post





Detour, Part 6 - Types and Antitypes

When Eve tempted Adam to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and he discovered their nakedness-- and please note that Eve was seemingly unaware of her nakedness until Adam ate of the fruit --their date with death was set. They were already dead spiritually, but physical death would be centuries in the making down a long and dusty road.

God, aware of what had happened, called out to Adam asking where he was. Of course God knew where Adam was, but it was necessary that Adam acknowledge and confess to God of where he was, and why he was hiding. Adam says, "I was naked, and hid myself."

"Who told thee that thou wast naked?" God asked. "Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?"

The answer of course was yes. Adam had failed God's test, even as God knew he would. It was all part of the plan.

Hal Lindsey in his 1972 book "Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth" posited the following theory...

Being an angelic being... the "anointed cherub that covereth..," Satan can neither repent, nor be forgiven. Neither will the third of the angelic host who went to Lucifer's side be forgiven. Perhaps to the remaining two-thirds who kept their place this seemed entirely unjust of a God who claimed He was both loving and merciful. Lindsey postulates that God said something like, "I will prove to you how loving and merciful I am," then proceeded to create man in His own image, knowing full well that man would sin. Knowing full well that it would take the blood of God Himself to redeem fallen man. The angels no more knew the exact details of God's plan in regard to mankind than do we, though it is certainly fair to say they do know more, for the Bible says they watch and study the goings-on of men, and they rejoice when a sinner repents and accepts God's sacrifice. This is how He proves He is a loving and merciful God.

But back to the Garden. The first thing God does is hand out judgements-- First the serpent, then Eve, Adam, and finally the Earth. And to the woman He pronounces the very first prophetic statement... "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."

God then preceeds to reveal the method by which Adam and his descendants must obtain forgiveness of sin. But it is an imperfect method, for the blood of lambs and bulls only covers sin, it does not take them away-- This is done to show fallen man the magnitude of his affront to God's law.

God then fashions coverings made from the skins of animals. Does Adam and Eve watch as God kills the animals? Are they taken aback by the spectacle of death and blood? Do they now recognize the gravity of their sin?

This is what is commonly referred to as a Type. It is an act that foreshadows a corresponding act sometime in the distant future... An Antitype.

The knowledge that an innocent animal must lose its life to cover their sin debt must have been a real shocker to Adam and Eve. Corn, Grains, Fruit... these are not sufficient to cover sin, as Cain soon discovers. Innocent blood must be shed to satisfy the requirement set by God.

But one day, as He promised Eve, one would come who would take away their sin.

Now let's leap ahead almost two-thousand years, to Abraham. God made Abraham a promise, that Abraham would be the father of a great and numerous nation. In order for this to happen Abraham would need to get Sarah with child, and as Sarah was an old woman, Abraham felt his prospects were not particularly good; hence the whole Hagar, and Ishmael episode. But in time God proved His faithfulness and Sarah gave birth to Isaac.

Thanks to films and children's picture books most people see Isaac as a small boy on the day God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son. But nowhere in the Genesis story is a small boy depicted. The King James uses the word "lad" which can mean anything between 6-16. This alone isn't enough to place Isaacs exact age-- we'll never know that this side of Heaven --but Isaac's questions reveal much about his age...

"Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"
This alone says Isaac was in possession of enough age and reason to recognize and ask questions about the ceremony of animal sacrifice. The fact that Isaac was made to carry the wood for the burnt offing shows he wasn't a small child, incapable of anything other than a small burden.

So what is Abraham's response? Again in the King James...

"My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering."
Now, some will accuse me of reading into the text what I want it to read, but that doesn't change what's there... that God will provide HIMSELF as lamb. How could God possibly provide Himself-- His own physical presense --as a sacrifice?

Herein is another Type. One that has it's fulfillment many hundreds of years into the future. One that all the prophets looked forward to... the Messiah. Jesus of Nazareth, called the Christ in the Greek language.

Let's compare:

[Gen 22:2]
"Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."
It's interesting to note that the mountains of Moriah is where Jerusalem would later stand. And where the Temple of God would be built and animal sacrifice would be performed.

To: [John 3:16]
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Consider also: [1 Tim 3:16]
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh..."
God came to earth in mortal flesh for the purpose of sacrificing Himself for all of mankind.

[Gen 22:6] to [John 19:17]
"And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son..."

"And [Jesus] bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha..."


The point is this... As Issac carried the wood for his sacrifice, Jesus carried the the wood of His sacrifice, the cross. As Isaac consented to being bound for sacrifice, and being laid upon the altar, Jesus also went consenting to the altar of His sacrifice. As the rams horns were caught in a thicket, Jesus head was wreathed in thorns.

God doesn't do anything capriciously, without reason, or without purpose. All these things were done so as to provide an example, a glimpse into the ultimate sacrifice of God... His blood... for men.

Let's compare Joseph to Jesus... As Joseph was sold by his brethren for 20 pieces of silver, Jesus was sold by His brethren for 30. Though Joseph's brothers meant evil to their brother by selling Joseph and telling their father he was killed, their evil eventually saved them all from the famine that covered the known world. So in like manner the pharisees and the mobs that cried out for Barabbas rather than Jesus, though they meant their actions for evil, by the death of Jesus all men might now be saved from the penalty of their sin.

Here's a rather lengthy illustration of the similarities between Joseph and Jesus.

There are Types throughout the Old Testament that point to New Testament Anti-Types. The entire Bible is suffused with them, you can hardly read a chapter in the Old that doesn't relate to the New is some way, and vice versa.

Can the same be said for the Qur'an?




Next:
Detour, Part 7 - Isaiah 1:18 and the Introduction of Logic

Previously:
Detour, Part 5 - Jesus of Nazareth and Statistical Improbabilities
In Preparation for Detour, Part 5 - Exhibit B
In Preparation for Detour, Part 5 - Exhibit A
Detour, Part 4 - Comparing Translations to Established Christian Doctrines
Interlude No.1
Detour, Part 3 - Manuscripts, Translations, and "Why the KJV?"
Detour, Part 2 - The Nature and Limits of God... and why this is important
Detour, Parenthetical - "What Will Shortly Follow"
Detour, Part 1 - "Preamble"
Warning: Detour Ahead


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posted by ELAshley @ 5:22 PM, , links to this post