Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Stonehenge History

12 Mar

When we went to England, one of the highlights was seeing Stonehenge. I am completely fascinated by the different theories for how Stonehenge came to be and what purpose it served. Now there is a new study showing there was another stone circle in that same spot, before the current Stonehenge was built.

It looks like that stone circle marked a graveyard, as researchers have found cremated human remains from family groups that pre-date Stonehenge at spots they believe were marked by bluestones.

Was the graveyard the reason Stonehenge was built on that particular site? Or is there something more?

The Pope is Stepping Down

13 Feb

When I heard the news on Monday, I was surprised, but kind of happy. When I got home that night, I asked C- “Did you see the Nazi is retiring?” I know I just alienated a number of readers with that comment, but it really is how I have viewed the man.

I am not religious. I do, however, recognize the power of the Pope, and while we are pretty much guaranteed to end up with another old white guy who hates women and gays, maybe we can at least get one who was not part of the Hitler Youth.

Mrs. Jesus?

20 Sep

As a follow up to yesterday’s post about a possible wife of Christ, the publicity blitz has unsurprisingly brought a large number of people out against it. Some say it’s a fake or forgery (I’m not certain how many of them have actually seen the fragment or just pictures). Others want to avoid the authenticity question by saying that without a detailed record of where it came from, academics should ignore it, regardless of how interesting a “find” it may be. And the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities simply concludes it can’t be real, as they’ve never heard of it before.

Mrs. Jesus

19 Sep

I find this piece if papyrus in which Jesus begins a statement “My wife…” fascinating. And while I believe this might be the closest to original source material we have, I don’t believe this is the first reference to Jesus having a wife in the historical literature. Why? Because Dan Brown wrote a best seller about it.

Dan Brown didn’t create the theory. He used the research in the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail. But those authors didn’t create the theory, either. They just researched it more fully than anyone previously.

Not a new theory, just a new puzzle piece.

The Shroud

05 Apr

How is this for a theory: the Shroud of Turin is authentic. It is Jesus’s actual burial shroud. However, Jesus was not resurrected, but seeing the image on the shroud, created by the natural process of the body decomposing creating a vaporograph, is what inspired the disciples to believe that he was risen.

Doesn’t that sound like a great way to piss off both the believers and the non-believers at the same time? I love it. I even like it and understand both the science and anthropology of it as an actual theory (though I’m not certain I believe it).

Daughter’s are not Crimes

30 Jan

Living in the United States sometimes serves to insulate us against what happens in the rest of the world. We think that because of the internet and other modern conveniences that the rest of the world must be like us, think like us. And it’s not true. We need to be reminded about universal human rights, and that there are people in this world who do not enjoy them.

In Afghanistan, a man and his mother strangled his wife to death. Her crime? Giving birth to a third daughter instead of a son. Wasn’t that Ann Boleyn’s crime in 1533?

RIP Christopher Hitchens

16 Dec

Christopher Hitchens has passed away. He found out not that long ago that he had late stage, aggressive cancer. He kept writing up until the end.

As a devout atheist, Hitch never asked for prayers or a miracle beyond what modern medicine could give him. He was often more extreme in his anti-religion vehemence than I am, but he was a clear voice, a strong one, for those of us who do not believe.

And he’s proof you don’t need an immortal soul to live past your death. His writing will keep him with us for a very long time.

Extinct: Western Black Rhino of Africa

12 Nov

This makes me sad. I know that animals went extinct before humans even existed, and more went extinct in the years that we were hunter/gatherers, but now, when we have the ways and means to saving them, it seems like a greater tragedy.

And when I find out that the last of a species was killed solely for its horn- not for meat, not for survival, but for a luxury product –that makes me mad.

Whether you believe we were granted dominion over the earth or not, I believe we have a responsibility toward the creatures we share it with.

I’ll still be here after the rapture

14 May

There is a belief among some that one week from today, the rapture will occur. This might cause a dilemma if you are a devout Christian and animal lover who worries that your pets might not have a soul (and therefore won’t be taken with you).

Never fear, atheists are willing to come to the rescue. There are at least two different services who, for a fee, are willing to promise you that one of their network of non-Christian volunteers will come and get your pet, promising that it will be taken care of for the rest of its life.

We Have a Right to Free Speech, Even When We Don’t Want to Hear it

03 Mar

I hate the Westboro Baptist Church, and all it stands for, but the Supreme Court made the right decision, in their ruling that the church can not be sued for protesting outside military funerals.

No matter how much I dislike what you’re saying, our soldiers are fighting and dying for your right to say it. And while I think you’re discrediting their sacrifice through these protests, I think it would be even more greatly discredited if we took that right away.

This was as close to no win situation as the court gets. I think they went the right way.

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