Holy Shroud – Holy Fake? What Do You Believe?

Holy Shroud - Holy Fake? Headerby Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.

Tis the season we celebrate the Spring Equinox. Of course thanks to the Catholic Church, most people call it Easter. In point of fact the Spring Equinox occurred on March the 20th, but hey! We’re close enough.

Easter is the celebration – helluva thing to celebrate – of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Good Friday” marks his death and “Easter Sunday” marks his resurrection. Each year preachers compete to tell the story in new and more profound ways. I’m not going to compete with them, but I will point out a few rather glaring problems with the entire account.

Problems With The Crucifixion Story

The first glaring problem is the actual historical reason Jesus was supposed to have been crucified. That form of capital punishment was generally reserved for the really bad actors. According to Biblical accounts, Jesus wouldn’t qualify for crucifixion by a long shot. He certainly hadn’t murdered anyone. He had not led or been involved in a revolt against Rome. If they merely wanted to kill a Jew, there certainly was no need to go to the expense – nails were expensive – of building a cross and tacking him up. They could just as easily have run him through with a sword and been done with it.

Holy Shroud - Holy Fake? CrucifixionWhat we do know according to the Bible is that above his head, they hung a sign which read, “King Of The Jews.” The whole point of crucifixion was that it be an extremely effective form of societal control. You walked by, looked up and read the offense the person had committed and immediately became convinced that you probably wanted to avoid repeating whatever that poor soul had done. This is why when a person was crucified, they remained on the cross until they started to rot. The smell was also part of the process. It served to get your attention.

If being or claiming to be the “King of the Jews” was a capital offense, shouldn’t King Herod have been tacked up beside Jesus? After all, he actually was the “King of the Jews.” If Rome had a problem with there being a “King of the Jews,” Herod would have been crucified long before Jesus.

Then there’s the problem of Jesus being removed from the cross on the same day he died. Remember what the whole point of the exercise was. Crucifixion was not a trivial form of execution. Once the Romans went to the trouble to tack you up… you stayed there. Thus, the story is rather suspect to say the least.

Of course, this brings us to the whole “3 days and 3 nights” prophecy. If Jesus was indeed crucified and buried on “Good Friday” and resurrected “Easter Sunday Morning,” You have a very difficult time getting 3 days and 3 nights out of that time span. You’ll find these and other Biblical errors explored in my article, “Biblical Errors – Why The Bible Is Not God’s Word.”

Holy Shroud – Holy Fake?

Your first clue as to the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin is that the Catholic Church refuses to declare it as authentic. Given all the other – sometimes questionable – miracles they’ve documented, the fact they’re not willing to declare the Shroud of Turin the authentic burial shroud of Jesus should tell you something.

Holy Shroud - Holy Fake? Antipope Clement VII

Antipope Clement VII

This might have something to do with the fact, when it first made it’s official appearance in Lirey, France in 1390, Bishop Pierre d’Arcis wrote a memorandum to Antipope Clement VII, stating that the shroud was a forgery and that the artist had confessed. Thus from its very inception, it was found to be a forgery. They discovered the artist who created it and he confessed to having done it. Ordinarily this would be enough and we could close the books on this matter. If only it were that simple… Once faith and belief get involved, the human propensity for ignoring facts in an effort to alter reality to fit their faith can be overwhelmingly powerful. Of course it doesn’t hurt any, that you can make a lot of money putting it on display.

Science Weighs In

Holy Shroud - Holy Fake? Radiocarbon Dating

Radiocarbon Dating

In 1988 the Catholic Church agreed to allow the Shroud to be subjected to “Radio Carbon Dating.” Knowing that the Shroud had been damaged in a fire they took pains to select a portion of the cloth that was away from the site of any repairs and patches. To wit: they took pains to test a piece of the original cloth. Since this test is destructive, they divided the swath of cloth they were permitted to test and sent it to three different labs. Labs at the University of Oxford, the University of Arizona, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology concluded with 95% confidence that the shroud material dated to 1260–1390 AD. This of course makes it about 1,000 years too young to have been the burial shroud of Jesus. Nevertheless, if you don’t like what one group of experts says, keep shopping until you find some experts who will say what you want them to.

Holy Shroud - Holy Fake? Nigerian Scams

Putting faith ahead of reality always ends poorly.

There have of course been later experts who have attempted to impugn the protocols of the original tests, even though they were not involved with those tests, nor were they present to have witnessed any flaws in how the science was conducted. Thus they are in essence proffering opinions about something they simply do not know. Because carbon dating is a destructive test – the sample is destroyed – the Catholic Church is not letting them cut any more pieces of the Shroud. Of course, this hasn’t seemed to present a problem because they’ve theorized that the piece selected for testing “must have been from an invisible repair.”  It is this same type of thinking that causes people to fall for those Nigerian scam artists. They so want to believe that someone they’ve never met, picked their email address at random and wants to share 20% of $32 million dollars with them. They focus on the hope and ignore the reality.

Notice Anything Odd About The Image?

Holy Shroud - Holy Fake? Max Von Sydow as Jesus

Max Von Sydow as Jesus in “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”

I’m not talking about the reverse photographic negative effect. That is simply a by-product of the process. I’m talking about the ethnic genotype of the face. The face on the Shroud is that of a white European, not a Semitic person. As a matter of fact, it does bear a striking resemblance to Max Von Sydow’s portrayal of Jesus in the movie “Greatest Story Ever Told.”

Holy Shroud - Holy Fake? Real Face of Jesus?

“Real Face Of Jesus” from the Popular Mechanics project.

In point of fact Popular Mechanics commissioned a study a few years back on “The Real Face of Jesus.” They used forensics and genome typing to come up with a face that matched that of a Jewish male living in that area at that time. Did they come up with what Jesus actually looked like? Of course not. However, the face they came up with is a lot more realistic than any of the white European depictions that are so popular today.

At that time in history, the only Europeans in the area were the Greeks and the Romans. Jesus was neither. Since the Bible goes to great length to give Jesus’ genealogy, if the Bible is correct, Jesus had no European ancestry in his lineage.  If the face on the Shroud was actually Jesus’ face or even the face of a Semitic person, it would not resemble the face of a European from the middle ages.

Miraculous Deception

One of the main arguments of Shroud proponents has to do with how the image got on the Shroud. Never mind the fact that the Bible forbids worshipping graven images, according to these people, the last miracle Jesus performed was taking a rather unflattering photograph of himself at the very moment of his resurrection. You hear such things as there was a burst of resurrection energy that imprinted the image of Jesus on the cloth.

They point to such things as the lack of brush strokes, claiming this as proof no human hand could of produced the Shroud. As you know, the only options available to artist back then were paints and brushes. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. We are always quick to assume, that we are more advanced, have better technology, know more than our ancestors did. I’m still waiting for someone to conclusively prove how the Pyramids were constructed, how stone was cut and how stones weighing tons were moved at a time when the hardest metal they supposedly had was copper and they had yet to invent the wheel. Perhaps they knew some things we have yet to discover today?

Holy Shroud - Holy Fake? Modern Reproduction of the Shroud of Turin

Modern reproduction of the Shroud of Turin. It has all the same features.

The fact is, the Shroud is easily reproducible today, using the tools and techniques available in 1390. No resurrection energy required. The image has all the same characteristics. It is a negative and when photographed produces a positive image. Since the fellow used as the model is still alive, and doesn’t have the power to walk on water or raise the dead, I think it’s safe to say he’s pretty normal and fairly average.

So, Holy Shroud – Holy Fake? What do you believe?

Gold Scams – Ugly Truths About Gold Investing

Gold Scams - Ugly Truths About Gold Investing Headerby Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.

 Golden Fleecing

There is little doubt that the global economy is extremely volatile right now. The markets are doing a remarkable impression of a world class roller-coaster. If you’ve been working all your life and have a retirement plan that contains investments in the Stock Market, being on edge is quite understandable.

In the United States we’re crawling our way up out of a recession – no thanks to the Republicans – and things are quite fragile in our economy right now. Ask anyone old enough to understand the global economic crisis and invariably you will hear similar expressions of unease.

Be Afraid

Be afraid… be very afraid!

It is this very unease that creates a market niche that companies dealing in “precious metals” are eager to fill. Have you been paying attention? It seems to me that ever since the big “Y2K” scare, when all our computers were going to crash and send us back into the stone age, we’ve had one threat after another. Without putting my tinfoil conspiracy theorist cap on, one could almost get the impression that someone(s) were orchestrating global events to keep everyone right on the verge of panic.

First Y2K, then the “911 Attacks,” then two wars, one totally unnecessary and against a nation that had nothing to do with the “911 Attacks.” This led to a highly strained U.S. Economy. Next the wealth of our nation was siphoned off into the European banking houses through the “Real Estate Débâcle.” One thing after the other. There is small wonder that right about now, for a segment of society, visions of a post apocalyptic future seem all too real.

Doomsday Preppers Gas MasksWe see this with the proliferation of survival shows such as, “Dual Survival,” “Les Stroud’s “Survivorman,” “Doomsday Preppers” and others. Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in preparation and self-reliance. There is a fundamental flaw in the logic of people who sincerely believe that gold is going to be of any value in a world that has totally gone to Hell.

Thinking The Unthinkable

Toilet Paper

Nobody ever thinks about toilet paper. How much do you have stored up?

Let us go there for a moment. Let us embrace with open arms this fantasy scenario wherein we are all in survival mode, fighting to protect our loved ones, foraging and bartering for food and the needed essentials. Suppose I had a large supply of toilette paper. If you doubt it’s value, imagine going a few weeks without it. After you’re good and chafed, you’re going to want to buy some toilette paper.

Will you attempt to give me a gold coin for a roll or two? I’m probably going to ask, “what else you’ve got?” Why? Because gold isn’t of much value in the type of scenario you’re imagining. As of today, the price of 1 oz. of gold is roughly $1,606 US. However, if the world goes to hell, there won’t be any markets artificially inflating that price. I’m certainly not going to part with $1,000 worth of toilet paper for your one coin. Breaking off a piece of that coin would make it even less attractive as a bargaining chip. The simple truth is, a handful of .22 caliber bullets would have more intrinsic trading value than a handful of gold coins. You might even be able to negotiate a one bullet per roll price.

Gold Scams And The Precious Metals Market

The first thing you need to know is, the precious metals market is largely unregulated! Read that again. Convicted felons can and have opened precious metals brokering companies. There are no reporting requirements. No agency inspects the gold to make certain it is of the purity levels claimed. For all you know, you could well be purchasing a gold plated lead slug… and that’s if you actually opt to take possession of the gold you believe you’re purchasing.

Gold VaultMany companies try to push you into what they call a “secure storage contract.” This is supposedly a highly secure storage vault where they will store your gold for a nominal fee. The beauty of this is you never see your gold, you never take physical possession of your gold, all you get are quarterly statements – a piece of paper – claiming how much your gold is worth based on the current market price. What could possibly go wrong?

In point of fact there have been criminal enterprises wherein people have been duped into converting their entire retirement accounts into gold. The broker took the money, and never purchased any gold with the money. People were told their non-existent gold was secure in their vaults and began receiving quarterly statements on their non-existent gold. When that “rainy day” came, as it always does, those poor souls discovered their retirement savings were all gone and in many cases the broker had skipped out with their money. It was only then they learned that gold is not insured under the FDIC.

What about gold backed securities? You’re investing in the stock market and that is regulated so you should be safer right? Here’s the problem with this theory. You never buy high in hopes your stock will go higher. Gold – just like the salesman says – is at an all time high. Will it go higher? It might. However, it also might go lower. All investments carry risk. If you decide to cash in your investments, you’re going to be paid in good ol’ U.S. dollars. If the dollar crashes as the profits of doom are predicting, you’re still back to trying to get value for those dollars.

The simple facts are if the United States goes under, gold and dollars aren’t going to do you a lot of good. You’re back to the example I gave with regards to toilette paper. If a gold coin has no value to me, a paper dollar surely won’t.

Gold Scams – Ugly Truths About Gold Investing

Talk radio is rife with hucksters predicting the end of the world as we know it. “Buy gold” they say. Isn’t it ironic that almost every group prophesying the end of the world or the end of the United States, always seems to want your money to tell you all about the horrors to come. If the United States, or the world is coming to an end, what good is money?

You can hear expert after expert(?) pointing to the beginning of our demise as being the point where we got off the “gold standard.” I’m not advocating the Federal Reserve system by any means. However, we need to interject some reality and some facts. You simply cannot have a global economy based on the gold standard. Money is transferred all around the world in the blink of an electronic eye. This is necessary for our economy to compete.

WalmartNations with whom we do not have an established rate of exchange, we are negotiating with  – sometimes minute by minute – the exchange rates between their currencies and ours. You simply cannot ship gold around the world fast enough to keep up. It can’t be done. The global economy would grind to a halt. You might not like this, but this is the reality in which we live. Very few U.S. Citizens are in love with China, yet the isles at Walmart are full all day long with people buying cheap Chinese made goods.

When you go to the grocery store and purchase fresh fruit in December and January, corn on the cob, strawberries and broccoli, precious little of that was grown in greenhouses on U.S. soil. You are reaping the benefits of a global economy. That global economy requires the ability to transfer funds at electronic speeds. You simply cannot do this with gold.

Most of the people lamenting about the U.S. leaving the “gold standard,” simply do not understand economics. They’re no better than the hucksters trying to get you to invest in gold when it is at an all time high,  and trying to get you to place your hopes in an unregulated market. We supposedly regulate our Stock Market and you see how it almost destroyed itself and the rest of the American economy. Imagine what could happen to you in an unregulated market.

We Cannot Eat Money

We cannot eat money

Have Progressives Lost Their Damn Minds?

Have Progressives Lost Their Damn Minds?by Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.

Bush Cheney Regime

America’s Disgrace

After surviving eight disastrous years of the Bush – Cheney Regime and the near apocalyptic consequences of that, the nation decided to do something different for a change. Instead of electing the next fool in line, we decided to actually put some thought into it. We went with a young African-American Senator. Some might say, he had “limited experience” but he was extremely gifted. He was highly educated. In touch with the youthful vitality of our nation. Full of infectious hope, he would bring new ideas to the table.

Walter Payton - Sweetness

No matter how great he is, he still needs blockers.

The weed of racism has deep roots in our American garden and we had to work mightily to overcome the choke hold of it’s grip on our politics. We refused to take “no” for an answer and beat back the doubters with the mantra of “yes we can.” And we did it! Then we all took a rest from our labors. It was almost as though we had passed our star “Running Back” the ball and we headed to the bench to watch the game. Politics like football is a team sport. No matter how gifted one might be, they cannot defeat the opposing team all by themselves. Did everyone really believe that the Republican opposition was going to join us on the benches and sit back and watch President Obama run up the score? Based on our actions, or more correctly inactions, that seems to be exactly what we thought.


The very night of President Obama’s first inauguration, while we wept, danced and celebrated, Republicans were behind closed doors plotting our downfall and destruction. Their primary objective as expressed by Mitch McConnell, “was to make President Obama a one term President.”  They purposefully decided not to govern and to obstruct any and everything President Obama has attempted to do.

Filibuster Graph

I’m beginning to suspect the real problem Republicans have is our President happens to be Black!

We have had a record number of filibusters since President Obama took office. They’re on track to shatter that record again this year. We’ve seen Republicans sponsor a bill, then when President Obama says “it’s a good idea” they’ve voted against and killed their own bill. Even bills that used to be proforma – no brainers – such as VAWA – The Violence Against Women Act – have met with stiff opposition. Whom in their right mind wouldn’t vote to pass the Violence Against Women Act? If you’re reading this, you’ve got a mother… guaranteed. That’s a bill you’d vote for if for no other reason than you’ve got a mother.

Racism Exposes Stupidity

Here’s the thing everyone needs to remember. The Republicans control the House of Representatives. Thus there is no need for even one filibuster in the Senate over a bill! If you need to, read that again. Before a bill ever makes it to the President’s desk for his signature, it must first make it through not one, but both Houses of Congress. Thus merely for the sake of seeming reasonable, why wouldn’t you let it pass the Senate with no opposition and let the Republican controlled House of Representatives take the hit for blocking it? Senate Republicans could act responsibly and give the impression that they were reasonable and above the fray. However their innate racism causes them to do things that simply make no common sense and ultimately, are bad strategically. I fully expect Mitch McConnell to lose to Ashley Judd in his next election and it will be his own fault. For those who need a refresher course on how our legislative process works, I present a classic “School House Rock.”

 Given that Republicans have all lined up to be fitted with their patriotic, red, white and blue straight jackets, you would think that the Democratic Progressives would be pressing their advantage and mopping the floor with a Republican party in full disarray… They are not!

Have Progressives Lost Their Damn Minds?

When your foe has shot himself in the foot, you don’t rush over and bandage his wounds, give him a shot of morphine and a crutch so he can continue the fight. You put him away… efficiently and with finality. This is not a sport. This is a fight for the future of our nation. If you have the strength of convictions in your political philosophy and ideologies, you have but one objective and that is to shape this nation in accordance with your principles. Make no mistake, the Republicans – if they were not busily engaged in cutting their own throats – would press their advantage without hesitation if the roles were reversed.

Harry Reid

Senate Majority Leader – Harry Reid

With the initiation of this most recent Congressional session, the Senate – under the control of the Democrats and Harry Reid – had the opportunity to change the rules and hamstring the rampant abuse of the filibuster process. No need to totally get rid of it. Just return it to the way it used to be. If you want to filibuster a Bill, hold the floor until you either cannot hold it any longer or until you persuade your fellow legislators to come over to your side. The way it currently is, a Senator can filibuster a Bill and the public might not even know which Senator had done this… or why! Have Progressives lost their damn minds? This one is a no-brainer!

The Subtle Bigotry Of Back Seat Driving

Ed Schultz

Ed Schultz

Have you noticed that there are an awful lot of Progressives offering free advice to President Obama via their talk shows? I’ve been paying attention to politics ever since the first Presidential election I was old enough to participate in. To be sure, there have been Presidents I have thought were excellent and Presidents with whom I had strong disagreements with… of both political parties.

To be sure, the media coverage fell along the lines you might expect. Pundits took issue and disagreed with Presidential positions and other Pundits defended those positions. What I have not noticed, up until now, has been every Tom, Dick and Harry with access to a television camera, telling the President of the United States how he ought to do his job. This is a new phenomenon. Yes, we’ve taken issue with a lot of the policies of nearly each and every President there has been. However, there was always the ever present, silent acknowledgement that the President had access to information that common people simply do not have access to.

Chris - I Voted For Bush - Matthews

Chris – I voted for Bush – Matthews

The game has changed with our first Black President. Progressives have now developed a cottage industry built around telling our President what he ought and ought not do. It is one thing to take issue with his decisions, it is quite another thing to proffer step by step instructions. I even heard Chris – yeah, I voted for Bush – Matthews saying that the President ought to have the Republicans over to the White House more for dinners and get-togethers. Really? Evidently he hasn’t been paying attention to the numerous times the President has done that very thing only to be rebuffed and snubbed by the likes of Boehner and McConnell.

How quickly we forget, the night before President Obama announced to the World the capture and execution of Osama Bin Laden, he was at the annual Press Club dinner, laughing and joking and being the butt of a joke about having forgotten all about Osama Bin Laden. While he laughed at the joke, he knew that an operation was under way to bring Osama to justice.

Moaning About Drones

Predator Drone Firing Missiles

Katt Williams

Katt Williams – Perhaps not as crazy as we think?

This issue is simply stunning in it’s insipid stupidity! When Anwar al-Aulaqi met his richly deserved fate, the first thing by way of an epitaph that popped into my mind were the words of that great philosopher and fount of all things wise – Comedian Katt Williams – “you shouldn’t of been talking shit!” Yes, Anwar al-Aulaqi was born in these United States. At one time he was a United States citizen with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. For the sake of this discussion, let us presume that he had at no time renounced his citizenship and was a citizen in good standing.

Anwar al-Aulaqi

Anwar al-Aulaqi gone to his own personal Jihad in the sky.

What seems to have gotten the Progressive panties in a knot is the fact that our government killed a United States citizen with “malice aforethought,” and without according to this citizen(?) the due process guaranteed under the United States Constitution. I hope you’ll find my summary of the issues satisfactory. Here’s the point. This happens every damn day in these United States, most often it happens to a Black or minority citizen. When a police officer – agent of the government – guns down an unarmed Black or minority person, that person is just as dead as Anwar al-Aulaqui! That person got just as much due process as Anwar al-Aulaqui. In almost every instance, there was far less justification for this murder at the hands of our Government than there was for the execution of Anwar al-Aulaqui.

I direct your attention to the Constitution of the United States of America.

Article 3 – The Judicial Branch
Section 3 – Treason

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The penalty for Treason is the death sentence. There is no doubt that the actions of Anwar al-Aulaqi met the formal definition of Treason. He was a member of Al’Qaeda. On 5 November 2009, Army Major Nidal Hasan murdered 13 people and wounded 30 at Ft. Hood. He had been in email communication with his personal Imam – Anwar al-Aulaqi.

I personally saw video tapes of Anwar al-Aulaqi calling for the overthrow of the United States and attempting to foment violent uprisings. This is beyond dispute. Had Anwar al-Aulaqi been on United States soil or in a nation with whom we have extradition treaties, he would have been brought to justice in one of our courts of law. He was in Yemen. Our relationship with the government of Yemen is strained to put it mildly. We couldn’t really pick up the phone and have him delivered to us.

Could we have sent in Seal Team 6 to retrieve him? Perhaps. However, that would have been extremely costly and risked not only the lives of some of our nation’s finest, it would have put a lot of civilian lives in peril. Could we have sent in an attack helicopter to take him out? Of course! But what’s the difference? The fact of the matter is, Mr. Al-Aulaqi was brought to justice, efficiently and with the least amount of collateral damage possible. We did not put the lives of our military personnel at risk and we did it for a fraction of the cost of putting boots on the ground. So what’s your complaint? Have Progressives lost their damn minds?

My Rights Are Better Than Your Rights

Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow

One of the most surrealistic examples of idiocy occurs five nights a week on MSNBC at 9 pm. eastern time. That is when “The Rachel Maddow” show airs. Ms. Maddow is unabashedly lesbian. She has a partner or wife or whatever they term their relationship to be, and has referenced this fact on her show… usually in passing. You can almost guarantee that a segment of her show each evening will be devoted to the struggle for “Gay Rights.” Usually it is either the first or second segment.

I get it! Rachel is a lesbian activist and the issues which impact her lifestyle are very important to her. She is a tireless campaigner for Gay equality. The right to marry, the right to adopt children, up until President Obama did away with DADT – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – the right to serve openly in the military. These were issues that we’d hear night after night after night. All of it was under the aegis of the recognition of Rights and equal protection under the law.

The problem becomes apparent when the subject of firearms comes up. Rachel is as virulently anti-gun as she is pro-Gay rights. Although she is a Rhodes Scholar and has attended Oxford University on a full scholarship and holds the equivalent of at least one doctorate degree, possibly more, Rachel seems oblivious to the fact that if gun Rights are open for review and removal, so are Gay Rights. Rachel, if you cannot respect and support my Rights, why should I support and respect your Rights? The Second Amendment is not in the Bill of Privileges. It is in the Bill of Rights. Have Progressives lost their damn minds?

When Faking Ignorance Becomes Stupidity.

Lawrence O'Donnell

Lawrence O’Donnell

Lawrence O’Donnell is another blight on the ass of common sense. Although Mr. O’Donnell frequently gives the impression of being a lawyer – he references writing legislation for the Senate Finance Committee – it turns out he never actually went to Law School. Perhaps that might explain some of the cockamamie nonsense he spews when it comes to gun Rights and other legal matters.

On this evening’s show he was bawling yet again about guns. He recounted the story of a woman going through a divorce who was threatened by her husband. In particular, the husband told her that the did not want her new boyfriend anywhere near his young son. She ignored his advice. He subsequently showed up with one of his firearms and threatened her life. The police were called. He was arrested.

I sat in stunned amazement while Lawrence carped about the Police not removing this man’s firearms while he was under the protective order filed by his soon to be ex-wife. You do not have to be a lawyer to know, this isn’t the movie “Minority Report” we’re living in. We do not punish people for what they might do. Anyone can get a protective order. Here in Indiana, a protective order is filed as a matter of course whenever a divorce is filed for. Whether it is needed or not. As a matter of fact, in the right court, I could get a protective order against Lawrence O’Donnell. Chances are, he wouldn’t have to be present and may never even know I’d filed for one.

His guest attempted to allude to this fact, to wit: you cannot punish someone for something they haven’t done, but Lawrence soldiered on by pointing out that people have their passports taken even though they have not been convicted of a crime. Evidently Lawrence equates a criminal indictment with a request for an order of protection. It just occurred to me, perhaps Lawrence isn’t faking? Have Progressives lost their damn minds?

Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory

The Republican party is in disarray. They have no real leader. The crazy wing has taken over the Republican party. Now is not the time to join them. Now is the time to press our advantage. The NRA is not the problem. Most people who have owned firearms for any length of time consider the NRA to be a toothless lion. We own firearms for various reasons. The protection of ourselves and our families being primary.

The dirty little secret is, citizens of these United States really take the whole “land of the free, home of the brave” thing seriously. It is not a Republican thing nor a Democrat thing, it’s an American thing. As Democrats we realize that Government does and should play a vital role in advancing the quality of life. However, when Government begins to flex it’s muscle and tell us what we can eat and drink – Michael Bloomberg – we begin to find this as repugnant as Republicans wanting to insert government into a woman’s womb. There is not a lot of difference.

Each piece you run on gun violence doesn’t say we need to be disarmed. If anything it proves how dangerous society has become and why we need to be armed! After eight years of the “Bungling Brothers Circus” there is a lot that needs fixing. We have a competent and capable President in the White House that needs our support on the things that matter. This faux issue ginned up by the Progressives – not the Republicans – over Drones, is a waste of time, a distraction and only serves to weaken our position. Instead of attempting to tell our President how to do his job, how about we get behind him and help him? Or have Progressives really lost their damn minds?

Christianity And Modern Black Enslavement III

Christianity and Modern Black Enslavement Headerby Benjamin T. Moore, Jr

The Information Vacuum

Children And The Bible

Indoctrination begins at an early age

In an information vacuum, the injection of any piece of data or information is seized on and subsequently becomes the basis or foundation upon which all subsequent data is judged. Those raised in Christian homes are introduced to the Bible and it’s concepts at an early age. At a time when one is not only too young to ask questions, but doesn’t even know which questions to ask, these concepts are imposed on the blank slate of a defenseless mind.

It is often easier for a parent to apply God as a cause than actually give a comprehensive explanation to the questions of a child. For example, I have a grandson whom when he was very young wanted to know the secrets of the universe. He wanted to know the answer to everything and he would ask me questions incessantly. In an effort to gain some peace and quiet I would often have to impose a moratorium on his questions. Usually 10 minutes or so. He would watch the clock until the moment his 10 minutes were up and begin again.

I don’t know if I did myself any good because he probably used his time to think of even more questions to ask. When dealing with children I always try to be mindful that my interaction with them will be a part of the foundation they use to build on for the rest of their lives. Thus, I do not talk down to them. I do not lie to them. If they ask me a question, I will give them the most accurate and comprehensive answer I am capable of. I tend to treat them as though they are miniature adults.

Why The Sky Is Blue

Why is the sky blue Papa?

On one fine day, my grandson was in rare form and I was on auto-pilot answering his questions while I cleaned the kitchen. My oldest son was sitting at the table working on some college level homework and evidently was monitoring our exchange. My grandson asked, “Papa, why is the sky blue?” Without giving it a second thought, I launched into an explanation covering the chemical composition of our atmosphere and how certain gases absorbed various frequencies of light. This of course necessitated an explanation of the electromagnetic spectrum. I finished, drawing everything together by saying that the red frequencies of light were absorbed by the various gases, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and the blue frequencies were allowed through thus giving us the impression that the sky is blue.

I continued cleaning the kitchen until I noticed the deafening silence. I turned to look at my grandson – he was about 6 at the time – he was staring at me with his mouth open and a totally confused look on his face. My oldest son was doubled over with his shoulders shaking trying valiantly to conceal the fact that the was cracking up with laughter. It was then I realized my mistake. At which point I told my grandson, “the sky is blue because that’s the way God made it.”

A smile of understanding broke across his face and all was good. It was a simple answer that he could understand and it satisfied him on that question. This happens all the time. God is used at the ultimate explanation for everything and in particular anything we do not understand. In an information vacuum, the first piece of information we are given becomes the basis or foundation for which all other data is judged.

Racism In The Media

When it comes to our society, segregation of the races has been practiced from the beginning and although there are cracks beginning to appear in the bulwarks, we still tend to enclave based on our ethnicity. Thus, white people don’t know a lot about black people, don’t know a lot about Hispanic or Asian people.

Charlie From Mr. Magoo

Racist indoctrination through the use of sterotypes

The media through movies, radio and television programming floods this information vacuum with often stereotypical portrayals of the various races. Some of these stereotypes are delivered in cartoons when children are extremely impressionable. Consider the Character of “Charlie” in the old “Mr. Magoo” cartoons. You have a totally stereotypical depiction of a Chinese man.

Antonio Fargas as Huggy Bear

Antonio Fargas as Huggy Bear

Sitcoms are another source of stereotyping. When you have no reality to base things on, what you see depicted on television becomes your reality. While you’re laughing at Jimmy Walker’s portrayal of “J.J.” what are you being taught about Black people and the Black lifestyle? Remember the old Starsky and Hutch serial dramas from the 70’s and 80’s? What was the only Black character with a recurring role? He was a pimp. Now if you went to school with Black people, worked around Black people or even attended Church with Black people, you would have had some actual experiences to balance these depictions. However, in our society, this is often not the case.

All Black people cannot dance. I’m one! All Black people are not good at playing basketball. I’m going to have to admit to being in this group as well. I competed in Track and Field and was a member of the Chess Club in school. Although I cannot dance, I’m a fairly accomplished Jazz musician; Saxophone. The point is, there is as much variation between individuals in the Black race as there are in any other race. Images and depictions do matter.

Christianity And Modern Black Enslavement

Image of Jesus

Even in Church, the white man is watching your every move.

When we apply this imagery and iconography to the religion of Christianity, the effects can be profoundly detrimental. No matter how we couch the theology, the subliminal subtext remains that:

  • The white man is your God.
  • You are hopelessly lost without the white man.
  • You must look to the white man for your salvation.

Until the iconography is corrected and the imagery restored to what it was in the beginning, so long as Black people continue to embrace Christianity, it will be difficult if not impossible for them to achieve self-determination. Yes, there may be a Black preacher in the pulpit, but there’s a larger than life white Jesus looking over his shoulder.

Part I and Part II