Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof

Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

New study questions the “packet switching” theory of Internet communications

In Computers, Religion on January 31, 2015 at 1:01 pm
image via Wikimedia

image via Wikimedia

A conservative computer science think tank in Maryland has published a paper claiming that packet switching, a foundational element of web communications, is much less widely accepted by the scientific community than is commonly reported.

The Institute of Computer Sciences, located in Arundel MD, is devoted to researching digital media from a Biblical perspective.

“Packet-switching is a theory,” said institute director Dr. Lyle Schmetterling. “There is a serious debate in the scientific community as to the reliability of data supporting this viewpoint. The complexity of Internet communications calls into question the idea that it is self-generated and mechanistic, a notion many in leftist academia have long presented as fact.” Read the rest of this entry »

Ethics of the Fathers

In Religion on January 25, 2005 at 4:52 am

I got this from IsraPundit

Ben (the son of) Zoma said, who is wise? He who learns from all people, as it is said: ‘From all those who taught me I gained understanding’ (Psalms 119:99). Who is strong? He who conquers his evil inclination, as it is said: ‘Better is one slow to anger than a strong man, and one who rules over his spirit than a conqueror of a city’ (Proverbs 16:32). Who is rich? He who is satisfied with his lot, as it is said: ‘When you eat the toil of your hands you are fortunate and it is good for you’ (Psalms 128:2). ‘You are fortunate’ — in this world; ‘and it is good for you’ — in the World to Come. Who is honored? He who honors others, as it is said: ‘For those who honor Me will I honor, and those who scorn Me will be degraded’ (I Samuel 2:30).

Foods from the Bible

In History, Religion on January 14, 2005 at 4:35 am

Here is a list of all the foods I could find mentioned in the Bible (Tanakh and New Testament).

Fruit
Apple / apricot?
Pomegranate
Melon
Citron
Date
Fig
Grapes
(raisin)
(cake)
(wine)
(vinegar)
(generally all)

Vegetables
Olive
(olive oil)
Cucumber
Leek
Onion
Garlic
Corn
(generally all green, all with seeds)

Grains
Wheat
Barley
Millet
Spelt
(bread)

Legumes & Nuts
Bean
Lentil
Pistachio
Almond

Herbs & Spices
Mint
Dill
Cumin
Honey
Salt
Cinnamon
(generally all)

Dairy
Milk
Cheese
Curd
Butter
(goat, cow & camel)

Meat, Fish & Poultry
Cattle
Goat
Lamb
Oxen
Deer
(No fat, no blood)
Fish
Quail
Partridge
(generally ‘fowl’)
Egg

Other
Locust
Hyssop
Myrrh
Balm

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The Evangelical Wave in Latin America – An Internal Revolution

In Journalism, Latin America, Religion on December 22, 2004 at 4:10 am

In Latin America the big movement these days is not oligarch vs. communist or state religion vs. liberation theology but rather evangelical vs. Catholic. The evangelical movement is huge and continues to gain ground in Central America.

In Central America as a whole, the percentage of Protestants is on average 16%, up from virtually nothing 20 years ago. That’s a total of about 82 million out of a total population of 513 million. In Guatemala, the most Protestant of the historically Catholic countries of Central America, the percentage is much higher, 35% of all Guatemalans are Protestant. The growth rate of evangelicalism in Latin America is on the order of 10% per year. Worldwide there has been a greater than 6,500% increase in evangelicalism, from 73 million in 1970 to 480 million in the mid-90s. That’s giving Islam a run for its money and is beating the stuffing out of Catholicism, which has increased in the same time frame only 40%.

In remote areas of the Guatemalan highlands you will see evangelical preachers, clad in worn dungarees and blue work shirts preaching after dark at roadside open-air chapels, concrete plattes with corrugated tin roofs, supported by metal columns, holding a Bible in one hand and with the other gesturing underneath the fluorescent lights to the congregation of Mayan Indians, sitting on plank benches. The charismatic Protestantism has high-profile adherents as well, including former Guatemalan dictator and current presidential candidate, Efrain Rios Montt. But most of its devotees are the poor and dispossessed.

It indicates a dissatisfaction, but with what? I think it would be an interesting trend to explore — how has evangelicalism replaced secular philosophies of rebellion? Why the turn away from liberation theology to a theology of internal, personal, non-political salvation? How is the Catholic church responding? It would shine a light not just on Central America but on the role of religion in general among those who’ve endured too much political strife to no apparent good end. How different are the dispossessed that choose evangelicalism from those who choose fundamental Islam? Where are they the same? South America is also experiencing this growth — along with parts of Africa and East Asia.

What is it that Evangelicalism provides that is missing from the dominant religious traditions of these areas? As well as assessing the “what” and the “whys,” the article would turn on the “what now?” In other words, not only what does this change tell us about the past and present of Central America (as well as Latin America, Africa and east Asia), but what can it tell us about the future? Possible causes (these are merely avenues of investigation, not theses): A belief on the part of the practitioners that historical “faiths,” from liberation theology Catholicism to communism, have born little fruit. A desire on the part of practitioners to hitch their wagons to the dominant faith (and “work ethic”) of richer countries, specifically the US. An exhaustion, by decades of violence, that has driven people to a more internal, less political spirituality.

European Diary: Room 4121, Konventa Sēta; 8:00 a.m., Thursday; June 3, 2004; Rīga, Latvia

In Europe, European Diary, Religion on November 24, 2004 at 6:46 pm

We are not here for some ethnological observation – to “see how others live.” We are here to address that part of life that is fraught and sustained by memories, as well as that part of life that is halted by memories, incomplete memories, a life which can only revive and move forward by finding enough of the missing material to create a sensible narrative. This is a far more important charge than activities which, though presented as important, are little more than tourism.

***

The pronouncement by American bishops that politicians who favor abortion rights should be denied communion is typical of the Church. This is a group in which its most important and powerful bishops consistently protected dozens – hundreds? – of child rapists, declaring the image and authority of its organization, its prestige, more important than the faith, safety and sanity of its parishioners.

I remember a few years back when the San Francisco bishopric’s P.R. representative keened and mewled that a bunch of fags in nun costumes prancing about on Easter was just the same as the attempted extermination of six million Jews and when the outrageousness of this statement was pointed out, this same flack accused those who complained of being anti-Catholic. The Bishop, after being contacted about his minion’s actions, remained silent. Silent. Hrmm… Why does that sound… so… familiar? Oh, right! The cover up of all the child raping priests.

What self-deception that the most powerful religious organization in the history of the world would present itself as an innocent victim of much more powerful and sinister forces (shorthand, as always for Jews and, in this case, fags – probably people who carry library cards as well.) This arrogance and the actions it has allowed have bankrupted the Church, morally more than financially. I can’t see how it could ever recover any moral legitimacy. It is in danger of devolving further and further into its medieval hermit’s role as world-hating lunatics’ cave. The Catholic Church is becoming the nut-job militia of religions: dangerous, unbalanced and blind.

Well, all it took was unremitting arrogance, self-deception and un-Christian anger in the face of 2,000 years of European Jewish history, and hundreds of covered-up child rapes, self-righteousness, exclusion and pridefulness, but the S.F. P.R. weasel’s pronouncement has – I’m sure he’d be delighted to know – finally come true. I am “anti-Catholic.” And will be for so long as every bishop does not get down on his knees and pray to God, to ask for forgiveness for his cowardice and self-absorption, and beg the victims of his arrogance to forgive him, not until he stops making excuses and playing the victim. What would Jesus do, indeed. Probably not send his P.R. weasel out to slur Jews!

I hope self-righteousness is a pleasant companion for the Church in its moral dotage and death.

Once, it had Thomas Merton. Now it has Mel Gibson.

***

This is only the second time in the history of the Morpheme Tales I have felt obliged to clarify. Considering most of journalism is filled with a stagey concern for “balance” by people who are leaning crazily to one side or another, I have tried to eliminate self-censorship and say what I mean clearly, even if it means the minor notes are left unstruck. But I have had feedback from people I respect who have read this and been unsure whether I really have some unreasoning animus against Catholics. It’s a polemic, with the words chosen as much for effect as for an accurate reflection of my feelings. I do not hate Catholics, nor do I hate the Church. I am incredibly disappointed in the Church as an institution, one I have considered joining, and do have disgust for the individuals I have encountered — and read about — who have behaved immorally with the excuse that the ends justified the means. I also do not believe that any human institution has any right to expect to remain above criticism. This idea is at the root of most of the Church’s missteps throughout its history.