Question For The Faithful

Q: Why Was Jesus’ Tomb Empty”

A: Because Jesus Was Never In A Tomb

I recently watched a YouTube video by Paulogia, a former Christian now fighting the good fight against the enemies of reason, rationale, and science.  In it Paulogia was replying to challenges made by three Christian apologists; Mike Winger, Red Pen Logic, and InspiringPhilosphy to the argument as to whether Jesus’ body ever made it into a tomb.  Now I am not a Bible scholar, nor am I a historian per se, but I have been reading and researching Christianity and Christian history for some 30 odd years or so and I do not believe you have to be a Bible scholar to weigh in on such religious claims.  This topic in particular lends itself to enough reason as to conclude that Jesus was never in a tomb to begin with not only entirely plausible but highly likely.

Remember that when Jesus entered Jerusalem for the Passover festival the Romans were already on high alert.  The Jews of the 1st century were always hostile to the occupation of the Romans, complete with their standards depicting their Caesars as divinities and, sometimes in an act of pure provocation, even putting them in the Temple. Never were the Romans more ready for riot and disorderliness than during the high festivals such as Passover. And the Galilee, specifically where Jesus came from, was considered nothing less than a hotbed of sedition and rebellion. Pontius Pilate, who under normal circumstances would have resided in Caesarea in the splendor and comfort of his palace, made it a point to be in Jerusalem for the Passover feast in order to quash any potential unruliness or rioting that may have broken out.  Keep in mind that when Jesus entered the city it was – supposedly – to an enthralled crowd of thousands of Jews screaming “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Mark 21:9) This would have already aroused the suspicion of the Roman troops in the area as the crowds were essentially pleading with Jesus to save them from their plight under Roman rule. “When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking “Who is this?” The crowds were saying “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.” (Mark 21:10).  This could be seen as bad enough however Jesus immediately enters the Temple and proceeds to turn the tables and cause even more commotion, this time violently.

Now Pontius Pilate was already known as a particularly cruel and brutal governor (or procurator, as his Roman title was) and had already been involved with – or the cause of – a number of particularly brutal episodes with Jewish crowds where hundreds or even thousands of Jews were slaughtered by Roman troops.  He is referred to as such by Flavius Josephus and Philo of Alexandria as well as other contemporaneous authors however the Gospels gradually turn Pilate from the sole pronouncer of the death sentence on Jesus (Mark) to a milquetoast forced by the Jews to pass sentence on an innocent man or face the wrath of the Emperor, Tiberius. This is where the Gospels writers turn the tables from the Romans to the Jews as the purveyors of deicide and thus begins a two-thousand-year history of antisemitism and violence against Jews.  It is much more conceivable – and likely – that having referred to himself as the King of the Jews, a very specific crime of sedition, Pilate sentenced Jesus to death, had him scourged and crucified, without even a morsal of remorse. He wouldn’t have had lost a moment of sleep over sentencing a rebellious Jew, instigator of turbulence and potential rioting, or had given it another thought.  It is also highly likely, given his demeanor as described by the contemporaneous authors previously cited, that he would have allowed Jesus’ body to be removed from the cross.

We do know that there were instances where victims of crucifixion were allowed to be taken down and buried according to Jewish law or custom and this was Paulogia’s original comment on his Twitter blog.  However, in most instances, this is not the case. One of the principal reasons and desired effects of the sentence of crucifixion was specifically for the public at large to see the effects of defying the Romans or causing mayhem or disorder. The site of a decaying corpse – being eaten by birds, dogs, literally falling off the cross – was the very best illustration that this could be YOU.  Jesus, as a seditionist, rebellious instigator of Roman rule, and by declaring himself to be the “King of the Jews”, as inscribed in three languages on the titulus over his head confirms, it is extremely unlikely – and in my opinion, highly improbable – that his body would have ever been taken down.  He simply would have decomposed until his bones were on the ground, then tossed into a common grave for such victims.

Now let’s dispel some of the more highly unlikely occurrences at this point in the passion narrative. First let’s dispense with the myth of Pilate releasing a prisoner as a Roman “tradition” (Mark 15:6). Besides the fact that there is absolutely no historical evidence of such a tradition in either Rome or Israel should close this loop once and for all however for the chosen subject for such clemency to be an acknowledged murderer and seditionist carries the story into the realm of fantasy. “Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection.” (Mark 15:7) In my hometown of Brooklyn, NY, we have a colloquial saying for such a story: “no f’n way, not in a million years!” I think it serves us well here as the chances of Pilate, in his infinite brutality, releasing a murderer of Roman soldiers or citizens is just beyond what any reasonable mind can absorb.  This simply never happened. It is nothing more than a device used to put the blame of Jesus’ death on the Jews and away from the Romans. “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves. Then the people as a whole answered “His blood be on us and on our children!” (Matt 27:24-25)

 Mission accomplished.

Next the idea that “Joseph of Arimathea”, literally synthesized out of thin air sashayes onto the scene as a “friend” of Pilates and walks off with Jesus’ body only hours after his death is simply inconceivable. As previously stated, this is out of the question; Pilate lets one seditionist go (Barabbas) and another to be taken down from the cross after only hours after his death. This can only be the need to get Jesus off of the cross and into a tomb from which he can later be resurrected. It isn’t even necessary to debate the fact that Arimathea is a total and completely mythological place, never having appeared on any map, ancient or modern. The place simply never existed and doesn’t to this day. 

As far as the “witnesses to the resurrection”, no one ever saw Jesus “resurrecting”; they simply went to an empty tomb. Additionally, none of the four gospels tell the story the same way. “Matthew” tell us Mary Magdalen was there with the “other” Mary. (Mt 27:59-61) “Mark” says it was Mary Magdalen and “Mary the Mother of Joseph”. (Mk 15:46-47) “Luke” says “The women from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the entombment. (Lk 23:53-56) and, finally, “John” ever the embellisher, says it was “Nicodemus and Joseph” that wrapped the body and placed it in a tomb, “at a garden near where Jesus was crucified”. (Jn 19:39-42) 

No one ever witnessed the actual reanimation of his body. The tomb was empty simply because Jesus never actually occupied a tomb.

Will The Ignorant Red State Governors Pay A Price for Their Lies & Incompetence?

Will the voters of DeSantis, Abbott, Kemp, et al hold them accountable for the deaths of their constituents?

In their rush to follow their “Dear Leader’s” request to reopen their states in order to try and save his election, it is abundantly clear that the science-denying Red State Governors Coalition unleashed the deadly virus in an even more devastating manner, greatly spiking both the rates of cases as well as deaths in their states. And all just to try and get their economies going in order to turn around Pseudo-President Trump’s disastrous campaign. Again; lives lost, deaths of men, women, and children, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters, all to prop up the campaign of the most incompetent and narcissistic – and dangerous – Pseudo-President Russia ever elected. Never mind the fact that Trump’s campaign is in the very state in which it finds itself solely as a result of his own, inept and incompetent management of the worst pandemic the U.S. has seen since the Spanish Flu of 1918, culminating in the deaths of upwards of 150,000 Americans.

The question is: will the voters of these mean-spirited and heartless sycophant remember to repay their incompetence at the polls? Anyone?

Use Your Power As A Consumer To Change Gun Laws

It’s all the power we have left to affect change

Photo by Specna Arms on Pexels.com

With “Moscow Mitch” at the helm in the United States Senate there is very little chance of any meaningful gun legislation getting passed of their own accord. Our representatives are going to need some motivation from “we the people” if anything is going to be done about the absurd level of gun violence in this country. For all his constant mumbling about “the American people” and making sure “our” voices are heard, as in the case of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland whom, you’ll remember, Moscow Mitch refused to take up a confirmation vote on until the “American people” had a chance to chime in – right after the election Comrade Trump. This, of course, resulted in the confirmation of ultra-conservative Neil Gorsuch to the court instead. Well I guess the people have spoken. Thanks, “Moscow”…..

However, “Moscow” hasn’t been waiting to hear from the American people regarding the issue of gun control or, if he has, he hasn’t been listening very well since we’ve been screaming it from the rafters for years. America wants gun control; America wants the gun laws tightened up; America wants meaningful, effective, background checks and gun licensing; America wants military-style assault weapons taken off the market, permanently. Seems like, suddenly Moscow Mitch is as deaf as a fence post. Go figure. An overwhelming majority of Americans – and by that I mean 89 – 91 % of Americans – are in agreement on this issue. Ninety-one percent of Americans couldn’t agree on the colors of the flag let alone meaningful gun reform but there it is. And still nothing from Moscow Mitch and the U.S Senate (queue the crickets, please.) So, help me refresh my memory; I’m having some difficulty: what do you call it when a majority of the people are demanding something and the government refuses to act? Oh, well. I’m sure it’ll come to me.

In my complete and utter frustration over the gall of one person (I wouldn’t describe him as a “man”) holding up the possibility of any progress being made on this heart wrenching issue and not a single member of his party raising their voice in any meaningful way, I thought it necessary to take another tack. We’re going to need to hit the GOP where it hurts and, in political circles, that means the pocketbook. And where does the money come from in their pocket books? From their wealthy donors and corporate masters, that’s where. (You’ll have to forgive the dangling adverbs, etc. Writing in the colloquial requires scrapping such grammatical rules.)

Recently Walmart decided to stop selling certain firearms and ammunition in their stores which reach into every nook and cranny of America. In an open letter to their employees, CEO Doug McMillon announced that the nation’s largest retailer would stop selling ammunition used for handguns and military-style weapons, and end the sale of handguns in their stores completely. They would also take the seemingly bizarre step of discouraging their customers from carrying weapons in their stores, even in the “open carry” states. (Yes, dear readers, there really are places where you can carry your Glock down the frozen foods aisle. I guess you just never know when a slightly-grazed antelope is going to spring out of the meat department!)

Now, there can only be one real reason for this abrupt but well-overdue announcement: business. The management – or possibly (most likely?) the shareholders – of Walmart have made a calculated decision: that it is in the best interests of the company to make this bold reversal of policy. After all, McMillon’s raison d’être is improving the financial prospects of the shareholders of the company. That means that this change in policy was seen as such a move and the executive management – including Walmart’s board of directors – agreed. The management of Walmart is betting that this new policy would be offset by any additional goodwill they would realize from their massive customer base. If this is truly the case, then what other companies are out there that might be convinced of this as well? Or more importantly, how many other companies are there that might put the necessary added pressure upon the “Moscow Mitch’s” of the United States Senate to act in kind before they, too, are targeted by their customer base to make a move like Walmart’s? It would seem better (to me at least) to make such changes in policy before the company would be “forced” to against their will.

Let’s Now Add Iowa To The Flat Earth Society Membership

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

So, now that Iowa is experiencing some of the calamity that climate change brings – whether or not they chose to “believe” in it – and Iowans are getting “trumped” by the downturn in demand for their crops as a result of Comrade Chubsky’s trade wars with China, it seems like they may be realizing they may have made a mistake. My position, as I made clear in one of my prior posts is the same: tough. Now you can suck it up on your own. I am against providing even one dollar to support people that decide to remain ignorant and continue to vote people into office that don’t “believe” in climate change as if it’s some kind of faith-based issue. With the evidence literally falling all around them, they’ll, instead and at the behest of the petrochemical, oil, natural gas, and coal industries, “choose” to ignore mountains of scientific data and follow their “gut” though it’s leading them straight over the cliff. Prices are sinking and are projected to continue to do so on a wide range of Iowan crops including soy beans (China was their largest customer) corn, and other crops while experiencing price increases in many of the their costs. Even worse, many continue to be supporters of the Orange Walrus currently dining nightly in the presidential bedroom. How they fell for the Comrade’s rhetoric about how “easy” and “fast” it would be to “win” a trade war (it’s all right there in his many tweets) and voted for him anyway defies logic. And now my message to them is simply this: You made this bed, now you sleep in it.

You decided to vote for a man you knew nothing about; a man that had – and has – an incredibly well-documented history of fraudulent behavior, driving businesses into the ground (even a casino! Churches can run casinos and make money, somehow the Comrade was unable to generate a profit,) running a phony university, running a phony charity recently shut down by the State of New York, screwing his contractors, his vendors, his wives, and everyone else he’s ever done business with, and you’re just now realizing you may have made a mistake? I guess the proverbial safe didn’t have to fall on your heads!

I realize that you may be suffering, I do. And I am a huge advocate for our farmers, they have been getting the short end of the stick for many, many years but I will not tolerate willful ignorance, especially when it affects the rest of us as. I am so sick and tired of people that seem to feel like they’re doing something patriotic by voting for a party that does nothing for them ever….yes, ever. When was the last time the Repugnant-cans did anything for working class, middle class, or lower-income Americans? Gun laws and trickle-down economics have done nothing for the average American and yet that is all that is offered and still they vote them in. Now you’re paying for it and, guess what? You’ll probably still vote for the Comrade in 2020! And that is just fine with me but don’t expect me to feel bad for you or volunteer to spend my tax dollars bailing you out; that is out of the question. You are clearly not part off the solution but part of the problem, so have at it.

Solve your own problems with your own money.