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.

Prepare for more ”Thoughts & Prayers” as Abbott, Cruz & GOP Look to Cover for the Gun Manufacturers, Again!

When Will the American People Finally Wake Up to the Blood on their Hands?

It is beyond time – well beyond time really – for the America people to wake up and take responsibility for the senseless carnage perpetrated against the people and CHILDREN – for goodness sake, CHILDREN – in the United States by gun violence! Specifically I call on the Religious Right, the Fundamentalist Christians of Amerika that financially support, vote for, and are complicit with, the GOP and their immoral policies that ultimately result in the senseless deaths of our people and our children. Amerikans can no longer send their children to school each day and even reasonably expect that they will return home ALIVE!! Our children can’t even attend school and expect that they are protected by us; their parents, teachers, elected officials, and all for the efforts of the Republican party and their selling out of the Amerikan people in order to preserve the cash flowing into their pockets from gun manufacturers, the NRA, Conservative politicians, and the Religious Right. Yes, the Religious “Right.” You phony snake-oil salesmen! You don’t get to support these scum and then exonerate yourselves from the horrors of their policies. You have the blood of these children on YOUR HANDS TOO! Let me hear you say it you phony sycophants: What Would Jesus Do? You fucking hypocrites! You fucking Philistines! I curse you and your families and your houses! Joel Osteen, Ken Ham, Jerry Falwell, Franklyn Graham, and the purveyors of the man-made scripture you preach to the helpless for which they get NOTHING and all the rest of you pernicious hypocrites, you will not – YOU CAN NOT – wash their blood off of your hands! You care so much for the lives of the unborn but not at all for the lives of the born! You purveyors of vacuous, religious nonsense! You false prophets! You have been exposed for the egregious villains you are! Now we can truly see you for who you are! Empty vessels of inequity! Jesus WOULD NOT know you – DOES NOT know you! You are the very Anti-Christs you have forseen!

I can just hear Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Chuck Grassley, Majorie Taylor Green, Donald Trump and the miscreants that support and follow them saying ”Unfortunately todays gun laws wouldn’t have done anything to stop this.” Yes, Ted, you lying piece of shit, but you have had the opportunity the CHANGE the GUN LAWS and you willfully decided not to! You have had the power to CHANGE the gun laws for YEARS and you and your immoral party have refused to do so time and time again knowing that it is only a matter of TIME before this happens again and you’ll be sending out your useless and vacuous ”thoughts and prayers” to yet even more grieving, heart-sick, and broken families. I can only hope that someone will send those same reprehensibly phony thoughts to your family some day. And You, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Cavanagh, Amy Barrett, et al. You fucking phony ”Judges”! You are not JUDGES!! YOU ARE POLITICAL OPERATIVES in black robes. Nothing more! You are responsible for perpetrating more violence and injustice in this country than any ten of the most debased criminals!

I call on ALL Amerikans to rise up and throw these so-called ”CHRISTIAN” hypocrites out of office and take control of our country and re-establish laws of safety, morality, and compassion which we lived with for so long before our government was overtaken by corporate and phony religious fanaticism!!

WE MUST FINALLY ACT!!!!

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.

Why Should We Give A Hoot About Arkansas Oklahoma Flooding?

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

For days now we’ve been hearing all the heartstring-pulling stories about the flooding in Arkansas and Oklahoma, 2 states that continuously vote for garnet-red state legislatures and governors. Both governors are, even as they cry about record flooding, climate deniers and have some of the worst environmental records in the country. So I ask you dear reader, neither pejoratively or rhetorically, why should we care? Furthermore, do you really want your tax dollars going to help out a state that not only denies the existence of climate change, but continues to disregard the hazards of their polluting ways and in a very real way, continues to contribute to the problem of climate change?

Oklahoma had quite possibly the most fanatical climate denier in the country in Scott Pruitt, known for his dozens of lawsuits filed against the EPA at the behest of his corporate donors. On the other hand, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is presently extolling the virtues of Comrade Donald Trump’s environmental deregulations while simultaneously agonizing over his state’s flooding, currently running at maximum levels and expected to get worse very soon.

So for days I’ve been listening to interviews on NPR, blocks on CNN and MSNBC, and I am starting to feel a strong sense of resentment. Furthermore I can not help but place the blame squarely where it belongs: on the voters in these red states. Voters that choose to listen to and vote for these know-nothings (or more accurately, liars, since they probably do understand the science behind climate change but instead declare “not to believe” it.) Voters that deliberately choose not to educate themselves at all, not a book or newspaper article or, goodness forbid, an actual science paper! This is willful ignorance, nothing less. And, now that they’re feeling the “burn” of their ways so to speak, the rest of the nation will have to bail them out and I can’t help asking myself why? Why is this our problem? I understand that we can not work around climate deniers and expect to make an impact; it has to be an all-or-nothing effort but I refuse to help anyone that will not acknowledge that they are part of the problem anymore. I have decided that I no longer want my tax dollars being used to bail out a state that will not acknowledge reality and take action to interdict the problem.

Comrade Trump stated recently of his own government’s report on the dangers of ignoring climate change, “I don’t believe it.” Our “very stable genius” rejected it summarily, out-of-hand, without any word of an opposing opinion or anything else. He just doesn’t believe it. This as if climate change cares whether or not the Comrade believes it or not. It just keeps rolling along, record-breaking floods, over 400 tornadoes this month alone, and much, much more to come. All while the voters of Arkansas and Oklahoma decide they too don’t believe in climate change. Well here’s my new response: you made your bed, you voted for people over and over again that continue to ignore the problem, now you sleep in it.

You know what else? I don’t believe there are floods in these states. I think they’re making it up to try and grab some federal disaster flood money. That’s what this is all about; they’re looking to try and abscond with some federal disaster funds. That’s my new conclusion. I just don’t believe it, period.

Now you can solve your own problems Arkansas & Oklahoma, with your own tax dollars and then come back to us and tell us your thoughts on climate change. Or better yet (but highly unlikely, I grant you) pick up a book somewhere and educate yourself on the topic. Make up your own mind instead of having it made up for you by some corrupt politician making money on their opinions. Yeah, probably not.