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.

Dougalass’ Words: Just As Pertinent As Ever Today

“[The Church] esteems sacrifice above mercy; psalm-singing above right doing; solemn meetings above practical righteousness. A worship that can be conducted by persons who refuse to give shelter to the houseless, to give bread to the hungry, clothing to the naked, and who enjoin obedience to a law forbidding these acts of mercy, is a curse, not a blessing to mankind.”

“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.”

Frederick Douglass

Thoughts? Anyone?

Christians, Religious Right: You must account for your votes to the GOP

You don’t get to ”wash your hands” of the blood of the murdered children killed due to their refusal to improve gun laws!

While the Christian right, fundamentalist Christians, the Bishop of San Francisco and all the rest of the ”Funny Hat Club” Catholics are high-fiving each other over their apparent victory (although, I wouldn’t count my embryos just yet) I’m sure they now have their heads under the covers hoping no one will notice their culpability in the slaughter of our children in schools. And so they should; if my elected politicians that I pulled the lever for enacted such a “wall” around the gun lobby, gun manufacturers, trade-show gun dealers and entities, and background checking, you’d better believe I be heading for Switzerland right now. But do you know what, Ken ”Four Planes” Copeland, or Joel ”Giorgio Armani” Osteen (btw: one of the world’s wealthiest evangelists in the whole world!! Jesus would besoooooo proud!), or Franklin ”Bang Bang” Graham, and the rest of the ”blessed ones” that simply can not wait for Jesus to get here, they’re so certain they’ll be leaving with him? You must answer for your support of the GOP and their steadfast unwillingness to do anything about the absurd amount of gun violence in our country. You “Holy Rollers” don’t get to help put these vile excuses for human beings into office and then walk away scott-free. You have blood on your hands that will not be washed off; will not be ”thoughts & prayer-ed” off, will no longer be forgotten. You have the blood of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, graders – 5 & 6 year-old children – mid-schoolers, high schoolers, and many, many more. Their blood be on you and on your children!

How much money do you pour into the coffers of the GOP in order for you to eventually achieve your long-desired theocracy and have Christianity become the founding basis of the country? How many sermons have been peppered with your lies and misrepresentations about the damage being done to our country by liberals, progressives, Democrats, and atheists? How many lies told by the various Ted Cruzs, Josh Hawleys, Greg Abbotts, and all the rest of the Republican ”Murderer’s Row” have you paved over in your sermons and speeches and radio shows in order to smooth over their culpability in Amerika’s mass shootings?

Remember that almost 10 years ago when the unthinkable happened in Newtown, CT resulting in the deaths of TWENTY schools children – babies, really, babies – the Republicans shot down ANY chance at all to even improve the background checking process so that mentally ill would be disqualified from gun ownership! Even that small step would not be allowed to pass. The smallest, almost gestural in nature, was unanimously shot down by the Republicans.

Now you need to step up and take responsibility for the seemingly unending carnage taking place in Amerika thanks to your votes and endless endorsements of Republican candidates.

I pledge not to let you forget it.

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!!!!

Good Morning, America!

Wake Up and Smell the Racism!

In trying to parcel out yet another school shooting where four more American children are murdered in their school, I began to anticipate Congress’ response, i.e., their total lack of a response. Sure the standard ”thoughts and prayers” are a given and, to be sure, that has provided some badly needed relief (in the minds of the gun manufacturers) especially those from Ted Cruz, Jeff Pawley, and the other Christian Republicans. However in considering these publicly-elected miscreants I began to ask myself: If one votes for someone that allows the murder of our children to persist without so much as lifting a finger, do I also have their blood on my hands? Projecting that out to other issues, I began to ask myself more questions. The next natural conundrum seemed to be racism. I thought: if I vote for a Senator or Congress person that enacts legislature that makes it harder for people of color to get to the polls and vote, does that make me a racists as well? Furthermore, should I prioritize my own personal issues according to my needs or according to the more important civil needs of, in these cases, pblic safety or equal rights for all?

And so, I put these questions to you: when you vote for someone that supports or legislates laws or policies that are harmful or detrimental to all or a particular class of Americans, do you share in the culpability of these policies and laws. In other words, do you have blood on your hands? what do you think?

Where Are All The Holy Rollers On Mass Shootings?

Where is their level of outrage they seem to conjure up over LGBTQ or abortion rights?

This will be one of my shortest blogs since I don’t believe that there needs to be very much substantiation for this point. It is completely self-evident as we have experienced over and over again. As The Onion headlines put it after almost every mass shooting, “‘No Way To Prevent This’ Says The Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens”. This is about all we need to know since we are truly the only country where mass shootings are more frequent than Congress passing a bill or a Trump telling the truth.

The fact of the matter is our government is owned by corporate lobbies; lock, stock and smoking barrel. And there is no more powerful lobby than the gun manufacturers and the NRA. In fact there are entire departments of the government that are actually run by the very same corporations and industries they are supposed to be regulating. If that makes any sense to you then you’re probably a Repugnantcan or a “conservative” and also find gun violence unsolvable, climate change to be a liberal conspiracy, and Donald Trump to be an honorable, good man removed from office by rampant voter fraud. If you are anything like the upwards of 80% of Americans that find it the absolute nonsense that it truly is, then you can help do something about it.

Paradoxically perhaps, the only portion of the electorate that we most certainly can’t rely on for any help at all is the phony baloney snake oil salesmen and holy roller crowd of evangelicals and Christian Repugnantcans. For some strange reason all they seem to be able to conjure up (no pun intended) are their “thoughts and prayers”; a gesture of such specious uselessness it has become a joke among the general public. This is the same crowd that would lobby to remove the constitutional rights from entire subsets of the population given the opportunity but couldn’t conjure up the righteous indignation to rally around 20 murdered 1st graders and 6 grammar school teachers. Unfortunately most of their geographic areas of influence are specifically the places where the most fervent gun-crazy, “Second Amendment” fanatics reside and this must be one of the primary reasons for their complicit silence. As I have said before there is no one more full of shit than an evangelical Christian.

Well, except maybe an evangelical Christian politician, that is.

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.