I have always imagined that Paradise would be a kind of library.
Jorge Luis Borges

So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Saint John, Letter to Galatians 4:16

Freedom of Religion - Freedom from Religion - Freedom of Public Display of Religion and Traditions

We establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever. We command no worship. We mandate no belief. But we poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings. We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief. All are free to believe or not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not. But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief.
Ronald Reagan (Temple Hillel Speech, 1984)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Islam: Religion of Peace?

There have been those who object using the phrase of two words to describe the terrorists – Islamic fascists. Whether this is a PC [i] thing or whatever, there is good reason to use those two words to describe the fundamentalists whose interpretation of the Qur'an, their celebration of Shari’a law, and their revelation of Hitler because of his hatred of the Jewish people and it is correctly descriptive. The big book seller in Palestine is Mein Kampf, (Qur'an being #1 bestseller) was the favorite reading of the deceased Yasser Arafat. A terrorist organizer turned head-of-state and who was given a Nobel Peace Prize!
During World War II, the Grand Mufti, Haj Muhammed Amin al-Husseini recruited Muslims from all over the world to fight with the Nazis. However, there are those who deny this, despite surmountable evidence. If association is indicative of just what type of person Arafat was, look at the photo above.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Science and Creationism: A Never-Ending Discussion

In the world of science – Jim Dent:  Science, Evolution, and Creationism
Today, the National Academy of Science released a book called Science, evolution, and Creationism. The book argues that creationism has no room in the scientific classroom. From the book:
“The arguments of creationists reverse the scientific process. They begin with an explanation that they are unwilling to alter – that supernatural forces have shaped biological or Earth systems – rejecting the basic requirements of science that hypotheses must be restricted to testable natural explanations. Their beliefs cannot be tested, modified, or rejected by scientific means and thus cannot be a part of the process of science

Bibliotheca: Lost Forbidden Texts Found After Scholar's Death

bookshelf I am a book collector, however my library isn’t what it used to be because of a series of events and circumstances – but I love books, especially old books, texts, et cetera. Thus, my interest was sparked when I ran across the excellent article by Andrew Higgins in the Wall Street Journal entitled The Lost Archive. A section of my library contains books on theology – world religions and scholarly works on ancient and contemporary religious texts. One of the books in this category is one of my treasured volumes: A 1936 rare copy of the Qu’ran written in Arabic and English complete with footnotes in English. While stationed in Turkey I befriended the local bookstore proprietor and became a regular there, while also making regular stops at the Stars and Stripes bookstore in the American PX building in Izmir, Turkey where I obtained (through special order) a book containing Burl and Ives famous lithograph collection complete with its history from the time they opened their doors to the sad day they closed them. There, the proprietor, of whom I forgot his name (no, it wasn’t Mustafa, that was another Turkish friend), informed me one day that he had the rare 1936 bilingual Qu’ran. After examination, I was hesitant as to what it may cost. After a cup or two of Chi, Turkish tea, we discussed price. I ended up purchasing it for the equivalent US dollars in Turkish lira of $20.00. Actually, I should be ashamed – it was a steal. But I digress ...

Sharia Law by Tom Carew

PeopleOfTheBook_symbols Tom Carew, guest writer from Dublin, Ireland writes about the concerns of Sharia Law being introduced through subversive actions upon a nation. Our traditional ally, the United Kingdom is facing crucial internal problems while keeping the basics of democracy and still retaining liberal ideologies. In this, America and our European counterpart are facing a conundrum. Mr. Carew writes via email [edited]:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Myth Blaster: The Shroud of Turin

EarlyChristianSymbols Myth Blaster Verdict: Overall, undetermined, but so far indisputably authentic as the following will explain. Personal research shows that there is more accurate information that proves the Shroud’s authenticity than those who have been trying to disapprove it; and because of this, I believe it is up to the skeptics to disapprove the authenticity because those who have investigated the Shroud through the scientific process should not have to prove anything further. The fact that the Shroud is an natural image of a crucifixion victim is without question – the only question that may remain by skeptics is if it is truly the Jesus of Nazareth that changed the western world, inspired a new religion that developed into the most powerful Church organization in world history. Personally, I believe it is the real thing.
There is more evidence to its authenticity than not.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Michel De Nostradame: The Nostradamus Prophecies

Nostradamus In an article I wrote previously, Prophecy of 2012, the Mayan Calendar Prophecy, a French apothecary turned prophet was mentioned. His name was Michel de Nostredame (Latin = Nostradamus).
Michel de Nostradamus was born on December 14th 1503 and died July 2nd, 1566. He was a French Apothecary and a seer who published collections of his prophecies that have become famous around the globe. He is best known for his book Les Propheties, the first edition published in 1555. This book has rarely been out of print since his death and it has attracted cult popularity among millions throughout its history.
Nostradamus was part of the French Renaissance and his prophecies have been applied to the alleged Bible Code and other prophetic works, such as the Mayan Calendar theory.
Nostradamus’ birthplace is questionable, but it has been established by scholars as Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in the south of France on December 14th, 1503 (though it still is “official” among circles as December 21st). He was one of nine children of Reyniére de St-Rémy and grain dealer and notary Jaume de Nostredame. The family had a Jewish background, but Jaume's father, Guy Gassonet, had converted to Catholicism around 1455, taking the Christian name “Pierre” and the surname “Nostredame”. His known siblings included Delphine, Jehan (1507-1577), Pierre, Hector, Louis (born 1522), Bertrand, Jean and Antoine (born 1523). Not much else is known about Nostradamus’ childhood, although it is surmised that he was educated by his maternal great-grandfather.
When Nostradamus was 15 years old he entered the University of Avignon to study for his baccalaureate. After one year he was forced to leave Avignon when the university closed down because of an outbreak of plague. In 1529, after some years in the field of apothecary, he entered the University of Montpellier to study for a doctorate in medicine. He was expelled shortly after when it was discovered he had been an apothecary, a trade banned by the university. The expulsion document still exists in the faculty library. After his expulsion, Nostradamus continued working as an apothecary and became famous for creating the “rose pill” that supposedly protected people against the plague. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lupa, She-Wolf and the Discovery of a Roman Grotto

One of the best known legends of antiquity, for anyone familiar with the history of Rome, Italy, is the tale of how it became founded. It begins with a man named Numitor and his brother, Amulius. Amulius eliminated his brother and banned Numitor's daughter, Rhea Silvia, from having children, thus eliminating any heirs to the throne over Amulius’ children. Rhea was sent to serve in the temple as a Vestal Virgin, where she was tutored to be a priestess and who was to remain a virgin in the temple service. She became pregnant and gave birth to twins – Romulus and Remus. The legend does not reveal who the father was. Amulius sentenced Rhea Silvia to death, being justified because she didn’t keep her vows of virginity in her service as a Vestal Virgin. It was also ordered that the twins be killed as well, but the servant given the mission to do so could not do it and left them in a basket on the banks of the Tiber river. The legend states that the twins were raised by a she-wolf by the name of Lupa, a Latin name also used for female prostitutes and for priestesses of a fox goddess.
A shepherd discovered the boys and brought them home to be raised with his family. The famous bronze statue of the she-wolf suckling the twins is at the entrance to the City Hall at Rome’s Campidoglio and has become a symbol of ancient Rome and Latin romantic tales in Spain as well as Romania. 

Book Review: A Mended and Broken Heart by Wendy Murray

Saint Francis of Assisi Francis of Assisi was/is the Catholic’s favorite saint and in the book A Mended and Broken Heart written by Wendy Murray, who has written numerous books on Christian topics, as well as articles for Belief Net, portrays Francis’ love of nature and animals and his renunciation of wealth and yet a man of many facets. In his lifetime he was:
a poet, a warrior, a knight, a lover, a madman, and a saint.
Wendy Murray reveals a complex man and his extraordinary relationship with his spiritual soul mate, Clare of Assisi.
His full name was Francis di Bernardone and was born in Assisi in Umbria in 1182. His youth was spent aspiring to be like the Arthurian ideology of medieval knighthood. After one day, instead of shunning a leper, which would be the normal thing to do in that society, he embraced him instead. According to history that was the moment that changed Francis for the rest of his life, and became so dedicated to his faith he stole from his father to provide for the repair of the local church. His father took the matter up in court and while on trial he not only gave the money back to the court for the father, but stripped down to nakedness literally giving his father the clothes off his back. After that, Francis dedicated his life to as saintly a life as humanly possible and founded the Franciscan Friars. He was canonized two years after his death in 1226, and Pope Alexander commissioned Bonaventure to write Francis's official biography. After the biography was completed, all other biographies were destroyed.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chapter 9: Early Christianity - Organizing a New Religion

Fall and Rebirth of Rome  
One thousand years before the birth of Christ, Rome, the city that became the capital of the known world, conquest was established and men and intellect had maintained it. It was founded by survivors of Troy and begun with the adaptation of Greek culture, to include the concept of a republic and a senate.
Four hundred years after Christ’s birth, once again a great change had occurred and the greatest civilization in the world came to an end; but out of the ashes arose the beginning of another and the Christians who had struggled for so long to exist became the founders of the new Rome. The once persecuted people called Christians became the founding principle of the new Rome under the leadership of bishops and cardinals who had been ordained by the Apostles of Christ, all under the prime leadership of the Papal authority. The Church converted the barbarians who were instrumental in the fall of the Roman Empire; but unlike its previous society, superstition and the papal power would replace science, educational thought and republican senatorial government, which had been weakened by emperors and military coups. [I]

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Prophecy of 2012: You Were Worried About Global Warming?

The editor at Door County Advocate, Chuck Carlson, published in his “Editor’s View” a tongue-in-cheek piece (Make the Next Four Years Count) concerning doomsday and global warming – both being advocated by doomsayers among us …
Mark down Dec. 21, 2012, because that’s the day, apparently, when the proverbial stuff hits the proverbial fan. … Just in case you weren’t paying attention, that’s a little more than four years from now when the world as we know it will come to an end. And what really stinks is that it happens right before Christmas. Which leads to the obvious question” Do we really need to buy presents for anyone? It’s also a Friday and there’s no worse way to ruin the start of a weekend than, you know, watching the earth come to an end. …
Dec. 21, 2012, at the winter solstice, the earth will apparently suffer a disastrous “polar shift” due to the fact that our planet will line up almost perfectly with the black hole that sits in the middle of the galaxy. At least that’s the prevailing opinion among some scientists and others who study such things. Besides, the ancient Mayan calendar also says so. That calendar, apparently eerily accurate over the course of a thousand years, stops abruptly on what believers say is – wait for it – Dec. 21, 2012. There are books and Web sites detailing what’s to come on that December day … Indeed on the official Web site – December – it’s all spelled out. … We are in a cosmic shooting gallery folks and there’s no reason to worry about it. What will happen, will happen. … As for me, I’m taking no chances. There’s a Corvette out there with my name on it.
And you thought global warming was a problem?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Moses Red Sea Crossing and Palm Sunday

, Iowa sent an email that is passing around about the archaeological finds that back up the story of Moses and the People of Israel who crossed the Red Sea to escape Pharaoh’s chariot division with the result of the entire “army” being swallowed up by the Red Sea. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, and the following Sunday is Easter. I thought this would be an appropriate time, although long before Jesus time on Earth, to write this article. The media announced this discovery in 2003, so the recent email represents old news in the world of archaeology and matters of strange phenomenon.

Painting by Nicolas Poussin - 1634
The Crossing of the Red Sea has been an inspiration, as well as the life of Moses who was a prophet of the people of Israel during the time period called “The Captivity”. Depicted on film by the director great – Cecil B. Demille - a legend in the film industry, as well as written about by theological scholars and historians – the Crossing of the Red Sea is a big story concerning divine intervention that saved a people who would later marched through history, and themselves considered the historians.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chapter 8: Jesus of Nazareth, The Christ of Christianity

Phenomenology of World Religion
Chapter 18
Jesus of Nazareth - Foreword
There are also many things which Jesus did, that if they should be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain all the books that would be writtenSaint John the Apostle/Evangelist

Introduction to Chapter Eight

Before I begin the complex examination of the historical and spiritual character known as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus the Christ, I would like to inform the reader that scripture passages quoted come from the King James Version of the Holy Bible, unless otherwise noted. I do this because I feel that re-translated scriptures and text from the Holy Bible, Old and New Testaments have corrupted its meaning. It is like whispering a phrase in a circle of friends and by the time it reaches back to the originator, it is out of context. The Holy Bible is an anthology of texts, Hebrew in origin and later written in HebrewGreek, Latin, AramaicMiddle English and many other languages, totaling to about 80 languages and dialects.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

America: Break the Silence on Islam by Amil Imani

Editor’s Introduction
I have not posted yet at Veritas et Theologium the chapter in The Phenomenology of World Religion about Islam yet; it will consist of two chapters, and will follow four chapters concerning Christianity and its founder, Jesus of Nazareth. [*] 
This essay by Amil Imani, a guest writer at Lighthouse Journal in the past, is a must read for those interested in theology, as well as concerned about the state of affairs globally.
Mr. Imani came to America as a boy from Iran and is an American citizen who is grateful for the freedom he has in America, and today as an adult, advocates the freedom of Iranians from the grip of Sharia Law and the oppressive caliphate/mullah system of government. The success of the infiltration of Islamic Fascism in the Western world is dues to Europe’s and America’s tolerance of religion in the name of freedom of religion. It is also, in part, due to fear – either fear of insult or fear of retribution. 
We can thank the political progressives who have adopted socialist Marxism and political correctness and their hate crime and hate speech laws that make the majority of the populace to stand up against Islamic fascism; and as Mr. Imani points out in the essay after this introduction.

Monday, February 8, 2010

DaVinci Code Revisited

I have written in the past matters concerning The DaVinci Code novel and film, written by Dan Brown, who uses his theory and beliefs and produces it in fiction form for readers to speculate on their own – causing a stir within Christendom and something to buzz about in blogs across cyberspace. Indeed, National Geographic made it a centerpiece for articles and a newer program concerning The Lost Gospel of Judas that is available on DVD. I wondered what the buzz was all about, considering it was written as a “what if” murder/mystery novel that takes place in modern times using excerpts from history and mysteries therein to create an interesting story and a movie of intrigue and action. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haitian People Relief Drive

As you probably know now the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake whose death toll is estimated to be well over 40,000, is one of the worst tragedies of the 21st century.
The Obama administration has provided relief in rations and volunteers, as well as the Red Cross and troops have landed to assist in humanitarian efforts and looting control.
The US State Department has a website where you can donate $10 by cell-phone texting 90999, and as of January 16th more than $8 million has been donated for Haiti relief funding through this cell phone donation procedure.
FOX News has a list at their website of charitable organizations involved where readers can choose where to donate funds to help the cause.
The American Red Cross is one of them and usually one of the first to react to situations like this. If you don’t have funds to send, click on the Social Vibes banner in the side column of VERITAS ET THEOLOGIUM and by participating in six activities, Best Buy will donate funds to the American Red Cross. The chain store entity is also providing funds for the Haitian relief directly. [Click on 'Best Buy' for information]
Miraculously, people are still being rescued, but many people like the United Nations worker Ann Barnes are still unaccounted for.
World nations have acted immediately in a concerted effort to provide aid at all levels to the devastated Haitian people. Their capital lies in ruins. People have been generous from all parts of the world with funds, material, food and volunteers.
This form of foreign aid I wholeheartedly advocate. Nations of people are neighbors, near and far and it is good to help each other during terrible incidents like this.
Thanks in advance for your support.

A word of caution: Beware of chain email requests for funds. Go directly to humanitarian relief websites and reputable Internet entities like VET, FOX, Best Buy, et cetera.

Friday, January 1, 2010

To start 2010 right, sign the Manhattan Declaration

The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience, released in November, impressed me as a profound statement by a large number of Christian leaders taking a stand for the foundations of civilization, the family, and the sanctity of human life. People of faith have to work together to preserve and protect the fundamental principles of morality from those who seek to destroy them. This declaration brings together numerous Catholic bishops, Orthodox clergy, and Evangelical leaders -- and as an evangelical Christian I will gladly partner with other types of Christians on the common concepts that form the backbone of Christianity.