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)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Biblical Archaeology: Birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth

Monday, December 24th, Christian pilgrims gathered in Bethlehem to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Bethlehem is in area known as the West Bank. According to NPR
Israeli archaeologists now say there is strong evidence that Christ was born in a different Bethlehem, a small village in the Galilee. About 100 miles north of where the pilgrims gathered, shepherds still guide their flocks through green unspoiled hills, and few give notice to the tucker-away village with the odd sounding name: Bethlehem of Galilee. But archaeologists who have excavated there say there is ample evidence that this Bethlehem is the Bethlehem of Christ’s birth. … It was inhabited by Jews. I know it was Jews because we found here remnants of an industry of stone vessels, and it was used only by Jews and only in the period of Jesus. He also found artifacts which showed that a few centuries later the community had become Christians and had built a large and ornate church. He says there is significant evidence that in early Christianity this Bethlehem was celebrated as the birthplace of Jesus. The emperor Justinian boasted of building a fortification wall around the village to protect it. The ruins of that wall … still circle parts of the Galilee village today.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas: The Season For a Reason

The first Christmas was probably not on December 24th – a cold, starry night with one particular star shining to guide those to witness the birth of a child who would be called “Messiah” and “Son of God” – the messenger of salvation, hope, promise that earthly life is not the end of one’s life, and the enlightenment of the soul. There is great debate upon the exact date or even time of the year.

You Can't Steal Christmas by Sharon Steege

Dixie Lee “Quills” sent me this email and the author has a name instead of “anonymous”, entitled You Can’t Steal Christmas by Sharon Steege
I don’t know who they are
Saying I can’t greet the crowd
The way that I want to;

Can’t say CHRISTMAS out loud.
I walk into a business place
See things that I’d rather not see.
But dare I not say CHRISTMAS
And ask for a “holiday” tree.

What happened to freedom of speech
And living in the land of the free?
How can they take my CHRISTMAS money.
But can’t say MERRY CHRISTMAS to me.

Men and women have given their lives
So we could still go free.

I wonder how they would feel
At saying “

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chapter 19: Anatomy of the Soul, Afterlife, and Reincarnation

Phenomenology of World Religions ©
Chapter 19
Anatomy of the Soul and Reincarnation
Death of Socrates, Giambettino Cignaroli
Death has several descriptions in both physical and spiritual concepts. I guess the most simplest description is at Plato, Stanford University’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
Death is life’s ending … However, life’s ending is one thing, and the condition of having life over is another. ‘Death’ can refer to either.
To me …
Death is a dream from which one cannot wake, the soul released from physical entrapment. It is a dream of chaos and all that which makes us fearful or which is pleasant. In that lies the true description and comparison of life after death and the difference between the concept of Heaven (Paradise) and Hell (Hades). It is all in the mind of the beholder, like beauty; the Dream Walker controls the dream and therefore may control their fate. If the soul be the spark of the divine, then we should protect it throughout our material lives.