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July 09, 2009

In England, the Methodist Church will bar members from joining the nazi-esque BNP

The Methodist Church of Great Britain | 9 July 2009
The resolution was brought from the floor of the Conference, known within Methodist circles as a Notice of Motion. Revd Sylvester Deigh, who proposed the Notice of Motion, said; “We must be clear that racism is a denial of the gospel. An openness to all people, regardless of nationality, is at the heart of Methodist identity. “This does not mean that people will be excluded from attending church – God welcomes all, saints and sinners alike. But it does mean that members of racist political parties will not be able to become full members of the Church.”

July 06, 2009

Explaining Goliath

POE News: None of the news you need - all of the news you want: This is why I love the Portal of Evil. The commenters there are just so fucking sharp. The context is this: a Michigan woman developed acromegaly, which causes her to grow well beyond adulthood. She's 6'6" now. The article is fine, but the reporter slips in a sentence claiming that this disease "explains" the story of Goliath from the bible. Slagathor from the Portal of Evil forums says this:
I'll tell you what explains the story of Goliath. Me. I fucking explain it. a) the Goliath episode is textual pollution from Greek myth, probably from the source story of Nestor's battle in the Iliad (several bits of proof here... the one lone soldier fighting the other lone soldier was a Greek thing... Goliath's armor is Greek... and the details of the story seem to be from whatever the Iliad used as a source). Based on geographical evidence (place names mentioned that didn't exist prior to the 8th century BCE), the Iliad itself predates the composition of the story of Goliath. b) the gigantism of Goliath itself is a non-starter... the Masoretic torah describes Goliath as nine foot six, whereas the Septuagint describes him as six foot six... okay so how do you know which was was "correct"... well, the Dead Sea Scrolls say six foot six c) as mentioned earlier, the entire thing is a silly fiction... the Goliath story dates to the reign of King Josiah in the 8th century BCE (like the rest of the fucking Deuteronomic History)... King David was King of about 15,000 people in the hill country of what is now Southern Israel. He had nothing at all to do with fighting any sorts of battles against anyone from Gath. His kingdom was so fucking primitive that they didn't even make pottery. I'll summarize... Goliath was six foot six in the story (which of course was made up nonsense to begin with). Although... six foot six would have been fucking huge for the 8th century BCE, but it would not have been unheard of.
And that is why I love the Portal of Evil.

Sarah Palin memoir: Now with 25% more God!

Sarah Palin memoir: Now with 25% more God! | Quill & Quire She plans to release one vanilla memoir, and one targeted for religious consumers.
Soon Palin will take a crack at her own story: she has signed a book contract for an undisclosed but presumably substantial sum, and has chosen Lynn Vincent, a senior writer at the Christian-conservative World magazine, as co-author of the memoir, which is to be published next year not only by HarperCollins but also in a special edition by Zondervan, the Bible-publishing house, that may include supplemental material on faith.

The oldest bible in the world now online and free

World's oldest bible goes online | World news | The Guardian
The oldest bible in the world, the Codex Sinaiticus, written in Greek in the fourth century but now scattered between the British Library, Germany, Russia and St Catherine's monastery in Egypt's Sinai desert, will be reassembled online today in a L1m scholarship exercise. Nobody alive has seen all the pages together in one place. The pages of the codex, described as "a jewel beyond price" by Scot McKendrick, head of western manuscripts at the British Library, which has the largest part, have been scattered for over 150 years. From today, scholars or the merely curious anywhere in the world will be able to search all the surviving text, down to thumbnail-sized fragments found at St Catherine's, free online. The pages can be searched in facsimile, transcribed or translated. The digital photography is of such high resolution that insect bites and scars of some of hundreds of animals whose hides became the vellum pages can be seen. . . .

July 02, 2009

59-year-old Philadelphia man caught using tarot cards to trick teens into sex

A third teen says man tricked her into sex | Philadelphia Daily News | 07/02/2009
A 15-year-old girl told a jury yesterday that Hector Ayala, 59, a man she once considered family, tricked her into having sex by saying that it would ward off misfortune and help make wishes come true. The girl is the third to testify at trial that Ayala, who is charged with rape, aggravated sexual assault and several related offenses, fooled her into sex by invoking untold mysticism. She said that when she was 13, Ayala read her Tarot cards and said that he saw bad luck in her near future. He told her that it could be averted if she allowed him to perform oral sex on her.