A personal journal about teaching the Bible and ancient Near Eastern history/theology/religion/archaeology to university students in New Orleans, and whatever else happens to be on my mind.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Who's Your Favorite Dictator?
Several years ago my librarian polymath friend Alison invited me to participate in the "Who's Your Favourite Dictator?" game. Did you notice the excessive "u" in her spelling-she's British. With all the recent political changes in the Middle East, the game has become decidedly more complicated. But back in 2008 the game was much easier. The Redcoat librarians favored Mugabe, Franco, and Hitler, though special mention went to Ghengis Khan for trashing the libraries of Baghdad. I preferred the Hittite ruler Suppiluliumas, and more recent, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia. But that's for selfish reasons, and here's my logic: Like all Americans, I know deep down in my apple pie heart that Democracy is God's favorite government, and it should be implemented world-wide at any cost. This gift at times must be accomplished through guns. Such was our present to Iraq. But more recently, Jesus has been working through facebook and twitter and we've been getting democracy all over the Middle East. And though at times democratic people are influenced by Satan and elect hateful socialist governments like Hamas or Obama, these are short lived and Jesus smiles when they leave and finally give us our government back. So back to Saudi Arabia. I've always wanted to visit the Kaaba in Mecca. King Abdullah the evil dictator won't let me. With a democracy I'm convinced I'll not only be able to visit this holy site in Mecca, but I'll be able to buy a beer and toast God, America, and the Tea Party. Rock on America!
Friday, February 11, 2011
i-Confession Dooms Me to Hell with Onan
So I confess, I bought the i-Confession application for $1.99. I'm a Bible scholar, Mac addict, and a Catholic, so had to check it out. The application is interesting, but frustrating in its ignorance and obsession on sex. First, the authors like most traditional Catholics count the commandments different from the way the original authors intended, leaving out the commandment about false idols (Protestants read Mary statue worship) and dividing up the commandment about coveting into two. But let's leave that aside for now. My biggest problem comes with the application's focus on abortion, birth control, and masturbation.
I drove my friend a while back to get a vasectomy. Turns out I broke the commandment "You shall not murder." Even worse, and bad news for my wife of 20 years, but on a weekly basis I've violated the commandment "You shall not commit adultery." This is due to the adulterous sins of masterbation, contraception, and my favorite: "sexual acts in my marriage have not been open to the transmission of new life."
There is nothing in this application about the Catholic virtues of promoting peace and social justice, or objecting to capital punishment or unjust wars. Nothing about the sin of supporting governments that torture people. So again it seems a very vocal part of the Catholic church focuses on the fate of semen and little else.
Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)