Chronicles in Ordinary Time 239: “The greatest deception from which men suffer is their own opinions”

“These are the principles for the development of a complete mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science…Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”
The greatest deception from which men suffer is their own opinions
Leonardo da Vinci

America is incredibly complicated. Maddingly complicated.
Complicated almost beyond belief.

I am a child of immigrants. Approximately 3/4 of my ancestors lived in Scandinavia. Immigrants who traveled from Norway and from Finland, in search of a better life. My Grandmother talked about traveling with her three young daughters across the country on a train. She had never seen a person with brown skin before; she could not speak English, so as to learn about these strange people. She told of how kind the brown-skinned people on the train were.

In humans, Melanin is the primary determinant of skin color. Melanin is an effective absorbent of light; and is believed to protect the skin from UV radiation. Three-quarters of my DNA comes from Scandinavia. The need for Melanin as skin protection is fairly low in the places where the sun doesn’t shine that often, and the place where the nights are long. Parents having a dozen children, who all have a dozen children in their families. Those long nights…

There is only one Homo Sapien Race in our world—the Human Race—we all have similar DNA. Even when Melanin is more active, darkening the skin to protect against UV radiation, we are still One Race. There are a lot of people in this country who have a difficult time understanding this fact.

I finished watching “Ken Burns’ Country Music” again. I’m not particularly fond of twangy music; I am fond of bluegrass and the stories the series tells. Similarly, with “Ken Burns’ Jazz”. The music that is by definition American mostly comes from the Deep South. The banjo came from Africa, work songs came from Africa and the Caribbean. The Blues came from brown-skinned people dealing with the struggles they endured primarily because pink-skinned people wanted brown-skinned people to be kept something below pink skin.
Politicians today want to pretend American history in the South did not occur; and refuse to admit it continues today. Ban a textbook, ban a library book because, sadly, the ‘song’ they are singing is something different than ‘three chords and the truth’—the foundation of County Music.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says that everyone in the United States has the right to practice his or her own religion, or no religion at all.
Our country’s founders — who were of different religious backgrounds themselves — knew the best way to protect religious liberty was to keep the government out of religion. So they created the First Amendment — to guarantee the separation of church and state. This fundamental freedom is a major reason why the U.S. has managed to avoid a lot of the religious conflicts that have torn so many other nations apart.

Recently, HD1 was discovered using space telescopes.

The Universe had a beginning. “330 million years after time began,” in astronomical terms, is fairly short. Shortly after HD1 was discovered, another signal from about the same distance was discovered; astronomers have no idea what the newer discovery is.

“To hear Charlie Duke tell it, his life’s most important moment did not come 50 years ago today, when he became the 10th and youngest of 12 people to walk on the moon. It came six years later, as he sat behind the wheel of his parked car alongside State Highway 46 in New Braunfels, Tex.
“He felt lost by then—unhappy in his marriage, emotionally distant from his two young sons, unfulfilled in his post-NASA career selling beer. But that day, he and his wife, Dotty, finished a weekend Bible study retreat, and in the car afterward, he became a born-again Christian.
“If his conversion story ended there, he would have plenty of company. But Duke would, in time, embrace a literalist interpretation of the Bible that contradicted all he accomplished as an astronaut and scrambled his expert understanding of the heavens…
“The expedition also collected some especially old moon rocks. On the second of their three days exploring Descartes, Young picked up a four-pound chunk of bright white stone that turned out to be anorthosite, a remnant of the moon’s original crust. Sample 60025, as it’s known, is among the most exactly dated prizes of the Apollo campaign, at 4.36 billion years old.
“The next day, Duke bagged a dust-covered 10-ounce rock on the rim of the vast North Ray Crater. It was a breccia containing a nugget of anorthosite that apparently crystallized 4.46 billion years ago…
“Today, Duke says he believes Earth to be only about 6,000 years old, and the rest of the universe with it — which is to say, he holds that the scientists overstated the actual age of that rock by 4.459994 billion years.”

Religion in America has become cruel. This country has never been a Christian nation. Our Constitution guarantees freedom of worship; and under some forms of worship, abortion is viewed differently from the Christian church.
In reality, people who claim to be Pro-Life are really Pro-Birth; if they were Pro-Life, they would be concerned about unwed mothers who cannot afford health insurance, and consequently pay for Neo-Natal Intensive Care [if needed]. To really be Pro-Life means to be concerned about the welfare for the child after the child has been born. All that ‘Radical Left’ stuff…

ATLANTA — Justice Clarence Thomas said Friday that the judiciary is threatened if people are unwilling to “live with outcomes we don’t agree with” and that recent events at the Supreme Court might be “one symptom of that.”
Thomas, speaking to judges and lawyers at the 11th Circuit Judicial Conference, did not speak directly about the leak of a draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, a colossal breach of the court’s procedures.
But he referred a couple of times to the “unfortunate events” of the past week, and in a question-and-answer session led by a former clerk, he said he worried about declining respect for institutions and the rule of law.
“It bodes ill for a free society,” he said. It can’t be that institutions “give you only the outcome you want, or can be bullied” to do the same, he said.
The court’s longest-serving justice said he also worried about a “different attitude of the young” that might not show the same respect for the law as past generations did. “Recent events have shown this major change,” he said.

This is the same Supreme Court Justice whose wife was directly involved with the Capitol Riot on January 6th of last year. The reporter of the words above was ‘playing softball’ rather than ‘hardball’. Justice Thomas should recuse himself from any Supreme Court cases involving the Capitol Riot. Based on past performance, he probably won’t.
This same Institution has a sitting Justice who was accused of rape during his Confirmation Hearings and was never investigated. The FBI was directed to investigate by the Trump Department of Justice, but the alleged criminal in the Oval Office ordered the FBI to stand down.
This same Institution has two sitting Justices who swore under oath that they would not attempt to overcome Roe v. Wade because it was settled law. These two justices, on the leaked report, are voting to overturn Roe v. Wade.
The 45th President told over 13,000 lies while in office, paid hush-money to avoid criminal charges while sitting at his Presidential Desk in the Oval Office, was impeached twice and was found ‘not guilty’ by the Republicans in the Senate, even though the evidence was clear. He is also the instigator of the Capitol Riot.
I am no longer young; and I do not share the respect for the law that my parents had. Their respect for the law came from their life during the Great Depression and World War II; times that predated Nixon and Watergate, the Vietnam War, and the assassinations of FIVE proponents of Civil Rights in the 1960’s. Times long before our Endless War in the Middle East; the one that began with the misinformation presented to Congress that Saddam Hussein had [never-found] Weapons of Mass Destruction. These weapons had been provided to Afghan forces by the CIA, to prevent the Russian Army from doing what is happening in Ukraine. History repeats.

“In psychology, the holding of two opposing ideas in your mind at the same time is known as cognitive dissonance.”

I believe that Creator entering Time and Space in the form of Jesus was the equivalent of throwing a life preserver to one who is drowning. Humanity sucks, and always has. The Biblical account of Adam and Eve [I don’t believe this is a statement of what occurred] explains it, but people don’t see it that way. Adam and Eve gained an understanding of the difference between Right and Wrong and were consequently kicked out of Eden. Humans have been choosing Wrong ever since.
For over 40 years I’ve wandered through Evangelical Christianity never understanding how the Church has survived, while being so dense. People asking the question, ‘how could god allow this to happen?’ I think they ask the question because they only selectively remember history. Six or seven Millennia of eventually-recorded history, demonstrating every single day how horrid humans are to each other; senseless, meaninglessly disgraceful behavior toward people sharing the same space, based on the amount of Melanin in their skin, or their understanding of what it means to be human.
The real Question is why Creator allows humans to continue our existence. Creator knows what shitty people we are. Our Selfishness, our Callousness, our Crimes Against Humanity. We are our own worst enemy. A couple Millennia ago, in what Believers called ‘the right time’ [there really is no explanation of why it was ‘the right time’] the Creator of the entire Universe entered Time and Space in the form of a single cell, embedded in the womb of a teenage girl. That cell joined with one of her cells, and in 9 months, a boy was born. The only reason Creator entered Time and Space was to share Light and Life to people who would never deserve the Gift. Yeshua/Jesus did not die so that you could go to Heaven—clearly written in John 3:17, where it states that:

For God did not send his Son into the world that he would condemn the world, but that he would give life to the world by him. [Aramaic Bible in Plain English]

People stop at 3:16 because their intention isn’t scholarship; their intention is to make a religious point.
Jesus either accomplished his goal—giving Life to the entire world, or Jesus failed.
It’s that simple. I prefer ‘accomplished’.

Ascension Day is the 40th day of Easter and commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven 39 days after resurrection on Easter Sunday. Ascension Day 2022 is on Thursday, May 26…

9 And when he had said these things, as they saw him, he was taken up and a cloud received him and he was hidden from their eyes. 10 And as they were gazing into the sky, as he was going, two men were present standing with them in white clothing. 11 And they were saying to them, “Galilean men, why are you standing and gazing into the sky? This Yeshua, who was taken up from you into Heaven shall come in this way, as when you saw him going up into Heaven.”Acts 1 Aramaic Bible in Plain English

No one really knows how this will work. Biblical literalists will find their literal interpretation as an explanation in itself. Followers of Jesus know that Jesus never left. His body left—although, when the risen Jesus walked through walls, one has to question the nature of Jesus’ visible body. I’ve taught myself, more times than I can count, I cannot walk through walls.
This has always been my favorite depiction of the Ascension. “And as they were gazing into the sky, as he was going…”

Ascension By Salvador Dali

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One Response to “Chronicles in Ordinary Time 239: “The greatest deception from which men suffer is their own opinions””

  1. Greg Sahlstrom Says:

    Thanks for your thoughts Marty. I’m in agreement on many points. Yet taking the Bible literally isn’t really the problem. It’s taking it literalisticly – not distinguishing between types of literature in the Bible, as evangelicals sometimes do, and doing inadequate study, ignoring that there are often a variety of definitions and uses of words, context, etc. On page 3 of Luther’s Genesis commentary he notes that Genesis chapter is one of the most difficult in the Bible. Augustine, in his Literal Meaning of Genesis notes that when we insist on our interpretation of a difficult Bible passage we may bring disrepute upon Christianity. And often subjects are often more complicated than we may be aware of. Again, thanks for your thoughts.


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