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#14453 - 04/05/06 06:27 PM walking on water
Anonymous
Unregistered


i like how people can call christians crazy for saying that Jesus walked on water. and how convenient it is for a lake that has never been frozen before in the past "10,000 yrs" and to have not even the whole thing, just a patch, frozen at exactly the time that Jesus walked on it. completely ignoring that Jesus called one of the disciples out onto the water and they couldn't stand on that "patch of ice" on a lake that's never been frozen before. who's crazy now?

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#14454 - 04/05/06 07:43 PM Re: walking on water
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Apparently the concept that it never happened at all and is just reworked mythology like virgin births, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny hasn't occured to you. How sad.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14455 - 04/15/06 12:49 AM Re: walking on water
Chemcial_catlisyt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/14/06
Posts: 3
Loc: WA
chistianity is a hoax

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#14456 - 04/15/06 02:00 AM Re: walking on water
Anonymous
Unregistered


Please, explain why Christianity is a hoax?

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#14457 - 04/15/06 02:06 AM Re: walking on water
Chaoslillith Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/05/06
Posts: 137
Please don't encourage him Amaranth, I can only handle so much bad spelling in one day.

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#14458 - 04/15/06 11:30 AM Re: walking on water
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Rose asked:
"Please, explain why Christianity is a hoax?"

And having received the invitation, in a manner of speaking, I will respond.

The entire religion is based upon a real person but has its origins in events plagiarized from mythology. Take away two events ... the virgin birth and the resurrection ... and you have nothing but another David Koresh. A charismatic leader who inspried a group a disciples.

What makes Christianity among the worst of hoaxes is that it has by its nature inspired incredible amounts of hatred, war, and bloodshed while setting up the ultimate of hypocrisies ... claiming to be modeled on the "prince of peace."

The simple logical fact is that if Christian beliefs were correct and validated by the facts. That a sentient deity cloned itself, impregnated a woman, and then later suffered through a crucifixion as a voluntary act to cleanse the sould of mankind for its numerous sins. Then the deity is guilty of rape, of torture, and of a horribly cruel sense of reality. Well that an given the obvious failure of the act ... an inability to communicating a coherent thought to its own creations.

If an entity is so brain-dead that the only way it can cleanse souls is blood-sport it has a serious problem and needs psychotherapy.

Bet you're sorry you asked. ;-)
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14459 - 04/16/06 04:55 AM Re: walking on water
Anonymous
Unregistered


Not at all. I expected an answer along those lines from you. I was wondering what the other person was going to say about Christianity. To simply say that something is a hoax without substantiating that statement is not very scientific. I came close to deleting that statement on the grounds that it is unscientific and therefore not belonging here. I am trying to maintain a certain standard of communication on this forum. Bald statements such as "X. is a hoax" without substantiation do not belong here. Thank you for your answer, but I knew what you would say. I'd like to hear the other person's argument as well.

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#14460 - 04/16/06 06:16 AM Re: walking on water
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
And I'd have prefered you deleted the thread on the basis that it was bad enough when Kate posted it and only made worse when upon reading it later threatened to move it to the Origins forum (where she's posted it in the first place).

Looks like neither of us is going to get what we want.

To be honest I really don't take a lot of pleasure baiting Christians with these harsh assessments of reality. But had they any integrity they would have a look around the planet and at least acknowledge that the entire act of redeeming mankind has been an abyssmal failure. It is the hypocrisy that keeps me from silently ignoring their folly.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14461 - 05/05/06 08:53 PM Re: walking on water
Redwolf Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/06
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
Rose asked:
"Please, explain why Christianity is a hoax?"

And having received the invitation, in a manner of speaking, I will respond.

The entire religion is based upon a real person but has its origins in events plagiarized from mythology. Take away two events ... the virgin birth and the resurrection ... and you have nothing but another David Koresh. A charismatic leader who inspried a group a disciples.

What makes Christianity among the worst of hoaxes is that it has by its nature inspired incredible amounts of hatred, war, and bloodshed while setting up the ultimate of hypocrisies ... claiming to be modeled on the "prince of peace."

The simple logical fact is that if Christian beliefs were correct and validated by the facts. That a sentient deity cloned itself, impregnated a woman, and then later suffered through a crucifixion as a voluntary act to cleanse the sould of mankind for its numerous sins. Then the deity is guilty of rape, of torture, and of a horribly cruel sense of reality. Well that an given the obvious failure of the act ... an inability to communicating a coherent thought to its own creations.

If an entity is so brain-dead that the only way it can cleanse souls is blood-sport it has a serious problem and needs psychotherapy.

Bet you're sorry you asked. ;-)
http://www.geocities.com/metacrock2000/Bible/Models_rev.htm

http://www.geocities.com/metagetics/Menues/DoxaJesus_menu2.html

Those claiming to be Christian and then doing the above in the name of Christianity is hypocritical of the teachings of Jesus. Therefore those who did those acts are not Christian. They talk the talk but don't walk the walk.

Lets not forget what atheism has done. Atheism turned out to have just as many frauds, psychopaths, and nut jobs as religion.

Don't forget Stalin and Madalyn Murray O'Hair, atheism seems to have ended up mimicking the Spanish Inquisition and the worst televangelists, with flying colors.

As for the failure of the act. I don't see how Jesus dying on the cross for mankinds sins is a failure. I suggest you take a look at the links above

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#14462 - 05/05/06 09:32 PM Re: walking on water
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Redwolf wrote:
"Lets not forget what atheism has done. Atheism turned out to have just as many frauds, psychopaths, and nut jobs as religion."

Absolutely. Just as much. Precisely the point. The only thing missing is the hypocrisy.

The death on the cross accomplished precisely what? Did it end smallpox a disease god made? How about polio? leukemia? rabies? war? torture? child rape?

Take a serious look at your belief system. An angry deity gets mad about a single act of disobedience and condemns all of mankind for all of eternity to all manner of diseases and horrors.
No second chance. No opportunity to apologize. No timeout. No thought that maybe the children born later should be judged upon their own merit. No. Your parents ancestors, hundreds/thousands of generations before screwed up so you get to suffer.

Then some thousands of years later this communication-challenged deity decides to make it all better by staging a blood sacrifice. Which changes precisely nothing on the entire planet.

And this you call a religion?

The fact that atheists behave not better can be restated to atheits behave no worse. Where can I sign up to worship the great hypocrisy?
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14463 - 05/06/06 12:59 AM Re: walking on water
Count Iblis II Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/21/05
Posts: 375

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#14464 - 05/06/06 01:23 AM Re: walking on water
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Wow. Its a miracle! ;-)
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14465 - 05/07/06 10:14 PM Re: walking on water
Redwolf Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/06
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
Rose asked:
"Please, explain why Christianity is a hoax?"

And having received the invitation, in a manner of speaking, I will respond.

The entire religion is based upon a real person but has its origins in events plagiarized from mythology. Take away two events ... the virgin birth and the resurrection ... and you have nothing but another David Koresh. A charismatic leader who inspried a group a disciples.

What makes Christianity among the worst of hoaxes is that it has by its nature inspired incredible amounts of hatred, war, and bloodshed while setting up the ultimate of hypocrisies ... claiming to be modeled on the "prince of peace."

The simple logical fact is that if Christian beliefs were correct and validated by the facts. That a sentient deity cloned itself, impregnated a woman, and then later suffered through a crucifixion as a voluntary act to cleanse the sould of mankind for its numerous sins. Then the deity is guilty of rape, of torture, and of a horribly cruel sense of reality. Well that an given the obvious failure of the act ... an inability to communicating a coherent thought to its own creations.

If an entity is so brain-dead that the only way it can cleanse souls is blood-sport it has a serious problem and needs psychotherapy.

Bet you're sorry you asked. ;-)
1)That would hardly make him a Koresh. All leaders inspire disciples. Jesus fulfilled the prophesies of the Messiah, so even without the resurrection or virginal conception (which were not requirements for the Messiah) he still messiahship going for him.

(2) Those are not ripped off from pagan cults. You need read this page on that where it's shown that all that stuff is made up by people who hate Christianity. Read real mythology you don't find it

http://www.geocities.com/meta_crock/other/Mythological_Jesus.htm


Obviously you are trying to put a real negative spin on it. You seem to be filled with hatred and have a vendeta against christianity.

*God's choice of Mary to be theatokos can hardly be thought of as rape. First because it's not sex, secondly because it's understood that God decides anyway who gets pregnant and who doesn't. Think of the chances it takes to get pregnant. And Mary did say she concented.

* God did not "clone" himself. Nowhere does Christian doctrine say that.


*Jesus death was something he consented to.

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#14466 - 05/07/06 10:16 PM Re: walking on water
Redwolf Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/06
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
Redwolf wrote:
"Lets not forget what atheism has done. Atheism turned out to have just as many frauds, psychopaths, and nut jobs as religion."

Absolutely. Just as much. Precisely the point. The only thing missing is the hypocrisy.

The death on the cross accomplished precisely what? Did it end smallpox a disease god made? How about polio? leukemia? rabies? war? torture? child rape?

Take a serious look at your belief system. An angry deity gets mad about a single act of disobedience and condemns all of mankind for all of eternity to all manner of diseases and horrors.
No second chance. No opportunity to apologize. No timeout. No thought that maybe the children born later should be judged upon their own merit. No. Your parents ancestors, hundreds/thousands of generations before screwed up so you get to suffer.

Then some thousands of years later this communication-challenged deity decides to make it all better by staging a blood sacrifice. Which changes precisely nothing on the entire planet.

And this you call a religion?

The fact that atheists behave not better can be restated to atheits behave no worse. Where can I sign up to worship the great hypocrisy?
Why must it accomplish only material things? that's pretty small minded to think that only physical circumstances matter. It creates the ground upon your sins can be forgiven and it tells us all that God is on our side and cares about us. What's wrong with that?

If that were the case why would this ?angry? deity become a man and die for our sins under extreme pain and humiliation?

where do you get these ideas? Obviously there is forgiveness that's the whole point of the Cross. God died in your place as a cirminal to show you that he care about you. So obviously he's givnig secnod, third fourth 25th 256th ect ect chances. why would you think otherwise?

what's this about not being judged on your own merit. Where do you get that idea? what makes you think you suffer becasue of your ancestors? It doesn't say that in the Bible.

You think becasue of orignal sin? that's just the capacity to sin not guilt of sin. You are not born guilty of sin.

why it have to change physial things? You are griping about not getting a second chance, that's what it does it gives you antoher chance, what's wrong with that?


Btw it's not a blood sacrifice it's a statement of solidarity.

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#14467 - 05/08/06 12:01 AM Re: walking on water
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Redwolf wrote:
"Jesus fulfilled the prophesies of the Messiah,...."

Actually he didn't. And if you think otherwise then point, chapter and verse, to the Old Testament prophesies he fulfilled?
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14468 - 05/08/06 09:30 PM Re: walking on water
Redwolf Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/05/06
Posts: 4
Quote:
Originally posted by DA Morgan:
Redwolf wrote:
"Jesus fulfilled the prophesies of the Messiah,...."

Actually he didn't. And if you think otherwise then point, chapter and verse, to the Old Testament prophesies he fulfilled?
Here you go..

http://www.geocities.com/metagetics/Menues/DoxaMessiah_menu2.html

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#14469 - 05/09/06 04:54 PM Re: walking on water
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
The geocities site to which you refer is lacking in credibility. A few short, out-of-context, excerpts do not constitute the definition of the Messiah in the Old Testament.

Start out by finding a synagogue in your area and talking to a rabbi. Your education will lead you to quite a few surprises.

PS: Hebrew is best interpreted by people that can read it.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#14470 - 05/24/06 08:04 PM Re: walking on water
jjw Offline
Superstar

Registered: 09/07/05
Posts: 636
Loc: USA
Hi Sareelou:

You recite:
"i like how people can call christians crazy for saying that Jesus walked on water. and how convenient it is for a lake that has never been frozen before in the past "10,000 yrs" and to have not even the whole thing, just a patch, frozen at exactly the time that Jesus walked on it."

I am curious; If you believe Jesus was the son of God why would you have a problem with his ability to walk on water? Science tells us that the planet Saturn is less dense than water and that Saturn would float on water if you could put it there. I need not believe to see it as a possbility with no ice involved.
jjw

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#14471 - 05/25/06 05:36 PM Re: walking on water
BELLATOR Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/05
Posts: 13
Loc: NYC
Hi everybody,

I'm brand new to this forum and am testing the waters. Until I read more of the past posts, I may say something which already has been said, and, I apologize for the same if it happens. Also, this post is rather long, and, if the length is contrary to the rules of the board, please tell me. The volley of counterpoint opinions that is being played in this lively discussion is of particular interest to me because it addresses an issue, which, after having read long and hard about the subject, and analyzed the implications, prompted me to doubt the viability of any system that is based on ideas originating from one person who eventually becomes a religious leader. I have found that the prevalent view. among non-sectarian scholars, of religious leaders is that such individuals always have been power-hungry despots who herd the masses into their temples in order to take their money, perpetuate their feudal hold on land for themselves and their descendents, have absolute control over their followers by inventing an invisible man in the sky that will send you to burn in Hell for all of eternity if you do not do exactly as He says (through his representatives - who are the only ones capable of interpreting His wishes), hold themselves out to be infallible, and, their commands unquestionable, and, through their acts and writings, have authored the most effective how-to books for aspiring con men who want to make it really big, e.g., Joe Smith, the apprentice magician, who invented a cute little religion called Mormonism, established a church, enticed men to join by allowing polygamy, and required all of his followers to hand over five percent of their income and assets to the Church (him). Literally hundreds of books on world history that I have read, conclude that organized religion has had an undue influence on the course of development of our society, culture, and mores. Today, we do live in houses with roofs, but, quite shockingly, religion still enables despots to perpetuate drug and arms trades, tax cuts for the top one percent of the population, and genocide. Of course, I am not prejudiced or judgmental of a person's own beliefs. But I am suspicious when the beliefs cause a blind abdication of personal responsibility, even, sometimes (more often these days) to the point of killing thousands of innocents, including, horrifically, babies. Naturally, the vast majority of people on this earth are good, and their beliefs promote good in the world. Yet the contrary is more prevalent among true believers. Today, in Islamic countries, five-year-olds are being brainwashed into becoming suicide bombers for the Islamic despots with financial agendas. I am particularly disappointed that our president has co-opted good, religious, people for his own interests, and, his cronies. Separation of church and state ahs not been implemented, really, since the beginning of time (with, perhaps, a short, doomed, hiatus during the Enlightenment). Below, are some historical facts about religions and a few biographical facts about their leaders, which, may, lead some to investigate further this wildly interesting subject.

Canon law, in the Roman Catholic Church, the body of law based on the legislation of the councils (both ecumenical and local), and, the popes, as well as, the bishops (for diocesan matters), is the law of the church courts and is formally distinguished from other parts of ecclesiastical law, such as, liturgical law. When liturgical law overlaps with canon law, canon law prevails. Canon law has had a profound influence on the law of countries where the Roman Catholic Church has been the state church (state church?). In the Middle Ages the church courts had very wide jurisdiction, e.g., in England, control of the law of personal property. From the ninth century to 1520 the church was simply Western Europe taken in its religious aspect, and no clear line divided spiritual from temporal life (politics). In the West the religious organization was free for centuries from interference from civil rulers (absolute power). Charlemagne was an exception, but his influence was benign. Gratian founded the systematic study of the canon law (self-evident, see, above), and medieval civil law (no separation of church and state) began its development. This was to provide weapons to put beyond question the extreme papal claims of Innocent III and Innocent IV. The contest between church and state continued between Boniface VIII and Philip IV of France, bringing the papacy to near ruin. Then came the Avignon residence, the so-called Babylonian captivity of the papacy circa 1309-78, a time of good church administration, but of excessive French influence over papal policy (politics and money). A long-enduring schism and a series of ambitious councils involved most churchmen in a welter of politics and worldliness. There were popular religious movements, characterized by revivalism, and, a tendency to minimize the sacraments along with church authority. The 15th-century councils did little for reform, and the popes, shorn of power (for a time), were reduced to being Renaissance princes (princes?). Such men could not cope with the Protestant revolt of Martin Luther and John Calvin as they aimed to restore primitive Christianity and to weaken the hold (control) of the church in all of Europe and Great Britain. Politics and religion were completely intertwined (as, I maintain, always); hence the admixture of religious issues in the Thirty Years War. Within the church, there triumphed the most extensive of all the church's reform movements (they desperately needed to reclaim their power), through the Jesuits. From that reform movement sprang a general revival of religion and much missionary activity in the new empires of Spain and Portugal and in East Asia. (multiplying the ?donations?). Catholic political parties were formed to combat the development of a mass socialist movement combined to detach much of the working class from the church. Otto von Bismarck in Germany and "liberal" governments in Italy, France, and, Portugal passed hostile measures, especially against religious orders.

The long-reigning John Paul II continued his predecessors? ecumenical trends and affirmed the church's traditional stands on marriage, abortion, homosexuality, and other doctrinal matters, opposed relaxing the rule of celibacy, and, reemphasized the primacy of the Vatican in church government. The church in the United States began the 21st century by confronting a major crisis concerning sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests and how it is and was handled by the church hierarchy. Multiple revelations in 2002 that some bishops, unforgivably, had allowed priests accused of sexual abuse to remain in the priesthood and to continue to perform their duties in situations where abuse could and often did reoccur sparked outrage in the United States; such cases, predictably, were not reported to civil authorities. Various dioceses faced civil lawsuits and criminal investigations, many bishops resigned after their involvement in sexual relationships was revealed, and, Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston resigned because of criticism over his handling of the numerous sex-abuse charges in his diocese. The issue led to a meeting between American cardinals and the pope in Rome, and, after a meeting of American bishops and discussions with the Vatican, to the establishment of new policies that included barring a priest who has sexually abused a minor from any ministerial role, and, that committed the hierarchy to alert legal authorities to instances of abuse.

In the spring of 1820, a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith went into a grove of trees near his home in Palmyra, New York, and prayed to learn which church he should join. In answer to his prayer, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to him, just as heavenly beings had appeared to prophets like Moses and Paul in biblical times. Joseph learned that the Church originally organized by Jesus Christ was no longer on the earth. Joseph Smith was chosen by God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth. During the next 10 years, Joseph was visited by other heavenly messengers, translated the Book of Mormon, and received authority to organize the Church. The Church was organized in Fayette, New York, on 6 April 1830, under the leadership of Joseph Smith. It has grown to an organization with members and congregations throughout the world with eleven million members. When Joseph was adolescent, an itinerant magician and diviner stopped over in Palmyra and offered his services to the local residents. The diviner claimed that he could locate not only ground water near the surface, but also treasure which had been buried by Indians many years before. Some farmers hired the diviner at three dollars per day to look for buried treasure on their lands. The diviner had several magic stones which he looked into, in order to discover the sites of the buried treasures. Young Joseph Smith took a deep interest in the diviner's skills and spent as much time as he could in the magician's company, trying to master the man's divining abilities. When no treasure was found and no more farmers would pay him, the diviner left town, but by that time Joseph had picked up some of his lore. Acquiring some magic stones of his own, Joseph was successful in using the stones to locate some lost tools. The his parents encouraged Joseph in his treasure digging, stone looking, and supernatural, visionary pursuits not because they thought it was some sort of "evil" witchcraft, magic, or sorcery. They were behind him because they thought it was a spiritual and righteous effort (Plus, they were looking for any way possible to get out of their ongoing poverty). The treasure digging activities also had involved magical rituals, and it is likely that Joseph Smith was cognizant of at least the rudiments of ceremonial magic during his adolescent years. A possible occult mentor to the young Smith has also been identified, a physician named Dr. Luman Walter. Walter was a distant cousin of Smith's future wife and a member of the circle associated with Smith's early treasure quests. By contemporary reports he was not only a physician, but, also, a magician and mesmerist who had traveled extensively in Europe to obtain "profound learning", including, knowledge of alchemy, Paracelcian medicine, and, hermetic lore. Three very curious parchments and a dagger owned by Joseph Smith's brother, Hyrum, have been carefully preserved by his descendants as sacred relics, handed down from eldest son to eldest son after his death. Family tradition maintained they were religious objects somehow used by Hyrum and Joseph. When finally allowed scrutiny by individuals outside the family, it was recognized they were the implements of a ceremonial magician. As one historian has written, ?Jesus the magician?, was the figure seen by most ancient opponents of Jesus; ?Jesus the Son of God?, was the figure seen by that party of his followers which eventually triumphed. The real Jesus was the man whose words and actions gave rise to these contradictory interpretations. Jesus the Son of God is pictured in the gospels; the works that pictured Jesus the magician were destroyed in antiquity after Christians obtained control of the Roman empire. Similar to how the image of Joseph Smith the magician has been destroyed by the Mormon Church in favor of the image of Joseph Smith the Prophet and Seer. Indeed those that remind us of Joseph Smith's magic are excommunicated for so doing. We know the lost works only from fragments and references, mostly in the works of Christian authors. Smith, the acknowledged founder of Mormonism, engaged in many unbiblical practices, something many Mormon apologists would deny. Mormon historian D. Michael Quinn's 1987 book, "Early Mormonism and the Magic World View", convincingly demonstrated that Smith's involvement with the occult was undeniable. Quinn is a former professor at the Mormon Church-owned Brigham Young University. He was excommunicated in 1993 on the charge of apostasy. This charge was based on the evidence of his historical writings exposing the "prophet." Instead of trying to deny Joseph Smith's repeated involvement with occultist activities, Quinn presented the evidence, which showed that Smith used seer stones, divining rods, amulets, incantations, and participated in rituals to summon spirits: practices forbidden in the pages of Scripture. Quinn believes that Smith reliably could be called a "first class" magician. In spite of everything, Quinn remains a faithful Mormon and still believes that Mormonism's founder was a man of God who used his magical skills and tools to communicate with the Almighty God of this universe! Quinn says he "remains a DNA Mormon".

He was born Lhamo Dhondrub on 6 July 1935, in a small village called Taktser in northeastern Tibet. Born to a peasant family, His Holiness was recognized at the age of two, in accordance with Tibetan tradition, as the reincarnation of his predecessor the 13th Dalai Lama, and thus an incarnation Avalokitesvara, the Buddha of Compassion. The ?enthronement? ceremony took place on February 22, 1940 in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

The evidence for the historical David outside of the Bible is meager. A fragmentary Aramaic inscription found at Tel Dan in 1993 and 1994 dating to ca. 850 BCE, mentions "the house of David" in reference to the kingdom of Judah. A similar reference to "the house of David," has been perceived (and partially reconstructed) by Andre Lemaire in the Mesha stele from ancient Moab. Another recent proposal by Kenneth Kitchen that the Egyptian Shoshenq (Shishak) relief mentions "the highlands of David," is doubtful. At best, these inscriptions refer to the Davidic dynasty or its province (Judah) and say nothing about the person of David. Nor can any archaeological artifact be associated with David with any degree of certainty. Though some archaeologists contend that architectural remains from the tenth century BCE indicate the existence of a central authority like that described in the Bible for the reigns of David and Solomon, they would have to be reconstructed even if their names were not given in the Bible. The Bible, therefore, remains our primary source for any portrait of the historical David. As king, David sought to consolidate his power by defeating his one-time allies, the Philistines, and by destroying Saul's heirs. He also took steps to enhance the unity between Israel and Judah. These included establishing a neutral capital in Jerusalem and giving the ark, Israel's principal religious artifact, a new home there. David gradually adopted the trappings of Middle Eastern monarchy and at the same time expanded his own hegemony to create a small empire in Palestine. David maintained power in the same way he had attained it in the first place: by removing anyone who was in his way. This included his two oldest sons, Amnon and Absalom, both of whom came to violent ends when they stood to replace their father. David's power came at a price for his people as well. There was conscription and taxation to support the king's projects, military and domestic. David confiscated other lands, as he did those of Meribbaal, in order to reward his supporters. This was a king who took what he wanted as in the story of Bathsheba. The story of Absalom's revolt indicates that there was widespread discontent with David and sectionalism fostered by his unequal treatment of Israel and Judah. As usual, David regained control by military means. Ironically, at the end of his life David himself became the victim of others' political maneuvering. His own son, Solomon, used contrived orders from David to launch a coup against the presumed successor, Adonijah, and to get rid of the members of the old regime (Joab, Abiathar) who supported Adonijah. Bathsheba herself may have orchestrated the coup.

Reverend Moon, who died in 1984, was the lunatic leader of a mass cult, and the titular head of a multi-trillion-dollar, worldwide apparatus of government influence-peddling and control that knows no equal. Moon literally owned whole countries in South America and Asia. His apparatus rapidly bought up the U.S. Congress, the Presidency, and all potential opposition forces of left, right, and center. Moon's stock-in-trade was cash and sex. The cash came from his worldwide drug- and gun-running operations, which came to the surface in the Iran-Contra scandal: cocaine from the South American trade run under cover of the Moon-linked CAUSA group; heroin from Afghanistan and the Far East, laundered through dirty-money operations of the Moon cult that overlapped Oliver North's extracurricular activities while at the National Security Council. Sex was a specialty of Moon's own Gnostic "family" cult. The Congressional Madam scandals of the nineteen seventies, featuring Tong Sun Park and Suzy Park Thomson, were found to be just the tip of the iceberg of "The Reverend" Moon's sexual-favors operation. Military intelligence officers, who investigated Unification Church operations in Washington, reported that the recruitment device used on ranking, conservative political and military officials was to hold weekly orgies, arranged by Col. Bo Hi Pak, the Unification Church official who was a top officer of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency (KCIA). The special treat at these affairs were the "Little Angels": Korean schoolgirls brought over by Moon as a singing group. The photo files from these sessions are reported to be a powerful influence in certain circles to this very day.

After his miraculous recovery and discharge from the service, L. Ron was sent on a secret mission to infiltrate a coven of warlocks in Pasadena, California. The government instructed Hubbard to destroy it from within. Unfortunately, there is no record of any government agency making such a request. First, he befriended Jack Parsons, the head of the Agape Lodge. In no time at all, they became best friends. Next, he seduced Jack's girlfriend Betty. (It's unclear whether this was an assigned objective, or just a fringe benefit.) In early 1946, Parsons wrote a letter to Aleister Crowley, who was the head of the parent organization, the Ordo Templi Orientis: ?About 3 months ago, I met Capt L Ron Hubbard, a writer and explorer of whom I had known for some time... He is a gentleman, red hair, green eyes, honest and intelligent and we have become great friends. He moved in with me about two months ago, and although Betty and I are still friendly, she has transferred her sexual affections to him. Although he has no formal training in Magic he has an extraordinary amount of experience and understanding in the field. From some of his experiences I deduce he is in direct touch with some higher intelligence, possibly his Guardian Angel. He is the most Thelemic person I have ever met and is in complete accord with our own principles. He is also interested in establishing the New Aeon, but for cogent reasons I have not introduced him to the Lodge.? As illustrated in the letter, Jack had come to trust L. Ron implicitly. In fact, Hubbard had proposed a financial arrangement to speed the disintegration of the Lodge: ?We are pooling our resources in a partnership which will act as a parent company to control our business ventures. I think I have made a great gain, and as Betty and I are the best of friends, there is little loss?. Parsons coughed up $20,970, Hubbard threw in $1,183, and with that $22,154 in seed money they formed Allied Enterprises. L. Ron then suggested that they invest in yachts. They would buy under-priced boats in Florida and sell them in California. Since he was an accomplished sea captain, Hubbard would sail them to Los Angeles. This idea sounded good to Jack. So in May, Hubbard and Betty left for Florida on a boat-buying mission. Evidently, part of the government plan to root out the coven involved squandering its financial resources, because as soon as Hubbard got to Florida he drained the Allied Enterprises bank account and spent it all on three yachts and high living. In the end, Parsons went to court but only managed to recover about half his money. The financial trouble must have hindered the Agape Lodge, and by extension the OTO. After being apprised of the situation, Crowley dispatched a message to his subordinate expressing utter dismay: ?From our brother's account he has given away both his girl and his money - apparently it is an ordinary confidence trick?.

Rodrigo Borgia studied law at Bologna. He was reputed to have committed his first murder at the age of twelve. After his uncle's election as Pope he was created successively bishop, cardinal and vice-chancellor of the church, an act of nepotism characteristic of the age. He served in the Curia under five Popes (Calixtus III, Pius II, Paul II, Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII) and acquired much administrative experience, influence and wealth, although no great power. Like many other prelates of the day, his morals were notorious, his two dominant passions being greed of gold and love of women, and he was devoted to the ten known children his mistresses bore him.
The death of Pope Innocent VIII opened the possibility of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia's succession to the Throne of St. Peter. An example of the extreme levels of corruption and immorality then present in the papacy was the Banquet of Chestnuts, also known as the Joust of the Whores, an episode famous in the history of pornography. Although ecclesiastical corruption was then at its height, his riotous mode of life called down upon him a mild reprimand from Pope Pius II (1458?64), who succeeded Calixtus III in 1458. On the death of Pope Innocent VIII (1484?92), the three likely candidates for the Holy See were Cardinals Borgia, Ascanio Sforza and Giuliano della Rovere. While there was never substantive proof of simony, the rumor was that Borgia by his great wealth succeeded in buying the largest number of votes, including that of Sforza, whom he bribed with four mule loads of silver. John Burchard, the conclave's Master of Ceremonies and a leading figure of the Papal Household under several Popes, recorded in his diary that the 1492 conclave was a particularly expensive campaign. Della Rovere was bankrolled to the cost of 200,000 gold ducats by the King of France, with another 100,000 supplied by the Republic of Genoa. Borgia was elected on August 11, 1492, assuming the name of Alexander VI. After a strong beginning as pope, reforming the Curia and forbidding simony - which is, of course, the means by which he had purchased the papacy - Alexander concentrated his efforts on his primary interests. These were, like Innocent VIII, the acquisition of gold, the pursuit of women, and the interests of his family. However, Alexander made his predecessor look like a rank amateur. He named his son Cesare, then only eighteen, a cardinal, along with the younger brother of his current papal mistress, the even younger Alessandro Farnese. He arranged three marriages for his daughter Lucrezia, skillfully annulling the first, and, through the efforts of Cesare, conveniently making her a widow with the second. Lucrezia often was left in charge of the papacy - in effect, a regent - when Alexander was traveling from Rome.


Adolf Hitler - A frustrated artist who saw himself as the ?Nordic Christ,? and Germans as ?the chosen people,? Hitler was the almost inevitable result of Germany?s humiliation after World War I. An idealist, he was determined to better mankind by purging the world of inferior races and peoples - and smokers. Hitler?s Reich murdered 12 million people, half of them Jews. If Britain had the right to colonial rule over India and Egypt, Hitler asked, why did Germany not have the right to rule Poland and Russia? In 1942, Hitler told the Duce, ?My dearest wish would be able to wander about in Italy as an unknown painter.? Hitler rightly predicted the Soviet Union would become a mortal peril to Europe and America.

Josef Stalin - Genghis Khan with tanks. An extraordinary monster, the biggest mass murderer since the Mongols - perhaps the biggest in all history. Everyone was Stalin?s enemy. Power was everything. Stalin presided over the murder of 40 million of his own people and the imprisonment of tens of millions of Russians and East Europeans. The master terrorist of all time, Stalin knew how to conjure fear and obedience on a mass scale. He repeatedly outwitted the bumbling Roosevelt and Churchill and infiltrated their governments with his agents. A despot whose names inspires fear and respect (in Russia) to this day. The real victor of WWII in Europe.

Vladimir Lenin - Falsely portrayed by historical revisionists as the ?good? communist whose ideas were later corrupted, Lenin was, in fact, the father of the system of ?Red Terror? which resulted in the death of some 40 million Soviet citizens from 1922-1953. Stalin merely expanded on and perfected the institutionalized repression created by the utterly ruthless, brilliant, iron- willed Lenin who was determined to impose Marxism on the world. Life meant nothing; the Party was everything, according to this perverted genius, the very worst of the many bloody-minded intellectuals who brought untold suffering to this century.

Mao Zedong - Brilliant, determined, visionary, colorful, Mao defeated the nationalists and Japan, and unified China. Two million ?landlords? were shot. Mao woke China from centuries of sleep, and laid the basis for a modern nation. But he created a grim , totalitarian police state that rivaled Stalin?s USSR. Mao's 'reforms?, so lauded by the CBC and western liberal admirers, bankrupted China and led to the death of 30 million peasants. The Cultural Revolution unleashed by the dying Mao killed another 2 million people and saw China?s greatest art treasures destroyed, the worst act of cultural vandalism in modern history.

Benito Mussolini - A strutting popinjay, a windbag, a buffoon from comic opera, he made Italy look very silly. Though largely inoffensive in Europe, the Duce?s Fascist Legions used poison gas and concentration camps extensively in Libya and Ethiopia. Mussolini was a great orator, great dresser, and made the trains run on time - until bombed to smithereens by the Allies. Clever Italians have managed to convince most people that they were actually on the Allied side during WWII. Though a very minor malefactor, Mussolini proved even fools can be dangerous.

The Fourth Lateran Council headed by Pope Innocent III declares: "Jews and Saracens of both sexes in every Christian province and at all times shall be marked off in the eyes of the public from other peoples through the character of their dress." (Canon 68). See Judenhut. The Fourth Lateran Council also noted that the Jews' own law required the wearing of identifying symbols. Pope Innocent III also reiterated papal injunctions against forcible conversions, and added: "No Christian shall do the Jews any personal injury...or deprive them of their possessions...or disturb them during the celebration of their festivals...or extort money from them by threatening to exhume their dead." In Papal Bull Cum nimis absurdum, Pope Paul IV writes: "It appears utterly absurd and impermissible that the Jews, whom God has condemned to eternal slavery for their guilt, should enjoy our Christian love." He renews anti-Jewish legislation and installs a locked nightly ghetto in Rome. The Bull also forces Jewish males to wear a yellow hat, females - yellow kerchief. Owning real estate or practicing medicine on Christians is forbidden. It also limits Jewish communities to only one synagogue.

Sources:

P. Hughes, A Popular History of the Catholic Church (1947, repr. 1961); L. Hertling, A History of the Catholic Church (tr. 1956); J. McSorley, Outline History of the Church by Centuries (11th ed. 1961); The New Catholic Encyclopedia (19 vol., 1967-95); M. A. Fitzsimons, The Catholic Church Today: Western Europe (1969); J. L. McKenzie, The Roman Catholic Church (1969); J. Seidler and K. Meyer, Conflict and Change in the Catholic Church (1989); C. R. Morris, American Catholic (1997); D. France, Our Fathers: The Secret Life of the Catholic Church in an Age of Scandal (2004); Quinn, "Early Mormonism and the Magic World View," Signature Books; Revised edition, December 1998; Joseph Smith and His Mormon Empire, 48?52; Brodie, No Man Knows My History, 37; Dan Vogel, ??The Prophet Puzzle? Revisited,?? in The Prophet Puzzle: Interpretive Essays on Joseph Smith, ed. Bryan Waterman (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1999), 53.

And, finally, as an aside, I have found the following work to be most instructive on the subject of man?s existence:

We look for some reward of our endeavours and are disappointed; not success, not happiness, not even peace of conscience, crowns our ineffectual efforts to do well. Our frailties are invincible, our virtues barren; the battle goes sore against us to the going down of the sun. The canting moralist tells us of right and wrong; and we look abroad, even on the face of our small earth, and find them change with every climate, and no country where some action is not honoured for a virtue and none where it is not branded for a vice; and we look in our experience, and find no vital congruity in the wisest rules, but at the best a municipal fitness. It is not strange if we are tempted to despair of good. We ask too much. Our religions and moralities have been trimmed to flatter us, till they are all emasculate and sentimentalised, and only please and weaken. Truth is of a rougher strain. In the harsh face of life, faith can read a bracing gospel. The human race is a thing more ancient than the ten commandments; and the bones and revolutions of the Kosmos, in whose joints we are but moss and fungus, more ancient still.

Of the Kosmos in the last resort, science reports many doubtful things and all of them appalling. There seems no substance to this solid globe on which we stamp: nothing but symbols and ratios. Symbols and ratios carry us and bring us forth and beat us down; gravity that swings the incommensurable suns and worlds through space, is but a figment varying inversely as the squares of distances; and the suns and worlds themselves, imponderable figures of abstraction, NH3, and H2O. Consideration dares not dwell upon this view; that way madness lies; science carries us into zones of speculation, where there is no habitable city for the mind of man.

But take the Kosmos with a grosser faith, as our senses give it us. We behold space sown with rotatory islands, suns and worlds and the shards and wrecks of systems: some, like the sun, still blazing; some rotting, like the earth; others, like the moon, stable in desolation. All of these we take to be made of something we call matter: a thing which no analysis can help us to conceive; to whose incredible properties no familiarity can reconcile our minds. This stuff, when not purified by the lustration of fire, rots uncleanly into something we call life; seized through all its atoms with a pediculous malady; swelling in tumours that become independent, sometimes even (by an abhorrent prodigy) locomotory; one splitting into millions, millions cohering into one, as the malady proceeds through varying stages. This vital putrescence of the dust, used as we are to it, yet strikes us with occasional disgust, and the profusion of worms in a piece of ancient turf, or the air of a marsh darkened with insects, will sometimes check our breathing so that we aspire for cleaner places. But none is clean: the moving sand is infected with lice; the pure spring, where it bursts out of the mountain, is a mere issue of worms; even in the hard rock the crystal is forming.

In two main shapes this eruption covers the countenance of the earth: the animal and the vegetable: one in some degree the inversion of the other: the second rooted to the spot; the first coming detached out of its natal mud, and scurrying abroad with the myriad feet of insects or towering into the heavens on the wings of birds: a thing so inconceivable that, if it be well considered, the heart stops. To what passes with the anchored vermin, we have little clue, doubtless they have their joys and sorrows, their delights and killing agonies: it appears not how. But of the locomotory, to which we ourselves belong, we can tell more. These share with us a thousand miracles: the miracles of sight, of hearing, of the projection of sound, things that bridge space; the miracles of memory and reason, by which the present is conceived, and when it is gone, its image kept living in the brains of man and brute; the miracle of reproduction, with its imperious desires and staggering consequences. And to put the last touch upon this mountain mass of the revolting and the inconceivable, all these prey upon each other, lives tearing other lives in pieces, cramming them inside themselves, and by that summary process, growing fat: the vegetarian, the whale, perhaps the tree, not less than the lion of the desert; for the vegetarian is only the eater of the dumb.

Meanwhile our rotatory island loaded with predatory life, and more drenched with blood, both animal and vegetable, than ever mutinied ship, scuds through space with unimaginable speed, and turns alternate cheeks to the reverberation of a blazing world, ninety million miles away.

What a monstrous spectre is this man, the disease of the agglutinated dust, lifting alternate feet or lying drugged with slumber; killing, feeding, growing, bringing forth small copies of himself; grown upon with hair like grass, fitted with eyes that move and glitter in his face; a thing to set children screaming; - and yet looked at nearlier, known as his fellows know him, how surprising are his attributes! Poor soul, here for so little, cast among so many hardships, filled with desires so incommensurate and so inconsistent, savagely surrounded, savagely descended, irremediably condemned to prey upon his fellow lives: who should have blamed him had he been of a piece with his destiny and a being merely barbarous? And we look and behold him instead filled with imperfect virtues: infinitely childish, often admirably valiant, often touchingly kind; sitting down, amidst his momentary life, to debate of right and wrong and the attributes of the deity; rising up to do battle for an egg or die for an idea; singling out his friends and his mate with cordial affection; bringing forth in pain, rearing with long-suffering solicitude, his young. To touch the heart of his mystery, we find, in him one thought, strange to the point of lunacy: the thought of duty; the thought of something owing to himself, to his neighbour, to his God: an ideal of decency, to which he would rise if it were possible; a limit of shame, below which, if it be possible, he will not stoop. The design in most men is one of conformity; here and there, in picked natures, it transcends itself and soars on the other side, arming martyrs with independence; but in all, in their degrees, it is a bosom thought: - Not in man alone, for we trace it in dogs and cats whom we know fairly well, and doubtless some similar point of honour sways the elephant, the oyster, and the louse, of whom we know so little: - But in man, at least, it sways with so complete an empire that merely selfish things come second, even with the selfish: that appetites are starved, fears are conquered, pains supported; that almost the dullest shrinks from the reproof of a glance, although it were a child?s; and all but the most cowardly stand amid the risks of war; and the more noble, having strongly conceived an act as due to their ideal, affront and embrace death. Strange enough if, with their singular origin and perverted practice, they think they are to be rewarded in some future life: stranger still, if they are persuaded of the contrary, and think this blow, which they solicit, will strike them senseless for eternity. I shall be reminded what a tragedy of misconception and misconduct man at large presents: of organised injustice, cowardly violence and treacherous crime; and of the damning imperfections of the best. They cannot be too darkly drawn. Man is indeed marked for failure in his efforts to do right. But where the best consistently miscarry, how tenfold more remarkable that all should continue to strive; and surely we should find it both touching and inspiriting, that in a field from which success is banished, our race should not cease to labour.

If the first view of this creature, stalking in his rotatory isle, be a thing to shake the courage of the stoutest, on this nearer sight, he startles us with an admiring wonder. It matters not where we look, under what climate we observe him, in what stage of society, in what depth of ignorance, burthened with what erroneous morality; by camp-fires in Assiniboia, the snow powdering his shoulders, the wind plucking his blanket, as he sits, passing the ceremonial calumet and uttering his grave opinions like a Roman senator; in ships at sea, a man inured to hardship and vile pleasures, his brightest hope a fiddle in a tavern and a bedizened trull who sells herself to rob him, and he for all that simple, innocent, cheerful, kindly like a child, constant to toil, brave to drown, for others; in the slums of cities, moving among indifferent millions to mechanical employments, without hope of change in the future, with scarce a pleasure in the present, and yet true to his virtues, honest up to his lights, kind to his neighbours, tempted perhaps in vain by the bright gin-palace, perhaps long-suffering with the drunken wife that ruins him; in India (a woman this time) kneeling with broken cries and streaming tears, as she drowns her child in the sacred river; in the brothel, the discard of society, living mainly on strong drink, fed with affronts, a fool, a thief, the comrade of thieves, and even here keeping the point of honour and the touch of pity, often repaying the world?s scorn with service, often standing firm upon a scruple, and at a certain cost, rejecting riches: - everywhere some virtue cherished or affected, everywhere some decency of thought and carriage, everywhere the ensign of man?s ineffectual goodness: - ah! if I could show you this! if I could show you these men and women, all the world over, in every stage of history, under every abuse of error, under every circumstance of failure, without hope, without help, without thanks, still obscurely fighting the lost fight of virtue, still clinging, in the brothel or on the scaffold, to some rag of honour, the poor jewel of their souls! They may seek to escape, and yet they cannot; it is not alone their privilege and glory, but their doom; they are condemned to some nobility; all their lives long, the desire of good is at their heels, the implacable hunter.

Of all earth?s meteors, here at least is the most strange and consoling: that this ennobled lemur, this hair-crowned bubble of the dust, this inheritor of a few years and sorrows, should yet deny himself his rare delights, and add to his frequent pains, and live for an ideal, however misconceived. Nor can we stop with man. A new doctrine, received with screams a little while ago by canting moralists, and still not properly worked into the body of our thoughts, lights us a step farther into the heart of this rough but noble universe. For nowadays the pride of man denies in vain his kinship with the original dust. He stands no longer like a thing apart. Close at his heels we see the dog, prince of another genus: and in him too, we see dumbly testified the same cultus of an unattainable ideal, the same constancy in failure. Does it stop with the dog? We look at our feet where the ground is blackened with the swarming ant: a creature so small, so far from us in the hierarchy of brutes, that we can scarce trace and scarce comprehend his doings; and here also, in his ordered politics and rigorous justice, we see confessed the law of duty and the fact of individual sin. Does it stop, then, with the ant? Rather this desire of well-doing and this doom of frailty run through all the grades of life: rather is this earth, from the frosty top of Everest to the next margin of the internal fire, one stage of ineffectual virtues and one temple of pious tears and perseverance. The whole creation groaneth and travaileth together. It is the common and the god-like law of life. The browsers, the biters, the barkers, the hairy coats of field and forest, the squirrel in the oak, the thousand-footed creeper in the dust, as they share with us the gift of life, share with us the love of an ideal: strive like us - like us are tempted to grow weary of the struggle - to do well; like us receive at times unmerited refreshment, visitings of support, returns of courage; and are condemned like us to be crucified between that double law of the members and the will. Are they like us, I wonder, in the timid hope of some reward, some sugar with the drug? do they, too, stand aghast at unrewarded virtues, at the sufferings of those whom, in our partiality, we take to be just, and the prosperity of such as, in our blindness, we call wicked? It may be, and yet God knows what they should look for. Even while they look, even while they repent, the foot of man treads them by thousands in the dust, the yelping hounds burst upon their trail, the bullet speeds, the knives are heating in the den of the vivisectionist; or the dew falls, and the generation of a day is blotted out. For these are creatures, compared with whom our weakness is strength, our ignorance wisdom, our brief span eternity.

And as we dwell, we living things, in our isle of terror and under the imminent hand of death, God forbid it should be man the erected, the reasoner, the wise in his own eyes - God forbid it should be man that wearies in well-doing, that despairs of unrewarded effort, or utters the language of complaint. Let it be enough for faith, that the whole creation groans in mortal frailty, strives with unconquerable constancy: Surely not all in vain.

Robert Louis Stevenson, Across the Plains, Chapter 11 - Pulvis Et Umbra. (Scribner's Magazine, vol. 3, issue 4, April, 1888)
_________________________
Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita mi ritrovai per una selva oscura, ch? la diritta via era smarrita. salimmo s?, el primo e io secondo tanto ch'i' vidi de le cose belle che porta 'l ciel, per un pertugio tondo. E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.

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#14472 - 05/25/06 09:12 PM Re: walking on water
Anonymous
Unregistered


I hope that you are not expecting a response, because in all that vast post of yours I see nothing that bears responding to. Anyone can plagiarize at great length, it takes only the click of a mouse button. Next time please limit yourself to one topic and give us something to think about. Great long posts are likely to be left unread; people don't have time for endless wanderings.

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