To The Daily Sun,
In response to James Veverka's letter of Feb. 6, Jim says, "The Bible is historical fiction." Look I'm quite a fan of historical novels. There are some pretty good reads in that genre, but the Bible is not that. Jim may be too dull of understanding to know the difference but I'm not. I will try to make it clear as to why I say this. Not because I'm such a great debater, but because I have a love of the truth, and have a confidence in my God. I'm confident that I can investigate a thing and God's truth will be shown. Jim cannot abide the truth. He must be satisfied in stating disjointed trivial facts from history, disseminating misinformation and quoting like-minded "scholars" for supposed authority, hoping the reader cannot see the big picture of history. You see Jim is running away from God and this is the best that he can do on the run.
He calls the Gospel accounts stories "colored by decades of hand-me-down stories, embellishments, exaggerations and alterations." He takes particular exception to what he says is a lack of primary sources for the existence of Jesus. Now if he was complaining that Jesus didn't write anything, it would be a lame complaint, because he trained his disciples for 3 1/2 years to, among other things, do that very thing. If he is saying that Gospels were written by others than the early church fathers held them to be written by, or who the internal evidence indicates, he would have a hard time showing this. The Gospel of Matthew was unanimously held by early church fathers to be written by the apostle Matthew. The Gospel of John we know by internal evidence was written by the Apostle John. Mark a disciple of Jesus, though not an apostle, apparently wrote his Gospel according Peter's preaching. And Luke wrote as an investigative reporter. All of this was overseen by God himself. These were not hand-me-down stories or embellishments, but eye witness accounts and careful reporting. These are men who gave their lives for the truth of the Gospel, for they knew what they had seen and handled.
The New Testament writers seemed to know that what they were writing was Scripture and wrote with the care that only writers of scripture exhibit; likewise those who transcribed them did so with care, even to those who translate them today, as can be seen by comparing the various translations. In view of such careful scholarship, the game of telephone analogy alluded to by Mr. Veverka falls away as a ruse used by unbelievers in hopes of discrediting the Word of God in the eyes of their readers. Old testament Scriptures were transcribed with equal care letter for letter jot for jot.
As to the use of Anno Domini, In the year of our Lord: Jim tries to explain Marie Ludwick's point away by dazzling us with what turns out to be the use of historical trivia, with little understanding of what went on or its importance. The long and the short of it is that a sixth century a Scythian monk named Dionysius Exiguus working on creating a table with which to calculate on which Sunday Easter should fall; did not want to use what was the current reference for the beginning of their era, the beginning of Emperor Diocletian reign 284 AD by our calender, which was in use for dating events at this time, for Diocletian was notorious for persecuting Christians. So he made a rough calculation as to the date of Jesus conception and used it as a reference in the calculation of his table. Understand that a large portion of the learned class of this era were Christian scribes. Saint Bede, also a monk, an English monk, used Dionysius' reference, Anno Domini, in dating events in his history of the church in England. Alcuin, also a Christian scholar and a pupil of a disciple of Bede, came to have sway in Charlemagne's court where he taught Charlemagne and his sons.
Charlemagne and his sons came to popularize the usage of Anno Domino dating throughout the Holy Roman Empire. Charlemagne lived in the 8th and 9th centuries. It is important to note that Europe was a backwater at this time. It was not the major player on the world stage that it was to become. It took some time for the rest of Europe to adopt Anno Domini dating and even longer for the rest of the world to accept this reference point, but whatever you call it AD or CE the date that world marks the beginning of this era from is, by design, the Nativity of Christ. If Jesus is not who He says He is, this is a wonder indeed.
I would like to mention a word about Jim's critique of the Old Testament. As this letter is already long, I will do so briefly. Such was the reputation of the God of Israel in the ancient world, that when Pompey entered Jerusalem he entered the temple with great expectation. He was disappointed for all he found was a scroll, for because of Judah's sin the glory of God no longer dwelled in their temple. Yet the reputation of the God of Israel in the ancient world, if they were wise, should give critics pause.
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 February 2015 11:07
To The Daily Sun,
Steve Earle is at it with his half-baked facts. Steve, who is well known for his anti-Muslim rants just can't stand it if someone criticizes his Momma, Christianity. His first foray into falsehoods is to say the left doesn't believe in God. Huh? Last I heard, only 4 percent of Americans (world is at 14 percent) are true atheists, so I wonder where Mr. Earle's new tale emerged from? Fox?
While it is true there is a great decline in Christianity in America and the West, liberals still believe, too. They just detest any alliance of church and state, and couldn't care less what George Washington or Patrick Henry believe in regards to God. They also aren't so naive as to take the Bible literally. If Mr. Earle would just crawl out of his little box he would find that there are thousands of Christian-liberal-progressive organizations and debate pages online. (If he has time away from Fake News!)
It certainly was hilarious to see the right wing have another hissy fit over the president's accurate statements as to what Christians are capable of, given the license. After all, they may not use the sword anymore but they use their religion to attack and cut asunder the rights and dignity of the LGBT community and women to begin with. And it all comes from the Bible. The "alleged" pro-life, anti-abortion, food stamp-hating movements in the USA are Christian. The American Family Association, the Family Research Council, the Defense of Marriage are all hateful anti-gay, anti-women groups who are loudly Christian.
The laws that kept interracial marriage illegal until the Supreme Court had to spank the religious nuts in the 1960s, were based on that old-time religion. The laws making contraception illegal were based on Christian procreation nonsense. There are still fundamentalists like Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee who demonize contraception and responsible family planning.
Again, Mr. Earle doesn't tell the whole story about slavery. While Christian humanists and secularists opposed slavery, Slavery-supporting Christians were quick to defend their position with the Bible because the Bible legitimizes and regulates slavery in Leviticus and Exodus. Slaves are to obey their masters according to Paul (Hey, it's the word of God!). Jerry Falwell made his name by preaching that Christianity required segregating the races and right-wingers flocked to his cause. Many Christian churches in the South were established to keep white kids from attending classes with black students. And, as Jamelle Bouie writes in Slate, lynching was understood by its defenders "as a Christian duty, consecrated as God's will against racial transgression."
Today, the GOP and the Tea Party are where we find most of the racists, sexists, gay-hatred, religious intolerance at a pathological level. It's also the only place where you will find crazy preachers who really would like to criminalize the LGBT community, women who choose not to have a child at this time, and doctors who care for them (if some Christian terrorist hasn't assassinated him/her yet). There is a meme online that sums it up for Mr. Earle. A college-age woman is sitting with her notebook. The meme says, "Dear Theists, we will stop caring what you believe just as soon as what you believe stops influencing the decisions of those in power, thereby affecting our lives negatively." So, Steve, until Christians stop using their religion in politics, just as Islamists do, we secularists will keep the shovel ready.
Now as to Christian capabilities in the present. On May 28, 2014, Christian militia members threw grenades before shooting indiscriminately at a mosque in the Central African Republic capital of Bangui, killing at least 11 people. Christian militias in Central African Republic are presently carrying out ethnic cleansing of the Muslim populations during the CAR's ongoing civil war. Thousands of people have died as a result of the conflict. Human rights violations and abuses were committed by all parties. The Muslim Seleka coalition and the Christian Militia, Anti-balaka, are also responsible for terrorism, war crimes and crimes against humanity according to a recent UN inquiry. Also of note, the Anti-balaka terrorist leader was arrested in January for crimes including murder, rebellion, rape and looting, the country's senior prosecutor said on Sunday.
Of course he has a ways to go to catch up with the 8 million lives lost in the Protestant vs. Catholic 30 Years' War.
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 February 2015 10:56
To The Daily Sun,
What is wrong with the Laconia Post Office?
Three times in recent weeks those of us who live in the Lakeport section of the city have not received mail delivery. I can understand the first time when there was no mail delivery throughout the entire state because of the blizzard.
Since then there has been late or no deliveries at all, and it was not because of snow-covered streets. This includes Tuesday when there was no delivery.
One time, the weekly advertising fliers which contain the weekly grocery fliers were not delivered. These stores spend hundreds of dollars to have these printed and mailed.
When I asked about the lack of mail delivery I was told by several people it is because the Laconia Post Office is short of help and the postmaster will not hire additional people to fill in the vacancies,.
I do not know the postmaster, but if what I have been told is true that person is not doing the job they are supposedly qualified for.
Gordon D. King
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 February 2015 10:50
To The Daily Sun,
Madam Governor, listen to the weakest voices!
It is unlikely that our governor or (Health and Human Services) commissioner will ever be on Medicaid. They will probably not spend their remaining days in one of our county nursing homes. Perhaps that is why they can so easily propose to cut funds earmarked for the oldest and frailest among us. The governor needs to be reminded that these funds are not in her pocketbook to do with as she pleases. They are state funds voted by the state Legislature for this purpose and only for this purpose.
On Jan. 14 it was reported that state revenues year-to-date were beating estimates by $19.2 million, yet at the rate of current spending that would only result in a projected surplus of a mere $44,000.
Madam Governor, where are you spending our money? Wherever it is can you justify taking more from those who can't speak for themselves in Concord?
Yes, stop the bleeding of the state budget, but don't do it at the expense of the infirm and those dedicated to caring for them in their final days. Listen to the weakest of voices and act responsibly.
Senator Jeanie Forrester and a host of other legislators are challenging the Governor's proposed action. You and I should, too.
Edward C. Touhey
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 February 2015 10:46
To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to the Meredith Selectboard:
It is after much thought and reflection that I submit to you my resignation from the Selectboard in the Town of Meredith. The time constraints placed on me by my full-time job make it difficult for me to fully participate in an endeavor which is largely scheduled during normal business hours.
I strongly encourage you to look at the schedules of other towns and think about having committee meetings and Selectboard meetings outside of normal business hours so that the general public is able to participate without impacting their livelihood. Having committee meetings at 8 in the morning and 2
or 3 in the afternoon is just not practical for most working citizens. Furthermore, the Selectboard workshop at 4:15 p.m. and the meeting right after also conflicts with the normal business hours of the average citizen and impacts people's ability to attend these meetings as most people do not even get
back to Meredith from work until 5:30 or 6 p.m..
Since there are eight people signed up to run for the Selectboard at this time, I felt it was appropriate to tender my resignation now as to give the town the opportunity to choose from one of them to fill the vacated position.
It has been a pleasure to serve the town I love so very much. Thank you to the people of Meredith for electing me.
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 February 2015 10:43