The Pope Is Right about Freedom of Expression

Roman Catholic Pope Francis sounded off yesterday about the Charlie Hebdo incident--Muslim terrorists assasinating 17 people in France because this French magazine published a cartoon satizing the Prophet Muhammed, which is considered "blasphemy" to Muslims. The pope was flying in an airplane with journalists to the Manila, Philippines. He denounced those killings and said freedom of expression is "a fundamental human right." He added, "There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity ... In … [Read more...]

The Contrast Between Zechariah and Mary

Zechariah was a priest and the father of John the Baptist. The Bible says (NRSV), "Once when he was serving as priest before God" he entered the temple sanctuary at Jerusalem to burn incense as the people were outside praying (Luke 1.8, 10). The angel Gabriel then appeared to him, standing beside the altar, and Zechariah was terrified. Gabriel said, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John" (v. 13). Gabriel … [Read more...]

“I Am the Light of the World”—Jesus

When Jesus conducted his itinerary ministry and attended holy days at the temple in Jerusalem, crowds gathered to see and hear him. They especially wondered about his identity. This scenario--people asking about Jesus' identity--occurs repeatedly in the Gospel of John. Jews asked him, “Who are you?” And they later said to him, “If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly” (John 8.25; 10.24 NRSV).The Gospel of John is unique in relating that sometimes Jesus replied to this questioning by uttering … [Read more...]

Did Al-Sissi Say Revise the Qu’ran?

On April 4, 2014, I posted an article on this blog entitled, "Are We Doing Enough About Islamic Suicide Bombers?" In it, I quote several disturbing, hostile verses in the Qu'ran (Koran) that advocate killing and beheading people who don't accept Islam for themselves as their faith, which it often calls "unbelievers." Sometimes, it designates "Jews" and "Christians" as "unbelievers." The Qu'ran often tells Muslims to "fight for the cause of God." Sometimes, this statement is in a clear context of … [Read more...]

Should Jews Pronounce God’s Name?

Judaism forbids the pronunciation of God's name. What is God's name? It is not "Father," as many Christians think. Jesus' favorite identification of God was "Father." That conveys the wonderful concepts of love, nurturing, and protecting. But "father" is a title of God, not his name. The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is very clear in saying that God's name is yhwh/YHWH. See especially Exodus 3.13-15 NIV. Moses therein asked the angel of the LORD in the burning bush incident about God, "What is … [Read more...]

Palestinians Seek Membership in the Criminal Court of Justice

The U.S.'s concerted efforts at diplomacy in reviving the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict fell apart early this summer. Since then, matters have signicantly deteriorated, especially because of last week. Israel and the Palestinians are getting farther and farther apart.This past week the Palestinian Authority (PA) applied for membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is located in the Hague, Netherlands. It was the PA's planned move after the UN Security … [Read more...]

Jethro Will Always Be Jethro

Donna Douglas died yesterday at 82 years of age. She played a starring role as Elly May on that beloved but whacky TV sitcom comedy The Beverly Hillbillies. It was one of American television's most watched series, and it ran for nine years. It was about a poor, backwoods family that struck oil on their land, making them filthy rich. They then moved west to Beverly Hills, California, next to Hollywood. Enjoying the "good life" in sunny and culturally-modern California, however, did not take the c … [Read more...]

Nuclear Disarmament Goes to the World Court

Soon after WWII ended, the U.S. and the Soviet Union began their Cold War nuclear arms race which continued for more than a generation. From 1946 to 1958 the U.S. government detonated 23 atomic bombs as tests both above ground and underwater in the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands located in the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. had convinced the islanders to temporarily leave their homes, telling them they could return afterwards to their land that would not suffer any ill-effects from the … [Read more...]


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