7 things @ 9 o’clock (10.23)

1. Big Think addresses the dilemma we discussed here yesterday — “This book is both the ultimate source of authority and completely indecisive.”

A nitpick: That piece links to Stephen Prothero’s “Religious Literacy Quiz,” which includes this question:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.” Does this appear in the Bible? If so, where?

The correct answer should be no. Those familiar with the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke, and with the distinctive differences between them, won’t get full credit on Prothero’s quiz.

First poster: All the misfits and the losers … lift up your hands.

2. Richard Beck shares another example of holy envy (and an expression of holy hospitality by a local Orthodox priest). William Lindsey also looks at New Jersey rabbis’ response to marriage equality with a touch of holy envy.

3. Earlier this month, Stephanie Drury wrote: “Resigning suddenly under nebulous circumstances from a Christian organization with copious ‘We are definitely, definitely on good terms and the Lord is leading us in different directions’ missives are yet another thing that Christian culture likes.” True. Here’s the latest example: “Christian college umbrella group CCCU ousts president Edward Blews.”

4. This sleazy rent-seeking by pharmaceutical companies would be costing my family a lot of money (half of us rely on albuterol inhalers), except that my wife’s company offers good health insurance — so the unnecessary higher cost of this price-gouging gets shared by everyone.

5. “Landlords” sounds like feudalism because it is. When you don’t own the land under your home, you and your house can be evicted.

6. Brie Loskota: “Churches Don’t Feed People, People Feed People

Before we buy into the false gospel of congregations as the singular salvific actors that are standing at the ready poised to rescue our collective needs in this economic disaster, we need to accurately assess their capacity to stretch beyond their current efforts, especially in the absence of government programs.

When we do, we may find that the burdens we expect them to shoulder will cause their collapse.

7. The crew of the Bourbon Peridot, an oil rig off the coast of Africa, perform a golden oldie from Toto (via). Well done, gentlemen:

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  • http://myeckblog.blogspot.com/ myeck waters

    …and the doggy version tastes like bacon.

  • Lorehead

    In modern Hebrew, הָמָן would be pronounced ha-MAHN. Here’s a video of a Jewish cantorial student singing the text the way it’s read in synagogue; he says HEY-man when speaking English and ha-MAHN when speaking Hebrew. Or, in one place, ha-MAH-AH-AH-AH-AH-AH-AH-AH-AH-AHN. It’s awesome.

    In synagogue, though, everybody would be shaking their noisemakers to drown out the sound of his name.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Given that I’m a native English speaker, I’ll go with HAY-man. :)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    TBH, the phrase “hang higher than Haman” rings out better in English if you use the former pronunciation. :P

  • dpolicar


  • dpolicar

    ‘scool with me.

  • Lorehead

    Pardon, meant to reply to the particle. Of course you knew all that.

  • dpolicar


  • Winter

    I tend to think “Ha-MAHN,” but that’s because I’ve spent too much time around UC Gundam series and the first Haman I think of is a pink-haired female dictator with a penchant for killing her enemies personally.

  • smrnda

    I would of course choose the present, because owing to medical issues I would be dead in the not so distant past. Even with the supposed *obligations* to serfs, the maximum possible standard of living for anyone would be pretty much shit in 1200.

  • smrnda

    Thanks for pointing that out. I also seem to recall that being how the Law was explained by Rabbi Hillel the Elder when some Roman asked him to explain the Torah while he stood on one foot.

  • Lorehead

    “What is hateful to thee, do not unto thy fellow man: this is the whole Law; the rest is mere commentary.”

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    …can I just express utter confusion at all the folks putting an H on the front?

    Are you all pronouncing it silently, or what?

    (It’s “AY-MEN or AH-MEN?”. And the answer is “AH-MEN”.)

  • Jamoche

    Not different enough to account for the price difference.

  • Lorehead


  • Lorehead

    But please tell me that Bathsheba was a rubber ducky, because that other version is so sad.

  • christopher_y

    I have a feeling this one might have originated with IBM. Once upon a time, it was IBM’s proud boast that they never fired anybody except for misconduct. So when the company started going down the pan and they had to “let people go”, they came up with all kinds of euphemisms to make it sound like they still weren’t firing anybody.

    There was a case where some people compulsorily stopped working for IBM, and the terminology in their letter of dismissal was so obscure that when they went to claim unemployment, the clerk couldn’t understand that they had actually been made redundant and had to call the company to ask them what the situation was. And the HR person was all “Oh no, we haven’t fired them, they’ve been ‘transitioned’” or whatever the term was. And this went on until it made the news.

  • http://algol.wordpress.com/ SororAyin

    Well, if the Song of Solomon is in the Bible….

  • alfgifu

    Serious question: given a choice between living as a typical corporate employee in 21st-century England and living as a typical feudal serf in 12th-century England, which would you choose?

    I’d choose my current life (corporate employee in 21st-century England), thanks.

    However, if my options were to live in poverty in 21st-century USA or as a peasant in 12th-century England, it would be less clear-cut. I’d probably still opt for the modern world, particularly for my hypothetical kids, because there are so many more possibilities and opportunities here. Not to mention: the internet!

    Still, if I can’t have modern healthcare either way (and in the USA I’m assuming I can’t) then the 12th century doesn’t look so bad.

    I definitely think there’s some stuff we could learn from our ancestors. I was reading recently about economic theory around that time – and how poverty was seen as a great misfortune, never a vice. There were protections put in place such as free legal counsel, or permission to have your legal testimony taken at your place of work, to make sure that the legal system was equally accessible to the poor as to the rich.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    I think they’re talking about the villain from the book of Esther. I’ve always seen his name spelled with an “H” on the front.

  • toushindai

    I recently found out that “usta” is the Polish word for *mouth*, not lips. “Warga” is lips. *shakes head* Larry, how could you lie to me? Or Larry’s Polish friend who got stung by a bee–right on the lips!. Either way.

    For shame.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Did you see the part where I referenced “to hang higher than Haman”?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Pardon my … uncertainty. ;)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    There were even strict laws against cheating customers by trying to short them on things they had to have – for example, bakers were forbidden from selling underweight bread, as that was seen as a kind of theft from customers.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    On the one hand? I like a corporate ethos that specifically values labor enough to state in plain talk that they will not treat workers like disposable candies.

    On the other hand, it’s sad to see how such an ideal can be twisted in deed, if not in word, so that it comes to mean something so distorted from the original that it mocks the original intent of the phrase.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Speaking of Prothero? Whenever I see the name in this thread I keep thinking of this Prothero.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Cop: You are Colonel Sebastian Doyle, Section Chief of CGI, Head of the Ministry of Alteration.
    Sebastian Doyle: Remind me a little: what do we do at the Ministry of Alteration?
    Cop: You… change people, Sir.
    Sebastian Doyle: In what way?
    Cop: You change them from being alive people, to being dead people. To purify Democracy.

  • James M

    “Heaven” may well be a reverent periphrasis for “God” – so semantically, there would then be not a sliver of difference in meaning, but a difference only in expression.

    Using passives is another form of reverent periphrasis – “All power in heaven and earth has been given to Me” for “God has given Me all power in heaven and earth” (see Matthew 28). The Revelation uses the passive in this way frequently.

    The Scofield Bible, at least in its pre-1967 form, does distinguish between “the kingdom of heaven” & “the kingdom of God” – Scofield reified verbal differences into theological differences. That edition of the Bible, complete w/ his notes, has been phenomenally influential in US Fundamentalism. Apparently the 1967 edition makes some changes, but I have no idea what.

    His notes (pre-1967 ScoBib) can be read here:


    For Matthew 3 & the Kingdom of Heaven, see here:


  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    And in the 18th century or thereabouts there was the nascent rise of a kind of welfare state in England called Speenhamland. Karl Polyani spent a lot of ink on it showing how Speenhamland was one of the biggest blocks against the development of industrial capitalism because it deprived capitalists of a crucial lever against laborers – that is, the driving force of desperation – which would induce them to accept a pittance of a wage in exchange for long hours of work in a factory.