‘Our very presence frees this land from the lies of the history books’

first_imgThe following full remarks were given by Moonanum James, co-leader of United American Indians of New England, at the 46th Annual Day of Mourning rally in Plymouth, Mass., on Nov. 26.  Go to tinyurl.com/hga5975 to hear his entire talk.  Moonanum JamesPhoto: Hannah KirschbaumOnce again on the fourth Thursday in November, United American Indians of New England and those who support us have gathered on this hill to observe a National Day of Mourning. Today marks the 46th time we have come here, in all kinds of weather, to mourn our ancestors and speak the truth about our history.Those who started National Day of Mourning could not have envisioned that we would be here, year after year, carrying on this tradition.  Many of the elders who stood on this hill and organized that first day of mourning are no longer with us, but we feel their spirits guiding us today.  Nearly 46 years ago, my father, an Aquinnah Wampanoag man named Wamsutta Frank James, was invited to address a gathering of so-called dignitaries celebrating the 350th anniversary of the stumbling ashore of the pilgrims. When asked by the organizers of the dinner to provide an advance copy of the speech he planned to deliver, Wamsutta agreed. Within days, he was told his words were not acceptable.  The planners of the gathering, fearing the truth, told him he could speak only if he were willing to speak false words in praise of the white man.  The organizers were even willing to write a speech for him.  After all, they said, ”The theme of the celebration is brotherhood and anything inflammatory would be out of place.” He refused to attend the banquet and have words put into his mouth.  National Day of Mourning came into being as a result of his refusal to speak untrue words.  What was it that got those state officials so upset?  Wamsutta used as a basis for his remarks one of their own history books, “Mourt’s Relation,” a pilgrim account of their first year on Indian land.What really happened at the first thanksgiving — or what some of us call the first “thanks taking?”  According to popular myth, the Indians (us) and the pilgrims (them) sat down and had a wonderful dinner.  Everyone got along and held hands in friendship. Everyone lived happily ever after.  The end.The truth has been largely buried for 396 years.  In 2020, Plymouth is planning to celebrate 400 years of pilgrim mythology.  I don’t think that anyone from UAINE is going to be invited to address that banquet!  If we are, rest assured that no advance copy of our remarks will be sent.  Here is the truth.  We might say that the first thanksgiving occurred when the pilgrims arrived here and gave thanks for the untimely deaths of most of the Wampanoag due to diseases contracted from earlier European visitors. As a result, when the pilgrims arrived, they found the fields already cleared and planted, and they called them their own. The first officially declared day of thanksgiving in Massachusetts was proclaimed in 1637 by Gov. John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He did this to give thanks for the safe return of white men from the colony who had gone to what is now Mystic, Connecticut, to participate in the massacre of over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Nation.The pilgrim William Bradford, in his famous “History of the Plymouth Plantation,” rubbed his hands together with delight and had this to say about the Pequot massacre: “Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so as they were quickly dispatched, and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire, and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy.”Year after year, the white settlers of Massachusetts gave thanks for the ongoing deaths of the Indigenous peoples of New England, culminating with the years of King Philip’s War, 1676-1677, when the whites declared “a day set apart for public thanksgiving, because there now scarce remains a name or family of the Indians but are either slain, captivated or fled.”  About the only true thing in the mythology is that these pitiful European strangers would not have survived their first several years in “New England” were it not for the aid of the Wampanoag people.  What Native people got in return for this help was genocide, the theft of our lands and never-ending repression.  Our mourning began the minute the English first landed.Another truth:  The reason that the mythmakers prefer to talk about the pilgrims and not the earlier English-speaking colony, Jamestown, is that in Jamestown the circumstances were way too ugly to hold up as an effective national myth.  For example, the white settlers in Jamestown turned to cannibalism to survive.  Not a very nice story to tell the kids in school.  The pilgrims did not find an empty land any more than Columbus “discovered” anything.  Every inch of this land is Indian land.  The pilgrims (who called themselves “saints”) did not come here seeking religious freedom; they already had that in Holland, and they only wanted religious freedom for themselves.  They came here as a part of a commercial venture.  The Mayflower Compact was nothing more than a bunch of white men sticking together to ensure that they would get a return on their investment.  They introduced sexism, racism and a class system to these shores.  And guess what?  They did not even land at the sacred shrine down the hill called Plymouth Rock,  a monument to racism and oppression which we are proud to say we buried, not once but twice in 1970 and again in 1995.Upon arriving on the outer Cape, the pilgrims opened my ancestors’ graves and took funeral objects.  They also took as much of our corn and bean supplies as they could carry.  Massasoit, the great sachem of the Wampanoag, knew of this, yet he and his people welcomed the settlers, saving them from extinction, little knowing how many Wampanoag and other Native people would be enslaved or killed by their guns or dead from their diseases.  Later, from this very harbor in Plymouth, the pious pilgrims sold my ancestors as slaves for 220 shillings each.  In today’s money, that would be 33 U.S. dollars, give or take.  Some would ask what we have gained by observing National Day of Mourning since 1970.  The very fact that you are here is perhaps our greatest gain.  People from the four directions, having seen through the pilgrim myth, join us every year in the struggle to destroy that mythology.  I notice that there are even suddenly a couple of movies that claim to be setting the record straight. I’m not here today to give movie reviews, but am glad to see that efforts are being made now to be more historically accurate. However, it is still outsiders telling our story.Sadly, the conditions which prevailed in Indian Country at the first National Day of Mourning in 1970 still prevail today.  In 1970, we demanded an end to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  It is still a demand today.  Native nations do not need federal oversight to govern ourselves.  Mashpee, Aquinnah and other Native nations should not need legal permission from the state or feds to open any kind of business, including casinos, on our own ancestral lands.Those who started Day of Mourning spoke of terrible racism and poverty.  Not only Native people but many people from the four directions face racism daily and are mired in the deepest poverty.  Every winter, millions of people have to make a bitter choice between heating and eating, and individuals and families are homeless in many towns and cities.  As we did in 1970, we mourn the loss of millions of our ancestors and the devastation of our beautiful land and water and air.  We pray for our people who have died during this past year, and during the past 523 years since Columbus showed up.I hope that you will join me in grieving, too, for our sisters and brothers in all countries; human beings, who are referred to by this government as “collateral damage.”  Keep in mind that for centuries, people throughout the Americas have been the “collateral damage” of the European invasion.  I also hope you will join me in grieving, too, for the immense suffering of our sisters and brothers in so many other countries, all human beings who suffer and face acts of terror on a daily basis.  Remember too, the hundreds of millions of people who are hungry today no matter where they live.We condemn all acts of violence and terrorism perpetrated by all governments and organizations against innocent civilians worldwide. Since the invasion of Columbus and the rest of the Europeans, Native people have been virtually nonstop victims of terrorism.  The slaughter of the Pequots at Mystic, Connecticut, in 1637.  The U.S. military massacres of peaceful Native people at Wounded Knee and Sand Creek and so many, many other places.  The very foundations of this powerful and wealthy country are the theft of our lands and the slaughter of Native peoples, and the kidnapping and enslavement of our African sisters and brothers. We remind the modern-day pilgrims that their families were often refugees, and rebuke them for their current refusal to help others who are refugees.Today, on liberated territory, we will correct some history and do so in a country that continues to glorify butchers such as Christopher Columbus, in a country that glorifies slave-owning presidents such as Washington and Jefferson and even carves their faces into the sacred Black Hills of the Lakota.On our program will be only Native speakers.  This is one day when we speak for ourselves, without non-Native people, so-called “experts,” intervening to interpret and speak for us.  That first Day of Mourning in 1970 was a powerful demonstration of Native unity.  Today is a powerful demonstration of not only Native unity, but the unity of all people who want to speak truth to power; people who want the truth to be told and want to see an end to the oppressive system brought to these shores by the pilgrim invaders.Our very presence frees this land from the lies of the history books, the profiteers and the myth makers.  We will remember and honor all of our ancestors in struggle who went before us.  We will speak truth to power.  We will remember in particular all of our sisters and brothers, including Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal and Oscar López Rivera, who are caged in the iron houses.In 1970, very few people would have given any thought to the fact that the Indigenous people of this hemisphere do not look upon the arrival of the European invaders as a reason to give thanks. Today, many thousands stand with us in spirit as we commemorate our 46th National Day of Mourning.In the spirit of Crazy Horse, in the spirit of Metacom, in the spirit of Geronimo.  We are not vanishing.  We are not conquered.  We are as strong as ever.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Bob Dylan Actually Played ‘Free Bird’ When A Fan Requested It [Watch]

first_imgThe Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan & His Band came to Berkeley, CA’s Greek Theater this past weekend, and while there always tends to be one fan that screams out “Free Bird!” at some point during the set, most bands tend to ignore the request, as opposed to acquiesce and play the famous Lynyrd Skynyrd song. However, on this night, Dylan decided to accommodate the request and play the song to end his set.Bob Dylan Embraces The Great American Songbook On New Album ‘Fallen Angels’Dylan recently released his latest release, Fallen Angels, an album of cover songs made classic by the legendary crooner Frank Sinatra. Looks like Dylan decided to go outside the box once again at during his set at The Greek.Check out a short video from the performance below.last_img

EIA: Continued decline in coal generation expected this summer

first_imgEIA: Continued decline in coal generation expected this summer FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:U.S. demand for coal to generate electricity will keep sliding in coming months, federal officials said Thursday, despite efforts by the Trump administration to shore up the struggling industry.Renewable energy sources including wind, solar and hydropower are expected to fill much of the gap left by coal’s decline, according to the Energy Information Administration. It’s particularly true for Western states, where renewables will provide almost a quarter of the power to households and businesses during the peak summer season, the agency said in its projections.Natural gas is expected to remain the fuel of choice for power generation with an expected 40% share of U.S. markets this summer.Coal’s share of power generation is projected to be 25% this summer. That’s down roughly half over the past decade and follows a wave of coal plant retirements by utilities seeking cheaper and cleaner-burning alternatives.“This decline is relentless,” said Seth Feaster, who tracks the coal industry for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. The Ohio-based group advocates for a transition to more sustainable energy sources. “The question is how low can it go,” Feaster added. “Coal is really facing tremendous obstacles in terms of competition from natural gas from fracking and continuing price declines for renewables.”Meanwhile, plant retirements continue to stack up, including in the heart of coal country. PacifiCorp announced in late April that one Wyoming coal-fired power plant and part of another could be retired as early as 2022 as the company tries to keep down costs for its customers. The Oregon-based utility plans to significantly increase the amount of electricity it generates from wind turbines and solar farms.More: Officials: Coal to keep sliding as renewables, gas fill gaplast_img read more

Pentagon: Iran Shot Down Plane By Mistake

first_imgU.S. intelligence officials say it appears Iran accidentally shot down a commercial airplane killing all 176 soles using a Russian anti-missile system.Multiple media reports say the Boeing 737 plane bound for Kiev crash was an accident.The crash happened a few hours after Iran launched missiles to Iraq to attack bases that host U.S. troops.It’s Russian built surface-to-air missile-defense system was likely active in case the U.S. decided to retaliate.Most of the people on board were either Iranian or Canadian.last_img

Women’s hockey: Badgers win battle of the reds, sweep Cornell

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team dominated the Cornell University Big Red this weekend, beating the non-conference foe 3-0 and 5-2 Friday and Saturday night, respectively.During a weekend when most people were spending time with their family members around a dinner table, there was a family reunion on the ice of LaBahn Arena. Wisconsin captain Sydney McKibbon got a rare chance to play against the team of her cousin, Cornell head coach Doug Derraugh, for the first time in her collegiate career.Women’s hockey: No. 1 Badgers suffer first loss of season to Minnesota-DuluthThe University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team experienced their first loss this weekend against the University of Minnesota-Duluth — a dismal Read…This family reunion was bitter sweet for the Cornell coach as his little cousin would help lead her team to victory, complete with one shut-out for rookie goaltender Nikki Cece. Cece was the Badgers netminder for the second week in a row, and she managed to play with a finesse that is uncommon in a rookie goaltender.The Badgers (14-1-1-0, 10-1-1-0 WCHA) and their goaltender gained momentum Friday, when the Badgers would manage to ice out the Big Red (6-4-1, 2-4-1 ECAC) 3-0. This advantageous start to the weekend would help to extend the Badgers’ success, and the sold-out arena would provide all the enthusiasm this team needed.UW was led in scoring by junior forward Annie Pankowski, who has been having a productive two weeks. The Western Collegiate Hockey Association Offensive Player of the Week had a slow start to the season, not netting a goal until the Badgers matchup against the University of Minnesota-Duluth.Since then, Pankowski has netted a total of six goals in three games and doubled her points this season from six to 12. With Pankowski and the rest of her line finding their momentum, the Badgers proved to be a challenge too great for Cornell netminder Marlène Boissonnault.With a border battle between Wisconsin and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities looming on the horizon, it was important that this weekend was a successful one for the UW. With many things, including special teams finally falling into place for this team, Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson told UW Athletics that this weekend was more than just a win for this team.“We’ll gain a lot of things from tonight’s game other than the victory, which is obviously the most important part,” Johnson said. “It will help us become better and stronger.”The Wisconsin-Minnesota border battle begins Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Wisconsin will have home ice advantage in this series, which will be much needed in this heated contest.last_img read more

England quartet chase South American hat-trick

first_img5 Jan 2015 England quartet chase South American hat-trick Double European Amateur champion Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park, Shropshire & Herefordshire) and three more internationals will aim to complete an England hat-trick of victories when they compete in the South American Amateur Championship in Lima, Peru on 22nd – 25th January. Callum Shinkwin from Hertfordshire won the title in Colombia in 2013 while Lancashire’s Paul Howard triumphed, again in Colombia, a year ago. Now Chesters, Joe Dean (Lindrick, Yorkshire), Luke Johnson (King’s Lynn, Norfolk) and Michael Saunders (Dartford, Kent) have the chance of making it three-in-a-row by lifting the Arturo Calle Cup. Chesters, 25, (Image © Leaderboard Photography) won his first European Amateur title at El Prat in Spain in 2013 and successfully defended it at St Andrews last year, becoming the first player to win in successive years. It enabled him to top the Titleist/FootJoy England Golf Men’s 2014 Order of Merit having also finished runner-up in the Brabazon Trophy. Dean, 20, an England boy cap, has won the Lee Westwood Trophy for the past two years and also reached the quarter finals of the English Amateur Championship last summer. Johnson, 22, won the Berkhamsted Trophy and the West of England Stroke Play Championship last year and reached the last 16 of the English Amateur before making his full England debut in last September’s Home Internationals in Wales. Saunders, 24, made his full England debut in the 2013 Home Internationals at Ganton. A former winner of the Lagonda Trophy, last year he tied second in the same event while also finishing joint third in the Welsh Open Stroke Play. The South American Amateur Championship is a 72-hole stroke play event.last_img read more

Coasting Along

first_imgBy Anastasia MillickerRB woman cycling from Key West to Bar Harbor, Me.RED BANK – Ann Tardy is fulfilling a lifelong dream for the second time.Red Bank resident Ann Tardy, founder and president of LifeMoxie Mentoring, prepares for the start of her 2,900-mile bike journey at the Seven Mile Bridge in Key West, Fla. Tardy began cycling May 25 and expects to complete her ride by July 4 in Bar Harbor, Me.Tardy, founder and president of LifeMoxie Mentoring, started her 2,900-mile bike ride along the East Coast Friday in her second “MoxieRide” to promote her LifeMoxie Mentoring program, which creates literature and software for business owners on how to mentor their employees.A Red Bank resident, Tardy launched LifeMoxie seven years ago but it was not until last year that she decided to pedal across the United State on a cross-country cycling trip, achieving a dream that started in law school but was delayed by her daily work routine.Last year during her California to New Jersey ride, Tardy, a former Silicon Valley attorney, and her law school friend Jeff Furnia cycled 7,500 miles. During the trip they stopped in small towns to interview workers who enjoyed their jobs asking them why they loved what they were doing. A filmmaker accompanied the cyclists and documented the trip. The first ride was made into a documentary and is available at www. lifemoxie.com/moxieride.Keeping with the MoxieRide’s initial format, Tardy plans to stop in small towns along the East Coast and ask employees what they like about their jobs.This year Tardy is accompanied during her six-week research project by a small crew, including a videographer and publicist, during the trek from Key West, Fla. to Bar Harbor, Me. They are traveling in a RV with the LifeMoxie logo.“Last year, I cycled from San Francisco to New Jersey… I was really disappointed the last time when it ended because I had so much fun doing it. So, I decided to create another one (Moxie Ride),” Tardy said.Among the people Tardy came across last year were an Illinois pig farmer and his wife, an animal semen transporter, and a Nevada construction worker who handled traffic duty with a flag.Tardy started her second LifeMoxie journey in Key West, Friday, May 25 – a day earlier that planned – and expects to complete the trip on July 4 in Bar Harbor.“The weather was beautiful and they were all ready to go so we got a head start and started one day early,” said Christina MacCarrick, Moxie-Ride public relations officer.In the days before the start of the long ride, Tardy said she was looking forward to interviewing people about their careers. She was hoping to talk to workers with different jobs than those she spoke to during her first journey. She said she would keep her eyes peeled for a police officer or a Starbucks employee who look like they enjoyed their jobs.During this year’s ride, the MoxieRide team will post a YouTube video every day with interviews collectedand Tardy will blog daily. Updates from the ride can be found at www.facebook.com/ TheMoxieRide.“We will stop at gas stations or walk around and look for people who act happy or those people who stand out in the crowd, interview them and post their stories on the blog,” she said.In addition to her blog, Tardy plans to keep a count of the roadkill she comes upon. Last year, she counted 2,058 dead things along the road including armadillo and turtles. Although Tardy said the roadkill count is a bit morbid, blog readers enjoy it. “It puts things into perspective,” Tardy said. “It reminds me to be really safe on the road.”Tardy plans to cycle 70 miles a day, as she did on her ride last year. Included among scheduled stops will be one in Outer Banks, N.C., the place Tardy is most excited to visit.“From San Francisco to New Jersey it was pretty much a dry ride but weather may change things (in the schedule) a bit this year,” Tardy said. “I’m not afraid of rain. I’m afraid of torrential downpours… hurricanes and tornadoes.”Tardy said neither rain, nor snow, nor wind has stopped her biking, including her winter season training. During her morning rides, Tardy said she rides 25 miles during the week while on weekends she rides 50 miles but not alone. Tardy said Cliff Wittenberg of Bike Haven in Fair Haven has helped introduce her to bike enthusiasts in the area who she cycles with every day.“Bike enthusiasts cycle from Red Bank to Pier Village (in Long Branch) in the pitch dark in the morning and we cycle all winter and… on weekends we go down to Belmar,” Tardy said. “They are a great group of people.”Tardy said supporters and friends plan to accompany her on her East Coast trip. She expects some New Jersey cycling friends will join her when she and Furni reach Pennsylvania in late June.last_img read more

SKY KINGDOM STREAKS TO IMPRESSIVE WIN IN GRADE III, $100,000 TOKYO CITY CUP UNDER GARCIA; BAFFERT TRAINEE WINS BY 5 ¾ LENGTHS AND GETS HIS SECOND WIN IN MILE AND A HALF MARATHON

first_img–30– ARCADIA, Calif. (March 28, 2015)–Sky Kingdom proved history can repeat itself as he was an impressive 5 ¾ length winner of Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Tokyo City Cup under Martin Garcia. A winner of the mile and a half marathon in 2013, the Bob Baffert trainee had been idle since well beaten in the Las Vegas Marathon (1 ¾ miles) on Oct. 31 and got the distance in 2:28.90 as the second choice in a field of six older horses.Second early to longshot Arlington House, Sky Kingdom, a 6-year-old horse by Empire Maker, relaxed well under Garcia and was a length off the pacesetter under the wire for the first time. Garcia got on terms with Arlington House at the five furlong pole and took the lead going to the three furlong mark.“They gave him a break but he runs well after some time off,” said Garcia. “He loves this track and he loves this distance. The farther the better for him. He has a long stride and these longer races just make him happy.”Off at 5-2, Sky Kingdom paid $7.60, $4.80 and $2.60. Owned by Westrock Stables, LLC, he improved his overall mark to 19-6-2-2 and with the winner’s share of $60,000 increased his earnings to $472,122.“This horse runs well fresh and this was a good spot for him,” said Baffert assistant Jim Barnes. “They had sensible fractions (24.15, 48.56, 1:13.28, 1:38.33 and 2:03.43) and that was good. The final time was good, they picked it up and Martin had to move on him a little early passing the five and a half…he did an excellent job riding him and we couldn’t be happier.”Last under the wire the first time, Bailoutbobby moved inside favored Bronzo into the far turn and outran him for the place by 4 ½ lengths. Ridden by Elvis Trujillo, Bailoutbobby was off at 12-1 and paid $7.40 and $2.80.Trained by Neil Drysdale and ridden by Gary Stevens, Chilean-bred Bronzo came off a fifth place run in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap and had been facing the likes of Shared Belief, California Chrome and Hoppertunity in his three stateside engagements dating back to Jan. 10.Off at 3-5, Bronzo paid $2.10 to show.“They went really slow early,” said Stevens. “Maybe I should have let him dance away from there for the first quarter mile. He went to sleep on me and I couldn’t wake him up.”First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday at Santa Anita is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.last_img read more

Good win for Azan’s Edison

first_imgThe promising claiming apprentice Bebeto Harvey teamed up with 7-2 chance EDISON to win the highly competitive overnight allowance feature over 1300 metres from the fast-finishing SHINING LIGHT (9-2) at Caymanas Park yesterday.Harvey, who is a past student of Waterford High, had the Richard Azan-trained EDISON handily placed passing the half-mile as the 54-1 outsider BLACK THORN led the 13-horse field, ahead of the chasing RED FLAG (7-1). EDISON was soon sent in chase of BLACK THORN and went by on the outside entering the straight and held on grimly by a neck to thwart a late run from SHINING LIGHT under in-form Aaron Chatrie.Harvey, who was notching his 17th winner since graduating from the Jockeys’ School last September, said EDISON had a perfect trip.”He was well drawn on the outside of the field on a muddy track and was able to avoid traffic,” said the young rider.”When I improved into second three furlongs out, I knew he was ready to run, and in the end, held them at bay for the victory,” he added. A 7-y-o bay gelding by Outrigger-Perfect Ten, EDISON is owned by Elite Bloodstock Limited and bred by Dave Girod and Laurence Heffes.The 6-5 favourite COMMANDING CHIEF, seeking his first win since August 2014, could fare no better than fifth under leading jockey Dane Nelson, who said: “He was never that far off the pace, but took a lot of riding leaving the half-mile and really needed a longer trip and a more relaxed pace.”Trainer Anthony ‘Baba’ NuÒes saddled two winners on the afternoon in COME DANCE WITH ME and the lightly raced 3-y-o colt SOY EL SENOR, both obliging at 2-1.last_img read more

Secular Science Analyzes Jesus

first_imgIn a classic religion-vs-science confrontation, Live Science took on the question, “Jesus Christ the Man: Does the Physical Evidence Hold Up?”  The answer may say more about science than about Jesus.    To begin with, reporter Natalie Wolchover drew distinctions between scientific evidence and belief – as if evidence requires no belief or assumption or interpretation.  The belief of Christians in Jesus’ life comes from “textual evidence in the Bible” – betraying a bias that textual evidence is less credible than scientific evidence.  Her headline also implies that evidence must be physical.  This rules out logical and textual evidence and eyewitness testimony.  It also begs questions about whether other beliefs accepted by scientists are based on physical evidence alone.    Wolchover spent a moment on a red herring about Simcha Jacobovici (“The Naked Archaeologist” from the History Channel) and his latest documentary about two crooked nails he claims are tied to the crucifixion.  Many scholars consider this little more than a publicity stunt (see Bible Places blog #1 and #2).  From there, Wolchover debunked various other relic stories, including the lead plates recently announced from Jordan (see Bible Places).  But dubious archaeological claims, frauds and forgeries have little to do with the question of whether Jesus really lived.    After dispensing with relics, Wolchover turned her science scanner on texts.  The Dead Sea scrolls are not much help, she claimed, because the “Teacher of Righteousness” mentioned in some scrolls could be anybody.    Regarding the Biblical text, she seemed to indicate that non-canonical gospels have equal bearing with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John on the history of Jesus: “There are still other Gospels,” she said, without naming them, “never canonized but written by near-contemporaries of Jesus all the same.”  She did not mention that the Gospel of Judas (04/09/2006, 12/26/2007) was written much later by Gnostics, and that the Gospel of Thomas and others have long been considered spurious by early church fathers who lived closest in time to the writing of those documents.  Nor did she explore the church fathers’ criteria for authenticity, the social dynamics of heretics and cults who might have reasons to write spurious accounts, nor the science of textual analysis, concerned with the authenticity of texts.    All the same, she drew a middle ground on the historicity of Jesus, quoting Marcus Borg, a secular scholar at Oregon State: “We do know some things about the historical Jesus – less than some Christians think, but more than some skeptics think.”  That judgment, though, rests on what documents one takes as credible.  Borg did not question the fact that Jesus lived, but from the textual evidence, presented a synopsis of Jesus’ life sanitized of the miraculous.  Acknowledging that “More healing stories are told about Jesus than about any other figure in the Jewish tradition,” he proceeded to the crux of the story: the cross and resurrection:He was executed by Roman imperial authority, and his followers experienced him after his death.  It is clear, Borg said, that they had visions of Jesus as they had known him during his historical life.  Only after his death did they declare Jesus to be “lord” or “the son of God.”To make such claims, Borg (and Wolchover, the reporter) had to rule out of court the eyewitness testimony of Thomas, the doubter, who reached into the wounds of the risen Jesus (John 20:24-27), of John, who said their hands touched Him (I John 1:1-4), and of all the disciples who saw him eat and drink in their presence (Luke 24, John 21), and the 500 who saw him at one time (I Cor 15:1-11), most of whom were still alive when the testimony was written.    Moreover, to deny the resurrection, they would have to completely discount the life testimony of the Apostle Paul (I Corinthians 15, written at most 25 years after the crucifixion), the fact that Paul had been a hostile witness (I Timothy 1:12-16), yet spread his testimony of the risen Christ throughout the middle east and Europe, finally being martyred without flinching from his testimony.    They would have to deny that Matthew, Mark, Peter, John (1 John 1:1-10), James and possibly the writer of Hebrews were also eyewitnesses of Jesus and the resurrection, and that the New Testament authors, including Luke (Luke 1:1-4, Acts 1:1-3), Peter (2 Peter 3:16-21), John (I John 4:1-6), Paul (2 Timothy 3) all advocated telling the truth, each of them staunchly opposing myths and fact-free speculations (I Timothy 4:1-4).    Furthermore, they would have to ignore the fact that all the apostles (except possibly John), who claimed they had seen the resurrected Christ, died martyr’s deaths without recanting.  Plus, they would have to explain the explosive growth of the early church in a time of persecution, when all the enemies of the new faith would have to do to squelch it was produce the body of Jesus and parade it down the streets of Jerusalem.  Furthermore, Wolchover and Borg had to dismiss a priori the possibility of predictive prophecy (Isaiah 53, Luke 24, esp. vv. 25-26).    No philosopher of science would affirm that the opinions of Borg and Wolchover were dictated to them by the scientific evidence itself.  Clearly a different set of authorities would produce different conclusions.  The question of what constitutes evidence is a philosophical question about science, not a statement by science.  Invariably, one must consider the biases that fallible human beings bring to a question. Easter is approaching; that must mean it’s time for Jesus-debunking articles by secular bigots.  Secularists pick and choose the kinds of evidence they like, draw their conclusions based on that selected evidence, filter it through their materialistic biases, and proclaim to the world that science has shown the resurrection to be a myth, congratulating themselves that they have been neutral “scientists” and not selfish, biased, sinful dogmatists like the rest of the rabble.    Understand what is behind these writings.  It is vital for Evil Science (that’s “Live” backwards) to debunk Jesus, because He gets in the way of their favorite god, Charlie the Bearded Buddha, who lets them do whatever they want.  Don’t be distracted by the red herrings about relics; that is not what conservative Bible scholars who accept the historicity of Jesus rely on; if anything, they dismiss it as holy junk.    If you want a more credible testimony, read the writings of the Apostle Paul, who had been dedicated to crushing the early Christians until he saw the risen Christ on the road to Damascus (Acts 9).    See also the DVD The Case for Christ (available from La Mirada Films), which presents numerous lines of evidence by knowledgeable scholars, narrated by Lee Strobel, formerly a hard-hearted atheist, who had no reason to believe the Bible and every reason to oppose it, till he checked out the evidence for himself.  It all converged on a uniform conclusion that was so powerful, Strobel said it would take more faith to deny it than to accept it.    Nobody should be gullible.  It’s OK to be a doubting Thomas – for awhile, till presented with undeniable evidence (John 20).  Let this be the year you get the best evidence from the most reliable sources and come to grips with the reality of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28).(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more