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‘A Wrinkle in Time’s’ Long Religious Controversy

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Jacob’s Dream

You are currently logged out. The boy is born, given his name, and Yahweh blesses him. This boy Samson grows up to be an extremely violent man. En route to her home near the vineyards of Timnah, Samson is attacked by a lion that he tears apart with his bare hands. He visits the Philistine woman and while returning home revisits the lion carcass. He discovers that a swarm of bees has settled inside it and produced honey He takes some of this and presents it to his parents.

He is given an entourage of 30 Philistines, with whom he makes a sort of wager at the feast. He proposes that he give the men a riddle, and if they can solve it within seven days he will give them thirty pieces of linen and thirty festal robes. If they cannot, they will have to give the same to him. They agree, and alluding to his recent feat, which he has kept secret he asks them to explain this:. Out of the eater came what was eaten, And out of the strong came what was sweet They ask the Israelites to turn Samson over to them for punishment for the burning of their property, and the Israelites comply.

But Samson using the jawbone of an ass he finds on the roadside kills of them, escapes, spends a night with a Philistine prostitute in a Gaza brothel, then destroys the gates of the town before leaving Delilah famously betrays Samson to the Philistines by telling them the secret of his superhuman strength: his long hair.

He thereby kills revelers as well as himself. Perhaps some of them actually believe the story actually happened, and think what Samson did was totally cool. That should scare you.

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But it is a myth, and it has been used to justify intolerable cruelty. Let me suggest a comparable myth. Is that disturbing? The myths as they appear in the eighth century chronicles seem harmless enough. The primordial divine pair stands on the Floating Bridge of Heaven, stirring the waters below with a jeweled spear. As they raise the spear, the brine dripping off it solidifies into an island.

They descend to the island, construct a pillar, walk around it in opposite directions, then meet and greet one another. The female Izanami asks the male Izanagi how his body is formed. He asks her the same question; she replies that there is a part of her formed insufficiently. Their copulation produces two islands that they consider failures. They return to heaven where a council of deities, consulting with diviners, conclude that things went wrong because the female spoke first. They pair are commanded to return to the island and try again. This time they produce islands and all manner of things, mostly from their limbs.

An enraged Izanagi chops off the head of his newborn son, whose blood becomes volcanoes. After visiting Yomi and trying in vain to return his now maggot-ridden wife to the land of the living, Izanagi returns to earth and bathes in a river to purify himself after exposure to great defilement.

He produces the Sun Goddess from one of his eyes and her mischievous younger brother Susanoo from his nose. Susanoo gets expelled from heaven after hurling excrement around the palace and throwing the skinned carcass of a pony through the roof, causing the startled Heavenly Weaving Woman to ram her genitals against her loom, dying on the spot. Susanoo descends to Japan, slays a dragon, and sires 80 sons, one of whom becomes Master of the Land. However, the Sun Goddess decides to dispatch her grandson Ninigi to rule the land, and Susanoo defers to her decision.

He is enshrined at Izumo as a reward for this cooperation. Charming myths! Absurd myths! But perhaps dangerous if taken seriously, as they once were by tens of millions of devout Shinto believers. For example: there was surely no unified state in Japan until the late third century CE at the earliest; the BCE date was invented in the eighth century CE to make it appear that Japan was unified before China. You might call it an early assertion of ethnic superiority. And an assault on historical objectivity.

1 - The Myth of the "Promise" : Promised Land or Conquered Land?

Of the official list of Japanese emperors, ending with the current Akihito the th , at the least the first fourteen—with some reigns lasting 70, 80 or years—-are thought by serious scholars to be fictional. But there was a time when the state promoted this mythology in the public schools. Today, few Japanese take the myths, with all their charming scatology and unproblematic sexuality, seriously.

But you notice, whenever anything pertaining to the Japanese imperial family is reported in the western press, this idea that the imperial line dates back over years is part of the routine, clueless coverage.

Scientists find state of Edom which they thought was a Bible story

If religion constitutes belief in immortal souls, deities, and an afterlife, Japan has become one of the most irreligious countries in the world. The Japanese example shows that it is possible for a sophisticated modern people to disabuse itself of its traditional mythologies! If the modern promotion of the Japanese myths in the service of nationalism has been largely destructive, this is true with the myth of Abraham too.

The former posited a special relationship between the Japanese, their land, their emperor and the gods that justified any number of acts of aggression against neighboring peoples. I suppose this common reverence for the patriarch can in some instances be a unifying factor. But I think in the main the Abraham myth is dangerously divisive.


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Because much of the U. These views in turn assure Israel of unlimited U. The decisive support for Israel in this country which is often virtually unconditional is rooted among religious Jews who believe that God gave Israel to the Jews, and among Christians who believe the same thing. But of these, the Christians are by far more numerous. Religious Jews only number about 1. If you add the non-religious Jews the figure rises to 2.

Jews believe this. In the U. Christians who literally believe the Bible are unquestionably the driving force behind the routine UN vetoes, the predictable Congressional resolutions, the ironclad votes for annual Israel aid. Many politicians are swayed by Christian Evangelical Protestant teachings. And my husband and I are both Christians, and we believe very strongly the verse from Genesis, we believe very strongly that nations also receive blessings as they bless Israel.

Book of Genesis

It is a strong and beautiful principle. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.


  1. Regional Pilot Demand?
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  4. The Vascular Endothelium II: 176/II (Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology).
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  6. CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY AS A SYSTEM OF PATRIARCHAL INDOCTRINATION.
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  8. All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you. In other words, politicians from both parties believe God will curse the U. The Bible says that Abram removed his tent and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar before the Lord. Hebron is in the West Bank. This is not a political battle at all. It is a contest over whether or not the word of God is true. And, if together we continue to stand with Israel, Israel will have centuries ahead of that reality.