April 07, 2006

IDer lying about National Geographic and Gospel of Judas

Noted on-the-sly Intelligent Designer Stephen Bainbridge claims National Geographic is “peddling heresy” for for its stories on the Gospel of Judas.

Well, he’s engaging in the same type of tactics and thought that led to people like him getting their legal heads on a plate in the Dover, Pa. ID-in-public-schools suit.

Here’s what I told him both on his blog comment space and via e-mail:
NG is NOT a religious magazine. Of course, since IDers obviously, as Dover demonstrated, don't know the difference between science and religion, or deliberately obscure the difference, or both, you either are too clueless to grasp that NG is not a religious magazine or else you are engaging in more Dover-type tactics.

In short, Professor Bainbridge, in either case you are again engaging in intellectual dishonesty.

Steve Snyder
Master of Divinity, 1992

Now, as the the theological background of the Gospel of Judas.

Dualism of some sort (evil vs. good gods, matter vs. flesh [cf. Judas being thanked by Jesus for “releasing” him from the fleshly prison) is a commonplace of Gnosticism. “Twinning” even becomes part of this dualism.

In fact, some Gnostic writings claim Thomas/Didymas (Aramaic and Greek for "twin") was Jesus' twin.

And many postulate his first name as Judas (Jude), as in the brother of Jesus associated elsewhere with the biblical book (unless you're an orthodox Catholic rejecting Jesus' brothers).

And, this Jude/-as is in some writings considered to be "that" Judas. Remember, Paul's authentic letters were written before any of the "orthodox" gospels.

April 04, 2006

What did European governments know about CIA renditions, when did they know it, and how much did they participate?

The question is raised in my mind by a story about the Khaled El-Masri rendition, reported in the Spring 2006 issue of Civil Liberties, the official magazine of the ACLU.

El-Masri claims that he is "90 percent" certain a man who interrogated him three times in Afghanistan was a German. That and other details of the story have me wondering whether some German intelligence agency was participating more in renditions than the government knew, or maybe even if Gerhard Schroeder DID know and Berlin's official hands are a lot dirtier than it wants to say.

Update: We may soon have the answer, as Germany’s three opposition parties have forced the opening of a Reichstag investigation. The leading party in the current ruling coalition, the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union, not pushing for the investigation doesn’t surprise me. But, that the Social Democrats, the party of former Chancellor (during the time of el Masri and other renditions) Gerhard Schroeder also not pushing for the investigation is a silence that speaks loudly.

Holy shit, the Hammer quits!!

This is a day to be happy, to quote Monty Python. And yet, for Democrats, it can't quite be. There's seven months left until the general election and DeLay won't be around (with his Abramoff albatross) to pin on individual GOP candidates.

Question: How much did Rove lean on him?