Jewish date: 12 Kislew 5770 (Parashath Wayyishlaḥ).
Today’s holiday: First Sunday of Advent (Roman Catholicism).
NOTE: My apologies to anyone getting an earlier version of this post. Sometimes Blogger does really stupid things.
Topic 1: “Bibi's bad week”. This article deals with what the Obama administration wants Israel to do for the sake of the “peace process”, such as freeze Israeli building in Judea and Samaria and release terrorists, how Binyamin Nethanyahu is starting to give in to such ill-conceived demands, and why all this is a bad idea. That Israel should give concessions is based on the assumption that concessions from Israel brings the Israeli-Arab War closer to an end. It does not. Ever since at least Jimmy Carter, American presidents, both Democrats and Republicans, have pressured Israel to make more and more concessions to the Arabs in the hopes of peace, most of the Israeli prime ministers have made concessions, and still the war is no closer to ending. They say that madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results; if so, the strategy of Israeli concessions is madness. My suggestion: United States presidents should get out of the “peace process”. If over 30 years of sticking their noses into Israel’s business has produced only misery, hatred, destruction, and death, then they should be rethinking their actions and not relying on assumptions which are wrong. It makes no sense to ignore basic facts about this war, such as it is an Islamic jihad against Judaism and that land is an excuse for the war, not a reason. And Israel should refuse to be dealt with as a second-class country. Instead of putting its own sovereignty on the negotiating table, it should be making demands and refusing to budge on anything until they are met. From the United States, they should demand and receive the release of Jonathan Pollard and moving the American embassy to Jerusalem. Israel should also seize complete control of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza and impose peace rather than waste time on negotiating with the Arabs.
Topic 2: “Evangelicals, creation, and scripture: an overview” by Mark Noll. This paper deals with how American evangelical Christianity developed its current mode of Biblical literalism and creationism. Literalism apparently worked well for Protestant Christianity in a democratic environment, especially anti-traditional variants; one does not need to be a great scholar to understand a literal interpretation. There is a lot more in there, but I do not have the time at the moment to summarize it all.
Topic 3: More religious humor: “basement cat”:
Here we have not only the “black cat = evil” trope, but also the notion that Hell is hot. I am not sure where that notion comes from either, so if anyone knows, please tell me. Thanks in advance.