Jewish date: 12 Shevaṭ 5770 (Parashath BeShallaḥ).
Today’s holidays: Feast Day of Angela Merici (Roman Catholicism), Chaosloth (Discordianism).
Topic 1: “International Holocaust Remembrance Day”. Yes, International Holocaust Remembrance Day is what I term a “quasi-holiday”, but a lot of people still have to learn this quasi-holiday’s message: tolerance. This article notes that anti-Semitism is still a big problem throughout the West and the Islamic world, including—but by no means limited to—Iran threatening to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth and working on building nuclear weapons in order to make good on this threat. (See also “Montreal Campus Radio Blames Israel for Abu Ghraib Prisoner Atrocities” and “Israel Prepares to Rebut Goldstone” for more contemporary anti-Semitism.) While the extent of hate crimes against non-Jews of various belief systems in the United States is mentioned (212 in 2008), intolerance is pervasive over much of the planet. The Islamic world is intolerant, often violently, of non-Muslims and even Muslims who disagree with those in power; they are busy ridding themselves of Christians and committing genocide in the Sudan. The governments of the former Soviet Union have the bizarre notion that religions must register with the government, refuse registration of any group they do not like on the most pathetic excuses, and harass, jail, and expel anyone engaging in “illegal” religious activity. China has an atheistic government which has the absurd notion that it has to control the religions of others and wipe out whatever it cannot control. And then I periodically hear of smaller scale intolerance, too. Not to mention that people bent on doing evil or their useful idiots will often invoke the Holocaust in an effort to justify or shield themselves from the consequences of the evil. So what have we learned in the past 60 years? Very often, nothing. I sadly predict that when the Darfur genocide is over, lots of people will moan over the pointless tragedy, pretend that they knew nothing about it or that their governments could have done nothing, and resolve to never let anything like this happen again—only to do nothing the next time genocide occurs.
Topic 2: “Faith Healing”. Faith healing does not work and can be fatal, and this article does a good job explaining how people can be misled into believing they have been cured through faith. Keep in mind: If YHWH wanted us to be healed by faith, He would not have given us doctors.
Topic 3: For today’s religious humor: “States Satan Failed To Collect Souls”:
Note: Relevant commentary: “Thirty-Nine Questions for Charlie Daniels Upon Hearing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" for the First Time in 25 Years.”