Why God Never Got Tenure

This has been hanging in my lab’s bulletin board for the past few years, thought I’d post it here (at the risk of having to bear the shrill cry to “lighten up” I’ve provided some commentary, of course):

  1. He had only major publication
  2. It was in Hebrew (and Aramaic and Greek)
  3. Had no references (doesn’t need ’em, HE IS)
  4. It wasn’t published in a peer-reviewed journal (Of course…)
  5. Some even doubt He wrote it Himself (to their own peril)
  6. It may be true that He created the world, but what has He done since then? (Deists…)
  7. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited
  8. The scientific community has had a hard time replicating His results (“Get your own dirt”, LOL)
  9. He never applied to the Ethics Board for permission to use human subjects
  10. When one experiment went awry He tried to cover it up by drowning His subjects
  11. When subjects didn’t behave as predicted, He deleted them from the sample
  12. He rarely came to class, just told students to read the book (not to mention apply the book)
  13. Some say He had His Son teach the class (Well He did…)
  14. He expelled His first 2 students for learning (No, it had to with disobedience)
  15. Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed His tests (Most? Try all)
  16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountaintop
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Moses was High on Mount Sinai?

According to this story,
“‘Moses was high on hallucinogenic drug when he received Ten Commandments,’ claims top academic”

Moses was high when he saw the burning bush as well as when he received the Ten Commandments.

Check out the story to read the details according to Dr. Benny Shannon, a psychology professor, who came up with this theory.

I wonder if the good doctor will reach (has reached?) the same conclusion in regards to Muhammad claiming to have been visited by Jibril at Hira? And if he does (did), will he make his “studies” public?

If the Muhammad cartoon and teddy bear debacles are any indication, I wouldn’t count on it…

Torah and Wahhabism

Saw the following headline at the Drudge Report,
“Saudi punishes gang rape victim with 200 lashes”

As I read the story my Western mind was taken aback by some of what I was reading,

The 19-year-old woman — whose six armed attackers have been sentenced to jail terms — was initially ordered to undergo 90 lashes for “being in the car of an unrelated male at the time of the rape,” the Arab News reported.

The story reports that the 90 lashes became 200 because,

the judges had decided to punish the woman further for “her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.”

As much as I wanted to cast judgment on the policies of the Saudi government (whether or not it is warranted is another issue), I remembered something from the Old Testament.

More specifically in the Torah, that is the Law of Moses. To narrow it down even further, in the book of Deuteronomy (22:23-25),

If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city and lies with her,

then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city and you shall stone them to death; the girl, because she did not cry out in the city, and the man, because he has violated his neighbor’s wife. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.

But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die.

I write this post understanding that this type of text is fodder for those who shake their fist at God and dismiss Him as some bloodthirsty tyrant (at best) or a non-entity (at worst). Context is typically ignored when one is content to wallow in the mire of unbelief.

However, if we can move past the realm of emotionalism for a bit, is there a difference between what the Saudi government did in this case and what is written in the Torah?

Southern California Fires and Leviticus 19:15

You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly. — Leviticus 19:15

What is going on in SoCal right now I do not wish on anybody. Being forced to leave one’s home for any reason much less because of inexorable wildfires¬† cannot be a good experience regardless of income level.

Tragically, at least one person has been killed and scores have been injured. Not to mention the millions of dollars in damages but at times like these, this is relatively unimportant.

In perhaps our worst moments, we tend not to feel as bad for these evacuees (300,000 according to above story) as we did for the Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Foolishly we think, “Well at least Cali people have money and probably had their nice homes insured while the New Orleans’ folk truly lost everything and were not insured.”

Personally, I think this sinful attitude is based on the foolish notion that money is the salve that covers a multitude of maladies, including natural disasters. As Leviticus 19:15 points out, we “are to judge our neighbor fairly”.

Naturally, we tend to feel more compassion for the poor, especially when these are subject to disasters like Katrina. The compassion is good provided that it doesn’t deaden us to feel compassion towards evacuees who have more money. Compassion, in order to be just, has to be consistent, has to be fair.

May God forgive us for these unjust attitudes towards people of any income level.

Our Own Private Exodus

Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt? — Numbers 14:3

This is what the Israelites said after God (or according Disney, Promenade Pictures) led them out of bondage in Egypt. They complained and whined despite of all the things God had done for them, mainly brought them out of slavery and promised them a land flowing with milk and honey.

Thanks be to God, the wife and I just bought our first home. This home has been an answer to many prayers from different people. This home became ours through what many would say an advantageous set of circumstances, we, of course, know that luck has nothing do with this or any other thing that happens in this universe.

It’s been a week since moving in (with the help of friends and family) and we have spent the better part of this last week complaining and griping about little things in the house that need work.

In moments of honesty we even started hoping we were back in our old apartment. My wife in her wisdom pointed out that we sounded like the Israelites after they were led out of Egypt.

As God’s promises were being fulfilled, we (like them) griped and complained as we enjoyed God’s provision and blessings. We thank God that He gave us this understanding to appreciate his bounty so we can use this home He has given us for His glory.