Respect: How Does One Engender It?

According to the Webster Dictionary respect equates to an esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability. It can also be described as a deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or to someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges. This could be interpreted as the showing of respect for the flag or to the elderly. 

In today’s society it seems that the word respect has become a buzz word often heard in the circles of the young and something that they seem to feel entitled to whether that respect has been earned or not. It also seems to be held to the interpretation of the person demanding this respect resulting in this same person or persons disrespecting others to the point of violence and mayhem. 

I wish that everyone engendered a feeling of respect by others but unfortunately those who most demand it often seem to be the ones who deserve it the least. They are the ones who trample the feelings of others and disregard the rights of those around them. They are also the ones who refuse to acknowledge the special qualities of those around them whether that be hard-working parents, teachers, or shop owners. 

In the past respect was always considered something that had to be earned through hard work, a person’s personal values, or their service to those around them. I believe that it is the same today. No one can just demand respect, it must be earned. 

A couple of examples of people whom I feel have earned my respect are first most, my husband through his love, generosity, and hard work. He is a man’s man but he is capable of seeing the needs of those around him and ministering to them. Secondly, I must acknowledge our church’s pastors. Both of these men are wonderful examples of what faith in Jesus is all about. They actually visit the sick and concentrate on the needs of the people of the congregation rather than focusing on how much money they can bring in or how fancy of a cathedral that they can build for themselves.  

To some of you it may surprise you that my children have also earned my respect. Each of them has worked hard to achieve certain goals or just to survive but they have done it honestly and have always offered the respect to their father and me that in turn elevated them in our eyes. It is a truism that you must give respect in order to earn it. 

For you, people who may have engendered your respect could be outstanding teachers, bosses, or law enforcement personnel. These individuals often give tirelessly of themselves to meet the needs of others and while some may not fit this criteria most individuals entering these fields begin with the desire to be of service to others. 

If you find yourself confronted by someone demanding respect that hasn’t earned it there is little you can do but to show yourself to be a person of value and irreproachable character. Once you do this the other person can only, even if begrudgingly, see that you also deserve respect. 

Unfortunately, in today’s society some of our leaders fall into this category. They do nothing to engender our respect but because of the position they hold they seem to expect it. I am firmly of the opinion that when these same leaders take heed to Jesus’s direction to care for the “Least of These” that they will then be true leaders who deserve the respect of the entire world.

Does Comcast Really Hate Jesus?

It is confirmed now that Comcast, which is the #2 Internet Service Provider in the US, has taken steps to prevent their subscribers from transferring information via peer to peer networks such as BitTorrent. The cable giant is using some type of software called Sandvine developed by a Canadian company which will interject false packets into the transfer and basically block the traffic.

But it gets better. The latest is that someone tried to download the entire King James version of the Bible, a non-copyrighted book and when they couldn’t, now claims that Comcast is against Jesus and the spreading of the gospel. Nice try, but I seriously doubt that Comcast is doing this for religious reasons nor trying to stifle the word of the good book.

What is disturbing is the fact that Comcast is trying to control bandwidth by selecting what can be transfered via the Internet. This goes against the entire Net Neutrality thing, which just recently some have argued is not really necessary. The main problem is that the FCC has no clear cut guidelines. Congress is reluctant to act, which is understandable. Most people don’t have a clue on how the Internet works anyway. Why should Congress be any different? :-)

Is Comcast the only one who is doing this or are they the first to get caught?

What do you think? Do we need stricter guidelines to prevent companies like Comcast from restricting what we do on the Internet? Or does Comcast have a right to control broadband usage?

Comments welcome.

[tags]comcast, jesus, bible, good book, bandwidth, broadband, restrictions, [/tags]

Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, & Henry Lincoln

The authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail have spent over ten years meticulously researching this book, using a wealth of historical documents and ancient evidence, attempting to prove that it is quite possible that traditional views regarding Christ’s life were manipulated sparking worldwide controversy, regarding the traditional, accepted view of the life of Christ as we know it. Interestingly, the book actually raises questions as to the authenticity of accounts that Christ actually died on the cross, if Jesus married, if he could have had a child, and if his bloodline might still exist.

From secretive documents of early French history, the authors found a tangled web of politics and faith that takes the reader from the Knights Templar to a behind the scenes society called the Prieure de Sion, whose purpose was to reinstate the descendants of the Merovingian bloodline to political power. To expand on their findings the authors allege that Jesus had a legitimate claim to the Jewish throne and since claiming it outright would have been impossible given the political climate of the day, that Jesus slyly arranged his life so that it would match the Old Testament prophecies. For his plan to work, Jesus not only had to make himself appear to fit the prophesied coming of the Messiah, but needed to fit it in with his marriage to Mary Magdelene. The authors claim the couple then had at least one child together, and that Jesus then staged his own crucifixion while Mary escaped with Jesus’ children to France where Jesus’ descendents became the Merovingian dynasty of kings, ruling France from roughly 500 A.D. until 750 A.D. After the Merovingians were overthrown, the Prieure de Sion, a secret society, preserved the royal claims of Jesus’ descendants as well as their history to the present day.

The authors are quick to point out though that their intention was not to compromise or demean Jesus but to offer a better picture of him and his purpose on this earth. The book is done carefully in an attempt to keep the authors perspective and sense of skepticism alive while explaining how they drew such flammable conclusions. As the tale evolves, the author will take you on a quest to find the Holy Grail that will take you on an amazing journey involving not only the Catholic Church but also the Knight’s Templar, the Freemasons, and dozens of secret sects. Reader beware, however, that this book is designed to be read by historians and researchers and not the casual reader as it requires a significant amount of concentration to keep all the places and dates in place. Believers of traditional Christian dogma will hate this book while those who think that conventional dogma is bogus will like its somewhat plausible alternate explanation. However, most of the book is supposition with the authors admitting to being unable to find substantial evidence of their theories that Jesus survived the crucifixion or that his wife and children fled to France.

Overall, the questions that the book gives rise to such as could it be true that the bloodline of the Magdalene may be alive today in the descendants of her marriage to the Christ are not that outlandish. After all, what is really unholy about this possibility? If God made man and woman to propagate, it is reasonable that He would allow Jesus to take a wife. Another question is why the church has spent the last 2000 years misaligning the position of the Magdalene. These questions are addressed in Holy Blood, Holy Grail, allowing for new possibilities to consider.

I applaud the authors for their historical references to the Merovingians, Cathars, and the Knights Templar. The Inquisition tried to not only annihilate them by fire but by the pen thus silencing them leaving only the mystic/seer to unveil the truth that inspired their massive sacrifice of life.

This book is worthwhile both for its thought-provoking ideas and for its engaging readability and is the most impressive grand conspiracy theory I have read. It has always amazed me how ready people are to believe what the men in robes tell them from the pulpit, which is no more than what they are taught to believe in seminary. That is to say that theology is not the same as scientifically studying the context in which the Bible was written or to explain why there are so many blatant inconsistencies, not to mention heinous “head-scratchers” within the “Word of God.” Sadly, ministers often have no real knowledge of all the political intrigue, maneuvering, rewriting, editing, social control, and suppression of truth that became what is considered “holy.” Yes, what these authors lay on the table at the end is a hypothesis but, in my view at least, given the undeniable amount of historical facts unearthed and organized, this is far more reasonable than anything else out there.

Overall, I found the book compelling and I had to thoroughly re-look at some of my original views about the origins of Christianity, the Knights Templar, and the Free Masons. I found the authors to be open minded presenting their facts and their perspectives in a manner that leaves the reader free to draw his or her own conclusions.

[tags]jesus, mary magdalene, holy grail, holy blood, crucifixion, bloodline, christ’s bloodline, merovingian, knights templar, free mason, prieure de sion, christianity, french dynasty, michael baigent, non fiction, richard leigh, henry lincoln, book review[/tags]

The Bible Supports the Idea of Extraterrestrial Beings

Probably the best ancient example of standard alien abduction is the story of “Jacob’s ladder” found in Genesis 28 which reads:

“And he [Jacob] dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said…. thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest…. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep… And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place!”

Given this text, and remembering Jacob’s frame of reference, try to put aside, for a second everything you have learned since you were knee high, and consider logically how similar modern day abductees’ claims are to what Jacob is reported to have experienced.

Remember too that intense fear and genetic manipulation are the two most commonly cited aspects of extraterrestrial encounters by modern day UFO abductees claiming to have experienced anomalous pregnancies that suddenly end mid-term with no miscarriage. Among these supposed abductees are several young adolescent girls who gynecologists confirmed pregnant while maintaining finding of physical evidence of their virginity. Then realize that for one’s “seed” to spread around the world it must first be removed from the testes or ovary and the only way a virgin woman can get pregnant and bear a child is through artificial insemination.

If one raises this question regarding the Holy Child, fundamentalist will scream heresy but other than Jesus, one must note that other civilizations also believed in messiahs. For example, the Aztecs believed in a messiah, Quetzalcoatl, who derived his lighter skin tone and heavier facial hair from godly genes and according to their beliefs was created to improve their civilization. Quetzalcoatl was then followed by Cortes, the Spanish conquistador, whom the Aztecs mistakenly believed fulfilled the prophecy of the demigod’s second coming. Another example is found in the copious writings of the Egyptians who hailed their own messiah, Imhotep, who they claimed built the first pyramid and taught them advanced sciences, only to ascend to the heavens one day leaving behind tremendous legends and an improved society. However, the belief in messiahs did not stop there as still others claimed their own variety of demigod, like the Mesopotamians, Gilgamesh and the Maya’s Kukulkan; and the list goes on.

Messiah literally means “godly king” which fits our belief in Jesus Christ who the Hebrew people expected to be a being who would combine the necessary human traits of King David with the desirable superhuman traits of Yahweh. Given that assumption then Jesus was aSon of God, as well as, a son of mansimply because he was half alien and half human! We find evidence for this idea in Luke 1:26-32,34-35,38 which reads:

“… the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee… And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying…. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God.” She is thus visited by a superhuman being who tells her she is somehow special or chosen, and she is afraid. The story goes on to reveal the visitation’s remarkable purpose. “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest…. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing that I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.”

Meanwhile, a UFO had already heralded the forthcoming birth of Jesus to King Herod’s astrologers, in the well-known story of the “Star of David.” Contrary to the traditional interpretation, however, the Bible makes it clear that this object was not really a star at all.

This strangely moving “star” which leads the astrologers directly to the place of Jesus’ birth is described in the apocryphal book of Protevangelion, chapter 15 which reads:

“They answered him (Herod) we saw an extraordinary large star shining among the stars of heaven, and so out-shined all the other stars, as that they became not visible… So the wise men went forth, and behold, the star which they saw in the east went before them, till it came and stood over the cave where the young child was with Mary his mother.”

Incredibly, another incident in Matthew 17 describes yet again an excellent array of UFO-related phenomena when Jesus met his disciples up on a mountain and Jesus revealed himself to them as the glorious figure of a godly superhuman.

“And He, Jesus, was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light….” Then a strange object appears in the sky, provoking intense fear in the onlookers. “… behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud…. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.”

This is picked up again in Luke 9 which reads, “… they feared as they entered into the cloud.” Did more happen to them during this time we will never know since it was never recorded on paper.

Additionally, one must consider the ridiculous stereotypes attributed to angels that show them as winged cherubs strumming harps instead of as the powerful beings set forth in the Bible and other ancient text. In reality, the Bible repeatedly shows angels provoking fear in those who see them, which shows that not all extraterrestrial encounters are necessarily pleasant and that some must carry out certain disturbing tasks making it feasible that one of those tasks involves what we explain as alien abduction.

It is safe to assume that the many people who contributed to the Western Bible just wrote down what they thought and experienced – and this includes a tremendous amount of material which can be considered representative of the UFO phenomenon throughout history. The crucial fact remains that superhuman extraterrestrials have seemingly been with us since the dawn of Man.

In The Omega Project by prominent psychologist and paranormal researcher Kenneth Ring, a professional survey is presented which found that 85 percent of all UFO abductees report an increase in their concern for the welfare of our world, with 60 percent saying it has strongly increased. The same survey also shows that 71 percent of abductees believe humanity is on the verge of a new age. Compare these findings with those in Revelations that occurred almost two thousand years ago when an angel took John on a dramatic journey above the earth during which he was told of a climactic future period and a utopian world thereafter. Perhaps the dramatic increase in observed extraterrestrial activity during the past few decades is largely because human civilization is undergoing dramatic changes including encounters by devout Christians such as Mennonite, Lynn Miller, who is discussed in the book, Secret Life, by ufologist David M. Jacobs in which she remembers having “flown with the angels” at age 12. Miller came down with diphtheria when six years old, and since the family did not believe in modern medicine they prayed to God for a miracle and sure enough, that very night what she describes as angels visited her and the very next day she was totally cured.

Stories like these show convincingly that religion and ufology are inseparably tied together and that no matter what we choose to call them, superhuman beings are here and have always been watching over us.

As in my last article regarding extraterrestrial beings, I am sure many people will erupt in anger at my argument that the Bible supports the theory of super humans and extraterrestrial encounters in biblical times. For that, I apologize but I believe that the evidence remains available for all to see if they are willing to look at it objectively.

[tags]God, demigods, Jesus, Bible, Extraterrestrial beings, angels, UFOs, Virgin Birth, Omega Project, Messiah, Yahweh, Scriptures, Apocrypha, Jacob’s ladder[/tags]

The Gospel According to Judas by Benjamin Iscariot by Jeffrey Archer & Francis J. Moloney

The 1,700-year-old copy of the Gospel of Judas was unveiled in Washington last April, unleashing a controversy regarding its authenticity since it states that Judas acted on Jesus’ request and as part of the divine plan when he turned him over to the authorities. While the original author of the Judas gospel is unknown, it is believed to be part of a document mentioned in a treatise by Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyon, in the year 180 A.D. This in turn resulted in the writing of The Gospel According to Judas, by Benjamin Iscariot, a collaborate effort between Jeffrey Archer and Francis J. Moloney, that successfully bridges the gap between the first-century Christian or Jew, by authenticating the research using canonical texts, and twenty-first-century readers. According to Pope Benedict XVI, this work not only tells the story of Jesus through the eyes of Judas but also sheds new light on his motives for the betrayal and tells the reader what happened to him after the crucifixion. Being aware that the name Judas brings a negative connotation to the mind of most Christians the authors following the narrative style of the gospels provide a compelling and controversial concept for modern day readers, with Desmond Tutu going as far as calling the gospel, “riveting and plausible.”

According to the author, Jeffrey Archer, the Gospel According to Judas Iscariot throws a new light on one of Christendom’s most vile antagonists as he and co-author Francis Moloney argue that Judas was unremorseful and motivated, not by greed, but by disillusionment over Jesus’ refusal to secure the Jewish homeland and rid it of the Romans. Further praise from Desmond Tutu states that, “It sounds just like the kind of thing someone’s son would do to try to rehabilitate their father’s name.” However, since this work will not be released to the public until March 22, 2007, Archer tantalizes the public with statements that include Judas “Unquestionably wanting the Messiah to ride into Jerusalem in front of a triumphant army and defeat the Romans. When He chooses to arrive on a donkey instead, Judas believes that that is proof positive that Jesus isn’t the Messiah.” However, Christians believe that the other gospels clearly teach that Christ made it clear that this was never His purpose. While Moloney will argue that Judas, a hard line Jew believed Jesus should restore the throne of David by military means,” and that it is more plausible that Judas did not betray Jesus for money but due to his disillusionment with the cause. The authors also believe that it is unlikely that Judas killed himself, since Moloney says, “There is no motivation for suicide and it was against Old Testament cannon for a Jew to take his own life.” It should also be noted; that while Archer’s book attempts to revise Judas’s reputation the discovery of a number of ancient texts has already caused views to change to ones more favorable of Judas.

At just over 22,000 words, this controversial work is roughly the same length as the four New Testament Gospels, and as such likely to be taken seriously by the Pope who is aware of the project and is a good friend of Professor Moloney’s, having sat with him on the Biblicum for 18 years. The Gospel According to Judas is a highly readable and gripping account of the stories of Jesus and Judas, which will open a whole new debate among secular and religious readers. Given that I cannot wait to obtain a copy of this anticipated work and would recommend it to open-minded individuals, as well as, to scholars and intellectuals.

[tags]The Gospel According to Judas by Benjamin Iscariot, Jesus, Judas, Jeffrey Archer, Francis Moloney, Desmond Tutu, Pope Benedict XVI, Controversary, debate, Christian, Jew, betrayal[/tags]