Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Fwd: the bones of Jesus

from my grandma

February 25, 2007

Dear Friends and Readers,

Thanks for the profusion of e-mails I've received over the last two days regarding the Talpiot tombs discovery in Jerusalem, a.k.a., "the Jesus Family Tomb" story. Some of you also suggested that "life seemed to be following art" so far as my A Skeleton in God's Closet was concerned. Believe me, this is not the way I wanted my novel to hit the visual media!

Alas, this whole affair is just the latest in the long-running media attack on the historical Jesus, which I call "More Junk on Jesus." We all thought it had culminated in that book of falsehoods, The Da Vinci Code. But no: the caricatures of Christ continue.

Please, lose no sleep over the Talpiot "discoveries" for the following reasons, and here are the facts:

1) Nothing is new here: scholars have known about the ossuaries ever since March of 1980, so this is old news recycled. The general public learned when the BBC filmed a documentary on them in 1996, and the "findings" tanked again.. James Tabor's book, The Jesus Dynasty, also made a big fuss over the Talpiot tombs more recently, and now James Cameron (The Titanic) and Simcha Jacobovici have climbed aboard the sensationalist bandwagon as well. Another book comes out today, equally as worthless as the previous.

2) All the names - Yeshua (Joshua, Jesus), Joseph, Maria, Mariamene, Matia, Judah, and Jose -- are extremely common Jewish names for that time and place, and thus nearly all scholars consider that these names are merely coincidental, as they did from the start. Some scholars dispute that "Yeshua" is even one of the names. One out of four Jewish women at that time, for example, were named Maria. There are 21Yeshuas cited by Josephus, the first-century Jewish historian, who were important enough to be recorded by him, with many thousands of others that never made history. The wondrous mathematical odds hyped by Jacobovici that these names must refer to Jesus and his family are simply playing by numbers and lying by statistics.

3) There is no reason whatever to equate "Mary Magdalene" with "Mariamene," as Jacobovici claims. And so what if her DNA is different from that of "Yeshua" ? That particular "Mariamme" (as it is usually spelled today) could indeed have been the wife of that particular "Yeshua," who was certainly not Jesus.

4) Why in the world would the "Jesus Family" have a burial site in Jerusalem, of all places, the very city that crucified Jesus? Galilee was their home. In Galilee they could have had such a family plot, not Judea. Besides all of which, church tradition and the earliest Christian historian, Eusebius of Caesarea, are unanimous in reporting that Mary, the mother of Jesus, died in Ephesus, where the apostle John, faithful to his commission from Jesus on the cross, had accompanied her.

5) The "Jesus Family" simply could not have afforded the large crypt uncovered at Talpiot, which housed, or could have housed, 200 ossuaries.

6) If this were Jesus' family burial site, what is Matthew doing there - if indeed "Matia" is thus to be translated?

7) How come there is no tradition whatever - Christian, Jewish, or secular -- that any part of the Holy Family was buried at Jerusalem?

8) Please note the extreme bias of the director and narrator, Simcha Jacobovici. The man is an Indiana-Jones-wannabe who oversensationalizes anything he touches. You may have caught him on his TV special regarding The Exodus, in which the man "explained" just about everything that still needed proving or explaining in the Exodus account in the Old Testament! It finally became ludicrous, and now he's doing it again, though in reverse: this time attacking the Scriptural record. - As for James Cameron, how do you follow the success of The Titanic? Well, with an even more "titanic" story. He should have known better, and the television footage of the two making their drastic statements on Monday, February 26 was disgusting, and their subsequent claim that they respected Jesus nauseating.

9) Even Israeli authorities, who - were they anti-Christian - might have used this "discovery" to discredit Christianity, did not do so. Quite the opposite. Joe Zias, for example, for years the director of the Rockefeller Museum in Jerusalem, holds Jacobovici's claims up for scorn and his documentary as "nonsense." Those involved in the project "have no credibility whatever," he added. - Amos Kloner, the first archaeologist to examine the site, said the conclusions in question fail to hold up by archaeological standards "but make for profitable television." -- William Dever, one of America's most prominent archaeologists, said, "This would be amusing if it didn't mislead so many people."

10) Finally, and most importantly, there is no external literary or historical evidence whatever that Jesus' family was interred together in a common burial place anywhere, let alone Jerusalem. The evidence, in fact, totally controverts all this in the case of Jesus: all four Gospels, the letters of St. Paul, and the common testimony of the early church state that Jesus rose from the dead, and did not leave his bones behind in any ossuary, as the current sensationalists claim.

Bottom line: this is merely naked hype, baseless sensationalism, and nothing less than a media fraud, "more junk on Jesus."

With warm regards,

Paul L. Maier, Ph.D., Litt.D.

Department of History

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, MI 49008



Monday, February 05, 2007

Fwd: G.R.I.T. = Girl Raised in Texas!

G.R.I.T. = Girls Raised in Texas !
Texas Women, Kittens and Biscuits

Someone once noted that a Texan can get away with the most awful kind of
insult just as long as it's prefaced with the words, "Bless her heart" or
"Bless his heart." As in, "Bless his heart, if they put his brain on the
head of a pin, it'd roll around like a BB on a 6-lane highway."

I was thinking about this the other day when a friend was telling about her
new transplanted northern friend who was upset because her toddler is just
beginning to talk and he has a Texas accent. My friend, who is very kind
and, bless her heart, cannot do a thing about those thighs of hers, was
justifiably miffed about this. After all, this woman had CHOSEN to move to
Texas a couple of years ago."Can you believe it?" said her friend, "A child
of mine is going to be "taaaallllkkin liiiike thiiiissss."

Now, don't get me wrong. Some of my dearest friends are from the North,
bless their hearts. I welcome their perspective, their friendships, and
their recipes for authentic Northern Italian food. I've even gotten past
their endless complaints that you can't find good bread down here because
the heathens, bless their hearts, don't like cornbread!

I have a friend from Bawston, bless her heart, who thinks it's hilarious
when I say I've got to "carry" my daughter to the doctor or "cut off" the
light. She also gets a giggle every time I am "fixin" to do something. And,
bless their hearts, they don't even know where "over yonder" is, or what "I
reckon" means!

My personal favorite was my aunt, saying, "Bless her heart, she cain't help
being ugly, but she could'uh stayed home."

Texas girls know bad manners when they see them:
1. Drinking straight out of a can.
2. Not sending thank you notes.
3. Velvet after February.
4. White shoes before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.

Texas girls always say:
1. "Yes Maam."
2. "Yessir."

Texas girls have a distinct way with fond expressions:
1. "Yawl come back."
2. "Well, bless yer harrt."
3. "Drop by when ya can."
4. "How's yer mama?"
5. "Love yer hair."

Texas girls know their three R's:
1. Rich
2. Richer
3. Richest

Texas girls know everybody's first name:
1. Hunny
2. Darlin'
3. Shuger

Texas girls know the movies that speak to their hearts:
1. "Gone With the Wind"
2. "Fried Green Tomatoes"
3. "Driving Miss Daisy"
4. "Steel Magnolias"

Texas girls know the three deadly sins:
1. Bad hair
2. Bad manners
3. Bad blind dates

G.R.IT. = Girls Raised in Texas!

Now you run along, Shuger, and send this to ANY females aspiring to be
GRITS -- Even the northern ones, "Bless Their Hearts".

"Just because you move to Texas it does not make you a Texan. After all,
if a cat had kittens and moved them to the oven, that wouldn't make them

Fwd: Emergency Stop

Subject: How a blonde handles an emergency stop.

A blonde's car gets a flat tire on the Interstate one day.

So she eases it over onto the shoulder of the road.

She carefully steps out of the car and opens the trunk. She takes out
two cardboard men, unfolds them and stands them at the rear of the
vehicle facing oncoming traffic. The lifelike cardboard men are in
trench coats, exposing their nude bodies to approaching drivers...

Not surprisingly, the traffic became snarled and backed up.

It was not very long before a police car arrives.

The Officer, clearly enraged, approaches the blonde of the disabled
vehicle yelling, "What is going on here?"

"My car broke down, Officer" says the woman, calmly.

"Well, what are these obscene cardboard pictures doing here by the
road?!" asks the Officer...

"Oh, those are my emergency flashers!" she replied

Fwd: Cell Phone Vs Bible


I wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our
cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several time a day?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it to Kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go....hmm...where is my Bible? Oh, and
one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about
our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.
Makes you stop and think "where are my priorities? And no dropped

Friday, February 02, 2007

FWD: shopping at Walmart

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Craig"
To: "Greg"
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2007 21:00:29 -0500
Subject: shopping at Walmart
This is piss your pants funny. I have tears in my eyes from laughing

> Mr. and Mrs. Fenton are retired. Mrs. Fenton insists that he go with her to Wal-Mart. He gets bored with all the shopping.

> He prefers to get in and get out, but Mrs. Fenton loves to browse. Here's a letter sent to her from the store.


> Dear Mrs. Fenton,

> Over the past six months, your husband has been causing quite a commotion in our store. We cannot

> tolerate this behavior and may ban both of you from our stores. We have documented all incidents on our

> video surveillance equipment. All complaints against Mr. Fenton are listed below.


> Things Mr. Bill Fenton has done while his spouse was shopping in Wal-Mart:


> 1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.


> 2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.


> 3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the restrooms.


> 4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official tone, 'Code 3' in housewares... and watched what happened.


> 5. Aug 4: Went to the Service Desk and asked to put a bag of M&M's on layaway.


> 6. Sept 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.


> 7. Sept 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told other shoppers he'd invite them in if they'll bring pillows from the bedding department.


> 8. Sept 23: When a clerk asks if they can help him, he begins to cry and asks, 'Why can't you people just leave me alone?'


> 9. Oct 4: Looked right into the security camera; used it as a mirror, and picked his nose.


> 10. Nov 10: While handling guns in the hunting department, asked the clerk if he knows where to find the antidepressants.


> 11. Dec 3: Darted around the store suspiciously loudly humming the "Mission Impossible" theme.


> 12. Dec 6: In the auto department, practiced hi "Madonna look" using different size funnels.


> 13. Dec 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browse through, yelled "PICK ME!" "PICK ME!"


> 14. Dec 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumes the fetal position and screams

> "NO! NO! It's those voices again!!!!"


> And last, but not least ....


> 15. Dec 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the doorwaited awhile, then yelled very loudly, "There is no toilet paper in here!"

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Fwd: Mozart Effect


A new report now says that the 'Mozart Effect' is a fraud. For you hip urban
professionals: no, playing Mozart for your designer baby will not improve
his IQ or help him get into that exclusive pre-school. He'll just have to
be admitted to Harvard some other way. Of course, we're all better off for
listening to Mozart purely for the pleasure of it. However, one wonders that
if playing Mozart sonatas for little Hillary or Jason could boost their
intelligence, what would happen if other composers were played in their
developmental time?

LISZT EFFECT: Child speaks rapidly and extravagantly, but never really says
anything important.

BRUCKNER EFFECT: Child speaks very slowly and repeats himself frequently.
Gains reputation for profundity.

WAGNER EFFECT: Child becomes a megalomaniac. May eventually marry his

MAHLER EFFECT: Child continually screams - at great length and volume that
he's dying.

SCHOENBERG EFFECT: Child never repeats a word until he's used all the other
words in his vocabulary. Sometimes talks backwards. Eventually, people stop
listening to him. Child blames them for their inability to understand him.

BABBITT EFFECT: Child gibbers nonsense all the time. Eventually, people
stop listening to him. Child doesn't care because all his playmates think
he's cool.

IVES EFFECT: the child develops a remarkable ability to carry on several
separate conversations at once.

GLASS EFFECT: the child tends to repeat himself over and over and over and
over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over
and over again.

STRAVINSKY EFFECT: the child is prone to savage, guttural and profane
outbursts that often lead to fighting and pandemonium in the preschool.

BRAHMS EFFECT: the child is able to speak beautifully as long as his
sentences contain a multiple of three words (3, 6, 9, 12, etc). However, his
sentences containing 4 or 8 words are strangely uninspired.


Fwd: Gen.Franks

Note: forwarded message attached.

Fwd: Some interesting facts

>Things that make you think a little:
>There were 39 combat related killings in Iraq in January.
>In the fair city of Detroit there were 35 murders in the
>month of January. That ' s just one American city,
>about as deadly as the entire war-torn country of Iraq .
>When some claim that President Bush shouldn ' t
>have started this war, state the following:
>a. FDR led us into World War II.
>b. Germany never attacked us ; Japan did.
> >From 1941-1945, 450,000 lives were lost ...
>an average of 112,500 per year.
>c. Truman finished that war and started one in Korea .
>North Korea never attacked us .
> >From 1950-1953, 55,000 lives were lost ...
>an average of 18,334 per year.
>d John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam conflict in 1962.
>Vietnam never attacked us .
>e. Johnson turned Vietnam into a quagmire.
> >From 1965-1975, 58,000 lives were lost ..
>an average of 5,800 per year.
>f. Clinton went to war in Bosnia without UN or French consent.
>Bosnia never attacked us .
>He was offered Osama bin Laden ' s head on a platter three
>times by Sudan and did nothing. Osama has attacked us on
>multiple occasions.
>g. In the years since terrorists attacked us , President Bush
>has liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled
>al-Qaida, put nuclear inspectors in Libya , Iran , and, North >Korea without firing a shot, and captured a terrorist who
>slaughtered 300,000 of his own people.
>The Democrats are complaining
>about how long the war is taking.
>But Wait
>It took less time to take Iraq than it took Janet Reno
>to take the Branch Davidian compound.
>That was a 51-day operation..
>We ' ve been looking for evidence for chemical weapons
>in Iraq for less time than it took Hillary Clinton to find
>the Rose Law Firm billing records.
>It took less time for the 3rd Infantry Division and the
>Marines to destroy the Medina Republican Guard
>than it took Ted Kennedy to call the police after his
>Oldsmobile sank at Chappaquiddick.
>It took less time to take Iraq than it took
>to count the votes in Florida !!!!
>Our Commander-In-Chief is doing a PRETTY GOOD JOB !
>The Military morale is high!
>The biased media hopes we are too ignorant
>to realize the facts
>But Wait
>There ' s more!
>Mon, 26 Jan 2004 11:13
>Some people still don ' t understand why military personnel
>do what they do for a living. This exchange between
>Senators John Glenn and Senator Howard Metzenbaum
>is worth reading. Not only is it a pretty impressive
>impromptu speech, but it ' s also a good example of one
>man ' s explanation of why men and women in the armed
>services do what they do for a living.
>This IS a typical, though sad, example of what
>some who have never served think of the military.
>Senator Metzenbaum (speaking to Senator Glenn):
>"How can you run for Senate
>when you ' ve never held a real job?"
>Senator Glenn (D-Ohio):
>"I served 23 years in the United States Marine Corps.
>I served through two wars. I flew 149 missions.
>My plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire on 12 different
>occasions. I was in the space program. It wasn ' t my
>checkbook, Howard; it was my life on the line. It was
>not a nine-to-five job, where I took time off to take the
>daily cash receipts to the bank."
>"I ask you to go with me ..! . as I w ent the other day...
>to a veteran ' s hospital and look those men ...
>with their mangled bodies . in the eye, and tell THEM
>they didn ' t hold a job!
>You go with me to the Space Program at NASA
>and go, as I have gone, to the widows and Orphans
>of Ed White, Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee...
>and you look those kids in the eye and tell them
>that their DADS didn ' t hold a job.
>You go with me on Memorial Day and you stand in
>Arlington National Cemetery , where I have more friends
>buried than I ' d like to remember, and you watch
>those waving flags.
>You stand there, and you think about this nation,
>and you tell ME that those people didn ' t have a job?
>What about you?"
>For those who don ' t remember .
>During W.W.II, Howard Metzenbaum was an attorney
>representing the Communist Party in the USA .
>Now he ' s a Senator!
>If you can read this, thank a teacher.
>If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.
>It might not be a bad idea to keep this circulating
> (The man with the boots does not mind where he

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Fwd: If this doesn't open your eyes... nothing will!

Note: forwarded message attached.

Need Mail bonding?
Go to the Yahoo! Mail Q&A for great tips from Yahoo! Answers users.

Subject: Fwd: Fw: If this doesn't open your eyes... nothing will!

Note: forwarded message attached.

No need to miss a message. Get email on-the-go
with Yahoo! Mail for Mobile. Get started.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Subject: Fw: If this doesn't open your eyes... nothing will!
----- Original Message -----
Subject: FW: If this doesn't open your eyes... nothing will!

Subject: FW: If this doesn't open your eyes... nothing will!

If this doesn't open your eyes... nothing will!

From the L.A. Times

1. 40% of all workers in L.A. County ( L.A. County has 10.2 million people) are working for cash and not paying taxes. This was because they are predominantly illegal immigrants, working without a green card.

2. 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.

3. 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.

4. Over 2/3 of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal, whose births were paid for by taxpayers.

5. Nearly 25% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.

6. Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.

7. The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.

8. Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.

9. 21 radio stations in L.A. are Spanish speaking.

10. In L.A. County 5.1 million people speak English.

3.9 million speak Spanish.

(There are 10.2 million people in L.A. County)

(All the above from the Los Angeles Times)

Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops, but 29% are on welfare.

Over 70% of the United States' annual population growth (and over 90% of California , Florida , and New York ) results from immigration.

The cost of immigration to the American taxpayer in 1997 was, (after subtracting taxes immigrants pay), a NET $70 BILLION/year, [Professor Donald Huddle, Rice University ]. The lifetime fiscal impact (taxes paid minus services used) for the average adult Mexican immigrant is a NEGATIVE number.

29% of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens.

If they can come to this country to raise Hell and demonstrate by the thousands, WHY can't they take charge over the corruption in their own country?

We are a bunch of fools for letting this continue.


On February 15, 1998, the U.S. and Mexican soccer teams met at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The crowd was overwhelmingly pro-Mexican even though most lived in this country. They booed during the National Anthem and U.S. flags were held upside down. As the match progressed, supporters of the U.S. team were insulted, pelted with projectiles, punched and spat upon. Beer and trash were thrown at the U.S. players before and after the match. The coach of the U.S. team, Steve Sampson said, "This was the most painful experience I have ever had in this profession."

Did you know that immigrants from Mexico and other non-European countries can come to this country and get preferences in jobs, education, and government contracts. It's called affirmative action or racial privilege. The Emperor of Japan or the President of Mexico could migrate here and immediately be eligible for special rights unavailable for Americans of European descent.

Corporate America has signed on to the idea that minorities and third world immigrants should get special, privileged status. Some examples are Exxon, Texaco, Merrill Lynch, Boeing, Paine Weber, Starbucks and many more.


Did you know . that Mexico regularly intercedes on the side of the defense in criminal cases involving Mexican nationals?

Did you know . that Mexico has NEVER extradited a Mexican national accused of murder in the U.S. in spite of agreements to do so?

According to the L.A. Times, Orange County , California is home to 275 gangs with 17,000 members, 98% of which are Mexican and Asian.

How's your county doing?

According to a New York Times article dated May 19, 1994, 20 years after the great influx of legal immigrants from Southeast Asia, 30% are still on welfare compared to 8% of households Nationwide. A Wall Street Journal editorial dated December 5, 1994 quotes law enforcement officials as stating that Asian mobsters are the "greatest criminal challenge the country faces." Not bad for a group that is still under 5% of the population.

Is education important to you? Here are the words of a teacher who spent over 20 years in the Los Angeles School system. "Imagine teachers in classes containing 30-40 students of widely varying attention spans and motivation, many of whom aren't fluent in English. Educators seek learning materials likely to reach the majority of students and that means fewer words and math problems and more pictures and multicultural references."


I remember hearing about the immigrants that came through Ellis Island .

They wanted to learn English. They wanted to breathe free. They wanted to become Americans. Now, far too many immigrants come here with demands. They demand to be taught in their own language. They demand special privileges ... affirmative action. They demand ethnic studies that glorify their culture.




Send copies of this letter to at least two other people ..
100 would be even better.