Friday, March 30, 2018

The Crucifixion

The Tavern stopped service for a few hours. It is Good Friday. Well, not closed the doors, just put the towels over the pumps. Customers gathered to do the Stations of the Cross. Some were permitted to look through the door to the Crypt. We contemplated the journey through the streets of Jerusalem to the Hill where my Supplier was ritually slaughtered. 

Believe me, you would not have liked to have been there. There are those who are ignorant of the process of crucifixion. There are those that do not even believe that Christ was crucified, let alone that He was the Son of The Almighty Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth and of all things visible and invisible. I am not one of them.

Neither is David Warren who spoke up:
 “No good deed goes unpunished,” in this world, and in the extreme, it is impossible that the Man who embodies perfect goodness will not be executed.
When and where might be open to discussion; the pretexts will be quite flexible; but the fate of the perfect saint is sealed from the beginning. So it has been with Christ’s martyrs through the centuries; and so it began with Christ himself.
But many do believe as I and David do and even amongst them there is only a little understanding of what it means to a human body. Too many take it for granted. So a Doctor spoke to the matter. Dr. C. Truman Davis
A Physician testifies about the Crucifixion

About a decade ago, reading Jim Bishop’s The Day Christ Died, I realized that I had for years taken the Crucifixion more or less for granted — that I had grown callous to its horror by a too easy familiarity with the grim details and a too distant friendship with our Lord. It finally occurred to me that, though a physician, I didn’t even know the actual immediate cause of death.
The Gospel writers don’t help us much on this point, because crucifixion and scourging were so common during their lifetime that they apparently considered a detailed description unnecessary. So we have only the concise words of the Evangelists: 
“Pilate, having scourged Jesus, delivered Him to them to be crucified — and they crucified Him.”
I have no competence to discuss the infinite psychic and spiritual suffering of the Incarnate God atoning for the sins of fallen man. But it seemed to me that as a physician I might pursue the physiological and anatomical aspects of our Lord’s passion in some detail. What did the body of Jesus of Nazareth actually endure during those hours of torture?

This led me first to a study of the practice of crucifixion itself; that is, torture and execution by fixation to a cross. I am indebted to many who have studied this subject in the past, and especially to a contemporary colleague, Dr. Pierre Barbet, a French surgeon who has done exhaustive historical and experimental research and has written extensively on the subject.

Apparently, the first known practice of crucifixion was by the Persians. Alexander and his generals brought it back to the Mediterranean world — to Egypt and to Carthage. The Romans apparently learned the practice from the Carthaginians and (as with almost everything the Romans did) rapidly developed a very high degree of efficiency and skill at it.
A number of Roman authors (Livy, Cicer, Tacitus) comment on crucifixion, and several innovations, modifications, and variations are described in the ancient literature.
For instance, the upright portion of the cross (or stipes) could have the cross-arm (or patibulum) attached two or three feet below its top in what we commonly think of as the Latin cross. The most common form used in our Lord’s day, however, was the Tau cross, shaped like our T. In this cross the patibulum was placed in a notch at the top of the stipes. There is archeological evidence that it was on this type of cross that Jesus was crucified.
Without any historical or biblical proof, Medieval and Renaissance painters have given us our picture of Christ carrying the entire cross. But the upright post, or stipes, was generally fixed permanently in the ground at the site of execution and the condemned man was forced to carry the patibulum, weighing about 110 pounds, from the prison to the place of execution.

Many of the painters and most of the sculptors of crucifixion, also show the nails through the palms. Historical Roman accounts and experimental work have established that the nails were driven between the small bones of the wrists (radial and ulna) and not through the palms. Nails driven through the palms will strip out between the fingers when made to support the weight of the human body.

The misconception may have come about through a misunderstanding of Jesus’ words to Thomas, “Observe my hands.” Anatomists, both modern and ancient, have always considered the wrist as part of the hand.
A titulus, or small sign, stating the victim’s crime was usually placed on a staff, carried at the front of the procession from the prison, and later nailed to the cross so that it extended above the head. This sign with its staff nailed to the top of the cross would have given it somewhat the characteristic form of the Latin cross.

But, of course, the physical passion of the Christ began in Gethsemane. Of the many aspects of this initial suffering, the one of greatest physiological interest is the bloody sweat. It is interesting that St. Luke, the physician, is the only one to mention this. He says, “And being in Agony, He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.”

Every ruse (trick) imaginable has been used by modern scholars to explain away this description, apparently under the mistaken impression that this just doesn’t happen. A great deal of effort could have been saved had the doubters consulted the medical literature.

Though very rare, the phenomenon of Hematidrosis, or bloody sweat, is well documented. Under great emotional stress of the kind our Lord suffered, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus mixing blood with sweat. This process might well have produced marked weakness and possible shock.
After the arrest in the middle of the night, Jesus was next brought before the Sanhedrin and Caiphus, the High Priest; it is here that the first physical trauma was inflicted. A soldier struck Jesus across the face for remaining silent when questioned by Caiphus. The palace guards then blindfolded Him and mockingly taunted Him to identify them as they each passed by, spat upon Him, and struck Him in the face.

In the early morning, battered and bruised, dehydrated, and exhausted from a sleepless night, Jesus is taken across the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia, the seat of government of the Procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate. You are, of course, familiar with Pilate’s action in attempting to pass responsibility to Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Judea. Jesus apparently suffered no physical mistreatment at the hands of Herod and was returned to Pilate. It was in response to the cries of the mob, that Pilate ordered Bar-Abbas released and condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion.
There is much disagreement among authorities about the unusual scourging as a prelude to crucifixion. Most Roman writers from this period do not associate the two. Many scholars believe that Pilate originally ordered Jesus scourged as his full punishment and that the death sentence by crucifixion came only in response to the taunt by the mob that the Procurator was not properly defending Caesar against this pretender who allegedly claimed to be the King of the Jews.

Preparations for the scourging were carried out when the Prisoner was stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head. It is doubtful the Romans would have made any attempt to follow the Jewish law in this matter, but the Jews had an ancient law prohibiting more than forty lashes.
The Roman legionnaire steps forward with the flagrum (or flagellum) in his hand. This is a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back, and legs. At first the thongs cut through the skin only.
Then, as the blows continue, they cut deeper into the subcutaneous tissues, producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the underlying muscles.

The small balls of lead first produce large, deep bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally stopped.

The half-fainting Jesus is then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own blood. The Roman soldiers see a great joke in this provincial Jew claiming to be king. They throw a robe across His shoulders and place a stick in His hand for a scepter.
They still need a crown to make their travesty complete. Flexible branches covered with long thorns (commonly used in bundles for firewood) are plaited into the shape of a crown and this is pressed into His scalp. Again there is copious bleeding, the scalp being one of the most vascular areas of the body.
After mocking Him and striking Him across the face, the soldiers take the stick from His hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His scalp. Finally, they tire of their sadistic sport and the robe is torn from His back. Already having adhered to the clots of blood and serum in the wounds, its removal causes excruciating pain just as in the careless removal of a surgical bandage, and almost as though He were again being whipped the wounds once more begin to bleed.
In deference to Jewish custom, the Romans return His garments. The heavy patibulum of the cross is tied across His shoulders, and the procession of the condemned Christ, two thieves, and the execution detail of Roman soldiers headed by a centurion begins its slow journey along the Via Dolorosa.
In spite of His efforts to walk erect, the weight of the heavy wooden beam, together with the shock produced by copious blood loss, is too much. He stumbles and falls. The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and muscles of the shoulders. He tries to rise, but human muscles have been pushed beyond their endurance.
It did not end with the Romans.

The centurion, anxious to get on with the crucifixion, selects a stalwart North African onlooker, Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross. Jesus follows, still bleeding and sweating the cold, clammy sweat of shock, until the 650 yard journey from the fortress Antonia to Golgotha is finally completed.

Jesus is offered wine mixed with myrrh, a mild analgesic mixture. He refuses to drink. Simon is ordered to place the patibulum on the ground and Jesus quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square, wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep into the wood.
Quickly, he moves to the other side and repeats the action being careful not to pull the arms to tightly, but to allow some flexion and movement. The patibulum is then lifted in place at the top of the stipes and the titulus reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” is nailed in place.

The left foot is now pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. The Victim is now crucified. As He slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists excruciating pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain — the nails in the writs are putting pressure on the median nerves. As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, He places His full weight on the nail through His feet. Again there is the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of the feet.

At this point, as the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by his arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath.

Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. 
Spasmodically, he is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen. 

It was undoubtedly during these periods that He uttered the seven short sentences recorded:

The first, looking down at the Roman soldiers throwing dice for His seamless garment, 
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
The second, to the penitent thief, 
“Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.”
The third, looking down at the terrified, grief-stricken adolescent John — the beloved Apostle — he said, 
“Behold thy mother.” 
Then, looking to His mother Mary, 
Woman behold thy son.”
The fourth cry is from the beginning of the 22nd Psalm, 
“My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?”
Hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-rending cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain where tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves up and down against the rough timber. Then another agony begins…A terrible crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.
One remembers again the 22nd Psalm, the 14th verse: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.”

It is now almost over. The loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level; the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissue; the tortured lungs are making a frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain.

Jesus gasps His fifth cry, 
“I thirst.”
One remembers another verse from the prophetic 22nd Psalm: “My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou has brought me into the dust of death.”
A sponge soaked in posca, the cheap, sour wine which is the staple drink of the Roman legionaries, is lifted to His lips. He apparently doesn’t take any of the liquid. The body of Jesus is now in extremes, and He can feel the chill of death creeping through His tissues. This realization brings out His sixth words, possibly little more than a tortured whisper, “It is finished.”
His mission of atonement has completed. Finally He can allow his body to die.
With one last surge of strength, he once again presses His torn feet against the nail, straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and last cry, 
"Father! Into thy hands I commit my spirit.”
The rest you know. In order that the Sabbath not be profaned, the Jews asked that the condemned men be dispatched and removed from the crosses. The common method of ending a crucifixion was by crurifracture, the breaking of the bones of the legs. This prevented the victim from pushing himself upward; thus the tension could not be relieved from the muscles of the chest and rapid suffocation occurred. The legs of the two thieves were broken, but when the soldiers came to Jesus they saw that this was unnecessary.
Apparently to make doubly sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the heart. The 34th verse of the 19th chapter of the Gospel according to St. John reports: “And immediately there came out blood and water.”
That is, there was an escape of water fluid from the sac surrounding the heart, giving postmortem evidence that Our Lord died not the usual crucifixion death by suffocation, but of heart failure (a broken heart) due to shock and constriction of the heart by fluid in the pericardium.
Thus we have had our glimpse — including the medical evidence — of that epitome of evil which man has exhibited toward Man and toward God. 
It has been a terrible sight, and more than enough to leave us despondent and depressed.
This, endured, for me: for you: for all mankind.

Drink deep.

Christ drank from a bitter, bitter cup, to bring us a far better one.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Freedom By Religion

I am not a believer in Freedom of Religion. I do believe however that one Religion has freed us: one Religion that is the basis of what we call 'Western Civilisation'. And we are fast losing that Freedom along with that Religion.

Those who spout the mantra of 'freedom of religion' seem not to think of just what that means. They allow in all sorts of belief systems, some of which are antithetical to our Christian way of life.  They give equal weight and value to ideologies that poison our society: ideas and beliefs that have led and are  leading us down the steep slope to perdition.

Christianity is hard. It is tough. Most people do not even try being religious today, yet they benefit from what Christianity has given us. At the same time they distort the messages of Love for one's neighbour, compassion and Charity with excesses that contradict the clear messages given to us by my Supplier.

Few today would say "Thy Will be Done" when faced with the hard obligations of Christ's commands. Even Christ Himself had difficulty in the Garden. Even He had to pray for the Strength that only the Father can give.

Most of us are asleep. Some are tucked in very comfortably indeed and have forgotten what they are here for. We are betraying our western, Christian Principles.

So a reminder today from Simon Smart and a tale from Everett Piper just to consider while you sup your pints before tonight's Last Supper and the betrayals that followed. 

Simon Smart is the director of the Centre for Public Christianity. He stood to speak:
Christianity is still the foundation of our most treasured convictions
 In his Easter message last year, British Prime Minister David Cameron was not the least bit shy about identifying his country's religious foundation. "Yes, we are a nation that welcomes, embraces and accepts all faiths and none", he said, "but we're still a Christian country."
No politician would get away with that in Australia. The first church built here was burnt to the ground by the convicts and ever since we've had a somewhat uneasy relationship with organised religion.

The crucifixion of Jesus was a crucial turning point in the history of Western morality.

But despite our apparent lack of religiosity, as a culture we remain thoroughly marinated in the juices of an ancient story, the climax of which is celebrated around the country this weekend. The first Easter Sunday led to claims of an empty tomb and, in the West, life has never been the same since.
The reality is, despite fewer and fewer of us having a hope of being able to articulate the details of that story, it is ingrained in the fibre of Western history as the moment when a revolutionary understanding of the value of every individual germinated and began to grow. The idea that the creator of the universe would enter the human drama as a child and then, in order to redeem it, willingly submit to a brutal and humiliating death, shaped our culture in profoundly important ways.

The Jewish tradition of the poor being the ones God loves was picked up and extended by early Christianity and its account of the crucifixion. For educated people in the ancient world, the grotesque execution of Jesus was the worst kind of humiliation, one that couldn't possibly have anything to do with divinity. 
But for the Christian, this humiliation was profoundly meaningful – salvation itself! 
The low point became the high point – the great inversion. 
Jesus urged those who wanted to be great, to also become the servant, or slave, of all.

Atheist philosopher Alain de Botton recognises the value of this radical shift.
Among Christianity's greatest achievements has been its capacity, without the use of any coercion beyond the gentlest of theological arguments, to persuade monarchs and magnates to kneel down and abase themselves before the statue of a carpenter, and to wash the feet of peasants, street sweepers and dispatch drivers.

The idea that those without status were actually the unique concern of God represented a radical enunciation of an ethos Westerners now consider self-evident but that was hitherto unimaginable.
"One finds nothing in pagan society remotely comparable in magnitude to the Christian willingness to provide continuously for persons in need, male and female, young and old, free and bound alike," says historian and theologian David Bentley Hart.

It had a lasting impact. People now simply take it for granted that institutions of public welfare, like free hospitals and soup kitchens or free education, are a social good whether or not they are economically beneficial. We may only pay lip service to care for the marginalised, but we do so knowing this is a moral good, even a moral responsibility. 
Over the centuries people absorbed this sensibility into their moral DNA, and while there have been terrible failures along the way, the world is a substantially kinder, more compassionate place than it would otherwise have been.

And it matters where these foundational concepts comes from. The great atheist critic of Christianity, Friedrich Nietzsche, insisted that the death of God meant the death of objective morality. Having lost the transcendent, the ground on which ethics rests becomes decidedly unsteady.

Australian moral philosopher Raimond Gaita – who is not a believer – writes that only someone who is religious can speak seriously of the sacred, but such talk nonetheless informs the thoughts of most of us whether we are religious or not.

"We may say that all human beings are inestimably precious, that they are ends in themselves, that they are owed unconditional respect, that they possess inalienable rights, and, of course, that they possess inalienable dignity. In my judgment these are ways of trying to say what we feel a need to say when we are estranged from the conceptual resources we need to say it … Not one of them has the simple power of the religious way of speaking."
There's no doubt we are losing that way of speaking and thinking. Many will think that is a good thing. But this weekend, whether you combine hot cross buns with hymns and prayers or are more focused on getting your boat out onto the water or your campground sorted, it's worth pondering the foundation on which some of our most treasured convictions rest – and asking ourselves what it is that gives them the resonance of both beauty and truth.
It is not a question you will hear in our Universities and Schools today. There the 'equally valued' alternative memes and mantras, impious pronouncements and the stench of hypocricy sound out to meet the wailing from the anti-Christ Minarets down the streets. Even a sound teacher or lecturer can be astonished not just at his colleagues' capitulations but the very grounding that the students bring. 

But, you might ask this old Tavern Keeper, "Who are you to judge?".  Everett answers. He is president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University.
‘Who are you to judge?’

“The Lottery” is a classic short story written by Shirley Jackson in 1948. It’s the tale of a rural, farming community in America of about three hundred residents. The town seems normal by all accounts as it prepares for a traditional, harvest-time event known as The Lottery.

Each year the name of every family is written on a piece of paper and securely stored in a locked box. On the morning of the annual gathering, the heads of each household draw from the box until a paper slip with a black spot is extracted. One of these clans is that of the “Hutchensons.”

Upon “winning” this first phase of the lottery, each member of the Hutchinson family joins the father to select another slip of paper out of another box until one member of that family — the mother, named Tessie — draws a piece of paper with the final black spot on it.

In spite of her cries, the townspeople, including her own husband and children, pick up rocks and stone her to death to ensure a more prosperous harvest.
I bet you didn't expect that !! 
For some 70 years, “The Lottery” has rightly been included in many literary anthologies for its..... 
shocking portrayal of the power of groupthink and the human inclination to accept evil.

For more than 30 years beginning in 1970, English professor Kay Haugaard used the story to spur corresponding discussions in her literature class at Pasadena City College. Ms. Haugaard says she could always count on some common reactions:
“Everyone thought it was scary because, as someone inevitably said, ‘The characters seem just like regular people — you know, like us!’”

“The story always impressed the class with the insight that I felt the author had intended: the danger of just ‘going along’ with something habitually, without examining its rationale and value. In spite of the changes that I had witnessed over the years in anthologies and in students’ writing, Jackson’s message about blind conformity always spoke to my students’ sense of right and wrong.”

Then in the 1990s, something started to change dramatically in how her students responded to the sobering tale. Rather than being horrified by it, some claimed they were bored by it, while others thought the ending was “neat.”

When Ms. Haugaard pressed them for more of their thoughts, she was appalled to discover that not one student in the class was willing to say the practice of human sacrifice was morally wrong! She describes one interaction with a student, whom she calls Beth:
“‘Are you asking me if I believe in human sacrifice?’ Beth responded thoughtfully, as though seriously considering all aspects of the question. ‘Well, yes,’ I managed to say. ‘Do you think that the author approved or disapproved of this ritual?’
“I was stunned: This was the [young] woman who wrote so passionately of saving the whales, of concern for the rain forests, of her rescue and tender care of a stray dog. ‘I really don’t know,’ said Beth; ‘If it was a religion of long standing, [who are we to judge]?’”
“For a moment, I couldn’t even respond,” reports Ms. Haugaard. “This woman actually couldn’t seem to bring herself to say plainly that she was against human sacrifice. 
My classes of a few years before would have burst into nervous giggles at the suggestion. This class was calmly considering it.”

At one point, a student explained she had been taught not to judge, and if this practice worked for them, who was she to argue differently.

Appalled by the student’s moral indifference, Ms. Haugaard concludes, “Today, for the first time in my thirty years of teaching, I looked my students in the eye and not one of them in my class could tell me that this society, this cultural behavior was a bad thing.”

Not one of these students would say human sacrifice is wrong? The whole point of “The Lottery” is to show the dangers of blindly following bad ideas. 
But Ms. Haugaard’s students had been taught that labels like good and evil, sacred and sinful, no longer applied as absolutes — and they responded accordingly. 
They had been taught that to assign moral values to actions was, in itself, wrong.

You may be tempted to conclude that this is an extreme anecdote and that this doesn’t happen anywhere else but in the politically correct meccas of Berkeley, Brown or Pasadena. Don’t be.

As a university president, I can assure you that if you were to conduct this same exercise today on campuses in heartland America, you would get the exact same blank stares of amorality that Professor Haugaard got on the crazy shores of the Left Coast some 30 years ago.

Remember this story the next time someone tells you it “doesn’t matter what you believe as long as it works for you.” 
Remember this when you hear, “that’s ‘just your opinion.” 
Remember this when the “tolerant” tell you they can’t tolerate your intolerance. 
Remember this the next time anyone says, “Who are you to judge?”

Remember this story and pray.

Pray: “God help us.”
Like Christ did.

He asked His Almighty Father that the bitter cup be taken away, but accepted that God's Will Be Done.

At His Last Supper he gave us not a bitter cup but one of His Covenant; 

His Blood.

"For this is the Chalice of My Blood, Of the New and Eternal Testament: the Mystery of Faith: Which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins"

To many, even many Christians, the Eucharest which is the central part of the Mass, is simply a symbol.

It is not.

It is Transubstantial; It transformed society and the individual, just as simple water and wine are transformed, transubstantiated into the Blood of Christ before us.

But we are in grave danger of pouring out His Precious Blood as a libation to false gods.

To be Christian is to acknowledge that we cannot 'do it' by ourselves. 

I shall be in the Crypt this evening.

The floors are mopped.

I may be there and at Mass for several days, on and off, so help yourselves to drinks.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Two Faces during Holy Week

This week is the most Holy of the year in the Tavern and all around the rapidly diminishing Christian world. Several good folk have reminded my that we are under attack. So it is timely to remind all my customers that the preparations which have taken me from posting lately are almost complete and the Crypt is prepared. 

Sunday saw me at the Palm Sunday Mass, celebrating Christ's entry into Jerusalem. Here the Mighty Son of the Almighty God had palm leaves strewn before him. The week's end will see him conquor Death itself and leave an everlasting Legacy for us.

And just to keep you up to date so you can all 'get with the programme' Mishka Gora laid it out for us.

The Christian message from my Supplier remains as it has for 2000 years. Love My Father in Heaven and Love thy neighbour. Peace to Men of Goodwill. 

But not everyone has that Good Will. 

There are those that refuse point blank to do either and reject peace. 

And there are those who will value their neighbour just as highly as themselves.

We saw examples of each in the past few days. Two faces stand out.

The Muslim world is not 'of this world' nor simply of the flesh despite its focus on carnality, be that raping young girls in an increasing number of British cities while the police stand guard to stop anyone criticising, or suiciding to get at waiting virgins in their parody of heaven under the sardonic grin of Allah. 

No, Islam is of the Devil.

Islam is Satan's response to the Resurrection which we will celebrate in Love and Joy next Sunday.

Satan will writhe in anger and agony. 

Satan's Islamic army mocks God and seeks to destroy anything to do with Christianity. And Christianity's  origin, Judaism. 

If Revelation's date for Armageddon is as yet unknown, it would seem that Turkey is keen to bring it on along with the end of the world.

One might remind them that the outcome is already known. 

They see themselves as mighty, but as is so often the case, enough to make an aphorism, the mighty will be fallen.
Turkish newspaper with close ties to  (President) Erdogan (of Turkey) calls for joint Islamic army to fight Israel
The article calls for establishing joint bases for the army's ground, air and naval forces that will arrive from all over the Muslim world to besiege Israel, while noting that Pakistan, as the only nuclear country, has “a special status” among the OIC countries.
On Dec. 12, 2017, ahead of the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul,  the Turkish daily Yeni Şafak, which is close to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling AKP party, published an article titled “A Call for Urgent Action,” which also appeared on the paper’s website under the title “What If an Army of Islam Was Formed Against Israel?”
The article called on the 57 member states of the OIC to form a joint “Army of Islam” to besiege and attack the state of Israel. It notes that such a joint army will greatly exceed the Israeli army in manpower, equipment and budget, and presents statistics to prove this.
It also advocates establishing joint bases for the army’s ground, air and naval forces that will arrive from all over the Muslim world to besiege Israel, while noting that Pakistan, as the only nuclear country, has “a special status” among the OIC countries. An interactive map provides information on military forces stationed in various locations and the role they can play in the potential joint Muslim attack on Israel.  

If the OIC member states unite and form a joint military force, it will be the largest army in the world. These countries’ total population is 1,674,526,931. The number of soldiers in active service in these countries is at least 5,206,100. Their [overall] military defense budget, of $174,728,420,000 is also worthy of emphasis.
As for Israel, it is significantly inferior. The population of this country, which attempted to occupy Jerusalem while surrounded by Muslim states, is 8,049,314. Note that the population of Istanbul alone exceeds 14 million. The number of soldiers in active service in the [Israeli] occupation forces is 160,000, and [Israel’s] defense budget is approximately $15, 600,000,000.
I am getting a tad old for fighting, but if Turkey does lead Islamic forces onto the fields of Armageddon, they will be met by many on God's side and the Israeli's. I shall be in the Crypt praying for souls. But...  I might still harbour a wish to die with a sword in my hand.

But there was another face in the news. This week also saw a French chap offer his life for that of a hostage. A hostage of an Islamic madman, of course.

Officer who traded places with hostage, dies moments after marrying
COLONEL Arnaud Beltrame, 44, gave himself up to the gun-wielding extremist when the shop was stormed by in Trebes, near Toulouse.

The brave officer secretly left his phone on so officers outside could hear what was happening inside — meaning they knew to storm the supermarket straight away when they heard gunshots.

It has now emerged he wed partner Marielle while on his death bed in a hugely moving ceremony performed in a hospital in Carcassonne, in the south west of the country.
His bride was left in floods of tears as they said their prayers in the Catholic ceremony before the hero succumbed to his four bullet wounds.
Greater Love has no man, than he lay down his life for another.

Rest in the arms of Christ, Bro. 

Christ wrote the book about 'Laying down His life' for all others.

Including the mad and the bad Muslims seduced by Satan's last ditch effort to thwart the Will of God.

Drink up: drink deep: Pray for us all, now and in the conflict to come.


Saturday, March 24, 2018

The British Bulldog is Gravely Sick

That pugnacious mascot which Britain has for so long adopted as its symbol of character, is down for the count. It is getting old and has been showing signs for a while now that all is not well. It has the Flu. I fear it will not survive the year.

It very likely caught something from trying to mate with a rabies infected Rottweiler. 

Very little else could have resulted, frankly, from Britain trying to 'become one' with a Europe dominated by Germany, a foe from its inception. 

Under the Merkel woman with her insane invitation to an occupation army that has shown itself far more effective without Teutonic tailors, and her insistence that Britain lowers its drawbridge to allow hordes of uncivilised destroyers to land on its shores, the response of the 'Authorities' in Britain has been to suppress any discussion or displays of even mild concern.

While really quite mild young women from Canada and other parts have been arrested and prevented from landing in order to investigate the situation and perhaps talk to a few folk, quite evil people are free to roam the streets threatening mayhem. The police will not arrest mad muslims while there are mild-mannered girls they can bang up first, and that on the pretext that the girls might 'offend' the mad buggers and that in turn lead to violence.

You cannot make this stuff up.

Just speaking out... or even wanting to speak out, can get you arrested by those staunch guardians of the Law. That is if you speak against the daily atrocities that filter through to the public's mind, despite the best efforts of a media hell bent on preventing such information.

It can backfire, of course, as any ill-thought-through actions by coward cops and malevolent bureaucrats have a tendancy to.  An ordinary chap responding to extraordinary times, one Tommy Robinson (not his real name but redolent of 'Britishness') determined to speak his mind and that of one of the 'banned at the border' mild-mannered folk, at 'Speaker's Corner', a spot in Hyde Park in London where for longer than most can read back to has been where anyone can speak his mind about anything.

The Police stopped him. They made him leave that hallowed spot. 

There were too few other ordinary folk around to counter the outrageous suppression of free speech by the mob of policement, all 'obeying orders'
But Tommy outsmarted them. He announced on the net that he WOULD speak and at the time he appointed some 5000 staunch lads and lasses, farm boys and wenches turned up to hear him. Oh yes, there were some Religion of Peace folk too.

The police were outnumbered and so the free speech happened.

But there was also an event  during the time and crowd where a Religion of Peace person snatched a British Flag and used the pole to attack a policemen. !!

What happened then tells us all we need to know. The other policemen prevented the attacked and assulted one from arresting the violent attacker !! 

Heck, it might have offended the thug. Any reading of rights 'might' have been construed as 'Hate Speech' !!

Any objection which 'offends' this minority or that, especially that one, is considered 'Hate Speech', except when it offends British people who are getting heartily sick along with the Bulldog. 

And the cops will chase down hate speech well before they chase down knife-wielding folk of hue or even begin to look around for rape gangs from 'that' minority. 

It is not as though the sickness in the dog is limited though. Canada is infected too. The National Poodle, Justine Truedeform, takes a similar view to the British leadership (if one could call it that), putting the folk who adhere to the Religion of Peace ahead of lumberjacks at every turn.

And don't talk too loudly about Oz where dog turds are found in piles in the Prime Minister's office.

A black pidgeon (don't accuse us of racism here)  flew through a window and sat on the bar in the Tavern, with something to say. It is becoming quite dangerous for humans to speak up. 

The UK: RISE of the Anarcho-Tyranny STATE

The situation in Britain, a nation that gave us Magna Carta; a nation that took Law and civilisation around the world; a nation that stood alone against the Nazis when they occupied all of Europe and were preparing to invade Britain; that Britain that had Character.... should alert all other anglophile nations.

The virus is upon us all. It is a virus of the heart and mind. Our civil society, law, administration, discourse, respect for one another and tolerance of a wide range of viewpoints, has taken to its bed.

Ironically it is just 100 years ago, after a long, terrible war -against Germany, would you believe! -  that another virus swept across Britain, and Europe, and many parts of the world.

The Spanish Flu.

It killed far more than the war did.

We are now suffering through the Damascus Flu.

I foresee far more carnage.

Back in 2016 there was some talk of when the next civil war would occur and where. 

It edges nearer.

The British have always been pugnacious.

So, drink up.



Thursday, March 8, 2018

Statistics: Snakes in the Social Grass

Every year some 100,000 people die from snakebites.  What a huge number. 3 of them were in Oz. It is of course catastrophic for them so we should do away with cats. The chances of you being in that death stat are what? (It is zero cuz you are still alive. Duh ! Maybe next year, eh?). 100k in 7.5 billion is a percentage (or even an old-fashioned fraction) that most who were educated in our schools since, say, 1990 could not work out and could not even guess at the significance. (Try working it out for yourselves) 

3 in 25 million (the Oz population) is pretty insignificant too (except to those who died and they are no longer around to care). We have the most venomous snakes in the world which slither about in the outback where few people live and few go. So, you are likely to be pretty safe.

But the raw number is pretty scary. And that's what stats are used for these days: to scare you into thinking 'social' 'issues' are terrible when they aren't and aren't when they are. That done, taxpayers' money can be demanded to 'fix' the 'problem' with some social engineering.

Our PTB collect statistics in a very haphazard manner and use them to scare by presenting them to meet financial objectives. It certainly isn't to actually help you. Most people have only the very slightest grasp of statistics gleaned from the news media and bamboozling them is a doddle.

You are more likely to be bitten by a venomous statistic in Oz than by a snake.

Our media - even our many levels of Gummunt - are snake charmers.

It isn't as though all the stats themselves are 'true'. Most are incomplete: they are often just guesses; they are all too often extrapolated from a small population onto a larger one; some are downright fictitious. 

In the DSM (the shrink's manual) there is a category called 'Factitious Disorder' which does not mention statisticians nor women who cry rape whenever they have fornicated in an unsatisfactory manner. These women can be catastrophic too. 

As catastrophic as a feminist-inclined Gummunt Minister.

Stats are used to ask further questions and those too are all too often the wrong questions or again designed to confuse, outrage and gain funding. Hey, it employs otherwise unemployable ladies (usually) and gives them Titles, like 'Director'.

A customer pointed some salient 'issues' with stats out the other evening. First though, before I pull his pint, let me just say that some stats are useful and true. Figuring out which though would defeat even those who have graduated from our Universities so full of those factitious stats that they pour from their lips like drool.

So to Anthony Esolen. A litre of Ale (1.75 pints or thereabout depending on ambient temperature and pressure) was sat upon the bar for him.
Statistics We Refuse to Collect 

“There are no statistics!” cried a critic of an article I wrote for Crisis a couple of weeks ago. I had asked a prominent Jesuit to open his eyes and look at the vast human misery caused by the breakdown of sexual mores in the West. 
Had I laced the piece with statistics, people would have complained that I had failed to listen to actual human beings and their woes. Instead I recounted stories; and they were by no means the worst that I could have told.

Ah, statistics. Mathematics was my first love, and I know a lot about probability and statistics, enough to know that the worth of the latter depends not just upon the keenness of your observation, but on the questions you ask in the first place. My first encounter with the deliberate fuzzing of numbers in order to tell political lies was when I read James Burtchaell’s book, Rachel Weeping: The Case Against Abortion.
Customers might also like to consult Darrell Huff's capital little book on Huffograms. How to deceive with charts. Sometimes a pie is venomous, like some snakes.
In that book, Father Burtchaell followed the threads of statistical fabrication and error, repeated, embellished, misapplied, and divagating, so that politicians could say, without any sense of unreality, that hundreds of thousands of women used to die every year from “back alley” abortions. 
(No less an authority than abortion advocate Mary Calderone, fifteen years before Roe v. Wade, said that almost all illegal abortions were performed by a doctor or a nurse, and were safe, with antibiotics ready at hand to protect against infection. The story changed when it needed to change.) 
From that point on, I have given little credence to statistics that fly in the face of common sense and common observation, or that are vitiated by a flaw in the question.

Let me give an example. Common sense tells us that cohabitation is less stable than marriage, because each person knows that he or she can pack up and leave without legal consequence, and without qualms for having broken a sacred vow. 
It is also more volatile, since by the testimony of many who engage in it, it is a trial run. Youth, instability, volatility, and sexual passion make for quite a canister of nitro-glycerine. 
We know that a girl is far more likely to be beaten by her live-in boyfriend than is a wife by her husband. But if for ideological reasons you want to obscure this fact, and if you don’t care overmuch for the safety of the girls you are putting at risk, or rather if you do wish the girls well but you hate marriage even more, you will fold the two things together, and invent the category “domestic violence.”
Ahh. Domestic violence. Another 100,000 stat in Oz. No-one gives a damn that 100,000 babies are killed in the womb by their mothers and do not even get include as the grossest and most egregious form of domestic violence in the DV stats. Because it is all about women. 
Official Bullshyte. But people buy it through Taxes.

100,000 DV incidents a year in Oz (a guestimate as the numbers from each State and Police force are not collated nationally) include - but do not state - two teenage brothers fighting on the front lawn are an 'incident'

two lesbians having a disagreement over who should make the sammich and resorting to throwing crockery (lesbian violence runs at some 12 times man-woman DV) are an 'incident'

Man and woman shouting at one another about overspending on face cream when the pantry is almost bare is an 'incident'. 

But there are 'official' exemptions too. Aboriginals for whom it is 'traditional' to abuse one another: and of course the Muslims who give 'how to beat your wife' lessons in the mosques. These are never even indentified. No 'sub-stats for them.

All 'incidents' are considered violence against women. Despite at least 40% being against men. But hey, let us not mention that. Official stats don't.

No, we are fed by every Gummunt and taxpayers funded body in the bizzo that 1:4 (that is 25%) of women will be sexually assaulted. Not counting the 9 year old fourth wives deflowered by some hairy old guy who has knocked her quiet with his koran.
68k in 4 mil. 0.017

In Tasmania there are some 3500 such counted 'incidents' a year and the police, when questioned, will admit that it is always the same few yobs no more than 1000 in number for whom they are repeatedly called out. 1000 in 500,000 population. Work out the percentage for youselves. The mental exercise will do you good.

All 'incidents' are portrayed as violence against women. Follow the money all the way to shelters, free housing, 'Directors' of Wimmin's cooperatives of a dozen ilks all getting huge salaries and perks, and court fines from the menfolk. Oh, and police budgets too.

Meanwhile 100,000 babies a year are 'terminated' and not by Arnie 'I will be back' the robot but by a Doctor being paid $5000  a dismemberment by a mother. Do a quick stat on the dollar value to the GDP.
Or suppose you want to obscure the fact that in the United States, almost all people who contract the HIV virus are either homosexual men, or people who have sexual relations with, or who share infected needles with infected people—in other words, that homosexual men are the gate of the disease and by far those most likely to suffer it.
We are urged to be compassionate to these unfortunates. 

Bugger That!! 
You can deflect attention from one form of probability to another, or you can ask a misleading question. So you can say that “more than half of new HIV cases are among heterosexuals,” a statement that is almost meaningless, given that heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals by 40 to 1. 
What we want is to isolate the sexual factor. Given that A is a heterosexual man who does not use intravenous drugs, what is the probability that he will contract the HIV virus, relative to that of B, the homosexual man who also does not use intravenous drugs?
That would defeat almost any Uni graduate today. Heck over half of the graduates are wimmin with the cradle marks still on their bums and an attitude so venomous toward men that they would cheer that ALL men get blamed.
Or you will ask not about the probability function but about its first or second derivative. You ask, “Is the rate of increase of HIV infection among homosexual men lower or higher than the rate of increase among heterosexuals generally?” That too is almost meaningless. 
When a certain population has been saturated with infection and exposure to infection, its rate of increase will level off, and at that point just about anything else can be made to look more virulent, more threatening. It is like saying that a car just beginning to pull out of a driveway has a greater acceleration than a car speeding at ninety down the highway. 
It does, but so what?

Journalists used to know a little of history and the English language. They hardly know those, now, so I should not expect them to grasp the concept of conditional probability. 
I hear, for instance, that “a majority of child abusers are heterosexual.” 
Again, meaningless; more people die by car accidents than by lightning, but that does not mean that driving a car is more dangerous than is standing in a golf course during an electric storm, holding your nine-iron high above your head. It merely means that a lot more people drive a car than are outdoors welcoming the lightning. But the statistic also does what the “domestic abuse” statistics do. 
It folds together unlike things. 
Let me explain. 
A normal man does not commit incest. 
He does not abuse his own children. What he wants to know is, “Given Mr. A who is heterosexual, and who does not live in my house, what is the probability that he will abuse my daughter, relative to that of Mr. B who is homosexual, abusing my son?” 
That is just a complicated way of specifying the condition, and removing from your statistic what for your purpose is irrelevant noise. But if you put it that way, you get something like what the priest-scandal should have taught us by experience.

Let me then ask some relevant questions.

What percentage of people over a certain age (20, 25, 30, 40) are or have been once-married, without divorce? We can call this the basic Index of Marriage. The converse we can call the Index of Unmarriage.

What percentage of people over a certain age have never given or received a serious proposal of marriage? We can call this the Index of Loneliness.
 What percentage of marriages and quasi-marriages end in divorce? Suppose you have a society in which a lot of people don’t bother to marry in the first place, but they shack up, they make babies, and more often than not they split.  

The divorce rate in that society may level off or take a slight dip, but that will mask the very real confusion beneath. I define a “quasi-marriage” as any sexual liaison that lasts more than one year. We can call this the Index of Sexual Dissolution.

What is the average number of children a woman will bear within wedlock? This is a combination of two statistics, each of them important, but for different reasons. The first is the birth rate: a country with modern medicine will age and lose population over time if the rate is less than 2.1, unless the shortfall is made up by immigration. 
The second is the percentage of children born within wedlock; in the United States, slightly less than 60 percent. 
It seems to me that a low out-of-wedlock birth rate, such as obtains in Italy, is of itself nothing to cheer about, if no one is having any children at all; and a near-replacement birth rate, such as obtains in the United States, is also nothing to cheer about, if two out of five children are born into moral and social chaos. We can call this statistic the Index of Family Richness.

What is the average number of years, out of his first twenty, that a child will live without both his mother and father in the home, setting aside children adopted at an early age, and children who have lost a parent to death? We can call this the Index of Moral Orphanage.
What is the median number of pornographic images that a boy will have seen before his fifteenth birthday? I specify “median” rather than “average,” because the median will give the more conservative number; an average would be much higher, as the minimum is bounded by zero, and there is no maximum. We can call this the Male Index of Moral and Intellectual Rot.

What is the percentage of people between 20 and 30 who have never fallen into regular fornication, but who are either married now, or who have been in a normal relationship of at least six months’ length, whether by dating or by courtship? That would have been almost everybody, in my parents’ time, and very few people now. We can call this the Index of Pre-Marital Health.

What is the percentage of people between 15 and 30 who have had sexual relations with someone who was a stranger—that is, someone whose name they did not know, or with whom they had not, before that day, exchanged more than fifteen minutes of conversation? We will call this the Index of Lonely Whoredom.
What percentage of people, arriving at the age of thirty (then 35, then 40), are married, without ever having known a divorce or the breakup of a quasi-marriage? We will call this the Index of Clear Skies.

What is the number of children per 1000 women of child-bearing age, both those born and those murdered before birth, conceived outside of wedlock? How does that number compare with those conceived within wedlock? We can call this the Ratio of Wrong and Right.

Most of these questions have not been asked. 
Is there anybody alive in the United States who believes that the answers will not range .....
from disappointing to staggering?
OK, a lot to consider. I suggest sitting down with a pint of Ale with Integrity and put your skeptic hat on. Then ponder the Truth, meaning and intended deception of the next lot of bogus numbers you come across from some impeccable (hah!) media source.

Thank Anthony for the new Indexes to consider.