Monday, July 7, 2008

4 Tammuz 5768: Father & Daughter Take a Walk Day


Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
  1. “Doctors told to defy parents and save child’s life”:  If I may quote:
    Doctors had to ask for a court’s help to give a six-year-old girl a life-saving blood transfusion. Her parents were refusing to give their permission to the procedure on religious grounds. The family are Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses are well-known for refusing blood transfusions. Their official Web site lists three sources for this (in “How Can Blood Save Your Life?” under Jehovah's Witnesses—The Surgical/Ethical Challenge):  Genesis 9:3-4, Leviticus 17:13-14, and Acts 15:19-21.  Genesis 9:3-4 (my translation) reads:  
    Every creeping-being that is alive, to you it will be for food, like the vegetation, grass, I have given to you all.  But flesh with its life-force, its blood, you will not eat.
    I.e., the prohibition is eating meat from a living animal, not transfusion.  Leviticus 17:13-14 (my translation) reads:  
    And every man from the Children of Yisra’el and from the convert who dwells among them who will hunt game of a wild-beast or a fowl that will be eaten, he will spill its blood and he will cover it with earth.  For the life-force of all flesh, its blood is in its life-force; I said to the Children of Yisra’el, “You will not eat the blood of all flesh, for the life-force of all flesh is its blood; all who eat it will be excised [a form of Divine punishment].”
    Likewise, there is nothing about transfusion here.  Eating blood is prohibited, and the blood of a hunted animal must be covered up with earth, but transfusions are not discussed at all.  Acts 15:19-21 (New American Bible) reads:  
    It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God, but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.  For Moses, for generations now, has had those who proclaim him in every town, as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath.
    Now, blood transfusions are an extremely recent phenomenon, not performed in ancient times.  It is hardly likely that James has transfusions in mind when he speaks these words.   Just as the other matters he referred to are contemporarily relevant, so to the prohibition on blood he referred to is probably contemporarily relevant.  Thus James is most likely referring to consuming blood, not transfusions.  In summary:  all the verses used to support the notion that blood transfusions are prohibited are irrelevant, providing no support whatsoever.
  2. “When a tombstone reads 'Light of the World'”: Lots of wisdom in this.
  3. “The disaster for Christians in Iraq”: Why are the Christians of the World doing next to nothing to protect and save their coreligionists? Whatever happened to Christian brotherhood?
Today’s news and commentary, some of which Barry may be responsible for:Today’s weird thing is NetRacer, an Internet multiplayer racing game—for the Commodore 64. (That is not a typo. People are still using Commodore 64s and even connecting them to the Internet. Go figure.) Enjoy and share the weirdness.

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