Thursday, November 20, 2008

22 Marḥeshwan 5769: Name Your PC Day/Africa Industrialization Day/Universal Children’s Day


Worthy causes of the day: “Repower, Refuel, and Rebuild America”, “Stop Bush's Dangerous Changes to Endangered Species Act!”, “Insist on Environmental Review Before Utah Drilling Lease Auction”, and “DELAYS ARE KILLING DARFUR”.

Relevant to Divine Misconceptions:
  1. I am feeling very annoyed. It seems that whenever there is a successful religious work, especially something purporting to be scripture, there will inevitably be something that will claim to be that work’s successor. One consequence of this is just as the New Testament claims to be a successor of the Hebrew Bible, there are works which claim to be the successor to the New Testament. Some of these, such as the Qur’an and Book of Mormon, are well popularized and distinctively named. However, there are at least 19 works out there purporting in some way or another to be the Third Testament:
    1. A Third Testament: A Modern Pilgrim Explores the Spiritual Wanderings of Augustine, Blake, Pascal, Tolstoy, Bonhoeffer, Kierkegaard, and Dostoevsky by Malcolm Muggeridge (does not appear to be a true Third Testament)
    2. Awake: The Third Testament by Russell Hamner
    3. The Third Testament by Curtis J. Scott (may be fiction)
    4. The Third Testament by Julian North
    5. The Third Testament-Spirit of Truth: The Forerunner, The Guardian, The Book of True Life, Message from Mary by T. R. Ross
    6. The Third Testament, Volume 1 by X. Dorison and A. Alice (fiction)
      The writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, also known as The Writings or The Third Testament
    7. Third Testament by Thomas A. Rees
    8. The Third Testament by Scribe
    9. The Third Testament by Martinus (multiple volumes)
    10. The Prophet and the Maid: The Third Testament by Allen F. Whitener (seems to be fiction)
    11. The Third Testament by Faye Wolff Allen
    12. Man’s place in the universe: The third testament by Isaac Harris
    13. The Third Testament: Three Gospels of Peace by Ron Whitehead
    14. The Third Testament: A Story of Regeneration by Dr. Catherine Macklin Thomas
    15. The third testament: A message of power, goodness and conquest for the people of today by N. Ellsworth Escott
    16. The Third Testament the Ilect Verses of Jah Rastafari by Haile Sellassie I
    17. The Third Testament, or the Apocalypse: a Brief Exposition by Geo Burnett
    18. The third testament of the Holy Bible by S. Joseph Iannarelli
    19. Divine Looking Glass or The Third and Last Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ by John Reeve
    Yes, a few of these are fiction. But many seem to be serious religious works. Please do not ask me about the basis for any of these works claiming to be the Third Testament. I know that Swedenborg and Martinus were mystics and that Halle Sellassie I was emperor of Ethiopia, but I know very little about any of the authors or their religious lives. What I am disturbed about is that they all chose the same name for their works, as if none of them could do a little research to see if the name “Third Testament” had already been used. (I am under the impression that Swedenborg may have the rights to the name, but I am far from certain.) This is just asking for confusion, not to mention indicating a severe lack of creativity. In an expression of my disapproval, I hereby preemptively lay claim to all names of the form “The nth Testament” for every n which does not equal 1, 2, or 3. On top of this, I have a bad feeling that the first book of Divine Misconceptions will end up being titled The Zeroth Testament, as being able to think is such a basic skill that revelation is practically worthless without it. (My other “bad feeling” titles are The Orange Catholic Bible and Not Another Bible.)
  2. “Hollywood out of step with American morals: poll”: The people of the United States apparently do not blindly accept the moral values portrayed in the media. This is very comforting.
  3. “Court rules non-virgin bride, spouse wed”: Here we go again. A Muslim couple went to court a while back in France to divorce over the fact that the wife had lied about being a virgin when they were married, thus violating a condition the marriage was made on. Both husband and wife wanted the divorce so they could get on with their lives, but other people protested, assuming they had a right to determine on what basis other people get married or divorced on. This is what the court in France has done now:
    Overturning an April decision that determined the woman breached the wedding contract by lying about "an essential quality," the court in Douai ruled Monday virginity could not be given such weight because "its absence has no repercussion on matrimonial life," The Guardian reported Tuesday.
    Thus the court is trying to impose on people what they find important in a mate, which is obviously ridiculous, not to mention annulling the annulment is a violation of the wishes of both parties involved. This is a breach of freedom of religion and personal freedom. But given France’s government was nutty enough to think that banning religious clothing from the public schools is a great way to fight terrorists and not a violation of freedom of religion, I may be expecting too much from them.
Today’s news and commentary:In honor of one of today’s quasi-holidays, I would like to note that my current computer is named ’Iyyov (= Job).

Today’s weird thing is “Telescopic Text”. Enjoy and share the weirdness.


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