Archive for the 'religion' Category

23
Feb
08

On This Day, 2-23-08: Huguenots

1574 – France began the 5th holy war against the Huguenots.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Protestants in France were called Huguenots, a word derived from Besançon Hugues, the leader of a revolt in Geneva.

Most Huguenots were Calvinists. During most of the 16th century, the Huguenots faced fierce persecution, which towards the end of the century led to large internal religious wars. However, in 1561 the Edict of Orleans stopped the persecution for a number of years and the Edict of St. Germain recognized them for the first time (January 17, 1562). The French Wars of Religion then began with a massacre of 1,000 Huguenots at Vassy on March 1, 1562. In 1572 thousands of Huguentos were killed in the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre and amnesty was granted the next year. The 5th holy war against the Huguenots began on February 23, 1574 and persecution continued periodically until 1598 when king Henry IV gave the Edict of Nantes which granted the Protestants full religious freedom and equal rights to Catholics.

Louis XIV in 1685 revoked the edict and declared Protestantism illegal. After this, many Huguenots fled to surrounding Protestant nations, especially to Prussia.

For more, see Sources at the bottom of the page.

1660 – Charles XI became the king of Sweden.

1792 – The Humane Society of Massachusetts was incorporated.

1820 – The Cato Street conspiracy was uncovered.*

1836 – In San Antonio, TX, the siege of the Alamo began.

1847 – Santa Anna was defeated at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico by U.S. troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor. (see note below)

1861 – U.S. President-elect Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take his office after an assassination attempt in Baltimore.

1861 – Texas became the 7th state to secede from the Union.

1870 – The state of Mississippi was readmitted to the Union.

1896 – The Tootsie Roll was introduced by Leo Hirshfield.

1898 – In France, Emile Zola was imprisoned for his letter, “J’accuse,” which accused the government of anti-Semitism and wrongly jailing Alfred Dreyfus.

1900 – The Battle of Hart’s Hill took place in South Africa between the Boers and the British army.**

1904 – The U.S. acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million.

1919 – The Fascist Party was formed in Italy by Benito Mussolini.

1927 – The Federal Radio Commission began assigning frequencies, hours of operation and power allocations for radio broadcasters. On July 1, 1934 the name was changed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

1940 – Russian troops conquered Lasi Island.

1945 – The 28th Regiment of the Fifth Marine Division of the U.S. Marines reached the top of Mount Surabachi. A photograph of these Marines raising the American flag was taken.

1963 – The 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It prohibited poll taxes in federal elections.

1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army demanded $4 million more for the release of Patty Hearst. Hearst had been kidnapped on February 4th.

1997 – NBC-TV aired “Schindler’s List.” It was completely uncensored.

I grow dizzy when I recall that the number of manufactured tanks seems to have been more important to me than the vanished victims of racism.
Albert Speer

In all my activities as Armament Minister I never once visited a labor camp, and cannot, therefore, give any information about them.
Albert Speer

I knew that the National Socialist Party was anti-Semitic, and I knew that the Jews were being evacuated from Germany.
Albert Speer

Sources, Huguenots

http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html

http://faculty.ucc.edu/egh-damerow/huguenots.htm

See Also: http://huguenot.netnation.com/general/huguenot.htm

*http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRcato.htm

**http://www.indopedia.org/Boer_War.html

About Zachary Taylor, a few days ago I posted about a park called Tower Hill ( http://johnrandals.wordpress.com/2008/02/11/tower-hill/ ).  Click on the picture of the plaque and look at the names.

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14
Dec
07

On This Day 12-14: The End is Near!

1503 – Physician, astrologer and clairvoyant Nostradamus was born at St. Remy, Provence, France.*

1799 – The first president of the United States, George Washington, died at the age 67.

1896 – Gen. James H. Doolittle, who led the first air raid on Japan during World War II, was born.

1945 – Josef Kramer, known as “the beast of Belsen,” and 10 others were executed in Hamelin for the crimes they committed at the Belsen and Auschwitz Nazi concentration camps.

1999 – U.S. and German negotiators agreed to establish a $5.2 billion fund for Nazi-era slave and forced laborers.

1999 – Charles M. Schulz announced he was retiring the “Peanuts” comic strip. The last original “Peanuts” comic strip was published on February 13, 2000.

*These guys almost always make me laugh:  http://the-end.com/2008GodsFinalWitness/?gclid=CMTbw7iKqJACFSeeIwodWXL7pg.  I say almost always because you never know, if enough people keep saying that it’s the end times, eventually, it will be the end times and then they’ll get to say; See, told you so.  Only there won’t be anyone to hear them, so what’s the point in worrying over the end times?  One of the few memorable things someone from the religious community ever said that has stayed with me is this:

“Father, what would you do if you knew Jesus was coming tomorrow?”

“I’d plant a tree,” replied the Catholic priest.

“You’d plant a tree in honor of Jesus’ coming?”

“No.  I’d plant a tree, because tomorrow I plan on planting a tree.”

“After there is great trouble among mankind, a greater one is prepared. The great mover of the universe will renew time, rain, blood, thirst, famine, steel weapons and disease. In the heavens, a fire seen.”

Author Popularity 9/10 Nostradamus

“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”

George Washington quote

Quotes courtesy of http://en.thinkexist.com/.

09
Dec
07

On This Day 12-9: John Birch

1608 – English poet John Milton was born in London.

1884 – Levant M. Richardson received a patent for the ball-bearing roller skate.

1917 – Turkish troops surrendered Jerusalem to British troops led by Viscount Allenby.

1940 – During World War II, British troops opened their first major offensive in North Africa.

1941 – China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy.

1955 – Sugar Ray Robinson knocked out Carl Olson and regained his world middleweight boxing title.

1958 – In Indianapolis, IN, Robert H.W. Welch Jr. and 11 other men met to form the anti-Communist John Birch Society.

1960 – Sperry Rand Corporation unveiled a new computer, known as “Univac 1107.”

1975 – U.S. President Gerald R. Ford signed a $2.3 billion seasonal loan authorization to prevent New York City from having to default.

1990 – Lech Walesa won Poland’s first direct presidential election in the country’s history.

1992 – U.S. troops arrived in Mogadishu, Somalia, to oversee delivery of international food aid, in operation ‘Restore Hope’.

1994 – U.S. President Clinton fired Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders after learning that she had told a conference that masturbation should be discussed in school as a part of human sexuality.

I belong to the generation of workers who, born in the villages and hamlets of rural Poland, had the opportunity to acquire education and find employment in industry, becoming in the course conscious of their rights and importance in society.
Lech Walesa

And for well over a hundred years our politicians, statesmen, and people remembered that this was a republic, not a democracy, and knew what they meant when they made that distinction.
Robert Welch

Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
John Milton

A Brief History of John Birch found at:  http://www.jbs.org/node/4829

At the age of eleven, Birch expressed a desire to become a Christian missionary. Upon learning of the violence inflicted upon missionaries by Chinese communists, the youngster selected China as his mission field. When cautioned by his pastor that “more will be killed” in China, Birch replied: “I know the big enemy is communism, but the Lord has called me. My life is in his hands, and I am not turning back.”

Birch’s labors in China began in 1940, a time when the country was being ravaged by the Japanese military. After Pearl Harbor he dyed his hair black, adopted the garb of the local population, and continued his underground work behind enemy lines. While near the border of Japanese-occupied territory on the evening of April 19, 1942, Birch came upon Colonel James H. Doolittle and members of the raiding party that had just completed a dramatic bombing raid on Tokyo. With his encyclopedic knowledge of the language, customs, and geography of China, Birch was able to convey Doolittle and the crews of 12 American bombers to safety in free China.

Shortly thereafter, Birch became an intelligence analyst as a second lieutenant with the China Air Task Force — General Claire Chennault’s legendary “Flying Tigers.” Performing high-risk intelligence-gathering missions on the ground, Birch acted as “the eyes of the 14th Air Force,” devising an early warning system that enabled U.S. air units to come to the aid of Chinese units under enemy attack. He also organized a rescue system for pilots who were shot down by the Japanese. Chennault credited Birch with the fact that 90 percent of his downed flyers were rescued.

On August 25, 1945 — ten days after the end of WWII — Birch (by then a captain) was part of an official military mission to Suchow that was detained by Chinese communists. Captain Birch and another man were separated from their group and shot. An autopsy later demonstrated that after Birch had been immobilized by a gunshot to the leg, his hands were tied behind his back and he was shot execution-style in the back of his head. The communists had also desecrated Birch’s dead body.

In its desire to depict the Red Chinese as innocuous “agrarian reformers,” the U.S. government suppressed the news of the unprovoked murder of Captain Birch. It fell upon Robert Welch to rescue the memory of this selfless Christian patriot from the shameful oblivion to which it had been assigned. In December 1958, Welch named the new organization he created the John Birch Society to preserve the memory of this patriotic exemplar. Wrote Mr. Welch, “If we rediscover some of our sounder spiritual values in the example of his life … and learn essential truths about our enemy from the lesson of his murder, then his death at twenty-six ceases to be a tragedy.”

05
Nov
07

Humor? On Monday?

A little boy opened the big and old family Bible with fascination, and looked at the old pages as he turned them. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible, and he picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old leaf from a tree that had been pressed in between the pages.
“Momma, look what I found,” the boy called out.
“What have you got there, dear?” His mother asked.
With astonishment in the young boy’s voice, he answered: “I think it’s Adam’s suit!”

******

Q: Why was Adam created first?
A: To give him a chance to say something.

******

Sam and Becky are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Sam says to Becky, “Becky, I was wondering – have you ever cheated on me?” Becky replies, “Oh Sam, why would you ask such a question now? You don’t want to ask that question…”

“Yes, Becky, I really want to know. Please…” 

“Well, all right. Yes, 3 times…” 

“Three? Well, when were they?” he asked. 

“Well, Sam, remember when you were 35 years old and you really wanted to start the business on your own and no bank would give you a loan? Remember, then one day the bank president himself came over to the house and signed the loan papers, no questions asked?” 

“Oh, Becky, you did that for me! I respect you even more than ever, to do such a thing for me. So, when was number 2?” 

“Well, Sam, remember when you had that last heart attack and you were needing that very tricky operation, and no surgeon would touch you? Then remember how Dr. De Bakey came all the way up here, to do the surgery himself, and then you were in good shape again?” 

“I can’t believe it! Becky, you should do such a thing for me, to save my life. I couldn’t have a more wonderful wife. To do such a thing, you must really love me darling. I couldn’t be more moved. So, all right then, when was number 3?” 

“Well, Sam, remember a few years ago, when you really wanted to be president of the golf club and you were 17 votes short..?” 

******

I hope you enjoyed these.  If you’ve been paying attention you know I took a trip this past weekend.  I took pictures!  About two hundred.  I’m sorting through them now and  will tell you more about the trip when I post to my flickr account.

03
Nov
07

On This Day: 11-3

1507 – Leonardo DaVinci was commissioned by the husband of Lisa Gherardini to paint her. The work is known as the Mona Lisa.

1631 – The Reverend John Eliot arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He was the first Protestant minister to dedicate himself to the conversion of Native Americans to Christianity.

1839 – The first Opium War between China and Britain erupted.

1903 – Panama proclaimed its independence from Columbia.

1957 – Sputnik II was launched by the Soviet Union. It was the second manmade satellite to be put into orbit and was the first to put an animal into space, a dog named Laika.

1973 – The U.S. launched the Mariner 10 spacecraft. On March 29, 1974 it became the first spacecraft to reach the planet Mercury.

“I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of the way and let them have it.”

Dwight David Eisenhower

02
Oct
07

On This Day

Some History from On This Day

1780 – British army major John Andre was hanged as a spy. He was carrying information about the actions of Benedict Arnold.

1836 – Charles Darwin returned to England after 5 years of acquiring knowledge around the world about fauna, flora, wildlife and geology. He used the information to develop his “theory of evolution” which he unveiled in his 1859 book entitled The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.

1950 – “Peanuts,” the comic strip created by Charles M. Schulz, was published for the first time in seven newspapers.

1962 – U.S. ports were closed to nations that allowed their ships to carry arms to Cuba, ships that had docked in a socialist country were prohibited from docking in the United States during that voyage, and the transport of U.S. goods was banned on ships owned by companies that traded with Cuba.

1967 – Thurgood Marshall was sworn in. He was the first African-American member of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Years ago, my mother gave me a bullet. I put it in my breast pocket. Two years after that I was walking down the street when a berserk evangelist heaved a Gideons Bible out a hotel-room window, hitting me in the chest. The Bible would have gone through my heart if it wasn’t for the bullet.
– Woody Allen

20
Aug
07

Opiate of the Masses

Karl Marx called religion “the opiate of the masses.” If religions are the opiate of the masses then the faith-based religions are to heroin as the Greco-Roman gods and goddesses are to aspirin. The early pagan gods were punitive and reward based — if we please them then we’ll have a good harvest; if we don’t please them then we will not prevail in war. Like aspirin cures a headache, the early gods could cure droughts or stop enemy armies. Then along comes Christianity peddling its message of salvation at a time when people believed gods controlled weather and the outcome of battles. A simple message these Christians had, believe in Jesus as the son of God and you shall be granted eternal life; but not just any life, you’ll be granted life in heaven free of fear and privation. An intoxicating message, the promise of eternal life, especially to simple people who contemplate stars as gods capable of preventing droughts.

Simple people, with limited or no education, then contemplated this intoxicating message and changed the world they knew by developing codes of law, and forms of behavior that had not existed under paganism, bringing justice and fairness to a world that had none. The great Roman Empire touted science as proof of its greatness. Roman aqueducts carried water across miles of desert to irrigate crops and to supply their great cities. Roman engineers created cement that allowed the construction of great buildings, not just piles of shaped stone that tower like mountains in the desert, but baths, coliseums, and pagan temples that have survived until today. The Romans also destroyed whole civilizations with the inhabitants murdered or forced into slavery, and their laws permitted women and children, forced into slavery, as the sexual toys of the rich and powerful. Today we call it genocide because behavior like that of those Roman conquerors offends that sense of law developed from the faith-based religions.

When a scientist saw a falling red orb commonly served in pies, that scientist gave us the revolutionary theory of gravity. Sir Isaac Newton then took a prism, placed it in a darkened room, shone sunlight through a crack in a blacked out window and discovered the spectrum, but more importantly he created scientific method. The observation of natural phenomena, the development of a theory of the phenomena (hypothesis), the recording of those observations, and how those observations compared to the hypothesis. With the development of scientific method scientists revolutionized life on earth, creating machines of extraordinary capabilities; medicines capable of curing diseases that in the past killed millions, and generally made life more convenient, giving humans more freedom to pursue their interests rather than being preoccupied with survival from famine or war.

With the stage set religion and science have become diametrically opposed ideologies that continue in this perplexing battle that disprove each other based either on faith or scientific methodology. Christianity, the dominant ideology, stands entrenched behind dogma and centuries of sacrifice. Who could forget the thousands of Christians sacrificed to “the games” in the Coliseum when Nero needed a scapegoat for the great fire that swept through Rome? Or how barbarian pagans boiled and mutilated those tribesman seduced by Christianity’s promise? Science, the emergent ideology, rises from centuries of disease and privation with pasteurization and bathing to rid bacteria, with fertilization to help crops grow, with engineering to control floods and save water in time of drought and easing the sufferings of mankind. It seems then that God offers a promise after life, while science delivers during life.

However, the faith-based religions have created a residual ideology that is more important than our own ethereal survival. A residual ideology that teaches us that while scientists can create weapons so terrible that tens of thousands of lives can be destroyed in seconds, ethically, the price is worth the millions of lives that could be saved if using such a weapon ends a terrible war. Ethics, as a residual ideology born of faith-based religions and the philosophers who contemplated their importance to humanity, are as important to scientific development as Newton’s scientific method because greedy powerful men will use scientific inventions without caring who suffers.

Oppenheimer stated, after observing the explosion of the first atom bomb, “I am become death, destroyer of worlds.” Oppenheimer’s fellow Manhattan Project scientists, unchecked by ethics, created the neutron bomb, which the Soviets called “the perfect capitalist weapon” because it kills the people without damaging the stuff, but President Jimmy Carter, a peanut farmer from Georgia with a devout Christian ethic, refused to permit them being built in the United States. Ethically world leaders condemned above-ground nuclear bomb testing, because scientists had determined that fallout levels created by such tests were detrimental to human life. Maybe Karl Marx was right, and religion is just something to get us through a cold dark night, and maybe science is the panacea that can end the darkness forever, but without the ethics created by the faith-based religions science could very easily be “the destroyer of worlds” and of humanity.




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