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An open letter to Nathan Bickel

[Nathan Bickel describes himself as “pastor emeritus,” I think of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. He publishes the web site, Moral Matters, and is a birther.]

So put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander.
(RSV) 1 Peter 2:1

I keep a copy of Luther’s Small Catechism at hand, a paper copy in the drawer at my elbow and an electronic copy on my portable devices. I draw the reader’s attention to the entry on the Eighth Commandment:

The Eighth Commandment

You must not tell lies about your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16 )

What does this mean? We must fear and love God, so that we will not deceive by lying, betraying, slandering or ruining our neighbor’s reputation, but will defend him, say good things about him, and see the best side of everything he does.

I see this teaching as a demand for affirmative responsibility when speaking about someone else. It requires not only that the truth be spoken, but that the truth be honestly and objectively sought, that negative claims be responsibly evaluated before speaking, and that a thing is not claimed to be worse than it is. This principle is the moral underpinning of what I try to do (and I am by no means perfect) on this web site. Debunking is largely an attack on slander1.

There is a difference between disagreement and slander; and there is a difference between resisting slander and support of the person being slandered. These distinctions seem lost on Nathan Bickel based on his online comments asking how I can support Obama. There is a difference between saying Obama’s policies are disastrous and saying Obama committed ID fraud.

My experience with the “birther” movement has been the very antithesis  of the Eighth Commandment. Birtherism is at its core an attempt to put the worst possible spin on everything President Obama does, even his facial expressions are labeled as malevolent. Birtherism takes dirty politics and makes it a personal passion with the fervor usually reserved for a religion.

It started with a rumor that Obama was born in Kenya, not evidence of that. The first stories were accompanied by no reason to believe them, but they were believed. For over five years birthers have sought to find evidence to justify their initial slander.

Slander is sin, and repeated attempts to justify slander is a sinful pursuit that leads those who participate over time in it deeper and deeper in to a web of deception, deceit and depravity. Instead of righteous anger, it breeds hatred, verbal brutality and the desire for vengeance. Birthers have clung to criminals like Larry Sinclair (27 year criminal record including crimes of deceit) and Lucas Smith (multiple convictions including forgery). They have made heroes of other criminals like Walter Fitzpatrick and Terry Lakin. They look the other way when other birthers committed identity theft to steal Obama’s records.

They have inflated the resumes of countless self-appointed experts that claim things they know nothing about. Birthers say that every expert who has reported on Obama’s birth certificate says it’s a forgery, when not one of these “experts” has ever examined a forgery before in their lives2—and birthers lie when omitting the fact that that several real experts have said it’s not a fake (including Mike Zatkovich, and Neal Krawetz). Like a dog to its vomit, birthers eat at the table of cranks, con men and swindlers, while turning away from the wholesome food of credible sources, unbiased investigation and scientific methodology.

Birthers engage in a virtual orgy of slander, not even respecting the dead (like devout Christian and humanitarian Loretta Fuddy). They slander judges, Obama family members, federal agency heads, and the Hawaii Department of Health. They even have to attack a nobody like me, calling me a “paid shill” or a “traitor”—they demonize everyone that disagrees with them. Bickel even argued on Twitter that I wasn’t qualified to have an opinion because I use a profile photo of myself on the blog and Twitter instead of a front view (and of course there are front-view photos of me on the site).

image

Even though a birther may believe nonsense conspiracy theories about Obama, they are still condemned by the Eighth Commandment against false witness because they are irresponsibly lazy in not doing diligence to check the falsehoods they spread. They don’t demand consistency in the stories they repeat, confirmation of speculation, nor credentials from sources. No story seems too far out and fantastical for at least some of the birthers.

The chief investigator for the birthers, Mike Zullo, has a total of 5 years experience as a policeman on a small-town police force, and that a couple of decades ago, yet he has been promoted to “Lieutenant” and his experience selling used cars tallied with his brief police career to give total years in law enforcement. Zullo has been caught lying and fabricating evidence, yet in their lust for slandering Obama, birthers brush these inconvenient facts aside in order to put Obama in the worst possible light.

Birtherism is evil and those who spread it are slanderers, and that includes Nathan Bickel.

Partial list of slanders published by Nathan Bickel in the last two months:


1I use the word “slander” in the informal sense including both spoken and written speech.

2This excludes Reed Hayes, who has not made his report public.

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54 Responses to An open letter to Nathan Bickel

  1. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 10, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

    And worst of all Bickel puts too many articles on his home page.

    Seriously though, if anybody thinks I am slandering Bickel in this article, say so, being specific. If I agree, I will change it.

  2. avatar
    Yoda May 10, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    Slander, by definition, must be false. So no.

  3. avatar
    Thinker May 10, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    Boy, Doc, Nathan really slammed you good with that comment about your avatar being a photo of you in profile instead of “frontal.” What a disgusting blow below the belt. You really took one hard for Team Obama.

  4. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 10, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    And worst of all Bickel puts too many articles on his home page.

    Seriously though, if anybody thinks I am slandering Bickel in this article, say so, being specific. If I agree, I will change it.

    I wouldn’t lose any sleep if I were you, Doc. You’re not within a country mile…..or maybe a universe shattering mile…..of defaming the Rev. Bickel.

  5. avatar
    Majority Will May 10, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Horror movie concept:

    Trapped in a small cabin in the woods hundreds of miles from anywhere with Nathan Bickel, Robert Laity and Gary Busey.

  6. avatar
    Curious George May 10, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    Dr. C……
    “…..they are still condemned by the Eighth Commandment against false witness because they are irresponsibly lazy in not doing diligence to check the falsehoods they spread.”

    To those who claim to be believers over at BR…..take note. Very well said Doc .

  7. avatar
    Hanging Chad May 10, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    Mr. Bickel inhabits a world of conspiracies. He thinks the Newtown massacre was a hoax:

    http://moralmatters.org/sandy-hook-shooting-hoax/

    Would a truly religious man use this language like this?

    http://moralmatters.org/2013/01/24/hillary-clintons-benghazi-testimony-breathes-new-meaning-into-the-proverbial-and-guttural-description-of-lying-bitch/

  8. avatar
    Joe Acerbic May 10, 2014 at 10:41 pm #

    Majority Will:
    Horror movie concept:

    Trapped in a small cabin in the woods hundreds of miles from anywhere with Nathan Bickel, Robert Laity and Gary Busey.

    Now why would you want to torture Gary Busey like that…?

  9. avatar
    Slartibartfast May 10, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

    The truth is an affirmative defense.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    And worst of all Bickel puts too many articles on his home page.

    Seriously though, if anybody thinks I am slandering Bickel in this article, say so, being specific. If I agree, I will change it.

  10. avatar
    Notorial Dissent May 11, 2014 at 12:34 am #

    As Slarti says!!

    Seriously though, was there anything you said that wasn’t true or objective would be my criteria?

    If there were, I didn’t see them.

    The entirety of the cloud castle in cloud cuckoo land that is birferdom is built on the false premise/lie/fantasy that Obama was not born in the US and/or is not a citizen. Yet not one scintilla of actual evidence or proof to that exists, whereas actual real certified gov’t issued records, newspaper reports and personal recollections and the law do and contradict this. All the rest is, as you put it, slander, based on that initial lie.

  11. avatar
    J.D. Sue May 11, 2014 at 12:47 am #

    I see no slander in your words, Doc.

    I like the small catechism reference you cited. FYI, the rabbis say essentially the same thing. The prohibition of slander and ugly gossip is woven throughout practically every book in the holy scriptures. Indeed, just look at the psalms of David, crying out to G-d about the relentless lies, gossip, mocking, snares, and traps against him…

  12. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater May 11, 2014 at 1:55 am #

    Slartibartfast:
    The truth is an affirmative defense.

    There’s a slarti doppleganger on the “Joe the Plumber” site.

  13. avatar
    Slartibartfast May 11, 2014 at 1:58 am #

    Link?

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: There’s a slarti doppleganger on the “Joe the Plumber” site.

  14. avatar
    The European May 11, 2014 at 5:50 am #

    Luther himself did not always follow his own rules. I have no links for English versions, but when he wrote a pamphlet against rebellious peasants = serfs he commended to “slay them like mad dogs” and in his pamphlets against the pope he was not mild mannered like you, DOC.

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutscher_Bauernkrieg

    http://www.zeno.org/Literatur/M/Luther,+Martin/Traktate/Wider+die+r%C3%A4uberischen+und+m%C3%B6rderischen+Rotten+der+Bauern

  15. avatar
    The European May 11, 2014 at 5:57 am #

    Slartibartfast:
    The truth is an affirmative defense.

    That is true for your law. It may not be true when you follow the essence of the teaching of the Christ. You have to “turn the other cheek” …….

  16. avatar
    Slartibartfast May 11, 2014 at 6:26 am #

    As an atheist who follows the teaching of Jesus, I couldn’t disagree with you more strongly. President Obama is the one that the teachings of Jesus tells to “turn the other cheek”, and, even then, I don’t see how repudiating baseless slander could ever be disallowed by any consistent code of morality (in any case, President Obama has, in fact, always turned the other cheek—unless I’ve missed his persecution of birthers. As far as Doc is concerned, he is merely coming to the defense of the victim of a viscous sinner—something very much in line with what Jesus preached. Another operative teaching in this case would be “hate the sin, love the sinner”, which it seems to me has consistently been Doc’s M.O. In fact, I would say that this post has a stronger justification on moral grounds than it does on legal ones.

    The European: That is true for your law. It may not be true when you follow the essence of the teaching of the Christ. You have to “turn the other cheek” …….

  17. avatar
    The European May 11, 2014 at 6:38 am #

    /offtopic

    “Aus einem verzagten Arsch kommt kein fröhlicher Furz.”

    (Martin Luther)

  18. avatar
    The European May 11, 2014 at 6:45 am #

    Slartibartfast:
    As an atheist who follows the teaching of Jesus, I couldn’t disagree with you more strongly.President Obama is the one that the teachings of Jesus tells to “turn the other cheek”, and, even then, I don’t see how repudiating baseless slander could ever be disallowed by any consistent code of morality (in any case, President Obama has, in fact, always turned the other cheek—unless I’ve missed his persecution of birthers.As far as Doc is concerned, he is merely coming to the defense of the victim of a viscous sinner—something very much in line with what Jesus preached.Another operative teaching in this case would be “hate the sin, love the sinner”, which it seems to me has consistently been Doc’s M.O.In fact, I would say that this post has a stronger justification on moral grounds than it does on legal ones.

    Slarti, you got me wrong (or I was not clear enough):

    There is no doubt that in the case at hand not only the law but moral as well is on Doc´s (and our) side. What I wanted to say: it is not always good to tell the truth, even if the law allows it.

    To you, following the teaching of Jesus:

    “I like the Christ, but not the Christians.”
    (the Dalai Lama)

  19. avatar
    The European May 11, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    Correction: It was not the Dalai Lama (too mild mannered to say something like that) but the Mahatma …..

  20. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 11, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    The worst bit of slander from Luther I know of is Von Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi (1543). I know very well that Luther got angry and could write some pretty rough stuff. This is why I put my own caveat in the article about my not being perfect.

    Condemnations are not easy to write. The issue is not whether what I said about Bickel was true, but whether it was fair. Did I paint him worse than he is?
    .

    The European:
    Luther himself did not always follow his own rules. I have no links for English versions, but when he wrote a pamphlet against rebellious peasants = serfs he commended to “slay them like mad dogs” and in his pamphlets against the pope he was not mild mannered like you, DOC.

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutscher_Bauernkrieg

    http://www.zeno.org/Literatur/M/Luther,+Martin/Traktate/Wider+die+r%C3%A4uberischen+und+m%C3%B6rderischen+Rotten+der+Bauern

  21. avatar
    Bonsall Obot May 11, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    I like what Al Franken’s dad told him about Jesus: he was a good teacher who said a lot of good things – not one of them original to him.

  22. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 11, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    I certainly agree with that. I learned reading the two books about the last two US presidential elections (Game Change, and Double Down) that the major campaigns had a rule, “families are off limits” for negative campaigning. That didn’t stop independent groups.

    The European: What I wanted to say: it is not always good to tell the truth, even if the law allows it.

  23. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 11, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    The European:
    /offtopic

    “Aus einem verzagten Arsch kommt kein fröhlicher Furz.”

    (Martin Luther)

    /offtopic

    Imagine how this looks to someone who doesn’t speak German:

  24. avatar
    The European May 11, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: /offtopic

    Imagine how this looks to someone who doesn’t speak German:

    “A sad arse can´t deliver a joyful fart.”

    and I guess you know what that sign means….

  25. avatar
    The European May 11, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    The issue is not whether what I said about Bickel was true, but whether it was fair. Did I paint him worse than he is?

    No. I guess it is not easy to paint him worse than he is. For that you would have to tell stories about him that are like the stories he tells about BHO.

  26. avatar
    Notorial Dissent May 11, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    I think the truth is a bleak enough picture without having to add anything to it. I don’t think that you did, were remarkably restrained in fact. I think his own words do far more damage than any exagerations anyone couldmake.

    Dr. Conspiracy: The issue is not whether what I said about Bickel was true, but whether it was fair. Did I paint him worse than he is?

  27. avatar
    alg May 11, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    I am a firm believer in keeping it simple: Nathan Bickel is an ass. Nothing slanderous or Christian intended.

  28. avatar
    Thinker May 11, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    I have a bit of a problem with characterizing statements of opinion as slander. Doesn’t slander have to refer to something stated as a factual assertion? On the partial list of Bickel’s recent slanders, the graphic of Obama as a cockroach and the birthday cake are offensive and tell me that Bickel is a seriously disturbed guy, but they aren’t factual assertions. They are expressions of Bickel’s opinion.

  29. avatar
    Steve May 11, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    Hanging Chad: Mr. Bickel inhabits a world of conspiracies. He thinks the Newtown massacre was a hoax:
    http://moralmatters.org/sandy-hook-shooting-hoax/

    Those articles just seem to be a list of links. One accused Gene Rosen of being a child molester. If Bickel has credible evidence of that, I suggest he contact the authorities. If I were him, I wouldn’t want Rosen’s next victim on my conscience.
    I hope Rosen sues this guy.

  30. avatar
    Comrade Fogovich May 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

    Bickel is terribly bloodthirsty, too. He often writes of his desire to see not only President Obama, but also most members of Congress put to death. I’m no Christian, but I respect and admire good Christians like Doc C. (and my dad). Bickel is the worst sort of Christian imaginable – dishonest to the core, hateful, bloodthirsty and vicious. I think he’s going to find, when he dies, that his god isn’t at all the racist hateful vindictive jerk that he seems to worship.

  31. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 11, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    Comrade Fogovich: Bickel is the worst sort of Christian imaginable – dishonest to the core, hateful, bloodthirsty and vicious.

    I think it’s a little bit bigger than that: Bickel is the worst sort of human being imaginable…………”

  32. avatar
    Comrade Fogovich May 11, 2014 at 2:56 pm #

    Yes but unlike other birthers, Bickel wraps his lies in religion and claims moral authority to buttress his hatefulness. On the bright side, he’s the single most boring person I ever heard on the radio. Hard to get your message out to others when they fall asleep listening to you. ;-)

  33. avatar
    The European May 11, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    Thinker:
    I have a bit of a problem with characterizing statements of opinion as slander. Doesn’t slander have to refer to something stated as a factual assertion? On the partial list of Bickel’s recent slanders, the graphic of Obama as a cockroach and the birthday cake are offensive and tell me that Bickel is a seriously disturbed guy, but they aren’t factual assertions. They are expressions of Bickel’s opinion.

    Thinker, you think too much like a lawyer. Try some empathy (not with Bickel).

  34. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 11, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    I am using the more expansive definition of falsehood from Luther’s Small Catechism.

    Obama is not literally a cockroach, and the comparison to a cockroach in the context of delaying FOIA requests and a penchant for darkness, is a more disgusting image than is warranted to make the point. That is, Bickel is trying to use disgust humans feel for cockroaches to make them feel that way about Obama, when the comparison is marginal.

    Thinker: I have a bit of a problem with characterizing statements of opinion as slander. Doesn’t slander have to refer to something stated as a factual assertion? On the partial list of Bickel’s recent slanders, the graphic of Obama as a cockroach and the birthday cake are offensive and tell me that Bickel is a seriously disturbed guy, but they aren’t factual assertions. They are expressions of Bickel’s opinion.

  35. avatar
    Thinker May 11, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    I’m thinking like someone who knows the most common definition of the word slander. I looked it up in several different places before I made my comment. Every definition I saw said a statement has to be false to be considered slander. But, as Doc explains, he’s using the word “falsehood” slightly differently than I was. I have no problem with that.

    The European: Thinker, you think too much like a lawyer. Try some empathy (not with Bickel).

  36. avatar
    J.D. Sue May 11, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: The worst bit of slander from Luther I know of is Von Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi (1543).

    —-

    Indeed…. And the repercussions were utterly devastating throughout Europe for hundreds of miserable years…

    Be that as it may, I still like the quote about the meaning of not bearing false witness. It is a broad area that boils down to being conscious of the words we speak, because they have real effect. If one believes that G-d can create the universe with a Word, then one should be reminded that words have power. The scriptures also relate false witness to the spilling of innocent blood–thus making slander one of the greatest “sins”–because slander too often leads to the spilling of innocent blood.

  37. avatar
    Thomas Brown May 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm #

    “…G-d can create the universe with a Word…”

    A speculation from the intersection of Linguistics and Quantum Mechanics:

    Language theorists like Lacan and Derrida speak of a Word being a Signifier of something: that Signified. The Signifier could be said to have confronted, and thus in a sense observed, the Signified. Quantum Mechanics has found that the physical world is, at close range, indefinite, and only takes on a fixed form when observed.

    Perhaps the Word in the Beginning is what snapped Chaos into Form.

  38. avatar
    The European May 11, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

    Doc, I just looked at Bickel´s website for the first time. I rarely deny a certain courtesy to others, at least a “Mr.”. Bickel does not deserve this. He is a bloodthirsty swine – pig – crocodile – I dunno what.

    One thing is sure – he is not worth your efforts. Just let him continue to smear himself with the foul juices that he excretes. And stop reading his website. It is contagious.

    Your
    European

  39. avatar
    tek May 11, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

    Slarti: “he is merely coming to the defense of the victim of a viscous sinner”

    As in “thick”. Nice slip of the keys ;)

  40. avatar
    J.D. Sue May 11, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

    J.D. Sue: The scriptures also relate false witness to the spilling of innocent blood–thus making slander one of the greatest “sins”–because slander too often leads to the spilling of innocent blood.


    p.s. Doc. I kinda get the feeling that it is this aspect of slander or perjury or “the evil tongue” (however we want to translate these concepts into English) that ultimately compelled you to confront Bickel on his words–Bickel’s images of lustful public hangings based on lies, gossip, and mob madness. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, it is especially troubling when someone does that while embarrassing/misrepresenting one’s church/community and vainly invoking “the Name” to further one’s own very-dirty work.

    Also I note that Bickel is now invoking the name of Hitler in his latest blog entry…

  41. avatar
    J.D. Sue May 11, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

    Thomas Brown: Perhaps the Word in the Beginning is what snapped Chaos into Form.

    —-
    I’m with you! For example, I studied Kabbalah with a Chabadnik rabbi for several years, and am fascinated by the fact that these old writings essentially describe the modern physics big-bang theory. The writings are full of math and codes and scripture–but they are so old, I am totally left in awe with one big question–How did they know?

    Anyhow, it’s interesting to consider something the 12th century rabbi/physician, Maimonides said about the study of Kabbalah–one should not approach it until one has reached at least the age of 40, learned Torah and Talmud, and also learned math, the natural sciences, and astronomy.

  42. avatar
    sfjeff May 12, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    Majority Will: Horror movie concept:

    Trapped in a small cabin in the woods hundreds of miles from anywhere with Nathan Bickel, Robert Laity and Gary Busey.

    I think Gary Busey would be the most sane- and most honest- and most fun- of the three.

  43. avatar
    Majority Will May 12, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    sfjeff: I think Gary Busey would be the most sane- and most honest- and most fun- of the three.

    Gary would probably spend most of his time chatting and laughing with the lamp.

  44. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG May 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

    sfjeff: I think Gary Busey would be the most sane- and most honest- and most fun- of the three.

    With Busey, you know what kind of crazy you’re gonna get. Good old fashion, talks-to-his-pants crazy!

  45. avatar
    Keith May 12, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    J.D. Sue: Anyhow, it’s interesting to consider something the 12th century rabbi/physician, Maimonides said about the study of Kabbalah–one should not approach it until one has reached at least the age of 40, learned Torah and Talmud, and also learned math, the natural sciences, and astronomy.

    And I’m with you on that. I can’t say I studied Kabbalah. But I (tried to) read A.E. Waite’s 1924 book “The Holy Kabbalah”. The content was not all that difficult, and I loved the history of the Zohar and other texts, but unfortunately the combination of the impenetrable prose style that Waite uses and the antique font was quite daunting. I would have benefited greatly from an interpretor, if not an actual teacher.

    In the end it worked its way to the bottom levels of my reading list and I haven’t caught up to finish it. Maybe I’ll give it a pickup again, but its been so long I’ll really have to start over.

  46. avatar
    The Magic M May 13, 2014 at 5:27 am #

    Thinker: Every definition I saw said a statement has to be false to be considered slander.

    German law distinguishes two types of slander/libel, one where the statement must be “knowingly false” (§187 StGB, “Verleumdung”) and one where the statement must be provably true to not be a crime (§186 StGB, “Üble Nachrede”).
    The first one carries a punishment of up to 5 years, the latter up to 1 or 2 years, depending on context.
    A typical case for §186 StGB would be relaying knowingly false claims of others (“Mr Smith is a child molester, my neighbour told me that”).
    Relaying false info from a credible source exempts you from punishment in practice (so if the NYT falsely claims “Lady Gaga murdered her assistant” and you relay that info, you’re not liable criminally).

  47. avatar
    J.D. Sue May 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

    Keith: And I’m with you on that.

    —-
    Well, I studied it, and learned something, but I sure struggled with it and hardly understand any of it. All sorts of esoteric heady stuff. (I’m not a mathematician or scientist). And I sure wouldn’t want anyone to rely on me to explain it. I think about all of this when RWNJs keep trying to drag Judaism into their childish/simplistic views of the Jewish Holy Scriptures (i.e., what Christians call “the old testament”). Indeed, each Hebrew letter and each combination of letters and words are considered mathematical code that to me is impossible to understand. And I’ve even seen some Gnostic gospel that sets forth purported statements of Jesus that sounded pretty Kabbalistic to me. So, I get a kick out of those who insist they know everything cuz they have some translation of scripture in English. And some RWNJs accuse the Jews of creating Kabbalah as a kind of satanic black magic killer of all things holy to, of course, take over the world from good Christians….. You know, just like scientists are doing today….

    But these writings do talk about that, before creation, there was only some infinite pure perfectly uniform essence (I think it’s sometimes metaphorically called “light”). Then there was some kinda receding of the essence (in my mind, it sounded like a formation of a vacuum, or a “darkness”) so all was not perfectly uniform anymore, and an anomaly–smaller than a walnut–formed. And then suddenly–the physical universe was created from the tiny anomaly, and some of the “light” was fractured and scattered and deeply infused into every part of this physical world. (G-d forgive me for probably describing this all wrong). I was also surprised to learn that Maimonides seemed to think that everyone (with any education) long knew the earth was round. It seemed to me the big debate was over what empty outer space was made of–e.g., ether, nothing, etc.

    Good luck with trying to find something that makes Kabbalah clear. It was supposed to be exceedingly dangerous to mess with (and properly requiring a humongous amount of guided study, innate mental brilliance, and great personal virtue so as not to fall to temptation to misuse it), so here and there one finds pointers and hints to other references that only a truly prepared scholar could begin to follow.

    I’ll tell you this: studying this stuff, one has fresh eyes in reading the book of Genesis.

  48. avatar
    Keith May 14, 2014 at 2:06 am #

    Another bloodthirsty Christian cleric, this time a disgraced (former) Navy Chaplin chimes in:

    Right-Wing Nut And Disgraced Former Navy Chaplain Wants To Kill Liberals?

    Apparently this guy thought that Seamen should have to convert to Christianity if they want to die for their country and the Navy thought otherwise.

    He is now running for Congress from Colorado on the “every one needs to carry a gun to ensure that nobody shoots up shopping malls in Atlanta” ticket.

    I really thought that the M.A.D. paradigm died with the 1980’s.

  49. avatar
    Jed May 14, 2014 at 2:59 am #

    Harvey Milk Stamped “Out” Forever !

    The Obama Cabal is behind universal GAYety with a “forever” postage stamp glorifying Harvey Milk, a Jewish homosexual predator “attracted to boys aged 15-19,” according to WikiAnswers! (Also see Wikipedia.)
    Global gaydom was even predicted by Jesus (see “days of Lot” in Luke 17 and compare with Genesis 19).
    And the Hebrew prophet Zechariah (14th chapter) says that during the same end-time gay “days” ALL nations will come against Israel and fulfill the “days of Noah” at the same time (see Luke 17 again) – a short time of anti-Jewish genocide found in Zechariah 13:8 when two-thirds of all Jews will die.
    In other words, when “gay days” have become universal, all hell will break loose!
    Shockingly, the same “days” will trigger the “end of days” – and when they begin, worldwide human government will quickly wind down in just a few short years! For the first time in history there won’t be enough time for anyone to even attend college, let alone have a family, save money, enjoy retirement, etc.
    One final thought. The more we see gays “coming out,” the sooner Jesus will be “coming down”!
    For more, Google or Yahoo “God to Same-Sexers: Hurry Up,” “Jesus Never Mentioned Homosexuality. When gays have birthdays…,” “FOR GAYS ONLY: Jesus Predicted…,” “USA – from Puritans to Impure-itans!” and “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”

  50. avatar
    Suranis May 14, 2014 at 3:47 am #

    That’s certainly true. The circumference of the Earth was calculated pretty accurately by Eratosthenes of Cyrene around 240 BC, and no-one seriously argued that the earth was flat since that time (until the 18th century with the founding of the flat earth society, proving that people have gotten stupider over time.) All the stuff about science proving the Earth was a sphere around the late middle ages that we learned about in school was a damn lie. Columbus actually was pretty much an arrogant moron who thought everyone else was wrong and that the Earth was 1/4 the size it was, not this startling revelation that the earth was round.

    One of the things I realized reading about this stuff is how damn sophisticated the people back then really were, and how much horse manure we were fed in school.

    J.D. Sue: I was also surprised to learn that Maimonides seemed to think that everyone (with any education) long knew the earth was round. It seemed to me the big debate was over what empty outer space was made of–e.g., ether, nothing, etc.

  51. avatar
    The Magic M May 14, 2014 at 4:44 am #

    Jed: The more we see gays “coming out,” the sooner Jesus will be “coming down”!

    Then I don’t understand why RWNJ’s are condemnding the gay movement – by your own logic, it should be cheered as it brings you closer to your beloved end times when Jesus personally will invite you for tea and sandwiches.

  52. avatar
    The Magic M May 14, 2014 at 4:46 am #

    Keith: He is now running for Congress from Colorado on the “every one needs to carry a gun to ensure that nobody shoots up shopping malls in Atlanta” ticket.

    I really thought that the M.A.D. paradigm died with the 1980′s.

    And M.A.D. only works if the other side is not crazy or has nothing left to lose.

  53. avatar
    Thomas Brown May 14, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    Jed: The more we see gays “coming out,” the sooner Jesus will be “coming down”!

    And whenever He does, He will be able to read your heart like a big clear highway sign. Are you comfortable with what He will see written there?

  54. avatar
    mimi May 17, 2014 at 1:04 am #

    Bickel is bearing false witness again: http://moralmatters.org/2014/05/16/operation-american-springs-real-crowd-versus-obamas-phantom-crowd/

    Can you believe that?