Sins of the Fathers

Sins of the Fathers

I was recently having a conversation with someone who was basically of the opinion that if God existed, God had fewer morals and less compassion than humans do. Why you ask? Because God would not, or could not, keep the negligent or evil actions of people from affecting anyone but themselves. Or create a world where that would be the case.

I, of course, responded that such an action on God’s part would violate human free will to an extreme extent. The person I was speaking with didn’t buy it, or see a problem.

So I turned to Scripture to see what it had to say on the matter.

“The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the sins of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation.”~Numbers 14:18

Wow! That’s kind of harsh.

So I sought further explanation and found several theologians who address the issue via the differences between Covenant agreements and the Jewish legal system.
While you dear reader are free to search this out for yourself, I will only say that that explanation did not satisfy me.

Especially in light of these verses; “Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.”~Deuteronomy 24:16; as well as “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.”~Ezekiel 18:20

So my question was – what could this possible mean? Why would sin be visited upon the children, and the children’s children, down to the 3rd and 4th generation?

I asked myself, where does that happen today?

Then it hit me. Child abuse. Spousal abuse. Molestation. Alcoholism. Rape. The list goes on…

Human beings are fearfully and wonderfully made. They are complex and unique. Children even more so. And they are sponges when it comes to learning, or being affected by something.
There is a very real danger than children who grow up watching their parents beat the daylights out of each other will learn to resort to that in their own relationships.
The child who is beaten and abused may do the same to their children.
A mother who is an alcoholic might get pregnant and leave her child with lasting physical disability.
A father who gambles away the families money might set the standard for poverty for his children.

Is there any hope of stopping it?
Can God’s mind by changed by prayer?
Yes. And if He answers yes you have received a great blessing.

God sometimes wants us to grow, be more than we are, to do what’s best for us, ourselves.

I know a woman who was raped. The rapist made her pregnant. Thru her pain she decided she could not force this child that she was bearing to pay the price for the biological fathers crime.
She could not force this child she was bearing to pay the price for her own pain, and suffering, and mental anguish, and the immense change this will bring to her life.

This woman made the choice to bear the child.
She made the choice to pay the terrible price herself.
With God’s help and grace.
The price of total acceptance of the wrong that had been done her. That she had been hurt. Been damaged. Been changed. To deal with the pain, and the shame.  To be the sacrifice.

All for the blessing of life and love and her…daughter.

I know a man who was abused by his parents. Abused, beaten, drugged, molested, poisoned, broken in every way a child, a human being, can be broken.
Even with that pain, he took care of them in their old age.
It’s who he was.
He accepted the price. So he wouldn’t pass it on to his wife, or his child.
He vowed never to force himself in his child’s life the way his parents did to his.
Never to demand their life be about him, no matter the cost.
Let alone perpetrate any of the terrors they did to him. To accept what was done to him. And live as though it hadn’t.
Yet he pays the price every day now that his child is grown. His child doesn’t understand the gift he gives them. A gift he gives them so they can have their own life, their own family, their own joys, and sorrows. Not borrow any from the past.

And he leaves them be. Hoping for an invitation. Praying to be remembered. To be wanted.

He pays the price. To be the sacrifice.
To stop the sins of his parents with him.
And hopes for the best.
And accepts the greater good, over his personal loss. Because he loves his child more than himself.

God is not unjust. Not uncaring.
He made us complex, and unique.
For the best.

I realize now that in the conversation I was having, the person wanted God to violate free will, make us less than we are. Indeed to remove from our existence the pleasure of all good things, lest they be used for evil. Because no one does evil for evil’s sake.

God is good.

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The Road to Burnham

 

They say time flies. I don’t know about that. It sure does seem to get away from a person though. Has it really been that long? Seems like just a short while ago. It’s hard for me to grasp that 25 years have passed, this year, since my wife passed away.

What I remember most about that horrible time is the very last time I dreamt about my wife.

It was about two weeks after she had passed away, I didn’t like dreaming, I had several dreams where she was in a dark place, nighttime, it was raining, she was searching through mountains of…garbage. Have you ever seen the movie Doctor Detroit? The scene in the junkyard where there are mountains of junk? That place.

Same dream, three nights in a row. No I don’t know what they meant. Just that they made me feel terrible.

Then one night I dreamt about her and she was looking right at me. I could look in her eyes.

She was there. The sense of life was overwhelming.

We were in our car, beautiful summer day, morning from the look of the light. She was driving. We were on a road in the back country going up and down over small hills. An area I was familiar with. And she was looking at me and smiling the biggest smile I had ever seen. I noticed that her teeth were perfect. In life she had that “Lauren Hutton” gap-toothed smile. Not now though.
I heard her voice. Her lips didn’t move, she wasn’t letting go of that joyful smile she had on. But I heard her voice nonetheless. Just five words.

She said “It’s okay. I’m okay now.”

That meant something to me. She had had a rough life. Living with a terrible disease, taking medicines that had so many side effects. And for some reason, a lot of people were mean to her. Downright evil. Probably just because they could be. She was one of those people who…well, she peed sunshine and farted rainbows. Thought of everyone else first. You know the type.

She smiled at me in love, and warmth, and tenderness. This I was familiar with. But she also smiled at me with a joy that was bursting out from inside her.

Then, I was outside the car, standing on the shoulder of the road. I saw the car drive off into the distance, until it disappeared over a hill.

I never dreamed of her again.

Now, 25 years later, I still don’t know what to think. It certainly goes against what the church I was raised in taught about death, soul sleep. Today when I think about death, I still think about it in those same terms.

But my heart and my soul say it was her.
And on this side of life…that has to be enough.
Accept it for what it is.
Don’t make it something it isn’t.

But it was more than a dream.

photos by: &

Image of Horus

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, or the Sun God Horus?

Horus was an Egyptian God. The name “Horus” was actually used for multiple deities, the most famous of whom is Harseisis (Heru-sa-Aset) or Horus, the son of Isis. And whenever we speak of Horus, this is the one most people are referring to. In Egypt the Pharaoh, was considered the Living avatar of Horus.

Often depicted as either a falcon, or the body of a man with a falcon’s head. Horus was the protector of Egypt, the god of the desert, storms, and chaos, god of the sky, and god of war.

There are aspects of the god Horus that many believe were copied and used by the Jews and early Christians to create their own god Jesus Christ. Let’s take a look at some of the similarities.

Virgin Birth

It would seem, as we saw in The Christ Myth – Mithras, that virgin births are very popular when it comes to claiming Christ is a copycat.

So was Horus born of a virgin? According to the story Isis was his mother, and Isis was married to Osiris, and there is no evidence to indicate she was abstinent before little Horus came around. I would have to say that he was not born of a virgin. According to the texts, Horus father Osiris, was killed, and his mother Isis put his body back together to have sex with it and produce Horus. Some accounts even show that she couldn’t find that really important part of Osiris and fashioned an artificial one to do the deed.

So definitely strange, and little necrophiliac, but definitely not a virgin birth.

Born of Mary and Joseph (Seb)

I had not heard this one before, that Horus was born to a Mary and Joseph. It is clearly wrong as we know that his mother was Isis, and his father was neither Joseph, nor Seb. Osiris was Horus father, Seb was Osiris father.

So we can conclude that this too is in error. No birth for Horus to a Mary and Joseph.

Heralded Birth

Every account of Horus birth I can find doesn’t say anything about his birth being announced by angels, and most texts show him being born in a swamp. Hardly a place you would find shepherds. Archaya S. notes that Horus was born in a cave but I think Archaya has confused Horus with Mithras here, as there are no texts I can find that suggest Horus was born in a cave.

Baptism

Another claim of similarity is that Horus was baptized by Anup the baptizer. No texts show Horus ever being baptized and there is no mention of an Anup the baptizer.

Twelve Disciples

Horus had four disciples called the “Heru-Shemsu”. There is reference to a group of followers called the “mesnui” or blacksmiths, who followed Horus into battle, but we are not told how many there were.

Walked On Water

There is no mention of Horus ever walking on water.

Miracles, Exorcisms, and Resurrections

While their are miracles attributed to Horus, casting out demons or raising someone from dead are not among them.

Some will state that Horus raised El-Azarus (Osiris) from the dead. However there is no record of such an event in the texts, and Osiris was never referred to as El-Azarus. This appears to be nothing more than a poor attempt to link Christ’s raising of Lazarus from the dead with Osiris.

A Sermon on the Mount

The texts record that Horus never gave any sermons.

Iusa, the Ever-Becoming Son, Holy Child

The claim has been made that Horus was also called Iusa, the “ever-becoming son” or “holy child”. This is in reference to Jesus whose name in the Greek is Iesous. However the texts never show Horus being called Iusa, or for that matter anyone in Egypt being called that. Nor was Horus ever referred to as the ever-becoming or the holy child.

Transfiguration on the Mount

One must wonder where people get this from because there are no texts anywhere suggesting that Horus ever went through any kind of transfiguration on a mountain top.

Again, Horus was not crucified, as a matter of fact there really aren’t any stories telling how he died. There is one unofficial story that speaks of the death of Horus where he is cut up in pieces and thrown in the water. Later the parts are fished out by a crocodile at the request of his mother Isis.

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

Messiah, Lamb of God, Good Shepherd, and many other titles. Unfortunately Horus was not referred to as any of these. No where.

The KRST, the Christ

Another claim has been made that Horus was called the KRST, or the anointed one.

No he wasn’t. KRST translates as burial.

Copycat?

I think the conclusion is clear again, Jesus is not a copycat of Horus in any way, shape, or form. Indeed in the case of Horus, as in the case of Mithras, that there is a lot of nonfactual wishful thinking going on. That and outright lies and deception.

You of course, as always, are free to believe as you wish.

If you missed it here is – The Christ Myth: Mithras

Sources

Encyclopedia Mythica
The Book of the Dead
Suns of God – Archaya S.
Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology – Donald B. Redford
Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt – Geraldine Pinch
The Egyptian Book of the Dead

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Melons I must admit that I am truly a little kid at heart.

Today is Thanksgiving. The time when we all should give thanks and be grateful for our blessings. We have toiled (hopefully) and we have reaped a good harvest (very hopefully). We give thanks to God from whom all blessings flow, and we thank each other, for family, for friendship, for family, and for love.

We also take time today to enjoy the labors of our toils By feasting, and resting, and having fun.

Thanksgiving for me is in my memories.

Memories of the smells – hot turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie (although I preferred apple).

Memories of the noises – so many people around, some family, some not. The cooking, and sizzling, and whisk whisk whisk of the stirring.

Not being alone. A day of thanks. And joy. And fun. Napping, after having been well fed.

A day when we take care of each other.

But as I said, I’m a kid inside. The best part of Thanksgiving is that it means Christmas is just around the corner!

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Relegated to the pages of history as indentured servants, America’s white slaves garner at most a footnote, if they are mentioned at all, in the history of early America.

Etymology of the word “slave”

The terms “slave” and “slavery” have their origins in the name of the people who were captured by Charlemagne in such numbers that their name for themselves, which meant “to hear about” or “famous”, became what their position in society came to be called.  The Slavs, or Slavic people lived in Russia, Poland, and other parts of Europe.  They were Caucasian.

Indentured Servitude or Slavery

Before America was even an independent nation, slavery or indentured servitude, was common.  It started with whites, in Europe, poor people with oppressive bills, or who just wanted a new life but could not afford passage, would sell themselves into “indentured” servitude, or in other words a contract that for a sum of money or passage to the new world they would become their servants for a length of time to those who paid for them.

The standard contract was for a 4-7 year period of servitude, at the end of which they would be freed.  It was commonly understood that it included the proviso that the freed servant be gifted a small piece of land so they could fend for them self and not become a burden on society.

Indenture certificate slave

That’s what the history books taught us in school.

What they do not tell us is that scenario is rarely what happened.  Very few of the indentured servants were ever released from their “contracts”.  As many as 90% of those indentured were never freed.  Many were worked to death.  Agreements to keep husbands and wives, or families together were not honored, with family members being sold off, including children born during the indenture.

Have you ever wondered where the term “white trash” comes from?  This is a colonial term that referred to those indentured servants lucky enough to be freed and given a piece of land.  Unfortunately this land was usually completely barren land incapable of being farmed or used for much of anything.  Trash-land.  These whites had to scrape by and toil day in and day out to scratch out a living.  Those better off often referred to them or complained about them, as white trash.

White Slavery

African slaves were hard to come by in the colonies since most were being sold by slavers to the West Indies.  So what was brought were white slaves.  The Scots, the Irish, even British whites were sold into slavery in America.  Thomas Burton, a member of Parliament who kept a famous diary of the proceedings, recorded a debate about the white slave trade and the selling of British whites into slavery, it was being argued that the slavery of whites “threatened the liberties of all Englishmen.”

People would be kidnapped right off the public streets.  Shopkeepers receiving money for pointing out those who had no connections, or the ability to defend themselves from kidnapping.

Indeed, shortly thereafter, slave raiding by ship became so bad that people fled the coastal areas of Europe lest they be kidnapped and sold into slavery.  As many as one and a quarter million white European Christians were kidnapped by slavers and sold into slavery.

In the Statutes at Large of Virginia, vol. 1 pp. 174, 198, 200, 243 & 306, the law saw no difference between Africans in bondage from white Europeans in bondage.

African Slavery

As African slaves became more available, the value of white slaves plummeted.  Indeed, as arduous as the “middle passage” was, it was just as arduous, or more so, for the white slaves.  White slaves were considered to be of such low value that they were restricted to the holds for the entire voyage.  Merchantmen records tell us that whole shipments of Irish sometimes perished in the crowded condition in the holds.  African mortality rates ran about 20%, while the mortality rates for Irish “Paddies” ran as high as 25% overall.  Sometimes hundreds of bodies would be chucked overboard into the ocean.

Ulrich B. Phillips in Life and Labor in the Old South, tells us that white slavery was “crucial to the development of Negro slave systems.”  That it was the fact that a system had been developed for buying, selling, controlling, etc., of white slaves being already in place, that made the introduction of African slaves so much easier.  A ready-made slave system, all that was needed was to plug the new slaves into it.

It was at this time that African slaves became so popular that Congressman David Wilmot authored the Wilmot Proviso to keep black slaves out of the American West, he did so, he said, to preserve that vast expanse of territory for white slaves, “the sons of toil, my own race and color.”

The Partus Rule

The Partus Rule  was an English Common Law that held that a child’s status was bestowed on him through the father’s lineage.  Sometimes informally referred to as the One-Drop rule. The law determined that only livestock passed status down through the mother.  This of course allowed the myriad sexual abuses of owners upon their slaves without worry about any children produced, it was possible to see households that included both free white children and slave white children that looked alike.

white slaves

The above image, from Harper’s Magazine, of recently freed slaves illustrates quite succinctly that slaves came in all colors.

Northern ministers record (because it was shocking) of preaching to congregations which included slaves who had white skin, red hair, and blue eyes.

Advertisements searching for runaway slaves listed descriptions such as; white, quite white, lily skin, brown hair with hazel eyes, looks like a white man.

Trials were held were men who looked completely white sued for their freedom on the grounds that they were white.  Most were sent back condemned as slaves for having a mulatto mother somewhere in their lineage.

The narrative of William W. Brown records seeing a girl on a slave ship, noticeable not because of her beauty, but because of her straight blond hair, white skin, and blue eyes.  And she was a slave.

Activists in the North made sure it was made known that slavery had no prejudice against color.  As a matter of fact, because it had reached the point where one could not tell if someone was a slave simply by appearance, the kidnapping of white children to be sold for profit as children of mulattoes, ran rampant.  Northern opinion was becoming aware that slavery wasn’t just a southern black issue.

We have an accounting of a slave auction from a New England doctor of the time, Charles G. Parsons who wrote –

“We saw a handbill in the bar-room in which forty-four female slaves were advertised for sale. Stepping out into the street, we found those girls sitting on the sidewalks. At the farther end of the row was a very beautiful girl, apparently perfectly white, and neatly dressed. The moment Mr. C. looked at her, he exclaimed, What do you think that white girl is sitting there with those Negroes for?’ “

“I presume she is a slave, sir,” said I.

“That can’t be!” replied Mr. C.,– “just look at her! Why I never saw a prettier girl in my life.”

Now Mr. C. had heard that likely quadroons are held as slaves and sold in the market; but he had never believed that a young lady, so entirely American, so elegant in form and feature, so intellectual in appearance, with pure blue eyes, and the perfect red and white Caucasian complexion, was in the same degraded condition as the African girl….he was unprepared to believe it, when I said to him, “she is a slave, sir!”…Still incredulous, Mr. C. stepped up to the drover and asked, “Is that white girl a slave, sir?”

“That’s not a white girl; she is a n*gger, sir,’ replied the drover…”

Source

You will notice the term “quadroon”, similar terms such as quintroon and octoroon.  A quadroon was a person with one-fourth black ancestry.  In other words, three white grandparents and one black.  It also referred to someone with a Mulatto parent with either a black or white parent.

People from States that did not have slavery, but were subject to runaway slave laws, used the fact that so many slaves were indistinguishable from free whites that many were arrested and sent to prison for aiding runaway slaves, as reasons for the movement against slavery.

The Chicago Tribune in 1856 published a story titled “The White Slave” which detailed the story of a slave girl who had escaped from Missouri and fled to Illinois where she was taken in by a German couple, believing she was white.  The couple were arrested, one escaped, the other was imprisoned.  The Chicago Tribune said about the events – “You see the legitimate, the unavoidable fruits of the slave system in our sister state…Do you wish to incur for yourselves or your friends in the Territory the punishment of five years imprisonment in the Penitentiary, for the extraordinary crime of being unable to distinguish between a white free woman and a white slave?”

Slavery was becoming a real threat to the populations of the North.  White partus slaves, were white, all traits of African ancestry had vanished over the course of generations.  Even so, the census did not record them as white.  It was politically beneficial to include whites as slaves, since the three-fifths compromise gave the South a full 50% more representation in Congress than they would have been entitled to if one had only counted free whites.

Rediscovering Slave History

It is not my intent to attempt to erase anyone’s history, nor is it my intent to discount or downplay the suffering and bondage that African descended slaves endured. They suffered greatly.  The tragedy of slavery is not something to be proud of.  But it is a fact that it has been a part of almost every nation, every kingdom, every empire, that the Earth has known.  The tragedy that white slaves suffered in bondage has been “white-washed” out of the modern history books by people with an agenda, obsessed with pushing only one aspect of history. All of this was readily available knowledge until the late 1800’s, and then ever so slowly it was erased from the textbooks.  And so we have forgotten.

The working class whites of America owes no one any kind of reparations.  The legacy left to all of us, not just one race but all of us, black and white, is one of bondage, suffering, and humiliation.

A good first step would be to set aside the stereotyped misinformation that is fostered in classrooms around the nation.  It is just as likely that it was a white skinned back that felt the touch of a whip, red hair and blue eyes that suffered the attentions of an amorous master, or endured working conditions and treatment that led to death, as any other color.

No one race was alone in suffering bondage during the last four centuries.

It’s time that the history of those who have been forgotten is restored.

Lest we forget.

home

home

is where i was born.

home is where i grew up to crisp mid-winter mornings,

opening the kitchen door, feeling the cold blast

of air as i check to see if the milk had been delivered yet.

home is the patchwork lands,

acre after acre of corn and beans

split only by a dirt road going off into the distance.

home is the smells

of wet leaves and raked grass in the fall.

home is the different smells of late fall snows

from the early spring snows.

home is the places that are a part of me,

familiar friends i visited often.

home is the cold edge of air

in the winter, driving around at night

snow crystals reflecting light

like someone had shoveled diamonds

onto the road.

home is watching the mud-drenched muskrat

waddle its way down to the river.

home is the slow pace of living there,

not this break-neck pace

where time flies past unseen,

uncounted, and suddenly I do

not recognize my reflection in the glass.

home is where my dead are buried,

lying, waiting, knowing I will soon

join them, as one of them.

i often wonder if i will make it

home, before i die, once more to be apart

of the smells,

and the snow,

and the gentle breezes of spring.

home.

photo by: AlicePopkorn

jury nullification

Unless you are very unusual, you groan when you see the notice for jury duty in with your mail.  I am told that there are some people who actually look forward to it.  But I haven’t met them yet.  Perhaps they just don’t know that being a juror is the most powerful position anyone can hold in our country.

The Power of the Juror

In a Constitution based system such as ours in the U.S. the lowly juror has more power than Congress, more power than the Supreme Court, even more power than the President.  If they will but use it.

Most jurors are completely unaware of just how much power they have.  The juror is the last, and ultimate authority over not just guilt and innocence.  The juror is the last and ultimate authority over the law and the courts, government, and the entirety of the citizenry.  In 1794 in the first jury trial before the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Jay gave the jury these instructions; “It is presumed that juries are the best judges of the facts; it is, on the other hand presumed that the courts are the best judges of the law.  But still both objects are within your power of decision.  You have the right to take it upon yourself to judge both, and to determine the law as well as the facts in controversy.”

Do you understand?  The juror is the judge over not just the facts in evidence, but the law being applied as well!

Inside the Courtroom

So if jurors are actually the “judges”, what is going on in the courtroom?

When the State or Federal Government, as duly appointed representatives of the citizenry, believes that one or more of the laws of the land have been violated in or of such severity that it requires the State or Federal government to take something away from the defendant; their wealth, their liberty, or even their life, they must bring the case to court and present it to a jury to decide.  The government cannot take anyone’s wealth, liberty, or life, without your consent as a juror.

The attorneys making up the prosecutorial and defense teams are enacting what we call an adversarial system; that is, that the best way for the jurors to determine the facts and judge the quality of the evidence, is to have one side whose sole goal is to convict the defendant, while the others sole goal is to show that either the evidence or the law does not apply to the defendant.

The judge, is there to see to it that everything proceeds in an orderly manner, that both teams of attorneys abide by the rules, and that everyone remains safe.

The Juror’s Duty – Nullification

If you have been selected for jury duty you will go thru a selection process.  You may be asked questions by both sets of attorneys, because they get to vote on whether they want you to be a juror on their case.  They have a limited number of potential jurors they can “disqualify” and then that’s it.

As a juror, it is your duty to know your constitutional rights regarding being a juror.  Our Constitution is what makes us the masters of these public servants.  And this is where we come to the crux of being a juror –

A jurors first duty is to protect his fellow man from the abuse of power by government.

Shocking isn’t it?  The most powerful right a citizen has, is also the least known by the citizen.

A person, acting in capacity as a juror, can fight tyranny by refusing to convict.

“…to prevent oppression by the Government…protect against unfounded criminal charges brought to eliminate enemies and against judges too responsive to the voice of higher authority.” Duncan v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 145, 155-56 (1968)

The examples are numerous, such as when jurors in the North refused to convict people who were guilty of breaking the runaway slave laws.

“We recognize, as appellants urge, the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by the judge, and contrary to the evidence. This is a power that must exist as long as we adhere to the general verdict in criminal cases, for the courts cannot search the minds of the jurors to find the basis upon which they judge. If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused, is unjust, or that exigent circumstances justified the actions of the accused, or for any reason which appeals to their logic of passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision.” US vs Moylan, 417 F 2d 1002, 1006 (1969)

” …unreviewable and irreversible power… to acquit in disregard of the instructions on the law given by the trial judge.” US vs Dougherty, 473 F 2d 1113, 1139 (1972)

Jury Nullification

At it’s most basic level jury nullification means that the power of the juror is the raw power to free someone regardless of the law, regardless of the facts, for any reason whatsoever, or for no reason, related or unrelated to the case.

Neither the judge, nor the prosecutors will tell you that you have this right.  As a matter of fact the judge may “instruct” you to the contrary.  But this in no way means that you do not have the right.  The right to jury nullification is a constitutional right protected by not one, not two, but three constitutional amendments.

“The fact that there is widespread existence of the jury’s prerogative, and approval of its existence as a necessary counter to case-hardened judges and arbitrary prosecutors, does not establish as an imperative that the jury must be informed by the judge of that power.” US vs Dougherty, 473 F 2d (1972)

It will annoy the attorneys that you understand you have this absolute right.  A judge may tell you to the contrary, and even go so far as holding you in contempt.  But in so doing he will be violating your constitutional rights and will suffer the penalty for it. In some states there are even laws that within or even near court facilities it is illegal to tell anyone about this right. They will arrest you. It is up you to fight this unconstitutional abuse of power.

What this also means is that if you feel a law is wrong, unjust, unfairly applied, whatever the reason, you can refuse to convict.  This is your constitutional right.

Some might try to argue that nullification violates the juror’s oath.  It does not.  No Constitutional right is capable of violating an oath.  The Constitution trumps any such oath, as such oaths are not dictated by the Constitution.

The prime example of nullification, pre-Constitution, is from 1734 in the trial of John Peter Zenger, who was arrested for seditious libel against His Majesty’s government.  Zenger published papers that were critical of colonial rule.  When brought to trial he admitted to what he published and defended himself by showing how his facts were the truth.  The judge instructed the jurors that the truth of the issues had no bearing on the violation of the law.  The judge even went so far as to tell the jurors to find Zenger guilty.  The jury retired, and it took only ten minutes for them to return and pronounce him not guilty.  This is the power of the juror.

Conclusion

It is every citizens duty to know and to understand their constitutional rights.  Many many people died so that you could have them.  In the scheme of checks and balances that our founding fathers created, the juror, is the last check over the power of a government out of control, if they would only use it.

The juror is the final arbiter over bad laws.  For example, if the citizenry of America truly wanted to de-criminalize marijuana, the jurors of the land need only refuse to convict each and every person brought to trial on the charge.  And none could gainsay them.

The juror is the last chance, bar force of arms, a citizen has in the normal process of government to prevent tyranny.

Christ Mithras CopyCat

Was Christ Merely A Copycat Savior From An Ancient Religion Dressed Up To Be A Jew?

Mithra(s) is a Persian deity which can first be dated to about 1400B.C., the name being mentioned in a treaty.  Later he is imported into Rome, and according to several propagandists is the blueprint for the figure of the Jesus Christ we know today.  He was the deity who punished you if you broke a contract.  He also brought rain, and plant growth.  He was the upholder of truth.

Let’s take a look at the proposed similarities.

Virgin Birth

The first point of contention is that Mithra was born of a virgin on December 25th, attended by shepherds, and that Christians adopted this for their deity.

The Bible nowhere indicates that Jesus Christ was born on December 25th. While Mithra had several holidays celebrated about him, they were all in the fall, and were actually just seasonal festivals at which Mithra was paid homage almost as an afterthought.

How was Mithra born?  Texts and depictions of the event show him emerging from solid rock, and I suppose one could attempt to make the argument that the stone was “virginal”, but it is disingenuous to claim he was born of a virgin as there is no evidence except modern wishful thinking to corroborate this.  What we have handed down to us by those that worshipped him is that he emerged fully formed from a rock wall, carrying a torch, and wearing a cute little Phrygian hat.

What about the attending shepherds?  Well in the depictions we have, they help him free himself from the rock wall.  Did the early Christians borrow this?  Considering that the earliest of these depictions date to a century after the time of Christ, if there was any borrowing done, it was on the part of the Mithraic cult.  So no attending shepherds either.

Traveling Ministry, Preaching, and Teaching

While Jesus’ travels and ministry are recorded in great detail, there is no evidence at all that Mithra did so.  And even if he did, it was commonplace for teachers to travel from place to place to share what they knew.

What did he teach?  Where did he teach?  To whom did he teach?  Nothing is recorded to give us any indication that he did so or that his believers believed he did so.

Twelve Disciples

The record tells us quite succinctly that Jesus had twelve companions, or disciples, that traveled with Him.  There is no doubt about that.  But was this copied from the religion surrounding Mithra?

It doesn’t seem to be.  The Persian Mithra had only a single companion called Varuna, while the Roman traditions records two, named Cautes and Cautopatres which were “Mini-Me” versions of Mithra.

So once again, any accusation of the adoption of religious imagery and details taken from Mithra disappears with the facts

Promise of Immortality

This one seems a bit crude, but just about any cult must promise their followers something.  It would seem only reasonable that the cult of Mithra did so as well.

But we don’t know that they did so, there is no evidence that they did so.

The closest piece of evidence we have that Mithraists preached immortality is a fragment of graffiti found in the Santa Prisca Mithraeum dated to about 200A.D. which reads “And us, too, you saved by spilling the eternal blood.” which refers to Mithra slaying the mighty bull, not to his losing his own life.

Working Miracles

This is a moot point.  Mithra, laying claim to deity, had miracles attributed to him.  But did Christians borrow this for Christ?  Why would they?  Moses performed miracles, and Elijah performed miracles, Jewish tradition is rife with acts of the miraculous.  And Mithra had no acts attributed to him such as Christ did such as in walking on water or raising people who had been dead.

Nothing borrowed here.

Sacrifice of Self for Mankind

While the record of Jesus Christ is clear about this matter, the record of Mithra is not.  Many try to make the claim that Mithra, the great bull of the Sun, sacrificed himself for the world.  But we have no evidence that the ancient followers of Mithra believed this about him.  In the evidence we do have Mithra slayed a bull, not for the world but simply because it was a heroic deed.  The bull’s blood was shed, but there is nothing in any ancient source that said Mithra shed any of his own, or was even injured in the event.

Burial In A Tomb & Resurrection

Once again the record of this being part of the Christian belief system and accounting of events is without dispute.

What about Mithra?  There are no evidences in Mithraic literature of Mithra ever being buried, let alone dying.  And of course if there was no dying there was no resurrection to record either.

Once again, nothing copied here.

The Good Shepherd and The Lamb & The Lion

Definitely part of the Christian repertoire, what about Mithra?

No evidence exists that Mithra was ever identified with the term “good shepherd” or a lamb.  The lion was Mithra’s totem animal.  Jesus Christ however is identified as all three of these things, and has an earlier claim on the symbolism of the lion by being a member of the tribe of Judah.

The Way, the Truth, and the Life

The claim has been made that Mithra was also called the “Word”, the “Redeemer”, the “Savior”, and “Messiah”.  One current populist author also now includes the titles of creator, god of gods, lord, and others.  Unfortunately when one looks at actual Mithraic literature these titles are nowhere to be found.  There is no evidence Mithra was ever referred to as any of these monikers.

On the other hand, evidence is manifest that Jesus was called these things and very early on.  So it would appear that there is wishful thinking going on, and it’s getting in the way of the truth when it comes to the subject of Christ-copycat-ism.

Holy Communion

Most of us know the telling of the Last Supper, and many claim that Mithra also had a feast wherein he announced a “communion to be had with him by eating his body and drinking his blood.  That they would not be saved without doing so.”  Unfortunately this appears to be more wishful thinking on the part of some as this was not said by Mithra, but is a quote by Zarathustra in literature from the 4th century.

Once again if there are charges of copying to be laid it would seem that the account of the life of Jesus Christ is one of the most plagiarized in history.

I really do not see how any conclusion can be made other than that Christ was definitely not borrowed from the cult of Mithra.  True Mithraic scholars know nothing about any claims of borrowing, indeed those who claim such tend to have certain things in common: a populist writer, a severe shortage of documentation and footnotes, in their personal lives tend to be practicing pagans and Wiccans.  Interesting don’t you think?

There are many other items in the list of “borrowed” theology, but I think we’ve shown that their basis, as in the ones here, are utter nonsense.    You, as anyone, is free to believe whatever you wish.  But wouldn’t you rather base it on your own research rather than the ramblings of the disgruntled or those with an agenda who would lie to you?  Because sooner or later someone will show you that what you believed is a lie.  Or worse, you present it to someone as evidence, who knows it’s a lie, and now thinks you are both uneducated and gullible.

The account of Jesus the Christ is not a re-telling of the tale of Mithra(s) in any way shape or form.

Sources

Bivar, A. D. – The Personalities of Mithra in Archaeology and Literature
Freke, Timothy and Peter Gandy – The Jesus Mysteries: Was the “Original Jesus” a Pagan God?
Laeuchli, Samuel – Mithraism in Ostia
Ulansey, David – The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World
Wynne-Tyson, Esme – Mithras: The Fellow in the Cap

photo by: dalbera

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