A few weeks ago, a senior Greek Orthodox clergyman in Israel attended a meeting at a government office in Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul quarter. When he returned to his car, an elderly man wearing a skullcap came and knocked on the window. When the clergyman let the window down, the passerby spat in his face.
The clergyman prefered not to lodge a complaint with the police and told an acquaintance that he was used to being spat at by Jews. Many Jerusalem clergy have been subjected to abuse of this kind. For the most part, they ignore it but sometimes they cannot.
On Sunday, a fracas developed when a yeshiva student spat at the cross being carried by the Armenian Archbishop during a procession near the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City. The archbishop’s 17th-century cross was broken during the brawl and he slapped the yeshiva student.
Both were questioned by police and the yeshiva student will be brought to trial. The Jerusalem District Court has meanwhile banned the student from approaching the Old City for 75 days.
But the Armenians are far from satisfied by the police action and say this sort of thing has been going on for years. Archbishop Nourhan Manougian says he expects the education minister to say something.
“When there is an attack against Jews anywhere in the world, the Israeli government is incensed, so why when our religion and pride are hurt, don’t they take harsher measures?” he asks.
According to Daniel Rossing, former adviser to the Religious Affairs Ministry on Christian affairs and director of a Jerusalem center for Christian-Jewish dialogue, there has been an increase in the number of such incidents recently, “as part of a general atmosphere of lack of tolerance in the country.”
Rossing says there are certain common characeristics from the point of view of time and location to the incidents. He points to the fact that there are more incidents in areas where Jews and Christians mingle, such as the Jewish and Armenian quarters of the Old City and the Jaffa Gate.
There are an increased number at certain times of year, such as during the Purim holiday.”I know Christians who lock themselves indoors during the entire Purim holiday,” he says.
Former adviser to the mayor on Christian affairs, Shmuel Evyatar, describes the situation as “a huge disgrace.” He says most of the instigators are yeshiva students studying in the Old City who view the Christian religion with disdain.
“I’m sure the phenomenon would end as soon as rabbis and well-known educators denounce it. In practice, rabbis of yeshivas ignore or even encourage it,” he says.
Evyatar says he himself was spat at while walking with a Serbian bishop in the Jewish quarter, near his home. “A group of yeshiva students spat at us and their teacher just stood by and watched.”
Jerusalem municipal officials said they are aware of the problem but it has to be dealt with by the police. Shmuel Ben-Ruby, the police spokesman, said they had only two complaints from Christians in the past two years. He said that, in both cases, the culprits were caught and punished.
He said the police deploy an inordinately high number of patrols and special technology in the Old City and its surroundings in an attempt to keep order.
I’ve already covered this before, but here’s an update. What a fucking disgrace. They’re trying to discredit one of the greatest minds of all time. Disgusting.
Evangelical Christians plan to distribute more than 100,000 free copies of Charles Darwin’s seminal work on the theory of evolution, “On the Origin of Species,” on college campuses this month. Are the evangelists affiliated with the religious organization Living Waters really spreading the word of Charles Darwin?
Yes — but.
“All we want to do is present the opposing and correct view,” says actor Kirk Cameron, a supporter, in a video on the website. That view, which both precedes and counters Darwin’s theory in the copies of the book they will distribute, has been penned by the organization’s leader, Ray Comfort. In a 50-page introduction, no less. An excerpt:
Keeping in mind that the most intelligent of human beings can’t create even a grain of sand from nothing, do you believe that the “something” that made everything was intelligent? It must have been, in order to make the flowers, the birds, the trees, the human eye, and the sun, the moon and the stars. If you believe that, then you believe there was an intelligent designer. You have just become an unscientific “knuckle-dragger” in the eyes of our learning institutions that embrace Darwinism. But you are not alone if you believe in God.
Which learning institutions may expect Living Waters representatives to show up on their campuses with boxes of the Comfort-introduction edition of “On the Origin of Species” hasn’t been announced, although Living Waters described the schools as “100 of America’s top universities” in an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times. According to the website, Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort will pass out copies of the book together on Nov. 19, perhaps here in Southern California.
Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” was first published 150 years ago, on Nov. 24, 1859. It begins:
When on board H.M.S. Beagle, as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the inhabitants of South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species — that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers.
The book, having been in the public domain for quite some time, is also available for free via Project Gutenberg. With no introduction but Darwin’s own.
Here’s the video that asshat Kirk Cameron posted a few months ago.
A seven-year-old girl allegedly starved to death by her mother and mother’s partner was made to sit in a cold bath as a punishment, a court has been told.
In video evidence shown at Birmingham Crown Court, a 12-year-old girl said that she herself had been made to stand in front of a fan in her underwear.
Junaid Abuhamza, 30, and Angela Gordon, 34, both of Leyton Road in Handsworth, Birmingham, deny murdering Khyra Ishaq.
The prosecution said Khyra was starved to death and kept prisoner.
The court heard the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was also in the care of the defendants.
She told a policewoman that children at the house would miss out on food if they were naughty.
She also said that she was struck with a stick and made to stand in front of a fan wearing boxer shorts and a vest.
She added that she and others would also be made to stand outside the house.
The court has heard that Khyra lost up to 40% of her bodyweight and resembled a “concentration camp” victim when she was found.
Earlier this week, the jury was told that Mr Abuhamza and Ms Gordon told children at the house they believed Khyra had been possessed by an evil spirit.
Mr Abuhamza pleaded guilty last week to five cruelty charges relating to other children.
Ms Gordon denies five child cruelty offences, which were allegedly committed between December 2007 and May 2008.
The case has been adjourned until Monday.
Who doesn’t love making fun of a religion as crazy as Islam?