Closing Thought–22Dec20

Just Another Worthless Religious Leader

I have never been a fan of the faux religious leaders that call themselves ‘evangelicals’…..since they emerged back in the Reagan years they have been the drivers of policy of the government…..and not until Trump has their true nature been so obvious.

One of the most irritating is Liberty Univ Falwell……and now that he has been disgraced more and more corruption has been uncovered……recently it is the amount of cash that Liberty fed to the Trump machine…..

After shocking many in the evangelical movement by endorsing Donald Trump over other Republicans for the 2016 presidential nomination, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. pumped millions of the nonprofit religious institution’s funds into Republican causes and efforts to promote the Trump administration, blurring the lines between education and politics.

The culmination of his efforts was the creation of a university-funded campus “think tank” — which has produced nopeer-reviewed academic work and bears little relation to study centers at other universities — that ran pro-Trump ads, hired Trump allies including former adviser Sebastian Gorka and current Trump attorney Jenna Ellis to serve as fellows and, in recent weeks, has aggressively promoted Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud.

The think tank — called the Falkirk Center, a portmanteau of Falwell’s name and that of GOP activist Charlie Kirk, who co-founded it — purchased campaign-season ads on Facebook, at least $50,000’s worth of which were designated by the network as political ads, that promoted Trump and other Republican candidates by name.

“Pray For Our President,” declared one, featuring a photo of Trump with his hands clasped in prayer.

“Be a radical for our republic,” said another Facebook ad that ran over the summer with a photo of a beaming Madison Cawthorn, the rising GOP star and congressional candidate from North Carolina who spoke at Trump’s convention.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/14/jerry-falwell-trump-liberty-university-444661

Time to tell these creeps to go back to serving their flock and leave the running of this country to the bureaucrats…..they have helped turned this country into a ‘combat zone’ that continues to tear the people apart.

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Closing Thought–06Dec20

How many of my readers attended Sunday School?

That many?

Then they will recall the story of David and Goliath….where this boy with a sling killed the Giant warrior of the Philistines…..

A great story and life affirming tale that size matters not……

Sorry to say but that story was like so many myths….probably pure BS……

Early versions of the Bible describe Goliath — an ancient Philistine warrior best known as the loser of a fight with the future King David — as a giant whose height in ancient terms reached four cubits and a span. But don’t take that measurement literally, new research suggests.

Archaeological findings at biblical-era sites including Goliath’s home city, a prominent Philistine settlement called Gath, indicate that those ancient measurements work out to 2.38 meters, or 7 feet, 10 inches. That’s equal to the width of walls forming a gateway into Gath that were unearthed in 2019, according to archaeologist Jeffrey Chadwick of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Rather than standing taller than any NBA player ever, Goliath was probably described metaphorically by an Old Testament writer as a warrior who matched the size and strength of Gath’s defensive barrier, Chadwick said November 19 at the virtual annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

The biblical warrior Goliath may not have been so giant after all

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Closing Thought–30Nov20

Since the election of 1980 the religious right have had a strangehold on the GOP and its policies and rhetoric…..is it possible that the hold could be weakening and possibly ending?

Donald Trump, by his own words and actions, does not appear to be the most religious person.

He has claimed he doesn’t seek forgiveness from God, and he once tried to put money in a Communion plate. Apart from his controversial photo op while holding up a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, he doesn’t seem especially concerned with Christian symbolism.

And yet 76% of white evangelical voters supported him in the 2020 election. It’s clear American evangelicals value something other than his religious devotion.
As a Christian ethicist, I’m especially interested in the ways Christians seek to gain and use political power. Why did so many Christians vote for Trump? And what are they afraid of losing when he leaves?

Many evangelical Christians are drawn to Trump’s promises to protect religious liberty. President-elect Biden, meanwhile, has also promised to protect religious liberty. But it might not be on evangelicals’ terms.

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/11/evangelicals-stronghold-on-american-politics-may-finally-be-over-thanks-to-trump/

Could the religious right have finally met its match with Donald the Orange?

Personally if it has then I can thank Trump for his breaking of the power that these zealots held over a political party…..religion has NO place in government.-

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The Devil–What You Know Is Wrong!

It is Halloween and if normal there will be all sorts of creatures out and about…..and that included “devils”…

Speaking of the Devil….what you think you know is probably wrong……

The Devil is one of those figures that pretty much everyone has heard of, and pretty much anyone who’s heard of him has a good idea of what his deal is. They know what he looks like, what his real name is, what his secret origin story is, and all about how he wages war against God for the souls of humankind from his blazing kingdom of the damned in the depths of Hell.

And while for many people, the Devil is a folkloric figure or even just a metaphor, many others believe in a literal Devil who has real impact on the world. So even though it would be impossible to be “wrong” about a folkloric Devil, if you want to believe in a biblical Devil, you should know what the Bible does — and more often, doesn’t – say about him. Spoilers: all the things you know from the first paragraph are wrong.

The Devil isn’t God’s archenemy

In the popular conception of the Devil, he is the embodiment of pure evil, and as such, he’s God’s opposite number. The idea is that God and Satan are constantly at war with each other for the souls of humanity, each sending out their angels against the others’ in order to destroy their greatest enemy. This view, however, isn’t supported by the Bible at all. As the Encyclopedia Britannica points out, it’s only in post-biblical Jewish literature that Satan becomes an adversary of God. The idea of Satan as the ruler of fallen angels who rebelled against God simply does not exist in the Hebrew scriptures.

The idea of more or less equal forces of good and evil battling against each other likely entered into Jewish (and subsequently Christian) thinking as a result of the Jews being exposed to the more dualistic religion of Zoroastrianism when they were exiled to Babylon in the 6th century B.C.

While in the New Testament Satan is portrayed more clearly as an enemy of God, he’s still not anywhere close to equal in power. The best he can do is try to tempt Jesus into abandoning his mission of salvation and worship him, all of which Jesus resists without much effort. It’s only weaker-willed humans like Judas who succumb to Satan’s power. Satan and his minions don’t stand a chance against Jesus.

….Read On…..

Read More: https://www.grunge.com/268331/things-people-get-wrong-about-the-devil/

Happy Halloween and just pleased to able to make that wish in person….

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Do We Need Religion?

The weekend and I thought maybe a little debate would be good for the soul….

Before we start…please this is a debate…..if you cannot logically and rationally state a case then move on…..

I read a piece in a journal entitle “Public Discourse”…..and I would like to hear opinions from my readers…..please read the article before going off on some mindless rant……

A great irony of the Jewish and Christian faith traditions: One must be willing to accept suffering and sacrifice for a greater purpose that transcends one’s particular material and sensual needs and desires. Counter-intuitively, it is these transcendent qualities of faith that eschew utilitarian aims for a greater purpose that create the circumstances for greater material well-being.

“Too much religion is bad for a country,” asserts Max Boot in a recent Washington Post op-ed. Boot cites a number of indicators—average GDP per capita, unemployment rates, poverty rates, homicide rates, life expectancy, infant mortality, education, and degree of political liberties—that suggest that “less religious nations are much better off.” Indeed, Australia, Sweden, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Japan, some of the least religious nations in the world, rank best in the aforementioned categories, while many of the most religious nations in the world (the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Thailand, India, Nigeria) are among the worst. America represents a unique case in this regard, being both wealthy and developed, but more religious than her Western counterparts. Would she be better off if her religious practice were to decline to levels found elsewhere in the developed world?

Would America Be Better Off without Religion?

Me?

I do not think it must be front and center of society…..it is a personal decision and should remain just that…..personal…..but I will say I do not think organized religion has done society any favors of the centuries from the past.

But here are a few things about religion and government….

The separation of church and state has come under scrutiny again this summer after the Supreme Court sided with religious conservatives in a series of rulings. One of the rulings allows states to fund religious schools indirectly, while another protects religious schools from federal employment discrimination lawsuits.

Americans have been debating where to draw the line between religion and government since the country’s founding. And even as the percentage of religiously unaffiliated Americans rises, church and state remain intertwined in many ways – often with the public’s support.

Here are eight facts about the connections between religion and government in the United States, based on previously published Pew Research Center analyses.

8 facts about religion and government in the United States

I believe it is time for true Christians to take back their religion from those extremists that only use it to further their agenda.

Right-wing extremists continue to promulgate falsehoods about religion in American society. Their claim that the United States was founded as a Christian nation is easily refuted by noting that the word “Christian” does not appear in any of the founding documents. The First Amendment unequivocally prohibits the government from the establishment of any state-endorsed religion. John Adams reaffirmed this succinctly in 1796 in the Treaty of Tripoli: “The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

Nonetheless, the fearmongers of Fox News and other right-wing propaganda outlets continue to peddle hate, suspicion and exhortations to violence to stand against the infamous, but nonexistent, “War on Christianity.” Christianity is dying in America as a result of the internal corruption, hypocrisy and deceit of those who claim to be the stalwarts protecting their faith.

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/opinion/2020/09/28/genuine-christians-must-speak-up-takeback-dying-religion/5841981002/

“Everybody wants to go to Heaven but no one wants to die”

Your thoughts?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Blame It On Gay Marriage!

There has been so many things that have been blamed on the institution of gay marriage……but the best is that this pandemic is God’s revenge on humanity for gay marriage.

A religious leader in Ukraine has done just that…blamed gays for the pandemic…..but there is a twist here……

leading church figure in Ukraine who previously described the coronavirus outbreak as “God’s punishment” against gay marriage has contracted COVID-19.

Patriarch Filaret, leader of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate, is in a stable condition in hospital after it was announced on September 4 that he had contracted the virus.

“We inform you that His Holiness Patriarch Filaret of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine tested positive for COVID-19 during planned testing,” the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate said in a statement.

https://www.newsweek.com/patriarch-filaret-coronavirus-gay-marriage-ukraine-1530261

If there is a God then he has proven that he has a sense of humor…in my book.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Those Religious Hypocrites

I seldom write on religion….for one I do not care much for organized religion….butt mostly because most of the leaders are outright hypocrites….they rail about everything from protesters to fornicators to gays to Muslims…..and only the weak minded believe their babbling…..for most prove over time that they are NO better than the rest of us regardless on how much scripture they spout.

This post is about the fate of a staunch evangelical, Jerry Falwell….preachers and head of Liberty University, the university that teaches family values…..

It seems that he and his wife have been caught up in some sort of sex scandal…..

Jerry Falwell Jr. made several different headlines earlier this year, including when he told students they could come back to Liberty University during the pandemic, made a cringey face mask “joke,” and stepped down from Liberty after an odd photo of him emerged. Now, in an exclusive statement to the Washington Examiner, Falwell explains he’s been suffering from depression, prompted by an affair his wife, Becki, had with a former family friend who then threatened to expose the affair and tried to extort them. Falwell says he and Becki met 21-year-old pool attendant Giancarlo Granda in 2012 at a hotel in Miami Beach, and the couple was “so impressed by his initiative” they included him in a real estate deal. Shortly after, however, Becki entered into what Falwell calls an “inappropriate personal relationship” with Granda. “I lost 80 pounds,” Falwell says of his reaction after discovering the affair.

And it soon became a “roller coaster” and a “Fatal Attraction-like situation” after the Falwells tried to distance themselves from Granda, Falwell says, claiming that Granda got “increasingly angry and aggressive” and threatened to out the affair and embarrass the couple and Liberty University unless they paid him “substantial monies.” Media outlets had reported on Granda’s ties to the Falwells last year, which included whispers of “racy” photos involving the three. Granda denies to the Examiner any type of extortion attempt, calling the claim “defamatory” and promising that “the WHOLE truth will come out.” The one silver lining for the Falwells: They reconciled after the affair. “Becki and I forgave each other, because while her indiscretion may have been more obvious and apparent, I realized that there were important smaller things I needed to do better, too,” Falwell says

The “Other Guy” has come out of the woodwork……

The news about Jerry Falwell Jr. has finally clarified: The evangelical leader tells the Wall Street Journal that he is indeed out as president of Liberty University in Virginia. Falwell says he submitted his resignation to the school’s board Monday night after conflicting reports about whether he had or had not resigned. The confusion apparently stemmed from negotiations over how much money he is due. His resignation follows a tumultuous few weeks. Coverage:

  • His view: “The board put me on leave, took away my duties as prez, and that’s not permitted by my contract,” Falwell told the Journal. “And they put me on leave because of pressure from self-righteous people.”
  • Scandals: First came the photo he posted on social media, with his pants open and his arm around the waist of his wife’s female assistant, whose pants also were open. Then came the Reuters story detailing how his wife, Becki, had a years-long sexual relationship with a younger man, and how Falwell would watch them having sex. And before all that, Falwell took flak for his decision to bring students onto campus in March amid the pandemic, notes Axios.
  • The code: Falwell may call his critics “self-righteous,” but they in turn see hypocrisy. The Liberty honor code for students reads, “Sexual relations outside of a biblically ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman are not permissible at Liberty University.”
  • His wife: While Falwell, 58, has been influential in politics and an ardent supporter of President Trump, his wife, 53, is also a political figure, notes Reuters. Among other things, she served on the advisory board of Women for Trump, and she spoke at CPAC on a panel with her husband and Donald Trump Jr. last year.
  • Other man: Giancarlo Granda says he met the Falwells in 2012 at age 20 when he worked at a Miami hotel as a pool attendant. Jerry Falwell has acknowledged his wife’s affair, but he calls Granda an “extortionist,” adding, “Most of what that guy said … is not true.” BuzzFeed detailed in 2018 how the three went into business together.
  • The shift: Politico reports that Jerry Falwell attempted to buy out Granda from their business venture in 2015, just before getting involved with Trump’s campaign. Granda sees it as an attempt by Falwell to erase evidence of their relationship before taking on a bigger national profile. Falwell “admired Trump’s strongman public persona,” Granda tells the outlet. “Also, there was a noticeable personality change after Trump was elected. He was drunk on power and felt like he could get away with anything.” Falwell’s endorsement of Trump was seen as pivotal for his 2016 candidacy

Not to fret if you are a supporter of Falwell…..he will get out of his presidency of Liberty with a wad of cash……

Jerry Falwell Jr. has officially resigned from Liberty University, and he told the Washington Post Tuesday night that he’ll get $10.5 million in severance, as specified in his contract. That’s because he resigned in good standing, without being formally accused of or admitting to any wrongdoing. “The board was gracious not to challenge that,” he tells the newspaper. “There wasn’t any cause. I haven’t done anything.” He’ll get $2.5 million over two years, the equivalent of what his salary would have been during that same period, and he’s agreed not to work for a competing university during those years. At the end of that period, he’ll get the rest of his severance in retirement. A source tells Fox News Falwell has agreed to consult for Liberty during the transition to a new president.

His resignation comes, of course, on the heels of a controversial photo showing him with his wife’s scantily-clad assistant, which was quickly followed by Falwell’s admission that his wife had had an affair. Reports have claimed the affair lasted years and Falwell would watch his wife and her lover have sex; Falwell claims the man tried to extort the couple, and his wife denies Falwell watched, per Fox News. Her alleged lover on Tuesday issued new accusations against Falwell, claiming he shared inappropriate photos of a Liberty student; Falwell tells the Post it was simply a funny, non-sexual image of a friend of his daughters-in-law. Also Tuesday, Falwell confirmed it was President Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen who helped him years ago when someone tried to blackmail the Falwells over sensitive photos. Cohen claims he asked Falwell, as a “personal favor,” to endorse President Trump during the 2016 campaign.

Really?

Doing what demagogues do…..blame someone else for their screw ups…..instead of manning up they go into excuses….I am old enough to remember Swaggart’s sex scandal……

Falwell is typical……My thinking that evangelicals are hypocrites and have seen nothing to change my mind as of yet.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Rohingya–Another Forgotten People

I have recently wrote a post about the Muslim minority in China, the Uighurs.

They are not alone in this world of mistreatment….there is the Rohingya Muslim minority of Myanmar(Burma)…..probably most Americans are ignorant about the plight of these people….and that is where the Old Professor comes in…..

The Rohingya are an ethnic group, the majority of whom are Muslim, who have lived for centuries in the majority Buddhist Myanmar. Currently, there are about 1.1 million Rohingya in the Southeast Asian country.

The Rohingya speak Rohingya or Ruaingga, a dialect that is distinct to others spoken throughout Myanmar. They are not considered one of the country’s 135 official ethnic groups and have been denied citizenship in Myanmar since 1982, which has effectively rendered them stateless.

Nearly all of the Rohingya in Myanmar live in the western coastal state of Rakhine and are not allowed to leave without government permission. It is one the poorest states in the country, with ghetto-like camps and a lack of basic services and opportunities.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/08/rohingya-muslims-170831065142812.html

I have written about the plight of these people…..some 3 years ago…..https://lobotero.com/2017/11/20/the-rohingya-search-for-a-home/

The Rohinyga have fled to Bangledesh and are now in camps in a country that hates them….

The exodus began on 25 August 2017 after Rohingya Arsa militants launched deadly attacks on more than 30 police posts.

Rohingyas arriving in Bangladesh said they fled after troops, backed by local Buddhist mobs, responded by burning their villages and attacking and killing civilians.

At least 6,700 Rohingya, including at least 730 children under the age of five, were killed in the month after the violence broke out, according to medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Amnesty International says the Myanmar military also raped and abused Rohingya women and girls

The government, which puts the number of dead at 400, claims that “clearance operations” against the militants ended on 5 September, but BBC correspondents have seen evidence that they continued after that date.

At least 288 villages were partially or totally destroyed by fire in northern Rakhine state after August 2017, according to analysis of satellite imagery by Human Rights Watch.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41566561

AS usual I will try to help my readers that have an aversion to the printed word with a couple of short videos…..

And for those that need the video crisis is explained…..

The Rohingyas are yet another minority that deserves more attention than they are given.

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Uighurs–A Forgotten People

A Chinese people that happen to be Muslims.

A people that few Americans know anything about. A people that most Americans could care less about mainly because they are Chinese and Muslim.

Despite an official ideology that recognized them as equal citizens of the communist state, Uighurs have always had an uncomfortable relationship with the authorities in Beijing. In 1933, amid the turbulence of China’s civil wars, Uighur leaders in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar declared a short-lived independent Republic of East Turkestan. But Xinjiang was wholly subsumed into the new state forged by China’s victorious Communists after 1949, with Beijing steadily tightening its grip on the oil rich territory. Its official designation as an “autonomous region” belies rigid controls from the central government over Xinjiang, and a policy of settling hundreds of thousands of Han Chinese there that has left the Uighurs comprising a little less than half of the region’s roughly 20 million people.

The Uighurs have deep roots in the region, descending from the ancient Sogdian traders once observed by Marco Polo. Unlike many of the nomadic tribes of Central Asia, the Uighurs are an urban people whose identity crystallized in the oasis towns of the Silk Road. A walk through the bazaars of old Uighur centers such as Kashgar, Khotan or Yarkhand reveals the physical legacy of a people rooted along the first trans-contintental trade route: an astonishing array of hazel and even blue eyes, with blonde or brown or black hair — typically tucked beneath headscarves or the customary Uighur felt cap.

http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1909416,00.html

The Uighurs and the Chinese government have had a bit of a problem with each other……

It is believed that the Chinese government has detained up to a million Uighurs over the past few years in what the state defines as “re-education camps”. The government is now also accused of a programme of forced sterilisation against Uighur women.

China initially denied the existence of the camps, before claiming they were a necessary measure against separatist violence in Xinjiang. It also denies carrying out forced sterilisations.

In July 2020, the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab accused China of “gross and egregious” human rights abuses against the Uighurs. The reports of forced sterilisation and wider persecution of the ethnic group were “reminiscent of something not seen for a long time”, he said.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-22278037

To keep it as simple as possible…..there are 5 things that you should know about the Uighurs…..

… there has been mounting evidence of alleged atrocities at the camps, including torture, rape and forced sterilization. President Donald Trump signed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 into law on June 17 that aims to punish China for its treatment of the minority group. Now, momentum is growing for the United Nations to take a stand and condemn the alleged atrocities against the ethnic Uighurs.

Here’s what you need to know about the alleged atrocities at the camps.

https://justthenews.com/world/asia/5-things-know-about-concentration-camps-chinas-uighur-muslims

The Uighurs have been mistreated for decades or longer and yet the leadership of Islam has very little to say about the treatment of fellow Muslims…..

China has stripped away the religious justifications to reveal what was once half-hidden: unadorned and unstoppable power. In many countries, criticising China is the new blasphemy. Nowhere can you see the power more nakedly displayed than in Muslim-majority regimes. Once, they tried to murder blasphemous novelists and screamed about their desire to defend the prophet from the smallest insult. Today, they bend their knees and bite their tongues as China engages in unspeakable atrocities against the largely Muslim Uighur population of western China.

One of the great crimes of the 21st century is being committed in front of our eyes. We see it, yet we don’t register it. The Chinese Communist party is reverting to type, and reviving the totalitarian fear of the Mao era. To bring down numbers of the largely Muslim Uighurs of Xinjiang, the China scholar Adrian Zenz reports, the Communists are forcing women to be sterilised or fitted with contraceptive devices. If they resist, the state sends them to join the one million Uighur people and other Muslim minorities detained in what the state defines as “re-education” camps. A BBC investigation found that China was separating children from their families so they grew up without understanding Islam.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/04/why-do-muslim-states-stay-silent-over-chinas-uighur-brutality

These people deserve the attention to bring them some relief from their sad treatment at the hands of the Chinese government.

Another Muslim minority that is suffering from governmental abuse…..he Rohingyas will be feature in a later post.

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A Closing Sunday Thought

It is a Sunday and what better time to ask the probing question of the ages?

For a thousand years (probably more) there have been those that have predicted the end of the world…..most of which has been just total BS…but wait…there is yet another Biblical scholar that has finally figured it all out…..

Professor Tom Meyer, an expert in Bible studies and Middle East languages at Shasta Bible College and Graduate School in California, explained exactly when it is all going to go down to the Daily Express.

“According to the ancient Hebrew calendar, the year isn’t 2020 AD but rather 5780, meaning 5,780 years have passed since the God of the Bible created the heavens and the Earth,” revealed Meyer.

“The starting date comes from a genealogy within the book of Genesis. Genesis 5:1 through 6:8 is a written account of the descendants of Adam including their ages at the time of the birth of their firstborn son.

Bible Scholar Has FINALLY Figured Out When The End Of The World Will Actually Happen, Maybe

2240?

It is much better to predict far into the future that way you cannot be ridiculed when it does not happen and besides none of us will be around to see if he was right.

Was Jesus black, brown, white or what?

Like I said….a probing question for here in the so-called West….he is depicted as a white guy with blond hair and blue eyes…..but the region that he is supposedly born and raised in is not noted for its blond hair or blue eyes….or for that matter white skin.

So back to the question…was Jesus black, white or other?

Ever since controversial Black Lives Matter activist/commentator Shaun King called for all white European images of Jesus to be torn down because they promote white supremacy, a simple but provocative question has presented itself: Was Jesus white? 

The Bible doesn’t reveal Jesus’ skin color, but what we do know is that he came to earth as a Jew born in the Middle East. 

“Jews have always been considered white under the U.S. Census Bureau standards,” says Charlotte Allen, author of the book, “The Human Christ: The Search for the Historical Jesus.” “Suddenly there’s kind of a movement among radical leftists to say that all these people are not white.”

https://justthenews.com/nation/culture/black-white-or-other-debate-about-jesus-race-about-more-skin-color

A debate should ensue….to me it does not matter nor is it a probing question that I would spend time contemplating….but to some I am sure there will be some consternation over the question and the answers.

If you would like to share your thoughts then please do so….all comments are welcome as long as they are respectful.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”