Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

Posted: April 14, 2017 in Life, religion
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The Crucifixion of Jesus

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? which is translated, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [Matthew 27:46 & Mark 15:34]

At a glance, this passage from the crucifixion scene seems to show that Jesus is accusing God of betraying him to this horrorshow of an execution. But there are a two details about first-century Jerusalem that make this verse much more meaningful to our twenty-first-century ears.

First, two thousand years ago the average Jew in Galilee could recite the scriptures from memory; most children had memorized the entire Torah by the age of six. The written word was rare and usually available only in the local synagogue. Radically honed memorization skills were a crucial ingredient for the integrity of oral literary traditions, and the communities themselves, to survive. If anyone got a detail wrong, everyone else in the village was obligated to correct him.

Second, Jesus is conveying much more than a single statement of anguish; it was a common technique for a rabbi of the era of Jesus (or any other devout Jew) to relate the meaning of an entire Psalm by quoting only the first sentence. A full reading of David’s prophetic Psalm 22 sheds some light about why Jesus quoted it and what it really meant, especially these verses:

1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? 2 O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. 3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

8 He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. 19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

And verses 22-24 are the opposite of an accusation of betrayal:

22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. 23 Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. 24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

Casting LotsBy quoting the first verse Jesus is quoting the entire Psalm, and in doing so is making an enormous statement: this prophecy is fulfilled today (in shockingly accurate detail), Jesus surrenders to the Father who keeps his promises, and the whole world will praise God for what He has done this day.

The nuances of Jesus’ dramatic words would have been obvious to first century Jews and Christians. This Holy Week, take a minute to challenge our assumptions and look closer at the context for those things that at first seem difficult or contradictory. There are riches to be found when digging into the holy word of God.



Like many of my fellow patriots I had no wish to watch the slow-motion train wreck of the Presidential election, so since October of 2016 we have been hunkered down in our SHTF “bug-out” cabin in an undisclosed wilderness waiting for the post-American fallout to clear. We assumed we were well supplied and prepared to outlast the inevitable Hillary Clinton presidency (and the subsequent loss of liberty, freedom, and the collapse of our once proud nation) but SOMEBODY seriously miscalculated the pop-tart inventory. Also, I’m out of beer already (no surprise) and our DVD collection is wearing thin.

Since I am making this trip to pick through the ruins of civilization to remedy those “basic needs” shortages, I decided to charge up the old electronic devices on a lark and was surprised to find the Wifi and cell-phone coverage is still functional. How odd.

Well, now. It seems that even the Internet is still up and running. Let’s just scroll through some old headlines here to see how bad things got before the end of Western civilization.

This can’t be right…

He… he won? How the hell…

Well, even so, he’ll never keep those outrageous promises he… wait just a friggin’ minute. He’s done what? Huh.

So. There you are. I’m speechless. And, frankly, giddy with relief. I guess all I can do now is quote the late Gilda Radner: “Never mind.”

P.S. What am I going to do with a room full of MREs and a metric ton of toilet paper?

Shoutout to a Favorite Blogger

Posted: June 16, 2016 in Food, Uncategorized
Tags: ,

I’ve been a fan of “Marie, Let’s Eat” for many years. The tiny rural restaurants (often but not exclusively BBQ joints) that he reviews are exactly the kind my bride and I enjoy. I’m sad to learn the family is moving from Georgia to Tennessee, because it will mean fewer new posts local to me. The bright spots are that he’s reviewed probably 250 places already, most of which I have yet to explore, and I like to visit Tennessee (where the blogging will, we’re told, continue).

He recently penned About “Georgia Barbecue”. This post (and, in truth, every post) does a couple of very important things: a) it reveals that BBQ in GA has unique regional styles, is worth exploring, and busts the myth that Memphis or the Carolinas have a lock on the genre, and 2) for those of us who travel the rural routes in GA it provides a valuable guide from a dedicated food blogger who is, despite his protests, an expert.

To my friends out of state, bookmark this guy if you ever travel through this way.


Like them on Facebook!

voting 2016-05-24 10.24.11Today is what some might consider a “minor” voting day in Georgia, in that it’s a local general election/primary poll. No one is voting for president, the US Senators and Representatives on the ballot are only battling other members of their own party, and most of the candidates for lower offices are unchallenged. But we still have a responsibility to fulfill today.

The notion that “voting is a right” has long been a matter of debate. What is not up for debate is that it is a civic duty. But our first and foremost civic duty is to be informed, aware, invested, contributing members of society.

I implore you: keep America’s integrity intact. Do not attempt to  fulfill your duty at the ballot box until you have first fulfilled those other important duties. If you have not done the research, it is instead your duty to stay away from the polls. We don’t need the ignorant, the half-awake and the barely involved deciding our future.

Two great things in one: a) Kids In The Hall and 2) mocking Social Justice Warriors.


If you won’t give me the keys, don’t get mad if I get out of the car.

In the days leading up to the Indiana primary last week, being a Cruz supporter felt like being the only sober person trapped in a car full of loud, mean, uninhibited drunks, and no one will let you drive. I have never been so embarrassed about my country and disgusted with my countrymen – or more accurately, a specific majority of them. American culture has been so debased that 71% of those who voted in Indiana cast a ballot for either a criminal, a communist, or a con-man. They knew it, and they did it anyway.

Now we are left with Trump or Clinton; simply put, our choice is between the evils of two lessers. Eventually the carload of drunks are going to sober up and discover we have wandered into communist East Germany without passports. When they do, they’ll blame it on all the other drunks, and even us sober folks. Then they will look for a solution, and all we’ll be able to say is, “You killed it Tarzan, you eat it.”

The Trumpaloompas are annoyed and surprised that #NeverTrump movement is still there, but they shouldn’t be. It was a clear “here I stand, no matter what” pledge. It is more appropriate to be annoyed by the assertion that refusing to vote for Trump means you will vote for Clinton.* But maybe we don’t have to choose between the evils of two lessers. I usually reject an either/or premise, as it is often a classic logical fallacy of “insufficient options”. There are nearly always more than two ways.

There have been several news items reporting a sharp rise in Libertarian Party interest, discussions of independent third party runs, pledges for write-in campaigns, and other such stirrings among the disaffected. It would be a much-needed miracle for our Republic if a movement like that showed a realistic chance of making a difference. At the moment it seems to be only a pipe dream. So while I am hopeful, I am also skeptical. Time will tell. Without it, we really will find ourselves with insufficient options, and the only remaining fallacy will be the notion that casting a vote makes any difference at all.


#NeverHillary #NeverTrump #john1633

*Another assertion is that to vote for neither Trump nor Clinton will create by default a Clinton win. This is simply false; Clinton won when Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee. That’s exactly what #NeverTrump was trying to prevent.

Predictions on Election 2016

Posted: April 29, 2016 in Politics
Tags: ,

A few of my predictions following the 4/26/2016 primaries and the announcement of Ted Cruz running mate Carly Fiorina:



Donald Trump and Ted Cruz [REUTERS/Mike Blake]

Trump will spend the last week before the Indiana primary trying to convince everyone that the race is over, since he is the last one not mathematically eliminated from a first-vote win at the Cleveland convention. He will refuse to acknowledge that he will also be eliminated after he loses in the upcoming Indiana or California primaries. The GOP establishment and main stream media assist with this narrative.

Cruz will win big in Indiana on 5/3. It will be the start of some serious victory momentum which will bring out the long knives from Trump’s campaign, mainstream media, the Trumpaloompas, and other liberals.

Cruz will do well in California. By the time California’s primary ends on 6/7, Trump will also be mathematically eliminated from getting the 1,237 delegates he needs.

The Trump campaign will try to steal the nomination by insisting on rule changes from “must win a simple majority” to “most votes on the first ballot”. He or his mouthpieces will claim widespread corruption and use veiled threats to intimidate the GOP into cheating Cruz out of a delegate battle. John Boehner decides that the GOP caving in is his opportunity to get rid of Cruz and joins forces with the Trump campaign.

Trump will lose delegates on the second* vote at the convention and (if necessary) every vote thereafter until Cruz becomes the nominee. This will largely be because Trump failed to court those who originally backed Rubio, Carson, Kasich, Bush, Christie, Fiorina, Paul, Walker, Perry, Santorum, and Huckabee (essentially telling them “These voters, the 35% that chose me, represent the will of the people; and the rest of you, the 65%, do not – so sit down and shut up and let me win”).

The Trumpaloompas will riot and spew, and the world will be disgusted at the state of US political discourse. Democrats will campaign on how awful GOP politics is and will use Trump’s sound bites in their ads. Trump will hint at a third-party run, which by this time even his most rabid backers will ignore.

By mid-August (or at the latest, a week after the first Cruz/Clinton debate) Cruz will handily be polling 10-15% higher than Clinton.

By late October, it will be obvious that the Cruz/Fiorina ticket will win a landslide.

On November 8, Clinton will pull out a surprise win. The investigation into the well-documented massive voter fraud will immediately be halted by executive order. Bloggers, politicians, and other dissenting voices will be audited, and unless they acquiesce, jailed. Her most egregious attempts at despotism are rebuffed by veto-proof Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

(Okay, that last item may be a little too far out in the future to be accurate, but given the history of Democrat duplicity, we’ll just have to see what happens.)


*POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE PREDICTION: Through some bizarre fluke of history (i.e. untimely death, plague, alien invasion, apocalyptic rapture) Cruz cannot continue his campaign all the way to the GOP convention and Trump exceeds 1,237 delegates on the second vote, winning the nomination. The Trump/Clinton debates achieve the impossible: by comparing them side-by-side, Trump makes Clinton look Presidential. Clinton is elected president in November and down-ballot the Democrats sweep the House and Senate in landslide victories. Western civilization succumbs to tyranny and degenerates into tiny fiefdoms across the globe. Just days before all the Universities are shuttered, analysts prove that a third-party bid (by any candidate at all) would have put the electoral college into play and avoided this disaster. The smoke from the fires of thousands of cities and towns blots out the sun, bringing on a new ice age. The end of life as we know it.