R.I.P. Rick my Friend
I’ll miss you so very much.
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Thank you, and no offense taken.
I agree that the evidence is as you say within the Biblical context. But perhaps you can enlighten me from your understanding, how Yeshua of Nazareth could make a statement very similar in word and content to one taught by Confucius 500 years before He was born. Perhaps he learned it in the school he never attended? But surely you know from your scholarship that to deny a problem because of a lack of evidence is not scholarship at all in the true sense. And if you are as you say, then are you saying that Revelation is now today non-existent?
For you to withdraw from the class for these reasons seems symptomatic of something else.
Nevertheless, Blessings and good luck!
Now I am NOT replying to him, but I am forwarding his e-mail to the review council I reported him to earlier today and this is what I had to say to them:
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To Whom it May Concern:
I have not and will not respond to this absolute gibberish (NAME REMOVED) sent me in response to my notice I e-mailed him and forwarded to you earlier today. I don't know where this man earned his degrees but the sheer lack of anything resembling reasonable deduction and basic critical thinking skills in favor of supernatural causes to answer for any social construct similarity is not in anyway scholarly outside of a theological discussion/classroom. He has missed and misunderstood my points entirely and has devolved this discussion to a matter of faith over scientific method. For instance How could Confucius understand human nature pre-Jesus without divine intervention? (Paraphrased):
(NAME REMOVED)'s answer/reason: Supernatural methods are the only way for information to be known or rather "God Did it". End of discussion and rational critical thinking skills are atrophied with religious rhetoric, personal ideology and indoctrination.
My response(s) (That I will not send to him in reply.):
1.) Common Sense
2.) Social Construct Tradition
3.) Migratory Bands of People who brought their religion, tenants, and social values with them
4.) Ability for Empathy
5.) Ability to Reason
And I could go on. Very real world answers to common human dilemmas that do not require a belief in any supernatural divine influence to deduce reasons why someone could make up a law that tells others to not kill each other pre-Bible. And since the Bible is heavily plagiarized from Hammurabi's Code of Laws, it seems more that common rules established in early civilization would be repeated in future ones. But in (NAME REMOVED)'s mind, apparently God has to whisper in random men's ears for them to form a common law of decency as society evolves. I'm flabbergasted with his response frankly and that a man with letters has such severe basic deductive reasoning, logic and critical thinking blinders on his eyes. This is a very dramatic representation of a failure to understand the principle's of Occam's Razor in a theological context. Never use a supernatural explanation when a natural one will suffice. Because Occam's Razor is very simple to understand and states that in a hypothesis/hypothetical situation, "How Confucius knew things without the Christian God?" The answer will most likely be the one that makes the fewest assumptions (i.e.: supernatural intercedence) should be selected.
I really question this instructor's motivation. Is he here to teach History or proselytize? As I come from a family of Christian's too, My Great-Grandfather was an Old Regular Baptist preacher, I find the classroom is not the place to stand in the pulpit. Neither did My Great-Grandfather. He taught us all to think first and learn when to preach, when to teach and when to listen and learn. All I see in (NAME REMOVED)'s class is a man in need of a pulpit and not a teacher's online podium.
If that is the case and (NAME REMOVED) is here to spread "his brand" of gospel, then he needs to be contained within a theological or philosophical classroom and not one that deals in hard evidence and facts that can and need to have sources cited and statements (supernatural and natural) corroborated with supporting documentation.
Just because the Bible is old, and it has a history of its own, does not make it a referable historical document. Age does not always equate fact. Or else, by this logic, the older it is the more truthful/factual it is? If that is the case then The Epic of Gilgamesh from Sumeria (2150-2000 BCE), the Rigveda of Hinduism (1700-1100 BCE), and the Pentateuch/Torah (Old Testament, Hebrew) (450 BCE) just for a few examples should all negate the Bible since they all predate the modern Bible that was derived from numerous Christian sects at the council of Nicea in 325 AD. It was the "Great Bible editing session" of its time. Several lost sects of Christianity never made the final edit and ended up on the cutting room floor at that council (such as the book of Enoch). I could go on in this matter but I think I made myself clear. He can't separate his personal ideology from the classroom and that to me is unethical and diminishes the potential for an unbiased educational environment to the detriment of the students. Whatever brand of religion they subscribe to. Christians, Baptists, Mormons, Unitarian, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist, Agnostic, Hindu, Wiccan, Pagan, etc... He is insensitive to the diversity of his students who may or may not believe the same things he does and he states his personal beliefs as historical facts.
Thank you for you time and consideration in this matter.
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Let's freaking hope this bag full of cats is removed from a classroom. He has no business teaching.
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I am sorry, but I must respectfully and categorically disagree with your responses to certain discussions this week, specifically, two statements that you made both to me and (NAME REMOVED) in discussion two. Now first, let me quantify my credentials for objection. I spent many years in Religious studies and hold certifications in both Business and Situational Ethics. I also spent many years teaching Ethics in a corporate environment. You have made statements to both me and (NAME REMOVED) that I absolutely object to. Please, let me point out clearly my disagreements with commentary to specific points in your responses:
It may be a profitable exrecise [sic] for students to compare the Code of Hammurabi with the Biblical code or the Laws of Moses as found in the Books of Leviticus chapters 18 through 20, Exodus chapters 21 and 22, and Deuteronomy chapter 19.
Now this statement is good, it is made as a historical reference. Pointing out framework that appears in both texts has historical context. Using both Hammurabi’s code and biblical examples of Hammurabi’s code being repeated thousands of years later in the Torah (Old Testament) and should have ended here as a sidebar. However you continued:
This exercise may help to enlighten someone to the idea that the the [sic] Hapiru People (Hebrews) were Semitic people who arose in the Mesopotamian River Valley between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Southern Iraq. Thus, in the place where Abraham was born and lived, and where Hammurabi ruled with his Code of Laws, the God who appeared to Abraham long before he got to Palestine or Canaan, may have been the same God of Eternity who was teaching not only Abraham or Moses but also Hammurabi.
In any case, even if you do not imbibe this knowledge, you will not be able to deny the fact that Scripture in Genesis 2: 8-14 names the Euphrates River of Iraq as one of the boundaries of the Garden of Eden ( Gen. 2: 14). Thus, Iraq was a part of the Garden of Eden.
This ethically crossed the line from Historical to personal theological ideology and was presented as fact and not opinion. Where is your citation of historical corroboration that Yahweh (The Christian-Judeo God) spoke to Hammurabi? There is none, therefore, this is a personal belief and belongs in a theological class discussion and not a historical one. The same applies to the assertion that Genesis (or any Old or New Testament claims) can be historically proven true from other historical texts, which it cannot, such as your belief of the supposed location of the Garden of Eden. However much we believe or do not believe in the validity of the Bible as the Word it cannot be presented as supportive historical evidence. The Bible is a religious text, but even Christian apologists readily confirm and concede that no contemporary historians such as Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100) ever made mention of the events chronicled in the Bible. The one point that was purported to be in Josephus’ texts (“Testimonium Flavium”, Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the Antiquities) was confirmed to be an interpolation of the historian Eusebius, who used Josephus' works extensively as a source for his own "Historia Ecclesiastica." In layman's terms he added supportive evidence into the Antiquities documents for the Catholic Church who routinely edited and forged documents and the interpolation in the Antiquities was admitted to be a forgery in the Twentieth Century by numerous religious scholars such as Louis Feldman and Zvi Baras.
This argument of my disagreement with your statement is simply a matter of belief without evidence, because there is no historical evidence. Faith is, by definition, belief without evidence.
Now onto your statement to me:
“You made an excellent list of comparative scriptures, which demonstrates a connection between Hammurabi's Code and the Laws of God that were also being articulated to other people in other places like Kung-Ftz-zu (Confucius).”
Again, instead of being presented as your opinion, you have presented this as fact by use of the words “…Laws of God that were also being articulated…” Not, “may have” or “in my opinion also”, but “WERE also”. You are a figure of authority in a classroom and you are making statements without citation and therefore are not generally challenged to provide historical corroboration that God did indeed speak to or influenced Confucius. You state personal belief as fact with impunity and I find that ethically irresponsible. I respect your beliefs, I share many. Nevertheless, I cannot condone statements like this outside a theological arena. Because you are a respected authority figure in this classroom and people will take your statements as fact because you have authority and are the Instructor and therefore, will not be asked to source your claims for historical corroboration.
This is a HISTORY class and all statements made must be cited and evidenced with historical support and accuracy. I would not make this disagreement if this were a theological class. I do have to make them ethically because this is a history class.
Now, I have said my piece and I should also inform you respectfully that I have requested my Academic Advisor for a transfer from this class to the same class with a new instructor. I cannot in good conscience continue when I fear you and I will fundamentally disagree on what is and is not ethical when it comes to personal ideology presented as historical evidence. I have a 4.0 GPA and I will not risk my grades when I feel there will be more severe conflict of opinion as this course progresses. I cannot be sure that my dissenting opinion will not reflect in my grades if your beliefs are “fact” to you and not so, necessarily, to me. I apologize if this offends you, but it is a genuine fear I have and cannot academically risk. I also chose to respond to you privately as to not affect your position of authority in the classroom.
Thank you for your time and understanding in this matter and I wish you please consider my words in the vein intended, an academic logical argument of opposition, and I hope you have a successful class.
Share yours, come out of the shadows and share with other women. Tell them your stories so they can arm themselves with knowledge and share to lessen your burdens.
Here is mine:
I’m a survivor of two different kinds of Rape.
The first, began when I was five years old. It was 1976, in the days when these sorts of things weren’t openly talked about. I’m so glad times have changed.
I was playing at the house of a little German girl about four. We couldn’t talk to each other, but we still played. Cause kids don’t need language to share innocent play. I lived in a Trailer park and they were temporarily living there because her Dad was doing a job and they would only be living in the united states about six months. So they rented a trailer a few trailers down from mine.
Stephanie. I still remember her.
We were in the yard, playing with dolls. My Mom was home and I was only about five houses down the road, she felt perfectly safe letting me play outside with my new friend.
That was when Harold (he was a grown up to me, he was actually 16, But to a five year old, anyone that TALL was a ‘grown-up’.) I knew him, he was the son of the owner of the trailer park. And he always rode around in a little yellow golf cart running errands for his mother. He stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride in the cart. That they had a brand new trailer in the park and he asked me if I’d like to see it.
Naturally, an innocent five year old being offered a ride in a nifty golf cart to see a brand new trailer was thrilling. I knew Harold so I felt safe. I went with him.
Once inside the new trailer, he locked the door, pushed me down on the living room carpet floor in this empty trailer and he raped me. Repeatedly. I will never forget how much it hurt.
Then I remember when he was done him saying. “If you tell your parents, they won’t love you anymore and they’ll give you up for adoption. You can’t tell anyone or you’ll be sorry and sent to an orphanage. You have to do what I tell you to do.”
I was so scared, so terrified. I only nodded and walked home.
Every time he saw me, he made me go with him and he’d rape me again and again and again. This went on for six years. When I was eleven, he committed suicide. I remember feeling happy he was dead. Then I remember feeling bad for being happy. Because I was always taught you should never be happy when someone dies. It was a bad thing. And you’d go to hell if you ever wished someone dead or rejoiced in death. So I was in a sick self depreciating cycle of self-loathing.
I was eighteen, getting ready to start college when I was watching some ABC after school special. I remember it starred Sarah Jessica Parker as a babysitter who suspected the girl she babysat was being molested. I was sobbing, it hit so close to home for me.
My mom got home from work and caught me sobbing and I finally told her. She sat there for a minute crying and then said. “I remember seeing blood on your underwear when I washed it, I asked you what happened and you said you fell down. I should have asked more, I knew you were lying to me, because you can’t lie, you’ve always been too truthful and when you lied, it was easy to tell because you hated lying. I should have pressed the issue, I should have gone with my suspicions. I’m so sorry.”
It wasn’t my mom’s fault. This was a time women didn’t talk about these things. If you were raped or your husband beat you you were told “Well you made your bed, you sleep in it.” attitudes. You didn’t press for answers. It was the TIME this happened. This wasn’t my mother’s fault it was her upbringing in the 1950s that created this attitude in her. It was as natural as breathing not to speak out.
We never told my father, to this day. It would destroy him to know it. He’d feel just as guilty.
Now, this damaged me and my self-esteem. Four years later I married the first man to ever pay me any attention. He turned out to be emotionally abusive. He belittled me, he made me feel inferior and stupid and that I was fat and ugly and lucky because he was the only man who would ever love me. He isolated me from family and friends and after about five years of marriage he began raping me.
He was my husband, it was his RIGHT. I couldn’t say “no” because we were married. Me not being “in the mood” was irrelevant. I did what he wanted, when he wanted as often as he wanted. I don’t know how many times I woke up from a dead sleep because he was all over me. I felt dirty and vile and TRAPPED! I had nowhere to go, I made pennies on the dollar in comparrison to him. I couldn’t afford to LEAVE. I didn’t know HOW to leave. For eight years I was a doormat to him. I had to service him and his whims. I got no cards or words of love. I got no flowers or gifts for ANY HOLIDAY or birthday or anniversary.
But I had better not forget. If I didn’t get him things on those days, I was verbally abused until I was sobbing. For being a terrible wife. My self-esteem was never lower. He also cheated on me too, a lot. I took it, and took it and took it. Because I made vows for “forever”. I had “made my bed and now had to sleep in it.”
Then one day, Christmas Day. After he opened his gift from me, and I sat there empty handed as usual. I expected nothing at this point. I didn’t deserve it. I was a terrible wife. My husband announced after I made him dinner. He had gotten a new job, he was moving across the country from California to South Carolina in February and he was GOING without me.
It was like the floor dropped out beneath me. What was I going to do? I was hundreds of miles away from my parents. I had no money. I had to cash my paychecks every week and give him every PENNY. I had $20 a week to buy lunch and gas for my gas guzzling car. I hadn’t eaten lunch in YEARS. I had been broken and was now in shock.
Oh and he wasn’t leaving the house. I could go sleep in the car. (I did). So I had better get used to it, oh and he had already called the landlord, as of February 1st. I was going to be out of a home too.
I called my mother, on New Years and told her what was happening. She was going to come and get me at the end of the month.
So I put in my notice at my job, because I’d be moving 500 miles away. With nothing to my name.
While I was at work, my husband packed up almost everything and took it with him. I got home to an EMPTY HOUSE. The furniture my parents bought us, he took. The TV, all the movies, the BED.
He left me my pillow and my clothes and the few things of mine he didn’t want. Which wasn’t much. I didn’t have anything to begin with. He did leave the dog. But took the dog bowl and all the dishes. That had been in my hope chest. Those were mine. He took everything.
So it made packing easy. I slept on the floor with my pillow and my German shepherd crying every night for two weeks. Then my parent’s arrived with a u-haul and support I very much needed and brought me home to start all over again. I was 30 years old then.
The past eleven years, I reinvented myself. I crawled out of the MIRE of life that had made me so sick, so unhealthy, so emotionally scarred.
And I decided to FIGHT BACK. I filed for Divorce. I had just found the internet about a year before my then husband left, and I made FRIENDS, friends I still have today.
They too became my rocks and anchors and helped me morph into a strong, independent woman. They gave me back all I had lost. I couldn’t get back the health problems, but I now fight them and have reasons to fight them.
When I loved myself again, I met my current husband. He’s such a wonderful support, he treats me like a treasure, he values me, he never fails to tell me he loves me and he encourages me to be strong. I love him very much. He is a partner in every way that matters most.
I now stand up for other women as support and encouragement and I let them know they CAN endure, we can overcome, we can heal our hearts and souls. We can take back some of what was taken from us.
I discovered I wasn’t alone. An neither are YOU. Share your story too, it’s a battle scar, but it doesn’t DEFINE who you are!
We are NOT slaves to men
We may have been hurt, but we are STRONG and we OVERCOME!
I am proud to be me. My experiences taught me that I can walk through “hell” and come out stronger. I can hold my hand out in solidarity to others like me and together we can start making changes in hopes that other women never have to walk a mile in our shoes.
What is your tale of survival? Share and let other Women know they are not ALONE.
Just once in my life, I’d like to go to a doctor’s office and walk out with a diagnosis of “Just take these few pills and you’ll be right as rain in no time.” But, no, that’s not my luck or life. I went into my PCP a few weeks ago, because the little nodules in my palms (painless) we suddenly growing rapidly and were very rock hard to the touch. She sent me over to a hand specialist with the expectations they were just simple ganglion cysts that can be removed in a simple office visit. NOPE. These are not cysts. I have Dupuytren’s Disease, which could potentially cause my fingers to curl into my palms and become immovable. It’s a genetic disease, a faulty gene in my DNA is the culprit, my body is creating fibrous scar tissue on healthy muscle, skin and tendons, sending out fibers to connect together tendons and tissue like a spider web, pulling the fibers taught and hard (Like it’s trying to knit a wound together where there is no wound.)
There is no cure, surgery to cut the fibers when it gets to that stage is the only option and it involves skin grafts too. It’s very invasive because the fibers also connect to nerves, one bad CUT in surgery and the nerve is severed. It’s also not a permanent cure. Once this gene is triggered, it doesn’t stop. The surgery would have to be repeated every few years. Thankfully, I’m not that far along yet. But I am showing rapid fibrous growth, not a good sign. Rather heartbreaking news for an author and an artist who rely on using their hands. So I am NOT in the best of moods today as I walk out of yet another Doctor’s office with ONE MORE DISEASE added to my laundry list of Diseases.
I don’t need to have every medical condition in the book thanks! It freaking sucks.
People call me “strong” and “brave” and a “fighter”. Well, you know what… it’s only because I have to be. There’s no secret to coping, you just *DO*. You have two choices. Live life as best you can for as long as you can and do everything Doctor’s tell you to try and stay alive just one more day. *Or* you can give up. I may be a lot of things, but I have never been a quitter. Never give up, never surrender!