Monthly Archives: Julie 2009

Vat hom, Flaffie!

stop hiding

stop hiding

Nie so lank terug nie het ek geskryf oor ‘n debat tussen Christopher Hitchens, skrywer van “God is not Great: How religion poisons everything”, en die analitiese filosoof en Bybelskolier William Lane Craig. Craig is al jare lank een van die voorste debatteerders vir die Christen-geloof.

 

 

 Daar is ‘n debat wat talle mense graag wil hoor: William Lane Craig teen Richard Dawkins, luidrugtigste voorstander van militante ateïsme, op die onderwerp: “Does God exist?” Albei het al groot debatstoere gehou, maar nog nie met mekaar gedebatteer nie.Tot dusvêr het RD nog nie ja gesê vir so ‘n debat nie.

As jy dink dat die debat interessant kan wees, gaan teken hier ‘n petisie om te vra daarvoor.

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My handskrif

Vrydag tag Flippiefanus my om my handskrif vir julle te wys. Boervrou tag my toe ook. Die idee is: “Skryf in jou handskrif en neem dit af. Wys dit op jou blog.” Toe sukkel ek. My selfoonkamera is maar middelmatig, en ewe skielik word my selfoon nie herken as ek hom by my rekenaar se USB insit nie. Die volgende dag vra ek my rekenaartegnikus- broer se hulp. Hy vra my: “Hoekom het jy nie jou scanner gebruik nie?” Duh, Retha. Duh, duh, duh.

Handskrif RethaF

Hierdie laat my dink aan iets wat gebeur het toe ek in St. 6 was. ‘n Onderwyser deel vir my my boek uit, na hy gemerk het. Daar staan iets geskryf, maar ek kan nie uitmaak wat nie. Ek vra my ouers. Hulle kan ook nie die onnie se skribbels uitmaak nie. Die volgende dag vertel ek hom: “Meneer, as meneer hier geskryf het ek moet iets verander of oor doen, dan het ek dit nie gedoen nie, want ek weet nie wat meneer geskryf het nie.” Hy vat die boek. Hy bekyk dit deeglik. Op die ou end sê hy: “Daar staan ‘Jy moet netjieser skryf’.” Toe lag die hele klas vir hom.

Ek tag vir Boer in Ballingskap, Wipneus, White Knight en Wurmblikkie.

Die opstanding dalk nie letterlik nie?

Nuwe Testamentikus prof. Pieter Craffert beweer dat Jesus se volgelinge anders oor liggame gedink het. Dit moet glo ons verstaan van die opstanding in die Nuwe Testament beinvloed. Hy sê:
 
“…ingevolge die fisika van die tyd het Jesus se eerste volgelinge gedink ’n liggaam, soos alles anders, is uit ’n kombinasie van aarde, water, lug en vuur saamgestel. ’n Liggaam kon uit verskillende kombinasies daarvan bestaan, ook uit lug.
Liggame kon deur geeste beset word, voorouers kon in ’n liggaam intrek en lewe ná die dood is algemeen aanvaar.
“Dus: Jesus het in ’n liggaam opgestaan wat volgens hul begrip gekonstrueer was.”

 Craffert het ook daarop gewys dat drome en visioene algemene ervarings was waardeur mense (op die manier wat hulle die wêreld begryp het) gesaghebbende inligting oor die wêreld kon kry.

 As ’n mens die Bybelse tekste teen dié agtergrond lees, is dit volgens Craffert duidelik Jesus het in ’n eerste-eeuse liggaam opgestaan op grond van die visioenêre ervaringe wat sy volgelinge gehad het en in ooreenstemming met hul nadoodse sieninge: 

 

Dit is teen dié agtergrond dat mense nou debatteer oor of Jesus werklik liggaamlik uit die dood opgestaan het.”         ..In die agttiende eeu, toe dit belangrik geword het om dinge logies te deurdink, het die fokus na ’n moderne, letterlike begrip van die tekste verskuif.
 Dit is opmerklik dat prof. Craffert nie die vernaamste dokumente wat ons van die vroeë Christene se opstandingsbegrip vertel aanhaal nie. Die vernaamste dokumente waarin die vroeë Christene hulle opstandingsbegrip verduidelik is in die Nuwe Testament opgeneem, en daardie dokumente sê onder andere, in Lukas 24:36:43: 

 

 Terwyl hulle nog oor hierdie dinge praat, staan Jesus self meteens daar tussen hulle en sê: “Vrede vir julle!”
Hulle het geweldig geskrik en bang geword en gedink hulle sien ‘n gees. Hy sê toe vir hulle: “Waarom is julle so verskrik, en waarom kom daar twyfel in julle harte? Kyk my hande en kyk my voete: Dit is tog Ek self. Voel aan my en kyk! ‘n Gees het tog nie vleis en bene soos julle sien dat ek het nie. Terwyl Hy dit sê, wys hy vir hulle sy hande en voete. Toe hulle van blydskap en verwondering nog nie kon glo nie, sê hy vir hulle: “Het julle hier iets om te eet?
Hulle gee hom toe ‘n stuk gebakte vis. Hy het dit gevat en voor hulle oë geëet.
 

 Die opgestane Jesus sê ook Tomas kan maar sy vinger bring en voel aan die wonde (Johannes 20:27)

  Íéts besonders het met die opstanding gebeur: Só besonders dat dit ‘n klompie bang wegkruiper- dissipels verander het in mense wat getuig het oral waar hulle gaan, só aansteeklik dat verdrukking en doodstraf en Nero nie die eerste eeuse Christene kon onderkry nie. En as jy hulle gevra het hoekom hulle glo, was die opstanding hulle rede. Sal ‘n visioen, selfs al word hy ‘n klompie kere aan ‘n massa gewys, werklik dit kan regkry?

I changed my mind about Michael Jackson

I used to think he did it. Molest kids, I mean. You know the saying on smoke and fire, and where the former is?
But then a Jackson fan told me that one of the 2 accusing boys now admits to lying. It sounded like a hoax story, so I looked it up. It was a hoax- a factually incorrect little piece that even gets the names of Jordan and his father wrong, and has only old photos of him, claimed that Jordan Chandler recently admitted his father made him lie about Jackson. That hoax tale was, rightfully, not carried by any major media source.

But those same articles I googled to see if it’s a hoax, also contained other facts. Facts that made me look deeper:

Two boys, both 13 at the time, accused Michael Jackson of molestation. Jordan Chandler did so in 1993, and Gavin Arvizo in 2003.

Jordan Chandler

Jordan‘s mother allowed him to share a bed with Michael, at both Jacko’s place and hers. She never believed he would molest her child. Jordy only accused Jackson after moving in with his divorced father. The father allegedly came to Michael for money to fund a film project. After Michael refused, he accused Michael for allegedly abusing his son. The father, Evan, on a tape recording, was heard to say:

“If I go through with this, I win big-time. There’s no way I lose. I will get everything I want and they will be destroyed forever…Michael’s career will be over”.

In the same recording, he was asked how this will affect his son. He answered

“That’s irrelevant to me…It will be a massacre if I don’t get what I want. It’s going to be bigger than all us put together…This man [Jackson] is going to be humiliated beyond belief…He will not sell one more record”.

But was Evan Chandler selfishly using molestation that did happen as a way to blackmail his son’s molester, or were they making it up? His son started making the allegations after his father, a dentist, gave him sodium amytal. Admissions made under the influence of the drug is highly controversial. Still , a significant anti-Jackson fact is that the boy described MJ’s buttocks and pubic area, and, according to the prosecution, it matched photos they took in their investigation:

With Los Angeles Police Department detectives weighing his claims, Chandler gave them a roadmap to Jackson’s below-the-waist geography, which, he said, includes distinctive “splotches” on his buttocks and one on his penis, “which is a light color similar to the color of his face.” The boy’s information was so precise, he even pinpointed where the splotch fell while Jackson’s penis was erect, the length of the performer’s pubic hair, and that he was circumcised.
It wasn’t long after law enforcement’s photo session that Jackson agreed to settle Chandler’s civil claim for north of $20 million.
In a recent sealed affidavit, Tom Sneddon is quoted as saying that Chandler’s pre-search description (and a drawing) “corroborated” photos taken of Jackson and observations made by officers who examined the body of evidence.

Jacko chose to settle out of court with the family, for an amount reported as between $15 million and $22 million. The criminal case against Michael for allegedly molesting Jordan was dropped after that, since the young accuser refused to continue with criminal proceedings. The settlement contract spelled out that charges against Michael (called “the Action” in the document) had to be dropped after the pay-out. Jordan broke contact with his mother in 1994, and later got a court order against his father Evan for hitting him with a heavy object, macing him and choking him .

Gavin Arvizo

The second case is even more suspect. I’ll start with a story from years before the Jackson allegations: Young Gavin Arvizo, who later accused Jacko of molesting him, stole clothing from a JC Penney store in 1998. The security guards got involved in a scuffle with the family, and the mother claimed the guards assaulted her. (This article claims differently) JC Penney chose to settle, rather than drag a high-profile case to court. Michael’s lawyers used this evidence later, among others, to show the mother’s willingness to extort money.

People first got suspicious of the friendship between Jackson and Gavin Arvizo about at the time when Jackson admitted, in a BBC documentary on its “20/20” program, that he has shared his bed with children who were not related to him. Explained Jackson: “When you say bed, you’re thinking sexual. It’s not sexual, we’re going to sleep. I tuck them in It’s very charming. It’s very sweet.” He was holding Gavin Arvizo’s hand in said documentary, with the boy resting his head on Jackson’s shoulder. The suspicions were reported, but the boy denied allegations of abuse to an experienced social worker. (It is unclear if the later-alleged incidents was claimed to happen before or after the denial.) The Department of Child and Family Services did not suspect MJ of sexual abuse. Nor did they suspect the mother of neglect as also claimed by the informant.

The molestation allegations came out some months later, after the mother, Janet, contacted the same lawyer who helped in the Jordan Chandler case. The lawyer had a psychologist interview Gavin and his brother. The brother told how he saw Michael fondling Gavin, and Gavin himself testified to two occasions of alleged sexual abuse. They claimed that Michael made Gavin, a cancer survivor with his spleen and a kidney removed, drunk to facilitate the abuse. The psychologist believed them, but others witnessed that the boys’ mother taught them to lie when it would benefit them.

Several people witnessed that the Arvizo’s previously used the boy’s cancer to grift money from well-known people.(See here for one example.) George Lopez and others testified how the Arvizo’s cheated and lied to get what they want, and others told how the children were taught to lie. Gavin’s mother was found guilty of cheating on welfare some years before. Neverland employees (whom, it should be admitted, has a simple practical reason to lie on Michael’s behalf) testified that Gavin Arvizo and his brother was “out-of-control youngsters” who roamed Neverland stealing wine and getting drunk . In the week the mother and sons was allegedly kept prisoners at Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, the mother ran up $7 K in shopping bills. Her captivity story was obviously untrue.

On the other hand, the alleged victim testified that Michael would give him clean briefs to put on after each sexual encounter. Boys briefs like the alleged victim wore was found in Jackson’s home.
Gavin and his brother, among other stories, told that Jackson showed them nude photos prior to starting to molest Gavin, and they saw pornography in his room. The police investigation did reveal that there were loads of pornography and books of nude photos all over Neverland
, mostly not locked away, and his young guests most certainly would have had access to them.

Gavin and his brother contradicted themselves in the trail. Their mother was obviously dishonest. Macauley Culkin gave a glowing testimony , claiming that he often slept in Michael’s bed as a child, but there was no molestation. In the end, the jury had no choice but to find Jackson innocent on all charges. (Found “innocent” really only means that it is impossible to find someone guilty beyond reasonable doubt, but in this case there is good reason to believe the Arvizo family was dishonest.)

Conclusion

There is some change that the first, and a very good chance that the second, Michael Jackson molestation allegation was fake, both made up to extort money from the singer. Aphrodite Jones’ book “The Michael Jackson Conspiracy” apparently gives a very believable account of the second trail, by a journalist who started out believing he is guilty, but was convinced otherwise by the court evidence.) Yet I still dislike Michael. I find his strange relationships with children, motivated so much by his own needs and not theirs, unjustifiable.


13-year old boys do not need to sleep in bed with adult males. His habit of taking boys to bed was clearly motivated by his own needs- even if those were emotional and not sexual needs. He definitely left loads of pornography and nude photo books where his young guests could easily find them. A heavy drinker and prescription drug user himself, he apparently left alcohol within their reach too. And a “friendship” in which his little friend can even describe the splotch on his penis is highly suspicious, regardless of the terms you try to coax it in.


His own children were purposefully kept away from their mothers. Children need mothers, but he was apparently not concerned with their needs. Right now, his kids lost, for all practical purposes, the only parent they knew. And it could have been different. They could have still had motherly support in their lives now.

——

My second post on the topic is here: http://christianrethinker.wordpress.com/2009/08/31/michael-jackson-not-a-pedophile-the-most-misleading-statement-made-by-michael-jackson-fans/

Die verlore seun se boetie

My ma praat oor die telefoon met een van my drie broers. Sy praat oor hoe bly sy is om weer my ander broer te sien. Díé was wees omstandighede vir meer as 6 maande nie by die huis nie. Sy gesels hoe sy goed gebak en gemaak het waarvan Ouboet hou.

Waarop Kleinboet antwoord: “Ja, die verlore seun het mos nou teruggekom, nou word alles reg gemaak vir hom.”

En my ma sê: “Weet jy hoe klink jy nou? Soos die verlore seun se boetie.”

(Sy het darem weer vir vir die verlore seun se boetie iets spesiaal gemaak toe hy weer ‘n week later kom kuier!)

Michael Jackson – die grappies is onsmaaklik, maar is die heldeverering dalk onsmaakliker?

Tensy jy ‘n baie groot bewonderaar is, is jy seker al daarvoor moeg: Michael Jackson wat op TV en die media in jou keel afgedruk word. Dalk het jy selfs al die grappies gehoor. Onsmaaklike goed soos dat hulle hom gaan smelt en Lego-blokkies maak, sodat kinders met hom kan speel.

Is mense wat sulke grappe maak dalk jaloers op sy sukses, soos Rian van Heerden beweer? Is die grapmakers se gedrag slegter, of beter, as mense wat hom bewonder sonder om ‘n oomblik te dink aan misdaadklagtes teen hom? Kan mens redeneer dat mense wat sulke grappe maak, minstens gewalg is deur kindermolestering-klagtes, en die bewonderaars vergeet iets groots?

Ongeag of die molestasie-bewerings waar was of nie, dis onbeskryflik tragies- en totaal onnodig- as mense selfmoord pleeg oor die dood van ‘n sanger wat hulle nie geken het nie. Ja, hy was die top-albumverkoper van alle tye, maar watter ewigheidswaarde het dit?

Op die ou end is daar g’n dalk g’n rede om beroemdes soos helde te vereer nie. Hulle is ook maar net mense. Hulle maak ook foute- party erger as ander. Dalk is Karin Eloff reg dat ons eerder goeie polisiemanne, onderwysers, verpleegsters en paramedici moet vier– mense wat ‘n verskil in die samelewing maak elke dag.

Die olifant kan praat

Eendag, so lui die ou legende en John Godfrey Saxe se gedig, het ‘n klompie blindes aan ‘n olifant gevoel.

Die een het aan die stert gevat, en gesê dat hy ‘n toutjie beethet. Nog een het ‘n poot omhels, en beweer dat die voorwerp voor hulle ‘n boomstam is. Die een wat die slurp bevoel het, kon sweer dit was ‘n slang. Vir die een wat ‘n tand aangeraak het, was die ding spies-agtig. Eers toe hulle saam gesels, besef hulle hierdie ding het 4 dik boomstamme(bene) onderaan, en ‘n toutjie agter, én spies-agtige uitsteeksels, ens.
Baie mense sê dat dit is hoe geloof in God werk: Ons moet maar elkeen volgens sy eie belewenisse en ander s’n die waarheid uitwerk. Soos een persoon beweer:
“All conceptions of the inconceivable are equal.” In attempting to write about the nature of God, the prime-mover of all existence is either an exercise in humility or one of futility. Those who speak about the ineffable with absolute certainty, have nothing to say.”

 

Maar daar is iets wat die prentjie, in die Christen se wêreldbeeld, heeltemal verander. Dalk is ons steeds, by wyse van spreke, blindes wat saam die olifant voel, maar ons olifant kan praat. Ons olifant vertel self: “Daardie ‘slang’ is die slurp aan my voorkant. Daardie goed wat jy vir boomstamme aansien, is my bene.” Ons glo dat God in die geskiedenis aan mense verskyn het. Hy het lewendig geword, en as mens verskyn in Judea in die eerste eeu. Hy is gekruisig onder ‘n werklike persoon van daardie tyd. Hy het historiese rekords van sy bestaan gelos. Trouens, sy dood, sy leë graf en sy volgelinge se belewenisse met hom na sy opstanding is van die bes bewese geskiedkudige feite van die antieke tyd.


Hierdie man, só bely ons, was (en is) God self. Hy is nie net nog ‘n blinde aardling wat die geloofs-“olifant” bevoel nie. Jesus se boodskap was heel dikwels net: “Kom na my” of “Volg my.” Want Hy is God. Hy het sonde vergewe, en vertel dat Hy alle gesag het in die hemel en op aarde. Hy het beweer dat Hy die begin en die einde was, en dat Hy die enigste weg na God was. Toe hy gevra is om te bewys op watter gesag hy doen wat Hy doen en sê wat Hy sê, het Hy vertel dat Hy uit die dood sal opstaan- wat Hy toe gedoen het.

Hoe weet ek dat die Christendom waar is? Waarom beweer ek dat God nie die Onverstaanbare is, waarvan een konsep ewe goed as die volgende is nie? Want God self het aarde toe gekom en met ons kom praat. Ander godsdienste het ook profete. Profete is maar, soos ek en jy, voelers aan die olifant. (Party van hulle het sekerlik aan meer van God “gevoel” as ons, terwyl party aan iets anders gevoel het en gedink het hulle voel God.) Maar een Individu in die geskiedenis het ‘n groot deel van die wêreldbevolking deur baie eeue oortuig hy is self God. In Sy Naam is daar meer hospitale, skole en kinderhuise opgerig as enige ander naam. Party skeptici reken dat die verskillende gelowe maar net ‘n geval is van om een “primitiewe feëverhaal” bo ‘n ander te kies. Maar Jesus is ‘n werklike historiese karakter waarvan talle bronne bestaan. Wat ookal ander gelowe is, Jesus se lewe, boodskap, sterwe en leë graf val in ‘n klas van hulle eie. Die olifant kan praat. God self het, in die vorm van Jesus, vir ons kom sê hoe om te lewe, en wat anderkant die graf wag.