Guardian.UK: Scientists finally get under the skin of a 13th century publishing mystery.
The New Yorker: Telling the Truth About ISIS and Raqqa.
“Assad has killed so many innocents, and many people have lost hope. After Assad’s chemical attack, when he crossed the so-called ‘red line,’ the U.S. just took the weapons. It made America look like a liar and weak.”
Archaeology News Network: 23 heritage sites destroyed in Saudi airstrikes on Yemen.
Daesh is apparently not alone in desiring to wipe out history.
Telegraph.UK: Secret pagan basilica in Rome emerges from the shadows after 2,000 years.
“There were lots of cults worshipped at the time and the empire was in general fairly tolerant towards them.” Hmmph. ‘At the time.’ Constantine enjoyed practicing many cults much later than the family in the article (300s AD), and did not get baptized until shortly before death ... and even that, by an Arian bishop (heretical). Another case of journalists not knowing what the hell they’re writing about.
SF Gate: Turkey soccer fans boo moment of silence for Paris attacks.
Turkey, the widely-touted face of ‘moderate’ Islam. This behavior’s not doing anyone any favors.
ByzantineBlog: Byzantine ‘flat-pack’ church to be reconstructed in Oxford after 1k years
“You show your power by planting churches. He [Justinian] sent out flat-pack, self-assembly churches – Ikea churches.” Justinian, for you non-classicists, is the Byzantine emperor who built the Hagia Sophia, among other things. A very interesting individual. The set of laws in the Code of Justinian illuminates a great deal of Roman history, and at his decree, paganism was outlawed ... and the Greek schools of philosophy shut down for good.
Popular Archaeology: Earliest church in the tropics unearthed in former heart of Atlantic slave trad
“During the excavation several tombstones of local dignitaries were recovered. One enormous stone found in the side chapel belonged to Fernão Fiel de Lugo, a slaver and the town’s ‘treasure holder’ between 1542 and 1557.” Well, if he could get buried in the church, you certainly shouldn’t have to concern yourself with red Starbucks cups.
NY Mag: Ambling Through America’s Most Stoned Suburbs.
Paris Review: The Lumpy, Crowded Graveyard - On Necrotopology and Memory
“There were few tombstones — five, ten, maybe twenty — in a space that we know holds thousands of bodies, and they were not set in concrete. They are invariably depicted as tilting precariously, as if to proclaim their impermanence. And since no one could claim a specific part of the churchyard, they were in fact transient. Even the occasional box tomb is usually shown in a state of disrepair. Inside there was more hope for rest but even there nothing was assured.” Well, now ... ‘Dem bones, dem bones gonna walk around’ may not be so true.
NY Times: ‘Would Jesus Wear a Sidearm?’
Religion Dispatches: Handwritten Draft of King James Bible Reveals Secrets of Its Creation.
“The King James companies worked at integrating the orientations of these two editions, but they also had the profound literary example of William Tyndale, who finished the first complete English translation of the New Testament (an accomplishment which led to his execution in 1536). A literary genius whose influence on the language is arguably second only to Shakespeare’s, Tyndale lent the King James translators such phrases as ‘lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil,’ ‘eat, drink and be merry,’ ‘my brother’s keeper,’ ‘it came to pass,’ ‘the salt of the earth,’ ‘the signs of the times’—and perhaps most sublimely, ‘let there be light,’ among many others.”
Guardian.UK: Ahmed Mohamed accepts scholarship in Qatar after Texas clock incident.
Unfortunate. I understand why, but this will not help other US Muslims.
Archaeology News Network: ‘Egypt: Faith after the pharaohs’ at the British Museum.
Oh, looks fabulous. When the Romans accepted Christianity, Jesus became ‘militarized’ ... depictions of him in armour, bearing weapons, etc. The irony of depicting the Roman-crucified Messiah as a Roman soldier ... “Onward, Christian soldiers” ... gee thanks, Constantine.
The Nation: Republicans Mentioned Israel 23 Times During Their Last Debates. Democrats Only Once.
Oh, come now. Republican candidates are interested in two things - continuing arms sales in the Middle East, and making sure Armageddon happens in the right geographic location.
naked cap: Right-Wing Urban Outfitters Now Asking Employees to Work for Free.
Omigod. And I didn’t realize the right-wing nature of Urban Outfitters, who also owns Free People and Anthropologie.
Boston Review: The Eternal Return of the Christian Nation.
“The goal was to argue for individualism and individual salvation and against claims of a larger public good. They wanted to restore self-reliance and oppose unions and welfare. Just as the first advocates of Christian America had sought to intertwine republicanism and Christianity, the advocates of this new version sought to intertwine capitalism and Christianity.” I cannot fathom how such a good article can go for so many words and paragraphs without mentioning Deism or Thomas Paine. Still - read it. You’ll need it for the upcoming contest.
NY Times: Vatican Clarifies Position on Kim Davis.
“... they met in a group meeting planned by others.” We expected mitigating factors.
Guardian.UK: Mormon church issues call for calm as ‘blood moon’ sparks apocalypse fears.
Would it be so bad if the world ended, and nobody noticed?
Guardian.UK: Even on Wall Street, Pope Francis attack on ‘idolatry of money’ strikes a chord.
“No one has a problem with his statements on capitalism. But any time we have a moral compass, there is going to be critique of what we do. That’s not a bad thing, but a good thing. We can always use some criticism ...[snip] Pope Francis is saying we shouldn’t get too comfortable where we are – politically, financially, theologically. God gives us the pope we need when we need him.” A little fluffy ... they open with a quote from a guy in an Irish bar near Wall Street, as if this is supposed to represent the wider Wall Street opinion. I understand the Catholic expectation, but still.
WarOnTheRocks: Navigating the Islamic State Challenge [audio].
BBC: Girl gets through security to deliver message to Pope.
Mashable: Pope Francis is skeptical of unbridled capitalism, making for an uneasy fit with America.
“Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins society.” Ample evidence in the news today, given the revelations over hideously criminal drug pricing ...
Nation: Carson Isn’t Just Disrespecting Muslims—He Disregards the Constitution.
“Contemporary ignorance of American history has many wellsprings. For a number of years now there has been a concerted effort by sincere if misguided religious zealots, and a parallel effort by conservative political strategists who appear to see value in exploiting fears of diversity, to redefine the American experiment as a Christian religious endeavor. History does not provide grounding for this fantasy.” At least someone says it unequivocally. He’s disqualified himself from ever being able to recite: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Mashable: Kim Davis is now altering marriage licenses, opponents say.
The woman is being manipulated by her spiritual advisors, clearly. She’s being advised she should request full accommodation. Which, of course, some see as ‘slippery slope.’ Give her the accommodation via a new form; the ‘word processing’ fix, so her name doesn’t have to appear. Marriages can go through, she can exit my news feed. Enough of this BS.
TG’s Political Wire: Trump Says He Has Muslim Friends.
To be exact (and I can’t believe I’m defending Trump), he says “I have friends that are Muslims.” Different context. I don’t generally have a religion test for friends. Either they’re friends, or not. Religion rarely enters the picture, except on various holidays.