The term “homophobia” could be used to describe sinful attitudes or actions towards homosexuals. Its typical use, though, is to describe opposition to homosexual practices and beliefs, which is assumed to be irrational. Used in this way, it is an unfair rhetorical ploy to discredit any opposition to homosexuality.
Debates are rarely won on the battlefield of terminology, but they are frequently lost there. This is certainly the case in today’s debates over sexuality. Virtually all of the key terms are so freighted with ideological ordnance that entire regiments of exegetical and philosophical argument can be wiped out at a moment’s notice by a careless choice of words.
One word that we must handle with care is “homophobia.” Of course, this term is frequently leveled at anyone who dissents from the mainstream view affirming homosexual practices. Frequently, though, the term is also used by Christians to describe sinful attitudes or attitudes toward homosexuals. The problem is that when Christians use this term, we are either using it in a highly restricted sense that our secular culture does not recognize, or we are buying into some unbiblical assumptions about homosexuality.
The second half of the term, “phobia,” signifies an irrational fear. For instance, “arachnophobia” is an irrational fear of spiders. You might have arachnophobia if you avoid opening cupboards because years ago you found a dead spider in one. On the other hand, running away from a tarantula is evidence of healthy fear, not arachnophobia.
But what exactly does a homophobe fear? What does the “homo” refer to? It could refer to homosexual people. In this case, “homophobia” would be a useful term to describe someone’s fear of speaking to a homosexual, of stepping on their lawn, or of eating one table over from them at a restaurant.
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By Robert Gonzales — 1 month ago
The Old Testament furnishes the Israelite with a sure hope in a complete reversal of the curse, a resurrected body, a renewed earth, and joy in the presence of God for all eternity.
The discovery and publication of ancient Near Eastern literature has shed much light upon the religious beliefs and practices of earliest civilization. It has also generated much discussion about the relationship of Mesopotamian and Egyptian religion to that of the Old Testament. In fact, many scholars view the similarities in cosmogonies, flood accounts, cultic ritual, legal texts, wisdom literature, and belief in the afterlife as proof that the Old Testament writers borrowed from or adapted the literary corpus of Israel’s neighbors. As a result, Old Testament religion is treated as essentially one more primitive religion among many, although slightly more advanced in the evolutionary stage of development.1 But there are also substantial and significant differences between Israel’s religion and that of her neighbors. Furthermore, the genuine similarities do not require literary dependence or borrowing. This article will summarize the primary features of ancient Near Eastern religion, contrast them with the Old Testament, and offer another explanation for the similarities between the biblical and non-biblical religions.2
Gods, Mankind, and the Cosmos
All ancients believed in a reality that transcended the physical world. But in contrast with Israel’s monotheistic world-view, the Mesopotamians and Egyptians saw a myriad of gods behind the cosmos.3 Of course, some deities were more prominent and popular than others.4 Often a city-state or region would have its own patron god.5 But no one god was absolutely sovereign over the others.6 Each had his or her respective sphere of influence, which usually corresponded to some aspect of nature, such as the sun, the atmosphere, the earth, or the underworld. Although the gods were behind every event, they did not ultimately control the future.7 And though they were immanent in the world, they remained somewhat aloof from their human devotees.8
The ancient Near Easterner sometimes expressed his polytheistic theology in the form of creation-myth. But unlike the Genesis account, which focuses primarily upon humanity’s origin, these pagan cosmogonies focus primarily upon the origin, relationship, and function of the gods. For example, the Enuma Elish, a Babylonian creation account, begins with two primeval gods, Apsu and Tiamat, who give birth to a host of other gods. Apsu then becomes irritated at the clamor made by his offspring and decides to destroy them in spite of Tiamat’s protests. However, one of the younger gods, Ea, slays Apsu. At this point, the gods divide and champions are chosen to do battle. Tiamat chooses Kingu and a host of demons, monsters, and dragons. Marduk, who happens to be Babylon’s patron god, volunteers to lead the other side. When Tiamat opens her mouth to swallow Marduk, the latter directs the four winds to fill her belly, and he shoots an arrow that pierces her heart. Then, using Tiamat’s carcass, Marduk creates the firmament and the earth. Later he slays Kingu and uses his blood to fashion mankind.9 It is worthy to note that in this story of creation, as well as Egyptian cosmogonies,10 the creation of humans is almost treated as an afterthought.11
In addition to creation accounts, Israel’s neighbors also told their own stories of the worldwide flood. Perhaps the most well-known is contained in the Gilgamesh epic. Enlil, one of the chief deities, becomes irritated with the “noise” of humanity. He holds counsel with his fellow gods, and a decision is made to destroy mankind with a flood. But one of the gods, Ea, warns King Utnapishtim and advises him to build a boat. He and his family survive the flood and are granted immortality.12
By Carl R. Trueman — 6 months ago
Written by Carl R. Trueman |
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
The moral tastes of popular culture are just that: tastes, and thus subject to fashion and, in our social media age, to easy manipulation. Society has no solid foundation on which to build its moral codes.
Years ago, when teaching at seminary, I used to tell the students that moral relevance in the modern world was a cruel and fickle mistress. However much Christians accommodated themselves to her demands, sooner or later she would want more. Christian morality and the morality of the world simply could not be reconciled in the long term.
Apparently, this no longer applies simply to Christians and other moral traditionalists. It also applies to the artistic class. Last week, Constance Grady at Vox noted how so much pop culture of recent vintage has dated so rapidly. Hamilton, the hit musical of 2015, now appears, in 2021, to glorify “the slave-owning and genocidal Founding Fathers while erasing the lives and legacies of the people of color who were actually alive in the Revolutionary era.” The TV series Parks and Recreation is now considered “an overrated and tunnel-visioned portrait of the failures of Obama-era liberalism.” And the Harry Potter franchise is now “the neo-liberal fantasy of a transphobe.”
While Grady avoids the earnestness of those who regard It’s a Wonderful Life as dangerous or the clichés of those who see Dolly Parton as a tool of systemic racist evil, she misses the deeper significance of the phenomenon she describes. For her, the transformed tastes of pop culture connect to the fading fortunes of Hillary Clinton and the values she represented. That makes sense. But there is a deeper cause of the shifting morals of popular culture and that is that our society has no stable framework for moral reasoning. It is therefore doomed to constant volatility.
Of course, the moral tastes of culture have always changed somewhat over time. What is notable today is the speed at which they change and the dramatic way they repudiate the immediate past. It took forty years for John Cleese’s Hitler impersonation to be deemed offensive (and then, oddly, by a generation for whom Hitler was little more than a name in a history textbook). But now, jokes that were unexceptional five or ten years ago might well cost a comedian his career today. The moral shelf life of pop cultural artifacts seems much shorter now and the criteria by which they might be judged far less predictable.
By Ashmedai — 3 months ago
The medical establishment simply cast aside all evidentiary standards (in favor of a particular political agenda); this means that the medical establishment’s culture is against objectivity in science, and lacks the necessary mechanisms or guardrails critical to conducting objective scientific inquiry. The bottom line is that none of the “experts” and none of the “local doctors” who are telling people the vaccines are safe and effective have any idea of the actual technical underlying science. This means that they cannot possibly provide any scientific insight, credibility, or authority regarding the vaccines.
One of the most intractable impediments to convincing people of straightforward facts relating to the covid vaccines is their instinctive and unshakeable trust of the mainstream medical community, and especially their personal doctor/s.
To that end, here a series of arguments or reasons why it is not just imprudent but irrational to have faith in the mainstream medical community and everyone who relies on them as a primary source of covid vaccine information.
Another objective is to empower people to articulate their clear and reliable intuition that the medical community lacks institutional credibility and objectivity rather than doubt their own intellectual ability.
It is necessary to preface that when I refer to the medical community or establishment, I am not referring to any of the heroic doctors and other professionals who do think and act independently of the mainstream medical community. In fact, you can pretty much apply to them the inverse of all the arguments enumerated below.
Another critical point to keep in mind is that even though most of the arguments below only directly apply to part – or even a select few individuals – of the mainstream medical community, they are nevertheless an indictment of the entire medical community. It is a tightly interwoven, interconnected and insular group that shares information widely through a variety of channels and feedback mechanisms. Information deriving from a corrupted source anywhere in the medical community thus infects the entire medical community. Its insular nature regarding what they consider to be acceptable sources for scientific or medical information means that they largely lack a mechanism for allowing correction of faulty information from an external source.
For the most part, I restricted the arguments presented to those that can be made from premises that are objectively true regardless of where one falls regarding the covid vaccines.
One final point is that the contention that it is irrational to trust the medical community regarding the vaccines is derived from the totality of the evidence. In other words, when there are a dozen major red flags, it is prudent to assume that there is something systematically rotten about the whole system; in this case it that means it would be irrational to regard them as a reliable source of information for anything to do with the covid vaccines.
For the following reasons, the medical establishment is unequivocally untrustworthy regarding the vaccines:
The mother of all biases: The medical community bet every ounce of credibility and authority they had on the vaccines being safe and effective, so they cannot afford to ever admit they were wrong should the vaccines ultimately turn out to have real safety issues
The politicization of the medical community
The insistence on a “One Size Fits All” contrary to fundamental medical practice
The lack of consistent evidentiary standards
Few medical professionals including those involved in making policy or opining on the vaccines have any idea how the vaccines work
They got pretty much everything about covid wrong before the vaccines
The failure to treat covid
The lack of critical or independent thinking by anyone in the mainstream medical community
The medical community failed to convey basic risk stratification
Public health officials used wrong information and spurious data to construct pandemic policies
The medical community never admitted that they made serious mistakes
The denial of natural immunity
Censorship and Fraud
They don’t denounce useless and harmful practices derived from their policies and statements
The medical establishment is riddled with massive financial conflicts of interest
Every specific claim made regarding the vaccines so far has ultimately proven to be false
A significant % of the medical community are genuinely evil people
1. The mother of all biases: The medical community bet every ounce of credibility and authority they had on the vaccines being safe and effective, so they cannot afford to ever admit they were wrong should the vaccines ultimately turn out to have real safety issues
Never in recent memory has there been such a powerful bias afflicting the medical community or public health officials. They have loudly and daily proclaimed in the most definitive ways imaginable that the covid vaccines are absolutely safe and effective, to the point of advocating that people be compelled by various means to get vaccinated. Billions of people followed their advice, and billions more succumbed to their pressure.
If the truth is that these vaccines are not quite as safe as they say, that would mean that potentially millions people died, and perhaps tens or even hundreds of millions suffered all sorts of horrible injuries because of them, or contracted covid despite vaccination because they were lulled into a false sense of security that the vaccines are essentially impervious and subsequently contracted severe covid disease or even died.
Their credibility would be absolutely blown to pieces. After all, they were as definitive as possible. And they attacked with unrestrained zealotry anyone who dared to even voice a little skepticism. They have publicly humiliated, attacked, defamed, castigated, chastised, mocked and scorned those who refused to accept their proclamations of functionally impervious vaccine safety.
The inherent human impulse to preserve one’s sense of integrity, morality, and righteousness is severely threatened by the prospect of conning the world into a hastily rushed intervention that proved to be the deadliest therapeutic ever released and foisted upon the public.
Another powerful innate human impulse is to preserve oneself from facing accountability for enormously consequential rank negligence – if the vaccines are anywhere near as dangerous and lethal as a growing mountain of data and studies now indicate, “rank negligence” doesn’t even begin to describe the depth of culpability here.
And let’s not forget that not only is their expertise is on the line, but so is the essence of their professional identity. If the medical community got this wrong and people figure it out, the medical community will become a pejorative to many if not most people, an institution completely denuded of credibility and thought of as a modern cult.
This is true as much for the small community doctors as it is for Fauci, for they too are complicit in convincing people that the vaccines were “safe and effective”, albeit on a smaller scale.
In Short: It is not rational to expect that the medical community can be remotely objective about the issues pertaining to the covid vaccines, let alone be willing to admit that the vaccines are not safe, when they are so heavily and intractably invested in the vaccines being as safe as they promised they would be. This is especially true now that they took a significant hit on the efficacy claims as Omicron publicly humiliated them when it shredded any notion that the vaccines could stop transmission, a critical and prominent early claim of vaccine proponents.
2. Politicization of the Medical Community
The medical community has become extremely politicized. Consider the following:
JAMA sacked their President because he had the temerity to defend doctors as not intrinsically racist
the AMA declared that racism is a not only a public health crisis, but is the #1 PH crisis (!)
the inclusion of race in itself as a “risk factor” used for triaging scarce covid treatments
the sudden and radical switch from “a 10-person outdoor funeral was too unsafe to allow” to “27 million people mass protesting George Floyd was somehow not only safe but necessary to address the aforementioned “public health crisis” of systemic racism”
The CDC’s prior advocacy for gun control, calling gun ownership a public health crisis
These are but a few of the numerous and ubiquitous instances of clear political entanglement with what are supposed to be non-partisan medical institutions, showing that political considerations clearly supersede scientific considerations in the most high-profile and impactful sorts of decisions and policies.
And this corruption of scientific standards extends into published literature. Consider the study Glaciers, gender, and science: A feminist glaciology framework for global environmental change research, where we are duly informed in the abstract:
Just what the devil are “human-ice interactions”?? This sounds more like pseudo-religious mysticism than anything remotely scientific.
And their conclusion opens with the following declaration:
“Ice is not just ice. The dominant way Western societies understand it through the science of glaciology is not a neutral representation of nature.”
Scientifically, ice is indeed just ice. Apparently, however, scientists understanding a topic solely via the scientific method is “not a neutral representation of nature”.
This used to be my cardinal example of politics conquering the scientific journals, but that was before I came across the study On Having Whiteness:
Ask yourself: just how rotten does the culture in academia have to be for an actual journal to publish the rabid deranged rantings of an unhinged lunatic? (Just imagine if someone tried to publish this sort of vile screed about “Jewishness” or “Blackness”…)
And lest you think that this paper is somehow a one-off exception, here are many more.
To cap it off, here is an example specifically related to the covid pandemic response: Approaching the COVID-19 Pandemic Response With a Health Equity Lens: A Framework for Academic Health Systems. Title says it all.
In Short: The medical establishment is openly and blatantly political, and has a history of acting against science for political reasons; this means that they are willing to put politics over science.
3. The insistence on a “One Size Fits All” contrary to fundamental medical practice that patients are unique individuals with unique health profiles
One of the cardinal rules of medicine is that every patient is a unique individual with unique medical characteristics that therefore requires individualized treatment. There is certainly no such thing as a treatment that is magically the optimal choice for every one of the hundreds of millions of people in the country.
As the few intrepid inquisitive people who bother to actually read granular scientific literature about the vaccines know, there is considerable variation between types of individuals regarding the vaccine and how best to administer it.
It is axiomatic that different people have different risks from different medical interventions. Or at least it used to be. The myopically focused hyper-aggressive campaign that quite literally every adult and child, man and woman, get vaccinated is contraindicated by all of medical history, and suggests that the medical community literally sees the vaccine as some sort of magical unicorn, something that would be seen in a cult but out of place in the practice of medicine.
The manic obsession to vaccinate even those with so-called “natural immunity” – ie immunity from having been infected with the covid virus – stands as ironclad proof of the morally unhinged and the firmly anti-science character of the medical community’s agenda to vaccinate every living human on the planet.
In Short: The aggressive, unrelenting insistence on the biggest one-size-fits-all in history that everyone get vaccinated is contrary to all prior medical standards and practice; this means that they are at minimum acting and thinking more like cult members than doctors. This also means that they are not treating patients as unique individuals in the same way they used to.
4. The lack of consistent evidentiary standards
It goes without saying that objective, unchanging standards for evaluating evidence is the very definition of scientific research and inquiry.
The utter lack of any standards used for anything Covid related stands as a starkly visible sign of the decidedly unscientific character of the medical community throughout Covid.
Lockdowns were implemented on the basis of a fringe lunatic’s crackpot model. I say “fringe lunatic” because he has a long history of delusional epidemiological predictions of viruses becoming mass-casualty pandemics where the magnitude that he was off by was itself considerably larger than the total actual deaths from the prognosticated pandemic super-killer:
[Imperial College epidemiologist Neil] Ferguson was behind the disputed research that sparked the mass culling of eleven million sheep and cattle during the 2001 outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. (Sheep genocide!!) He also predicted that up to 150,000 people could die. There were fewer than 200 deaths.
In 2002, Ferguson predicted that up to 50,000 people would likely die from exposure to BSE (mad cow disease) in beef. In the U.K., there were only 177 deaths from BSE.
In 2005, Ferguson predicted that up to 150 million people could be killed from bird flu. (And then he said maybe 200,000,000!) In the end, only 282 people died worldwide from the disease between 2003 and 2009.
In 2009, a government estimate, based on Ferguson’s advice, said a “reasonable worst-case scenario” was that the swine flu would lead to 65,000 British deaths. In the end, swine flu killed 457 people in the U.K.
And Ferguson is still going strong:
Mask usage and mandates were adopted suddenly and unexpectedly without any sort of scientific rationale whatsoever, at least that was documented in any scientific literature.
Remdesivir was given its EUA on the basis of one trial conducted by its manufacturer, and whose primary endpoint was changed midway (which is something that typically constitutes scientific fraud) when the preselected primary endpoint failed to show that Remdesivir had any efficacy, namely that there was no reduction in mortality or hospitalization. The same story repeated itself for every pharma drug granted approval for a covid indication.
On the other hand, HCQ was demonized despite having hundreds of trials showing very convincingly that it was effective as a prophylaxis and early treatment.
Ivermectin was similarly demonized despite having dozens of RCT’s showing a clear and consistent benefit in all stages of covid.
The same goes for most of the other drugs/treatments used by thousands of doctors worldwide, such as those found in the FLCCC’s protocols – numerous studies showing a clear and consistent significant benefit, and all ignored by the medical establishment and government agencies.
The vaccine trials that provided the “robust” data for the FDA’s approval were a colossal joke. This article is long enough so I’ll avoid going through the details here, but suffice it to say that the Pfizer kids trial simply lied about paralyzing one of the kids in the trial – Maddie de Garay (along with an inhuman ordeal of excruciating agony and mental/emotional trauma). All of the treatment options on the FLCCC protocols have far more robust evidence than any of the vaccines hurriedly rushed out on the skimpiest data imaginable.
In Short: The medical establishment simply cast aside all evidentiary standards (in favor of a particular political agenda); this means that the medical establishment’s culture is against objectivity in science, and lacks the necessary mechanisms or guardrails critical to conducting objective scientific inquiry.
5. Few medical professionals including those involved in making policy or opining on the vaccines have any idea how the vaccines work
Doctors, surgeons, GP’s, infectious disease specialists, OBGYN’s, etc, etc, etc haven’t the foggiest idea of how the covid vaccines work. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and ask your local [fill in the blank] specialist/doctor to explain codon optimization, the proline swaps in the vaccine’s spike protein, self-assembling lipids, the chemical alterations to switch the positive charge of cationic lipids to neutral in a neutral PH, spike biodistribution, lipid biodistribution, and so on.
And it’s not only the vaccines themselves that are ridiculously intricate and complicated. The immune system itself is massive, twisted maze of different types of cells, molecules, pathways, and chemistry that involves the entire human anatomy. Even an experienced immunologist could not possibly predict in advance how the different and truly novel vaccine products would interact with the various human anatomical biomes.
Expert opinion is considered the lowest form of “evidence,” because when it comes to predictions, experts are almost always wrong. Were scientists’ inability to conceive of a plausible mechanism for speculative harms a viable standard to adjudicate safety concerns, the FDA could be largely retired, what with little need for the robust testing regiment all novel therapies and biological agents are subjected to in the face of staunch expert claims of lack of plausibility for unexpected adverse effects to occur. Regrettably, experts seldom recognize the limits of their expertise, and vis-à-vis covid seem unaware that any exist altogether.
In Short: The bottom line is that none of the “experts” and none of the ‘local doctors’ who are telling people the vaccines are safe and effective have any idea of the actual technical underlying science. This means that they cannot possibly provide any scientific insight, credibility, or authority regarding the vaccines.
6. They got pretty much everything about covid wrong before the vaccines
If a particular methodology consistently yields wrong answers, than it can be reasonably assumed that it will continue to do so. It is irrational to trust the same people who got masks, lockdowns, distancing, asymptomatic spread, risk stratification, seasonality, children’s risks from and spreading covid, testing, case data, hospitalization data, mortality rate, etc., etc., etc. dead wrong to suddenly know what they’re talking about when it comes to the vaccines.
And as we will get to later, pretty much every specific statement made about the vaccine that we can test against real-world results has been proven to be dead wrong.
In Short: They were wrong about everything else before the vaccines, and there is no compelling reason to think that they will do better regarding the vaccines.
7. The failure to treat covid
The failure to treat what was allegedly the worst plague in modern times is possibly the greatest medical failure of modern times. This is without considering the war they waged on effective cheap repurposed FDA-approved drugs – simply their failure to ever really treat covid is itself astounding. Quite literally the whole point of doctors is to treat medical maladies and diseases. Never in human history have doctors systematically decided not to even try and treat something, never mind the most pressing existential medical crisis in a century.
Contrast the failure of the medical establishment to treat covid with the amazing success of the thousands of heroic doctors and nurses around the world in treating covid. All that this small minority of doctors did was to simply practice the art of medicine using the tools available to them. In the words of Dr. Brian Tyson, one of the most prolific doctors who treats covid:
If you see inflammation, use anti-inflammatoriesIf you see blood clots, treat blood clotsIf you see pneumonia, treat pneumoniaIf you see hypoxemia, treat hypoxemiaIf you know it’s viral, use antiviralsIf you do nothing, quit practicing!!!
This isn’t complicated. The failure to treat covid is a failure to treat covid.
In Short: The medical community has failed – by choice – to treat covid, allegedly the worst plague in a hundred years; this means that something has replaced their Hippocratic culture and healer mindset as their guiding principle/s.
8. The lack of critical or independent thinking by anyone in the mainstream medical community
Consulting an expert is only meaningful if the expert will apply his or her expertise and judgement to analyze the issue presented. On the flip side, experts who uncritically go along with whatever those atop the medical community’s hierarchy promulgate not only cannot be considered as “expert opinion”, but also indicate that the free-flowing debate that is the lifeblood of scientific inquiry has clotted as though it was invaded by hordes of marauding spike proteins.
One of the more glaringly obvious characteristics of the pandemic is the shocking, Borg-like unanimity among the medical establishment. Pretty much every mainstream doctor on the establishment side is in 100% agreement with 100% of what the establishment says or does 100% of the time.
Exhibit A: Covid treatment. After two years of covid, how many prestigious hospital systems or universities have developed their own covid treatment protocol? Outpatient treatment? Prophylaxis regiment? The answer – again quite shockingly – is ZERO. Every major hospital and academic center has simply just went along with the NIH panel’s recommendations.
And no, that isn’t because they tried and just couldn’t come up with anything. How many medical conferences have been held where frontline doctors got together to share notes and compare clinical experiences, or where the world’s preeminent researchers and protocol designers swapped theoretical possibilities to study? Zero. Is there even an official online platform or portal in either the government or in academia where doctors and clinicians can network in the aforementioned manner? Nope.
So they never bothered to even take the most basic and rudimentary steps to try and develop any treatment protocols for covid.
We’ll get to the censorship and crusading against any dissenters later, but let’s state for now that the medical community literally censoring dissent within their own ranks is also indicative of a lack of independent or critical thinking by the establishment medical community.
In Short: The medical establishment’s members do not think critically or independently of the medical organizations and government agencies; this means that firstly the doctors/medical professionals not in positions of significant authority are not exercising any personal judgement, and second, that the few people in charge of the medical community are not engaging in the sort of rigorous debate that is the basic diligence for scientific analysis as they simply never face any dissenting views when making decisions.
9. The medical community failed to convey basic risk stratification
One of the most basic if not the most foundational axioms in Public Health is to figure out who, and to what degree, is at risk.
So first off, the med community failed to notice the severe age and comorbidity stratification of covid risk. This was obvious immediately as covid set in from the earliest analysis of covid deaths in Italy and from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, to pick 2 prominent examples.
They subsequently compounded this indefensible negligence by failing to communicate this to the public when the medical literature, and more importantly worldwide clinical experience, decisively proved this to be the case.
In order for an individual to make personal health decisions regarding covid, they obviously need to know what the risks and benefits are for them specifically from covid.