I used to walk a pair of beautiful dogs named Reefer and Charlie. Reefer I had had from his birth. Charlie belonged to my then partner. We lived across the street from Central Technical School on Bathurst Street in Toronto. We lived at 712 Bathurst.
I would walk them in the field that formed their track. I wanted my dogs to do things dogs liked such as sniffing the earth.
As I walked them I looked for four leaf clovers. I found many of them. At Christmas I put those clovers into used books I had read. I did not wrap the books for the books themselves were the wrapping paper for the true gift hidden in each one.
Those who read the books unwrapped the gift. Those who didn’t. I found many didn’t unwrap their gift.
In 1978 my partner and I went to Europe. John Kricfalusi, who went on to create REN & STIMPY, looked after our house and our dogs.
We went first to England, then to Holland, then to Belgium, Luxemborg, back to England, north to Edinburgh and to Wales.
My partner worked in Toronto at what was then called THE SPACED OUT LIBRARY, the biggest collection of science fiction and science fiction related materials in a public library in the world. It had been created out of the library of the mother of modern science fiction, Judith Merril. I first met Judy in 1968 at newly opened Rochdale College where Judy served as a resource person. That library today is named THE JUDITH MERRIL COLLECTION. Judy herself called science fiction speculative fiction.
One of the towns my partner had chosen for us to visit was Hay-On-Wye in Wales, a town famous the world over for used books http://www.hay-on-wye.co.uk .
We stayed in the inn in which Oliver Cromwell had stayed when he attacked the local castle.
I went for a walk in the Welsh countryside. A little dog, not much bigger than a cat, joined me. We were walking down a dirt road when the dog suddenly stopped. Figuring he had business to do I walked on. After a few moments I turned to look back. He had not moved. I walked on. Then I looked back again. He had not moved. I walked on, looked back a third time, saw that he still had not moved. Intrigued I turned back. When I got to where he was I said, “What’s up, fella?”
As I said that I bent down, tweaked him behind his right ear.
At that his little pink tongue shot out in front of his little pink nose drawing my attention to not a four leaf but an eight leaf clover.
Why tell this story under a headline “Jesus dropped his aitches?”
Because the historical Jesus is far, far, far from the idealized Jesus of popular Christianity.
On my wall hangs an authorized replica of THE SHROUD OF TURIN. I bought it from Barrie Schwortz who served as one of the official photographers for The Shroud Of Turin Research Project (STURP) in 1978 composed of a team of scientists from around the world. That team included agnostics, atheist, Jews, Protestants and Roman Catholics. They were not there for faith or due to faith or thanks to faith.
They were there for the science of the shroud.
I decided I wanted it to be able to feel its presence after having seen a BBC Documentary on The Shroud followed by a segment of the television series JESUS FAITH, FACT AND FORGERY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpaZcVagTFk , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55Ns2OAAM5o .
I surfed the web for Shroud replicas. I found I could buy one cheap. I thought to myself, “If you are going to do this do it right.”
I went to THE SHROUD OF TURIN site: http://www.shroud.com . I emailed Barry Schwortz.
To my surprise Barry phoned me right away.
With help from my sister Kathy I ordered it.
With the authorized replica came a letter authorizing me to exhibit it anywhere.
Barry told me something interesting. Turin, Italy has been a center for Satanism for thousands of years.
When told that I said, “The light shines brightest where it is darkest.”
Said Barry, “Never thought of that.”
Once I had my Shroud replica I ordered every book and video I could find on the subject.
Now I myself have read THE NEW TESTAMENT cover to cover at least 500 times in different translations. My favourites are the Pelican New Testament Series of Commentaries. The commentary on Mark runs 458 pages. That on Matthew runs 487 pages. That on Luke runs but 261 pages. The commentary on John (the shortest) runs 698 pages. The Pelican series includes commentaries on the other books of THE NEW TESTAMENT. I have those as well. I read them through regularly with pleasure each time learning more.
One of the most prolific Shroud Of Turin writers is Ian Wilson. I have all of his books. Again I have read and re-read them with pleasure.
In one of his books, JESUS: THE EVIDENCE I learned that Jesus had a Galilean accent. Now had I stopped to think I would have realized this for Peter was recognized as Galilean by his accent. But what precisely was a Galilean accent? Galileans dropped their aitches.
The historical Jesus sounded like an English Cockney: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockney .
In plain English the historical Jesus was working class, dirt poor, built like a lumberjack, strong as an ox, stood (based on the image on the shroud) about five feet eleven inches and dropped his aitches.
Few among the educated then and now would give such a person five seconds of their time.
We are told Jesus, unlike the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes, spoke with power and authority. Anyone who has sat through a lecture by an academic knows what that means.
Once while out posting flyers for my programs I had the thought, “Who better than a carpenter to build a house for God?”
From my own research I know that much of what people believe about Jesus, Christ, Christianity and God is bullshit. Not only that, this popular view has no basis in THE NEW TESTAMENT.
People ask what they think are intelligent questions such as (Number One) can one be a homosexual and be a Christian? Protestants ask “Can one be a Roman Catholic and be a Christian?”
People who call themselves BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS say unless we accept Jesus as our personal savior we are damned.
Others compose elaborate charts that when I look at them make God, Jesus and Eternity something I, frankly, want no part of.
Eternity in the company of the people I have found in churches would be Hell.
Years ago when I was fourteen I read that God hates homosexuals and that anyone who engaged in homosexual acts is hated by God. I read that those who kill such people are doing God a favour. That is bullshit. All of this is really looking at the dust in our neighbor’s eye.
Don’t take my word for it. Read THE NEW TESTAMENT for yourself.
Doing so you will find as I found that the only people Jesus calls sinners on site are those who view others as sinners.
That is the whole point of “Why do you look to the dust in your neighbour’s eye. Look to the log in your own eye.”
I have been living by Faith all my life really but consciously as a choice since 1970.
You won’t find me in any church on Sunday or any other day or night of the week.
You don’t need THE SHROUD OF TURIN to have Faith.
Educated people have faith in their education.
“Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.”–Bertrand Russell.
Yes, they are.
5pm Sunday, April 16, 2017 join me at Dora Keogh’s, 141 The Danforth in Toronto for a beer.
I will be bringing with me my authorized replica of THE SHROUD OF TURIN.
Read Thomas Cahill’s wonderful, HOW THE IRISH SAVED CIVILIZATION to learn how God chose the Irish through Christ to save what everyone in Europe was busy destroying.
Peter, in ACTS, states, “I see THE LORD is not a respecter of persons but in all lands those who love God and do good are loved by God.”
Louis Olivari was an atheist and a Communist: http://www.pamphlets.org.au/docs/cts/australia/html/acts1518.html .
An electrician by trade. Louis Olivari, was an active member of the Communist Party, and treasurer of a Communist cell in Nice, France. He became suddenly paralysed in April, 1956 and a local specialist Dr. Jean Duplay, diagnosed a hemiplegia (the paralysis of one side of the body) caused by the rupture of a brain artery. His family doctor, Michael Salvadori, and other doctors gave him very little hope of ever being able to work again. He mentioned this to the chaplain of the hospital, Canon Testoris, who said “Why don’t you go to Lourdes? There is a pilgrimage going there in July.” Olivari shrugged his shoulders, “That would be the limit – I, who believe in nothing, to go and get mixed up in that comedy.”
Encouraged by his wife and friends who advised that it wouldn’t do him any harm, he set off for Lourdes after being examined by a doctor of Nice, a member of the Lourdes Medical Commission, Dr. Strobino, who diagnosed Olivari as being incurable.
Arrival at Lourdes
Here is his own description of the pilgrimage.
“We arrived at Lourdes on July 2nd., 1956, at 6.30 am. I was hungry and wanted my breakfast at once, but the nuns said that all had to go first to the hospital and then to the Esplanade and Mass. Several thousand pilgrims were on the Esplanade near the Basilica, and all were praying aloud imploring the Virgin to cure them. I wasn’t very much at ease with all this, so I sat with two little boys sitting on a bench. They reminded me of my own children. One of the boys was Georges Delprano, aged 10, an asthmatic from birth, while his companion was Georges Torelli, blind from birth.
“I firmly decided not to take the bath or do any praying. All that afternoon I refused to bathe in the Lourdes water or to go to Mass. On the following afternoon I was sitting on the Esplanade with Delprano when Miss Zanata, a nurse from Nice, said to me, ‘What are you doing here? Why don’t you bathe in the Lourdes water?’
Prayed for Another
“With the help of a stretcher-bearer she took me to the baths in spite of my protests. There I was undressed by two stretcher-bearers who said a prayer I had to repeat after them. It was then that I heard the blind boy, Georges Torelli, praying in a loud voice in the next cabin. It completely upset me. One would have a heart of stone not to be affected by it. As the stretcher-bearers helped me down the three steps into the bath, I cried out, ‘If you exist, God, please cure this boy who deserves it more than I. Let him see the sun.’ ”
It was then that Louis Olivari was cured. After immersion in the water for less than a minute he walked out alone in perfect health. God had rewarded him for his unselfish spontaneous prayer when he prayed for his ten year old blind companion.
“It is not for me to say whether or not I have been miraculously healed. All I know is that I was cured at Lourdes and I firmly believe in God after having rejected Him since childhood.”
Why Olivari and not the blind boy? Olivari asked for healing for another. He did not ask for healing for himself. Clearly, from Louis Olivari, we do not even have to believe in God. We do have to love.
It is when we ask the all be healed that we can be healed. Then and only then.
“Unless you be as a child you can not enter the kingdom of God.”
The child does not see sinners.
Atheist Kurt Vonnegut, author of SLAUGHTER HOUSE FIVE, JAIL BIRD and so much more, asked by “Christians” why he cared so much for people below his station in life replied, “The Sermon on the mount.”
“I am so smart I know what is wrong with the world. Everybody asks during and after our wars, and the continuing terrorist attacks all over the globe, “What’s gone wrong?” What has gone wrong is that too many people, including high school kids and heads of state, are obeying the Code of Hammurabi, a King of Babylonia who lived nearly four thousand years ago. And you can find his code echoed in the Old Testament, too. Are you ready for this?
“’An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
“A categorical imperative for all who live in obedience to the Code of Hammurabi, which includes heroes of every cowboy show and gangster show you ever saw, is this: Every injury, real or imagined, shall be avenged. Somebody’s going to be really sorry.
“When Jesus Christ was nailed to a cross, he said, ‘Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do.’ What kind of a man was that? Any real man, obeying the Code of Hammurabi, would have said, “Kill them, Dad, and all their friends and relatives, and make their deaths slow and painful.”
“His greatest legacy to us, in my humble opinion, consists of only twelve words. They are the antidote to the poison of the Code of Hammurabi, a formula almost as compact as Albert Einstein’s “E = mc2.”
“I am a Humanist, or Freethinker, as were my parents and grandparents and great grandparents — and so not a Christian. By being a Humanist, I am honoring my mother and father, which the Bible tells us is a good thing to do.
“But I say with all my American ancestors, ‘If what Jesus said was good, and so much of it was absolutely beautiful, what does it matter if he was God or not?’
“If Christ hadn’t delivered the Sermon on the Mount, with its message of mercy and pity, I wouldn’t want to be a human being.
“I would just as soon be a rattlesnake.
“Revenge provokes revenge which provokes revenge which provokes revenge — forming an unbroken chain of death and destruction linking nations of today to barbarous tribes of thousands and thousands of years ago.”
Those twelve words Vonnegut speaks of are the most spoken and least heard words in the world. They are, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
Forgiveness does not mean we stand idly by when harm is being done. It does mean we don’t damn those doing the harm.
Dora Keogh’s is THE most appropriate place in Toronto to celebrate the resurrection on Easter Sunday. Through Jesus Civilization was saved. –Reg Hartt 2017/04/15.
Matthew 7:3-5King James Version (KJV)
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.