We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"Be not affrighted. Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him." Mark 16:6
Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Lo! the Sun's eclipse is over, Alleluia! Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia! Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia! Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia! Following our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
The wonderful tune which brings back every Easter in one's life, and a few tears, too. Composer? Unknown. Words by Charles Wesley, 1739. The verses were written for the opening of the Wesleyan Chapel in London, in an old foundry. Hence the term Foundry Collection of hymns.
The rest of Wesley's verses of the song are on the continuation page, below.
Part 1 of Kenneth Clark's BBC Civilization series. My favorite line: "These buildings are not wigwams." This series was a big hit when I was young.
Included in this section are Vikings, Celts, Christian history, how the cross became a Christian symbol around the year 1000, the Moslem invasions of Europe, Charlemagne, and art. Years ago, we traveled to Skellig Michael partly inspired by Clark.
A commenter says "I shudder to imagine what a 2017 remake of a series about Western Civilisation would be like."
Relevant lyrics here. Lousy sound quality, but this was a practice tape with The Band.
Nothing was delivered But I can't say I sympathize With what your fate is going to be Yes, for telling all those lies Now you must provide some answers For what you sold has not been received And the sooner you come up with them The sooner you can leave...
The Bible directs us to observe Passover and to remember that G-d delivered us from slavery to the freedoms of body, faith and observance. Passover begins tonight with the ceremonial Seder of symbolic foods, narration of the Exodus story, and prayers and songs. Oh, don't forget the feast!
Some may ask why has this biblical holiday survived intact for thousands of years? In large part, as many of our daily prayers say, to remember who we are and from whence we came, and to thank G-d for those and all our existence. And, it is a "big tent" holiday, which keeps Passover relevant to the present, both in welcoming the stranger into our tent and in welcoming Passover's many other meanings that are derived from Passover.
One of those meanings is the freedom from the slavery to our egos.
"We are slaves. Slaves to our own inhibitions, fears, habits, cynicism and prejudices. These self-appointed pharaohs are layers of ego that prevent us from expressing our true inner self, from reaching our spiritual potential. Our souls are incarcerated in selfishness, laziness and indifference.
"Pesach means "Passover." It is the season of liberation, when we pass over all these obstacles to inner freedom. On Pesach, we give our souls a chance to be expressed.
"Reread the Haggada [Exodus narrative]. Every time it says "Egypt" read "limitations." Replace the word "Pharaoh" with "Ego." And read it in the present tense."
Another meaning is the central importance of gratitude in guiding our lives. The fun song Dayeinu during the Seder means "It would have been enough." Gratitude is expressed for every facet of G-d's miraculous deliverance: for example, "Had G-d but split the sea, and not passed us through it on dry land -- it would have been enough." An attitude of gratitude in all facets of our lives enriches ourselves and those around us. Giving thanks even for the partial and incomplete, even for the disappointing parts of living, is crucial for living in peace and happiness in an uncertain world and sharing that blessing with others. The Matzoh, unleavened and tasteless cracker (unless flavored or topped with a good spread), that we eat instead of breads, is a reminder to be grateful for even that in our rush to exit Egypt and to share that feeling thousands of years later.
Exodus 13:8 says that we are to teach our children "It's because of this that G-d did for me when I went out from Egypt". In every generation we are obligated to see ourself as one who personally went out from Egypt, and freed of limitations and full of gratitude.
Here's another allied take, "Passover's Three Steps To Personal Freedom":
Kim Strassel has a terrific column on the Mueller report in her weekly Wall Street Journal column this morning. Kim writes: “What the report shows is that he endured a special-counsel probe that was relentlessly, at times farcically, obsessed with taking him out. What stands out is just how diligently and creatively the special counsel’s legal minds worked to implicate someone in Trump World on something Russia- or obstruction-of-justice-related. And how—even with all its overweening power and aggressive tactics—it still struck out.”
Who brought us this abomination deriving from the biggest scandal in American political history? That question is left to another day.
William Barr observed at one point that ‘all Americans can and should be grateful to have [the president’s innocence] confirmed.’ And yet many people, far from being grateful, will be enraged. And that is a huge problem for the Republic.
Stuff does not appear by magic, even if Amazon makes it feel that way.
Many freighters do take a small number of passengers. This guy took one from Germany of Charleston (a great town to visit - one of the best). People tell me everybody ought to try one freighter trip. Get a lot of books read, but BYOB. And a date, I think.
Of course there was no Trump Russia collusion. It was a Clinton/Obama hoax to damage Trump, and it has done so with years of smears. Truly disgusting, even by low American political standards. All collusion with Russia was done by the Clinton team. (This was not investigated, of course.)
So, given no wrongdoing, they have moved on to obstruction. It's a fact that obstruction is wrongdoing, even when there is no underlying wrongdoing.
Problem is, Trump behaved like any angry and innocent victim of a nasty persecution. Donald "You're fired!" Trump fired off at all of this, frequently, and publicly, because he foresaw an endless assault on his presidency by political enemies.
Dems will try to keep this active for the next five years. It's not good for the country, but that's not the point. It's all they have.
One unfortunate effect of all of this bs is that it has made it difficult for the US to work with the Russians, a third-world country but oil rich with nuclear weapons. Trump has been too harsh with them because they are not enemies, just sneaky sleazes.
I think Mueller exhaustion has set in, except for NPR and MSNBC.
The BD family will also be celebrating another almost- arising from death on Sunday. My father in law recovered from his quadruple bypass after a near-fatal heart failure, returning back home from San Diego on Saturday and we'll all provide an Easter feast for them down in NJ after their Mass - if they can get to Mass. They never miss Mass. At worse, a priest visits but they do not need that yet. Guy emails me that he feels great.
Along the way, he learned that one or two drinks per day can help prevent future heart problems. Will not need to twist this Irishman's arm about that wholesome remedy. It seems mild to moderate alcohol enjoyment prevents heart disease. Diet, otherwise, does not seem to matter at all so no fruits and greens and nuts for this Irish meat and potatoes mensch.
"The Last Supper" is thought to have been a Passover seder. That supper was the source of Communion: "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes again."
In our church, we remember this event with a group Passover supper on Maundy (Middle English, "holy") Thursday, eaten in silence. No wine, though, as a consideration to the abstinent.
Below, Bassano's Last Supper (1542), depicting the reaction to Jesus' prediction that one of them would betray him.
It depends on what one means by "equality," doesn't it?
Equality under law is the most important form of equality, and is remarkably standard now in Western nations. Equality of opportunity is important too. Equality of personal attributes, along with wealth and power, are another matter.