Fr Stephen Smuts

Archive for June 24th, 2011

Simcha Jacobovici Defends himself

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Remember Simcha Jacobovici and the whole nails of the cross of Christ pseudo-archaeology garble? Well, it seems that despite some great critique, he has decided to push on and defend his wild claims:

Simcha Jacobovici has written a 46 page defense of his “nails of the cross” discovery. Sad to say, his delivery mechanism was James Tabor’s blog. No doubt it will be filled with backtracking, denial, and otherwise hair-splitting parsing of what he “meant.” The person with casual interest will probably not even bother wading through it, allowing Simcha to say, “Hey, I responded in detail,” to the masses whose eyes will glaze over thinking he’s done due diligence. Those people will also never find or read the critiques of his defense that will surely follow.

Simcha, we already know why you went public with this and what you meant. You are an attention-seeker who needs to cash in so you can keep your film career going. It isn’t rocket science. Why not just ask James Cameron for some cash — maybe you can catch him when he’s not out bonding with cannibals.

Or, as Todd Bolen writes:

… That a moviemaker who makes millions would respond to bloggers with a 46-page document indicates just how much his reputation has been damaged by the criticism.

Expect Cargill and Zias to respond passionately.

Tabor’s blog? Well that says it all!

James Tabor for those of you who don’t know is the man behind the Jesus Dynasty trash and the Lost Tomb of Jesus (more trash) which, by the way, was produced with Jacobovici and that with James Cameron.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 24, 2011 at 21:01

Is Kia Promoting Pedophilia?

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What are they thinking?!

A new Kia ad is raising eyebrows—with some even saying that it promotes pedophilia.

The ad, which promotes a dual-zone climate control feature in one of Kia’s cars, took home the Silver Press Lion at the prestigious Cannes Lion Awards. But it is controversial, to say the least.

The ad features a teacher lusting after his elementary school-aged student. On one side of the page, she appears as a young girl. On the other side, though, she becomes a scantily clad, buxom teen, seemingly as a product of the teacher’s imagination.

It’s clearly designed to shock, and is succeeding. The advertising blog Copyranter called it “one of the sleaziest car ads ever,” and noted that it doesn’t even visualize the benefits of dual climate control very well.

What do you think? Does the ad cross a line?

Here it is:

There is a poll here if you wish to vote.


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 24, 2011 at 16:38

PETA Pressures the Pope

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The Huff Post Green reports:

Rome — An animal rights group has urged Pope Benedict XVI to “truly go green” and insist that the next popemobile is made without leather.

PETA said it has written to the pope with the request following the Vatican’s confirmation Wednesday that Germany’s Mercedes-Benz auto company is making a study of a hybrid, energy-saving popemobile. The car would replace the current Mercedes vehicle used when the pope travels abroad.

PETA spokeswoman Ashley Gonzalez says leather production is not only “toxic to the environment, it’s also hell for cows.”

The letter, which is dated June, 22 and also sent to The Associated Press, said PETA counts many Catholics among its members and suggested that a leather-free car could “help the environment and prevent animal suffering.”

The Vatican press office said Friday it hadn’t seen the letter and couldn’t comment…

Rest here.

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 24, 2011 at 16:25

The Birth of St John the Baptist

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Today, the Church recalls the birth of St John the Baptist:

Jesus called John the greatest of all those who had preceded him: “I tell you, among those born of women, no one is greater than John….” But John would have agreed completely with what Jesus added: “[Y]et the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he” (Luke 7:28).

John spent his time in the desert, an ascetic. He began to announce the coming of the Kingdom, and to call everyone to a fundamental reformation of life.

His purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus. His Baptism, he said, was for repentance. But One would come who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. John is not worthy even to carry his sandals. His attitude toward Jesus was: “He must increase; I must decrease” (John 3:30).

John was humbled to find among the crowd of sinners who came to be baptized the one whom he already knew to be the Messiah. “I need to be baptized by you” (Matthew 3:14b). But Jesus insisted, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15b). Jesus, true and humble human as well as eternal God, was eager to do what was required of any good Jew. John thus publicly entered the community of those awaiting the Messiah. But making himself part of that community, he made it truly messianic.

The greatness of John, his pivotal place in the history of salvation, is seen in the great emphasis Luke gives to the announcement of his birth and the event itself—both made prominently parallel to the same occurrences in the life of Jesus. John attracted countless people (“all Judea”) to the banks of the Jordan, and it occurred to some people that he might be the Messiah. But he constantly deferred to Jesus, even to sending away some of his followers to become the first disciples of Jesus.

Perhaps John’s idea of the coming of the Kingdom of God was not being perfectly fulfilled in the public ministry of Jesus. For whatever reason, he sent his disciples (when he was in prison) to ask Jesus if he was the Messiah. Jesus’ answer showed that the Messiah was to be a figure like that of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah (chapters 49 through 53). John himself would share in the pattern of messianic suffering, losing his life to the revenge of Herodias.


John challenges us Christians to the fundamental attitude of Christianity—total dependence on the Father, in Christ. Except for the Mother of God, no one had a higher function in the unfolding of salvation. Yet the least in the kingdom, Jesus said, is greater than he, for the pure gift that the Father gives. The attractiveness as well as the austerity of John, his fierce courage in denouncing evil—all stem from his fundamental and total placing of his life within the will of God.


“And this is not something which was only true once, long ago in the past. It is always true, because the repentance which he preached always remains the way into the kingdom which he announced. He is not a figure that we can forget now that Jesus, the true light, has appeared. John is always relevant because he calls for a preparation which all men need to make. Hence every year there are four weeks in the life of the Church in which it listens to the voice of the Baptist. These are the weeks of Advent” (A New Catechism).

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 24, 2011 at 13:30


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