Church

God Forgiving a Serial Killer?

“… while society will never forgive me, God has.”

NY Daily News:

Albany – Notorious “Son of Sam” serial killer David Berkowitz has no interest in getting out of jail.

Berkowitz said prison is “not a good place” but he has no plans to seek his release because God has already made him a “free man” by forgiving him.

“Jesus Christ has already forgiven and pardoned me,” Berkowitz wrote in a recent letter to a Fox News reporter. “He has given me a whole new life, which I do not deserve.”

Berkowitz added that “while society will never forgive me, God has.”

The famed serial killer is serving six consecutive 25-years-to-life sentences at the maximum-security Sullivan Correctional Facility in the Catskills for a string of killings that terrorized the city during the 1970s.

Berkowitz, a former Yonkers resident, has been denied parole five times and has been in prison 34 years.

He is eligible for a sixth parole hearing next year.

“I would do anything if I could go back and change things and have prevented the tragedy from happening,” Berkowitz wrote.

 

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Bible Archaeology

Jerusalem’s Walls Restored

(AP) — Israeli experts are nearing completion of an ambitious restoration of the five-century-old walls of Jerusalem, the holy city’s dominant architectural feature and a unique record of its eventful and troubled history.

The $5 million undertaking, which began in 2007, is set to be complete by the end of this year. The first restoration of the walls in nearly a century, it has required decisions about which of the walls’ many idiosyncrasies — the falcon nests, for example, the hundreds of machine-gun bullets, the botched restorations of years past — are flaws to be corrected, and which have earned a place in Jerusalem’s story and are thus worth preserving.

Jerusalem’s stone walls are 2-½ miles (4 kilometers) in length. They include seven gates.

“On these walls you see the whole history of this city,” said Avi Mashiah, the Israel Antiquities Authority architect in charge of the project. “They are like a mirror, reflecting all of the periods that the city experienced, and there are many. There are no other cities like this one.”

A disintegrating protective barrier of cinderblocks erected on top of the existing wall by Jordanian troops about 50 years ago, for example, was dismantled. Then it was recreated to serve as a reminder of the divided city that existed before Jordan lost east Jerusalem to Israel in the 1967 Mideast war…

During the project, a team also scanned the entire length of the walls with 3-D laser equipment, mapping every stone and locating dangerous bulges.

The crew noted the places where caper bushes and almond trees were growing between the stones, as well as the dozens of falcons and common swifts that nested in the walls.

The crevices were left untouched to avoid disturbing the birds.

The (above) whole piece is here.

Culture

Steve Jobs on Dying

C

Via The Telegraph:

… “The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months,” he told his shocked audience.

“My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is   doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids   everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a   few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will   be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.”

Although a biopsy later showed the cancer was treatable, Jobs said it had made him think seriously about dying for the first time.

“No one wants to die,” he said. “Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it.

“And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

“Our time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.”…

Read the rest of ‘how years of health problems have dogged the Apple founder’ here.

His comments reveal a flawed theology, existential, indicative I suppose of the Buddhist faith he reportedly practices. One can but pray that he would turn from a belief system that gives no tangible idea of a future destiny, a destiny that is real, and can be know. Death Mr Jobs is not ‘a destination we all share’. Some of us know life.

 

Church

Priest’s Body Found in a Rubbish Dump

In Nicaragua:

(AP) — The Roman Catholic Church in Nicaragua is demanding answers about the death of a priest whose body was found wrapped in a mattress at a trash dump this week.

Marlon de Jesus Garcia’s body was found in La Concepcion, a city south of Managua. Police say he died of asphyxiation and are treating the investigation as a homicide case.

His funeral was held Wednesday with thousands of people attending. Among them was Managua’s archbishop, Leopoldo Brenes, who called for a thorough investigation.

Jairo Contreras, a leader of a group that opposes leftist President Daniel Ortega, says the priest was a critic of the government.

National police spokesman Fernando Borge says authorities are using all resources to investigate the death.

Church

The Pornification of Marriage

Writes Elizabeth Esther:

So, what’s the deal with Christian women and stripper poles?

Apparently, Christian women learning to pole dance is no big deal because, you know, it’s “good exercise.”

I mean, seriously. Has pornography so infiltrated every corner of society that now even Christian women think pole dancing is a cute, fun way to “spice-up” their exercise routine?

The other day I saw a young girl proudly sporting a glittery Playboy bunny T-shirt as if it were somehow a symbol of her female empowerment. And my heart just broke. You know pornography is winning when little girls start wearing pornographic merchandise.

And that’s our fault. When adult women refuse to decry the objectification of women and instead normalize it by calling pole-dancing “good exercise,” we send the message to our daughters that pornographic behavior is OK. No wonder our little girls are confused!

As the womanizing character from the movie “Crazy, Stupid Love” said: “Men won the battle of the sexes as soon as women started doing pole dancing as exercise.”

So, where did this come from? How did pornographic ideas about sex manage to infiltrate Christianity? I have an theory about this…

Give it a read here.