Bible Archaeology

The Ancient Near East Today


This monthly e-newsletter disseminates ideas, insights and discoveries to Friends of ASOR. You can become a Friend for free, you only need to register. The ANE Today appears on the second Tuesday of each month (beginning in April 2013) and features  contributions from diverse academics,  a forum featuring debates of current developments from the field,  and links to news and resources. The ANE Today covers the entire Near East, and each issue will present discussions ranging from the state of biblical archaeology to archaeology after the Arab Spring. Sign up today for free and be a part of this community of discovery!



Atheist Group Asks for Charges Against Military Chaplain for Use of Famous Quote

Via Stand Firm:

MRFF’s letter says that by Reyes’s “use of the bigoted, religious supremacist phrase, ‘no atheists in foxholes,’ he defiles the dignity of service members.” They accuse him of violating military regulations.

My legal research on this issue uncovered no regulation prohibiting Reyes’ speech, which looks like expression protected by the free speech and religious freedom provisions of the First Amendment. Military leaders did not respond to Fox’s inquiries asking the Air Force to identify any such rules.

Nonetheless, only five hours after MRFF’s complaint, the essay was removed from the website. Duffy has profusely apologized in MRFF for not stopping this religious leader from sharing religious thoughts.

But this response—which again appears to be a violation of Reyes’s First Amendment rights—is insufficient for MRFF. They said, “Faith based hate, is hate all the same,” and, “Lt. Col. Reyes must be appropriately punished.”

So MRFF is saying that the coercive power of government must be used to punish a military officer, who is also an ordained Christian minister, for making ordinary religious references consistent with his faith.  (Emphasis added)

The entire article can be read here.



Can Demons Cause Mental Illness?

Can a demon cause a mental illness in a person?

Fr Fortea answers:

A. Demons can tempt us, and they sometimes do so in a continuous way with  great intensity. As such, a demon could provoke an obsession, phobia,  depression, or another type of mental illness in a person. This can  seriously disturb a person’s ordinary life to the point of making him  unbalanced. So, yes, a demon can cause mental illness – but only if God permits  it. (Of course, everything that occurs must either be willed or at least  permitted by God.)

Given the internal mechanism that is used to cause temptation – that is, the  infusion of a thought or image in our intellect, memory, or imagination – this   modus operandi can be used in such a pernicious way that it can unbalance  a person. This is well within the power of a demon. The only thing that can  prevent this activity is the will of God. So does God  always  prevent  demons from causing a mental illness in a person? Undoubtedly, no. But this is  the exception, not the rule. In most cases, mental illnesses have purely natural  causes.



Turn Away from Evil, and Do Good

Let thy mind fast from vain thoughts; let thy memory fast from remembering evil; let thy will fast from evil desire; let thine eyes fast from bad sights: turn away thine eyes that thou mayest not see vanity; let thine ears fast from vile songs and slanderous whispers; let thy tongue fast from slander, condemnation, blasphemy, falsehood, deception, foul language and every idle and rotten word; let thy hands fast from killing and from stealing another’s goods; let thy legs fast from going to evil deeds: Turn away from evil, and do good.

– St. Tikhon of Zadonsk