I Don’t Get What’s Special About Jesus

Brave is brave

A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

Zealot life and times of Jesus of Nazareth

I always thought Jesus of Nazareth was the same as Jesus Christ. It was how I was brought up. That figure was the man I was taught over and over again never to question, to always take whole, never to tackle in a way that could tarnish his divine image.

But, as it seems, Jesus of Nazareth is entirely different from Jesus the Christ. One is the simple historical version of a man who existed the same way you and I did. The other is the embellished version that the Church has worked years to build. The man from Nazareth was someone who was born in Palestine and who was crucified. Whether his birth was of immaculate conception and whether he got resurrected after his death are matters of pure faith that fall under the domain of Jesus the Christ. If you believe in those two entities, then Jesus of…

View original post 1,179 more words

ASIA/SYRIA – Archbishop Hindo writes to Obama: the world does not want war – Fides News Agency

Hassaké (Agenzia Fides) : “It is for peace that I write to you, our peace. It is against war that I write to you, your war”. This is what Monsignor Behnam Hindo, Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Hassaké – Nisibis, says to Barack Obama in a letter asking the U.S. President to stop his plans for military intervention in Syria.

The diocese of Archbishop Hindo is in the north eastern Syrian province of Jazira, in a region that is enclosed in an overwhelming and total block and where a million and a half people suffer from “the torments of war, the destruction and lack of everything”.

In the letter, sent to Fides, Mgr . Hindo harshly criticizes the path taken by the U.S. administration. Strong doubts are advanced by the Syrian Archbishop also on the proof of the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime highlighted by the U.S. administration to convince the international community of the need for armed intervention. The advice given to the U.S. president is to wait for “the results of the UN Commission”. In addition, there is also the plea to “save massacres, destruction and more suffering. I – says the Syrian Archbishop – write to he whose name resonates the term baraka, that is blessing (…). Blessing for your great nation, peace as the fruit of blessings for my people. These are my desires. They are now in the hands of a Nobel Prize for peace”.

via ASIA/SYRIA – Archbishop Hindo writes to Obama: the world does not want war – Fides News Agency.

The Christmas-izing of Ramadan and Eid | Green Prophet

Glittery Ramadan decorations, rarely seen three years ago, now twinkle in apartment windows in most Amman neighborhoods.  The displays could compete with the most decked-out American suburbs, electrified crescent moons and colorful lanterns replacing reindeer and Santa.

Roadside tent-shops pop up weeks before Ramadan, hawking ornaments and lights, with peak sales happening just before Eid.  Until recently, vendors were few and far between.  This year they were everywhere.

via The Christmas-izing of Ramadan and Eid | Green Prophet.

Israeli Developers Upgrade Microsoft Search Engine Bing – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

A team of developers from Microsoft Israel R&D Center in Herzliya was involved in the development of the latest update of Microsoft’s search engine Bing, which has been vying in recent years to gain ground in the market dominated by Google. The Israeli team developed the Bing Expert, a feature that allows users to get relevant tips, recommendations and reviews from experts in the field related to the search engine.

via Israeli Developers Upgrade Microsoft Search Engine Bing – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East.

German Court to Rule on Swimming Lessons for Muslim Girls – SPIEGEL ONLINE

(Hard issue – which comes first: the state or religion and how to separate religious freedom and the civil law…)

In Aisha’s case, both the Frankfurt Administrative Court and the Hesse Higher Administrative Court have rejected the bid for an exemption — and decided that the girl will have to tolerate the sight of her fellow male students wearing swimming shorts. According to these courts, an encroachment on the right to freedom of religion is justified here by the state’s educational goals.

Mathias Rohe, an Islamic law expert in the Bavarian city of Erlangen, concurs with this approach — and sees it as a sign of normalcy. Years ago, when relatively few Muslims lived in Germany, it was possible to make exceptions to the rules, says Rohe, “but now Islam has become part of Germany — with all the rights and obligations that this entails,” he argues.

via German Court to Rule on Swimming Lessons for Muslim Girls – SPIEGEL ONLINE.

Weekend Gun Report: September 6-8, 2013 – NYTimes.com

A 3-year-old girl died after shooting herself with a handgun at a campground in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming Saturday morning. A 6-year-old girl was killed and her 26-year-old father was injured in a shooting at their home in Moreno Valley, Calif., late Saturday. A 12-year-old girl was shot in the face and seriously wounded while laying in her bed at her home in Huber Heights, Ohio, Saturday morning.

via Weekend Gun Report: September 6-8, 2013 – NYTimes.com.

Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | New Evidence That Subsidized Jobs Programs Work

The EMC study shows that these programs helped businesses as well as job-seekers weather the worst of the recession.  It found:

Participation in subsidized employment programs led to significant increases in employment and earnings. Participants in four of the five programs covered by the study were much more likely to have an unsubsidized job in the year after working in a subsidized job than in the year before joining the program.  The findings from Florida are especially noteworthy because researchers could compare participants with applicants who were eligible for the program but didn’t receive a subsidized job.  There, participants earned an average of $4,000 more in the year after the program than in the year before it, compared to a $1,500 increase for people in the comparison group.

The programs were especially effective for the long-term unemployed. In Mississippi and Florida, average annual earnings of the long-term unemployed rose by about $7,000 after participating; in Los Angeles and Wisconsin, they rose by about $4,000.  In all four sites, earnings rose much more among the long-term unemployed than among people who had been unemployed for shorter periods.

Employers reported hiring more workers than they would have otherwise and workers with less experience than their usual hires. Two-thirds of the employers interviewed for the study said that they created new positions for subsidized workers.  Over half said they hired people with less work experience than their usual hires.

Most participating employers reported multiple benefits from the program. These included expanding their workforces, serving more customers, and improving their productivity.

via Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | New Evidence That Subsidized Jobs Programs Work.