Showing posts with label Bibliography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bibliography. Show all posts

January 3, 2014

Did God Have a wife and if so, Where is She?

A British-based theologian has come to the conclusion that God did not work alone, asserting that the fertility goddess known as Asherah was essentially his wife.
A British-based theologian has come to the conclusion that God did not work alone, asserting that the fertility goddess known as Asherah was essentially his wife.
CC BY: Karen
Anything that has to do with religion and ancient beliefs can be fascinating. The problem with followers of any religion is their lack of curiosity and knowledge of how their religion started and learn more about those names mentioned in the scriptures. The bible which is quoted or misquoted by millions on a daily basis to both to destroy and to built. To kill and to heal, is a good place to start with the most common sense questions. One of the questions that kids asked when you start to teach them about god is, Where is his wife? They are taught about getting married to the opposite sex since they are able to speak but in the bible their god wether is Yahweh in the old testament or Christ in the new they don’t seem to accomplish one of the things that men are pushed to do, to have a wife.
A leading theologian asked the question and answers it by saying, Yes! And she may have been edited right out of the Bible.
The below article is not a new one just like these questions and ideas are not knew. There is nothing you can ask about religion and the status quo’s of any old religion that has not been asked before and in many cases answered by someone who delved into the subject and studied the most difficult questions. 
The deacons of religions wether is the pope, the bishop or just some preacher telling you about your salvation at 2am on a sunday morning tells you to go by faith and not ask too many questions. People in a cult or religion like scientology don’t answer questions.  Instead you have to go and study their dogma which tells you what you should know to be at the level of holiness or sainthood or salvation and nothing more. “Some things are not meant for mortal men to know.”
To answer questions in a non bias way you need to strictly go by the information available, old writings from different sources that corroborate that question on hand.
When I first read the Bible I was amazed to find out where some of the religious eduction I was getting was coming from. I was relieved that some stuff was actually written somewhere. Being curious that was satisfying but what was troubling was that most of the dogma I was told to follow or avoid were not written anywhere in the good book. That was the first indication to me I needed to know more.  May be I was missing something.
I would like to share with you the following post on a subject I still find  so interesting. 

All the great religions of the world share the belief that there is but one solitary creator of the universe. But they could be mistaken, says Britain-based theologian Francesca Stavrakopoulou. "I have come to a colorful and what could seem, to some, uncomfortable conclusion that God had a wife," she says. Who is God's companion and where has she been hiding all these years? Here, an instant guide:Respect for faith: Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou
Respect for faith: Dr Francesca Who is God’s wife?   
Our creator's better half is a powerful fertility goddess named Asherah, says Stavrakopoulou. She was once worshipped as the companion of Yahweh, the name of God in the Hebrew bible.

What's the evidence for this?
The existence of an ancient goddess named Asherah has been acknowledged for some time, but Stavrakopoulou has unearthed fragments of ancient pottery in Syria that date back to around 800 B.C. that refer to "Yahweh and his Asherah" — implying that the two were a "divine pair." There are also lines in the Bible that refer to worship of the goddess in Yahweh's temple in Jerusalem. "In the Book of Kings," says the theologian, "we're told that a statue of Asherah was housed in the temple and that female temple personnel wove ritual textiles for her."

If she's really God's wife, why isn't she in the Bible more?
It sounds a bit "Dan Brown-ish," says The Huffington Post, but "the Bible's editors may very well have wiped her almost clean from the document." Several Old Testament experts say the ancient authors who collated the texts either cut out references to Asherah, or translated her name as "Sacred Tree."

Why would she have been cut out of the Bible?
After the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 586 B.C., Israelite leaders emphasized strict monotheism in order to unite their different tribes. The idea, says theologian Aaron Brody, was that there's "one god not only for Judah, but for all the nations." Before that, polytheism — or the worship of a number of gods — was quite common. Several of the ancient Israelite gods, such as El, Baal, and Molek, were similarly cast aside in favor of Yahweh.

Should we be sceptical of Stavrakopoulou's claims?
The devout may wish to know that the theologian is an atheist who says her research is a "branch of history like any other." She has also said that Eve should not be blamed for the Fall of Man, as she had been "very unfairly maligned as the troublesome wife."

SourcesDiscoveryHuffington PostTIMEDaily Mail,The Week

August 1, 2012

Gore Vidal and His Lover Howard } Sins of The Fathers

 I found this interview by Emma Brockes at The Guardian uk, with Gore Vidal.  At the time Gore was 77 about to turn 78.  I love when someone could get Vidal to talk about anything, but particularly about his partner.  In this interview Ms.Brockes gets Vidal to talk about his family and his partner’s end years.
Howard Austen
Gore_vidal_time_cover 

Gore Vidal - aristocrat, intellectual and prolific novelist, playwright, and essayist - is as outspoken as ever. He talks to Emma Brockes about the corruption of the Bush administration, his ongoing radicalism and the benefits of speaking in complete sentences.  

The view is stunning, but as you walk the path between the village of Ravello and Gore Vidal's house, all you can think 
 Gore Vidal
is: how the hell are the removal men going to get his stuff out? He has lived here, an hour outside Naples, for 32 years, accumulating 5,000 books and the sort of furniture that can hold its own in such a grand old palazzo. Before the end of the month, everything must be conveyed by hand down the path, past the pool, under the canopy of trees, through the wrought-iron gate and out into the sunshine, where the track continues for a quarter of a mile to the village square and the nearest accessible road. "I am as unsociable as it is possible to be," says Vidal and he is, from the off, true to his word.
Part of the reason he is moving back to Hollywood, where he has a house, is that Vidal can no longer make the journey to the village unassisted; in two weeks he turns 80. He has had a titanium knee replacement. His partner of 55 years, Howard Austen, died two years ago and the house still seems heavy with grief, the walls lined with packing boxes, the lighting at dusk, gloomy. Vidal enters the drawing room stiff-backed and eyes fixed forward, leaning heavily on his assistant. I have read that the house was sold for £9.5m and ask him who bought it.
"That is just the press," he growls, with such contempt that the photographer and I exchange looks; oh God.
Has it been sold?
"No."
Is he keeping it?
"No. Probably not."
Vidal stares stonily ahead while his assistant, a young Frenchman, runs an electric razor over his chin in preparation for the photos.
A ginger cat slinks in. "What will happen to the cat?"
There is a pause, dry as ice.
"The cat will be provided for."
It has always been hard to work out how much of Vidal's aloofness is genuine. He plays up to his image as the foremost American aristocrat, slow in speech, noble in gesture, with a confidence in his own opinion that derives as much from background - his grandfather was a senator, his father a founder of the airline TWA and he had a stepfather in common with Jackie Kennedy - as from expertise. If he has ever reserved judgment on a subject, it has not been recorded, which is why, while he talks like an intellectual, he has the output of a hack: more than 35 novels, 20 non-fiction titles, scores of screenplays (most notably Suddenly, Last Summer) and opinions at the ready every time a world event requires lofty interpretation.
At the same time, his grandeur can be spiked with self-parody. "There is not one human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise," he has said, and one imagines the wintry smile that accompanied it. The topic that animates him above all others is politics and so, in an effort to soften the atmosphere, I ask: was he surprised by Bush's inadequacy in dealing with the floods in Louisiana?
"No." He musters a little smirk. "It's a corrupt administration" - Vidal's voice begins to rise magesterially, and his whole body to inflate like a hovercraft - "as they have proven to the whole world. I was just watching television; Bush has for the first time admitted that he might be culpable."
Was he convincing?
"No-o-o. What was convincing was that his handlers said you get out there and apologise."
With some pride, Vidal refers to himself as the neo-conservatives' "public enemy number one". His radicalism stretches across many issues, all of which come back to his basic proposition that there is no such thing as democracy in America. Neither, he says, is there freedom of the press nor political accountability and the last American election was rigged. He is like Chomsky in this regard, but in Prada trainers.
"Congressman John Conyers," he says, "Democrat for Michigan, went out to Ohio with a team of researchers examining the theft of votes on a huge scale. So Conyers made a report and published it. I wrote the preface. And I followed its lack of attention. Not one review of the congressman's book has been mentioned anywhere in the papers, or on television, not one. We are tightly censored and controlled and have been for decades."
He may well be right about the malevolence of corporate America. But like most conspiracy theorists, Vidal's beliefs are so grand - for example, that the New York Times, General Electric and the nuclear industry are in cahoots to hoodwink the American people - that they rely on a rather optimistic view of human competence. When Clinton faced impeachment, Vidal said that Monica Lewinsky was a plant introduced to the White House by the tobacco industry to bring the president down. I ask if he still believes that.
"We-e-e-ll. Sex is sex, who cares? But if you have a press which keeps playing it up and playing it up and people say, 'Impeachment! Impeachment!' My God! We only do impeachment for treason! Because he told a fib? About not having had sexual relations with her? They trapped him into a form of perjury. They knew that, as a gentleman and a married man and a father, he would say no." This seems to me a rather generous removal of self-interest from the equation. "It would have been unnatural for him to say, 'Oh yes, yes, yes, we just had the wildest time.' So on a specious charge they bring down an administration just at the time when we need a competent president."
Clinton was, in his opinion, the best president of the past 50 years and he believes that Hillary, who has visited him in Ravello and of whom he has a high opinion, will run in 2008. Vidal himself "nearly went off to New Mexico and had a conventional political career. And then I wrote The City and the Pillar, my third book, and decided that that was more worthwhile." Nevertheless, he stood for Congress in 1960 and lost. Naturally, he has no regrets; the reason he lost, he says, is that he didn't raise enough money. "I am incapable of asking anyone for money. No." He would rather comment on than participate in politics. "I mean, to do what I do is probably the maximum. To be one of 600 members of the house? That is a kind of anonymity."
The Vidal family graveyard is in Rock Creek cemetery in Washington. It is by all accounts beautiful, a place which, in keeping with Vidal's beginnings, is sufficiently elevated in the capital's history to ensure an illustrious end. "Mrs Roosevelt used to go there whenever she was particularly depressed with Washington. There is a semi-circular bench with a magnificent view."
Age has not changed him. His writing style is "as disagreeably clear" as ever (he says he should like to use more adverbs, but can never make them work for him); his view of the world is unaltered. "My opinion was never terribly high of the world. The world has done nothing to alter itself. Stalemate."
He was friends with Christopher Isherwood, who had a very lively dotage in Los Angeles. I wonder if Vidal, a great admirer of his prose, holds him up as a role-model of sorts.
"Well, he drank a lot. Don [Isherwood's boyfriend] did him an ill service by insisting on printing every word of his diaries, which I call 'the hangover diaries'. He would have a wonderful evening the night before when you were with him - very happy - and then the next morning he'd have a ghastly headache and write about how much he hated everybody he saw the night before. This did him a disservice, not to mention those of us so described. These were not precious insights."
Vidal's own insights, however wise, are widely perceived these days to be the fruits of a relentless superiority complex. I wonder how aware of this he is. He snorts.
"What form does that take?"
Never admitting to being wrong.
"Yes, I do. I think it's because I speak in complete sentences. That's considered un-American."
When was the last time he admitted he was wrong?
"All the time. All the time. I remember my father, when he was in what Roosevelt called his 'little cabinet', running all aviation for the United States. When he was leaving office, they brought my father a scrapbook and morbidly he sat down and started reading. And he said, 'This is just awful; every time I face a great decision, I do the wrong thing. It's uncanny.' I said, 'Well, through the law of averages you must have made a good airbase in Missouri or some place.' 'Well,' he said, 'maybe one or two of those.' No, I think any reflective person is going to realise that he makes a lot of mistakes."
Although he cries at old movies, Vidal's manner ensures he is labelled anti-romantic. He says this is fair. And yet for 55 years he lived with one man, a romance of epic proportion. He smiles. "Yes. But no sex. Nobody believes that, nobody can understand it. Sex has wrecked more relationships than anything else. The idea of exclusivity."
How was he mature enough when they got together to realise such a thing?
"Well, I was 25, but I knew what I had to do. And shopping around seemed like a great waste of time. So I didn't."
Did he come out formally to his family?
"I was never in anything. They were perfectly welcome to go out and buy my books and read them."
And did they?
"My father liked The City and the Pillar. My mother did not. She didn't read. She drank."
Gore_and_dancer_harold_lang_1947
 Howard and Gore
Vidal was never tempted to relax into Washington high society and assume the life expected of him. Serving in the army opened his eyes to wider possibilities. "I remember Alice Longworth [a cousin of Eleanor Roosevelt's] saying, 'Oh, how clever you were, Gore, to get out and not become like Joe - or me!' she said. 'We stayed. And now we're just old fixtures. And I loved your book, Justinian' - she always got the title wrong." He adds: "Our graves are not far from hers."
The first indication that Howard was ill was when he fell in the garden. "He had cancer. It had already gone to his brain when we found out. His locomotion was disturbed and he fell flat on his face. We went through a horrible series of death scenes." For a year after his death, Vidal barely ate. "I became anorexic." I am so surprised that we sit for a moment in silence. How did he pull out of it? He smiles, witheringly. "I ate something."
When he gets back to Hollywood, Vidal anticipates being besieged by visitors. He does not invite them; they just come. His protestations of unsociability aren't terribly convincing; clearly he loves being in demand. I suggest that people will travel a long way for someone who finishes his sentences.
"Yes. Out of disbelief."
He shouts for his assistant, who helps him up and into the hall for photos. I remain in the drawing room, which is now almost dark. The packing boxes give it such a melancholy air - "it doesn't fill me with joy, either," says Vidal - and feeling the hairs on the back of my neck rise, I look over my shoulder and catch the reflection of Vidal's assistant, staring passively at me through a mirror from a side room. It feels like a scene from Death in Venice.
After the photographs, Vidal is installed in a cosier chamber and I join him, briefly, for whisky. He talks about the modern American novel, how its elevation of the imaginary over the literal was something he championed way back, "and now everyone is doing it". We talk about other, younger authors; De Lillo, Pynchon, Jonathan Franzen.
"Yes, I read one of his. It reminded me of my novel, Duluth."
Eventually the young assistant comes to collect us and lead us through the garden, under the canopy of trees, out through the wrought-iron gate, along the path that runs to the village and beyond.


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