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10/02/2005: "GOD (Part VII Part XXVI: Shalom Columbus)"

Notice (oh, you did!): Due to the demand for this piece, I'm going to post
it "as it's written" so to speak. I'll try to add to it every day until
it's finished.

1000 CE: * [Why are we starting in the year 1000 CE? Well, we
needed a date after the founding of Islam but before September 26th, 2005
when the town of Dover PA pasted on ordinance officially declaring cats
to be "the ungodly consorts of witches".] This was on of those years
(there were plenty before and plenty after) during which The Second
Coming of Christ ™
was supposed to take place. Fortunately for
bendover (16k image)Europe's peasants, they are completely ignorant as to what year it is
(as well as illiterate and totally unaware of basic hygienic practices)
so J.C.'s no-show only embarrasses the West's nobility (those who bathe
every five-to-ten years or so) and clergy (those who bathe in Holy Water).
The poor will not be so lucky when it comes to future non-Apocalypses.

1095: Pope Urban II, in order to redirect the energies of
Christendom's kings and knights away from slaughtering each other and
each other's women and children and towards something more positive
(slaughtering someone else's women and children), declares the first

Now, I can always tell that someone owns more seed catalogs than history
books if they say "Them there Muslims have hated Christians ever since the

In actually, the Crusades, initially, didn't make much of an impact on the
Islamic world (Of course this doesn't mean that George W. Bush was not a
total moron for using the word "crusade" in a speech shortly after 9/11).
Even though the Crusaders managed to capture Jerusalem (having to fill the
Holy City with the corpses of 30,000 Jews and Muslims to do so), the
forces of Saladin managed to regain control in 1187. While the Crusaders
hung on in the area for nearly of century afterward, they were never much
of a threat to the Muslims: In fact (quidem), the Crusaders killed more
Christians during the first year of their campaign to spread the Love
of Christ ™
than Emperor Nero was able to bump off during the
entire fourteen years of his reign.

No; the Islamic world's problem with the West wouldn't begin to kick into
high gear until a few centuries after the Crusades.

And yet, an argument can be made that the Crusades were the first drops
of rain in the giant shit-storm in which we presently find ourselves.
But not in the way that must Westerners might think.

As alluded to earlier, Europe during this period was a dismal, backward
place. This was partially because due to the tendency of the church to
systematically rid the world of the works of pagan authors. While many
of the books of Aristotle and Archimedes were simply burned, others had
their words scraped from their vellum backings so that they could be
overwritten with the works of the church's fathers.

While the Muslims had no great love with for the pagans of antiquity they
weren't stupid enough to burn their books: In fact (quidem), the Muslims
took the unusual route of actually reading and translating the works of
the ancients. This goes a long way towards explaining why the residents
of Muslim Cordoba were enjoying running water, paved and lighted streets,
and the choice of seventy libraries at the same point in history
when my ancestors endured open sewers, mud floors and over seventy
different kinds of body lice.

The tide of civilization began to turn when Christian Crusaders, following
the divinely inspired sacking of Muslim towns, discovered, among their
booty, a treasure trove of knowledge in the form of the
long-considered-destroyed works of ancient mathematicians, astronomers,
and scientists: The irony being that book were a valuable commodity among
the Christians because they were scarce: They were, of course, scarce
because Christians had burned and overwritten them.

Once the Christians began employing Jews to translate the books back into
Greek, a whole new world literally opened up for them. This new world
required adopting a few Middle Eastern concepts in order to work, however.
For example, it's impossible to do Geometry using Roman numerals. That's
why Europeans began to use the Arabic numeric system. It's also why, today,
you take a deep breath and count from 1 to 10, rather than from I to X,
before you tell your boss how you feel about working late.
In fact (quidem), the only place you're likely to find Roman numerals
nowadays is in the titles of blogs, where they are employed in a futile
attempt to extend an air of scholarship to the most poorly written pieces.

The West would employ this newly rediscovered knowledge to launch the
Renaissance, The Enlightenment, The Age of Reason, and the Velvet
Underground. Muslims…well, Muslims, now having to deal with the Mongol
Hordes as well as the Christians, were in for a few lean years.

Circa 1320: Sunni Muslims close the "gates of Ijtihad." Shit Luther,
if I only had a dollar for every time when, as a child running outside to
play in the summertime, my dad would yell "Close the goddamn gates of
Ijtihad! Do you think I work all day at the steel mill so I can air
condition the neighborhood?" I could hire a naked Juliet Lewis to type this
while I dictated it from the International Space Station.

Ijtihad means "Independent reasoning." And by closing the gates of Ijtihad,
Sunnis, but not Shii Muslims, were basically saying "Everything we need to
know is in the Koran. If it's not in the Koran, then we don't need to know
it. If anyone has any questions, please raise your hands and we'll be sure
to cut them off."

Not surprisingly, this move kicked off centuries of decline within the
Islamic world.

1492 : The Muslims are kicked out of Spain when they lose their last
stronghold on the Iberian Peninsula, the city-state of Grenada. Spanish
Jews didn't fare much better as they were offered the choice of converting
to Christianity, leaving, or being executed.

columbus (48k image)While many Spanish Jews did convert, many more left Spain. Some headed
north to eventually become the "Secular Jews" of France and Holland
(Spinoza came from this group) while others headed east to become he cast
of Fiddler on the Roof.

It was also, of course in 1492 that a Jew by the name of Christopher
Columbus sailed…

What? Columbus was kosher?

It's true. Yes, Columbus was a devout Christian but he was descended
from a family of converted Jews
. Columbus even maintained a lifelong
fascination with the Kabbalah. Now we know why he was looking for China:
He wanted take-out (If you don't get this joke, ask a Jew to explain it.
If you don't know any Jews, then move out of Kansas.) By the way, this news
that Columbus was a matzoth muncher is not going to sit well with my wife's
Italian family down in South Philly; many of whom are of the opinion that
Leifer Erickson's discovery of Vineland is a Protestant fabrication.

It was also, of course in 1492 that a Jew by the name of Christopher
Columbus sailed to the New World (In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus
sailed the ocean Jew) and thereby kicked the Renaissance into overdrive.
Soon, gold and silver would be flowing from the New World to the Old
allowing for this surplus of wealth to be used to finance more inventions
and discoveries.

Circa 1520: In a move that will forever influence lawns and
mayonnaise, Protestants are invented.

If you think about it, Protestants were an inevitable product of the
Renaissance. As money from the New World flowed into Europe, a new class
was created: a middle class. In order to perform their duties,
this middle class had to be literate. A large population of literate people
is going to demand books. Guttenberg met this demand with the invention
protest1 (28k image)
of the movable-type printing press. Only the demand for books was so great
(living in modern America this is a little hard to fathom) that new books
couldn't be written fast enough to supply a word-hungry public, so
publishers began digging out and reprinting those books which had been
translated from Greek-into-Latin-into-Arabic-into-Hebrew-back-into-Greek-
back-into-Latin early in the Renaissance. And that's where the trouble

"Um…Mr. Cardinal, sir? I have a question. You know Saint Bridget, right?
Well, this old book mentions a Celtic goddess named 'Bridget' and…well,
honestly, they same to be the same person. I mean they performed the exact
same miracles and shit."

"That's an excellent question, young man. And one I'd be happy to answer
after you've been tortured, burned at the stake, and your property
forfeited to the Inquisition."

"I'm sorry; I'll never say 'shit' in church again."

Clearly this sort of obsequious behavior couldn't go on forever; especially
not in an increasingly secularized world where more-and-more people were
demanding the right to interpret the Bible on their own. Not that the
Protestants were, themselves, the most tolerant people on the face of the
Earth. Martin Luther was a chronically depressed paranoid who harbored a
deep-seated hatred not only for the Papacy but for women, Jews, Muslims,
and the poor as well. Luther also believed that all heretical books (i.e.
ones that disagreed with his viewpoints) should be burned.

1633: Galileo is brought before the Holy Inquisition in Rome, forced
to his knees and made to renounce, under the threat of torture and death,
the Copernican model of the solar system. He was then sentenced to house
arrest for the remainder of his life. (Galileo obviously had a better lawyer
than Giordano Bruno who, thirty-three years early, had been burned at the
stake for the same crime.)

As surely as adorable moppet/vacuous sploodge-rag Lindsay Lohan is destined
to one day drive her Mercedes headlong into a bus filled with blind
orphans, killing them all as they were on their way to be adopted by the
staff of a cornea bank, so was science predestined to collide with
religion. In fact (quidem), the only remarkable things about this little
dustup are that it took the Catholic Church over 400 years to pony up a
mea copa
(to their credit, The Catholic hierarchy recently released a
statement admitting that parts of the Bible are not exactly what you might
call "true"
.) and (I hope you're sitting down. Then again, who reads
standing up?) there are still people who believe that the Sun revolves
around the Earth
. [Please, please, puh-leeze click on that link. Truly
a "seeing-is-believing" kind of website]

May 28th, 1665: The Jews finally get their Savior when Shabbetai Zevi
declares himself to the Messiah ™ . In a hastily written press release
which is immediately sent to Egypt Aleppo, Smyrna and the garment district,
Zevi announces that he is the Redeemer ™ who will crush the Ottoman Empire
and lead the Jews back to the Holy Land &trade. Incredibly, Jews took this
proclamation seriously and by 1666 Messiahmania ™ had gripped nearly every
Jewish ™ community ™ in Europe ™ .

In February of 1666 landed near Gallipolis and set off on his mission to
wipe the Ottoman Empire from the face of the Earth. He was quickly arrested
and carted off to Istanbul (not Constantinople) where he was offered the
choice of conversion to Islam or death. Without a moment of hesitation, the
brave Redeemer, Savior, and Messiah of the Jewish people boldly stared the
Turkish Sultan in the eye…and converted. Until his death, a decade later,
Zevi lived as a wealthy confidant of the Sultan.

By the way, the form of Cabbalism practiced by Zevi is the same that
Madonna adheres to. And her husband’s movies suck.

It was also in 1666 the Great London Fire ™, combined with an outbreak of
The Plague (™ by Albert Camus) had plenty of folks (in particular a Quaker
by the name of Solomon Eccles) once again getting all worked up … all
together now…The Second Coming of Christ! ™ . Strike Two!
It was also in 1666 the Great London Fire ™, combined with an outbreak of
The Plague (™ by Albert Camus) had plenty of folks (in particular a Quaker
by the name of Solomon Eccles) once again getting all worked up … all
together now…The Second Coming of Christ! ™ . Strike Two!

1692: The Salem Witch Trials result in nineteen people being
hanged, one man being pressed to death, dozens being imprisoned for
months and six people being fined for "Forcing confessions without
a permit."

Those folks who are mystified by the fact that the Salem Witch Trials took
place smack-in-the-middle of the Age of Enlightenment are completely
missing the point. The Salem Witch Trials (and the Witch Craze that had
earlier swept Europe) was a reaction to the Age of Enlightenment. As
science began to explain away many of nature's secrets, people began to
express a need to reconnect with their illogical side. The fact that they
chose to do this by accusing their neighbors of forming covens and flying
around on broomsticks is rather unfortunate.

By the way, before the good Puritans of Massachusetts got a around to
executing suspected witches they practiced on the next best thing: Quakers.

1776: The American War for Independence (Formerly referred to as
"The American Revolution" in scholastic history books printed before
1980) leads to the creation of the world's first secular nation.

dhurtz1 (26k image)Wait a minute…that can't be right. I mean, aren't we always being told by
strange men with southern accents that America was founded on biblical
principles by God-fearing men?
Maybe we should ask our Founding Fathers
for their views on this matter? Mr. Jefferson, would you do us the honor
of speaking first?

"Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the Common Law." [Thomas
Jefferson, in a letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, 1814]

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people
maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of
ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will
always avail themselves for their own purpose." [Thomas Jefferson, to
Baronvon Humboldt, 1813]

Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of
Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not
advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion?
To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support
roguery and error all over the earth." [Thomas Jefferson, "Notes on

Thank you, Mr. Jefferson. I think we all know where you stand. But what
about a New Englander like John Quincy Adams? Surly Adams believed that
government should be based on religious doctrine. Right, Mr. Adams?

"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in
the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines,
and whole cartloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in
Christianity." [John Quincy Adams]

Thank you, Mr. Adams. James Madison (our smartest and therefore shortest
President) will now explode the skulls of any Christian fundamentalist
within 500 yards. Mr. Madison, the floor is yours!

"Experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of
maintaining the purity and efficacy of religion, have had a contrary
operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of
Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in
all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in
the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." [James
Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of
the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785]

"An alliance or coalition between Government and religion cannot be too
carefully guarded against......Every new and successful example therefore
of a PERFECT SEPARATION between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of
importance........religion and government will exist in greater purity,
without (rather) than with the aid of government." [James Madison in a
letter to Livingston, 1822, from Leonard W. Levy- The Establishment Clause,
Religion and the First Amendment, pg 124]

But, Mr. Madison, didn't you say "We have staked the whole future of
American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We
have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the
capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten
Commandments of God."

"Fuck no. That quote was manufactured by right wing Christian/pathological
liar David Barton and used in his shitty little book The Myth of
. I was so pissed off when I learned about it that I actually
considered returning as a zombie and devouring Barton's peanut-sized brain.

So it would seem that our Founding Fathers were secularist products of The
Enlightenment: But what about the common citizen of the day? Well, he
wasn't so enlightened. In fact (quidem), he was pretty goddamn ignorant.

While the Founding Fathers saw the war as a chance to create a new nation
based in reason rather than superstition, many Colonists saw the war as
part of God's battle against the Antichrist or, as he was better known to
most of the residents of the original thirteen colonies, the Pope.

Seriously, and as crazy as this may sound, many Colonists began considering
King George III to be an agent of the Papacy when, in 1774, he granted
religious freedom to French Catholics living in Canada.

Had not all of those brainy secularists been in charge of the Revol…War for
Independence, the United States might have fallen into the hands of
paranoid religious extremists and ending up today looking like…well,
looking like what the United States are starting to look like today.

1789: While the American War for Revolutionary Independence managed
to create the world's first secular government, the French Revolution (not
known as "The French War for Independence, anywhere…ever) managed to
create, briefly, the world's first regime which was openly hostile towards
organized religion. Although the regime would cease to exist shortly after
Robespierre's head and neck parted ways, anti-clerical sentiment (Atheism,
in particular) would hang on, and flourish, in the intellectually fertile
soil of Europe.

Oddly, Robespierre, who attempted to replace Christian celebrations with
"The Festival of the Supreme Being", had Jacques-Rene Hebert executed for
the crime of closing Catholic churches and officiating over the worship of
the goddess of Reason.

* In 725 CE, Dionysius Exiguus ("Dennis the Short": Who, by some accounts,
stood as much as four inches taller than the author of this piece)
composed De Temporum Ratione ("On the Reckoning of Time"). Previous to the
publication of this monumental tome, the church had relied on the old pagan
calendar which, oddly, dated from the reign Emperor Diocletian: the great
persecutor of the Christians. Dennis the Puny thought that the
ecclesiastical calendar should date from the birth of Christ.

Since there were no zeros in the Roman numerical system, Dennis was forced
to start with the year I. Dennis was also four years of-the-mark when it
came to calculating the year of Jesus' birth. Technically, it's 2009; and
Jesus, if he was planning on coming back for his 2000th birthday,
would've shown up in 1996.

Suggested reading:

The Year 1000 by Robert Lacey & Danny Danziger

The Battle For God by Karen Armstrong

Replies: 29 Comments

on Monday, October 3rd, briannirvana said

that was cool.
i too find the crusades interesting.

on Monday, October 3rd, razlerja said

The Vikings discovered Vineland, NJ! Who knew?!

on Monday, October 3rd, dasc said

I thought roman numerals were only used to disguise the year a film was produced so hollywood could get a higher revenue by staggering the release of fewer prints.

on Monday, October 3rd, billzebub said

No, No. Roman numerals are used to tell what year a government building was erected in.

Heh Heh. I said erected.

on Tuesday, October 4th, me said

Actually i read an interesting book regarding Columbus.

Christophoros Columbus: A Byzantine Prince from Chios, Greece, by Ruth G. Durlacher-Wolper

since the actual origins of Columbus are unknown everything from a wool merchant to a lost time traveller sent back intime to discover Pizza hut only to have been sent back too far back in time and ahd to discover the new world (ok so i made the second part up.. but the book is for real and it makes for some interesting reading..)

on Tuesday, October 4th, briannirvana said

when i was 8, i wanted to know the copywrite dates of the three stooges shorts. the stooges would come on and right in the beginning i noticed the letters MCMXLVI. i learned those were roman. and i had to learn roman numerals to know what year the stooges short was produced. that was my first experience with these obviously creative symbols.

on Tuesday, October 4th, briannirvana said

danzig is cool.
heard em 4 the first time in 1989 i think it was 89. Metallica is their biggest fan.

on Wednesday, October 5th, gunga said

You know what... The first European to set his eyes on North America was an Irish Catholic Monk, St. Brendan. He came back when he realized that he was 800 years too early for the St. Paddy's day parade in Boston.

on Thursday, October 6th, Paul Kircher said

Is that thing I hear about Jews and a hole in the sheet true?

on Thursday, October 6th, me said

on Thursday, October 6th, me said

oh yeah they eat babies TOO!!!

on Thursday, October 6th, Rodney said

For the last time, only Polish Jews eat babies. The rest will eat children of any age.

on Friday, October 7th, Paul Kircher said

Thanks me, glad to hear it's not true. Damn, those poor Jews are always getting funny rumors started about them. I like Jews because they take care of each other.

on Friday, October 7th, me said

Yeah and they always stick together too...

makes me wanna go out and convert. besides i havent eaten a baby in years..

on Saturday, October 8th, the drunk mailman said

don't get me wrong...i'm not a rasist...but the thought of sticky jews gives me the heebie jeebies...does a sticky jew baby taste anything like a sticky you eat them in the morning for breakfast with coffee...

on Saturday, October 8th, dogfaceboy said

I had no ideism that copernicanism and big bangism were such scurrilous lieisms!

on Sunday, October 9th, me said

Well yeah its more of a cinnamon bun sort of thing.. you know.. you got to excuse me now i have to go.. gonna go get me some Kentucky Fried baby... yum yum Colonel Rashbaums secret recipe with 11 herbs and spices...


on Sunday, October 9th, briannirvana said

what is considered kosher among kids?

on Monday, October 10th, briannirvana said

Soon, gold and silver would be flowing from the New World to the Old

This is true, but recall the way they built ships in the 15 th century.
i mean the were small and wood. not ironsides or the merrimeck but cheap and inexpensive ships with sails, no nuclear driven subcommittee. a ship dependent on wind and trying its best to avoid the tropic storms and hurricanes.
i heard that more money was lost at sea than was successfully reaching spain.
go figure
the new world gold seems frivolous to the gold the spanish could have won if they just concentrated on the inquisition.

on Thursday, October 13th, Paul Kircher said

Rodney please e-mail me with pithy comments,, Name and town, name and town, name and town if you wish to opine. No bloviating, that's my job.

on Tuesday, October 18th, Conn Buckley said

Wow, for the very first time in the months ofreading your posts I find myself disagreeing with you, but only on the most minute of points. Guy Richie's films, while not deserving of Oscars (or even "Rodney Anonymous Tell's you what to watch") are superior to 90% of the crap that Hollywood rolls out.

on Wednesday, October 19th, eric said

i hear jews from the south eat a lot of baby-q and pickled baby feat

on Wednesday, October 19th, eric said

jews prefer not to eat chinese baby's because they know they'll be hungry again in a half an hour

on Friday, October 21st, me said

hmmmm. eric... you got a point there i have had that problem in the past too... all you can eat chinese baby and whamo... half hour later... your rummaging through the fridge for something else..

on Wednesday, October 26th, Paul Kircher said

Image hosted by

on Thursday, October 27th, briannirvana said

i need a cold shower

on Sunday, October 30th, Rigney said

That was very interesting, and well thought out.
Wish I'd had an opportunity to proof-read it for you, though. Spelling, grammer, and punctuation errors abound.

on Monday, October 31st, Paul Kircher said

Image hosted by

Happy Halloween!

on Monday, October 31st, briannirvana said

i need a cold shower,

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Ronald Reagan in Hell
The Paul Kircher Show
The Dead Milkmen

October 2005

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