Sunday, January 31, 2016

Colby Keller and Jan krajewski




Taylor Lautner


Smile


Chase Mattson


David John Craig



Jacob Fowler


Gym Boy


Gardening Life


Kisses


Good Morning


Welington Coelho By Jeff Segenreich


2016 Orthodox Calendar


Manly Men





Saturday, January 30, 2016

Skater


Ben Bowers


Matthew Mitcham


Puppy


David John Craig


Alex Prange


That Look


Ricardo Baldin


André Ziehe


Brighton Reinhardt


Nice view.


by Paul Freeman


Red


Muscle



Brandon Andre


Friday, January 29, 2016

Herem

In the Book of Joshua, the ancient Israelites finally reached the promised land. At God’s command and with God’s help, they cross into Canaan and take the land by force. God tells them to kill everyone, even children, and destroy everything.

Turns out, there is a word for this. Herem - the total destruction of the enemy and his goods at the conclusion of a campaign.

There is no independent evidence that supports the claims made in Joshua, and many biblical scholars believe that it was written hundreds of years after the alleged events took place. Perhaps during or after the Babylonian exile. Maybe the author didn’t even mean for the book to be taken as a factual account. Maybe the author meant to warn his people that they should turn away from outside influences and maintain their distinct identity. Maybe the author meant to tell his people that God rewards them when they’re faithful and punishes them when they’re disobedient. Most of those who escaped the alleged slavery in Egypt were denied entrance into the promised land for being unfaithful and disobedient, including Moses, according to the Bible. It was their more faithful descendants who were finally rewarded.

The ancient Israelites didn’t come up with this concept. Just like so much of the Bible, herem is grounded in the greater culture of the area. It was a different time and a different place, and the culture was exceedingly harsh.

We could simply look at this as cultural history and ancient literature, like the Iliad and the Odyssey, if it weren’t for the fact that it comes to us by way of a collection of writings still considered sacred by millions to this day. You see echoes of it in colonialism and the genocide of Native Americans. Recently, a minister claimed that God wanted us to kill all the Syrian refugees, every man, woman and child.

I find this part of the Bible to be very disturbing, especially since it claims God demands, directs and even assists in the killing of innocent people. I’m sure you can find value in it if you read it allegorically, and, as I said, maybe the author never meant for it to be taken as a factual account, but I think, more than anything else, it sows the seeds of religious supremacy. I wish it weren’t part of our religious heritage. Just as I wish our religious heritage weren’t entrenched in patriarchy, and just as I wish those vicious judgments of people like me weren’t part of the package. But all of that is part of our religious heritage, and I suppose it will continue to be for a long time.

I believe in religious freedom, and I believe people should follow their hearts. But I don’t think every religious belief or practice should be given a pass, and I think fundamentalism is a dangerous thing. In my opinion, there is some pretty dark stuff in the Bible, and if taken literally and as the inerrant word of God, there are parts of it that can be used to justify some pretty horrendous things.

Florian Bourdila


Paddy Mitchell


Nico Mirallegro and Friend


Warwick Rower


Summer Fun


That Look


Prelude to a Kiss


Smile


Cowboy


Trevor Donovan


Red


Together


Manly Men