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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Catholic church to pray for Osama bin Laden

A still of 2004 Osama bin Laden videoImage via Wikipedia
Oscar Wilde said, "Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much." The Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in West Palm Beach in Florida seems to have this advice to heart. A parishioner, Henry Borga, paid ten dollars to have Osama bin Laden's name added to the service."I'm asking for forgiveness, mercy and compassion for that miserable criminal," he said. The pastor is honouring the request, to the dismay of many church members.

"Their hearts are troubled because they're thinking emotionally about what he has done, and he has done a lot of evil," Father Gavin Badway, the church's pastor told WPTV. "Nevertheless, Jesus tells us, love and forgive."

"I just don't think it's right, I really don't," Louis Pizzano Sr. told MSNBC. "I think what's happened to the American people, what he's done, what he was planning to do and because we killed him, it doesn't stop there."

The Osama prayer appears to have some support in the prayer circle. Parishioner Vince Stankey was somewhat forgiving: "The way he was trying to prove his god to do killing, I can't approve of that, but I have mercy on his soul and I have to pray for him."
Borga admits to being worried about his family's safety since he made the prayer request.

Failed "end of the world" predictions

The world is ending this Saturday, so if you don't have plans Friday night, make some. This grim news is brought to you by Christian talk radio personality Harold Camping. Camping claims the Bible predicts that the Rapture will occur on May 21, 2011, and any left behind be out of luck because the complete end of the world will happen on October 21, 2011. This would be funny if there wasn't a small horde of people giving up their jobs and worldly goods to spread the word. This is not the first time the end of the world has been predicted and it certainly won't be the last. Here's a list of some of the more memorable failed predictions, throughout history, compiled by ReligiousTolerance:

1919: Meteorologist Albert Porta predicted that the conjunction of 6 planets would generate a magnetic current that would cause the sun to explode and engulf the earth on DEC-17.

1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994, etc. were other dates that the Watchtower Society (WTS) or its members predicted.
•Since late in the 19th century, they had taught that the "battle of the Great Day of God Almighty" (Armageddon) would happen in 1914 CE. It didn't.
•The next major estimate was 1925. Watchtower magazine predicted: "The year 1925 is a date definitely and clearly marked in the Scriptures, even more clearly than that of 1914; but it would be presumptuous on the part of any faithful follower of the Lord to assume just what the Lord is going to do during that year." 
•The Watchtower Society selected 1975 as its next main prediction. This was based on the estimate "according to reliable Bible chronology Adam was created in the year 4026 BCE, likely in the autumn of the year, at the end of the sixth day of creation." They believed that the year 1975 a promising date for the end of the world, as it was the 6,000th anniversary of Adam's creation. Exactly 1,000 years was to pass for each day of the creation week. This prophecy also failed.
•The current estimate is that the end of the world as we know it will happen precisely 6000 years after the creation of Eve.  There is no way of knowing when this happened.

1891 or before: On 1835-FEB-14, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, attended a meeting of church leaders. He said that the meeting had been called because God had commanded it. He announced that Jesus would return within 56 years -- i.e. before 1891-FEB-15.

1850: Ellen White, founder of the Seven Day Adventists movement, made many predictions of the timing of the end of the world. All failed. On 1850-JUN-27 she prophesied that only a few months remained before the end. She wrote: "My accompanying angel said, 'Time is almost finished. Get ready, get ready, get ready.' time is almost finished...and what we have been years learning, they will have to learn in a few months."

1844-OCT-22: When Jesus did not return [see next item on list] , Miller predicted this new date. In an event which is now called "The Great Disappointment," many Christians sold their property and possessions, quit their jobs and prepared themselves for the second coming. Nothing happened; the day came and went without incident.

1843-MAR-21: William Miller, founder of the Millerite movement, predicted that Jesus would come on this date.

1794: Charles Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, thought Doomsday would be in in this year

968 CE: An eclipse was interpreted as a prelude to the end of the world by the army of the German emperor Otto III.

365 CE: A man by the name of Hilary of Poitiers, announced that the end would happen that year. It didn't.

About 30 CE: The Christian Scriptures (New Testament), when interpreted literally, appear to record many predictions by Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus Christ) that God's Kingdom would arrive within a very short period, or was actually in the process of arriving. For example, Jesus is recorded as saying in Matthew 16:28: "... there shall be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." In Matthew 24:34, Yeshua is recorded as saying: "... This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Since the life expectancy in those days was little over 30 years, Jesus appears to have predicted his second coming sometime during the 1st century CE. It didn't happen.

Source: ReligiousTolerance

Book: "Area 51" was all about Cold War nuclear and aircraft testing - and fake UFOs from Stalin

The mysterious Area 51, the ultra-secret tract of land seventy-five miles north of Las Vegas, has been UFO central for many years, with reports of captured aliens and their ships being hidden there. It sits right next to the now abandoned Nevada Test and Training Range, where over 100 atmospheric bomb tests were conducted in the 1950s. The U.S. government has never officially acknowledged the existence of Area 51, which only helped to encourage tales of UFOs.

Area 51

The myth is finally broken. Journalist Annie Jacobsen reports that the government once used the site for secret nuclear testing and weapons development. In her book "In Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base",  Jacobsen provides details on how several government agencies, including the CIA, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Department of Defense and the CIA – used Area 51 to conduct secret research on aircraft, including one that traveled three times the speed of sound and a nuclear-propelled missile launching system to be space based. Jacobson also contends that the area was used for "dirty bomb" testing.

This is where it gets really weird and the credibility of the book is stretched thin. The author also reveals that the famous UFO crash at Roswell was actually Josef Stalin trying to create mass panic by using German "flying discs" carrying deformed child pilots engineered to look like aliens, by Nazi mad doctor Josef Mengele. This "War of the Worlds" scenario is a little difficult to swallow, but she goes even further claiming the U.S. was also conducting similar gruesome medical experiments.

From NPR: "In the summer and fall of 1957, a series of atmospheric nuclear tests — called Operation Plumbbob — were conducted above ground at the Nevada testing and training range, located just outside of Area 51. Twenty-nine explosions were set off while tests were conducted on troop readiness, accidental detonations and the effects of flying debris on living targets, according to documents declassified by the Department of Energy that Jacobsen details in her book."
"During the explosions, security officer Richard Mingus stood guard outside many of the weapons-testing sites, including one with the largest atmospheric bomb that has ever exploded in the United States."
""The bomb goes off. Richard Mingus is at ground zero, safe away in a bunker somewhere, and suddenly someone realizes, 'My God, Area 51 is unsecured,' " Jacobsen says. "And so they send Richard Mingus through ground zero, 45 minutes to an hour after this nuclear bomb has exploded, so that he can get to Area 51 to guard the gate.""
"Mingus survived, as did many other atomic veterans who stood close to ground zero during other Plumbbob tests."
There's more. The Department of Defense wondered what would happen if a plane carrying nuclear material crashed, so they simulated the disaster, spreading plutonium on the ground, creating their own "dirty bomb". The resulting fallout made much of the land uninhabitable, which was not cleaned up until the 1980s, when they sent in men in hazmat suits to scrape the earth.

Read more from NPR here.

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