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The New Testament gives evidence for such a belief. From age 12 to 30, there is about what Jesus was doing with his life. More than half of Jesus's life is missing. It vanished.My mystical sources have long told me that the Council of Nicea was where much of Jesus's life was "weeded out" of the New Testament. That was partly because he spent those "lost" years traveling the world on his spiritual pilgrimage. He attained his enlightenment outside the Roman Empire and gained valuable insights from Buddhaic and Hindu masters of the East, with their ideas of reincarnation and other ideas that were unacceptable to the imperial religion.Thusly did Jesus's life and teachings make it to the big time, although what it became was probably nearly unrecognizable to Jesus. Yet, in its core, it was still about love. The Roman Empire's adoption of Christianity was not as easy as Constantine may have hoped. His successors fought for years over the Christianity issue, Christianity and Paganism went at it tooth-and-nail at times, and Christianity prevailed. In the end, Christianity adopted many Pagan rites, partly to market it, which further altered Christianity.There is only one word worth remembering about Jesus's life: love. Using ancient teachings to justify judging, killing, punishing, or oppressing people is not enlightened. It is not what one believes that gets them into heaven, so much as . religions are corrupted, not just Christianity. The Dalai Lama may have said it best when he said, "My religion is kindness."Regarding holy words, it is instructive to recall that neither Jesus nor Buddha left behind any writings. Spiritual teachings have stated that when the master has left earthly life behind, the teaching is finished, and any writings left behind belong to the realm of philosophical literature, not the basis of religions. Jesus and Buddha cannot have believed much in the holiness of written words if they did not leave any behind.Early Christians persecuted and killed, which was typical in those days. The Coliseum, along with other arenas around the empire, was the site of constant bloodbaths. The Roman equivalent of going to the movies was going to the arenas and watching staged battles, put on for the masses' entertainment, which was a tradition that lasted for about a millennium in that region. The prime attraction at the arenas was gladiatorial combat. Originally an Etruscan funerary rite, gladiatorial combat developed into the Roman Empires primary entertainment. Gladiators were one of many slave classes in the Roman Empire, which meant that they were people conquered and captured by Rome's armies. They were trained for battle in the arena. One-on-one combat was most common, but group battles could become extravaganzas. Augustus Caesar once had 10,000 men fight each other in eight battles. The battles were usually to the death.Roman historian Michael Grant noted that history's "two most quantitatively destructive institutions are Nazism and the Roman gladiators." Modern estimates are that at . Any appreciative musings about Roman achievements in the area of law, architecture, economics, and other "advances" of civilization need to be tempered by considering the unparalleled evil of forcing people to murder each other for . The Romans themselves were not too proud of that form of entertainment, as imperial Roman coinage, which depicted all manner of Roman life and culture, never portrayed gladiatorial combat.The thumbs up, thumbs down gesture came from those times, when a gladiator might be spared if he fought valiantly enough. So the audience would not become bored, the events were creative. People fought lions, tigers, and bulls. Fights were staged with lion against tiger, elephant against rhinoceros, and bear against water buffalo. Other novel offerings were dwarves and cripples against women. The Coliseum could be filled with water for naval battles. A gladiator was nearly always doomed to an eventual death in the arena, although many killed themselves first. If a gladiator became the day's "hero," he would be showered with gifts and applause, only to go into battle the next day. Sometimes it was declared that no warrior would be allowed to survive the day, and every one would have to fight to the death. Few survived long enough to "retire." That was the favored of the day. Criminals and Christians were among those condemned to die in the arena. Few Romans ever complained or questioned the nature of that entertainment. In those times, cruelty and bloodshed was equated with fun. The crueler that a spectacle was, the more that the crowd liked it.The spread of Christianity is generally credited with the end of gladiatorial combat, although it was far from an immediate effect. Emperor Constantine, who made Christianity the state religion, issued an edict forbidding gladiatorial combat in 326 CE, the year after the Nicean Council, but never enforced the order. Constantine was hardly a "good Christian," having both his wife and son executed, and his wife by boiling her. Constantine staged some of the gorier spectacles that ever graced the Coliseum. For Constantine, Christianity was a strictly political matter. In 404 CE, a Christian monk from Asia Minor apparently leapt into the arena to try separating the combatants, and the enraged crowd tore the man to pieces. Gladiatorial combat was not finally abolished until 681 CE.The earliest Christians were Jews, and Rome considered Christians to be a Jewish sect. By 212 CE, Jews became imperial citizens, and their life was as good as the times could dictate, until Constantine made Christianity into the state religion in 325 CE. Then Jews began a hard ride. Although the Christian hierarchy at the time did not advocate anti-Jew violence, Christian mobs regularly burned down synagogues. Babylonia, outside of Christian and Roman influence, became the center of Judaism by 300 CE. Pagans were being wiped out too, even while Christianity appropriated many of their customs. Christian intolerance replaced the laissez faire spirituality that characterized pre-Christian RomePower corrupts, and as the Christian church became more powerful, pagans and Mosaic Law Jews paid heavily. Constantine's ploy was not very successful, as the .Jews were dispersed across the Roman Empire and further, and when the Empire collapsed, the Catholic Church became Europes unifying institution. It was a different kind of Roman Empire. For all of its spectacular failures and the great evils that it would eventually wreak on its subjects, the Catholic Church may have helped hold European civilization together for the next 500 years.As the Catholic Church gained in strength as the state church, it became increasingly bigoted and racist. Although three early popes were black Africans (Miltiades, Victor 1, and Gelasius 1; saints Augustine and Benedict were also black) the Church became decidedly racist, and Vatican artists later "whited out" those African popes and saints.
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As with the and other controversies, if somebody wants to have their head spin, they can spend time assimilating the various points of view regarding the years 1933 to 1945, especially pertaining to European Jews and World War II. In many far right circles, Hitler was a tragic hero who lost. The , according to some "scholarship." There are those who criticize the Holocaust deniers, and those who criticize the critics. Another perspective is that the . Another perspective is that . Another perspective is that the USA and the West had a hand in letting it happen or stood by and watched, which includes David Wyman and many others, including most mainstream historians. Another perspective sees German industrialists having a big hand in it, as they clamored for concentration camp labor, then the USA after the war was over (Christopher Simpson). There are standard texts on the Jewish Holocaust (Raul Hilberg, Lucy Dawidowicz, Leni Yahil). There are large, comprehensive tales of the war. There are books about how crazy it all was (Paul Fussell, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky), or how the Jewish Holocaust was similar to the (David Stannard, Ward Churchill). There are books about Japanese atrocities (Iris Chang), or about how badly Germans suffered in the . There are books about building the bomb and (Peter Wyden, Richard Rhodes, Gar Alperovitz). There are many documentaries on Jewish Holocaust survivors, perpetrators, witnesses, etc. Lifetimes can be spent digesting the various viewpoints of those times and events.Hitler came to power in 1933, and Jews began fleeing Germany. America was not frightened by what happened in Germany, and just as Christian Europe was not too bothered when and Spain in its , what Germany was doing to its Jewish citizens soon after Hitler came to power did not excite much comment in the USA or anywhere else in the West. Anti-Semitism was not only rising to unparalleled levels in Germany, but throughout the West. In America, as it again dealt with a national calamity, Jews became the scapegoats. Anti-Semitism reached all-time levels in the USA during the 1930s, only to be surpassed during World War II, to peak the Jewish Holocaust was over.When Hitler came to power, the greatest physicist of all time was in America and weighing his options in an increasingly anti-Semitic world. In 1933, Albert Einstein visited Cal Tech in California. In 1919, there was a supposed confirmation of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, whereby starlight was bent more than Newton's theories predicted when it passed by the Sun during a total eclipse. Einstein became a huge international celebrity in the wake of the announcement of those findings, and "relativity" was the word on everybody's tongue immediately after World War I. In Germany, however, where the Jewish Einstein had been persuaded to live as his scientific career blossomed, anti-relativity companies sprouted up, led by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Phillip Lenard and others. Relativity was called a Jewish plot to corrupt physics.In 1933, while Einstein was heading back to Germany to begin planning his move to America, Nazi storm troopers ransacked Einstein's Berlin apartment and eventually seized his home, and declared that Einstein was an enemy of the state. Einstein never returned to Germany. Although Einstein was the world's most celebrated scientist, American groups were trying to prevent Einstein's migration, most particularly the Women's Patriot Corporation, which labeled Einstein, "a Communist and menace to American institutions," and part of a conspiracy to take over the world. There was a rumored Nazi-sponsored $5,000 price on Einstein's head, and he hid out in England for a few weeks before coming to the USA to stay.Einstein was fortunate in being able to migrate because of his celebrity. Other prominent Jews also found haven in the West. Most German Jews were not so fortunate. Similar to the argument that , nobody in the West could claim that they had nothing to do with the Jewish Holocaust of World War II. Most Jews would have left Germany in a heartbeat, but there was no friendly haven to flee to. Nobody in the West wanted Jews coming to their countries. Anti-Semitism was at its all-time high in Europe on the eve of World War II. The had collapsed due to its systemic greed and nobody wanted to take in Jews. In America, the Western Jewish haven, it was hard times. During the 1930s, the USA severely tightened its immigration laws, and Jews in particular were denied admittance. In 1932, one British publication stated: "A crusade of anti-Semitism has been raging from the Rhine to the Vistula, from the Baltic to the Aegean Sea, during the past six months, with a vindictiveness that almost surpasses all previous manifestations of anti-Jewish hatred since the end of the war." That was six months Hitler came to power, and it only escalated after that. In those years, Jews were nearly down there with blacks in America. Franklin Roosevelt became president in 1933. He was a politician from New York, and brought Jews into his New Deal agencies (furthering the "commie" perception of Jews). That led to murmurs throughout America that Jews were running the country. The 1934 resolution submitted to Capitol Hill to express "surprise and pain" at the Jewish treatment in Germany died in committee.The Jews were fleeing to where they would be taken in. They began pouring into Palestine, and Arabs were not happy about it. In Palestine, Arab leadership was militant and uncooperative. In 1936, there was an Arab uprising in Palestine, and the UK drastically curtailed Jewish immigration there. Zionist plans were deeply divided by Jewish factionalism. In America, Father Charles Coughlin personified the ancient animosity of Catholics toward Jews. He had a weekly national radio show heard by millions of Americans. He was the Rush Limbaugh of the 1930s. His diatribes against Jews were breathtaking. Across America, anti-Semitism was raging. Even a place as genteel as Minnesota began having anti-Jewish campaigns. There were even Nazi rallies in the USA in 1939. During November 9th and 10th, 1938, Germany had its infamous , which made the world collectively awaken a little. That event even made Roosevelt speak of his shock, but like the politician he was, nothing was done about it in the USA. A little more than a week after , Coughlin gave his most amazing speech, which minimized the barbarity of and went into a long attack on Jews, and he produced forged Nazi documents to support his bizarre contentions. Coughlin's diatribes helped stir up immense anti-Jewish hatred in America. Coughlin inspired an organization called the Christian Front, which in 1938 had chapters in America's eastern cities, where 85% of America's Jews lived. At Christian Front rallies there were calls to "liquidate the Jews of America." That was four years before anybody in the USA heard of Hitler's Final Solution. At one Christian Front rally, the speaker invoked , and said that the only good Jews were in the cemetery. When a passing Jew retorted that he was a good Jew and still alive, he was immediately arrested for disturbing the peace.In Europe, German Jews were desperate, and many fled anywhere they could.