Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tale: The Peasant In Heaven. Grimm; and the Bible's Camel

How hard it is to get into heaven?
Grimm says, a rich man gets in very 100 years.

The Bible analogizes (0r does it?)
to camels getting through eyes of needles.


Read: The Peasant in Heaven.
Then explore the role of translations
in what specifically we are told to believe.

Find this Grimm Tale at://

Why are there so few rich people in heaven. Glad you asked. A poor fellow arrived in heaven at the same time as a rich man. Such a celebration for the rich man! But no-one paid attention to the poor fellow.

Why, asked the poor man of St. Peter? Why? Why does no-one pay attention to me?

Because the poor often arrive here, says St. Peter, but a rich man only arrives once in a hundred years.

Fine: and now comes to mind a Bible story about how hard it is for a rich man to get into heaven. As hard as a camel passing through the eye of a needle. See Matthew 19:24. But go to the transliteration at :// It has "needle" and "camel" but lots of words not transliterated at all. Also at Mark - :// Still, could be the camel and the needle.
  • The difficulty for the rich in getting into heaven - easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter heaven. Some interpret it as meaning the shape of the gate itself, low so that a camel has to bow its head, and take a straight path. Thus, fine for the rich to get into heaven so long as they go through the gate on a straight path.
  • Others debunk the strained interpretation in favor of the more literal - it is just harder, thank you, ://
  • Then see the translators' issues with the meaning of the word given to us as "camel" at :// That says that the translation of camel is wrong. From the Greek, the word we see as "camel" is a close but misspelling from the word that should have been translated as "rope". It is harder to thread a needle with rope, than for a rich man to enter heaven or whatever.
Translations. Get us in trouble all the time. Nobody wants to find out their precious image is just plain wrong. Is that so? Are we stubborn as camels? Are they stubborn? or sensible, knowing their limits and what they will tolerate.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Bawdy. The Lange Wapper, Flanders, at Antwerp's Steen

The Lange Wapper

Once upon a time, at the little town of Antwerp, there lived a giant so big that the people were dwarfed around him. And he had an Attribute that awed the whole country and there was a statue put up and that caused the women of the village and even beyond to come and hope and whatever and thereafter to have lots and lots of children. And so they did. And the town became famous.
The Lange Wapper, Steen, Antwerp, Belgium
Then, in the 17th Century, along came certain well-organized institutional religious persons.

And in the minds of these religious persons, the statue with the Attribute was unseemly. And they were jealous of the attention to it and the jocularity abounding about.

And they said, with gravitas, that such an Attribute on a statute was not to be used instead of doctrine.

Incensed, they declared that an Attribute was not to be used as an object of veneration. No longer could it be considered as having magical powers that superseded their institutional organized ways to ask for children.


They censored it. And the people were disappointed, and thought it silly for the uniformed ones to lop while imagination easily put the Attribute back, and with even more fun, but nonetheless, there they were. FN 2

But the people prevailed.

Centuries later, they named a great modern bridge "The Lange Wapper" - see ://

And they named a newspaper after it, see ://

But the grinches keep trying to mold the story and leave out the Attribute, see ://, as though little children have no sense of humor or, worse, no common sense. Others just say he roamed the streets looking for the drunkards. :// Now, in a pose like that, is he out looking for WUI's? FN 1

We are looking to see what the original Lange Wapper looked like - was it actually this one? This one looks too modern. Back in a sec.


FN 1 Go see. Behind there, in the picture, is the Steen - a castle in Antwerp, Belgium, at the entry to the city center, on the River Scheldt. There is a maritime museum inside.

Steen means a castle-like fortification, and this one is special because it was made of stones, perhaps in the 13th Century. At the time, most buildings were still made of wood. You can see the line where the big reconstructions started. See://

FN 2 Now, people in many places will rub a statue for luck, or to get a wish granted, or for homage. People also kiss statues, icons. See :// - scroll down past the icon of Mary for the description, the theology.

Gregor of Nin, Croatia

Here, in Nin, Croatia, see the great toe of Bishop Gregory. He used the local language for mass. But along came.... and he was out.

The toe is worn and shiny. The toe knows.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tale: Jack, the Giant-Killer, King Arthur, Cornwall, Cormoran, and St. Michael's Mount

Jack, the Giant-Killer

Distraction and displacement as propaganda tools.

St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall, England

St. Michael's Mount is an island Cathedral site, with village and shops, where once Jack killed the Giant.

Mount St. Michael is on the way to the long Cornwall peninsula, England. This island monastery was modeled after Mont St, Michel, in France. But its history is not religous. It is here that the brave lad, Jack, slew the giant, named Cormoran, who was eighteen feet high; and if you measured him around, he measured nine feet.

The time was long ago - in King Arthur's time. The giant would sleep in a cave on top of the mountain there, and wade to land for his prey, heaving the hapless oxen, sheep and hogs on his great shoulders. He had a fierce tongue, apparently, striking fear in the people. But the giant did not eat people, so was not all bad.

Read the story at "The History of Jack the Giant Killer at ://

Saucy Jack dug a deep pit and lured the giant to fall in, and there whacked his head with a pick-axe.

Another giant, however, Blunderbore, heard of this and also met his end at the hands of Jack. Then came Galligantus, also done in. And the Welsh giant was induced to do himself in, and so on. The giants were falling!

What had the giants done to Jack? The first giant had only taken livestock for food, and had a scary mouth. Is that so bad? Is lack of real justification, is our Jack a serial killer? Consider.

When you visit St. Michael's Mount, get there at low tide so you can walk the cobbled causeway out to the island. The tide comes in fast - part of the old defense thinking - and we were up to our knees by the time we got across. Then it was back by little motor launch ferrying the folks home again.

But why is so little of this story known as originating there. Why do we only hear of angels, not Jack and the giants. Which is more fun? Why did the Christian story take over.

What happened after the Christians took over is a tale in itself in cultures around the world. The story of our Jack was subsumed, by the Christian Archangel's doings, and the mountain on the island with the cave became a monastery pilgrimage site. See :// Distract from the old tale with something new.

Why am I thinking of an amoeba now when I think of Christianity. The glob sees a bit of food and simply surrounds and overwhelms it by its bulk, absorbing it in. So the bit is no more. Effective, but not merit-based. Is that so? Boom.