Category Archives: Religion

Cambridge senior citizen releases stunning manuscript of Herod, King of the Jews. Astonishing revelations from the man accused of ‘The Slaughter of the Innocents’ and intended murder of Jesus The Christ.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Author’s note: I have held this story privily unto myself for over four decades now. Not a day goes by, not an hour, that I have failed to examine this manuscript, touch it, venerate it, until I have come to know each sentence, every word, indeed every smudge and discoloration.

Since the very day this story begins, so many years ago, this document has determined the course of my life. Instead of merely discovering perhaps the most important of historical documents — the apologia pro vita sua of Herod, King of the Jews, archetype of majesty, I have found a master… for whatever role I have played in this matter, it has always been Herod who has called all the shots, just as he called them every day of his life, as much a King in death as he was most assuredly King in life.

This papyrus clearly marked with the royal seal of Herod, King has held me in thrall. I have wondered, indeed dwelt on the matter with near manic intensity, whether I was right to withhold notifying my dissertation advisor of a find I knew almost instantly was a matter of the first importance, a certain wonder to the world, significant to people everywhere.

I was, however, just a second-year graduate student at the time and was as such unsure of my way; of no consequence or standing whatsoever. I decided then, and have lived with the consequences of this decision ever since, that when I was “ready” I would release the fateful document I have always known would make my career, guarantee a plum academic appointment, respect and admiration my certain portion…

… along, of course, with the jealous denunciations, painful abuses, and hurtful execrations of those who were determined to bring low anyone who threatens, as I and this seminal document would most certainly threaten, the version of events they had propounded and rested their careers, well being and reputations upon.

I was convinced then that I was not ready to withstand such abuse, which I knew was certain and so made the far-reaching decision to be silent and maintain this silence. Each time thereafter I determined I was at last “ready” for the world to know and take my rightful place amongst today’s Sadducees, I paused knowing the first query I would be universally subjected to was “why?”…. why had I waited even a single minute for revelation, the fateful query which even I recognized would undercut my case and make its acceptance even more difficult than I knew it would be.

Thus from the moment I determined I would not inform my advisor, would not inform anyone, my fate was sealed. Herod gained a loyal servant… I gained a boot on my neck, for I lived no longer my life; I lived only the life Herod, King permitted me. Here’s how it all began…

In Widener’s stacks, a bomb shell.

I was, I admit, a diligent, more plodding than brilliant student for all that Fair Harvard selected me. As such I was guaranteed a “good” job, at a “respectable” university… secured sustenance, but not one scintilla of the glory, fame and fanfare I yearned for. To avoid this fate, one known by most graduate students and the average Academician, I needed a dissertation that was at once meal ticket and masterpiece. And for that I needed just the right topic.

After discussion, I was given permission to write on the role of the “Slaughter of the Innocents” in the development of Christian theology, iconography, hagiography, and belief… and as such was immediately introduced to Herod, King, the designated villain of the matter.

Herod, scoundrel, murderer, infanticide, scourge of every decency, infamous traducer of every humane value, King.

The point of a dissertation, a doctoral thesis, is for the designated educational authorities to determine if you, aspirant to the Academy, can advance the cause of truth (“Veritas” as they simply say at Harvard) and, having advanced your point of view, defend it against all comers, and so enrich humanity.

It is the noblest occupation of all, the process through which assertions, however audacious and astonishing, shine out not as opinions but as Truth… thereby taking the place of mere arguments once regarded as important, now instead to be regarded as untenable propositions; no longer regarded as anything but the quaint beliefs of earlier, less enlightened times. All true scholars participate in this crucial work, indeed it is the major reason for the very existence of the Academy, where all work hard for wages ample but not excessive, shaping society, enriching society, advancing society word by careful word, idea by new idea.

I was proud to walk this road, honored, humble before such a great goal, determined to be worthy of the name Scholar. And so I opened my research on Herod (born 73/74 BCE, died 4 BCE aged 70); his reign (37-4 BCE), his wives (10), his children (at least 10), his vast achievements (particularly the construction of the Second Temple of Judaism and the astonishing engineering feat that was Caesarea Maritima and its breathtaking port, the envy of every governor and autocrat necessitous of tax revenues and wishing new ways to tap into the never ending bounty that was the trade of the Orient. Herod was the envy and inspiration of all, even unto the reigning Roman emperor himself.

The dark, sinister, paranoid, sleepless, fearful ruler, murder always at the ready to ease his uneasy spirit.

Then there was the “other” Herod, the one whose violent deeds continue to shock, disquiet, and disgust. This was a man of dark thoughts and darker deeds, a man whose penchant for murder as statecraft still reeks two millennia later. This was the man who killed his second wife Queen Mariamne, likely the only woman he ever loved; who then roamed the corridors of his many palaces calling her name, summoning her back to the life he had summarily ended.

He likewise killed his three sons by this queen as well as unnumbered officials, soldiers, priests, subjects, and nobles. Such a man well knew there would be jubilation at his death and so ordained that the leading men of every family, tribe, and section should die with him, thereby producing distress, lamentation and grief suitable for his stature and majesty.

Such a man could easily be thought to commit the unthinkable, the one act universally regarded as unmitigated evil, the act known to history as “The Slaughter of the Innocents”, enshrined for all the world to know and judge in The Holy Bible (St Matthew, 3,13-16)

“Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years and older, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.”

This was and has always been the gravamen against this notorious sovereign, a grave charge found no where else. Even so, this heinous deed was accepted by all, historical fact, the very gospel. My diligent researches revealed nothing more… until one unforgettable afternoon in the cool recesses of Widener Library.

There at the bottom of a dusty box, tied in heavy string, marked as a previously unopened, uncataloged bequest of Judaica was destiny in the form of a seal, the kind of official marking on the correspondence of some great man indicating a matter of significance. And so it most assuredly was…

The Gospel according to Herod, King of the Jews.

I would have removed the document from the box in any case. The shear beauty and intricacy of the seal, remarkably intact, assured that. Its design I later identified as an element from the facade of Herod’s masterwork, the Great Temple of the Jews. The document that followed was in Greek, a language Herod knew well from his extensive classical education. Here, too, he had the advantage of me…

But I knew enough to know the salutation was the king’s own. It said “Attend! To Herod, King!” He used the Greek word, “Basileus.”

Soon I was giving every moment that I could enter the stacks to this document; early and late I thought of nothing but its translation. But this was not enough. My poor Greek made for slow progress…. and so I determined to “borrow” this document from the library, promising to return it as soon as I had finished, but of course that day never dawned. I am looking at it now…

Obsession, a secret life, Herod rules my life.

Over the course of the next months, which ultimately turned into long years, my entire attention was focused on the document, which in due time proved to be a death-bed justification of the events of his momentous reign. The drift was always the same, I did such and such a thing because I was King, not saint.

Yes, he killed Queen Mariamne “a tiresome woman who would not keep to her place”. Yes, he murdered her brother the High Priest “an ambitious man with his eye on my crown and the head in it.”

Yes, he murdered his three sons by Mariamne “useless drones with only one interest in life… seeing me dead.”

The document, running some 5,000 words in the most elegant and sophisticated Greek imaginable, was a treasure trove of valuable insights. He made it clear each word was the word of a king, as such sacrosanct; that he would not deign to dissemble even if it were to his interest. And so he produced a document only the ultimate insider could have produced. That is why his remarks about “The Slaughter of the Innocents” disturbed me so…

In whose interest?

Herod, King, so renowned and powerful even on his bier that he could afford to tell the whole truth about himself, was forthright on this matter, too. He never saw any “wise men” (characteristically saying that he had been looking for such men quite unsuccessfully for his entire life); never received them; was never told that they sought the infant “King of the Jews”. If they had he could have directed them to dozens of such people in and around his kingdom, claimants to the throne being “common as dust”.

Moreover, should he have wished to kill the children of Bethlehem as the legend states, he could easily have found methods at once less flamboyant and more effective, starting a pest house there for instance, thereby introducing new plagues and contagions. He then went on to another matter. But before he did, he asked his reader to consider in whose interest such a canard might be. Certainly not his.

Over time the likely answer to Herod’s sharp question emerged. The early Christians lacked credibility and needed as many “miracles” as quickly as possible, to grow and prosper. Casting Herod as the certain cause for one of history’s most tragic and cruel events allowed the early fathers to dazzle by claiming miracles, indeed the very involvement of God Himself on their behalf, never mind it was untrue. Thus instead of this Biblical “truth”, I came to adhere to Herod’s no nonsense conclusion; that the entire matter of this slaughter was fraudulent, a pack of convenient lies composed for their own purposes.

What was I to do? I had by now been expelled from Harvard, not for the theft of one of history’s most important documents; that was child’s play. Rather for neglecting my other work and classes. Thus, I had even less standing than before. And so the matter rested for all these years. Thus, I allowed the selfish beneficiaries of the hoax known as “The Slaughter of the Innocents” to continue their falsehood and deception.

A special message from Dr. Lant.

Three months ago, I found in the lobby of the building where I live a hand-delivered package hand-addressed to me. I noticed at once it had no return address. Per my invariable custom, I opened the box at once, only to find all the documents collected by the ex-Harvard graduate student whose research on the matter has been so meticulous and invaluable. It even contained the headline he once expected to appear upon publication of his discovery.

However while I have used this headline above, I am by no means sure I shall ever publish this article, much less the poor man’s work, acute discoveries and conclusions as he clearly expected me to do. Here’s the rub…

Myths are important, you see, none more so than this one. For, yes, I am fully persuaded King Herod, not the single reference found in The Holy Bible, was right, that the research of our scholar was right. However their conclusions are inconvenient, to say nothing more, to churches and Christians everywhere. They need belief and Herod’s truth would only unsettle them so, especially at Christmas. For the story of Christmas relies on Herod, the three wise men, the dream God gave Joseph to flee into Egypt, and “the slaughter of the Innocents’. You see my dilemma….

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

Did he or didn’t he? Thoughts on whether Jesus married or not.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. I am writing today where I write every day; from my eyrie hard-by the Cambridge, Massachusetts Common, across the street from Harvard University, my alma mater whose motto — “Veritas” (“Truth”) — is everywhere apparent.

It is important, particularly for this article, that you understand something of the history of this venerable place, the city of Cambridge itself, its designated mission, what the Puritans aimed for, and whether they achieved it.

The first settlers to Massachusetts (arriving November 11, 1620) underwent the greatest possible travail and difficulty. They endured their acute miseries, even welcomed them, because they insisted upon their view of God and their direct and personal relationship with Him.

In their new land, there would be no bishops, no cardinals, no fathers Holy or otherwise … just a man, his Bible, his vision of God, and no overweening, dictating authority. On this basis they divided their new home into two parts; Boston was designated the administrative, governmental and commercial headquarters. Cambridge (then called Newe Towne, until 1638) was designated the theological center, including schools; most importantly the most celebrated educational establishment ever created, Harvard.

From its very first moment, it was clear that Cambridge and Rome would be the axes of two fundamentally different views of God and how men should regard, worship, and honor Him. Each side spoke well of the other when necessary, but each regarded the other as capable of any outrage. How could it be otherwise when one claimed infallibility and the other believed no man and therefore no human institution was infallible, a state reserved for God Himself.

From time to time the tensions, always latent, flared. My brilliant classmate Professor John Boswell (1947-1994), though a zealous convert to Roman Catholicism, was one who rocked the boat in one seminal study after another on the Church, its long, early acceptance of openly gay priests and same sex marriage.

Discerning people knew at once with the publication in 1980 of “Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality” that here was a clear, new, lucid, learned voice on some of Rome’s greatest problems. His National Book Award in 1981 was just the first of a cascade of honors. His tragic death from complications of AIDS was a huge setback for tolerance and a way out of Rome’s Gordian Knots. It was rumored then and after that the Roman Catholic Curia breathed a sigh of relief at his death, sotto voce claiming it was God’s will. So the Vatican acknowledged Boswell’s importance and the Veritas that was always his objective.

Now Harvard offers Rome Professor Karen L. King and the now celebrated text suggesting that Jesus was married… his wife being (a) Mary but as yet unclear which one; (there are three mentioned in the Bible). Even the possibility that the Son of God was married has generated a tsunami of controversy, learned (and not so learned) commentary, and knee-jerk reactions of every kind.

Now it is time for me to weigh in, on the principle that fools rush in where angels fear to tread, a phrase written by English poet Alexander Pope in 1709. It became the title of a well-known 1940 song, lyrics by Johnny Mercer, music by Rube Bloom. Bing Crosby, himself a fervent Roman Catholic, added it to his string of hits. You’ll find it in any search engine. I like the sultry version by Mildred Bailey.

Recognized scholars confirm the document is genuine.

The two essential questions: is the document authentic? And is what it reports about Jesus and his wife accurate, thereby proving the case for what would then be the most important marriage in all history?

As for the authenticity of this inelegant document, smaller than a business card, written in a coarse hand with a pen well worn and past its prime, one recognized scholar after another has been sought out by Professor King. Tellingly each and every authority who has seen and scrutinized the actual document has endorsed its authenticity; as the actual thing it purports to be. Exhaustive testing and analysis by the world’s leading experts have failed to produce a single dubious element, feature, or aspect. In short, there is not a single “red flag” to be had, although there are still plenty of doubters.

Professor King, historian of the early Christian church, did her work well, and shrewdly. By her outreach to her peers, she kept her worldwide colleagues in the loop, giving them no grounds for criticism. She shared what she had…. and in the process covered herself, too, in case later analysis yielded doubts not present now. Should such a day ever dawn, Professor King would not be the only one with egg on her face. It would be generously shared with every poobah in the field.

Is the text accurate?

Thus King cleverly dispensed with the lesser query, getting comfortable shared responsibility while ensuring her name would be forever linked to this epochal matter. Now she must go to a far more difficult and controversial place, for the truly essential question is: “Is the message history, true, or merely tittle-tattle in the Coptic language?” And here, to date, there is not only no agreement in general, but little desire to stray beyond the verities of papyrus and pen. And so it’s time for this fool to rush in…

Fate? Accident of history? Conspiracy?

Why is there so much hubbub in the world, both amongst theologians and historians and people on the street concerned about their immortal souls and the Good News that is Jesus, regarding this text specifically and the subject generally? It is because for hundreds of years all manner of people have speculated on the man called Jesus and every aspect of his world-altering career.

Every aspect of his known life matters to us, and so both believers and non-believers alike have made it a point to study and master “The Greatest Story Ever Told”… a story that rivets our attention not least because it so closely touches the matter of our souls and our eternal place in the firmament.

Thus in studying the story of Jesus, we study, too, what may happen to us, individually and species. And because the matter is so significant, we must approach each new development as the greatest of lawyers would have done… with minute scrutiny, wariness, doubt and dubitation; the matter is too significant for us all to warrant any other approach.

Advocates for Jesus’ marriage must ask and answer such piercing questions as these:

1) Is it likely that such a crucial event as his marriage would be found and solely communicated to us in just one document, and that unclearly written in an ungrammatical and uneducated hand?

2) Is it likely that the marriage of Our Saviour would be treated as silently and unheralded as to appear in but one text?

3) Why are the Prophets predicting the advent of Jesus universally quiet on the matter of the help-mate who would partly share his life and lighten his excruciating load?

4) Given the fact that such a spouse presumably out lived Jesus, why is there no document proved and incontrovertible that mentions her in any of the stringent activities and customs of her Jewish widowhood?

5) Why is there no document, authenticated or not, that mentions seeing, visiting, embracing or listening to this spouse, even being given by her any of Jesus’ effects, each of which would have immediately become the holiest of artifacts?

6) And what of the Pharisees and of the Romans? They had each been apprehensive of Jesus when alive and so might well have monitored his widow and any cult of her husband, which she might well have been expected to bolster and grow.

Why is none of this and the thousand related queries not mentioned in the texts and documents which constitute the Bible and related texts? A good sleuth must be forced to conclude they are not there because there was no wife, no help-mate, no spouse, thereby proving yet again how much the Son of Man forfeited for us. And yet….

Where the definitive answer probably resides and three dates.

There has been, so far, a huge hole in the debate, and I suspect that within this hole is the solution to the married Jesus conundrum. This hole is the most lavish, ostentatious, and palatial library ever created, suitable for the men on whom God built his Church. This place is the Vatican Library and it is here, amongst its 75,000 codices and over 1.1 million printed works, that the likely answer is to be found. Yet neither Karen King nor any of the many publications and media sources following this story have even mentioned this absolutely vital resource and its importance for elucidating the matter at hand.

Did Professor King seek to get access to either the general collection or the all-important Secret Archives? If so, why has she not said so, reporting what she may have seen or was not allowed to see? Or did she fail to ask for admission, thereby leaving an enormous gap in her research? For make no mistake about it: the most likely place to find what will solve the matter is amidst the documents of those who have the greatest vested interest. All roads lead to Rome as they have from the days of the Caesars, and to the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana.

476, 1202,1475.

Three dates are significant to the work of any Biblical scholar, theologian or historian in hot pursuit of Veritas. 476 is when the Roman empire of the West finally fell. Thereafter the greatest library of the world and repository of Church documents was to be found not in Rome but in the Eastern empire, in Byzantium — until April 13, 1204 when during the Fourth Crusade the Christian crusaders sacked the greatest of Christian cities, dispersing its riches, including the riches of its great library; carrying back to Rome masses of crucial Church history. From this emerged in 1475 the library of the Holy See. And it is likely there, Professor King, you will find the answer to the matter at hand, an answer one way or the other, for as Mildred Bailey at her loveliest sang, “Though I see the danger there/ If there’s a chance for me /Then I don’t care.”

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer Check out Syndication Rockstar ->

‘Give me that old time religion,’ implores the Pope as the world ponders thepossibility and importance of a married Jesus. Wow!

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. When was the last time, you saw a major secular publication give a banner headline to the latest development in Biblical studies? You probably can’t think of that time… which is why the front-page coverage in The Boston Globe of Wednesday, September 19, 2012 (and following) is so important, epochal, for on this day the possibility of a married Jesus made a quantum leap, moving beyond mere speculation (as in Dan Brown’s 2003 run-away best seller “The Da Vinci Code”) to something plausible, conceivable, even likely. “I ,Jesus, take thee….”

Revolution on a scrap of fourth-century Egyptian papyrus.

It’s a tiny little thing, smaller than a business card but it packs the wallop of a punch to the solar plexus for the Bishop of Rome and his Catholic Church. Here are the exact words discovered and minutely scrutinized by Bible scholars under the leadership of Harvard University Professor Karen L. King, historian of the early Christian church.

1) “not (to) me. My mother gave to me life… 2) The disciples said to Jesus, 3) deny. Mary is worthy of it. 4) … Jesus said to them, ‘My wife… 5) … she will be able to be my disciple… 6) As for me, I dwell with her in order to”… 7) (an image).

“The Gospel of Jesus’s wife.”

The text is crude, scrawled in a Coptic hand. King provocatively calls her potentially seismic find, a translation from a Greek text written two centuries earlier, “The Gospel of Jesus’s wife.”

The most important woman in history.

As King points out,”The entire question about whether Jesus was married or not first arose only 150 years after Jesus died in the context of Christians discussing… whether Christians should marry or remain celibate.” In other words, this discussion, with the implication Jesus was married, took place as close to the actual events of Jesus’s life as any of the major early Christian texts. This increases its importance and similarly the importance of the woman who would be, if proven, the most important woman in human history; the woman selected by the Son of God to be his lawfully wedded wife, Mrs. Jesus.

This likely woman is known to history as Mary Magdalene or Mary of Magdala, and the reasonable likelihood is that she is the “Mary” referenced in the text as Jesus’s wife. After all, she was one of Jesus’s most celebrated disciples and the most important female disciple in Jesus’s movement. He had cured her of a serious illness described as “seven demons”. It is known she became one of his close friends. But was there more?

Consider the ways in which this Mary is referred to in the Bible…

Item: She remained at the cross of crucifixion alone after all the male disciples had fled. Is this the act of a dear friend, or loving spouse?

Item: She was present at his burial. Is this the act of a dear friend, or loving spouse?

Item: She was the first person to see Jesus after his Resurrection. Is this the act of a dear friend, or loving spouse?

Conservatives, defenders of the status quo, must argue for friendship and loyalty; progressives, now bolstered by the suggestive new evidence, will argue for more, much more, thereby positioning Mary, possibly wife of Our Saviour, as the most important woman in human history, a woman we long to know better and in copious detail.

An e-mail brought the Good News.

A man unknown to Professor King wrote to her as an expert in the field. The man wanted to know whether she could help him translate the text. He told King he had an inkling that it might say something about Jesus being married. Perhaps the good professor could assist? King looked at the document and her heart beat faster. If it was authentic it would immediately rank with the most important early Christian texts, from the days when the verities of the gospel were being discussed and determined. “If”…

The owner quizzed.

Being a professor, investigator, researcher means emulating such great sleuths as Sherlock Holmes, Lord Peter Wimsey or Miss Jane Marple. Thus, Professor King. understanding how gleeful and smug her opponents would be if she erred, moved carefully. Check, recheck, check again. The man who brought this find to her attention was, it seems to me, of little help. He knew what its previous owner had told him about the text in question being about Jesus and his wife, but he knew (or would say) nothing more… except for one thing: he wanted to sell the document to Harvard as part of a collection of Greek, Coptic, and Arabic papyri. Recent worldwide publicity about this text could only increase its value and desirability. Harvard remains silent on the matter.

King, wanting the informed opinion of her colleagues worldwide, systematically sought them out; starting with the doyan of such experts, Roger Bagnall, director of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and professor of ancient history at New York University, who helped King authenticate the papyrus.

Most but not all thought this messy, inelegant text, written in thick, badly controlled strokes, by someone with a very poor pen, was authentic. Importantly, every single expert who actually saw the artifact deemed it real; the doubters only saw low-resolution images, murky and unclear.

The experts who did not see and would not share: the Vatican library.

King took her dog and pony show to Rome, to the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum for the International Association for Coptic Studies’ Coptic Conference. But though she and the document were at that moment just across the street from the Vatican library, its great doors were not open for Professor King.

Yet where is the greatest number of such biblical texts likely to be found?

These celibate guardians, in charge of access and more usually denial, will follow Professor King’s researches with the greatest possible interest. But, as what she is about challenges the millennial usages of Rome, their enthusiastic and practical assistance especially if they know (as well they might) Professor King is on the right track, will never be forthcoming. Never.

Probably not that Mary.

Meanwhile, King and her adherents operate in an environment of enthusiasm and doubt, happiness and the greatest caution, even unto who “Mary” might be. Mary Magdalene, says Professor King, is unlikely to be the “Mary” identified in her text as the wife of Jesus. That would be another Mary, as yet unidentified. She has her reasons, but I suspect “Occam’s razor” works here: “other things being equal, a simpler explanation is better than a more complex one.”

And so the wheels of academic research grind slowly, oh so slowly; the more slowly because the great doors of the Vatican’s palatial library remain closed to anyone seeking anything even remotely inimical to the doctrine and practices of Mother Church, for whom truth is not always or even mainly its invariable objective; unlike Harvard, whose motto is “Veritas”, Truth; its researchers have no special interests to protect or axes to grind.

Thus I give you the music for this article, a tune for which the Vatican has most assuredly developed a penchant, “Give Me That Old Time Religion,” written in 1873 and included in a list of Jubilee songs, perfect for camp meetings. Find it in any search engine and belt out one of its new lyrics, “If it was good for Pius XII, it’s good enough for me…”

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

‘The air which you breathe/ At last I breathe.’ If Christ came to Cambridge.What would you do?

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

We know now that history is a tricky business, that it is easy to forget times and dates and confuse and muddle what actually happened. Suzy tells everyone she must have been the first person he spoke to, but Suzy is an unreliable source… and besides was a confirmed addict who often disappeared into her own world where she heard voices and saw people who didn’t really exist but frightened her anyway…. still when she tells this story she gets a far away look in her eyes… and she looks younger, calmer and she’s almost beautiful again. What drug, I wondered, has that quality?

Here’s what we do know.

One day the man who called himself Jesus wasn’t here in Harvard Square…. then the next day he was. That isn’t unusual. When the first mild spring days arrive run-aways, addicts, the homeless and down and out spread out from the Pit at the main subway entrance, in the stretch along Massachusetts Avenue from the Coop to the bus stop at the corner of Mass and Garden St. It’s all hospitable territory for the panhandling down-and-out. That’s why no one took much notice of Jesus; he was just another loser blown in, to stay for a while, then go on his tangled way.

Still, the man wasn’t what we usually saw hereabouts. He didn’t seem to be strung out on drugs, wasn’t up to snuff on where to find drugs, which drugs you could mix to intensify the high… and which ones you must never mix if you want to wake up again. He didn’t talk to you or even seem to listen to the conversations about where to find drugs, who had them, who you needed to conciliate, who was a good guy and who wasn’t.

But then there was that incident with Ben…

Ben was Suzie’s… what? Lover? Boy toy? Child? One minute you’d see Ben up and pan handling; the next moment his head would be in Suzie’s lap, a pieta’ not quite blocking the way into the CVS store. she coddled him, held him, tolerated his infidelities. One day, and it must have been the first such day, Ben started vomiting, screaming, moaning. Suzie was hysterical. She kept saying “Help us! Help us! Help us!” But no one wanted to hear, much less help…

… except Jesus.

And as it happened, I saw the entire episode myself. Jesus appeared as if from nowhere. But it was his eyes which were so arresting. His eyes… and his hands. He looked first at Suzie; she stopped screaming. I can tell you that Jesus didn’t say a single word… then he placed his hands on Ben’s head, as if to comfort and reassure. First Ben stopped moaning… then he sat up and smiled, “Thanks, man,” he said. “I’m better now.” With his hands still on Ben’s head, Jesus said these words, his eyes were infinite and kind:

“Don’t think about tomorrow. Think about today for tomorrow will take care of itself. Remember, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

“Cool”, said Ben.

I thought, he’s one of these new street healers popping up in the Square. But they always ask for something; Jesus didn’t. Maybe there’s some kind of free offer.

I didn’t see Jesus again for a few weeks. that, too, was completely normal. I was immersed in my business…until one springtime Sunday in the late afternoon I saw about 40 people gathered around the Lincoln Memorial. Jesus was standing on one of the concrete benches. He hadn’t yet started to speak.

It was a lovely afternoon and the people were happy and, at the margins, a bit obstreperous and boisterous, too. Drugs of course, or liquor.

Raising his hands in an embracing gesture, arms outstretched, palms up, he commenced, without welcoming word or introduction. It was almost a chant, simple, moving; I reached into my pocket for my pen and found not paper but a used napkin for my notes:

“The poor in spirit are blessed.The kingdom of heaven is theirs.”

There was no commentary, no explanation, just one declarative sentence like this after another, the words delivered softly, his voice never raised.

“Are you mourning for someone you loved? You shall be comforted.

Are you meek of temperament? Then you’ll be blessed. You shall inherit the earth

Are you merciful? Then you are blessed, for you will get mercy.

Are you working hard to find the righteous way? You will get what you seek.”

As a public speaker myself, I was fascinated by his delivery.The words were simple, the delivery free of artifice even emphasis. Nothing seemed radical or revolutionary about Jesus… but nothing seemed very important about him either. However, in retrospect two items do stand out. First, as the obstreperous part of the crowd grew even more restive, he simply looked at them with his fathomless eyes. He bid them to come forward… and after being asked again by Jesus and coaxed by the crowd, some did. And I do not think I am wrong in saying that there was a touch of fire and heightened tone in what he said:

“You will be blessed when men shall attack and prosecute you. You will be even more blessed when men shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”

This was the first time anyone had heard Jesus say such a thing for the words “for my sake” clearly indicated he saw himself as a person of consequence. Most people in the crowd missed this. But I didn’t.

At just that moment, Ben ran into the Common and shouted, “Jesus, your friend Lazarus has died and his sisters are upset. Can you come at once?”

“Are you sure he is dead?”, he said. “Oh, yes,” said Ben. And so Jesus walked to Huron Avenue… and into history. I don’t have to remember what happened next; it’s all over the Internet… Jesus’ arrival at Lazarus’; the determination he was dead… and the call he made to Lazarus to get up, get up and walk… even the awe of the crowd when he did, changing the life of everyone there and the people worldwide who were willing to trust what they saw.

For the moment these video clips went online and viral, the whole thing became a zoo… these reaffirming what they saw and advocating for him…. those proclaiming their acute disbelief in what could only be a hoax.

To help sort out the matter, Jesus accepted an invitation from Rush Limbaugh; in retrospect a terrible mistake for Limbaugh lacerated Jesus up and down, calling him a fake, an impostor, a charlatan, out for money, a man who lied, scammed, and deceived.

Jesus didn’t retaliate, didn’t raise his voice, and simply said, “Blessed are the pure in heart; for they will see God.” And as Limbaugh continued his stream of unending venom, rousing his listeners to hate and frenzy, a man named Judas who lived near the studio grabbed his gun. He shot Jesus three times as he walked out the door. In terrible pain, he said just before he died, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

But now we do. Starting with Judas, who immediately shot himself mingling the blood of ignominy with the most precious blood on earth.

Note: The title for this article comes from a sublime 1770 aria by C.W. von Gluck entitled “Of my sweet ardor” (O del mio dolce ardor). Go now to any search engine and play it. “I seek you, I call you, I hope, and I sigh.” It will comfort you.

About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

Snyder v Phelps. Why the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right to ‘hate speech’ and why we must, repulsed, be glad for it.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

We are in these United States, so it has often been said, a government of laws and not of men. It is important while reading this article, written to elucidate, not inflame, to remember this… for in considering the facts of this case, the actions taken, how and when performed and the people involved and what they did, it will be so very easy to let emotion take over and to find these laws sunk by altercation, the bitterest of language, the crudest of sentiments, the full panoply of ample human hate.

Oh, yes, we need to remember now, that we are a government of laws…

Consider the facts… for they are not in dispute.

Pastor Fred Phelps is the founder of a tiny independent Kansas congregation of the Baptist persuasion. Its congregants are mostly members of the extended Phelps family. These people, fervid in their belief that they are rendering the pure distillation of God’s will; (essential to all prophets and others engaging in heinous deeds abhorred by others) live in a frenzied Old Testament environment, outraged citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah who have been called upon — personally, by God Himself — to purge the people of their sins. You must believe in their profound sincerity, for it legitimizes — in their eyes — every abhorrent act.

Theirs is a world reeking of sin, of unholy deeds, of God traduced and His Commandments flouted and always of sexual perversions luridly rendered. These people do not imagine these acts, they see them… and the Great Jehovah calls upon them to act, to act now, to save the sinning people. Pastor Phelps roils the people with the Word of God… the better to ensure they never forget, and that they act — and act Now — with every sinew of their God-serving being.

Hearing of the Supreme’s Court ruling in favor of the church, member Margie Phelps said, “We are trying to warn you to flee the wrath of God, flee the wrath of destruction. What would be more kind than that? I do very much appreciate that I get to be the mouth of God in this matter. We have not slowed down and we will not.” Here is just some of what God has called on them to do…

Item: In 1998, church members picketed the funeral of Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, who was butchered in a hate crime that outraged the nation. Church members made it clear to grieving members of Shepard’s family, that he Got What He Deserved.

Item: From 2005 church members began showing up and protesting at the funerals of America’s fallen soldiers. Dressed in death masks and skeletal regalia their signs read “Thank God for dead soldiers,” “Pray for more dead soldiers,” and placards showing a soldier’s face in the cross hairs of a rifle with the message “God’s view.”

Congregants protested, too, at the 2011 funeral of Elizabeth Edwards, estranged wife of former U.S. Senator John Edwards and threatened to do the same at the recent funerals of the Tucson murder victims, including the littlest victim of all, Christina Green. They were bribed not to outrage a city’s grief, and took time on national media instead. It was outrageous, disturbing, but it worked for the church members. It kept America’s eye directly on their agenda, and they knew this is what God wanted.

Why, America wondered, were already grieving family members, allowed to be subjected to these outrages”. Why did no one act? At last someone did…

Albert Snyder endured the hardest thing any parent could face, the death of his 20 year-old son Marine Lance Corporal Matthew, killed in a Humvee accident in Iraq. But the congregants of the Westboro Baptist Church, doing God’s work, made certain to outrage the reverence of the family, their private grief, and need for quiet thought and reflection. Ordained by God, they turned the attention on themselves and on their mission, away from one of America’s heroes, gone too soon, the lad who had served the nation… and died for us.

A father’s profound lamentation… was changed to outrage… and the law. And in due course, the Honorable the Justices of the Supreme Court gathered to do the task for which they were appointed: to prove again that we are still in the Great Republic, a government of laws, and not of men. As such, to the anger of many good citizens of the republic, they ruled 8-1 in favor of… the outrageous church, the appalling church, the church that affronts every notion of what is right and proper and what is owing to our dearest dead and departed… and the justices, in so ruling, were right, 100 percent right, and a credit to the hallowed traditions of the nation.

This is a nation ruled by an idea: an idea that the people have the right to protest; that this right is the very essence of the nation and that it is essential to preserve, not limit it. The discussion hinged therefore on whether the actions and sentiments of the church members were a public or private matter. The court was clear: they concerned a matter of high public interest… and were therefore protected, no matter how despicable we found the church, its members, their actions… and we find them all despicable indeed.

In his opinion for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts particularly noted that the ruling was narrow and limited to the specific facts of the Snyder case. He noted that in some situations, the location of protests can be regulated, such as requiring buffer zones between protesters and an abortion clinic.

In this case, Roberts concluded, protestors “had the right to be where they were.”

Mr. Justice Alito’s dissent.

One justice, Samuel Alito, dissented from the majority’s opinion; press reports made it seem like he disagreed with the majority’s conclusions. In fact, he refined that majority opinion. As a result there is hope for future victims of Westboro Church’s God-driven outrages.

Alito made clear that should this church, or any such organization, misjudge and misapply the court’s findings, victims of “vicious verbal assault” and injury retained the right to substantial damages. Church members, and you Pastor Phelps, should have a care.

But will you?

Even now you and your members, always available for God’s work, flush with victory and self-congratulation, are planning new outrages, confident of God’s strong arm and the nation’s law. Have a care indeed, for one day, may it come soon, you will go too far and reap what you have sown… and what will your vengeful Jehovah do for you then, you who have caused so much pain to so many, who did nothing to deserve it?

About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

‘Suffer the little children.’ How the Vatican’s good old boys protected Ireland’s most notorious pedophile priest, Father Tony Walsh.

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

We have been accustomed for years now to the steady drip, drip, drip of stories of pedophile priests — known, protected, unrelenting, sickening. The drill goes something like this:

First, the abuse.

Then the denial.

Then the acknowledgement.

Then the settlement.

Then the cash payments.

Then the (ordinarily too weak) promises of new oversight and reform.

Surely, there could be nothing new under this cloud.

Think again…. for now you will meet (then Father) Tony Walsh… a priest with a penchant for impersonating Elvis… and a rapacious sexual appetite rivaling Don Giovanni. But this is not so much a story about Tony Walsh as it is the tale of how the Vatican, knowing much and fearing more, winked for nearly 20 years at a man known to many as Ireland’s most predatory pedophile priest. This is the Rosetta Stone of pedophile priest stories… for understanding this, reveals all.

The joy boy of Ballyfermot

Ballyfermot is part of Dublin. It is grim, poor, but fertile for those seeking the very young and winsome, for they are omnipresent and without voice or influence, the choicest morsels, available, helpless.

These were tailor-made for Father Tony Walsh. As such, he lost no time making good use of them when he took up this parish in 1978. He molested his first boy there just two days after he started. It was simple and oh so easy. He knew he was on to a very good thing.

Father Tony honed his approach and his solicitation skills. He toured as Elvis in a traveling Catholic song-and-dance production. He ran the Boy Scouts (de rigueur for pedophile priests) and brought boys to the Dublin seminary, Clonliffe College. Through such means, an embarrass du choix, he kept a steady flow of what he desired while keeping up appearances so that those who would not see would have no grounds for suspicion. It was all very well organized, cynical, loathsome.

Bit by bit, the story of Father Tony seeped out. Ballyfermot was rife with noisome rumors. So much incessant seduction spurred an avalanche of saucy tales, which lost nothing in the telling, not least because they were true.

This went on for 19 years, between 1975-2004 by which time the matter was widely known, conspicuous, flagrant. Yet Father Tony continued to work his cynical magic with the boys of Ballyfermot. He had a system that worked, and he enjoyed it accordingly while his superiors discussed, dithered, procrastinated… then postponed, delayed, and discussed some more. It was the Catholic version of Dickens’ Circumlocution Office… and, of course, was perfectly created for Father Tony Walsh. He was one of the boys, he was inside the charmed circle… he had protection, tolerance, cover, right up to and including his eminence Cardinal Desmond Connell, Archbishop of Dublin, Primate of All Ireland.

What did his eminence do?

Over time, stories like those of Father Tony and his ilk became general knowledge; so general that even the Primate of All Ireland was forced to pay attention. But he moved too little too late so that reformers, despairing of Church-lead reform, turned to the Irish government instead. The findings of the state-ordered investigation shocked the nation and raised profound questions about how so much abuse could have occurred with so little and so ineffective response.

Item: Church officials knew of widespread abuse.

Item: Church officials shielded the perpetrators and ensured that abuse cases be treated internally, which meant they were not treated at all.

Item: No abuse cases or sexual crimes were reported by the Church until the mid-1990’s. Not a single one.

And what of blissful Father Tony Walsh?

Investigators focused their attention on 46 priestly abuse cases occurring between 1975-2004. Of these cases, all heinous, the most flagrant of all was Father Tony Walsh, who in his Elvis impersonations gave a whole new meaning to “Love Me Tender…”

He was, the investigators concluded, “probably the most notorious child sexual abuser” of all… a man who knew the system well, knew that he was shielded from repercussions, and took full advantage of his superiors’ penchant for shuffling, disregarding, and willingness to tolerate any abuse, no matter how young the victim or revolting the act. The man, the abuser, was a priest, elect of God, and that was enough. It was a passport to mayhem.

But the luck of Father Tony Walsh was even now not exhausted. In the report of the state-ordered investigation the chapter on Father Tony was excluded. Why? Because his criminal case was then before the courts and his rights must be protected. Indeed.

However, at long last, the case of Father Tony was heard in all its lurid, sordid, riveting detail. The nation watched, angry, sorrowful, wondering how so many could have done so wrong for so long. How parents and teachers, how priests and cardinals could have known so much and done so little… creating the fetid environment in which Father Tony et al had flourished. How could this have happened in Ireland, to all its good people? How?

Tony Walsh, no longer a priest, was convicted and convicted yet again. First he was convicted of a May, 1994 assault on a boy in a pub restroom following the funeral of the boy’s grandfather. Then, later, he was convicted of sexually assaulting several more boys, receiving a further 10-year sentence.

In its wisdom the court saw fit to reduce this sentence, giving Tony Walsh instead a term of just 6 years. Just six years, after a lifetime of abuse and assault.

And what of the victims, all young, all innocent susceptibility? Who is to reduce their term by 40 percent, or by any number? Who can eradicate Father Tony Walsh from their minds and lives by even a moment? Who will be there for them when devastating memories surface and terrorize in depth of night? For they who needed the most help, got the least… to the shame of all Ireland and all its holy clerics and princely potentates who are hereby sentenced to remember and regret.

About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Attend Dr. Lant’s live webcast TODAY and receive 50,000 free guaranteed visitors to the website of your choice! Dr. Lant is also the author of 18 best-selling business books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

Not the pope we wanted… Brussels’ Archbishop Andre Leonard clearly indicates why Benedict XVI is in trouble

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

As protests go, it was short and undeniably sweet: a man ran up the central aisle of Brussels’ main cathedral and shoved a cherry pie in the face of Archbishop Andre Leonard, a man seemingly tailor-made by history and Catholicism to roil and divide. Appointed by Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Leonard’s in-your-face pastry clearly indicated that he was adding to the hapless Benedict’s already at-risk pontificate instead of helping out, as he was supposed to.

And the pope had no one to blame but himself.

Archbishop Leonard is smiling.. but the well- living, comfortable Belgians are not.

It’s easy to see why the archbishop is enjoying himself. At 70, an age when other men contemplate their gardens and the dinner menu, Archbishop Leonard is a man of destiny. Striding through an airport the other day, his grace was dogged by paparazzi and protestors… the cynosure of every eye, the darling of Rome and other intractables. His deeply self-satisfied smile could not be mistaken. He was where he was meant to be defending (in)fallibility, injustice, and the deeply troubled Church of Rome, whose saviour he could imagine becoming.

It was the perfect formula for maximum unhappiness and division… and his grace was nothing if not the man to savor every divisive moment of this unexpected opportunity.

And the pope had no one to blame but himself.

The pope’s policy has been this: remove liberals, like retired Cardinal Godfried Danneels, beloved of the dwindling believers, and replace them with hard-liners, driven by an ardent desire to bring back the good old days of Pius XII and the undoubted majesty of Torquemada and the ardent joys of the long lamented, so satisfying Spanish Inquisition. Ah, yes, those good old, good old days.

The pope laid his hands upon the exultant Leonard, whom he had plucked from well-warranted obscurity in January, 2010 from a picturesque Belgian citadel town. Exultant, indeed, because he thought his rising days were long over.

But the Holy Father needs loyalists to do his bidding, and there is no one more loyal than a washed out party man who is summoned to a higher fate by a leader who desperately needs such troops… and has all the loaves and fishes to reward those who serve — and obey.

The archbishop returned to Brussels and its over 30 years of progressive theological thought and an unceasing attempt to reconcile the Church of Rome with the satisfied, live- and-let-live people of Belgian… and he returned with a determined vengeance. He would root out the heresies of the Belgians with vigor, determination and the joys of complete and total submission by the erring (no longer) faithful.

His grace lost not a minute in announcing his red-blooded views… and his determination that the Belgian faithful must submit today, tomorrow, forever.

Pow! AIDS is a form of “justice” for homosexuals. They deserve what they get.

Pow! Retired pedophile priests must go UNpunished for their transgressions, ending their years of abuse in prayer and protected from further review and action.

Pow! Women who undergo abortion will be greeted in the afterlife by the heart-rending screams of their murdered children “Momma! Momma!”

The archbishop, like so many hard-liners, has a gift for the trenchant, chilling, hell- conjuring phrase… and he uses this gift lavishly.

The hapless Vicar of Rome sent this man of stern views and complete self satisfaction to the Belgians of all people, cosmopolitan, sophisticated, laissez faire, tolerant…. and now appalled by this archbishop’s distinctly unBelgian views.

Two of the 10 bishops of Belgium have publicly challenged Archbishop Leonard’s views; he is their superior in the hierarchy but they have distanced themselves from him notwithstanding.

M. Yves Leterme, Belgium’s prime minister and a Catholic, has been resolute in his condemnation of the archbishop, who no doubt is not surprised by the protests of the easy-living miscreants, for all they may be a prime minister. Let them howl, so long as they submit.

Bert Claerhout, editor of Church and Life, a Catholic weekly, reports he’s been inundated with fierce letters of complaint from readers, awakened from their good living lethargy by a determined man who quite clearly believes everything he says and is equally determined that you believe it, too –or else.

Then there is the matter of the cherry pie which in its simple, gastronomic way made such a tasty impression on a nation which insists upon the proper preparation and delivery of its fine cuisine. For such a people, such a pie, presented and delivered properly was most apropos.

And then this: even Archbishop Leonard’s spokesman resigned, saying he could no longer morally defend his slash-and-burn employer. Ouch. Juergen Mettepenningen called the archbishop a “loose cannon who thinks everybody else is wrong.”

All this the pope brought on himself and must continue to do if he maintains his flawed policies which have only the aging intransigents to draw on to defend them. In short, this is a pontificate in deep, profound trouble which every word from the fiery archbishop and his ilk intensifies. As the Church of Rome removes itself from the people, the people will firmly and irrevocably remove themselves from the Church of Rome.

A sense of doom surrounds the Bishop of Rome and his stewardship of the Vatican. These are the words that come to mind about this beleaguered, increasingly unhappy Holy Father: misguided, flat-footed, slow to understand, slower to address. He is a man whose pontificate was bound to be difficult, following John Paul II for whom the adoring faithful filled St. Peter’s Square shouting “Santo! Subito!” But it didn’t have be this difficult, this unsatisfactory, this unhappy.

However, Benedict XVI selected doctrinal purity over universal inclusiveness; he chose to look backwards… when we all, whether Catholic or not, wanted him to look ahead and plot the way to bring us all demonstrably closer to universal harmony and peace.

The strident partizan Archbishop Leonard is the merest detail, easy to return to the obscurity from whence he came at the pope’s merest motion. But the pope himself? He is the unhappy man… the man who called upon to improve the future, gave us nothing more than patches on the past. And he did it to himself.

About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Attend Dr. Lant’s live webcast TODAY and receive 50,000 free guaranteed visitors to the website of your choice! Dr. Jeffrey Lant is a well known marketer, speaker, consultant, and author of 18 best-selling books. Republished with author’s permission by Daniel Fischer

A Good Bishop has Stepped Down

The news came the other day from Concord, New Hampshire where a good and decent man announced his early departure as Anglican bishop of this picturesque New England diocese.

What he said in his usual low-key, quiet way was moving: he would step down as bishop in January, 2013 after nearly a decade in that post, 7 years before he had to by Anglican rules.

Then the reason: “The fact is,” he said, “the last seven years have taken their toll on me, my family, and you.”

“Death threats and the now worldwide controversy surrounding your election of me as bishop,” he told the annual convention of his diocese ” have been a constant strain, not just on me, but on my beloved husband, Mark, who has faithfully stood by me every minute of the last seven years.”

So what was Gene Robinson’s’ crime? He wished to serve and had the skills. He wished to give. He wanted to take on a job many would eschew as too much work for too little pay. He wanted to help and tend his flock… he wanted to uplift the lonely and the suffering. He wanted to praise God and His works.

And, not least, he wanted to love one man body and soul, to find fulfillment and happiness in his personal life.

The good people of New Hampshire, wise and pleased to have such a pastor at their service, elected him in convocation. Robinson, with the full support of his congregation, became bishop. But because his conception of man embraced eros, not just agape… great schism threatened.

Ironically, the church Robinson served was created by schism. Both schisms came about because of marriage. King Henry VIII’s break from Rome happened because he wished to thrust aside his barren wife for the winsome Anne Boleyn. Robinson opened a great divide because he wanted to stand by his man and be an excellent bishop. The king wanted divorce; Robinson wanted marriage. They both got schism.

Meanwhile, the man took up his crozier and his mission, doing the job he did so well. The people of New Hampshire, the people who knew him best and who had chosen him were happy. He had been honest with them; they would be true in turn to him.

The story should have ended there, with Bishop Robinson fulfilling his duties and at last, when he had served his term, retiring full of years and honors.

But the story did not end there. It began.

Because the bishop loved a man and honestly said so, hard upon his election followed the death threats, the fulminations, the moral superiorities and posturings, the taunts and comments ranging from the mean spirited to the criminal. All because a good man, with great gifts and the desire to use them for the general good, chose to love a different way.

Bishop Robinson wore a bulletproof vest to his consecration.

In such a situation, where the people of New Hampshire had chosen and were happy with their selection, Bishop Robinson, now clearly a man of history, might have expected the support and assistance of the leader of the worldwide Anglican congregation, Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.

However, his grace the Archbishop, caught between the unyielding who demanded Robinson’s episcopal cross as the price of staying part of the Anglican church and Robinson, who simply wanted to marry and get on with his job of service, the Archbishop, I say, caved.

Instead of welcoming Bishop Robinson to the once-in- a-decade Lambeth Palace Conference, along with all his episcopal brethren, the Archbishop told Robinson to stay away. Thus, the Archbishop chose political expediency over truth and right, thereby erasing in an instant in this act of moral cowardice his own legitimacy.

Gene Robinson had thanks to the continuing support of the good people who elected him, the right to a different response, a better support from the archbishop. However, Rowan chose the ostrich way to solve the problem… pulling the covers over his head and wishing the good bishop of New Hampshire and his inconvenient dilemma would simply go away.

Not from this archbishop support for a man of God and of the people, a man duly elected and consecrated. Pontius Pilot like, he washed his hands of his brother-in- Christ and got on with his ignoble work of pacifying Anglican bigots worldwide.

Bishop Gene, spurned at the highest reaches of his church, by leaders who would not lead, carried on. However, this fight, now terribly important and symbolic to each side, took its sad toll on the man. One day he rose in church and admitted the unceasing pressures had caused him to escape into alcoholism. The people of New Hampshire understood and welcomed him again after he had taken the cure and solved the problem. All the while the invective against this man of God and goodness rose and became a cyclone of bitterness.

At last it became just too much. The man who had brought peace to so many asked for peace for himself and the man he loves.

Thus in Concord, New Hampshire, Bishop Gene Robinson, looking tired and worn, told his congregation that he would end his tumultuous career early… and so deprive them all of years of service, of giving, and the quiet dignity and effectiveness that marked his tenure.

Members of the congregation, as they listened to the unadorned words that people of the Granite State could so well understand, felt the tears rise. They were thinking of the bishop and his fight; they were thinking of what they had wrought by elevating him as their pastor; they were thinking of the Church, of their Saviour and of God. And so they wept…

…. and remembered.

The Rev. Rodney Hudgen, associate rector at Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston, recalled a sermon he had heard Robinson deliver in Ohio in 2006. It was in response to a question of how to respond to those persecuting gay clergy. Robinson’s message was clear and forthright: “Love them anyway!”

Hudgen was bowled over, “It was like the Holy Spirit had crashed into the room, and I was changed forever.” Just as so many have been transformed by Bishop Gene and his empowering message of love and life.

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ (Matthew 25:12) For Bishop Robinson, Pastor Gene, you have truly done your Master’s work, and it is good. Rejoice, for few have done as much as you to help so many.