expert opinion


Impartial experts not so impartial

Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding

A man being prepared for burial had been declared dead by an Expert when he revived.

He sat up, but he was so shocked at the scene surrounding him that he fainted dead away.

Put in a coffin, the funeral party set off for the Cemetery.

As they arrived at the grave, he regained consciousness again, lifted the coffin lid, and cried out to be saved.

'It is not possible that he has revived,' said the mourners.

'He has been certified dead by an Expert.'

'I am alive!' shouted the man.

The Expert who had orginally pronounced him dead at the scene was present and the man appealed to him.

'Tell them I am alive!'

'Just a moment,' said the Expert.

The Expert then turning to the mourners and asked,

'We have heard what the alleged deceased has had to say.
You fifty witness' tell me what you regard as the truth.'

'He is dead, as expertise judged', agreed the witness'.

'Bury him!' declared the Expert.

So the living man was buried.

Somebody is not born an expert.

No one becomes one simply by jumping through the right hoops and being declared an expert by a council of experts.

Experts develop over many instances of trial and error.

Expertise is developed through deciding to start and stick with something more than other people are willing to.

"Experts are people who actually do, not those who analyze and wait for somebody else to come along and tell them that they are now experts." - Zachary Slayback

Disobedience of Christ

"That Jesus was crucified by the Roman governor stands as a vivid symbol of his historical relationship with the Roman Imperial order."

Richard A. Horsley

"Besides the fact that Jesus regarded the present situation, with its economic injustice and political servitude to foreign rulers, as controlled by demonic power, there are still other signs that his was an anti-imperial gospel.

One of these signs is the evidence, embodied in the traditions (Mark 12:13-17;Luke 23:2), that Jesus had challenged the payment of the tribute to Rome - which, as stated earlier, was the most volatile of all issues.

Furthermore, given the widely held conviction that the Temple had become illegitimate and idolatrous through its subservience to Rome, a challenge to the Temple would also have anti-imperialist implications.

The evidence firmly supports, moreover, the view that Jesus' final action - the one that led to his death - involved a challenge to the Temple and its high priests.

Just as the parable of the vineyard suggests that he had indicted this ruling group, but the evidence also suggests that he had challenged the payment of the half-shekel tax to the Temple.

Probably most important item for understanding why Jesus was put to death was creating a disturbance in the Temple in protest against the system set up there to collect money from the people.

Whatever the exact nature of this disturbance, it was probably a symbolic action, with the primary antecedent being the prophet Jeremiah's acts symbolizing the imminent destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple.

With regard to the crucifixion of Jesus, scholars point out that, for numerous reasons, the gospel accounts of the "Trial of Jesus," especially their attempt to portray "the Jews" as responsible for the death of Jesus, are surely fictional.

The actual Pontius Pilate - in extreme contrast with the indecisive, vacillating figure portrayed in the Gospels - was "not one to waste time on legal niceties."

His administration was known, in the words of Josephus, for "frequent murders of untried prisoners."

These scholars also agree that the High Priests were probably involved."

- David Ray Griffin, Christian Gospel for Americans


Civil Disobedience

I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least".

I should like to see it acted upon more rapidly and systematically.

Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe -
"That government is best which governs not at all".

When men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.

Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.

The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government.

The standing army is only an arm of the standing government.

The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it.

Witness the present Mexican war, the work of comparatively few using the standing government as their tool; for, in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure.

This US government - what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity?

It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will.

It is a sort of wooden gun to the people themselves.

But it is not the less necessary for this; for the people must have some complicated machinery or other, and hear its din, to satisfy that idea of government which they have.

Governments show thus how successfully men can be imposed on, even impose on themselves, for their own advantage.

It is excellent, we must all allow.

Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way.

It does not keep the country free.

It does not settle the West. It does not educate.

The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way.

For government is an expedient by which men would fain succeed in letting one another alone; and, as has been said, when it is most expedient, the governed are most let alone by it.

Trade and commerce, if they were not made of india-rubber, would never manage to bounce over the obstacles which legislators are continually putting in their way.

If one were to judge these men wholly by the effects of their actions and not partly by their intentions, they would deserve to be classed and punished with those mischievous persons who put obstructions on the railroads.

To speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves anarchists, I ask for, not no government, but at once a better government.

Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.


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