Birthing three theologians: 8-20-09
Inside terrorists' brains: 8-22/23-09

Religious symbols on graves: 8-21-09

Cem 009

As I do periodically, the other day I walked through the three cemeteries that are near my home, and this time I tried to pay attention to the variety of religious symbols found there on the headstones.

Cem 007

As a Christian, it was pretty easy for me to recognize the symbols, though, of course, I had no idea exactly what the people who placed them there wanted me to know about them or about the people buried there.


In the two Christian cemeteries, as you might imagine, there were crosses galore -- and various kinds of crosses, too, as you can see from these photos.

But also prominent were the initials IHS, which you often also see in Christian churches. There are two common explanations for them. One is that they are the first three letters of the Greek name for Jesus, Iota, Eta, Sygma. The Greek name is ΙΗΣΟΥΣ.

The other common explanation is that they letters are derived from a Latin phrase. It comes from the first letter of "Iesus," Latin for Jesus; the first letter of "Hominum," Latin for "of men," and the first letter of "Salvator," Latin for savior. Thus, IHS, Jesus, Savior of men.

Cem 013

A lamb, of course, symbolizes the "lamb of God," Christ Jesus. Or may simply be a way of referring to "our little lamb," a child who died.

A dove is a standard symbol of the Holy Spirit in Christian Trinitarian theology.

And then sometimes more secular markers are used to say something about the person buried there, such as the symbol below here indicating the person died of AIDS.

Cem 012

In the Jewish cemetery near my house, almost all the headstones are flat to the ground and carry no symbols at all, only the named of the person buried there along with his or her dates of birth and death.

(That's what's shown in the photo below.) But the lack of symbols there is mostly just the policy of the cemetery, not because Judaism forbids such symbols on graves. Indeed, I've been to Jewish cemeteries, here and in Poland, where the grave markers contain many different symbols. Two standard ones are a jar for someone connected to the Levites and hands for someone connected to the Cohanim.

Cem 015

Well, we use art in many ways to express things that sometimes words can't adequately cover, and perhaps nowhere is there such an eternal or final effort at expressing religious ideas in that way as in cemeteries.

* * *

CONWAY, Ark. -- So as we're traveling through here yesterday I picked up a copy of the Log Cabin Democrat and read this story about the arrest of a man who said he was on a mission from God to stop evildoers "by shooting them in the face." Lordy, lordy. Why does mental instability so often seem to require enlisting God as a co-conspiritor? What's that about, anyway?

* * *

NOTE: Until Monday, Aug. 24, my Internet access may be sporadic or even non-existent for hours at a time or even longer. So it may take longer than usual to get your comments posted. Thanks for your patience. Bill


Will Graham

Bill, your remarks about mental instability are puzzling.

You drag God into it, but ignore whats going on around here.

What would you call posting about how "Christian brains are delicious" and refering to a serial killer from fiction as representative of your "philosophy" for ALMOST TWO YEARS?

Would such actions reflect the characteristics of a caring, balanced, mind...or something else?

Would such actions reflect the concerns of someone who wanted discussion and investigation, or someone who wanted people to SHUT UP?

Just wondering what you thought.

Will spouts out, “For those who think things are better now, than they have ever been in any time or place,” and later “Things are better now, than they have ever been in any other time or place."

There goes Will. Misdirection. Kansas City Shuffle. I never said place. I said as a whole, the world is better. Lying seems a problem with you or is it reading?

Will, continued, “Such a view reflects an extremely high degree of willful ignorance.”

Well, that’s it for me. I’m crawling under the covers and hiding my head and never return to work.

Will, you are too much fun! You said what?, “Our glorious secular society will implode and self destruct if these values get increasing hold. Without higher values, it won't live long.”

Will, I think a space alien has laid an egg in your head. Maybe you should see a doctor. Oh, no, you can’t - you don’t believe – or is it trust? - in science. Well, then, I suppose you should pray about the egg. Let me know how it goes.

A theist posted, “Cole,
Post your email address and I will send you a copy of the email from Bill where he makes that very statement.”

Okay. So you and Will, adam and whomever else, are all friends. Sharing info. I gotcha. You guys already have it, but I will humor you, since you share the same brai - - I mean info. It’s easy enough to find with a little effort. This should be fun. [email protected]

Adam accused Susan, “You despise anyone who does not see things as you do...exactly what you accuse us of.”

I know Susan. I find it difficult to believe Susan can despise any one.


A theist said, “Cole, you post to people who've read what you've posted before. It is what it is and the readers know it. Denying it won't work.”

These two first sentences is some kind of double talk. I never denied anything. I post facts.

A theist gives us warning, “Anybody with no life have the time to scan this blog for Cole's rants?”

I agree. Except they are not ‘rants’ , but facts.

You have me wrong. I do not wish you ill will, but illumination. Think of a 1000 pound guy sitting on a rug.

Life,…go figure…

I, for the life of me, - now that’s funny – can’t understand the preoccupation Xs have with death. The fascination with death and symbols is interesting.

I suppose it is some way of dealing with death. Billions of dollars if not trillions, since we began this ritual, has been spent…This would feed a lot of children, Huh?

Although I do believe people are catching on. I hear more people talking about this ridiculous side show.

I suppose it’s like a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup, comfort food. For whatever reason, it makes some feel good. I realize we are symbol seekers, but like religion, we grow up and realize what is truly important, life-

Here is where one of the golden twins bring up abortions – he thinks we all want abortions-

Bill said, “Why does mental instability so often seem to require enlisting God as a co-conspiritor? What's that about, anyway?”

Some people take god too far. If we lead the way and move away from bronze age beliefs, perhaps we can show ‘by example’ there is another way and some of this kind of thinking will fade away…

It’s time to move on into the real world, the natural one. There is no longer a need for supernaturalism…

We can do it on our own.

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

Dolores Lear

"...the arrest of a man who said he was on a mission from God to stop evildoers "by shooting them in the face." Lordy, lordy. Why does mental instability so often seem to require enlisting God as a co-conspiritor? What's that about, anyway?"

Humans have used God as a co-conspiritor since Original Sin. Ever since Brother/Sister has Killed Brother/Sister and the Eco System on their Home Planet.

Most Human Killing is in the name of their God. Why? How many Gods are there today on Earth?

Human Wars have been fought, ever since Purebred Perfect Genetic and Physical Peace Humans, in the Image of God in Genesis, Reproduced Human Killers, 'in the beginning'.

The Original Sin is recorded in Religion, as the First Male and Female, not born by Body Birth, did not Obey God/Us in Genesis. What was this Sin?

Humans today do not have the High Tech Womb to make the Perfect Human, or to make a Female Copy of the Male, like God/Us did in Genesis.

In the Bible, the Body Birth Children of the Original Male and Female Clone Humans, Killed and Divided. And Human Bondage is the Name of the Life Game for Humans ever since.

Where is the Love of God, that is told about every Sunday, in Temples made by Human Hands?

What happened to Humans, Being the Caretakers of GODs Temple our Planet, and All the Life on it? Impossible? What other Species could do it except the Human Species?

Today Humans do Know that it is possible for High Tech Humans to Reproduce Humans in a High Tech Lab, like God/Us in Genesis.

Human Body Birth was the Original Sin of Perfect Humans.


In ancient Greece in order to cross over to Hades (pre-Christian concept of after-life - all were there - the good, the bad, and the ugly in different strata) people used to write on golden leafs instructions how to navigate through it. The instructions were given to them through myths by Orpheus a musician who had come to Hades (the god of the underworld) to ask for his wife back and charmed Hades with playing on his lira.

Graves of the dead have traditionally been marked with symbols - even if there are no "spiritual" symbols of any kind, there will be linguistic symbols telling us the history of the dead people, their date of birth and place and death and maybe a little story about their life.

Cemeteries present and interesting case - to me my body is really irrelevant after death. In reality, a body is irrelevant during life as well as your brain is the key component of what you are, though the body thorugh your life builds up a concept of "self" and your brain is a part of it. There will be a time in the future when machines and humans combine and "crazies" who don't get that the evolution of humans will have taken a new aspect of it will be left behind with their "symbols" on the graves of the dead who "have chosen to die" rather than have a new heart, kidney, bladder cloned for them or perhpas their brains cloned :o) as Hannibal Lector does to those he blesses with his Holiness Flying Spaghetti Monster Noodley Appendage.

Symbols are abound in ancient mythology, starting with Neanderthals buring their dead and early humans. Even KoKo the guerilla used human symbols (American Sign Language) to express her "sadness" over her mother being killed by poachers in Africa. She just would not be consciously able to put anything on anyone's grave.

As evolved animals we love a great story to tell us some "moralilly relative" reality. We have transcended the realm of "Darwiniam Evolution" into the "morally relativistic" society we live in and this is why our stories are so diverse.

Otherwise, we all would be robots and have the same symbols on our graves or something like #1, #2, #, #4, #5.

Now, this would be an abomination.

Will Graham

Cole Morgan, you claim that "other people" have contactec you disparaging your choice of friends.

Thats nothing! "Other people" have been contacted about US, telling them tha the police would be called if we didn't SHUT UP!

Hows that for intimidation tactics?

So, remember, as were told last year, THE POLICE ARE WATCHING THIS BLOG!

Will Graham

Susan, your claim that you could be wrong about ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is not just an admission of fallibility; it is a statement of Moral Relativism and Skepticim.

You don't believe in truth, because if you did there would be SOME things you are not wrong about, but you declare the opposite: ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is up for grabs.

Thus, even if there is Truth, you declare that you can't know it.

Your little buddy Iggy is more blunt that you in that regard...he says THERE IS NO TRUTH and that he is a Moral Relativist.

(He of course does not believe that, because he believes all believerss are WRONG and are DELUSIONAL.)

He has of course admitted that he is a MILITANT ATHEIST...but he is actuallly a NIHILIST, as betrayed by his declaration that we all live "meaningless lives on this rock."

Makes you proud doesn't it?

Will Graham

A Theist, you suggest that someone has said one could be sued for calling someone a moron.

Remember this principle, for ever claim in a suit, there is a counterclaim.

Someone objects to being called a moron; and the repondent objects to being called "psychotic" and "delusional".

So, IF NECESSARY, that kind of thing goes both ways. Look up "clean hands doctrine."

Will Graham

KCF, the ancient Greeks also practiced abortion, INFANTICIDE, and Euthanais.

And Man/Boy "LOVE".

Don't forger that one.

Lynne -

Bill wrote: Why does mental instability so often seem to require enlisting God as a co-conspiritor? What's that about, anyway?

Bill, Good question but in this particular case I'm convinced that his crazy theology is the symptom, not the cause. This is a man with no criminal record whose behavior is said to have changed only recently. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that the man has a brain tumor. Why did his delusion take a religious form? Probably just because he's a religious person and when religious people go crazy, their delusions take religious form. (The most common delusion of grandeur in America is the belief that one is Jesus Christ.) I really hope this guy gets a full medical workup. I don't think most people really appreciate how much a person's behavior can be out of their own control because of a medical problem.
On suing people for libel/slander - I took a graduate level media law course, so I know a little something about this. You CANNOT successfully sue someone for calling you a moron. That's a subjective opinion. Although it's not protected by the rules of etiquette, it is protected by the First Amendment. In order to sue for libel or slander, it has to be a statement of fact about you that is 1) untrue AND 2) led to a decrease in your reputation (if you have a bad rep to begin with, you may be out of luck!) AND 3) has caused you some sort of financial loss. If all three of these conditions are not met, you will be laughed out of court.

adam harrison

Poor Cole! He did not say the world is better now than at any time or place.

He said "As a whole, the world is better."

So what? The world is still filled with weapons provided by atheistic scientists that can eliminate humanity and poison the earth itself for millenia.

This has never before been possible in human history.

Further, technological advances are enabling a higher and higher degree of government surveillance and control, whether through drugs, computer tracking, and the like.

The dictatorships of the 21st century will have means of manipulation unprecedented in human experience.

Science offers no moral standard; it is only concerned with what it CAN do, not what it should do.

And moral relativists like Cole/Iggy/Susan have nothing to counter it with except what they "feel with their whole being".

Heck, Cole has already trashed democracy because it allows the Christians...and opportunity to get control; as if his crowd would not do the same.

And we know what happens when they do; the create such wonderful countries that his buddy IGGY could not wait to get the hell out.

Still don't know what was up with that!

adam harrison

So, Cole, you and Iggy and Susan are all friends. Sharing info. I gothcha.

Knew it all along, sport!

adam harrison

KCF's 8:11 post is PRICELESS!

Nuts. But Priceless.

It, too....with many others (chuckle) is being preserved for POSTERITY and OTHER USES when the time is right!


Bill, I think the connection between mental instability and God/spirituality goes back a long, long way. Like when Abraham felt God was telling him to murder Isaac.

When I think about how Abraham had his son bound and lying on the sacrificial altar (and the boy was probaby fighting him, you know) --

Of course it's good that he stopped before actually killing him, but I can't help thinking what it would do to a child just to know one of his parents had been willing to murder him. I think if one of my own children went through this, it would be very damaging to her and also to our relationship; it would probably affect her for the rest of her life. If a child can't trust his parents who can he trust?

Of course, it's understandable that before we gained the scientific knowledge we now have about mental illness, people who heard voices wouldn't know what else to think: it would actually be rational to think someone from the spirit world was talking to them.

This is another concern I have about the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy: many churches still teach that God did indeed tell Isaac to murder his son. I recall at least one pastor preaching something like, "Are you really completely God's? What if God told you to sacrifice your child like He told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac -- and don't give me, 'Well, things were different back then!' -- murder was still murder even then -- so are you really completely God's, to the point where you would do ANYTHING God asked?"

It certainly horrifies me when I hear about parents murdering their children "in obedience to God" -- i.e. because they think they're demon-possessed -- but sadly it doesn't surprise me. If only more Christians felt free to read "The Sacrifice of Isaac" as if it were a story, and NOT as an example of the obedience God requires of us!

adam harrison

Susan, what it the Secular Government orders you to kill someone? (They do it all the time, by the way.)

Or tells doctors is is acceptable to murder viable unborn, or practice euthansia?

And because they have a SCIENTIFIC reason, no less!

Does that horrify you as well?


I have a few comments about this interesting topic:

* I heard that the original crosses on graves was put at the *foot* of the grave, so that, come the resurrection, the person would immediately see the cross.

* In New England (and all old US cemeteries), my kids get freaked out by the skull and wings symbol. I've heard various explanations, but they are clearly out of fashion. Now we have happy symbols like hands and doves--less freaky.

* Putting symbols on graves seems like it might have a complex history. In the Mediterranean world where Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism began, graves were not as common as they are today. You had sarcophagi, which were full of symbols. Old monasteries did (and still do) it differently, though. You are buried in a small parcel of land for three years, dug up, and your bones are cleaned and put into a "necropolis," kind of a storage room for bones. The skulls are placed on shelves, and some have labels on them. Maybe lambs would be less freaky.

adam harrison

By the way, Susan, do you think all the Jewish Prophets were mentally ill and hearing things?


adamh, do you mean that our secular government is "all the time" ordering civilians like me to murder people? Or are you talking about people who've enlisted in the military, fully understanding that if the nation goes to war, they could be asked to fight?

I understand that sometimes the draft gets enacted, and it is disturbing to me that people can be forced to fight in wars that they strongly disagree with. Even if I did believe in a war, such as WWII, it would be very hard for me to have to kill people. I would just pray for the strength to serve my country if I were drafted. And if I strongly disagreed with a war (such as the one we're in now), I'd pray for the strength to be a conscientious objector, and go to prison, if I were drafted.

My sense of my own fallibility, means I can't say "for sure" exactly how I would hold up in either situation. I just hope I would follow my conscience to the best of my ability. I think it's always horrid to kill people, even in a necessary war such as WWII (of course, I think much of that killing could have been prevented if our nation had gotten involved sooner) -- but whereas I think killing can be justified if it's the only way to stop an atrocity like the Holocaust, there's absolutely no justification for killing your children, even if they're acting "really evil" to the point where it seems like they're "demon possessed."

And about following my conscience: we are all born with a conscience. Even a baby is upset at the sound of another baby crying. My own children feel very upset if we are out and they see babies crying and getting ignored. So, I honestly think if we can all stay in touch with "what we feel with our whole being," we will be on the way to becoming a much more kind and moral society. (Continued)


The funeral business is a multi billion dollar industry. While I don't have a problem wtih people being embalmed and buried in $5-20,000 cofffins if they want to, I think that the $$ can be spent by families in a much more meaningful way. Donate your body to medical research, sign up to be a donor at DMV, when you are dying have your last seconds posted to YouTube calling for organ donation, blood donation and assisted suicide - this would be an instant hit and will reveberate all over the wolrd. Granite monuments at cemetaries? - idol worshipping by Christian standards, especially iwht "graven images" - abomination.

Cole introduced the hypothesis of an "alien egg" laid in the brains of adamh/Will Graham. I further support it with express understanding that it is actually an "invisible alien egg" - it cannot be seen (just like the space alien who laid it) but can be observed through the actions of the "crazies"

Talking to adamh/Will Graham reminds me of this -

These guys have a "complex" of "persecution", "entitlement" to special treatment of them personally because of their "beliefs" and the "alien egg" laid in their brain is acting like a parasite in the movie "Alien" -

They need to be ignored... Or better yet, let the egg in the brain kill them off morally and ethically.

At some point conversations with the crazies just dry up.

The "Alien" trailer ends "In space nobody can hear you scream" - what needs to be done is to ignore them crazies - they will die from the space alien's egg laid in their brain.

Hannibal Lector can still help them though.


(Continued) I realize that those of us who grew up under the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy, usually heard a whole lot about how dangerous it is to trust in our feelings. And I agree that it IS dangerous to only listen to SOME of our feelings and ignore our other feelings.

The most obvious illustration I can think of is sex. If you're very attracted to someone and have some time alone with them, there will naturally be some part of you that "feels" like just doing it right then and there -- but you still need to listen to your other feelings -- i.e. your desire NOT to create a child with someone you don't really KNOW, or who is not really committed to you, and so on.

That's why I think the KEY part of "what we feel with our whole being" -- is "whole being." And when we are talking about democratic law, we are talking about what the majority of people living in a society feel with THEIR whole being: this way if a few people have rather skewed thinking, there's the protection of their feelings being balanced by the majority.

And of course the idea behind the republic, is to protect us from "mob rule" -- i.e. if huge numbers of people buy into a cult-like obedience to some coercive doctrine, it helps to have judicial bodies like the Supreme Court -- people who don't have to worry about re-election, and therefore can examine and think on the issues and follow their own consciences, as well as the spirit of our constitution as they understand it.

And then this concept of the republic is re-balanced by the fact that most people in government DO have to think about re-election, and will therefore be swayed by public opinion rather than just listening to the voices in their own head.


adamh, I just remembered the second part of your question: what if our secular government "tells doctors is is acceptable to murder viable unborn, or practice euthansia?"

Well, if I were a doctor and were told that I had to murder people to keep my job, I'd give up my job and spend all day cleaning toilets if that were my only option. Of course, your question was about the government telling doctors murder "is acceptable" -- you didn't specify government making murder a condition of doctors continuing to practice medicine.

So if I were a doctor and the government simply informed me it was "acceptable" if I killed people, I would disagree and continue doing my utmost to save lives.

And of course as a mother who got medical care for her first pregnancy (I just visited my midwife for my second), I saw firsthand how they really want to make sure expectant mothers know their "options." It honestly didn't make me feel like I had to have an abortion. I knew I wanted to carry my baby, and I knew I didn't want to have amniocentesis, even though it was recommended because I was 35, because I wasn't willing to go through any procedure that might endanger my baby.

It made no difference to me that "the government" thought it would be acceptabe for doctors to insert a needle through my uterine wall to test the amniotic fluid for abnormalities, and it made no difference that "the government" (as well as many in our society) would find it acceptable for me to abort my baby if she'd had Down Syndrome or some other abnormality. (Continued)

Lynne -


Good point about the Isaac story, although I still think this guy probably just had a brain tumor. But we can see the same line of thinking in parents who refuse to immunize their kids for religious reasons or refuse to give them medical care in favor of that oxymoron they call "faith healing." Sometimes they do it because they honestly think prayer will work every time. Sometimes they know it has a chance of failure but that if it fails it must be "God's will." Blind faith is put above all else and damn the consequences.
I think we need to remove exemptions that allow these parents to escape punishment if their kid gets killed or maimed because doing so does result in fewer deaths.


(Continued) Amniocentesis and abortion were/are unacceptable to me, so I honestly didn't give a sh*t as to who might "recommend" these procedures. The choice was mine and I said NO

This is why I see CHOICE as crucial for a moral society. And while I say I'm oppsed to abortion, I can think of some very rare circumstances where it might be necessary. I.e., I remember Iggy telling about a 9yo girl in Mexico who was raped by her stepfather and became pregnant. The doctor counseled the mother that the girl's life could be in danger if she carried the baby to term.

My oldest is now 9, and I honestly can't imagine her, she's still a baby, going through a pregnancy and giving birth. It's barbaric that the mother's priest excommunicated her over this. And if a pregnancy would kill me, I honestly am not sure WHAT I'd do, but my husband says he wouldn't want to let me die, that he and our girls need me.

As I recall, when Red Biddy brought up this issue here before, someone said something like, "Well the mother's the one who had sex, and the baby has more life left to live, and why not just let 'the Village' raise the children who are left without their mother?" --

I guess it's really simple to some folks, especially to people who aren't dealing with the situation.

To me it's not simple at all -- I'm just glad such situations are rare these days. But for when they do happen, I'm on the side of it staying legal for mothers to choose.

Dolores Lear

Faith Matters as long as Humans do not have High Tech Science. Then High Tech should make Faith, a Reality of Peace Life on a Planet.

Hebrews 11:1-3. KJV. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."

This Word of God that made the Elements is not a Human Being.

But the God/Us in Genesis was a Human in our Image, and did Create Life on Earth, and speak to Humans face to face. These Humans could not make the Elements of the Universe.

Humans can Know the the Supernatural Ways of Things/Elements which are seen, are made of Things/Elements not seen. Humans can Colonize a Planet, and Reproduce a Human Fetus in the Lab, and Clone Animals.

Humans hope for the Peace Life in Heaven, like the God/Us in Genesis, who was in our Human Image.

The Secret of Peace Life is also in Genesis as the Way the Lord God Reproduced Adam and Eve. It was by High Tech, the Supernatural Nature of High Tech Humans.

Body Birth by the Perfect Humans made all the Living Problems on Earth.

These Killer Human Generations of Birth, Death, and Rebirth, have had a population explosion from No Control on the Male Sperm, and we now have the Planet sowed with Toxic Pollution and Nuclear Bombs from sea to sea.

So what good does Faith Matters of Mouth Worship of many Gods, have to do for the Life of Humans and our Home Planet today?

What are the Things Hoped for today, for a Population of nearly 7 Billion Humans?

adam harrison

KCF, re your 12:00 p.m. post, your threats grow tiresome. You can claim to be joking, but you keep bragging about your guns, your knives, and people dying.

As our friend told you on the phone, you are a FREAK.

The atheists deserve you.

BUT IF you want to ignore us, DO SO!

But continuing to attack us is NOT ignoring us.

So, you are not going to SHUT US UP!

Get over it.

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