I Believe in Time Travel

The Unnamed Woman and I just finished watching the entire six series of the British sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart that ran from 1993-99. It was being shown on ITV3 and the Woman decided she wanted the DVDs. We both enjoyed the show during its original run (though I had never seen the final series), as it was shown by the local PBS affiliate.

For those Stateside who may have never seen the show, it involves a Londoner from the 1990s who accidentally stumbles upon a time portal to the 1940s. It transports him back exactly 53 years. Thus on the 1940s side, the show starts with the Blitz and ends with VE-Day.  He travels back and forth and has a wife on either side of the portal. He’s also a nobody in the 90s and creates himself into a bit of a somebody in the 40s, pretending to be a member of the secret service and a songwriter (having composed various hits from the future).

Watching the show made me think about the nature of time. I believe that time travel is possible. Well, sort of. If Someone exists outside of time and space, then it is possible to exist anywhere in time and space. It would seem that it would even be possible to exist everywhere in time and space simutaneously, given that neither is a constraint.

I was thinking of this in terms of the Eucharist. Not only is there no problem with Christ being truly present in every Divine Liturgy being served at any one given time on Earth, nor with the Holy Spirit transforming the bread and the wine into the Body and Blood, but it need not be happening merely simultaneously in time or space. As far as the spiritual realm is concerned, when we are joining with the rest of the Church in prayer, we are with all of the Church throughout time at the same time.

Or at least it seems plausible in my fledgling study of theophysics.

It does give an interesting twist or amplification to the meaning of the words of Jesus at the end of the Great Commission, “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Truth in Reporting

Last year, Channel 4 ran a programme called The Great Global Warming Swindle. As you might expect, it presented the other side of the doom and gloom carbon footprinted gospel of Al Gore. Actually “gospel” means “good news”. What would be the Greek-derived word meaning “bad news”?  Hmm. . . I digress . . .

As you also might expect, the environuts were not well pleased. They filed complaints with the government broadcasting regulator, Ofcom. (In case you weren’t aware, we have lots of government regulatory bodies that start with “Of”, always pronounced “off” – Ofcom, Ofqual [see the previous article], Ofgem [energy], Ofwat [water], Oftel [telephone], and Ofsted [the school inspectors] for example.) Ofcom has upheld some of the complaints and dismissed some.

They are censuring Channel 4 because some of the proponents of global warming weren’t told that the programme was primarily designed to show the other point of view. It would seem they either would not have participated or would have said things differently.  However, Ofcom couldn’t find the evidence to censure Channel 4 for inaccuracy. This is despite a 131-point 270-page complaint.

The global warming scientific community is very angry that they are just not convincing the general population of their arguments. A recent poll showed that 60% of the British public  believe “many scientific experts still question if human beings are contributing to climate change”. This is despite the Government being behind the global warming message and like it’s American counterpart only providing funding for scientists who support this viewpoint. It is also being promoted very actively in schools, even though I know a number of science teachers who have not bought into the propaganda.

Disconnected from Reality

Last night’s series finale of Doctor Who featured the Doctor’s mobile telephone number, used by various other characters in the episode to contact him in the TARDIS while they are all in the process of saving the world. (If you haven’t seen the episode, don’t worry, this isn’t a spoiler – every Doctor Who finale involves saving the world.)

The Mail on Sunday has revealed that there are a lot of angry fans out there. When the number (07700 900461, if you are curious) was shown records show more than 2,500 tried to call the Doctor. In the TARDIS. After all, reasoned (if it can be called that) one angry fan on the BBC website, “Grrr – I phoned the Doctor’s phone number but there was just an annoying network message. What’s the point in showing a phone number if you’re not gonna use it?!”

Never mind that phone numbers beginning with 077009 are the equivalent of the 555 numbers used when films and TV shows are set in the US. There are just some people who have a complete disconnect from reality.

These same people are going to be very disappointed when they make a teleport vest like the one worn by Martha Jones and can’t get it to work, even with the base code oscillating between 4 and 9.

The Doctor is in the House

Dr Who is back on British television screens for a fourth series under the guiding hand of Russell Davies, the third with David Tennant as the Doctor. Sadly for American fans, it will be available sometime in the future. Despite my best efforts, I cannot find out when this might be, or if it will be available for viewing on the BBC iPlayer.

With a new series will also come a new line of toys. After tonight’s episode I can expect that we will have at least one Adipose in the house. If we don’t buy it, I’m sure a well-meaning close relative will. As anyone who has seen the first episode with know, these new creatures will be the cheapest to manufacture in everything from hard plastic to soft stuffed toys. I could pretty much make one.

The BBC Version of the Bible

They made up their own version of the Passion, so now the BBC has decided they will re-write the Bible.

Well, not the whole Bible. They are going to dramatise what they consider to be the most important stories. According to reports in the Daily Mail, these will include Cain and Abel, Noah, Joseph’s coat of many colours, Samson and Delilah and David and Goliath. Other that those, I’m not sure what other stories the BBC considers important. It’s going to be a six-hour mini-series.

And if they can exonerate Pilate and Judas, how will they re-cast the Old Testament? It wasn’t Cain’s fault for killing Abel. It was his upbringing. And Delilah was an empowered woman – a proto-feminist. And Goliath was only upset because people made fun of his size. We need to understand the causes of bullying. And that whole war? The Philistines were only seeking a two-state solution, after all.

I only hope it isn’t a boring as the The Passion, so I can stand to watch how badly they’ve handled it.

The Acts of the Apostle Code

I’ve been watching a ridiculous piece of Easter television, The Secrets of the Twelve Disciples.

It starts with how Jesus’ family really ran the early Church, but that later this was all washed away. Apparently nobody knows that James was bishop of Jerusalem. You have to “decode” the Book of Acts to figure this out! (I’ve known all along and it is plainly mentioned in Acts 15.) This was all done to remove the Jewish connections to Christianity.

St Paul has his own version of Christianity. As theologian Robert Beckford narrates, “It was his version of Christianity that triumphed. It was his later followers that created and used the stories of the 12 disciples to fit their own purpose.” Of course Paul is as much a Jew as James or any of Jesus cousins were. Beckwith doesn’t explain how this fits in.

Beckford has apparently spent way, way too much time reading Dan Brown novels. It’s the Pauline Conspiracy. Paul created Peter as the Pope, because he needed a link back to the Twelve. But it’s all based on “legendary” materials – Christian inventions. Apparently, nothing written by Christian sources can be trusted as historical. With everything, there are scholars who dispute. For Beckwith it is all about vested interests.

I never did catch what Paul’s vested interests were. They certainly aren’t clear from his writings or the things written about him in the Book of Acts. But then, according to Beckwith it has to be decoded. And the only thing certain is that it isn’t reliable. The only thing that is reliable is Beckwith’s conjecture. After all, scholars dispute.

According to Beckwith, whoever wrote the Revelation “most scholars” agree that it wasn’t the Apostle John. I take that to mean most liberal scholars who have started with the presupposition that whatever the Church has always believed must not only not be true, but must also not be what the Church has always believed. After all, it is the Church who is telling us what it has always believed, and the guiding First Principle is that the Church cannot be believed. Convoluted? Just a bit.

The further along the programme went, the more predictable it got. The men running the Church removed all the women from the story. (Huh? What about the fact that at both the Crucifixion and just after the Resurrection, it was women who were present? Nevermind.) I don’t think he said Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, but that could have been when I went to make a cup of tea.

Most of Beckwith’s accusation and theories are aimed at the Big Bad Catholic Church. Conspiracies and dubious activities abound. See what I mean about Dan Brown? Apparently no one knows about the Thomas Christians in India and this is once again because of the Catholics. (I would have suggested it is because few people in this country know anything of world Christianity, other than caricatures of American evangelicalism.) I couldn’t figure out if he believed the claims of the Mar Thoma tradition, even though the records were destroyed by Portuguese Catholics under orders of the Pope in 1599, or if he disbelieved the claims anyway.

And what re-assessment of the Twelve would be complete without rehabilitating Judas Iscariot? Judas goes from betrayer to hero. I kid you not. He was just getting bad press because of a wrongly translated Greek word and the imagery used in paintings of the Last Supper. Anything else bad about him in the Bible was added later. Conspiracy.

That’s the thing about conspiracy theories: if you go looking for one assuming it is there in the first place, it’s not going to be a surprise when you find one.

No Passion for the Passion

We started watching the first part of the BBC’s The Passion.  They start off with playing fast and loose with the historical record.  Jesus doesn’t send anyone to get the donkey for Him to ride into Jerusales.  Jesus buys it from travellers along the road.

Then he send some disciples ahead to drum up a crowd. They walk through the streets telling everyone to go over to the east gate. Then Jesus enters Jerusalem, and instead of the people spreading clothes and tree branches, a few of them waved a few palms. Well, it was really more like shaking.

We got bored. The woman turned the channel back to repeat of CSI we had already seen.