Changing pace - Che Guevara was a murderer

Yesterday, Luis Figueroa wrote a column in Prensa Libre about the Che Guevara. He explains how the image of this bloody revolutionary has been idealized and how people now don't really know that he was a cold blooded murderer and a hard line marxist who helped Fidel send Cuba's economy down the drain. Then there are comments on his blog by someone who says he doesn't understand how there is so much stupidity in the world that Luis could write something like that about such a wonderful place like Cuba.
I wonder who the stupid people are, those who see and don't want to understand or those who expose the truth. If Cuba is such a wonderful place why are people going out of Cuba? and not out of the US and other neighboring countries INTO Cuba? For that matter, even though Russia is now a non-communist country, how come there are so many russian women offering to get married to foreigners in order to get out of Russia? The legacy of the communist system is apparently too strong and difficult to get rid of.
I have mixed feelings about Cuba because I see that the strong points of the communist system are education and health care - those seem to work alright in Cuba. However, the price to pay for that is freedom and I don't know that people want to trade their freedom (of speech, of movement) for good health, good education, no work and long lines for a few scraps of bread. I don't know. I would rather keep our imperfect system than go to that totalitarian system; the cost in human suffering is, I believe, too steep for us to pay. Even the Chinese, who live now in a quasi-capitalist country, have to pay their new found wealth with heavy control from the government in terms of information (the internet is forbidden in China, basicaly) and they still suffer from the consequences of the "one child per family" policy, that led to uncounted abortions and murders of new born and stilborn babies. And that price, in terms of human suffering, I believe is unpayable.
Luis' blog is available at

Holy Communion or Ritualistic Cannibalism?

It is interesting to see the things we have been thought to believe. According to catholic dogma, during consecration bread and wine are transformed into the flesh and blood of Jesus himself. Then we are expected to eat this flesh and drink this blood, for purposes that really escape my memory but are supposed to get us to achieve communion with Jesus.
In antiquity, people believed that if they killed their enemies and ate their flesh, they would attain some of their good attributes (bravery, courage, whatever). This belief seems to have rubbed off onto early christianity, as we are expected to eat of Jesus' flesh, not to acquire his divine attributes (wouldn't that be a supreme arrogance?) but to achieve communion with him, to be closer to him, I guess.
Well, I agree I could not be any closer to my food; it really is in me. What happens when I am done with my food, however, I would not wish to my closest friends so I still wonder why we would want Jesus to suffer that ignominy. When I want to be close to my wife, I get physically close or intellectually close, as in a very deep conversation; I still have not had any desire of eating her flesh to be closer and I hope I do not get that urge. I don't think I would get any closer and then, the closeness would only be temporal as the flesh makes its way through my digestive system and then goes away... for good. Maybe that is why we have to commune every week or, in the case of very devout catholics and priests, every day.
Of course, this is assuming the bread and wine are really transformed into the flesh and blood of the Son of God. In reality, it really tastes like a rather insipid and carboard-like bread and a rather cheap wine so that the ritual is only that, a going through the motions in order to mimic the real thing. Which does not get me any closer to Jesus.

Was Jesus married?

One of the reasons I think it will be useful to post this blog is that I can use it as a placeholder for all these thoughts going around in my head.

Yesterday I was discussing with my mother the question of whether Jesus was married. If we accept the fact of the historical existence of Jesus, which some people seriously doubt or deny, then we have to look at this question in the context of the times in which Jesus allegedly lived. First, Jesus was a practicing jew, and according to the Bible, he was extremely well versed in the knowledge of Judaism. At the age of 30, a jew was always married. Not being married would have been a very rare event for someone of Jesus' age and I seriously doubt he was antisocial or abnormal in any way. So, most probably, Jesus had a wife.

Why then is she not mentioned in the Bible? Well, for one thing, we know for a fact that women and children in the land and times of Jesus were, basically, non-entities. They were not taken into account. We know, for example, that Peter was married. His wife is, however, never mentioned. Women are mentioned in the Gospels only when they are essential to the story; otherwise, they are ignored. Same as with children.

Jesus did show a distinctly anti-social behavior: he spoke to women in public. That is mentioned in the Bible and the surprise of those surrounding Jesus is also mentioned.

Again, in reading the Gospels, allowances must be made for the fact that they were written by men. (No, I don't think they were inspired). And they wrote them with all the biases that were hard-wired into their psyche by the customs and usages of the time in which they lived. They also don't mention those things they took for granted (being married would have been one of them). One of my favorite examples is that not once is Jesus or his disciples being described in the process of going to the bathroom; those things you do and they are taken for granted.

So, was Jesus married? I guess he was, because that was the proper thing for a young jewish man of 30 in Jesus' time and land of birth. However, I have to bow to the lack of evidence and say, truthfully, I don't know.

Why I am doing this

I am intrigued by the idea of blogging. I don't know if I can muster the courage to widely publish my ideas and gather the will to regularly publish my thoughts, but what the heck, let's give it a try...
And I am doing this because I need a relief. I am going to church every Sunday - going through the ritual and the routine and the motions of the catholic faith which I no longer profess but have to continue to practice until such a time comes when I am able to confront everyone with my re-discovered skepticism of the religious beliefs. Yes, it is not new and although I have been a practicing catholic practically all my life, the lingering doubt and incredulity has always been there, right in the background of it all - same as when I sat in the back of the chapel in school because I was taken to mass but did not really want to be there
How can people be so deluded even when they must be fully aware of how christianity has developed is beyond me. Maybe my publishing of these thoughts will bring other like minded skeptics to share their ideas in and enlighten me. I hope.
Now, if I could enlighten anyone...