In Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide: How Christianity Came to Armenia, Myth vs. Fact, Two Tales from a Priest

Jean-Léon_Gérôme_-_The_Christian_Martyrs'_Last_Prayer_-_Walters_37113_thumbvia chycho

Last year, in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, I shared a story from my father. This year, I would like to share the account of how Christianity came to Armenia as told by a priest.

A few years ago I attended an Armenian dinner function. A number of friends and family were in attendance including two Armenian priests. As usual, the conversations were lively and the food and drinks abundant – merriment and passionately uninhibited exchange of ideas is the norm in these gatherings.

Post dinner, while everyone was taking delight in what appeared to be an endless supply of sweets and bottomless cups of coffee and tea, one of the priests asked a question: “who here knows how and why Armenians adopted Christianity?”

All Armenians, even the atheists, are aware and will proudly share the fact that the Armenian Apostolic Church “is the world’s oldest national church”; Armenia being “the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in AD 301.” That Etchmiadzin is considered to be “the oldest cathedral in the world”, and that the Armenian Christian order is unique on the religious landscape and has thus been granted stewardship of a quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem.

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Should a Chimp Be Able to Sue Its Owner?

This could change everything! Walk me now or I sue…

This excerpt from the New York Times Magazine picks up after Steven Wise visits a chimpanzee named Tommy at Circle L Trailer Sales near Gloversville, N.Y.:

…Seven weeks later, on Dec. 2, Wise, a 63-year-old legal scholar in the field of animal law, strode with his fellow lawyers, Natalie Prosin, the executive director of the Nonhuman Rights Project (Nh.R.P.), and Elizabeth Stein, a New York-based animal-law expert, into the clerk’s office of the Fulton County Courthouse in Johnstown, N.Y., 10 miles from Circle L Trailer Sales, wielding multiple copies of a legal document the likes of which had never been seen in any of the world’s courts, no less conservative Fulton County’s.

Under the partial heading “The Nonhuman Rights Project Inc. on behalf of Tommy,” the legal memo and petition included among their 106 pages a detailed account of the “petitioner’s” solitary confinement “in a small, dank, cement cage in a cavernous dark shed”; and a series of nine affidavits gathered from leading primatologists around the world, each one detailing the cognitive capabilities of a being like Tommy, thereby underscoring the physical and psychological ravages he suffers in confinement.

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Scientists: The Bigger the Meat, The More Likely She’ll Cheat

PIC: Mykl Roventine (CC)

PIC: Mykl Roventine (CC)

Well, they didn’t exactly put it that way, but…

Via Huffington Post:

Contrary to popular belief, a new study out of Kenya found that husbands with larger penises were more likely to be cheated on by their wives (shocking, we know).

For the study — published this month in PLOSOne — researchers interviewed 545 married couples in Kenya in order to better understand their relationship habits and, more specifically, to identify factors which contributed to women having extramarital affairs.

Researchers asked both partners to self-report the male’s erect penis size (they had a 15 inch ruler on hand for reference). Then, if there were differences between the estimates (which there were), they either took the average of the two or went with the estimate from the partner who was less likely to fib.

What they found was rather shocking:

“Every one inch longer penis increased the likelihood of women being involved in extra-marital partnership by almost one-and-half times,” the researchers wrote.

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Chad Kroeger And Avril Lavigne Release Weapons-Grade Bad Music Video; Internet Revolts

Nickelback rock-bro Chad Kroeger and his once-upon-a-time pop star wife Avril Lavigne have released a music video so bad that the internet is actively rejecting it like a bad skin graft. According to Buzzfeed, Billboard, and about a million other websites, response to Avril Lavigne’s “Hello Kitty” video has been so terrible that the record company is trying to pull it wherever it pops up online. Needless to say, it’s not going well. Hmm… let’s take a look at Twitter:

 

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Lela and Raymond Howard’s Final Hours: A 500 Mile Trip To Nowhere And The Birth Of Fastball’s “The Way’

Photos used with permission of photographers (C)

Photos used with permission of photographers (C)

I’ve always been curious about the disappearance of Lela and Raymond Howard, an elderly couple who left their home in Salado, Texas for a 15 mile trip to Temple and whose bodies were discovered two weeks later and about 500 miles at the bottom of an Appalachian ravine. The couple’s death later inspired “The Way”, a 1998 number-one single by Austin, Texas band Fastball.

I recently got the opportunity to explore the disappearance in depth as part of a freelance assignment, but there wasn’t a ton of details available online. It was 1997 when the Howards disappeared, and a lot of stuff from that era hasn’t found its way into electronic archives yet, so I had to put on my research cap and go digging. And dig I did. It took about a week to hunt down reporters, old public records, and Fastball lead singer Tony Scalzo himself.… Read the rest

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Why Everything You Think You Know about Jesus is Wrong | Interview with Author Reza Aslan

Abby Martin interviews Reza Aslan, historian and author of the best-selling book ‘Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth’, discussing how he arrived at the conclusion that Jesus was a revolutionary political leader rather than the peaceful prophet characterized by mainstream culture.

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Lawn Vegetable Farmers Fight the Law and Win!!!

Via We Are Change

Grow Food Not Laws. In this video Luke Rudkowksi of WeAreChange speaks with Jason and Jennifer Helvenston, gardeners who were targeted by the state. Are Americans losing their right to grow their own food peacefully on private property? The U.S. and Florida constitutions protect property rights from arbitrary invasions. After taking the fight to the government and winning the city has withdrawn their demands to tear up a beautiful garden. These peaceful vegetable farmers are sharing their knowledge with others, for more information visit patriot-gardens.com.… Read the rest

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