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Jesus, Lamb of God

The image of Jesus as the Lamb of God pervades Christianity. The lamb is a familiar symbol for Jesus, found not only in today's gospel[1] but also throughout the New Testament as well as in art and literature. The image of Jesus as the Lamb of God reinterprets the Jewish Passover narrative, which describes the angel of death in Egypt passing over Israelite houses marked with the blood of a lamb, killing only the Egyptian first born. Thus, we have the Agnus Dei, “O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us,”[2] a part of Christian liturgies since the early fourth century.[3]

Biblical images and metaphors are often complex and confusing. For example, Biblical authors describe Christians as God's sheep, although they sometimes refer to Jews as sheep, even in the New Testament.[4] New Testament authors similarly describe Jesus as both the Lamb of God and the shepherd, two conflicting images actually found in a single verse in the Revelation of John.[5]

Ethical reflections on the death of General Suleimani

The U.S. assassination of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani raises ethical questions that have received short shrift in the outpouring of political concern about what Suleimani’s death may portend for peace in the Middle East.

First, assassination is unethical. There are no exceptions because assassination by another name is murder. Furthermore, the United States is not at war with Iran. If the U.S. decided that Maj. Gen. Suleimani was a terrorist, then the U.S. should have aimed to apprehend him to bring him to trial. Terrorism is a crime, not an act of war. For a fuller treatment of this point, read my book, Just Counterterrorism (available for free download by following this link), or my article, Just Counterterrorism, in the journal, Critical Studies on Terrorism.

Second, whether analyzed from a criminal justice perspective (strongly preferred) or a just war perspective, for any killing to be ethical, reasonable expectations of the killing’s effect must be to aid in moving toward a more…

Predictions for 2020

Last year, I made several predictions for 2019. Below, red annotations report the accuracy of each prediction.

·US stock markets will fall more than 20% from their 2018 highs. This prediction was off by about 45% - the markets rose rather than fell.
·President Trump’s enjoyment of chaos, erratic behavior, dishonesty, and narcissism will continue to destabilize US and world politics. Accurate.
·The loyalty of President Trump’s base will erode and his base diminish in size. Many of Trump’s policies harmed his base, as I forecast, but this did not erode the loyalty of his base.
·President Trump’s legal problems will escalate. The U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump; he now awaits a Senate trial.
·Brexit will happen. The Conservatives did call an election. They scored an unexpected, overwhelming victory. Brexit is now inevitable.
·The US will tighten border security, especially with Mexico, but will not build a border wall along the southern border. Accurate.
·Trump, a man of few bedro…