Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Mythology of Jesus

Jesus lived in the first three decades in the first century, allegedly dying somewhere along the year 33 CE, although there were groups of ancient Jews and Jewish Christians who believed that Jesus was killed a century before. The Gospels, beginning with Mark, were written after 70 CE That’s a four decade gap, the only information we have in the gap comes from Paul who claims that Jesus came to him and told him to spread the word. Paul wrote around eighty thousand words about Christianity, Paul’s documents represent, essentially, all we have with regards to the history of Christianity during this four decade gap. What’s further is that Paul was unaware of the “fact” that Jesus allegedly lived as a human on earth, he was unaware of the story of Mary, of Bethlehem, John the Baptist, any of the miracles of Jesus, Paul never quotes anything that Jesus allegedly said, Paul never mentioned the ministry of Jesus, Pontius Pilot, any Jewish mob, any trial; Paul was unaware of what we would consider the story of Jesus save for the last three events, events which Paul did not even place as having happened on earth. To Paul Jesus lived, died and ascended all within the confines of a mythical realm. I find it interesting, rather suggestive, that the only link we have between the time frame given for the life of Jesus and the appearance of the first gospels, Paul, never even believed that Jesus was a human being, he was actually unaware of the idea altogether.

When looking at the Gospels one must be aware of the fact that allegorical literature was very common at the time, many of the gospels – the apocryphal – were thrown out due to their being too unbelievable and based on folk lore stemming from a plethora of various other myths; there has been a concerted effort – the Jesuits being an example – of people actively attempting to demythologize the bible, trying to take away the folklore (such as the “virgin birth”).

The folklore inherent in Christianity was nothing new or original. Jesus shared some twenty odd characteristics with other mythical heroes, heroes such as Oedipus, Theseus, Romulus, Hercules, Perseus, Zeus, Zoroaster, Thor, Tammuz, Orpheus, Mithras, Krishna, Horus, Hermes, Dionysis, Baal, Attis, Adonis, etc. the shared characteristics being: the heroes mother is a royal virgin, stars appear at his birth, visited by Magi from the east, his father is a king, the circumstances of his conception are unusual, is reputed to be the son of a god, at birth there is an attempt by his father to kill him, but he is hidden away, is raised by foster parents in a foreign country, we are told nothing of his childhood, on reaching manhood he returns and goes to his future kingdom, after a victory over a king, a giant or a dragon, marries a princess, turns water into wine, heals the sick, performs miracles, becomes king, reigns uneventfully, proscribes laws, later losses favor with subjects, is driven from the throne of the city, meets with a mysterious death, death is often at the top of a hill, killed on a cross or a tree, his children if any do not succeed him, his body not buried, etc.

It is a staggering fact to note that Jesus shares the majority of these common hero characteristics with other heroic figures such as Oedipus, Theseus, Romulus, etc. There are other similar savior figures during the same time period such as Apollonius Christ and Osiris, however, nobody takes these stories as anything other than mythical despite the congruent similarity. I find it further revealing that those whose job it was to spread Christianity used the similarity it shared with all other mythology as an advantage:

“When we say that Jesus Christ was produced without sexual union, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended to heaven, we propound nothing new or different from what you believe regarding those whom you call the sons of Jupiter.” – Justin Martyr, church father.

What’s even more is that many pagans, after being proselytized to by the early Church fathers, claimed that what the Christians were saying about Jesus had been what they claimed about Dionysis for years and they didn’t actually believe in such myths either anymore. To which the early Christian apologists would respond with the claim that the difference being this time, with Jesus, the story was true, for it was Satan who counterfeited in advance the other stories with the foreknowledge that this day would come and wished to subvert it.

“For when they say that Dionysus arose again and ascended to heaven, is it not evident the devil has imitated the prophecy?” – Justin Martyr, church father

This is clear evidence that the early church was well aware of the fact that their story, their mythology, was perfectly similar to others which came before and in response to this had to resort to claiming that these other similar mythologies were the work of the devil, a sorry argument if there ever was. It is important to keep in mind that the first celebration of easter was in 2400 BCE long before any alleged existence of Jesus.

For thousands of years humanity has been obsessed with blood sacrifice, it is no coincidence that the story of the crucifixion of Jesus gave Christians a suffering and tortured hero whose flesh they could eat and whose blood they could drink – this is the absolute height of religious sacrifice - and for all those who claim that modern Christians are no longer obsessed with blood sacrifice I submit to them that they watch The Passion of the Christ, the most bloody, gory, violent movie of Jesus ever made and also, far and away, the most popular; many Christians claim this movie is the most profound ever made and it is centered around nothing other than blood sacrifice.

In summation of all of this I find it more than fair and logical to question even the very idea that Jesus ever existed. It seems far more plausible to me that the story of Jesus, the Christian faith, is nothing more than a parsed together story, incorporating the common characteristics of a heroic mythology with a concerted effort to align it with the “prophecy” of the old testament, and nothing more. Thus is, the mythology of Jesus.

24 comments:

MomSquared said...

All of this was partly responsible for my break from the church years ago. I mean, I guess the story *could* be true even though it was only a copy of others, but it made it much less compelling.

gary said...

How can you say that Paul was unaware of the historical Jesus? He had no great interest in him, and had no knowledge of non-historicial elements such as the Virgin birth, but he did meet James, the brother of Jesus, and some of the followers of Jesus, who had known him during his life.

I am puzzled that so many science-minded humanists and atheists continue to believe that Jesus never existed as a person in history, although the great majority of scholars in that field would disagree.

JDHURF said...

momsquared:
I agree, however, even if Jesus had existed and the gospels weren’t the second and third hand accounts that they are having been written decades after the life of Jesus and based upon oral tradition, we all know how accurate oral tradition is, not very, the accounts made within them are still subject to extreme scrutiny.

zontar the good:
I claim that Paul was unaware of the historical Jesus because in his large collection of writings he never mentions Jesus as pictured in the NT gospels. I find it absurd for you to make the claim that Paul “had no great interest in him,” that is simply false. The reason Paul allegedly became a Christian and began writing the Epistles is because Jesus came to him on the road to Damascus and inspired him with the holy spirit, for you to claim that Paul didn’t have a great interest in Jesus is laughable. Furthermore you claim that Paul had met James, or any other follower of Jesus is unsupported, that and contradictory to the fact that Paul never wrote about what is shared in the stories of the NT gospel; as a matter of fact Paul only ever wrote about three events, the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, however, Paul places these events all in a mythical realm. You would think that if Paul had met James or any other follower of Jesus they would have shared this information and Paul’s writing would have much more similarity with the NT gospels.
It should not be puzzling in the least that so many “science-minded humanists” and “atheists” doubt the existence of Jesus because such individuals require sufficient evidence in order to support various claims, the historicity of Jesus retains no such evidence. Furthermore there are a plethora of scholars who doubt the historicity of Jesus, Michael White for one, and the fact that a great number of those who don’t are also Christian is rather suggestive I would think.

Thank you both for stopping by and leaving comments, I appreciate it.

Etzel Pangloss said...

Why do Americans care about religion so much?

JDHURF said...

etzel:

Lol! Because America is a cess pool of religion, simply put Americans cannot escape being concerned about religion even if that were their desire.

elijeremiah said...

Great entry, JDHURF, as usual.

Personally, I have always considered Jesus to be entirely ficiticious--at least the Jesus the Bible speaks of.

Etzel Pangloss said...

I'm glad I came back.

Surely as people, all we have (at best) is decency. can we not stick to our souls and hope?

p.s. England is a fun place to visit. (we're not like you lot)

gary said...

I think that Paul was interested in Jesus only as the Christ, understood in terms of his soteriology. However, Paul does mention meeting James, "the brother of the Lord" and also Peter and other followers of Jesus, who were often in conflict with him. Only a minority scholars question the historicity of Jesus. Most, including Jewish scholars believe that he did exist. Are you familiar with the Jesus Seminar?

Stardust said...

p.s. England is a fun place to visit. (we're not like you lot)

I would have to say that while there may be less religious fantacism in England and Europe, it still exists. I correspond with several people from England and they write me about the increase in religious fanatics, the growing muslim population, the Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.

Here is a website article that talks about the increase in fundamentalism in the UK and across Europe.

Fundamentalism is growing within Church of England . . .

Excerpt:Along with strong Catholic and Christian Fundamentalist pressure, European politics (take note of the issues surrounding 'god' and the European Constitution2 and recent issues on faith schools) is suffering slightly (but increasingly) from the growing numbers of Fundamentalist Muslim organisations. As a result of this pressure, Anti-gay, anti-secular and sectarian (in particular: faith schools) legislation has been successfully passed in recent years, notably the approved 2003 Dec law in the UK which will allow Christian managers to fire gay staff.

Stardust said...

Another bit of recent news coming from England that shows that England is indeed becoming just like "our lot":

LONDON (Reuters) - The Gay Police Association (GPA) has been reprimanded for an ad which implied Christians were responsible for a huge rise in violent attacks on homosexuals.

Wednesday, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) agreed with the complainants, who included Christian Watch, the Trinitarian Bible Society and The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches, saying it could cause offence.


(Apparently, it is only okay for the religious to offend others, even in merry ol' England while those who are victims of religious-backed violence are censored.)

JDHURF said...

zontar:

Your bald-faced assertion that only a “minority of scholars question the historicity of Jesus” is unfounded and contradictory to the nature of reality and, yes, I am quite familiar with the Jesus seminars; an acquaintance of mine is immersed in it and some of my information actually comes from him and the seminars directly.

Anonymous said...

jdhurf
There's an idea in your passage that I want to use in a novel I'm writing. It will probably never be published because there is so much competition. However I do like to acknowledge any references I make. Do you have a name?
With best wishes
Glyn

JDHURF said...

anonymous,
Feel free to use any of my ideas without giving me reference, I believe in a free-market of ideas. However if you must reference me simply use my initials J.D.HURF. I'm not a big fan of plastering my full name all over the internet for everyone, people I don't know, to then view.
Especially when I have received death threats from religious extremists.

JDHURF said...

anonymous,
By the way thank you for your interest in my post and for commenting, I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

A non-theist from Tulsa, huh? As a fellow Non-theist in the Bible Belt, I applaud your efforts, even though we both know that reason, rationalism and ontologigal evidence will not sway the "faithful". Hopefully, you won't get too beat up by those who feel their superstitious ideology must be defended to the death; and hopefully cynicism won't replace your sense of skepticism. -J

Anonymous said...

Isn't this exactly what is said in the first part to the movie "The God Who Wasn't There"?
Yeah, great post-you're really good at dictation.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. Do you believe in, or that there is a devil, because if you believe in one, you have to believe in the other. Also how do you think we got here then if there is no God or Jesus?

Thank you

JDHURF said...

anonymous:

No, I do not believe in the devil. The devil is quite possibly a more absurd concept than that of god. As far as how "we got here," I accept the theory of evolution.

Anonymous said...

At the top of this thread, jdhurf says: "you claim that Paul had met James, or any other follower of Jesus is unsupported, that and contradictory to the fact that Paul never wrote about what is shared in the stories of the NT gospel"

.... well, the letter he wrote to the Galatian Church pretty much refutes what you said... Paul says that, after he converted: "Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord's brother."

Then, after,
read Galatians 2:9, where he talks about another well know encounter with Peter in Antioch :"James, Peter[a] and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me... When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong."


...So pretty much, it is clear, that 3 years after his conversion, Paul spend 15 days learning from many basic doctrines from Peter.



jdhurf claims that Paul thought Jesus was a myth... Common man, that is ridicules. There are passages Paul writes which make clear he believed Jesus was real..

Look at the creed he gives us in Corinthians: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once . . . (1 Cor. 15:3-6a).

He did NOT believe Jesus was a myth. He attests here to many eye witnesses who saw him.

And, furthermore, you claim: "Furthermore there are a plethora of scholars who doubt the historicity of Jesus, Michael White for one, and the fact that a great number of those who don’t are also Christian is rather suggestive I would think".

OF COURSE the historians who disbelieve in the historicity of Jesus are not Christians. What is suggestive? That is common sense.


Furthermore, it is pretty clear these historians have a bias because they are irrationally skeptical about the existance of Jesus.. Most historians believe Jesus was at least a real man because it is impossible to explain the origins of such a huge Christian movement--where did the sudden willingness to die preaching that Jesus lived, was crucified under Pontious Pilot, and rose from the dead come from? It is impossible to explain why eye witnesses were willing to die rather than reject the gospel--where did such dedication and motivation come from? Furthermore, and most importantly, these historians, who claim Christ wasn't real, fails to explain why we can find over 50000 to 60000 ancient fragments of Jesus, dating back to the lifetime of eye witnesses--a number of ancient fragments that virtually eclipses any ancient event by thousandssss...

If Jesus didn't exist, it seems to be quite a miracle that such evidence manufactured itself. Thus, for historians to completely deny him they definitely have a bias and of course they don't believe in him.


...OH, and to your most recent reply... "As far as how "we got here," I accept the theory of evolution."

.. How do you believe the theory of evolution 'got here'?

JDHURF said...

Anonymous said:
”At the top of this thread, jdhurf says: "you claim that Paul had met James, or any other follower of Jesus is unsupported, that and contradictory to the fact that Paul never wrote about what is shared in the stories of the NT gospel"”

Been there done that, read the second installment.

Common man, that is ridicules.

Is this your concept of Christian morality and decent Christian behavior? You might want to review the Christian concept of the neighbor.
In any case, at least this “common man” can spell and I do view myself as being able to relate to the “common man” and woman, everyday people, that you view yourself as some elite, untouchable, infallible human being speaks more about your inflated and unwarranted sense of ego than anything else.

And, furthermore, you claim: "Furthermore there are a plethora of scholars who doubt the historicity of Jesus, Michael White for one, and the fact that a great number of those who don’t are also Christian is rather suggestive I would think".

OF COURSE the historians who disbelieve in the historicity of Jesus are not Christians. What is suggestive? That is common sense.


Reread that quote you just cited. I specifically said “a number of those who don’t [as in don’t believe in the divinity of Jesus or that he rose from the dead and so on] are also Christian…” I’m talking about scholars WHO ARE Christian yet who do not believe in the Jesus myths because they have been swayed by the compelling evidence before them.

”Furthermore, it is pretty clear these historians have a bias because they are irrationally skeptical about the existance of Jesus..”

Skepticism of ultra-radical claims is not irrational.

”Most historians believe Jesus was at least a real man because it is impossible to explain the origins of such a huge Christian movement--where did the sudden willingness to die preaching that Jesus lived, was crucified under Pontious Pilot, and rose from the dead come from?”

Ask yourself these same questions about Mohammad, about Apollonius Christ, about Zarathustra and all the rest.

”It is impossible to explain why eye witnesses were willing to die rather than reject the gospel”

What eyewitnesses? The gospels are at best second hand accounts as Luke himself admits right up front in the first chapter of Luke: “Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word…”

”--where did such dedication and motivation come from?”

Lol, if all it takes is dedication and motivation, then clearly Islam is the true religion. You will certainly have to believe in communism and anarchism now, it’s hard to find more dedication and motivation (recall Spain in the thirties).

”Furthermore, and most importantly, these historians, who claim Christ wasn't real, fails to explain why we can find over 50000 to 60000 ancient fragments of Jesus, dating back to the lifetime of eye witnesses--a number of ancient fragments that virtually eclipses any ancient event by thousandssss... “

This is just propaganda plain and simple. Unless or until you provide evidence for these claims, I will simply dismiss them without further attention.

”.. How do you believe the theory of evolution 'got here'?”

Mainly from Darwin, but I think you rather mean to ask how the evolutionary process began. Seeing as evolution only applies to living entities, you really mean to ask how do I believe life began in the first place and here I would refer you to abiogenesis and the following links:

link 1

link 2


link 3


link 4

Anonymous said...

"JDHURF, you say: I’m talking about scholars WHO ARE Christian yet who do not believe in the Jesus myths because they have been swayed by the compelling evidence before them.

How can you take CHRIST out of CHRISTianity... You are merely taking about people who goto Church as a social convention. These people do not believe in the fundamentals of the faith--calling them Christian is like telling me there are lots of scientists who reject the fundamental teachings of biology, physics and chemistry.


When i ask you about how you explain the dedication and motivation of the early apostles, you say: Ask yourself these same questions about Mohammad, about Apollonius Christ, about Zarathustra and all the rest... if all it takes is dedication and motivation, then clearly Islam is the true religion. You will certainly have to believe in communism and anarchism now, it’s hard to find more dedication and motivation (recall Spain in the thirties).

But JDHURF, the apostles died for something they KNEW to be true. They claim they SAW Jesus rise from the dead.. It is much different with Islam, or modern day Christians because we can only BELIEVE that what we follow is true. The apostles, however, literally saw something. They attested to being there and witnessing Jesus rising from the dead. It is psychologically impossible to die for something you KNOW to be a lie, in contrast with modern martyrs, we can only believe it to be true. So when you compare the dedication of the early Church to Islam you are making a false connection--one group KNOWS because they saw something, the latter group only believes in something. Again, i ask you: where did the sudden claim that the apostles made, that Jesus rose from the dead come from?


Then you take the peculiar position of saying there were no eye witnesses at all: What eyewitnesses? The gospels are at best second hand accounts as Luke himself admits right up front in the first chapter of Luke: “Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word…" ... I think its quite dishonest how you quote the bible here. If you read the full text it says: " Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught." .. Here Luke claims HE investigated the claims HIMSELF.. He does not say, like you seem to believe, that he took other peoples writings.

Furthermore, scholars believe Matthew and Mark used other, earlier sources. Scholars refer to this written material as "Q". You are right, this material was written before the gospels, and writers of the Gospels most likely used it for their books. But.. So what? That simply proves that even before the gospels, people were writing and preserving the teachings of Jesus. In fact, that means that we had a solid, hard-copy, record of Jesus teachings even before the earliest gospel. So i think this point of yours kind of backfires.. You argue that the gospels are second hand, but that means that even before the mere 20-40 years after Jesus death, when the gospels were written, that there were many writings preserved which were used to aid in the accuracy of the text.. So, how early is this "Q" source estimated to be? Some say, as early as before Jesus was crucified...

JDHURF said...

Anonymous said:
”How can you take CHRIST out of CHRISTianity... You are merely taking about people who goto Church as a social convention. These people do not believe in the fundamentals of the faith--calling them Christian is like telling me there are lots of scientists who reject the fundamental teachings of biology, physics and chemistry.”

And you called me unsophisticated. The synoptic gospels are not the only ones. I would recommend that you review the apocrypha, especially the Gnostic gospels, which can be found at earlychristianwritings.co,

But JDHURF, the apostles died for something they KNEW to be true.”.

Nonsense. Again, any Muslim could say the same damn thing about Muhammad’s followers and family. It means nothing.

They claim they SAW Jesus rise from the dead..

So what? The followers of Apollonius Christ claim they too saw Apollonius rise from the dead. Followers of Muhammad, who were around when he died, claim to have witnessed him fly up into heaven on a winged horse. Do we all now have to accept these claims? Get serious.

It is much different with Islam, or modern day Christians because we can only BELIEVE that what we follow is true. The apostles, however, literally saw something. They attested to being there and witnessing Jesus rising from the dead.

And all of their accounts, which are second hand as found in the bible, are conflicting and there are gospels which the Catholic Church at the council of Nicea politically and consciously ruled would be excluded from the bible because they wrote about Jesus as just a human being who did not rise from the dead.

It is psychologically impossible to die for something you KNOW to be a lie

You are distorting the plain meaning of words. I didn’t say that they died for something they knew was a lie. I said that what they believed was false. People die for things which they believe yet are false all the time. Remember 9-11?

we can only believe it to be true. So when you compare the dedication of the early Church to Islam you are making a false connection--one group KNOWS because they saw something, the latter group only believes in something.

That’s complete bullshit though. Both groups had witnesses and both groups claim to have seen something preposterous and both groups begin from an explicitly biased starting point.

Again, i ask you: where did the sudden claim that the apostles made, that Jesus rose from the dead come from?

Again I ask you: where did the sudden claim that the Apollonians and Muslims made: that Apollonius and Muhammad rose from the dead? Would you like me to post the eyewitness accounts of Apollonius having risen from the dead? You just aren’t being serious because you are blinded by your irrational and emotionally driven faith.

Here Luke claims HE investigated the claims HIMSELF.. He does not say, like you seem to believe, that he took other peoples writings.

You are being ridiculous. Luke’s only connection to this fairy tale was through second hand accounts. You can explain to me how he knew from these accounts Jesus rose from the dead.

Furthermore, scholars believe Matthew and Mark used other, earlier sources. Scholars refer to this written material as "Q". You are right, this material was written before the gospels, and writers of the Gospels most likely used it for their books. But.. So what? That simply proves that even before the gospels, people were writing and preserving the teachings of Jesus.

Actually, for years, decades, the mythology of Jesus was handed down through oral tradition. Ever play the game telephone? Now make the inference I am implicitly suggesting.

In fact, that means that we had a solid, hard-copy, record of Jesus teachings even before the earliest gospel.

Before the synoptic gospels yes, before a long and convoluted oral tradition, no.

So i think this point of yours kind of backfires..

You believe a lot of silly things, this is the least of it.

So, how early is this "Q" source estimated to be? Some say, as early as before Jesus was crucified...

Irrelevant. Q is essentially just an index of sayings and quotes, it doesn’t claim that Jesus rose from the dead like a Romero movie.

Again, you should read the second installment of my mythology of Jesus posts and you should also acquaint yourself with the apocrypha:

Early Christian Writings

Danyelle said...

JDHURF said...
I was reading this response to comment by anonymous:

"Anonymous said:
”At the top of this thread, jdhurf says: "you claim that Paul had met James, or any other follower of Jesus is unsupported, that and contradictory to the fact that Paul never wrote about what is shared in the stories of the NT gospel"”

Been there done that, read the second installment."


Unfortunately I can't find what you are referring to as the second installment. I thought you meant another blogpost but can't find any reference to James on your blog.

Can you point me in the right direction if you have already expressed your retort to the fact that Paul meeting "James, brother of the Lord" is reported in the bible? This does seem to provide evidence that Paul ,et in the real world with people who knew the life of Jesus, so I was hoping you would reply to it... Maybe you have already and I just can't find it?

The idea that Paul only discusses Jesus in the "mythical realm" is interesting but I wondered what scripture references you were thinking of when you say this?

Thank you. Hope you can find time to reply to me. Much appreciated.

JDHURF said...

Danyelle, thanks for your interest in my blog. The other post you seem to be looking for is called "Revisiting the Jesus Myth."

This post and the comments are all seven years old, so I'm not sure of the specific context of the quotes you posted nor do I any longer care to read through all of these posts and the religious hysteria to find out.

An interesting aside about the "writings" of Paul, experts cannot be sure who even wrote them. At least six of them are assumed to have been written by followers of Paul. That is why it is so preposterous for people to accept every sentence within the Bible as true: it is cobbled together hearsay and nonsense written by sectarian fanatics suffering religious fever.

As far as Paul's claim or Paul's followers' claims that he actually met with James or Peter or whoever, I don't see any reason to believe him/them. This is the same schizophrenic lunatic who claims to have been visited by the specter of Jesus on the road to Damascus. That single fact alone discredits Paul as a reliable source.

It is also known as circular reasoning to use a source to support assertions which contains the assertions requiring support to begin with. It is incredibly fallacious. It is parallel to saying: "The Bible is true because in the Bible it says the Bible is true." That is the epitome of irrational.

It is also interesting to note that Jesus seems to have lost his taste for visiting people in such a fashion any more. Well, at least sane, intelligent people, that is. Evidently he remains quite the show out to the mentally ill and the poor, delusional homeless. A revealing and suggestive fact in and of itself.