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We have a pretty good idea what Jesus looked like
vanity ^ | 3-4-11 | Dangus

Posted on 03/04/2011 6:27:07 AM PST by dangus

It is commonly claimed that we have little idea what Jesus looked like. Some have even gone to such despicable extremes as to describe traditional depictions of Jesus as looking like an "effeminate hippy." The truth is that although some images of Jesus have made him look overly European, we do have a good sense of what he looked like.

Jesus had a beard. To shave off one's beard was a great dishonor (see 1 Sam 21, 2 Sam 10:4, Isaiah 50:6). One particular humiliation the Messiah withstood was that the centurions plucked out his beard (Isaiah 50:6); certainly they were grabbing significant portions, not just a few day's growth.

Jesus probably did have long hair. The Gospel of Matthew states that the birth of Jesus "fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene (2:23)." In context, Matthew is obviously making a play on the fact that Jesus was born in Nazareth, but prophesy isn't dismissed by a pun, and the prophecy plainly referred to the a Nazarite.

Nazarites were people who atoned for the sins of the people by making sacrifices of their bodies. (Sound familiar?) They abstained from strong drink and grape products. Since Jesus didn't do this, one might suppose that he was not a Nazarite. (Actually, as Luke 5:33 records it, his disciples didn't abstain from drink, there's no reason to suppose Jesus drank apart from ritual.) On the other hand, it confounded people that he didn't do this, which suggests he may have been regarded as a Nazarite, or appeared to be one. So how does one appear to be a Nazarite?

Nazarites didn't cut or groom their hair. As such, they were considered offensive and humiliated in Jewish culture, which began to assume that they were atoning for their own sins, even though this was in opposition to scripture! (See Lam. 4:7, Amos 2:11). The fact that long hair was considered shameful (1 Cor 11:14), thus, shouldn't be considered evidence that Jesus didn't have long hair, since Jesus bore our shame (Isaiah 53:4).

Jesus was fairly ordinary looking, for his time and place. Isaiah 52:14 notes that "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him." But this doesn't mean he looked perfectly typical. The Talmud depicts Adam as a majestic and beautiful giant; one might have expected the Messiah to look like a Son of God. (The Sons of God were a race of giants, see Gen. 6:2.) We shouldn't discount the possibility that he was rather tall, or forget that recent growth in mankind's average height is a result of better diet, not genetic change. Contrary to the recent assertions of the History channel, There is no reason to believe Jesus was rather short.

He was, however, gaunt. As a carpenter, he probably had been fairly muscular, since carpentry involved real labor. But the bible tells of frequent fasting, including one fast of forty days with no food at all (Mat 4:2). By the time he was crucified, he was so thin, you could count all his bones (Psalm 22:17).

Lastly, it's not necessarily true that we have no record of his appearance. Eastern Christian tradition, not infallible, but not baseless, either, asserts that the evangelist Luke was a physician and a painter, and that although Luke's images are lost, the iconic images of Christ Pantocrator are based on them. Christ Pantocrator is consistent with scripture: Bearded, slender, long-haired.. and very Jewish looking. It's also consistent with the numerous supposedly miraculous images of Christ, such as Veronica's veil and the Shroud of Turin. Among scripture and these images, we have a very good sense of what Jesus looked like, indeed.


Shroud of Turn

Holy Face of Vienna

Christ Pantocrator

4th century catacomb


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; General Discusssion; History
KEYWORDS: dangus
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1 posted on 03/04/2011 6:27:08 AM PST by dangus
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To: dangus
Is it sinful to make religious icons?
And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

--Numbers 21:8-9

2 posted on 03/04/2011 6:32:23 AM PST by dangus
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To: dangus

Exodus 25:10
“You shall make an ark of acacia wood, tow and a half cubits long, one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. Plate it inside and out with pure gold around the top of it. Cast four gold rings and fasten them on the four supports of the ark, two rings on the one side and two on the opposite side. Then make poles of acacia wood and plate them with gold. These poles you are to put through the rings on the sides of the ark, for carrying it; they must remain in the rings of the ark and never be withdrawn. In the ark you are to put the commandments which I will give you.”
“You shall then make a propitiatory of pure gold, two cubits and a half ling, on one and a half cubits wide. Make two cherubim of beaten gold for the two ends of the propitiatory, fastening them so that one cherub springs direct from each end. The cherubim shall have their wings spread out above, covering the propitiatory with them; they shall be turned toward each other, but with their faces looking toward the propitiatory. This propitiatory you shall then place on top of the ark. In the ark itself you are to put the commandments, I will tell you all the commands that I wish you to give the Israelites.


3 posted on 03/04/2011 6:35:16 AM PST by G Larry
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To: dangus
The Sons of God were a race of giants

It was the offspring of the Sons of God (fallen angels) and human women who were the race of giants.

4 posted on 03/04/2011 6:36:49 AM PST by SonOfDarkSkies ('And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?' Yeats)
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To: dangus
"And the LORD said unto Moses..."

I can't recall the commandment to Christians to draw/paint/sculpt images of Jesus. Can you refresh my memory?
5 posted on 03/04/2011 6:37:38 AM PST by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: dangus

If Jesus was careful to wash his hands and feet, he surely also combed his hair. In any case, the traditional artwork is beautiful.


6 posted on 03/04/2011 6:38:05 AM PST by Ciexyz
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To: dangus

Notice the commonalities in all the images: Long, slender nose; low but pronounced cheekbones; heavy lower lip; long face; moderately heavy brow that falls towards the extremities; deep-set eyes.


7 posted on 03/04/2011 6:38:32 AM PST by dangus
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To: dangus
Go here and you will see a miracle. This is what Jesus looks like. I'm certain of it. Not only because of this, but, also the little boy who died and went to heaven in the book his father wrote about it. They looked at tons of pictures of Jesus. Every time they would see one they'd say, Colton, is that what Jesus looked like. Finally one day they saw a picture that Akiane painted and Colton said that was it. Even before he saw the picture he told his dad that Jesus had the most beautiful eyes. Watch the video.

Link to Video

The book about Colton is called, Heaven is for Real.

8 posted on 03/04/2011 6:38:54 AM PST by MsLady (If you died tonight, where would you go? Salvation, don't leave earth without it!)
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To: dangus
Is it sinful to make religious icons?

And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.


At the time it wasn't a religious icon because there was nothing it would be iconic of for another millennium and a half, give or take, but a simple matter of survival that depended on one's choosing to believe and look (ha ha, so much for Calvinism). Jesus may have alluded to it in John 12:32 when he said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." That this, not the resurrection, is referring to his being raised up on a pole is in the following verse: "This he said, signifying what death he should die."
9 posted on 03/04/2011 6:41:00 AM PST by aruanan
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To: PetroniusMaximus

ping


10 posted on 03/04/2011 6:41:05 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: dangus

11 posted on 03/04/2011 6:41:09 AM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
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To: LearsFool
"I can't recall the commandment to Christians to draw/paint/sculpt images of Jesus. Can you refresh my memory?"

So if the Bible doesn't explicitly command something it is forbidden?

12 posted on 03/04/2011 6:42:19 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: LearsFool
I can't recall the commandment to Christians to draw/paint/sculpt images of Jesus. Can you refresh my memory?

The inside of your church must look like the inside of a civic center.
13 posted on 03/04/2011 6:45:29 AM PST by Carpe Cerevisi
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To: LearsFool

Read Exodus. God commands all kinds of images to be created in the tabernacle, on vestments on the ark etc.


14 posted on 03/04/2011 6:46:45 AM PST by Rippin
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To: dangus

that one picture looks like Hulk Hogan


15 posted on 03/04/2011 6:47:53 AM PST by RummyChick
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To: Joe 6-pack
So if the Bible doesn't explicitly command something it is forbidden?

So you're saying God didn't give you a commandment like He gave to Moses?
16 posted on 03/04/2011 6:47:53 AM PST by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: dangus

Notice how Jesus looks Italian in all the paintings? I always picture him as a young Billy Crystal.


17 posted on 03/04/2011 6:49:02 AM PST by Hoodat (Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. - (Rom 8:37))
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To: Rippin
Read Exodus. God commands all kinds of images to be created in the tabernacle, on vestments on the ark etc.

You do realize, of course, that we live under a different covenant than the folks God was talking to in Exodus, right?
18 posted on 03/04/2011 6:49:39 AM PST by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: LearsFool

>> I can’t recall the commandment to Christians to draw/paint/sculpt images of Jesus. Can you refresh my memory? <<

Either
1. The LORD ordered Moses to break the commandments he had just given Moses, but it’s OK to break the LORD’s commandments when the LORD commands you to break the LORD’s commandments, or

2. You’re misunderstanding the commandments of the LORD.

I’m going with #2. The pagans were fashioning their own Gods. “Graven images” is better translated as “molten idols,” but King James needed an excuse to destroy the cultural memory of his illiterate subjects, who relied on pictures to help recall the stories they had learned.

In contrast, the pagans would melt down their war booty into idols, as a way of saving the precious metals until the next war. To spend their income in any way not related to war would thus be sacreligious. “To worship” was to signify obedience and allegiance.


19 posted on 03/04/2011 6:50:41 AM PST by dangus
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To: dangus
When you type the letters "L-O-R-D" you are making an icon...a visual representation that symbolizes a concept in a manner that has a generally agreed upon meaning allowing you to communicate that concept with others. Keep in mind that the very letters you type evolved from (gasp) pictures. An iconic representation of Christ is no different, and in fact, has more widely and effectively communicated that thought for two millenia.

Until Gutenberg invented the press, and for sometime after, literacy was largely the domain of clerics and the aristocracy. The vast majority of the laity's knowledge of Biblical events was communicated through painting, sculpture and stained glass. Whether or not they actually "looked" like Christ is no more important than whether or not the letters, "C-h-r-i-s-t" look like Christ. They are a means of conveying the concept of Christ.

Unless of course you have something against sharing the news of God with illiterate people...

20 posted on 03/04/2011 6:50:41 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Carpe Cerevisi
The inside of your church must look like the inside of a civic center.

When decorativeness becomes the most important consideration, it's probably a safe bet that our priorities have gotten mixed up.
21 posted on 03/04/2011 6:51:27 AM PST by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: Hoodat

That’s interesting you said that because that’s what my wife says too!

For me personally, I picture someone that looks kind of like Obi Won Kenobi in the Phantom Menace Star Wars movie and when my Jesus talks, he has an English accent. (I have no English blood in me.)


22 posted on 03/04/2011 6:51:37 AM PST by MrInvisible
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To: dangus
So, He looks like this guy then.

23 posted on 03/04/2011 6:51:54 AM PST by fulltlt
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To: Hoodat

That’s interesting you said that because that’s what my wife says too!

For me personally, I picture someone that looks kind of like Obi Won Kenobi in the Phantom Menace Star Wars movie and when my Jesus talks, he has an English accent. (I have no English blood in me.)


24 posted on 03/04/2011 6:52:09 AM PST by MrInvisible
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To: MrInvisible

Sorry for the double post.


25 posted on 03/04/2011 6:52:47 AM PST by MrInvisible
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To: dangus

Didn’t Judas have to “point” Him out to the soldiers? If that’s the case, maybe He didn’t stand out in a crowd and looked like other people did in that day.


26 posted on 03/04/2011 6:54:02 AM PST by kickonly88 (I love fossil fuel!)
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To: Hoodat

>> Notice how Jesus looks Italian in all the paintings? I always picture him as a young Billy Crystal. <<

He certainly does NOT look like a Roman in any of the pictures, if that’s your insinuation. My wife’s family is from Northern Italy. She’s blonde, blue-eyed, round-faced, and has a short nose.


27 posted on 03/04/2011 6:54:31 AM PST by dangus
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To: LearsFool
"So you're saying God didn't give you a commandment like He gave to Moses?"

Of course not, but I'm not sure what the relevance is. What's your definition of "graven image"?

28 posted on 03/04/2011 6:54:44 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: LearsFool
I can't recall the commandment to Christians to draw/paint/sculpt images of Jesus. Can you refresh my memory?

Having an Image vs Worshiping that image = Big difference.

29 posted on 03/04/2011 6:55:02 AM PST by justice14 ("stand up defend or lay down and die")
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To: dangus

So you’re saying that, no, you don’t have such a commandment to draw/paint/sculpt images of Jesus, as Moses did for the serpent? I just want to be clear on that point, and not misunderstand.


30 posted on 03/04/2011 6:55:20 AM PST by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: kickonly88

>> Didn’t Judas have to “point” Him out to the soldiers? If that’s the case, maybe He didn’t stand out in a crowd and looked like other people did in that day. <<

Well, yeah. Don’t you think Christ Pantocrator looks Jewish? Don’t forget though, many of his followers were followers of John before him (at least three), or were cousins of his (at least two). In the middle of the night, I’d quite easily suppose he blended into that crown.


31 posted on 03/04/2011 7:02:01 AM PST by dangus
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To: MsLady

Look at how much she charges just for a print

https://www.akiane.com/store/index.php/prints.html


32 posted on 03/04/2011 7:05:03 AM PST by RummyChick
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To: LearsFool
When decorativeness becomes the most important consideration, it's probably a safe bet that our priorities have gotten mixed up.

Who said anything about the "decorativeness" of the interior of the church took anything away from the worship that takes place in the church? If anything it should elevate the mind to God. God forbade the worship of images in place of God; He didn't ban the use of making them.

By your rationale any images, be it photographs, movies, books, statues, or paintings would be forbidden.
33 posted on 03/04/2011 7:06:55 AM PST by Carpe Cerevisi
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To: justice14; Joe 6-pack; dangus
Having an Image vs Worshiping that image = Big difference.

I believe I'll leave such details up to God, and instead stick to what He tells me.

Dangus cites a command God gave to Moses - as though (presumably) that settles the matter for everyone for all time - while Joe acknowledges he's been given no similar command.

Moses didn't have to try and justify an exception, because he could point to a command from God. None of you have been able to do that.

So that leaves me wondering...By what authority are you drawing/painting/sculpting/using images of Jesus?

Seems to me you have more authority to "make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole". That's a command that's at least actually IN the Bible.
34 posted on 03/04/2011 7:08:04 AM PST by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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Here's a pic of the Christ whoopin' someone's ass...Don't hurt 'em Jesus!

35 posted on 03/04/2011 7:10:34 AM PST by evets (beer)
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To: LearsFool
>> So you’re saying that, no, you don’t have such a commandment to draw/paint/sculpt images of Jesus, as Moses did for the serpent? I just want to be clear on that point, and not misunderstand. <<

Nope. Not particularly. Just the example of the first-century Christians' "graffiti" on the graves of the martyrs, the mosaic of the loaves and fishes from the first church in Capernaum. Say what Christian example exists for this stuff?:






36 posted on 03/04/2011 7:12:32 AM PST by dangus
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To: evets

Robin Williams said, “When Jesus comes back, he’s not going to look like Ted Nugent, he’s going to come back looking like Charles Bronson, and to paraphrase, he ain’t going to be very happy.”


37 posted on 03/04/2011 7:12:34 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: LearsFool
"...while Joe acknowledges he's been given no similar command."

You better go look at your commandments again. I think there's one in there about bearing false witness or something like that.

38 posted on 03/04/2011 7:12:49 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: RummyChick

akaine’s brother
http://iliapoetry.com/about.html

Apparently, two prodigies in the same family


39 posted on 03/04/2011 7:14:05 AM PST by RummyChick
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To: Carpe Cerevisi
Who said anything about the "decorativeness"...

Well you're the one making snide remarks about "the inside of your church must look like the inside of a civic center".

I'm certainly not going to advocate we decorate the place up just because you look down your nose at our "civic center" plainness. If God is displeased with plainness, point to His command to decorate. If YOU are displeased with plainness, that's not my problem.
40 posted on 03/04/2011 7:14:29 AM PST by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: dangus

How come no-one ever wonders why, if King James were sincere about destroying all the Catholic artwork, he left intact all the statues of his royal family.


41 posted on 03/04/2011 7:14:53 AM PST by dangus
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To: dangus

Er, no.

Jesus wasn’t a Nazirite. He was the Branch (netser), which is the play on words Matthew is employing.


42 posted on 03/04/2011 7:14:53 AM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (When evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will believe in abject nonsense.)
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To: LearsFool

Are you saying the 10 commandments don’t apply? What part of ‘no images’ didn’t God understand?


43 posted on 03/04/2011 7:16:49 AM PST by Rippin
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To: Joe 6-pack
You better go look at your commandments again. I think there's one in there about bearing false witness or something like that.

My apologies. Apparently I misread your "of course not" in post #28 to mean "of course I have so such commandment."

I have no desire to misrepresent you. Either you have such a command of God or you don't. I'd like to know which it is.

If you have such a command of God, please, show it to us and bring a swift and merciful end to the entire debate.
44 posted on 03/04/2011 7:20:17 AM PST by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: LearsFool

silliness. Your arguments and complaints are completely unimportant when put against the rest of Christ’s messages.


45 posted on 03/04/2011 7:23:11 AM PST by StolarStorm
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To: Hoodat

They look Italian because the models De Vinci used were Italian. That’s why I laugh at people who use the painting of The Last Supper to prove Mary Magdalen was there. De Vinci could have had Comicus holding the brass platter behind Jesus like Mel Brooks did and they’d still try to debunk Jesus based on a painting by a guy who wasn’t there.


46 posted on 03/04/2011 7:23:54 AM PST by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: LearsFool
I'm certainly not going to advocate we decorate the place up just because you look down your nose at our "civic center" plainness.

I was voicing an opinion, much like yourself.

If God is displeased with plainness, point to His command to decorate.

Again, you're avoiding a previous post that asked: (I'm paraphrasing) If it's not explicitly listed in the bible, is it forbidden?
47 posted on 03/04/2011 7:26:48 AM PST by Carpe Cerevisi
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To: LearsFool

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

Seems like you are forgetting verse 5. You can take any segment of verse and make it say what you want. That is very dangerous. It is always important to include whole paragraphs, whole thoughts.


48 posted on 03/04/2011 7:27:17 AM PST by justice14 ("stand up defend or lay down and die")
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To: LearsFool
"My apologies. Apparently I misread your "of course not" in post #28 to mean "of course I have so such commandment."

No, I meant it as "of course not," to your postulate that I had not received such a commandment. I do think it's highly instructive as to your, my, and indeed all of our abilities to interpret things differently. Which is why I asked for your definition of "graven image" (or whichever translation of the Bible you prefer, false idols, etc.)

What does that commandment mean to you? Does it mean no anthropomorphic representations whatsoever? Does it mean no naturalistic representations of anything whatsoever? Or does it simply mean no graphic representations of God whatsoever?

...Or does it mean something entirely different to you? Please give me your interpretation so we can more fully discuss...

49 posted on 03/04/2011 7:31:00 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: dangus
Say what Christian example exists for this stuff?...

I suggest you pose that question to the straw man you manufactured.
50 posted on 03/04/2011 7:31:00 AM PST by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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