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The Trail of the Believer

April 29, 2015

“I (opheliart) have just come off of another short stretch of commenting on Religion News Service. With the 2016 US Presidential Election already showing its wares, there is much debate going on. I am neither political nor of falsetto debates but do wish to share in some of the finds. Below is one article, and we have copied two of the opheliart comments to begin the point of this essay: the trail of the believer.

 

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http://www.religionnews.com/2015/04/27/scott-walker-tedcruz-huckabee-iowa-caucus/

 

Comment:

“We’ve got legislation in Louisiana to protect people of faith and of conscience.  Corporate America is not going to bully the governor of Louisiana,” he said, drawing loud applause.

What about Corporate Religion being a bully? I am not convinced this governor’s conscience is upstanding when his faith is aligned with an entire Religious State that houses its own set of rules. Where and how does his conscience dictate matters for those not in compliance with his ideology? How does his belief of the priest-parishioner confessional play into his honesty in the court of law? Devout RCs insist a priest is bound to his code of secrecy.
http://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2008/12/04/can-a-priest-ever-reveal-what-is-said-in-confession/

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

 

Comment:

It appears Religionists are being asked to articulate their interests in a manner less derisive. Time to grow from the usual standards and begin in dialogue expressing understanding that there are differing views not just on ‘what is God’, but also on how supreme rule (any rule) should conduct itself in divergent Society(s).

 

—Some of what is shared here is obvious; however, SPIR would like to dig deeper into the purpose of the comments, and to share more about Spirrealism the Spirit Art Movement. Very recently I (opheliart) was doing a little reading on how the scribes took the inspired Writings (Sacred Text/Scripture/Holy Scripture/Word of God) and mishandled these. Yes … mishandled … is a good word to describe taking something very important, interpreting then translating to satisfy agenda (influence). They were not fully aware of what they were handling. This is not saying the writing was not important to them; it is saying they were unaware in the fuller purpose. What gives us the right to say this? We, and I speak for the Movement, are not of the agenda of Religions and have not indulged in the same manner as long-time believers in Systems of Belief. Also, we understand that Mankind has not yet seen this.

No man hath seen God at any time.

Which brings us to something SPIR has shared several times: what is God.

 

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Let’s step out of this for a moment and look at America, our melting pot. Here is a breakdown of Religion:

Date posted is not the date the report was published: http://religions.pewforum.org/reports

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_United_States

From 2013: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/12/12/religion-in-americas-states-and-counties-in-6-maps/

From 2010: http://www.boston.com/news/nation/2014/06/06/america-most-common-religions-state-besides-christianity/iMs68yyIueEd6CNJNDl7TM/story.html

From April 2015: http://cnsnews.com/blog/michael-morris/pew-islam-and-other-religions-not-christianity-are-fastest-growing-religious

*Without getting into the percentages on who/which religion voted for Pres. Obama (you can find at least half a dozen articles on this) can you see which candidates so far having announced their run would appeal to Religious? Do consider male and female in your views, and please understand that Catholics of Roman Catholicism are often deeply divided on many topics and have been for some time. The question we pose is of a more profound interest: Conscience, which should include the rights of others as a collective body striving within not just Religious Beliefs but Society’s condition, needs … including environmental concerns.

That stated … we are going to throw another log on the fire:

http://www.religionnews.com/2015/04/28/supreme-court-revives-catholic-groups-objections-healthcare-law/

Comment: samuel Johnston April 28, 2015 at 9:01 am (Note: S. Johnston is a lawyer)
The Catholic Church can do as it wishes as long as it does not have employees.
As an employer, it must comply with the usual civil laws. American Churches are so accustomed to throwing their political weight around, that they have lost the uniquely American notion that individuals, not organizations have civil rights.

Civility. Hmm … relating to citizens. So, how does a Religious-political State like Rome concern itself (their members) in Society? Many questions arise … like, would a Roman Catholic Bishop ever vote  a woman into the US Presidency? How about Muslims—would a Muslim ever vote a woman into the US Presidency?

Answer: A woman should not take the position of the Khalifa or the president or head of State because of the common agreement among all the scholars of Islam, who established that manhood is a pre-condition for any person who would be in charge of such very difficult and sensitive positions. The woman is not, most of the time, prepared to take such roles. This is due to the state in which Allah has created her. This doesn’t lessen in any way her role. In fact, she is supposed to do what fits her nature, otherwise, things will fall apart because of her neglecting what she would do and failing to carry out what she can not properly do.

http://islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=showfatwa&Option=FatwaId&Id=82079

As if carrying and birthing a child is not a seriously sensitive position … 😉

 

This brings us to the scholars and theologians. Who are these men? Experts on God? Hardly. Why would we say this? First, our Faith (speaking for the Movement) teaches us that we are seekers, and believe through experience that we are young in our understanding on God (Mtth 7.7, Lk 11.9). We put away the things of a child to begin anew in the Light of the Word. This is a continuous stream or movement of understanding. Scholars and Theologians may never experience Spirit, just as there are many who don’t believe because they have not experienced Spirit (John 4.24). This is an honest observation if involved in gnosis. In order to more fully understand God, one must understand what comes forth within experience (Spiritual Exegesis). I have been forthright and announced publicly that the God of Islam is not my God. Why? because Islam forbids me my Gift. This also means that I am not an advocate of ecumenism. I am not engaged to or married to a Religion and do not care about fitting round pegs into square holes for any agenda, even Society’s agendas. I am not in accord with the Doctrines of Religion and therefore do not call myself by these titles/names. One sound reason would be this: Why would my God deny me the Gifts of the Spirit through Dogmatic Stations that dictate:

A woman should not take the position of the Khalifa or the president or head of State because of the common agreement among all the scholars of Islam, who established that manhood is a pre-condition for any person who would be in charge of such very difficult and sensitive positions. The woman is not, most of the time, prepared to take such roles. This is due to the state in which Allah has created her. This doesn’t lessen in any way her role. In fact, she is supposed to do what fits her nature, otherwise, things will fall apart because of her neglecting what she would do and failing to carry out what she can not properly do.

http://islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?page=showfatwa&Option=FatwaId&Id=82079

Or:

At the most basic level, the answer to the question is simple: The New Testament priesthood is the priesthood of Christ Himself. All men who, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, have become priests (or bishops) participate in Christ’s priesthood. And they participate in it in a very special way: They act in persona Christi Capitis, in the person of Christ, the Head of His Body, the Church.
Christ Was a Man.

Christ, of course, was a man; but some who argue for the ordination of women insist that His sex is irrelevant, that a woman can act in the person of Christ as well as a man can. This is a misunderstanding of Catholic teaching on the differences between men and women, which the Church insists are irreducible; men and women, by their natures, are suited to different, yet complementary, roles and functions.

http://catholicism.about.com/od/beliefsteachings/f/Women_Priests.htm

 

… a fuller understanding: our belief is of a Royal Priesthood as head of the Church (Peace through Love) spoken of in the Writings … not Religious vocations, or Political professions. Christ is not a Man. Recall {he} “died and was born anew” … 🙂 If you have read the story of Thomas, you realize that Jesus was transformed, and who can understand this better than What is of Truth, so it is through Truth that we see the Light of the Word on God. At the most basic level, the answer to the question is simple: Christ is of God. Fixation on gender can be a distraction, and can cause a great disconnect in the Life of a believer seeking Spiritual ID … not hard … but the fact remains … some Religionists exclude us from areas of work and worth based on gender. This does not mean we lack in understanding of the Trinity, but we continue to ask, who knows the mind of God?

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

 

Could it be we are of a different God? A fair question.

 

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Now … let’s pull all of this together to ignite an area deeper to the heart of these societal issues. We start first with another question. Can we or should we force others to think like us? The answer is no, but Government can pass laws that force people to comply with ‘something’. This is acceptable if “law” sees no ‘God’, experiences no ‘God’ other than ‘God of Institution’ that is to serve CITIZENS in their rights, and to protect them …….. except where Religion is concerned? Depends … different God? Possibly, depending on the Religion or Religious Doctrine, and how it conflicts with law, and how it uses its own law on citizens.

One of the most powerful illustrations of this “deeper to the heart” is found in the following:

6The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, 7and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. 8Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road.…

 

Continuing …

If a man came to SPIR/Spirrealism (not a religion) and said to us, “I really like what you are doing. I don’t fully understand it {nobody understands fully}, but I am sincerely interested in gnosis, the Spirrealism Movement, the essays and the novels. Can I be involved?” It depends. “It depends on what?” We mean, will your ‘God’ allow you to be involved in this? “I am Roman Catholic.” Last I checked, your Doctrine says no. “I am Gay.” And? “What do you mean?” Is being Gay your God? “No.” If you are seriously interested in gnosis, and the experience of Spirit … let’s share. We are of the Spiritual Symbolic of Holy Scripture, and engage in Gnostic Literature (not all writings identified or labeled as Gnostic). We are Spirit Artists in our work … we thrive in this. “But I am married with 3 small children.” Then it will be difficult to thrive in this, but that does not mean you can’t share, or be involved somehow. “The writing is esoteric. I don’t get it, but I love the paintings. Will you be showing them anywhere?” Don’t be concerned with understanding the writing. It takes a lifetime of immersion, and believers, even nonbelievers come from varying places; one communing in gnosis enters places Spiritually in growth. As a Spirrealism Collection, we hope to release the paintings for touring soon. It really depends on the interest in the work. “When will BC the Trilogy be published?” Book One, hopefully within a year. Book One of the Ophelia Trilogy is already published and Book Two should be available within a year. “I go to a Christian church because I enjoy the fellowship. Is this a problem?” It is not a problem unless someone from your fellowship makes it a problem, or you begin to experience differently and find yourself needing to make a decision, but this is not necessarily a ‘problem’. It could be a calling into deeper study, or it could just be the moving of you to new places of understanding. “My priest thinks your writing is New Age.” You might ask your priest to read Thomas Merton and Thomas Moore and a few other men of his organization and ask if these are either igniting New Age or defining it. No, we are definitely not New Age (nothing against the writers). “My pastor says you are doing Satan’s work.” You might ask him about the Inquisition and the Crusades and where the gnostics ended up. “I have read some of opheliart’s comments on RNS and she sounds rebellious, even provocative.” She never claims to be a saint. “I feel strongly about what you are doing. Can I donate money to this Movement?” Yes, soon (we need someone that can manage these important details). “How will I know it will go toward the Spirrealism Movement?” If you see activity and growth in the Movement, your money is being used as intended. We will post as much activity as we can: images, art tours, publications, essays … and you are welcome to share your comments on these. 

 

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That said …

Let’s go back to Bobby Jindal’s statement (above article) and add another voice to the mix:

http://theweek.com/articles/551414/bobby-jindals-existential-angst

“The real culprit, perhaps, is that Jindal has forgotten a core teaching of Hinduism, the religion he left to convert to Catholicism: Act for the sake of your duty or principles without expectation of material rewards (karam karo, phal ke iccha nahin).”

 

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This essay was not started to pick on Jindal. We are merely using his comment and situation as an example of Religious positioning, which is really Religious sequestering. What has he to gain from his hiding? You ask, is he hiding? Hiding from what? His maturity. We know he is a smart guy with lots of credentials, but why the huffing and puffing about his house? It’s not his. He is a Roman Catholic, and if you understand the dichotomy of this faith and belief … system … you understand that his “house” is Rome—the Vatican Establishment, to be more precise. Why does he pretend otherwise? Unless … his Establishment desires full control, much the way his Doctrine claims the fuller truth, and is using him to command arbitration on matters like same-sex marriage and … As a member of a distinctly Patriarchal and exclusive group unable (unwilling?) to change (Doctrine), he is a Non Sequitur (a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement). On certain matters, he has no where to go but to circle within his bubble of belief because he is not permitted to change belief, nor is he permitted to vote someone in to change belief, and from what I am told by members like him, belief cannot be changed … therefore, he has no argument in a court of law that is open to change. Comprenez-vous? 

What it comes down to for a few of these organizers is that there can be no argument because change is not part of their Handbook. But will majority rule? In one sense, it will. The task for the traditionalist unwavering is to form their argument against the use of the term “marriage” applied to same-sex couples. How will they do this? History can play for or against them depending on their ability to research and apply the Theologian and the Scholar to their point of view. Saying “Our Bible says …” or “Church Doctrine says …” or “Tradition says …” is not enough. They must now prove where and how Tradition details the meaning of Marriage, and where and how former law permits this. In doing so, what could happen is the Court may rule in favor of same-sex marriage, but they may allow the language (terminology) to be decided state by state. This will start new battles, but hey … that’s life.

 

Like we always say … bring it on!

 

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Peace and Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 Comments
  1. opheliart permalink

    we go from this being permitted:

    http://jeffreysalkin.religionnews.com/2015/04/28/nyc-buses-advertising-hatred-muslims/

    to this:

    http://www.religionnews.com/2015/04/29/religious-refusal-to-bake-for-a-gay-wedding-may-cost-bakery-135000/

    come on people … emotional suffering? you are making yourselves look silly, and mean …
    how many bakeries are there in portland? you can do better

    peace

    • opheliart permalink

      googled 7 bakeries in portland, oregon.

      • opheliart permalink

        you should have been there when I was rejected from the churches and censored in the art show! it was not pleasant … real emotional stress … but there was no suing the establishments …

  2. opheliart permalink

    http://news.yahoo.com/pope-decries-scandal-lower-salaries-women-135029018.html

    Here is the Roman Pontiff speaking from two sides of his mouth (compliments of the media). He says “Jesus chose only men for his apostles” is an irregular and incongruent analogy. If we wanted to get real here … we would say that it was DANGEROUS in those times for women … they were often viewed as property thanks to RELIGIOUS/POLITICAL Society. IF THE POPE AND HIS INSTITUTION UNDERSTOOD THE MESSAGE OF CHRIST … HE WOULD UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT JESUS CHOSE WAS NOT MAN — He never chose MAN in this epic TEACHING of Apostleship — why is this so hard for Religionists to understand? They blow the whole SPIRIT MESSAGE by insisting on men. Good grief! The pope’s men have NO POWER OF AUTHORITY OVER THE SPIRIT REALM!!! and neither does the pope… 😀
    These men act like they are God’s Authority … um, no … your “mind” sees only what it wants to see … YOUR HEART HEARS NOT WHAT IT NEEDS TO HEAR to understand the FULLER message.
    Ah, but what do we care … we do not want their Institutionalized Vocations. Much will be coming out about the priests, bishops and … of Roman Catholicism … They cannot control this. Much will be revealed … and they WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE CLERGY/STAFF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE … AND Spiritual Abuse, sometimes understood as Spiritual Rape 😦

    • opheliart permalink

      A word of caution: there will be many, many cases coming out on the very problematic issue of SPIRITUAL ABUSE. I am seeing more and more on this (someone just sent me an article this week—a young person). I have been a victim of this and I know of what I speak. If the RCC and other Establishments think they can cover up, set aside or deny the clergy sex abuse … THIS SPIRITUAL ABUSE is going to hit them like a baseball bat on the side of the head (if you get our meaning) …

      • opheliart permalink

        —–from fraudulent priests “marrying” couples illegally to indoctrination … abuse of the confessional … abuse of women and children, using them illegally AND illicitly … through false claims of “holiness” and “God Authority” … using the talents and gifts of the youth to gain money and power—misusing and mishandling these—the list is l-o-n-g. The Transubstantiation Theory will be suspect … oh my is this going to be on trial as an indoctrinating method to many arresting and destructive personalities … suffocating, manipulating, subjugating …. people’s eyes will open and they will cry out …

  3. opheliart permalink

    http://news.yahoo.com/u-senator-sanders-enters-2016-race-challenge-clinton-120341426.html

    just tossing this out there — possibly for later use

    • opheliart permalink

      Paris (AFP) – President Francois Hollande has vowed to “show no mercy” if French peacekeepers in the Central African Republic are found guilty of having sexually assaulted hungry children in exchange for food.

      France’s Hollande vows no mercy to soldiers if African child abuse proven Reuters
      France investigating alleged child sex abuse by its troops in C.Africa AFP
      Some French soldiers in CAR abuse probe identified – source Reuters
      France investigates accusations that soldiers raped children Associated Press
      France investigates allegation of child abuse by its troops in Central Africa Reuters
      According to a French judicial source, 14 soldiers dispatched to the chaos-ridden nation to restore order after a 2013 coup are implicated in a probe into the alleged sexual abuse of several children there — the youngest just nine — who had begged for something to eat.

      “If some soldiers have behaved badly, I will show no mercy,” Hollande told reporters Thursday, a day after The Guardian newspaper broke the story.

      Soldiers from Chad and Equatorial Guinea are also accused in the leaked UN report that implicates French troops, said Paula Donovan of the AIDS-Free World advocacy group.

      “One of the children interviewed said that he had seen his friend, aged 9 or 10, with 2 soldiers from Equatorial Guinea,” Donovan told AFP by e-mail.

      “The friend performed fellatio and was sodomised by one soldier while the other kept watch, and then the soldiers exchanged roles.”

      According to a French judicial source, 14 soldiers dispatched to the Central African Republic to res …
      Another child “reported witnessing his friend being sodomised by two Chadian soldiers while a third Chadian soldier watched,” she added.

      – ‘Not hiding the facts’ –

      The French defence ministry denied attempting to cover up the potentially devastating scandal following revelations it was made aware of the allegations in July last year, when it received the leaked UN report on the subject.

      The abuse reportedly took place at a centre for displaced people near the airport of the Central African capital Bangui between December 2013 — when the French operation began — and June 2014.

      “The children were saying that they were hungry and they thought that they could get some food from the soldiers. The answer was ‘if you do this, then I will give you food’,” said Donovan, co-director of AIDS-Free World.

      President Francois Hollande has vowed to “show no mercy” if French peacekeepers in Central …
      The French judicial source said that of the six children testifying against the soldiers, four say they were direct victims of sexual abuse while two others witnessed it.

      The ministry said it immediately launched a probe into the case when it received the news, sending investigators to the former French colony last August, but the damning allegations only emerged this week in British newspaper The Guardian.

      “There is no desire to hide anything,” Pierre Bayle, a defence ministry spokesman, told reporters on Thursday.

      “We are trying to verify the facts,” he added, while urging “great caution” over accusations that have yet to be proven.

      According to The Guardian, the UN employee accused of the leak, Swedish national Anders Kompass, turned the report over to French authorities because his bosses had failed to take action, and has since been suspended.

      French soldiers prepare to blow up captured weapons and explosive devices in Bangui on December 4, 2 …
      UN spokesman Farhan Haq confirmed that UN rights investigators had conducted a probe last year following “serious allegations” of child abuse and sexual exploitation by French troops, and that an unnamed staff member had been suspended for leaking the report.

      AIDS-Free World is pushing for a commission of inquiry to shed light on sexual misconduct by peacekeepers and has accused the UN of covering up crimes committed by troops sent in to protect civilians.

      Amnesty International said the allegations “reinforce the need to put an end to impunity for crimes under international law committed during the conflict, no matter who those suspected of criminal responsibility may be”.

      The attorney general of the Central African Republic said the allegations were “extremely serious” and slammed the UN for failing to tell his government of the claims.

      “NGOs and UN bodies took to the field without informing us, we don’t understand why,” Ghislain Gresenguet said, adding that he had opened an investigation.

      A convoy of African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic vehicles escor …
      A member of the Central African Republic’s government who wished to remain anonymous said that if true, the allegations were “horrible and unacceptable”.

      “French soldiers cannot behave like this in a country where they came to help civilians.”

      If verified, this would not be the first sexual abuse scandal to hit peacekeeping forces — examples abound, including in Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast and Somalia.

      – Fears for CAR peace efforts –

      The allegations, if proven, will not only affect the French army but also the Central African Republic itself, which is trying to find a way out of a conflict that has killed thousands and displaced nearly 900,000 people.

      The violence has largely pitted the Christian majority against mainly Muslim Seleka rebels who led the March 2013 coup against former leader Francois Bozize.

      “Overall, I know that the French military presence has been helpful,” said David Smith, an expert on the Central African Republic.

      “If they hadn’t been there, the airport couldn’t have stayed open and that would have meant no emergency aid could have come in, no medical supplies, food…

      “The hopes for success with the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic are weak at the best of times. Moving the French out of there would make it even weaker,” he added

      http://news.yahoo.com/france-denies-cover-alleged-child-sex-abuse-troops-093641817.html

      THE WORLD SHOULD BE SCREAMING OVER THIS!!! Peacekeepers?
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jan/15/bosnia-sex-trafficking-whistleblower

      Who screens these men? Who is responsible for making sure these are actually joining for HELPING people? and not joining these ranks to molest vulnerable young women and children?

      WHERE IS THIS SICKNESS BEING ENHANCED AND SUPPORTED? AND WHY ISN’T IT BEING ADDRESSED AT ITS CORE?

  4. opheliart permalink

    http://tobingrant.religionnews.com/2015/05/01/inevitable-question-will-nonprofits-lose-tax-exempt-status-over-same-sex-marriage/

    I am most definitely not an expert on law—anyone can see this—but I can see the potential landscape. Take this article at RNS. It has relevance beyond what he (Grant) suggests-hypothetically. If Catholic/Christian schools were to lose their tax exempt status because they refuse to employ individuals of ssm … the schools would likely counter with something relating to Gay Identity or Gay status as a preemptive course. This will begin a theological war … similar to or likely a part of what we wrote in the essay (*btw, do understand how history repeats). All of this is purposeful, even if much of it appears unfair (behaviors). It causes people to dig deeper to better understand the nature of man. Much of what the anti-ssm have come up with for not legalizing ss- “marriage” is either too self-affirming, meaning, too “religious” (doctrine based) sounding, or is weak, not having enough counter information. The only way for the anti- to organize with something relatively concrete is to establish an image. What is the image of a gay man, for instance… They can’t take appearance (recall black-white), so they must “realize” the gay man as something inwardly _____ through his choices, and if choice of adult sex is a personal-private matter and a freedom in our Society then this cannot be used, unless it is overtly exercised beyond what is considered normal behavior for any citizen.So, where and how will they do this? Theology is their only source, unless the board of health fields comes up with information to share. And please understand, when we speak on this … we speak not as one wishing to segregate anyone; like we said, its purpose could bring Mankind to a greater awareness of himself.

    • opheliart permalink

      In addition … what the anti- could come up with is relative sounding info on the “religiousness” of Gays, or Gay Affirmation … much like Religionists affirm in their beliefs through some form of doctrine or faith-beliefs … This holds true for Atheists. Atheism can be a Religion. Government is a Religion. Now, we are not saying being Gay is a Religion, but it can be. This is of what we speak.

      • opheliart permalink

        This, of, course, can make it a Freedom of Religion issue for Gays … if they wanted to organize in this manner, which can bring them into their own terminology-theology.

  5. opheliart permalink

    http://news.yahoo.com/afghan-judge-sentences-4-death-mob-killing-woman-061717896.html

    Four Afghan men were sentenced Wednesday to death by hanging over the filmed mob killing in downtown Kabul of a young woman falsely accused of burning the Quran, a case that horrified the country and showed the dangers women face in the conservative society.

    Falsely accused? And if she had burned the book?

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