Unless things have changed a whole lot more than I think they have, and I have no reason to think they have:
Then again, that’s about what I said when that notification came in.
Unless things have changed a whole lot more than I think they have, and I have no reason to think they have:
Then again, that’s about what I said when that notification came in.
ThinkProgress has a chap on their roster with “a Master’s in Divinity from Harvard University,” which prompted this amused (I think) riposte from Severian:
Which means he’s never even cracked the cover of the Bible, and wouldn’t recognize Jesus if He turned his venti soy latte into wine right in front of him. Harvard’s Div School has a rep second only to Yale’s as a wretched hive of scum and villany, and I know some folks personally who went to Yale Div. It’s a great school if you want to rationalize being a gay Wiccan transgender Buddhist-Jain-Shaman fusionist who’s “spiritual, not religious.” Bible stuff, not so much.
Well, of course not: if you quote from either Testament in public discourse, the Officially Secular — “We’d call ourselves atheists, but that would require us to actually believe something” — will get their vestments in a wad.
The Eastern Orthodox church celebrates Easter this year, not today, but on the first of May. This is partly due to the fact that the Orthodox rite is still derived from the Julian calendar, which has been getting farther and farther out of sync with the Gregorian calendar for the last four centuries and odd. Will this situation ever change? Well, it might:
The heads of the Christian churches are close to sealing a deal to fix the date of Easter, the Archbishop of Canterbury has revealed, ending more than a thousand years of confusion and debate.
The Church of England’s Archbishop of Canterbury Most Reverend Justin Welby said the agreed date would be either the second or third Sunday of April.
He expected to make the change within 5-10 years, though he admitted that churches have been trying to agree on a date without success since the tenth century.
Archbishop Welby, Pope Francis, the Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I (head of the Greek Orthodox church) are all working towards a common date, he said.
This does not necessarily portend a reunification of the separate bodies of Christianity, but it still seems like a promising development.
Let us suppose, for a moment, that the second thing seen by the former Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus was a mailbox:
As I sat half-listening to the lector at Mass on Sunday morning — my mother and the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church insist that I go to at least one Mass every year unrelated to someone getting married or dropping dead — it stuck me how much of the Christian Bible, that portion the bitter clingers refer to as the New Testament, is actually mail, twenty-one pieces of first class mail, in fact. I thought this a bit odd at the time. The Buddha found the path to enlightenment while sitting under a bodhi tree, Moses got the Good Word from a bush that burned without burning, thereby causing and preventing forest fires in one fell swoop, and the archangel Gabriel had to tell Muhammad to recite three times before the Prophet finally got the point and started reciting. But Christianity? Christianity comes to us via the faith of the Apostles, the sacrifice of the martyrs, and the exertions of the Roman post office.
Which would be well to remember in case you start wondering what the Romans have ever done for us.
Via Arthur Stock and Language Log, what might be a curious headline:
Although the one that gets me is lower down on the page: “Pope’s Fiat sold for $82,000.” If a mere fiat brings that kind of money, what would someone pay for a nihil obstat?
Yes, this Taiwanese structure is a church, and yes, it’s supposed to look like a giant high heel:
There is, of course, a perfectly good reason for this:
In a bid to attract female attendees, officials in Budai have finished work on a 55-foot tall glass pump-slash-church. It is ridiculous. It is amazing. It is very, very shiny.
Set to open before the Lunar New Year on February 8, the non-denominational church structure was created in just two months. Despite the fact that its design strikingly resembles that of Cinderella’s famous glass slippers, the shape and material actually come from a wedding tradition in which the bride steps on and shatters ceramic tiles before entering the groom’s family home. (Shattering things is a cross–cultural wedding thing.)
And for God’s sake, I implore you, don’t go Googling “foot worship.” Not now, not ever.
Sign at a church in Ottawa:
Score one for the Light Side.
(On several Facebook pages, most recently — from my vantage point, anyway — through Roger Green’s.)
The editor/publisher of The Federalist gets an eyeful in his email:
Whoa if true. pic.twitter.com/HRwYsxc2XQ
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) December 8, 2015
There’s no reason on earth, of course, why the Messiah can’t be Canadian, but a trip through Moorman’s Facebook page turns up several iterations of this paragraph:
This is The Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:1. A masterpiece in symbolic writing about the birth of the Second Coming of Christ Luke Oviedo and his twin sister Katherine Moorman on June 22, 2006. The Revelation occurring 49 days after their 3rd birthdates on August 10, 2009 in Costa Rica and 8 days after the 2nd birthdate of Lucas Tse born August 2, 2007 who is John The Baptist. August, 10, 2009 the rape and murder of a woman at an event attended to by Jan Hommen and The Group. I am a 3 telepath, 6 6 6 a Walking with God human. 3+1 proves God exists.
The Vatican and Catholic Church are compromised in Revelation
Never you mind how Lindsay Lohan fits into this.
A new Bishop in the Church of England is, among other things, an advocate for naturism:
The Church of England has appointed as Bishop of Sherborne a leading advocate of Christian nudism. On 26 Nov 2015 the Prime Minister’s Office announced the The Queen had approved the nomination of the Ven[erable] Karen Gorham, the Archdeacon of Buckingham, to the Suffragan See of Sherborne in the diocese of Salisbury in succession to the Rt Rev. Graham Kings.
The new Bishop of Sherborne, who will be consecrated in February at Westminster Abbey, has urged churches to educate their members on naturism, or nudism. “There is need for much education and openness to talk about issues of sexuality, to remove false taboos which we tend to have about our own bodies, and to define the differences between what is impure and what is godly and properly natural to us,” she wrote in Naturism and Christianity: Are they compatible?
Although there may be a hint of “Do as I say, not as I do”:
The back cover of the 2000 pamphlet on Christian Naturism released by Grove Books she co-authored with David Leal notes Miss Gorham was not a practicing naturist at the time of publication, but “Karen knows and supports many naturists.”
Fortunately, one doesn’t need much practice for this, um, practice.
Those late-morning pregame shows may be in for some minor audience adjustments:
Ordinarily, I’m a big believer in individual privacy and I don’t like the idea of extensive and intrusive surveillance. But a program called Churchix uses facial recognition software to see who did and didn’t show up at service last Sunday, and I must confess I am intrigued.
This wasn’t, you should know, the intended application for this particular code. Says the head of the company developing the package [warning: autostart video]:
“We didn’t have any intention to get into the church market, but orders started piling up. In a really short period time, we got emails and phone calls from about 10 churches and they all asked us for the same thing, and now we’ve had even more requests.”
Because, you know, nothing enhances one’s reverence like induced paranoia.
Quoth George Witzke: “Yeah, so the marketing director for this mega church … he’s fired.”
I’m not so sure. This is clearly an inspiration to prayer, given that most people are going to see that and think “Oh, my God!”
Various outcroppings of what is occasionally called “progressivism” are perhaps best understood as religions without all that tedious God business. There is, however, one distinct difference:
One of the things about these Rousseau-ist cults is they always end up handing power to the worst elements in their cult. From The Reign of Terror forward the pattern has always been the same. The movement grows increasingly fanatical until control is in the hands of psychotic lunatics.
The reason for this is that utopian religions have no natural limit. There’s no line that reads, “This is enough.” Christianity has those lines. Judaism has those lines. Once you do certain things, show you believe certain things, you are pious enough. Built into the religion is an upper bound and a caution about trying to go beyond it. The Catholic Church burned more than a few heretics for trying to immanentize eschaton.
In Rousseau-ist cults, no such limit exists. They are premised on the firm belief that there is a way to arrange things just the right way to create heaven on earth. They don’t call it that, but the echos are there in discussion of health care or poverty programs, for example. Obama spent three years talking about his plan to have more people on government health services while also lowering the cost, a mathematical impossibility.
And it’s inextricably bound up with a political impossibility: everyone, with the possible exception of Ted Cruz, has pretty much decided that reducing the number of people on government health services, irrespective of cost savings, can’t be allowed to happen, because optics. Do not wait by your window for the postman to bring you word that the ACA has been repealed: it will not happen. This bothers me less than the idea that the next scheme by the Rosseauvians — and there’s always a next scheme — will be something much, much worse.
After the utterly asinine suggestion by an administration spokesdoofus that if there were more jobs, there’d be fewer jihadi, I suppose I should have expected this:
Still, give the questioner credit for keeping his wits about him:
… seems a longshot just to travel thousands of miles on the off chance they will employ you as a murderous rogue when they could conduct a perfectly good Skype interview.
Then again, truth be told, we don’t really know how selective they are.
Ana Marie Cox, founding editor of Wonkette, presently writing about US politics for the Guardian, on coming out as Christian in an atmosphere that seems hostile to it:
Conservatives might pounce on my closeted Christianity as evidence of a liberal media aversion to God. After all, my day job is all about expressing my opinions and beliefs — some of them unpopular. In my private life, and very cautiously on social media, the people close to me can see evidence of my affiliation. Tweeting out prayers and quotes from Scripture still feels subversive. But until now, I have avoided publicly aligning myself with one of the most popular beliefs in the world.
My hesitancy to flaunt my faith has nothing to do with fear of judgment by non-believers. My mother was an angry, agnostic ex-Baptist; my father is a casual atheist. (I asked him once why he didn’t believe in God, and he replied easily, “Because He doesn’t exist.”)
I am not smart enough to argue with those that cling to disbelief. Centuries of philosophers have made better arguments than I could, and I am comfortable with just pointing in their direction if an acquaintance insists, “If there is a God, then why [insert atrocity]?” For me, belief didn’t come after I had the answer to that question. Belief came when I stopped needing the answer.
As for said “liberal media,” they will happily acknowledge something greater than themselves. Unfortunately, they think it’s government.
This fits the definition of “well played”:
And then this happened:
Arson investigators from the Houston Fire Department are probing a blaze that destroyed a building at an Islamic institute in the city on Friday, officials said.
There has been no official determination yet of what caused the fire at the Quba Islamic Institute in the pre-dawn hours of Friday, fire officials said, adding no one was injured.
I’d hate to have been the pork donor in that Facebook screenshot; perhaps he’s been suddenly overwhelmed by guilt — or he’s hunkering down in his parents’ basement until the statute of limitations expires.
By general agreement, the first of the Gospels was Mark’s, which appeared around 70. No copies of Mark earlier than 100 or so were known to exist, until (maybe) now:
A text that may be the oldest copy of a gospel known to exist — a fragment of the Gospel of Mark that was written during the first century, before the year 90 — is set to be published… This first-century gospel fragment was written on a sheet of papyrus that was later reused to create a mask that was worn by a mummy.
Waste not, want not.
Roger Pearse suggests that this may not be quite what it’s represented to be:
On the one hand we have a drip-drip of non-academic reportage, excitedly making all sorts of claims, possibly based on no more than a video by somebody who may (or may not) be involved in the project at all. This feeds the fever of speculation; which, of course, increases the price that may be asked for publication, and generally increases the commercial value of the property. It seems to benefit nobody in any other way that I can see.
On the other hand, we have an entire silence on all the matters that would allow professionals to form a judgement.
Pearse, whose interest in patristics goes back a long way, sums it up: “To me, all this is too good to be true. But let’s hope not.” Fair enough.
(Via Monday Evening.)
To what level of privilege is the Judeo-Christian God entitled in the age of the social-justice warrior? Captain Weeaboo examines the evidence:
Since God is a spaceless being without a skin color or bone structure it shows that God cannot be classified in any race that we currently know of. Meaning that he is a whole classification of race himself. Since this race has not even be classified or acknowledged it clearly shows that God’s race is in fact extremely oppressed and marginalized, combine this with the fact that he’s the smallest minority to exist he is very oppressed and underprivileged.
God does not appear to have any sexual interest, meaning that he is asexual. An orientation so oppressed it doesn’t even appear to be in the LGBT initials.
And on and on, though not necessarily unto eternity.
Last month, we found out that Oklahoma apparently does not have a problem with a driver’s-license photo featuring the traditional headgear of the Pastafarians. British Columbia, by contrast, has a problem:
Here in one of the most religiously diverse communities in Canada, it is possible to obtain a driver’s license wearing a kipa, hijab, habit, turban or Amish cap — really, any piece of religious headgear that does not obscure the face.
But lifelong Surreyite Obi Canuel is currently unable to drive because he has refused to remove a spaghetti colander from his head for his driver’s license photo. He does it, he claims, because he believes the world was created by an intoxicated Flying Spaghetti Monster.
The FSM soused? Perish the thought.
Last November, Mr. Canuel posed for his driver’s license photo while wearing a blue toga and plastic spaghetti colander.
The unusual photo was deemed fit for Mr. Canuel’s provincial I.D. card, but after lengthy review by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia — the province’s official licensing agency — it was ultimately deemed insufficient for his driver’s license.
This may be a mission-creep issue: the ICBC was originally created as a Crown Corporation to provide auto insurance, and only later was handed the responsibility for licensing drivers. And drivers don’t think much of their insurance these days.
Still, British Columbia could legitimately be seen as a laggard:
U.S. soldiers have had “FSM” listed as a religion on their dog tags, a town councilmember in Pomfret, N.Y., was recently sworn in while solemnly wearing a plastic pasta colander, and colander-wearing pastafarians have been able to obtain driver’s licenses in Austria, the Czech Republic, California, Texas, Oklahoma and New Zealand.
And I suspect Victoria won’t stand for that for long.
Not that their track record is good, exactly, but this seemed a bit more quixotic than usual:
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) first shot at religious activism — a call to Muslims to observe a vegetarian Eid this October — has misfired. It met with violent protests [in Bhopal] on Monday.
“Misfired” may be a trifle generous:
PRTA woman volunteer Benazir Suraiya attempted to make an appeal to Muslims to go vegetarian at the legendary Taj-ul-Masajid, said to be one of Asia’s largest mosques.
Camouflaged in a green hijab, to highlight the importance of vegetarianism, she walked towards the mosque gates with a couple of PETA volunteers holding a placard in Urdu and English which read: “Make Eid Happy for All. Try Vegan.”
With less than a dozen policemen deployed, locals took the opportunity and shouted slogans asking her to turn back. She was forced to take cover along with another PETA volunteer in the market outside the mosque.
Besides, there are vegetable products that fail to qualify as halal:
[M]ost observant Muslims refrain from consuming food products that contain pure vanilla extract or soy sauce if these food products contain alcohol; there is some debate about whether the prohibition extends to dishes in which the alcohol would be cooked off or if it would be practically impossible to consume enough of the food to become intoxicated.
Tim Blair described the scene as “a clash of civilisations involving no actual civilisations.”
The Pergelator response to last week’s coverage of an anti-ISIS demonstration in Oklahoma City:
This is very nice, but it’s not what we’re really looking for. Being blood-thirsty American Imperialist running-dogs (to use our full third world title), we want to hear something more like “DEATH TO ISIS” or “KILL ALL THE JIHADISTS”. Oh wait, that’s kind of what being a Jihadist is all about isn’t it? How do you tell the good Jihadists from the bad Jihadists? Especially when the only good Jihadist is a dead one? So I can sort of see why they went with their milder slogan.
Wasn’t “imperialist running dogs” more of a Maoist sort of denunciation? Although I can see why jihadi might like it, given their avowed dislike of canines, running or otherwise.
While I’m Clark Kenting around here doing the bloggy stuff, my (not all that) secret identity is churning out pony stories. (They’re on the sidebar, in case you’d somehow missed them.) Turns out, there is historical — and religious — precedent for this sort of thing.
(A tip of the tiara to Fillyjonk, who sent me this idea four days ago and probably wondered if I was going to do anything with it.)
“Have you noticed,” the pundits point out, “that you’ll never see workaday Muslims denouncing the atrocities routinely committed in the name of Allah?”
“Never” is a long time. And yes, yes, I know: taqiyya. But once in a while I feel like I ought to be giving someone the benefit of the doubt, so this smallish demonstration yesterday at one of the busier intersections in town — on the northeast corner of Pennsylvania at Northwest Distressway, putting it squarely on my route home — was ever so slightly heartening, especially in a town where mosques are occasionally defaced by persons unknown.
From Red Dirt Report:
[T]he majority of signs held by the pro-peace crowd at Northwest Expressway and Pennsylvania Avenue by Penn Square Mall, were to drive the point home that terrorist group ISIS is not a representation of Islam, as some held the sign saying “ISIS DOES NOT REPRESENT ME!”
The rally was largely led by CAIR-OK and their executive director Adam Soltani and Imam Imad Enchassi. Both have spoken out against Republican legislator John Bennett of Sallisaw, who recently made very bigoted and inflammatory remarks against Muslim Americans and has since refused to back down or apologize for his hurtful, hateful statements.
“Hurtful” and “hateful,” verbally anyway, are turning into this century’s Frick and Frack.
I admittedly didn’t get really good looks at most of the crowd, but I didn’t see anyone giving off an aura of “Kill!” Our old friend Jennifer James took photos for RDR, and they look similarly benign. And the planners were astute enough to bunch everyone together, unlike the usual approach for demonstrations at this intersection, which is to take over two, even three, corners; this creates a sense of unity.
Update, 23 September: A response from Charles Pergiel.
Update, 26 September: Then again, civilized people do not engage in beheadings.
“Lose the glasses,” they told me when they took the picture for my driver’s license. “Too much glare.” Good thing they didn’t shoot the top of my head.
Then again, I’m not a Pastafarian:
It may sound like a joke but an Enid woman says her Oklahoma driver’s license features a unique symbol of her religious freedom.
It may even prompt a giggle, but for Shawna Hammond, the spaghetti strainer is a symbol of freedom.
“It doesn’t cover my face. I mean you can still see my face. We have to take off our glasses, so I took off my glasses,” Hammond said.
Letter of the law, doncha know. And this is the law:
According to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety’s rules, religious headpieces cannot cause shadows on your face and the photograph must present a clear view of your face.
Hammond declares herself to be an atheist, her manifest devotion to the Flying Spaghetti Monster notwithstanding.
Joe Sherlock’s version of the Wager:
An agnostic friend once asked me, “How can you be sure there’s an afterlife?” I replied, “I’m not sure. But, there’s no downside to being a Believer. I mean, if it turns out that I’m wrong and there’s Nothing — if everything just Fades to Black, it’s not like a ghostly Nelson Muntz is going to appear and mockingly guffaw, “Haw Haw.”
Not precisely the same thought, but with much the same spirit.
It has never been any particular secret that you can sing “Amazing Grace” over the theme from Gilligan’s Island. (Or, for that matter, the other way around.) As the phrase goes, four chords, no waiting.
Presumably, though, a line must be drawn somewhere:
In February, I asked if anyone else was uncomfortable with Dan Schutte’s Mass of Christ the Savior (2010) — which appears to be written in a secular style.
Some other Dan should be mentioned: Daniel Ingram, who’s responsible for the theme song to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which a passage in Schutte’s Mass resembles more than slightly.
No, seriously. Listen for yourself.
We have to assume that this was unintentional. Still, it clearly has the power to unsettle.
(Roger Green sent me this. The title is from Job 3:9.)
Dawn Eden and I go back many years, and by “many years” I mean a duration long enough for us to have gotten out of touch for several, somewhere in the midst of it. I can tell you, based on personal experience, that she’s an inveterate punster and a wonderful dinner companion. But for the rest of what she’s been up to, you’re going to have to read this piece at GetReligion, which explains not only how she got it but what she did with it.
And this, she says, is the bottom line:
[H]aving put in years in New York City newsrooms, not to mention decades as a rock music historian, I know the value of a free press, and I want to see mainstream journalists produce accurate, fair, balanced reporting on faith issues. That’s why I am here at GetReligion.
Her blog continues at The Dawn Patrol.
The following notice appeared on the back cover of Gilbert Magazine on behalf of its publisher, the American Chesterton Society:
AMAZON IS NOT AN APOSTOLATE
“With Amazon Prime, I get free shipping” is what we sometimes hear from friends of G. K. Chesterton. Amazon.com can certainly get you that book or DVD you’ve wanted for less. But free shipping, believe it or not, is expensive. It’s expensive because Amazon never has, and never will, run an apostolate dedicated to the greatest mind of the 20th century.
Amazon’s lower prices cannot replace an apostolate that cares about the mind and soul of your family. Neither will Amazon pretend it has any stake in the restoration of sanity, common sense and education as investments for a society desperately in need of the love of Christ or the profound commitment society owes to family life.
I may as well mention here that I have ordered material from ACS, and that I didn’t price-check it with the Great Bezos Machine beforehand. (Turns out they didn’t actually have it.)
Tim Blair quotes a writer on the environmental beat:
“The Anglican Church has told the Abbott government to change its approach to climate change, urging it to respect and base its policy on scientific evidence.”
The comic power in that paragraph is equal to several kilotons of the finest plutonium. Here we have an organisation founded on belief and faith now demanding that selected scientific opinions inform government policy. These same people think they can talk to the planet’s inventor just by putting their hands together.
I demur somewhat on that last sentence — apparently there are Anglicans of a sort who don’t even believe in God — but one thing I have learned is that false prophets are generally trying to generate profits. (See, for instance, Saint Albert the Gaseous.)
Tony Woodlief on the Littlest Immigrants:
I don’t think they love their children any less than I love my own, which tells me something about what their lives must be like, to send their babies away. Their children stream northward in droves — as many as 60,000 this year — and we don’t want them. We don’t want their skin lesions and their hungry bellies, we don’t want their parents and aunts and uncles likely to follow, we don’t want them taking our jobs and clogging our classrooms and driving without insurance on our roads. We have no place for them in our country and certainly not in our hearts.
What if, instead of greeting the federal agents with protest signs, we greeted them with petitions? Give us these children. We will feed them, we will clothe them, we will give them shelter. We will teach them and we will pray over them. Their parents, God help them, sent them away, and now here we stand to make good on the faith or hope or desperation in which those mothers and fathers sent them forth. Give us these children, and we will find a way. We will show mercy, because while we can scarcely agree between ourselves on anything else, we agree that the kingdom of heaven includes a hand stretched out in love.
It’s utterly impractical, I know. But how have we done so far, Christians, with practicality? For Christ’s sake, let’s not be known for our practicality.
Yeah, I know, I know: we’re being played for chumps by our wicked (no other word applies) government. Think in terms of a Higher Authority.
Tickets for a Civic Center Music Hall presentation of a Black Mass go on sale today, and, well, the event is not going unnoticed:
A group called Dakhma of Angra Mainyu is holding a Black Mass at the Oklahoma City Civic Center on September 21. The permittee for the event is Adam Daniels, a registered sex offender. The Civic Center is owned by the city and funded by a foundation that includes a city government official and the head of a Catholic hospital on its board. The event has been condemned by the Archbishop of Oklahoma City. (I first read about this on Fr. Z’s Blog.)
The group itself seems to be sort of anti-Zoroastrian:
Dakhma of Angra Mainyu is about freedom from any religion that chooses to bind you to some type of dogma the forces you to restrain your natural animal instincts. They say desire and “sin” move you away from the ultimate consumer of souls through fire. Ahura Mazda is the slave driver that forces laws onto mankind that completely against man’s nature. Only through spiritual and chaotic destruction of this enslavement, will one become spiritually free from not only mortal/ethical enslavement, include freedom from Atar which is the Holy Fire that will consume your soul to recharge Ahura Mazda. The truest form of freedom is brought about by evil speech (blaspheme). 3 ways define the human existence: thought, speech, and action. Knowing that mankind is judge off this paradigm, does it make sense to inhibit your animal desires because some “God” said they were evil? No, the inhibition is to build internal pressure, like a teapot without a valve. Upon death this gives the Ahuras (angels) that much more energy to consume as they live off of pain and blood. Thus requiring sacrifice and becoming a mayrter.
Which I suppose is being (accidentally?) like a martyr, only with bells on.
I note here for record that I do follow the BaphometOKC Twitter account, though this is mostly for amusement purposes.
If you object to this sort of thing, Dawn Eden suggests some ways to make your objections heard. Attendance will not be high regardless, simply because the event is booked for the downstairs City Space Theatre, which is geared to Equity Waiver/Showcase Code-sized audiences: fewer than 100. Last time, apparently, they drew zero.