[VIDEO] Apollo 8’s Christmas Eve Message

On December 24th, 1968, Apollo 8 made its final pass around the moon and the crew, in turn, sent home this message:

Bill Anders
“We are now approaching lunar sunrise, and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.
‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.'”

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Jim Lovell
“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”

earth_lg Read the rest of this entry »


Crucifix (with details) 1268-71 Tempera on wood, San Domenico, Arezzo


[VIDEO] Kentucky Democrat Gives Bizarre Speech After GOP Victories: ‘Mary Did Not Ride An Elephant Into Bethlehem’ 

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“I don’t know. Nobody knows. The Bible doesn’t tell us that, does it? But I believe the Bible is a book of parables … I don’t know whether Jesus would have been a Democrat or Republican, and nobody else does, but I know this. He was a carpenter and a teacher, and I bet every carpenter and teacher I know are pretty good Democrats.”

 reports: Kentucky’s Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo stumbled in a speech Tuesday night following big Republican victories, giving a bizarre speech covering Jesus, religion and the Bible and remarking that Mary “did not ride an elephant into Bethlehem” before giving birth to her son.

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“Let me tell you. I am going to admit I have not read the holy book from front to finish like some of you probably have, but my reading of our Bible shows that the word Republican or Democrat isn’t used, and people sometimes ask me … ‘What would Jesus have been if he were alive? Would he have been a Democrat or a Republican?’

The Federalist‘s Mollie Hemingway reported on the odd moment that did not appear to be received well by the assembled Democrats, who offered muted applause to his remarks.

“And the other thing I know is that if in fact the Bible is a book of parables, like I believe it is, think about this: Mary did not ride an elephant into Bethlehem that night.”

He made his comments following a devastating night for Kentucky Democrats, as Republican Matt Bevin won a surprising victory for the governorship, and Republican Jenean Hampton became Kentucky’s first African American to hold statewide office with her lieutenant governor election.

Stumbo was upset by the notion, in his view, that Democrats were considered less “godly” than Republicans. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Robot Rescue’: Last Supper Parody

We just found a fantastic new addition to our collection of The Last Supper parodies. Entitled Robot Rescue, this version depicts the iconic meal taking place in a pastoral setting. Floating robot eyes and an alien invasion seem to be interrupting the meal and a bright red robot is seated in place of Judas Iscariot. But all the nearby sheep don’t appear to be the least bit disturbed by this strange turn of events.

This awesome painting is the work of California-based artist Mark Bryan (previously featured here), who created it (starting with a vintage paint-by-number kit) for Robot Carnival, a new group exhibition at Gallery 1988 (West) in Los Angeles. The robot-themed show is on display through November 7, 2015. Click here to view the entire lineup.

[via Popped Culture]

Source: Archie McPhee’s


Holy Family with Saint Anne c. 1545-1546

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Bronzino c. 1545-1546

Holy Family with Saint Anne (detail)


Jesus’plaining

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Donald Trump Appears in Tub of Butter

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Jordan Palmer reports: You never know what you’re going to get when you open up a container of butter. KSDK-TV received an interesting photo on Facebook from a viewer that opened up a new package of butter spread and saw Donald Trump staring back at her.

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Jan Castellano said she pulled back the plastic on an Earth Origins Organic Spread and saw Trump staring back at her.

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Source: USAToday


Compare and Contrast: Fox Moderators Praised for Being ‘Tough’ on GOP Contenders vs Liberal Media’s Worship of Dem Leader

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There were mixed reviews of the candidates on Thursday night, but almost unanimously positive reviews of the Fox News moderators.

“Tough.” “Brilliant.” “Pitbulls.”

The raves for Fox‘s questioning started right away and continued well into the evening, even from rivals and critics who rarely praise the cable news channel.

Austan Goolsbee, a former member of President Obama’s cabinet, gave Fox credit this way:

“If they were treating the Dems like this, I would have said they were gratuitously busting their chops.”

Yochi Dreazen, managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, said some of the candidates looked “shell-shocked” by tough questions from Fox, a channel defined by its conservative political and cultural tilt.

That’s what public radio host Kai Ryssdal meant when he wrote,

“Have to hand it to Fox News moderators for going after their guys.”

Fox News chairman Roger Ailes and his lieutenants have been at the center of the presidential race for weeks thanks to Thursday’s debate and the controversial entry criteria for it. Only the “top ten” candidates, as determined by the polls, were invited to the prime time event…

Halfway through the debate, BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith said Ailes is “clearly the winner of this. This is really good TV”…(read more)

CNN.com

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“Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus.”

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“No one saw him coming, and Christians believe God comes at us from strange angles and places we don’t expect, like Jesus being born in a manger.”

Lawrence Carter

“Many even see in Obama a messiah-like figure, a great soul, and some affectionately call him Mahatma Obama.”

Dinesh Sharma

“We just like to say his name. We are considering taking it as a mantra.”

 Chicago Sun-Times

king-obama

“A Lightworker – An Attuned Being with Powerful Luminosity and High-Vibration Integrity who will actually help usher in a New Way of Being”

Mark Morford

“What Barack Obama has accomplished is the single most extraordinary event that has occurred in the 232 years of the nation’s political history.”

Jesse Jackson, Jr.

“Does it not feel as if some special hand is guiding Obama on his journey, I mean, as he has said, the utter improbability of it all?”

Daily Kos

“He communicates God-like energy…”

Steve Davis (Charleston, SC)

PresHalo

“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

– Barack Obama

“Not just an ordinary human being but indeed an Advanced Soul.”

Commentator @ Chicago Sun Times

“I’ll do whatever he says to do. I’ll collect paper cups off the ground to make his pathway clear.”

Halle Berry

“A quantum leap in American consciousness.”

Deepak Chopra

“He is not operating on the same plane as ordinary politicians… . the agent of transformation in an age of revolution, as a figure uniquely qualified to open the door to the 21st century.”

– Gary Hart

“Barack Obama is our collective representation of our purest hopes, our highest visions and our deepest knowings … He’s our product out of the all-knowing quantum field of intelligence.”

Eve Konstantine

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“This is bigger than Kennedy… . This is the New Testament…I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often. No, seriously. It’s a dramatic event.”

Chris Matthews

“…creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom … the man for this time.”

Toni Morrison

“Obama’s finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don’t even really inspire. They elevate… . He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh … Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves.”

Ezra Klein

“Obama has the capacity to summon heroic forces from the spiritual depths of ordinary citizens and to unleash therefrom a symphonic chorus of unique creative acts whose common purpose is to tame the soul and alleviate the great challenges facing mankind.”

Gerald Campbell

“We’re here to evolve to a higher plane … he is an evolved leader … [he] has an ear for eloquence and a Tongue dipped in the Unvarnished Truth.”

Oprah Winfrey

“I would characterize the Senate race as being a race where Obama was, let’s say, blessed and highly favored. That’s not routine. There’s something else going on. I think that Obama, his election to the Senate, was divinely ordered… . I know that that was God’s plan.“

Bill Rush


How Have We Depicted Madness Throughout History?

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Even in an age of science, we cannot escape lunacy’s long history of frippery and superstition

 Modern psychiatry seems determined to rob madness of its meanings, insisting that its depredations can be reduced to biology and nothing but biology. One must doubt it. The social and cultural dimensions of mental disorders, so indispensable a part of the story of madness and civilization over the centuries, are unlikely to melt away, or to prove no more than an 61uJxeANx6L._SL250_epiphenomenal feature of so universal a feature of human existence. Madness indeed has its meanings, elusive and evanescent as our attempts to capture them have been.

[Check out ‘s book “Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity, from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine at Amazon.com]

Western culture throughout its long and tangled history provides us with a rich array of images, a remarkable set of windows into both popular and latterly professional beliefs about insanity. The sacred books of the Judeo-Christian tradition are shot through with stories of madness caused by possession by devils or divine displeasure. From Saul, the first king of the Israelites (made mad by Yahweh for failing to carry out to the letter the Lord’s command to slay every man, woman, and child of the Amalekite tribe, and all their animals, too), to the man in the country of the Gaderenes “with an unclean spirit” (maddened, naked, and violent, whose demons Christ casts out and causes to enter a herd of swine, who forthwith rush over a cliff into the sea to drown), here are stories recited for centuries by believers, and often transformed into pictorial form. None proved more fascinating than the story of Nebuchadnezzar, the mighty king of Babylon, the man who captured Jerusalem and destroyed its Temple, carrying the Jews off into captivity all apparently without incurring divine wrath. Swollen with pride, however, he impiously boasts of “the might of my power,” and a savage and jealous God has had enough: driven mad, he “did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagle’s feathers, and his nails like bird’s claws.” The description has proved irresistible to many an artist: above, an unknown German artist working in early fifteenth-century Regensburg provides a portrait of the changes madness wrought upon the sane.

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Disease was rife in the ancient, medieval, and early modern world. It was often interpreted through a religious lens, and the spread of Christian belief through pagan Europe was often facilitated by the use of miracles and wonders to demonstrate the power of the Christian God. The ability to cure sick and tortured souls was increasingly brought about by the intercession of saints and martyrs, whose relics were believed to have miraculous power to heal the sick, reanimate the halt and the lame, and restore sight to the blind. The tombs of saints like St. Margaret of Antioch and St. Dymphna of Geel, who had both been beheaded, were popular choices for those seeking relief from mental distress, as was the shrine of St. Thomas à Becket, whose murder in Canterbury Cathedral is here shown in a mid-thirteenth-century codex. The saint’s blood was thought to cure insanity, blindness, leprosy, and deafness, not to mention a host of other ailments.

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Naturalistic accounts of madness, those that saw its roots in the body, had an ancient lineage as well. Though many in classical Greece and Rome still embraced supernatural accounts of mental disturbance and had recourse to the temple medicine of the god Asclepius, with its purification rites, charms, and spells, others were attracted to the humoral model of disease embraced by the followers of Hippocrates and later systematized by the Graseco-Roman physician Galen—a model of illness, both mental and physical, that would survive in Europe into the nineteenth century. Hieronymus Bosch’s satirical painting of The Cure of Folly: The Extraction of the Stone of Folly, which dates from c. 1494, suggests that skepticism about medical claims remained widespread despite physicians’ best efforts. A doctor dressed in a dunce’s cap uses a scalpel to draw forth the supposed cause of madness from the scalp of a patient.

L0077037 Advert for the psychiatric drug Thorazine

Though religious interpretations of mental disturbance persisted in both polite and popular circles well into the eighteenth century (and among hoi polloi even longer than that), medical models of mental disorder gradually became the dominant and then almost the only legitimate interpretation of the sources of mental distress. The eighteenth century saw the rise in England, the first consumer society, of a private trade in lunacy. Mad-doctors, as they were then called (the double entendre would later cause specialists in the management of lunacy to search for a more respectable name), marketed their madhouses as ways to save affluent families from the travails and potential disgrace of keeping a lunatic at home, and over time began to claim the ability to cure as well as immure the insane.

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The technological inventiveness of the Industrial Revolution was soon extended to devices intended to shock and startle the mad back to their senses. Erasmus Darwin, Charles Darwin’s grandfather, suggested a swinging chair, and soon a variety of such devices were marketed, one promising that by “increasing the velocity of the swing, the motion be[ing] suddenly reversed every six or eight minutes … the consequence is, an instant discharge of the stomach, bowels, and bladder, in quick succession.” Others promoted a variety of devices designed to simulate drowning—though sometimes, unfortunately, the drowning proved all too real. And the American mad-doctor, Benjamin Rush, created a special chair, one that “binds and confines every part of the body … Its effects have been truly delightful to me. It acts as a sedative to the tongue and temper as well as to the blood vessels. I have called it a Tranquillizer.”

ranz Joseph Gall examining the head of a pretty young girl, Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Franz Joseph Gall examining the head of a pretty young girl, while three gentlemen wait in line. Coloured lithograph by E.H., 1825. 1825 By: E. H.Published: 1825

Franz Joseph Gall examining the head of a pretty young girl, while three gentlemen wait in line. Coloured lithograph.  By: E. H.Published: 1825

Aristotle had seen the heart as the seat of the emotions and the intellect. By contrast, the Hippocratics saw the brain as their center. The anatomical investigations of the late seventeenth-century Oxford physician Thomas Willis (the man who coined the term neurologie) had given new impetus to the study of the role of the brain and the nervous system, and by the early nineteenth century, few medical men doubted that the etiology of insanity could be traced to disorders of the nerves and the brain. Among the most talented early nineteenth-century anatomists of these organs were the Austrian physicians Franz Gall and J.G. Spurzheim, who viewed the brain as a congeries of organs, each region corresponding to particular psychological functions. They asserted that the relative size of a particular organ was indicative of the strength of a particular mental function and that its size could be increased or decreased through mental exercise, rather as muscles can be developed or can atrophy. As the cranial bones developed, they allegedly conformed to the underlying comparative development of the brain’s different parts. Thus, a person’s mental capacities could be deduced from the confirmation of the head. Phrenological claims to provide a guide to human capacities and a somatic account of the origins of insanity soon became the butt of ridicule (as can be seen in this caricature, where Gall himself examines the head of an attractive young woman, while three gentlemen wait their turns to have their own characters read). Yet Gall’s underlying doctrine of cerebral localization enjoyed a long half life in neurology.

V0016653 Seven vignettes of people suffering from different types of

The handful of profit-making madhouses that emerged in the eighteenth century were dwarfed by the Great Confinement of the insane that marked the nineteenth. States all across Europe and North America embraced the asylum solution, prompted in part by the assurances of the medical men who soon monopolized the running of these places that they were architectural contrivances uniquely suited to the management and cure of the mentally disturbed. Read the rest of this entry »


Scenes of the Resurrection

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Each scene features sleeping Roman soldiers and Christ emerging from his tomb, but these were made across hundreds of years. Can you guess which one out of the four was made in 1190?

The reveal.

Getty Museum 


Gordon Crovitz: Defending Satire to the Death

Voltaire

Moderate Muslims are most in need of a robust defense of free speech, especially if it offends

renocol_GordonCrovitzL. Gordon Crovitz writes: ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” wrote biographer Evelyn Beatrice Hall, summing up the view of her subject, Voltaire. The 17th-century French writer has been on many minds since last week’s Islamist atrocity in Paris. “As the news of the massacre sank in,” wrote historian Robert Darnton for the New York Review of Books, “I kept thinking of Voltaire and calling up his famous grin—lips curled and lower jaw stuck out, as if to defy anyone who might dare to pull a punch.”

“Moderate Muslims around the world most need a robust defense of free speech, especially if it offends. In the spirit of Voltaire, they’re taking great risks to challenge extremism.”

Many of us don’t share the sensibilities of Charlie Hebdo’s leftist politics and sometimes juvenile humor, but the terrorists who massacred its staff attacked a core component of French identity. “Free thought begetting light-hearted satire . . . is at the root of French character,” observed a 19th-century British history of French literature. French-style caustic satire is less common in the Anglosphere, but the Enlightenment in all forms enrages Islamists.

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“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

— Voltaire

In the 18th century, Voltaire was exiled and jailed and had his books burned. He sought ecrasez l’infame—to crush the infamous—by which he meant most forms of authority. He called Christianity “assuredly the most ridiculous, the most absurd and the most bloody religion which has ever infected this world.” He criticized Judaism and Islam. “Superstition sets the whole world in flames,” he observed. “Philosophy quenches them.”

“The many ‘Je suis Charlie’ signs and social-media hashtags show that popular support for free speech is ahead of politically correct university administrators and politicians. Brandeis University last year shamefully canceled an honorary degree for van Gogh’s Muslim associate on the film, Ayaan Hirsi Ali.”

Charlie Hebdo inherited that tradition. The Catholic Church has sued it more than a dozen times. Its murdered editor, Stephane Charbonnier, had said he hoped to carry on “until Islam is just as banal as Catholicism.” One cover featured a fundamentalist Muslim, an Orthodox Jew and the pope shouting in unison: “Charlie Hebdo must be veiled!”

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Islamists can’t abide free speech. They issued a death sentence for Salman Rushdie for writing a novel, forced a Danish cartoonist into hiding, and murdered Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam for making a film. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Demonstration: ‘How to Get Through a Checkpoint Really Fast’

This is for all those people who said I should have been “witnessing” at the checkpoint. It turns out that it’s “not a good time” for them. That’s pretty much what I figured.

YouTube


Report: China on Course to Become World’s Most Christian Nation within 15 years

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The number of Christians in Communist China is growing so steadily that it by 2030 it could have more churchgoers than America.

Speaking with our Hong Kong Bureau Chief yesterday about the often overlooked historical role of the post-reform Christian church as an incubator of enlightened self-governance and radical reform (try to imagine the civil rights movement without it) I was left with the impression that Communist China’s effectiveness at resisting reform and discouraging dissent would almost guarantee that Christianity’s future in China is not hopeful as it might appear. With Maoist China’s record of hostility to Christianity, and current success at containing or crushing competing ideologies, is this report–predicting an uninterrupted rise of Christianity in China–drawing premature conclusions?

Note the reverse image in the mirror: the decline of Christianity in the west. And consider the more troubling historical reverse: the persecution, slaughter, and displacement of Christians around the world.

Liushi, Zhejiang province – For the Telegraph reports: It is said to be China’s biggest church and on Easter Sunday thousands of worshippers will flock to this Asian mega-temple to pledge their allegiance – not to the Communist Party, but to the Cross.CIM_Gospel_Tract

“It is a wonderful thing to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It gives us great confidence.”

The 5,000-capacity Liushi church, which boasts more than twice as many seats as Westminster Abbey and a 206ft crucifix that can be seen for miles around, opened last year with one theologian declaring it a “miracle that such a small town was able to build such a grand church”.

“It is going to be less than a generation. Not many people are prepared for this dramatic change.”

The £8 million building is also one of the most visible symbols of Communist China’s breakneck conversion as it evolves into one of the largest Christian congregations on earth.

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“Mao thought he could eliminate religion. He thought he had accomplished this. It’s ironic – they didn’t. They actually failed completely.”

“It is a wonderful thing to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It gives us great confidence,” beamed Jin Hongxin, a 40-year-old visitor who was admiring the golden cross above Liushi’s altar in the lead up to Holy Week.

Read the rest of this entry »


How the Jesus Wife Hoax Fell Apart

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The ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ fragment is about 1 1/2 inches by 3 inches. Karen L. King/Associated Press

The media loved the 2012 tale from Harvard Divinity School.

Jerry Pattengale writes:  In September 2012, Harvard Divinity School professor Karen King announced the discovery of a Coptic (ancient Egyptian) gospel text on a papyrus fragment that contained the phrase “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife . . .’ ” The world took notice. The possibility that Jesus was married would prompt a radical reconsideration of the New Testament and biblical scholarship.

“…the story began to crumble faster than an ancient papyrus exposed in the windy Sudan.”

Yet now it appears almost certain that the Jesus-was-married story line was divorced from reality. On April 24, Christian Askeland—a Coptic specialist at Indiana Wesleyan University and my colleague at the Green Scholars Initiative—revealed that the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife,” as the fragment is known, was a match for a papyrus fragment that is clearly a forgery.

Almost from the moment Ms. King made her announcement two years ago, critics attacked the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife as a forgery. One line of criticism said that the fragment had been sloppily reworked from a 2002 online PDF of the Coptic Gospel of Thomas and even repeated a typographical error. Read the rest of this entry »


He is Risen! What Christians Believe About Easter, and Why

EasterCrossAP

“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”

—Luke 24:5–6 (ESV)

For Breitbart.com writes:  “He is risen!” For centuries, it was proclaimed in the streets on Easter morning. It was a way that Christians identified each other on this day, as another Christian hearing it would respond, “He is risen indeed!”

Easter was the hope of an eternal existence, and one that has baffled scholars for centuries to explain. It’s hard to come up with a theory that explains it all away.

There was a sizeable group of men and women, whose leader claimed to be divine. They saw their leader arrested, tortured with a series of savage punishments that often proved deadly in their own right, nailed to a wooden cross through his hands and feet by professional executioners who crucified convicts on a regular basis, hung on that cross for hours until he was dead, then one soldier thrust a spear into his chest to confirm his demise before taking him down. The soldiers involved in this process would themselves be executed if a person handed over to them for termination was let go alive, so they tended to be thorough. After that point, his body was wrapped in burial clothes and he was put in a tomb under guard. His followers fled in fear and despair.

Then three days later they say they saw him, and spent time with him over a period of days. They said they spoke with him, ate food with him, and walked with him. Then they say he was taken up before their eyes into heaven. And for the rest of their lives, they would travel the known world heedless of any dangers, talking about Jesus Christ and writing the New Testament of the Bible. They were persecuted and executed one by one, yet still continued with unabated zeal for decades until their last breath. Read the rest of this entry »


Starbucks Barista Draws a 666 in Coffee Foam, Customer Careful Not to Disrespect His ‘Beliefs’

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The story is here. I just pulled out the customer’s quote. I call this the ass-kissing “non-judgmental” quote of the day:

“I am in no way judging his beliefs or dis-meriting his beautiful artwork, I am however judging his lack of professionalism and respect for others.”

What? Beautiful artwork? Being so careful not to be perceived as judging this moron’s ‘beliefs’? You think this guy is expressing his legitimate religious views on coffee foam?

I can imagine, in todays climate, if this customer dared to judge the barista, she would invite a Facebook or Twitter hate-storm. She’d be branded a bigot. Accused of “Satanist-shaming”, or “Art-shaming”. A mob would rise up to defend the barista. They would find her home address, her work address, protest on her lawn, threaten to burn her house down.

I interviewed Orin Miller, an actual Satan worshiper in San Francisco, to get a response. Here’s what he said:

“That woman should feel free to judge his beliefs. And feel free to call him an idiot, and a poser. As a Satanist, I’m offended. I wouldn’t want some coffee-jerk drawing a picture of Jesus on my cappuccino foam. Why should she have to be careful not to insult him? “

— Orin Miller, Church of Satan, San Francisco

Then I asked Orin, how should have she reacted? What would have been a more appropriate response?

His reply:

“Look. I’m probably the wrong person to ask, but here’s what I think. If she spit hot coffee in his face, or burned his eyelids off with a cigarette lighter, or cut his thumbs off with a knife and fed them to pigs under a full moon, I wouldn’t blame her”. 

That was harsher than I expected, but that’s what I get for asking.

Okay, well, there is no guy named Orin Miller in San Francisco, I just made that up. But you get the idea, right? This is not the time to indulge misplaced tolerance. Be intolerant. Don’t tolerate jackasses. Nobody has to be a doormat. She got played.

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Starbucks: Sorry About 666 in Coffee Foam


Government Isn’t Santa

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Capitalism is the precondition of generosity

Kevin D. Williamson  writes:  There were three wise men, bearing gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Much has been written about the mystical connotations of those gifts, but it is rarely, if ever, asked: Where did they get them?

Presumably, Balthazar, Melchior, and Caspar were not engaged in gold mining, frankincense farming, or myrrh cultivation. They had other things to do, other stars to follow. For Christians, and for men of goodwill categorically, this is an important question: Feed my sheep, saith the Lord — okay: Feed ’em what? Some of the Apostles were said to have the gift of healing through the laying on of hands; those without such gifts still have an obligation to heal the sick (if the ACLU will allow it), which means building hospitals and clinics, equipping doctors and nurses, etc. With what?

If ye had but faith in the measure of a mustard seed . . . and if the mustard-seed approach does not work, and the mountains we command to be uprooted remain stubbornly in place, then we are back to the old-fashioned problems of human existence: scarcity and production. That is what is so maddening about Pope Francis’s recent apostolic exhortation — which is, as much as my fellow Catholics try to explain it away, a problematic document in many ways. The pope’s argument, fundamentally, is that we can have capitalism on the condition that we feed the poor. This is exactly backward: We can feed the poor if we have capitalism. To give away wealth presumes the existence of that wealth, whether it is an annual tithe or Jesus’ more radical stance of giving away all that one owns. Giving away all that you own does not do the poor an iota of good if you don’t have anything. You can’t spread the wealth without wealth.

Conservatives sometimes protest that the Left presents government as though it were Santa Claus, but Santa Claus, bless him, is a producer. He has a factory up there at the North Pole, full of highly skilled (and possibly undercompensated) labor. He has logistics problems — serious ones. He has production deadlines. The entire point of the Santa Claus myth — at least the animated Christmas-special God Bless America version of that myth — is that those toys aren’t going to make themselves, and they aren’t going to deliver themselves. Government cannot do the work of a captain of industry such as Santa Claus, because government creates nothing. More to the point, government cannot satisfy Jesus’ command that we feed the poor — it produces no food. It has no wealth of its own.

Read the rest of this entry »


‘Boycott A&E’ Facebook Support Page for Phil Robertson Gets 500K+ Likes

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Facebook page dedicated to defense of Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” has received well over 400,000 likes since it was launched just 14 hours ago. The page was created late on Wednesday evening, after news broke that A&E was suspending Robertson over his comments on homosexuality.

Within 10 minutes, the “Boycott A&E Until Phil Robertson Is Put Back on Duck Dynasty” page had 100 likes; in 30 minutes, the page had 1,200 likes. It grew exponentially from there; in three and a half hours, the page had 162,000 likes. The page states: “This page is to show support for the freedom of speech of Americans. Unless Phil is reinstated to the show, we refuse to watch the A&E Channel!”

**UPDATE** The Facebook page has now received over 510,000 likes.

Brietbart.com 


‘Duck Dynasty’ vs. ‘Pajama Boy’: Two Americas?

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Matt K. Lewis writes:  As you’ve probably heard, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson has been suspended by A&E over what many are describing as “anti-gay” comments he made to GQ.

So what did he say that was so bad? Here’s an excerpt, via E!:

“‘Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,’ he tells the magazine. Paraphrasing Corinthians, he says, ‘Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.’”

… “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

… ”We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ‘em, give ‘em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ‘em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

Much of the criticism coming from conservatives (regarding A&E’s decision) has focused on the fact that a). Robertson was merely stating an orthodox Christian position, and b). that this is just his opinion — and he’s entitled to it (and besides, why are people so offended these days?).

But I’ll make another observation: This may be an attack on “unsophisticated” country folks as much as it is an attack on orthodox Christianity.

When you consider the more effete, cosmopolitan America that “Pajama Boy” represents, you’ll get a sense for why the Duck Dynasty folks are out of touch with today’s acceptable norms. There is a huge schism between red state America and blue state America, and these two stories seem to symbolize the yawning chasm.

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[VIDEO] Megyn Kelly Responds to Santa Claus Critics: Get a Sense of Humor

Matthew Sheffield reports:  Fox News Channel host Megyn Kelly took on the left-wing hate mob that has come after her following a humorous segment that she featured on her program Wednesday evening in which she and her guests staged a mock debate over the racial identity of Santa Claus.

To the haters, Kelly had a message tonight: Lighten up and learn to realize what satire is. “Humor is a part of what we try to bring to this show but sometimes that is lost on the humorless,” she said.

Since the Wednesday segment, an absurd controversy has been swirling around the newly minted primetime host in which Foxophobic television and internet outlets seemed unable (or unwilling) to comprehend that the entire segment, which began with a satirical disclaimer to “kids at home” that Santa was white and did exist, was not to be taken seriously.

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BREAKING: Baby Jesus Stolen From TWO Nativity Scenes! Bring Back Baby Jesus!

babyjesusWESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) – Two Mt. Pleasant families are baffled, after someone stole the baby Jesus from their nativity scene.

The thefts happened on Connellsville Road.

“I went to get my mail, and when I came back and looked at the nativity, the baby was gone,” Valarie Goodwin said.

Stealing baby Jesus is so widespread, that municipalities, churches, and homeowners are now using GPS devices and security cameras for security.

One nativity scene is even protected by a metal screen.

Goodwin found a stand-in baby Jesus, she’s just hoping the person responsible for the theft, will return the baby unharmed.

CBS Pittsburgh


Libertarian Jesus

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Dan Mitchell writes:  Most of my political humor is designed to mock statists. That’s true whether I’m sharing cartoons, videos, jokes, or one-liners…

I think you’ll agree that “Libertarian Jesus” is worth a laugh or two. I like this poster because it makes the very important and serious point (which Cal Thomas has succinctly explained) that it’s not compassion when you use coercion to spend other people’s money.

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Images depicting the life of Jesus in Korea freak out Chinese Internet users

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 writes: There seems to be a long-running debate over whether Jesus was white or African (as opposed, to, you know, Arabic, as most people born in the Middle East tend to be).

Apparently concerned that the squabble doesn’t have enough sides, a participant in a Chinese Internet forum has come forward with images suggesting yet another theory: Jesus was Korean.

Recently, a thread appeared on a message board in China with the title, “Even Jesus could not escape the destiny that was placed upon the people of Korea.” The lengthily-phrased topic attracted the attention of other users, who found that the thread contained a series of scenes depicting the life of Jesus Christ in a uniquely Korean light.

The uploader of the pictures explained, “This information is not fabricated. I obtained these images from a seminary in Korea at great risk to my life.”

In the pictures, Jesus is shown dressed in traditional Korean garb, surrounded by similarly attired followers. The architecture depicted is also unmistakably Korean in design.

KJ 1

The original poster’s attempts to spread the good word were met with a less than enthusiastic response, however. In recent years, Chinese media has publicized alleged claims by Korean researchers that the characters used in writing the Chinese language were originally developed in Korea, as well as an assertion that the philosopher Confucius, largely believed to be Chinese, was actually of Korean descent.

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Goodnight, sweet prince: Polish artist’s chainsaw sculpture depicts the death of Super Mario

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Another beautiful item from those lovable nuts at RocketNews24 –  reports: Even the greatest of heroes meet their end eventually, whether they be staff-wielding wizards or portly plumbers. With this incredible sculpture, Polish artist Kordian Lewandowski presents the demise of none other than our favourite 8-bit champion, Super Mario. And as sad as it is, it’s really quite breathtaking.

“Game Over” shows Peach, or Princess Toadstood to her subjects, cradling the limp body of Mario in a pose reminiscent of Michelangelo’s “Pietà“. Rather than carving it out of solid marble, Kordian chose to work with an enormous styrofoam block, but he did create his own masterpiece with something that even the great Michelangelo could never claim to be a competent user of: a chainsaw.

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VIDEO: Would Jesus have been a Democrat?

An excellent Zonation that dispels any idea that Jesus would have been a big government socialist Democrat:

NOTE: I’m not sure I buy his explanation of “render back unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” given the verse that preceded it where Jesus asked the pharisees whose face and inscription was on the coin. But aside from that it is fantastic.

ZoNation:The Right Scoop