Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Trump Tariffs to Cause Bible Shortage

July 12, 2019

Trump Tariffs to Cause Bible Shortage
President Donald Trump is waging a trade war with China, but most of America’s Bibles are printed there, so publishers warn of a Bible shortage if the next round of tariffs goes through. The U.S. imports some 150 million Bibles from China each year, where they’re printed on ultra-thin paper subject to a proposed 25 percent tariff. Maybe American Christians can substutute copies of The Art of the Deal for the Good Book. Lord knows many of them have done that already.

More:

“Bible shortage? Publishers say tariffs could cause it,” Travis Loller, Associated Press

“A ‘Bible tax’: Christian publishers warn that China tariffs could lead to costly Bibles,” Emily McFarlan Miller, Religion News Service via Washington Post

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Owners of Noah’s Ark Sue Over Rain Damage

June 10, 2019

Owners of Noah's Ark Sue Over Rain Damage

The owners of Noah’s Ark have sued their insurance company over rain damage. It didn’t happen on Mount Ararat, but in Kentucky, off Interstate 75, on State Route 36 in Williamstown.

Ark Encounter, a Bible-themed tourist attraction, was partially funded by state economic development dollars because, First Amendment be damned, Biblical Literalism is the state religion of Kentucky. It took 2 years of heavy rain, not forty days and forty nights, to damage a publicly-funded access road, and the park’s insurance provider says that’s not covered. As election time nears, we predict political, not divine, intervention.

Note to nonbelievers: Kentucky’s major tourism attractions are horses, bourbon, music, arts, the outdoors and food, not big Biblical boats with dinosaurs.

More:

“Ark Encounter: State-Subsidized Religious Tourism in Kentucky,” NotionsCapital.com

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Image (“Ark Encounter, after Edward Hicks”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Switzerland: God Calling

August 3, 2018

St Peter’s Chapel in Lucerne, Switzerland has replaced its church bells with ringtones. While the 19th century bell tower is undergoing renovations, the church is featuring an installation by Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts students that substitutes iPhone’s original default Marimba ringtone for the sonorous tones of bronze bells.

More:

“Swiss Town Replaces Church Bells With Ringtones, Ushers in Hell on Earth,” Andrew Liszewski, Gizmodo

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Corporate Person Opens Bible Museum In DC

November 17, 2017

Corporate Person Opens Bible Museum In DC
Today a well-known corporate personHobby Lobby, opened the Museum of the Bible in a former warehouse near the railroad tracks in Southwest Washington DC. Once the Washington Design Center, the original building was built as the Terminal Refrigeration and Warehouse Company in 1923.

The new tourist attraction features a ballroom modeled after Versailles (mentioned in la Nouveau Testament, maybe?), replicas of the village of Nazareth and the Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster Abbey, holograms, the Drive Thru History of the Bible Theater, and a restaurant serving biblically themed meals. Oh, and some historic books and 40,000 artifacts from the Green Family collection (sorry, the artifacts the family smuggled from Iraq were confiscated and won’t be on view). To ensure historical accuracy, the museum has the same advisor as the Creation Museum, where dinosaurs romp with cavemen. In fact, while museum admission is free (a $15 donation is suggested), there’s an amusement park price structure, where you pay to see each special exhibit or attraction.

Hobby Lobby CEO Steve Green and his family believe the government of the USA is based on Christian biblical principles, and the family has enough money to share that misconception with an unsuspecting public.

Unbelievers can beat the church-going crowds. Unlike Hobby Lobby stores, the Museum of the Bible is open on Sundays from 10 AM to 7 PM.

More:

“Just What Is the Museum of the Bible Trying to Do?” Candida Moss and Joel Baden, Politico

“Jefferson took a blade to his Bible: Presidents, faith and the new Bible museum,” Rachel Siegel, Washington Post

“We’re All Living in Hobby Lobby’s Bible Nation,” Sarah Jones, New Republic

“Critics call it evangelical propaganda. Can the Museum of the Bible convert them?” Noah Charney, Washington Post

“Mystery at the new Bible museum: Are its Dead Sea Scrolls fake?” Daniel Burke, CNN

“The Museum of the Bible reflects the discouraging state of Christianity,” Christine Emba, Washington Post

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Kinky Hair Is No Disgrace

October 29, 2017

“Kinky Hair Is No Disgrace,” a sermon by Rev. J.M. Gates. Recorded before the congregation of Atlanta’s Mount Calvary Baptist Church, 1930. Okeh 8884, the flip side of “Pay Your Policy Man.”

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How Martin Luther Went Viral

September 6, 2017

How Martin Luther Went Viral

500 years ago a disgruntled Catholic priest named Martin Luther is said to have nailed his handwritten 95 Theses to a church door in Wittenberg. Well, maybe he did, but that 1517 parchment blog post, with the clickbait title Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum, was picked up by the cool kids of the day, nerds who translated it from Latin to German, coded it into moveable type and spread it across Europe with their newfangled printing presses.

More:

“How Technology Helped Martin Luther Change Christianity,” Tom Gjelten, NPR

“Long Before Twitter, Martin Luther Was a Media Pioneer,” New York Times

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Trump Is Meeting With the Wrong Guy at the Vatican

May 22, 2017

Trump Is Meeting With the Wrong Guy at the Vatican
U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Pope Francis on Wednesday when he visits Vatican City, but he should really meet with another Francis while he’s in town — Father Francesco Bamonte. He’s the leading Catholic exorcist, president of the International Association of Exorcists, and well-practiced in casting out demons.

Related:

“Can the pope save Trump?”  E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post

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Adulterer and Dissembler Speaks to Impressionable Young Christians

May 14, 2017

Adulterer and Dissembler Addresses Young Christians
On Saturday, renowned sinner and U.S. President Donald J. Trump, flanked by Secret Service agents and 2 Corinthians, gave the commencement speech to graduating students at the world’s largest Christian college, Liberty University. He was introduced by University President Jerry Falwell Jr., the gun-totin’ Christian lawyer famously sired by televangelist and Liberty U. founder Jerry Falwell Sr., who had endorsed Mr. Trump during the election. 1300 LU students and a prominent university board member protested the endorsement.

Even though Mr. Falwell Jr. has encouraged Liberty University students to carry concealed handguns on campus and keep them in their dorms, firearms were not permitted in Lynchburg’s Williams Stadium during commencement exercises. Oh ye of little faith ….

Mr. Trump urged the graduates to adhere to the basic founding principles of our Republic, Christian Nationalism, critic-bashing, and college football. Since 30% of Americans are not Christians, will their citizenship be revoked? And if you’re counting critics, 58% of your neighbors disapprove of the job President Trump is doing. And of course many people prefer the NFL to college football. No wonder Trump is fast-tracking Deportation Force recruiting.

Related:

“At Liberty University, All Sins Are Forgiven on the Altar of Football,” Michael Powell, New York Times

Update:

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Liberty University Mascot: Donald Trump

October 18, 2016

Liberty University Mascot: Donald Trump

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., the gun-totin’ Christian lawyer famously sired by televangelist and Liberty U. founder Jerry Falwell Sr., has forgiven admitted sexual predator and GOP candidate Donald Trump, whom he had endorsed. Mr. Falwell says he will vote for Trump even if the sexual assault charges are true. Liberty University students, not that forgiving, are concerned about Mr. Falwell’s defense of the Republican creep:

“While he occasionally clarifies that supporting Trump is not the official position of Liberty University, he knows it is his title of president of the largest Christian university in the world that gives him political credentials.”

“… Donald Trump is not just any politician. He has made his name by maligning others and bragging about his sins. Not only is Donald Trump a bad candidate for president, he is actively promoting the very things that we as Christians ought to oppose.”
— Liberty United Against Trump statement

More:

“Liberty University students protest association with Trump,” T. Rees Shapiro, Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Susan Svrluga and Scott Clement, Washington Post

“Liberty U. Students: ‘Donald Trump & Jerry Falwell Jr. Don’t Represent Us,’” Ian Tuttle, National Review

“Evangelical clash over Trump reverberates at Liberty University,” Linda Feldmann, Christian Science Monitor

“Des étudiants d’une influente université chrétienne rejettent Trump,” Le Figaro

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Ark Encounter: State-Subsidized Religious Tourism in Kentucky

August 8, 2016

Ark encounter: State-Subsidized Religoius Tourism in Kentucky

Noah’s Ark may have landed on Mount Ararat, but you can see it in Kentucky off Interstate 75, on State Route 36 in Williamstown. Answers In Genesis, the outfit behind the Creation(ism) Museum, has built a 510-foot-long biblical boat as a tourist attraction, Ark Encounter ($40 admission, $10 parking).  The wooden hull is stocked with pairs of animals said to be on the Ark, including dinosaurs (from the Book of Flintstones?). There’s also a zoo, but don’t expect any dinosaurs there.

Ark Encounter opened on July 7th and was built at a cost $102 million. Of that, $62 million was raised from Industrial Development Bonds issued by the City of Williamstown. The Kentucky state government granted Ark Encounter $18 million in tax incentives and is building a new $10 million highway interchange for the new Christian theme park.

The rationale for granting this public largesse for religious evangelism is that the big boat will stimulate the tourist economy and create jobs. Want to apply for those jobs? You’ll have to sign a statement of faith in Genesis and Jesus Christ, disavowing homosexuality, same-sex marriage and premarital sex. Somehow, Federal Judge Greg Van Tatenhove (alumnus of Christian Asbury University) has ruled that this is all constitutional and isn’t state sponsorship of religion. It seems Ark Encounter is a secular outfit when it gets public funding and tax breaks, but a religious organization when it hires employees. Glory be, it’s a miracle!

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