Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

The Pope’s Jumbotron

July 13, 2015

The Pope's Jumbotron

Pope Francis will address a Joint Session of Congress when he visits Washington DC on September 24, 2015. Since ticket demand greatly exceeds the capacity of the Capitol House Chamber, huge Jumbotron screens will be set up on the National Mall so tens of thousands of fans and the faithful can see and hear the Pope in real time.

After his Congressional speech, His Holiness will briefly address the crowds outside from the Capitol’s West Front while his Swiss Guards stand on the Capitol steps and fire T-Shirt Guns, pelting the throng with souvenir garb and  panini imbottito. Okay, they won’t, but they should, right?

After concluding his visit to Washington, Pope Francis will fly to New York so he can get a decent slice of pizza.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Santorum Crusade Commences

May 28, 2015

Santorum Crusade Commences

On Wednesday afternoon in the little Palestinian Pennsylvania town of Bethlehem Butler, a Republican savior was born. That’s right, Rick Santorum has declared that he’s running to be the 2016 GOP candidate for President.  He was accompanied by his well-heeled apostle, multi-millionaire Foster Friess.

“I’m really going to have an uphill battle ahead of me,” Mr. Santorum told the money changers in a Tuesday fundraising email, “All the way up Calvary.” Okay, maybe we imagined that last part, but the man sure felt martyred by the 2012 contest, and this Second Coming will be even more trying. This time around there are plenty of other contenders for the hearts, souls, wallets, and votes of the Theocratic Republican faithful.

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Cults of Silicon Valley

May 22, 2015

Cults of Silicon Valley

“In 2015, cults are being discovered and rebranded in Silicon Valley as a way of modeling the twenty-first century corporation. ‘You should run your startup like a cult,’ one of Silicon Valley’s most successful investors, Peter Thiel, advises …. For Thiel it is the very excesses of cultish sociality, that have typically been proscribed and demonized, that make it useful for business. ‘Taking a merely professional view of the workplace, in which free agents check in and out on a transactional basis, is worse than cold: It’s not even rational,’ Thiel argues, working to transform the cult from a social model typically associated with irrational, decadent, violent excess to what Thiel argues is the most rational way to model a startup business.”

— “Cults at Scale: Silicon Valley and the Mystical Corporate Aesthetic,” Kate Losse, DisMagazine.com

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Image (“Dashboard Savior in a Prius”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Pope Francis Says the Gender Wage Gap is a Scandal

April 30, 2015

Pope Francis Says the Gender Wage Gap Is a Scandal
“The Christian seed of radical equality between men and women must bring new fruits,” Pope Francis said on Wednesday. “We should support with decisiveness the right to equal pay for equal work. Why should it be taken for granted that women must earn less than men? The disparity is pure scandal.”

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Michele Bachmann: Barack Obama is Bringing on the End Times

April 23, 2015

Michele Bachmann: Barack Obama is Bringing on the End Times

Former Congresscreature and born-again Tea Party loon Michele Bachmann foresees that the Rapture is nigh. Ms. Bachmann told radio host Jan Markell that the End Times are being ushered in by that Antichrist, Barack Obama.

“We need to realize how close this clock is to getting towards the midnight hour. It’s just like the Bible forewarned: in the last days it will be like the beginning of birth pangs. In my opinion, we are far beyond the beginning of birth pangs. We’re moving far down into the process. For women who are listening to this show today, you know what I’m talking about. What it’s like to deliver a baby at the very beginning stages and then at the very end before the baby is born. All I can tell you as a mom who has given birth to five babies, the birth pangs are very close together, they are very intense now and we are literally watching month by month the speed move up to a level we’ve never seen before with these events. Barack Obama is intent, it is his number one goal, to ensure that Iran has a nuclear weapon. Why? Why would you put the nuclear weapon in the hands of mad men?”

— “Michele Bachmann: Barack Obama is ushering in a baby called the Rapture,” Joanna Rothkopf, Salon

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Iceland’s Elf Church Moved for Highway Project

April 5, 2015

Iceland's Elf Church Moved for Highway Project

A highway project in Iceland, blocked for over a year by a legal dispute over “elf habitat,” has resumed work after an Ofeigskirkja (“elf church”), a 70-ton lava boulder, was removed from the road’s path and moved closer to similar landscape features.

More:

“Elves make compromise with Road Ad­min­is­tra­tion,” Anna Margrét Björnsson, Morgunblaðið

Related:

“Why So Many Icelanders Still Believe in Invisible Elves,” Ryan Jacobs, The Atlantic

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-l5p

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Passover Seder: Greek Symposium?

April 3, 2015

Passover Seder: Greek Symposium?

The Haggadah (הַגָּדָה‎) is a Jewish text that sets forth the order of the Passover ritual meal, the Seder.

“There’s a reason the haggadah feels goyish: Formally speaking, it’s Greek. It’s a Judaicized version of a Greek genre called ‘symposium literature’. Plato loved the form. So did Xenophon. The symposium enshrined the most appealing traits of the Hellenic personality: conviviality, Epicureanism, a love of good conversation.”

–”Platonic Form,” Judith Shulevitz, Tablet Magazine

The ancient Greek symposium (συμπόσιον) was a drinking party; drinking four glasses of wine is a Passover obligation. Diners are supposed to recline while they do so, just like the Greeks.

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Ted Cruz Declares Holy War

March 23, 2015

Ted Cruz Declares Holy War

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) declared his presidential candidacy Monday at Liberty University, invoking the Deity (who seems to have endorsed him), Jesus Christ, Rafael Cruz (his own preacher daddy), GOP saint Ronald Reagan and, oddly, Thomas Jefferson (who re-wrote the Bible, omitting the miracles of Jesus) and ultimate Big Government champ FDR.

Excerpts from Monday’s address by Mr. Cruz (links added):

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Ted Cruz: The Cruzade Begins

March 22, 2015

Ted Cruz: The Cruzade Begins

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) will announce that he is a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination today. The venue? Liberty University (“Training Champions for Christ since 1971“), founded by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell, not known for religious tolerance or compassion. Mr. Cruz should feel right at home. His Dad, Rafael Cruz, is a Texas evangelical pastor who makes Jerry Falwell look like Mister Rogers.

There should be a substantial crowd for the senator’s appearance at the Vines Center, since the event is a Liberty University Convocation. All LU students who live on campus are required to attend these convocations, which occur three times a week.

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The Pope Loves Pizza

March 14, 2015

The Pope Loves Pizza

Pope Francis observed the second anniversary of his election on Friday by predicting he won’t be pope for long, just “four or five years.”  He doesn’t mind being pope, he told Mexico’s Noticieros Televisa, but he misses his freedom:

“The only thing I would like is to go out one day, without being recognized, and go to a pizzeria for a pizza.”

Attention American pizzaioli: His Holiness will visit the USA in September with stops in New York, Philadelphia, and DC, so clean out your ovens by the end of August.

There is speculation that Pope Francis has pizza on his mind since meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last month, a year after she told him:

“Next time we will go into the piazza for a pizza.”

Frau Merkel, what a tease. She doesn’t call, doesn’t write ….

More:

“Pope Francis just wants to get pizza like a normal person,” Chris Perez, New York Post

Related:

“Pope Francis’ popularity extends beyond Catholics,” David Masci, Pew Research Center

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-l3s

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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