Posts Tagged ‘religion’

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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Christmastime For the Jews

December 24, 2018

“Christmastime for the Jews,” a Robert Smigel stop-action animation featuring the voice of Darlene Love in a “Wall of Sound” production, from a 2005 Saturday Night Live episode (lyrics here).

Gut yom tov to all, and to all a good night.

Related:

“Why American Jews Eat Chinese Food on Christmas,” Adam Chandler, The Atlantic

“The Data Doesn’t Lie: Chinese Food Really Is a Christmas Tradition,” Claire Tran and Nicole Javorsky, CityLab

“Google offers proof: People really do love to eat Chinese food on Christmas,” Roberto A. Ferdman, Washington Post

“The history of Jews, Chinese food, and Christmas, explained by a rabbi,” Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox

“The War on Jewish Christmas must be stopped,” Daniel W. Drezner,Washington Post

“Are Jews Doomed to Lose the War on Jewish Christmas?” Paul Waldman, The American Prospect

“Why ‘Jewish Christmas’ (Movies and Chinese Food) is Going Mainstream,”  Sarah Seltzer, Flavorwire

“Fa-La-La-L’Chaim: Why It’s Okay For Jews to Celebrate Christmas,” Charlotte Alter, TIME

“Holy Night: The little-known Jewish holiday of Christmas Eve. Seriously.” Benyamin Cohen, Slate

“An Oral History Of SNL’s ‘Christmastime For The Jews,’” Jason Tabrys, Uproxx

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Big Jesus

September 25, 2018

Nina Berman explains how she took her photograph of the “King of Kings” statue at the Solid Rock Church in in Lebanon, Ohio. A Worldcrunch OneShot video.

View the short video, then read the update here.

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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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Adiós blanco América cristiana

July 10, 2018

The United States is no longer a majority white, Christian country. At 45 percent of the population, white Christians are a shrinking demographic, and it’s obvious, hence the bitter backlash from many members of the group against the country’s increasing diversification.

“People fight like that when they are losing a sense of place, a sense of belonging, and a sense of the country that they understand and love. How do they reengage in public life when they can’t be the majority?” — Robert P. Jones, author of The End of White Christian America.

An Atlantic video.

Related:

“Trump can’t make America white again,” Eugene Robinson, Washington Post

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Paul Ryan Caves, House Chaplain Reinstated

May 7, 2018

Paul Ryan Caves, House Chaplain Reinstated
If you missed it, last week Jesus trumped Ayn Rand at the U.S. House of Representatives. House Chaplain Fr. Patrick Conroy was forced to resign for his prayer suggesting that Congress remember the least among us when crafting a tax bill. Not only didn’t Congress take his advice, but House Speaker Paul Ryan was personally affronted and forced Father Conroy, a former lawyer turned Jesuit priest, to resign or be fired. While Mr.Ryan is an ostensibly-devout Catholic, his devotion to Ayn Rand overwhelmed Christian compassion in his screw-the-poor Tax Bill, now law.  The tax law is the only real accomplishment of Mr. Ryan’s tenure as Speaker, other than the huge federal deficit resulting from it.

Paul Ryan’s only problem: Congress really likes Father Pat, even most of the extreme-right Freedom Caucus members, except for the casually anti-Catholic ones. There’s also a question as to whether a House Chaplain, approved by a vote of the full chamber, can be peremptorily fired by the Speaker. Buoyed by overwhelming support, Father Conroy rescinded his forced resignation letter.

What’s a good Irish-American boy to do? Paul Ryan is leaving Congress anyway, so why should he care? He’s letting Father Pat continue serving as House Chaplain.

More:

“Paul Ryan vs. the House Chaplain Is Really Ayn Rand vs. Pope Francis,” Jay Michaelson, Daily Beast

“In a reversal, Speaker Ryan says the House chaplain will remain in his post,” Paul Kane, Washington Post

“Read: House Chaplain’s letter rescinding resignation,” The Hill

“Firing Fr. Conroy fits Paul Ryan’s pattern when it comes to the poor,” Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter

“3 Ways In Which the House Chaplain Controversy May Continue,” Lindsey McPherson, Roll Call

Updates:

“Ryan swears chaplain back in after controversy over resignation,” Juliegrace Brufke, The Hill

“Paul Ryan Had A ‘Good Cup Of Coffee’ With Reinstated House Chaplain,” Kate Riga, TPM Livewire

Related:

“7 Ways Paul Ryan Revealed His Love for Ayn Rand,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

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

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A Trump Supporter Walks Into a Bar ….

May 3, 2018

A Trump Supporter Walks Into a Bar ....

Accountant Greg Piatek said he was kicked out of The Happiest Hour, a bar in Greenwich Village, for wearing a Trump “Make America Great Again” hat, and he sued the bar for damages. The plaintif’s lawyer, Paul Liggieri, claimed the bar violated Mr. Piatek’s right of religious freedom, because the “Make America Great Again hat was part of his spiritual belief.” He later admitted that his client’s faith was a “creed of one.”

Mr. Piatek wasn’t ejected for his headgear, said bar owner Jon Neidich, but for being an A-hole to the help:

“What’s gotten lost in this story is that the guest wasn’t kicked out because he was wearing a Trump hat- he was asked to leave after being verbally abusive to our staff, which is something we don’t tolerate regardless of who you are.”

Judge David Cohen decided that liking Trump is not a religion, and that bars may continue to refuse service to annoying louts.

Elie Mystal points out this is a case where Trump supporters are, once again, “trying to act like victims just because people stand up to their bigoted world views.”

“These are the very people who do think that you can discriminate against minorities when it comes to housing, or voting, or immigration. They think they’re being clever by ‘turning it around’ on people by claiming the same protections accorded to disadvantaged groups, when what they are really doing is mocking the struggles of others like it’s all some kind of game.”

— “Judge Rules You CAN Kick People Out Of A Bar For Supporting Trump: Please Proceed Accordingly,” Elie Mystal, Above the Law

 

A Chicago bar with a MAGA hat ban recently rescinded it.

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

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Passover Seder: Greek Symposium?

March 29, 2018

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.

There’s a cute Passover tradition, breaking a piece of matzoh (unleavened bread) and hiding half of it. The bread can only be eaten at the end of the meal, after the family’s children discover it. That piece of bread has a funny name, afikomen, but its origin isn’t Hebrew. You guessed it, it’s Greek:

“In Greek, the word is epikomen and is made up of two smaller words: epi, which means after (as in an epilogue), and komos, which means a banquet or merrymaking, and is the same word that inspired the English word comedy. For centuries, Jews have taken afikomen to mean ‘that which comes after the meal,’ more commonly known, of course, as dessert.”

– “Breaking Matzah,” David K. Israel, Mental Floss

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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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Christmastime For the Jews

December 24, 2017

“Christmastime for the Jews,” a Robert Smigel stop-action animation featuring the voice of Darlene Love in a “Wall of Sound” production, from a  2005 Saturday Night Live episode (lyrics here).

Gut yom tov to all, and to all a good night.

Related:

“Why American Jews Eat Chinese Food on Christmas,” Adam Chandler, The Atlantic

“Google offers proof: People really do love to eat Chinese food on Christmas,” Roberto A. Ferdman, Washington Post

“The War on Jewish Christmas must be stopped,” Daniel W. Drezner,Washington Post

“Are Jews Doomed to Lose the War on Jewish Christmas?” Paul Waldman, The American Prospect

“Why ‘Jewish Christmas’ (Movies and Chinese Food) is Going Mainstream,”  Sarah Seltzer, Flavorwire

“Fa-La-La-L’Chaim: Why It’s Okay For Jews to Celebrate Christmas,”
Charlotte Alter, TIME

“Holy Night: The little-known Jewish holiday of Christmas Eve. Seriously.” Benyamin Cohen, Slate

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