Posts Tagged ‘religion’

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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Image 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, 2016

“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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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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Passover Seder: Greek Symposium?

April 23, 2016

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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‘Two Corinthians Walk Into a Bar ….’

January 27, 2016

'2 Corinthians Walk Into a Bar ....'

When Republican presidential hopeful, shady golfer and adulterer Donald Trump spoke at fundamentalist Liberty University recently, he quoted from his “favorite book,” the Bible, which someone else read for him (he “has people…”). Mr. Trump elicited ridicule by citing Second Corinthians as “Two Corinthians.” Oops.

Maybe The Donald would have been better off quoting from his “second favorite book,” Art of the Deal. That’s the autobiography he paid Tony Schwartz to write for him.

Really smartWharton grad Donnie Trump may have flunked Bible School, but that didn’t stop gun-totinlawyer and Liberty U. prez Jerry Falwell Jr. from endorsing him. Mr. Falwell, like his televangelist daddy, is a man of faith, facts and democracy be damned.

More:

“Trump Thumps Bible, Bible Thumps Back,” Monica Bauer, Huffington Post

“Trump’s Liberty U Performance Was Insulting to Christians Everywhere,” Tom DeLay, Christian Post

“Bible-thumping playboy: Associated Press explores faith, contradictions of Donald Trump,” Bobby Ross Jr., Get Religion

“Trump’s Bid to Become Born-Again Fails as Jesus Turns Down Friend Request,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

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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, 2015

“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.

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Colorado Springs: God & Guns

December 1, 2015

Colorado Springs: God & Guns
It was the home of Garrett Swasey, Jennifer Markovsky, and Ke’Arre Stewart. It’s White Evangelical Mecca, where it’s perfectly normal to walk down the street carrying an AR-15 assault rifle. Welcome to Colorado Springs.

“Colorado’s second largest city, with a population of 445,800, has built itself a reputation as a playground for white, pro-gun, pro-life Evangelical Christians. It is also home to one army base, two air force bases, and an air force.”

— “Colorado Springs: a playground for pro-life, pro-gun evangelical Christians,” Josiah Hesse, The Guardian

So when you visit Colorado Springs, bring your Bible, your ski vest and your flak vest.

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The War on Christmas Coffee Cups

November 13, 2015

The War on Christmas Coffee Cups

For many Americans sipping coffee is a sacrament, so that may be why the new Starbucks Christmas cups stirred up such a heated controversy. The cups are red for the holidays, but with a clean design devoid of tree ornaments or snowmen. What, no snowflakes? Another assault in the War Against Christmas!

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