A student in Canada has renewed discussion about how far universities and other institutions should go in order to honor religious viewpoints. The young man in question refuses to attend classes or discussions where women might be present. “One of the main reasons that I have chosen Internet courses to complete my BA is due to my firm religious beliefs, and part of that is the intermingling between men and women,” the student wrote in explaining his refusal to meet with a discussion group. The professor was ordered by the Dean to accommodate the young man, whose religion was not identified. Presumably, it was not Unitarian.
From the “we Christians aren’t the only ones with a lunatic fringe” department, comes the story of a Satanist musician murdered for not being Satanist enough. Apparently the murderer felt the musician’s lack of faith disturbing, and said it was “tarnishing” Satanism.
By the way, the murdered musican’s bandmates posted a “hellbook” announcement, in which they encouraged their fallen comrade to “have a rest down there brother”. And they say Satanists aren’t thoughtful…
Phillip Yancey says there is a new genre of books: Christian Hip. These are penned by authors who “came out of a strict evangelical or fundamentalist background, and they write about their spiritual detours in a loose, memoir-type style with a few obligatory bad words sprinkled in.” I suppose we should throw previous offerings of Donald Miller and Rachel Held Evans and their ilk in this camp as well. Yancey sums up the best of the recent books. It’s a short list.
A Victoria’s Secret store came under fire for banning breast-feeding. After buying $150 worth of lingerie, Ashley Clawson was told she couldn’t feed her crying infant son in one of the dressing rooms; an employee helpfully directed her to an alley outside the store. Clawson felt this was sadly ironic for a company dedicated to “celebrating women’s bodies” and said the attitude conveyed was, “if you are a mom you don’t have a right to feel sexy.” Or perhaps the type of women’s bodies they celebrate (and the way they celebrate them) undermines the notion that women’s bodies should be valued for anything other than their sexual appeal to men.
An Albany man was convicted of murdering his wife because she was not sufficiently supportive of his new-found interest in Islam. At some point the man apparently took his wife’s cellphone and text-messaged naked pictures of her to all her contacts. One text said: “I’m so evil I tried to contract AIDS and give it to my loving and caring husband.” Another text stated: “I’m sorry everyone but I pretend like I’m a Muslim when in all reality I’m a (prostitute) and I represent Satan.” Seems legit.
Proving craziness does not discriminate (even when people do), two middle-aged men were arrested for attempting to build a portable X-Ray device that shoots radioactive beams at Muslims, as well as N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
70’s pop stars Captain and Tenille announced their divorce this week. They were best known for their song, Love Will Keep us Together. Hmmm. In any case, I best remember the duo for their incredibly profound Muskrat Love. This sublime ballad forever speaks to the deepest and holiest part of my soul:
Such erudation. So sagacity. Such grammar. And besides, without this gem, I would have gone through my teens years never knowing that muskrats dined on bacon and cheese.
I have previously argued that Imagine is the most over-rated song in the history of the universe. Remembering that Muskrat Love actually climbed to Billboard’s number 4 spot, I am now open to reconsidering that.
In other entertainment news, Justin Bieber was arrested Thursday for driving. He had no license, but he did have booze on his breath. Apparently the police like it the other way around. They released his arrest photo yesterday:
Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the most Bible-friendly city in the U.S., knocking Knoxville (winner of last year’s crown) all the way down to tenth. Providence, Rhode Island, comes in dead last (filthy pagans). All this courtesy of the American Bible Society, and no, I have no idea what methodology they used.
Do you ever feel that funerals are just too darn depressing? Too bad you don’t live in Naples, Florida, where a funeral Home has added a wine cellar room where “mourners” can drink and remember their good times with the deceased without the icky corpse harshing the mellow. Seth Minson, General Manager at Hodges Funeral Home in North Naples: “Nobody wants to go to a funeral; nobody wants to stay at a funeral home…They still want to have a party, still want to celebrate and have the means to mourn their loved ones…but they don’t want to do it over a person’s body. For the younger generations that’s become such an old fashion idea.” What are the odds this man attends a Mega-church?
The 85 richest people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion (about half the population). Please read that sentence again.
Pope Francis this week called the internet “a gift from God”. Presumably the Holy Father has never watched the Muskrat Love link above.
Adam Shaw is not impressed with this Pope. In particular, he is not a fan of Francis’ economic views, and the young journalist lectures that the Pope should “bring himself back into conformity with Catholic social teaching and reality”. No, I am not making that up.
The president of the largest Muslim nation in the world admitted this week that he believes in witchcraft. He’s not alone. A 2012 survey by the Pew Forum showed that 69 percent of Indonesian Muslims believe witchcraft is real.
The owners of a Oregon bakery who refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple are facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian: “Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that folks have the right to discriminate,” …“The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate.” Rehabilitate….Rehabilitate…what does that remind me of? Where did I put my copy of Orwell?
Apparently some big football game is coming up next weekend, so maybe a couple NFL links are not out of order. First, the league released the audio from Richard Sherman’s mike yesterday, and seems to vindicate his side of the dispute with Michael Crabtree. Sherman rushed over to the receiver at the end of the game, slapped him on the butt and said “Hell of a game!” twice as he extended a hand. Rather than accepting the handshake, Crabtree shoved his left hand into Sherman’s facemask.
Also, as NFL ratings continue to climb, the league wants to put a team in London. If so, they may need to educate the British announcers, as this video illustrates:
Famous birthdays this week include Edgar Allen Poe, Douglas MacArthur, Ernest Borgnine (real name: Ermes Effron Borgnino), Oral Roberts (what was his mom thinking?), Ray Stevens (73), Wayne Gretzky (52) and Mary Lou Retten (45).