Good thing he doesn’t have to run for re-election. Pope Francis’s approval rating in America has plummeted in the last year. The drop-off has been especially sharp among American conservatives: “This decline may be attributable to the pope’s denouncing of ‘the idolatry of money’ and attributing climate change partially to human activity, along with his passionate focus on income inequality — all issues that are at odds with many conservatives’ beliefs,” Gallup analyst Art Swift wrote Wednesday when the survey was published. But he’s also down 14 percent among liberals.
After hearing the news, Pope Francis sought to shore up his support among Americans by showing off some sick new dance moves while his homie dropped some beat-boxing.
If you’ve ever gone to a movie based on a board game (Battleship) or a child’s toy (Legos, G.I Joe), and caught yourself saying, “ya know, I wish they could make some movies based on even less narrative source material”, then you’re in luck. In a deal near seven figures, Sony Pictures Animation won a three-studio auction for an animated movie pitch centering on the Emoji. Why????
I am really trying not to mention Donald Trump every week. I am really, really trying. But how can I pass up on his answers to questions of faith at the Family Leadership Summit last weekend?
“People are so shocked when they find … out I am Protestant. I am Presbyterian. And I go to church and I love God and I love my church,” he said.
Moderator Frank Luntz asked Trump whether he has ever asked God for forgiveness for his actions. “I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so,” he said. “I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.”
Trump said that while he hasn’t asked God for forgiveness, he does participate in Holy Communion. “When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed,” he said. “I think in terms of ‘let’s go on and let’s make it right.'”
Soooooo many questions. Why does The Donald not bring God into the forgiveness picture? Is it because The Donald doesn’t ask for favors from God, but negotiates with Him? Is “my little cracker” really how they describe the communion elements in his church? And don’t Presbys use grape juice in their communion, not wine? Or does The Donald ferment it the moment he touches it? Is this what he thinks transubstantiation is? The imagination staggers…
UPDATE: After I wrote the above, I came across this interview where Anderson Cooper asked Trump about his rather cavalier attitude towards repentance. Trump’s response: “Why do I have to repent or ask for forgiveness, if I am not making mistakes? I work hard, I’m an honorable person. I employ thousands of persons.” Okay, I think I understand now…
So, it has come to this…
Did you hear there is a lion loose in Milwaukee? Well, maybe at least. Hard evidence has been hard to find — no hair, paw prints, feces or Tin Man-type accomplices — but police say they have received two dozen calls from residents who claim to have seen the big cat. And On Monday a woman took blurry cellphone video of a large feline on E. Garfield Ave. Sadly one resident shot a white pit bull Wednesday, thinking it was the lion. “It’s ludicrous. It’s not tall and not anywhere near the size of a lion,” said Karen Sparapani, director of the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission. Fortunately, the dog is expected to make a full recovery.
As you may have noticed, Hillary Clinton is a woman. But lest you labor under the misapprehension that her presidential campaign is based on her gender, rather than her policies or character or decisions as a public figure, prepare to be set straight: “Clearly, I’m not asking people to vote for me simply because I’m a woman. I’m asking people to vote for me on the merits. And I think one of the merits is: I am a woman, and can bring those views and perspectives to the White House.” Okay, then.
For some reason, this makes me giddy:
Our good friend Pat Robertson has some advice for President Obama. The prez is visiting Kenya this weekend. Reflecting on Kenya’s criminalization of homosexual sex (with up to 14 years in the slammer), and the warnings from an Kenyan Bishop that “Obama has an agenda against God”, Robertson said, “One wishes that the president of the United States would listen to some of his fellow Africans, cousins, to what they have to say because they speak truth and they speak wisdom.”
Ben Carson was asked this week about Obama’s support of Planned Parenthood. “You wonder if he actually knows the history of Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger, who was trying to eliminate black people,” Carson replied. “That was the whole purpose of it.” That is obviously political hyperbole. But founder Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist, who constantly talked about the need to keep “inferior” types from breeding, even if she did not specify the nature of their inferiority. “[We should] apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.” “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” And then there’s this:
She even presented at a Ku Klux Klan rally in 1926 in Silver Lake, N.J. She recounted this event in her autobiography: “I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan … I saw through the door dim figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses … I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak … In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered” (Margaret Sanger, “An Autobiography,” Page 366). That she generated enthusiasm among some of America’s leading racists says something about the content and tone of her remarks.
So here is a question worthy of discussion: is it hypocritical to decry the Confederate legacy and demand its flag be removed while many on the left, including Hillary, give accolades to Margaret Sanger?
You know, it’s so sad when religious leaders cash in:
On his “WallBuilders Live” radio program today, Barton took a question from a listener on the controversy over the Confederate flag and the idea that the Civil War was really fought over the principle of states’ rights and not the issue of slavery.
“It was not about states’ rights,” Barton said. “It was about slavery.” As Barton explained, the documents written and speeches given by those who supported secession regularly cited the preservation of slavery as the primary factor. The idea that the Civil War was fought to protect states’ rights, Barton said, is absurd considering that the Confederate constitution explicitly prohibited states from abolishing slavery.
Barton went on to liken Confederate prisoner of war camps for Union soldiers to Nazi death camps as he revealed that of all the official prayer proclamations that he collects for this library, he will not accept any Confederate proclamations from the likes of Jefferson Davis “because what they were praying for to God is like ISIS praying.”
“Look at the pictures, read the accounts,” Barton said. “Read what happened to blacks, read the hearings in Congress on the various things that were done to blacks. It’s not human. It’s what Germans did to Jews, saying ‘Well, they aren’t human, we can do this to them.'”
Hafvsbard, Norway, has a pooper problem. At least, it’s a problem if you’re a golfer. Kenneth Tennfjord, groundskeeper at the Stavanger Golf Club, said he has been finding human feces and toilet paper in course holes since 2005. “He has a couple of favorite holes,” Tennfjord told the Rogaland Avis newspaper. “And we know it is a man because the poos are too massive to be from a woman.” Well, that narrows it down.
On Sunday, Australian champion surfer Mick Fanning was competing in the finals of the J-Bay Open tournament in South Africa when a shark surfaced next to him. Fanning fought the shark until it swam away.
A boat came by and picked Fanning up, unharmed. The whole incident left the shark feeling sad and misunderstood.
Ashley Madison is a website dedicated to promoting adultery. Their slogan: “Life is short. Have an affair”. They also boast they have “over 37 million anonymous users.” Well, scratch the anonymous part. A hacker broke into their database and has started to out those users.
Well, that’s it for this week. Let’s end with a video. This week Theodore Bikel, who played Teyve in the broadway version of Fiddler on the Roof , died. In his honor, here is the opening number from the movie version. Enjoy.