Hello fellow imonkers. I hope you are enjoying your Saturday. The last few weeks I have poked fun at Chaplain Mike’s fandom of the Chicago Cubs. But since I respect Mike more highly than almost anyone I know, I have vowed to lay off.
For a week.
Did you know that one-fourth of American Hispanics are former Roman Catholics? This from the latest Pew Study. Where are they going? Some became Protestants, but even more have turned away from Christianity altogether.
Academia is all about diversity these days, and Harvard is no exception. The Cultural Studies Club there is hosting a Shinto tea ceremony, a Shaker exhibition, a Buddhist presentation on meditation, and a Satanic Mass. Wait…what??? Looks like veritas has given way to inclūsiō.
Speaking of veritas, did you know that the Veritas Forum has an incredible number of debates and lectures for thinking Christians? Good stuff.
Ever had neighbor problems? Ana Maria Moreta Folch did. The Floridian really did not like the “unsavory” folks in the trailer next door. So what did she do? Talk out her issues peacefully over pecan pie? Seek mediation with the help of others? Pretend to own their trailer and have it bulldozed? Bingo.
An English man went into the hospital for minor procedure this week. He left with an accidental vasectomy. Yikes.
Did you know there are more than 100 Christian tv stations in our country, but not one station for atheists? That is about to change. Atheist TV may soon be coming your way. Lest you think this will just be House re-runs, they are planning on highlighting videos from events like the recent Reason Rally. But once they run out of Richard Dawkins’ ad hominems, what will they show? Cosmos? Bones? Benny Hinn highlights? Actually, I don’t think we should be too worried – there is no way that channel will create as many atheists as TBN has.
U.S. Air Force: We’re not afraid of Godzilla. Good to know.
From the AHCD [Absurd Holocaust Comparison Department] comes this beauty from Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield: “Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory signups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of manditory (sic) sign ups for ‘train rides’ for Jews in the 40s.” In a later telephone interview Campfield refused to apologize, and maintained his comparison was apt: “I think Jewish people should be the first to stand up against Obamacare…If government is controlling people’s health insurance, they are potentially controlling people’s lives … letting the government choose who lives and who dies.” Yep. That’s my country.
Then there is the statement by Monte Shaw, an Iowan running for Congress, who equated the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that employers cover contraceptives with forcing people to serve hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis. “Think of the outrage that would be out there if they tried to pass a law that said a Jewish printer had no choice but to print up handbills for a neo-Nazi rally. Or an African-American artist had no choice but had to paint a portrait of the local grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.” Shaw is considered a frontrunner in the Republican primary in Iowa’s third district.
The Chinese government has banned the Noah film for its religious themes.
Odd headline of the week: Naked Man Doing Push-Ups Struck and Killed by Car in Portland.
“Let’s keep Christianity weird”. This quote from Russell Moore, the face of the Southern Baptist Convention, begins First Things’ article on the annual Q conference. Never heard of the Q conference? It is being described as “TED for evangelicals”. “This annual conference has emerged as a favorite watering hole for youngish evangelicals dealing with mixed emotions about the culture wars fought by their theological parents and the parallel subculture in which they were raised…They aren’t fighting to hold on to the vestiges of a ‘Christian America’ but instead are looking for the best ways to be faithful exiles in a post-religious world…”
Different issue, same magazine: “This campaign—and the legislation it has spawned—is not so much about stopping bad behavior as it is about using the machinery of state education to compel children to adopt politically correct attitudes on the nature of human sexuality, gender identity, and alternative family structures.” The author is referring to the Minnesota’s proposed laws about school bullies. “The “Safe Schools” strategy relied, first and foremost, on reframing school bullying in the group-based language of civil rights. Instead of treating all children equally, the legislation inspired by the task force singled out eighteen “protected classes” of students—based on criteria including race, sexual orientation, and “gender identity and expression”—for special attention and protection. At the same time, the task force called for vastly expanding the scope of prohibited student speech and conduct. Instead of targeting bullying defined as a pattern of verbal or physical abuse, it recommended that students be punished for even one word that another student (especially those in protected groups) could claim to find “humiliating” or “offensive,” or that “interferes” with another student’s ability to “participate in a safe and supportive learning environment.” In addition, the regulations proposed by the task force would require schools to police “cyberbullying,” including comments a student writes on his Facebook page.” Wow. I can’t imagine that having any chilling effect of free speech, can you?
First Things also has a long and very informative take on the struggles and triumphs of the Orthodox Church in Russia. Great read if you have the time.
Regular readers know I’m a huge fan of Steve Taylor, who is putting out his first cd in twenty (!!!) years, and supporting it with a tour. How has he aged? Incredibly well. Jesus Freak Hideout, the best site for real (read: not radio-driven crap) Christian music had this to say: “Taylor jumped, danced and moved in ways few singers half his age can or do. His stage presence is engaging and infectious and it felt like Taylor hadn’t missed one beat since taking a break for several years… The man seemed to barely break a sweat all night and didn’t display any wear on his voice despite such an energetic and sometimes frenetic performance. It’s truly mind-blowing.” Michael Tolosa has posted HD videos of the whole concert here, and we will end with this video of The Finish Line: