August 1, 2014

Saturday Ramblings, May 24, 2014

Football Temples, 4,000 year old dinosaurs, The Church of Beyonce, and the return of the firing squad. Happy weekend, fellow imonkers.

Did you know that in the history of the International Religious Freedom Act, there is only one person ever banned from entering the U.S.? His name: Narendra Modi. His occupation: He was just elected prime minister of India in the largest democratic election in history of the world. Problem?

The Minnesota Vikings unveiled their new cathedral, I mean, stadium design last week.  I thought it was a mega-church till I saw the Adrian Peterson icon. BoGtlmuIcAAgaHF

Speaking of American religion, a new survey finds that there are more  people in the U.S. who say they never go to church than those that claim to go weekly.  At least, that’s what they say when they’re not being asked by another person. The survey found  many people, Christians and unbelievers both, will exaggerate about attending worship in live phone interviews. However, when asked in an anonymous online questionnaire, people will answer more realistically. On the phone, 36 percent of Americans report attending religious services weekly or more, while 30 percent say they seldom or never go. But online, a smaller share (31 percent) of people surveyed said they attended church at least weekly, while a larger portion (43 percent) admitted they seldom or never go.  The study also compared actual attendance with claimed attendance in previous polls, and found this result: “Actual church attendance was about half the rate indicated by national public opinion polls.”

Last week we reported on the startling number of people around the world who agree with anti-Semitic stereotypes.  Some of us wondered why these stereotypes are still around and so pervasive.  Thankfully, we have the “rapper” Macklemore (the performer of the “Same Love” pabulum so adored at the last Grammies) to illustrate the problem:  Bn92dukCMAEYdeVThat’s right, Mackelmore donned this fake schnooz, a wig and beard to grace his audience with the profundity of a song called, “Thrift Shop”.  Oh my.  The really sad thing is that the audience apparently had absolutely zero problem with this.  But as pictures surfaced, the tweets began.  My favorite was from Seth Rogen: “Hey Macklemore, first you trick people into thinking you’re a rapper, now you trick them into thinking you’re Jewish?” And what was the rapper’s response: “A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody.”  Oh, I see.  You just … randomly threw some random items together from the random prop store for your random costume.   You had absolutely no idea how anyone could possibly interpret this random randomness as some sort of stereotype.  Obviously, the only way someone could call you anti-Semitic when  you perform a song called Thrift Shop while looking and dancing like this:"Spectacle: The Music Video" Exhibition Openingis if they were stupid enough to read some symbolism into your innocent and totally random collection of props. Wait….Is that really your story here?  I realize your fans may not be the brightest tools in the shed, but c’mon, man.  Give the rest of us a little credit.jolson By the way, just in case you don’t feel sufficiently insulted and depressed yet, you can find the lyrics to Thrift Shop here. Enjoy.

The story of the almost 300 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram is heart-breaking and on-going.  It’s not clear if the militaries from either Nigeria or some western country will go after the kidnappers.  But a group of spiritual hunters is already on the trail.

beyonc+qFirst we had Yeezianity. Now we have the Church of Bey.  That’s right: a new religion dedicated to worshipping Beyoncé.  Apparently some 200 women (and no men so far) meet together to hear founder Pauline Andrews read from the Beyble.  But Andrews is a little bummed that more have not seen the light.  “We are very disappointed in the failure of the public to recognize the existence of a divine Deity walking among them. Deity’s often walk the Earth in their flesh form. Beyoncé will transcend back to the spirit once her work here on Mother Earth has been completed.”

A Republican congressional candidate in Arizona said during a primary debate Saturday that the vast majority of mass shootings in the United States are committed by Democrats. Full quote from Gary Kiehne: “If you look at all the fiascos that have occurred, 99 percent of them have been by Democrats pulling their guns out and shooting people. So I don’t think you have a problem with the Republicans.”  Mr. Kiehne did not specify the [no doubt quite rigorous]  methodology he used to make this sociological claim.

So a wax museum is making a figure of Mick Jagger.  Because apparently his real face isn’t scary enough.pc-140513-building-jagger-mn-831_cfe7a4762971e01aae8e29ab0faf43cc.nbcnews-ux-600-400A billboard in Mobile was removed last week, after a few protests.  What was its message? secede-billboard Minnesota became the first state to ban anti-bacterial soap.  It won’t be the last.

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary stirred up some controversy among its fans by admitting its first Muslim student.

Chaplain Mike’s favorite educational institute, the Creation Museum, has a new display: a 30 foot Allosaurus.  Most scientists would date the Allosauros as having lived about 150 million years ago.  The Creation Museum differs slightly on this: they date it at 4,300 years ago, and say it died in Noah’s flood.noahs-ark-and-the-dinosaursThe death penalty has received a lot of attention lately, especially after Oklahoma’s recent botched lethal injection.  The problem is a shortages of available drugs for lethal injections, which is leading some states to consider alternative drugs. Or, a state could just avoid the whole mess and go old school.  Which is exactly what Wyoming and Utah are considering.  Lawmakers in those two states are debating bringing back firing squads for capital crimes.  Wow.

The Bus War is continuing in Washington, D.C.  After a pro-Palestinian group bought anti-Israeli ads on public buses, a pro-Israel group responded with an ad of it’s own: Pro-Israel-AFDI-DC-revise-copy-1024x220-807x173I didn’t run across any great videos this week, but I did run across a photographic technique I had not seen before: time-stacking.  It’s something of a cross between a long exposure photo and a time elapsed video.  You can see one man’s use of it here, but I thought I would post a few of his shots also: 0fa24030139179c7c80b4b639ae433f8 (2)

smeared-sky-photography-matt-molloy-45

Comments

  1. JoanieD says:

    I went and read the lyrics to Thrift Store. The Grammys show must have been blipping words out through the entire song.

    • One benefit of being hearing impaired is that most lyrics to songs are not intelligible. Thanks for ruining what I thought was a clever Hip Hop/Rap song with a hook! Now I can’t listen to it because I know what it’s saying.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      As I used to say in those comment threads on old Usenet:

      “There are 50,000 words in English other than F*** and You. You might want to expand your vocabulary.”

  2. The Metrodome is better.

  3. I don’t really have a problem with SWBTS admitting a non-Christian student. But it certainly shows where Paige Patterson’s priorities are when all he has to say is, “the student agreed to follow our lifestyle covenant.” No drinking, no smoking, are all that matters. Fundamentalism strikes again!

    • Paving the way for…what? A one world religion? Does it matter to the officials what ELSE that student holds true? Where does Christian revelation come in? Grace? Forgiveness? They are no part of Muslim theology.

    • They need to decide if they are a seminary or what. Especially since some of the education is underwritten by the convention. I’m sure there are PLENTY of “bapdis” that have a problem funding a muslim student.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      And when it comes to Public Morality and Following the Rules, Islam will always have an advantage over us.

    • What i meant to say is that, if you read the article, it is clear that the student was NOT admitted to a program that would prepare him for ministry in any way. He is in an archaeology degree program, strictly academic, not something that would require him to be a Christian.

      The funding by churches and the SBC is another issue which I do understand why some would be upset by that.

      Unfortunately, the president of the seminary seems to believe that behavior and drawing boundaries between “Christians” and “the world” is more important than, you know, accepting God’s grace that forgives ALL sins and following Christ.

      • He’s an archaeology student? Well, that explains everything then. There might be some problems and cognitive dissonance for certain kinds of Muslim studying archaeology when it comes to dating rocks or finding 10,000 year-old houses, just as there are for certain kinds of Baptist. Could it be that this student was looking for an education that would be less likely to challenge certain cherished beliefs?

    • A good Muslim student may find the rules of SWBTS to be refreshingly lenient.

  4. Robert F says:

    ” Lawmakers in those two states are debating bringing back firing squads for capital crimes.”

    Who said you can’t go home again?

  5. Robert F says:

    Regarding that “SECEDE” billboard:

    “Oh, Mama, can this really be the end?
    To be stuck inside of Mobile
    with the Memphis blues again..”

    • Not “secede” but “recede” from Mobile to Memphis. It’s Dylan’s birthday, by the way. 73.

      • Damaris says:

        Here’s a great tribute in honor of the auspicious day!
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUQDzj6R3p4

        • It’s disrespectful, but it’s better than Dylan’s original version.

          I didn’t know there were so many palindromes out there.

      • Robert F says:

        I would’ve sent him a birthday card, “but the post office has been stolen, and the mailbox is locked….”

        • I bought him a bottle of gin (the railroad kind) but ended up drinking it myself. Like a fool, though, I mixed it with Texas medicine and it strangled up my mind.

          Now people just get uglier, and I have no, uh, sense of… time.

          • Robert F says:

            “Now the bricks they fall on Grand Street
            where the neon madmen climb.
            They all fall there so perfectly,
            it all seems so well timed.
            And here I sit so patiently,
            waiting to find out what price
            you have to pay to get out of
            going through all these things twice.
            Oh, Mama, can this really be the end?
            To be stuck inside of Mobile
            with the Memphis blues again..”

          • A truly great song. Too long for commercial radio, though.

  6. Robert F says:

    “Chaplain Mike’s favorite educational institute, the Creation Museum, has a new display: a 30 foot Allosaurus. Most scientists would date the Allosauros as having lived about 150 million years ago. The Creation Museum differs slightly on this: they date it at 4,300 years ago, and say it died in Noah’s flood.”

    Actually, the world was created only fifteen minutes ago.

    • I agree about the fifteen minutes, but here at Ruby Ridge, we’re still waiting for solid, rational reasons why people who want secession should not be free to secede, and why the firing squad should not be used when people need executing.

      • Robert F says:

        It’s amazing that you don’t see the historical irony involved in calling for secession in states like Alabama, where the last time such a secession was undertaken was in support of a racist tyranny that horrifically oppressed and enslaved an ethnic minority within its boundaries.

        As to the firing squad, you don’t have to worry about that: in your rebel republic, lynchings will be done right out in the open in the street. You don’t need no stinking due process.

      • From the secessionists’ web site:

        “If the South is going to survive, especially against a flood tide of massive Third World immigration and leftist attempts to destroy her very cultural and political foundations, she is going to have to seek her independence and govern herself.”

        “Again, our objective is a free and independent South that will be a homeland for a distinct, historic people–Southerners.”

        Two thoughts occur to this Georgian:

        1) I’ll believe secessionists are serious when they have a billboard that shows an American flag being burnt.
        2) Individual secession is called “emigration” and avoids the difficulties of dragging non-secessionists along for the ride.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          “If the South is going to survive, especially against a flood tide of massive Third World immigration and leftist attempts to destroy her very cultural and political foundations, she is going to have to seek her independence and govern herself.”

          “Again, our objective is a free and independent South that will be a homeland for a distinct, historic people–Southerners.”

          Didn’t they try this back in 1861-65?
          And didn’t this “distinct historic people” include distinct historic property rights?
          Specifically, Animate/”Nigra” Property?
          As Chaplain Dabny’s long gone, better import Chaplain WIlson from his “Kirk” compound in Moscow, ID to secure God’s Blessing….

  7. On the subject of telephone vs. internet polling: Part of the difference, perhaps not all, has to do with the medium being used. It is still possible to reach people by phone that do not have access to the internet. If so, you are probably talking to folks in rural areas of the country (not every place has internet yet, even in America) or else the elderly. I don’t mean great-granny in the nursing home, I mean adults in their 60′s and up that don’t have a computer and don’t want one. Or use a desktop computer but never go online for any reason. In either case, the country living or older Americans you reach by phone are more likely to attend church – or to claim they do – than their younger more well-connected counterparts.

    • Clark,

      Interesting. This point actually goes back to one of the earliest Presidential polls. One of the major magazines (The Atlantic Monthly or Harper’s, probably) conducted a telephone poll shortly before the 1936 election. It appeared that Roosevelt would lose his bid for a second term based on the poll’s results. When the election returns came in a few days later, however, it became clear that what was wrong with the poll was that financially distressed Americans were simply less likely to own a phone but more likely to vote for New Deal politicians.

      I’m sure there’s a difference in attendance by age bracket, but I wonder how big the difference between rural and non-rural actually is and whether the fact that we’re 85% urban wouldn’t swamp the overall stats anyway.

      • The same phone phenomenon has happened in the past couple of elections. Pollsters who call numbers from the phone book reach only people who have land lines. But an increasing amount of people, particularly young people, have only cell phones, and young people typically vote more to the left of their parents and grandparents.

    • This is what I thought, too. The demographic of “has a real phone and is home to answer it” is very, very different from a web poll demographic. I think what they found out is people who are a little more traditional and old fashioned are more likely to attend church than those who aren’t. That doesn’t divide strictly on age – I am in the former category in my 30′s, but I can easily see is doing so generally.

  8. Enough with Beyonce and JayZ! Her voice is less than stellar, and the way she pimps her body reminds me of some gals I have seen on the main street near a military base. I don’t listen to their music but cannot escape it in today’s cultural scene. UGH!

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      And this time next year Beyonce will be just another has-been, replaced by another body-pimping CELEBRITY(TM).

  9. dumb ox says:

    “Mr. Kiehne did not specify the [no doubt quite rigorous] methodology he used to make this sociological claim.”

    Yes, but now that he said it, and if Fox News reported it, it is true.

    • cermak_rd says:

      I think a truer statement than the one made by Mr. Kiehne is that most of the mass shootings in this country have been made by folks who are mentally ill. Including, according to the current evidence, the one just occurred in Isla Vista.

      Our modern world needs to figure out how to identify people who are mentally ill and dangerous and when claims of patient autonomy are outweighed by the concern of public safety. It’s a delicate balance. To heavily one way and you have folks who have never harmed anyone in custody forever for no good reason. To heavily the other way and you have mass shooting tragedies.

      We also need to figure out why it is (or even if it is) that the US has a bigger problem with this than the rest of the world.

      • Suzanne says:

        “We also need to figure out why it is (or even if it is) that the US has a bigger problem with this than the rest of the world.”– Isn’t it partly because we have way more guns in circulation than most of the industrialized world?

        • cermak_rd says:

          I’m not sure. Canada has a lot of guns, too. And I don’t hear a lot of stories about knife wielding assailants in Europe. So if they have dangerous, mentally ill people, they are either treating them more effectively or possibly using repressive measures.

          • Well, it’s a far less populous country, but clearly that’s not the only reason…

            I don’t think Canadians are especially keen to embrace a gun-toting Wild West image, unlike many of us.

      • Damaris says:

        Excellent points, cermak_rd

  10. dumb ox says:

    As long as we can annex Muscle Shoals, let them go.

  11. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    In the words of the Grateful Dead:

    “WHAT A LONG STRANGE TRIP IT’S BEEN…”

  12. Most scientists would date the Allosauros as having lived about 150 million years ago. The Creation Museum differs slightly on this: they date it at 4,300 years ago, and say it died in Noah’s flood.

    But, if they’re saying that it died in Noah’s flood, what does that say about their belief in the inerrancy of scripture? The Bible says (Genesis 7) that God commanded Noah to take seven pairs of the clean animals, and a pair of the animals that are not clean.

    I suppose the Allosauruses could have died after they boarded the Ark, but would that mean that God made a mistake? Or that his will was thwarted?

    NOTE: The inspiration and authority of the [inerrant, and literally-interpreted] Bible IS what young-earth creationism, and Ken Ham, are all about. So let’s hold them to it.

    • Daniel Jepsen says:

      Yeah, I was wondering the same thing, Ted

    • I’m pretty sure I know how they’d answer that one: Of course, to of these were on board the ark. They didn’t survive long after the flood since, being carnivores, there was a shortage of food. So the flood killed all but 2, who went extinct shortly thereafter.

    • Rick Ro. says:

      Very good point, Ted.

    • conanthepunctual says:

      Not saying this is Ham’s take, but the most amusing response I’ve heard to that question by a literalist is that dinosaurs were not animals but physical manifestations of demons and therefore part of the point of the flood was their destruction.

      • I haven’t heard that one, but I’m not surprised.

        One of the “proofs” that dinosaurs and humans co-existed (or co-exist, present tense) is the photo taken by Christian Spurling (probably a distant cousin of mine) of the Loch Ness monster. He admitted toward the end of his life that it was a prank, but it’s still in textbooks published by ACE (Accelerated Christian Education).
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/loch-ness-monster-real-in-biology-textbook/2012/06/26/gJQAPhwr4V_blog.html

        I have also heard Ken Ham in a video say that he believes that the legends of dragons come from human memories of dinosaurs. Well, that could be. But it’s not really science.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          I heard that one.

          Years ago, in Kooks: a Guide to the Outer Limits of Human Belief by Donna Kossy. Specifically, the entry “The Devil is a Dinosaur” in the “Religion” section. (Just search “kooks donna kossy” on Amazon for it.)

  13. Those “time-stacked” photos are just awesome!

  14. If Macklemore really wanted us to not recognize him he should have dressed like Ryan Lewis.