Happy May, fellow imonkers. First, a quick baseball update (Chaplain Mike loves baseball updates): As of Friday, the Chicago Cubs have played 26 games (out of a 162 game schedule) and are only 9.5 games behind first place. If my math is correct (highly unlikely) this means that at this pace they will only be 59 games out of first place at season’s end. Is that a record? I think it should be a record. Please be a record.
It’s hard to argue with the statement that the holocaust was, “the most heinous crime in modern human history”. But the source of the quote is surprising: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The National Day of Prayer was Thursday. The main event, held at the Capital in Washington, was billed as a non-partisan prayer gathering. James Dobson used the occasion to call Obama, “The Abortion President”.
The principal thought it would be a good idea for students to say the pledge of allegiance in Arabic. Very inclusive, right? What could go wrong? Oh, maybe the “under Allah” part. Yeah, maybe that part could annoy a few parents. Possibly.
The new Godzilla movie comes out this month. It’s always a little risky rebooting a classic. And some Japanese are criticizing the movie for making Godzilla “too fat”. I think he’s just big-boned. In any case, if the movie does well (read: makes bank) expect more, many more to come. Updates on recent racists: ABC reported this week that Clive Bundy is a Mormon patriarch of a family with over 50 grandchildren. F. Glenn Miller Jr., the white supremacist who killed three people outside Jewish centers in Kansas a couple weeks ago, was caught in the mid-1980s in a car with a black male prostitute dressed as a woman, a former federal prosecutor said. And after Donald Sterling gets booted out of the NBA owner’s club for his hypocritical, plantation-like remarks about African Americans, Oprah Winfrey will try to buy the Clippers. I would love to see the Clippers with an African-American owner, wouldn’t you? You know, after my initial glee over Sterling’s fate, a question began to haunt me: Should people be punished for something said while being secretly recorded in their own home? Granted, I can’t work up much sympathy for the man. But is this a slippery slope? Would it be just if it happened to you? Your thoughts?
Speaking of Oprah, her network will launch The Rob Bell Show later this year. Bell: “We want to talk about the things that matter most. We want to talk about our brokenness and our struggle. We want to be inspired. We want to hear stories. I want to take elements of this, what you’re experiencing here. I want to put it all in a blender, and throw in a little Lost, maybe some TED Talk and maybe some Letterman and do something that’s never been done before.” Click here to get tickets.
And did you know that The Shack is being turned into a 30 million dollar movie? And apparently Oprah will play God? Well, she is used to being worshipped. I personally loved The Shack. I thought it was the best portrayal of theological truth in a modern novel that I have read. But I’m not sure how well it will fare as a movie. Your thoughts?
J.D. Winteregg is a Tea Party candidate challenging John Boehner in the 8th District north of Cincinnati. He is also an adjunct professor at Cedarville University. At least until his latest video ad came out. The one that parodied a Cialis commercial. The one that warned that “electile dysfunction” could cause dis-coloration of skin (as it panned to an Obama image), and featured the line, “If you have a Boehner lasting longer than 23 years, seek immediate help”. Yeah, who knew that would get you fired from a conservative Baptist college?
“The [whale] skin is starting to lose its integrity and if someone were to walk along, say, the chin — that is full of all that gas — they could fall in the whale. The insides will be liquefied. Retrieving them would be very difficult. I have fallen through the side of a whale up to my chest. It’s not very nice.” This pleasant imagery is from Jack Lawson, a scientist affiliated with the Canadian fisheries department in an Atlantic article entitled, “A Brief History of Exploding Whales”. He was talking about the carcass of a Blue Whale (largest animal on earth) that beached itself near a town in Newfoundland this week. It has already swollen to twice its size as methane gas builds up inside, and locals are worried it will soon explode. You can check the progress here: HasTheWhaleExplodedYet.com.
The cast of the upcoming Star Wars movie was announced this week. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher will reprise their original roles for Episode VII, set 30 years after Return of the Jedi. Peter Meyhew will return as Chewbacca’s while Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker return as robots C-3PO and R2-D2 respectively. Is this a good or bad thing?
England’s Prime Minister David Cameron took a lot of heat for saying people in Britain should be confident of its status as “a Christian country”. Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams disagreed with the Cameron, saying England is now a “post-Christian” country and that the era of widespread worship was over.
Update on the Jesus’ Wife papyrus fragment: apparently it’s a fake after all.
Global poverty is in decline. But no-one will believe it. In the past 30 years, the percentage of people in the world who live in extreme poverty has decreased by more than half. But 84% of Americans had no idea so much progress has been made. In fact, 67% thought poverty levels were rising. Despite this good news, more than two-thirds of US adults (68%) say they do not believe it’s possible to end extreme global poverty within the next 25 years.
Kenya is about 82% Christian, so it is somewhat surprising to see that it just made polygamy legal. And Brunei this week becomes the first East Asian country to introduce Sharia law; Malaysia and Indonesia may follow suit. Theft and alcohol consumption will be punishable by whipping and amputations, and the death penalty, including by stoning, will be introduced for offences including adultery, sodomy and insulting the Koran or the Prophet Muhammad. Most of the laws will also apply to non-Muslims.
A remake of Ben Hur is in the works, with Roma Downey and her husband set to produce. And next year will see a 50 million dollar movie on David and Goliath, which, the producer promises, will be “biblically accurate in every way”.
Odd headline of the week: Spanish government to face court after police award given to the Virgin Mary. Spain’s interior minister, Jorge Fernández Díaz, lauded the Virgin and her congregation for “maintaining a close collaboration with police, particularly during the acts celebrated in Holy Week, and for sharing police values such as dedication, caring, solidarity and sacrifice”. He intends to give the physical award to an icon of the Virgin Mary in Málaga. The Gold Medal of Police Merit is normally reserved for police who have died in terrorist attacks. Shockingly, secularist groups are not happy, and are bringing the case to court.
Sarah Palin spoke at the NRA convention Sunday in Indianapolis. Her speech was…let me see if I can put this gently….Her speech was intellectually vacuous, morally offensive, ethically challenged, divisive, and made Archie Bunker sound like Abraham Lincoln. That’s about as gentle as I can make it, I’m afraid. “They [terrorism suspects] obviously have information on plots to carry out Jihad. Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.” Andrew Sullivan comments: : “A Christian who can equate the sacrament of baptism with a barbaric form of torture is not a Christian, whatever self-righteous blather she emits. And a former vice-presidential candidate who talks of “baptizing” Muslim terror suspects through waterboarding is handing al Qaeda a propaganda coup on a platter.” Palin also went after Joe Biden’s advice to scare off attackers with a warning shot. Palin: “Just aim up in the air – that was his directive, his advice. Well, fine, Joe Squirt Gun, if your rapist is a bird.” And: “Do you know why those clownish little Kumbaya-humming, fairytale-inhaling liberals want to be tough all of a sudden and control your guns? It’s ‘cuz guys like Al Franken and Harry Reid, they are not satisfied with just taking your money and your job, your truck and your property and your rights, your healthcare – they didn’t want to just stop at that.”
Finally, since I just referenced Archie Bunker, I thought we should end with Archie’s discussion about Christians versus Catholics: