Oh, the weird shit you find on the internets. To preface this, earlier in the week I quite randomly had a dream that featured the impressively god awful Christian rap group DC Talk (which I wrote about on Facebook, Friend me). In this dream, I was in a classroom where DC Talk showed up to perform. We couldn’t believe our teacher actually thought this was something that we’d find interesting. So we students just mockingly encouraged them all hipster irony style as they did their crappy thing. Didn’t seem like there was a lot of substance to the dream, but upon waking up I realized that the only reason I’d heard of DC Talk in the first place had to do with them being forced on us in Church youth group as a kid. The dream had an incredibly similar vibe. “Hey kids, stop listening to that satanic secular music, these guys are church approved.” Being impressionable and somewhat open to the idea, those of us in the youth group took the tape home and gave it a listen just to discover that, wow, this is the worst rap group ever.… Read the rest
Tag Archives | Christianity
Although there are very few distinguishing characteristics of Jewish people, (e.g. European Jews are almost entirely of European genetic stock with a few distinguishing esoteric alleles) due to the Jewish diaspora across many different regions of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, Jews have traditionally been portrayed in Western art as having large, hooked noses. But does this proscribed depiction reflect actual Jewish features? Not very much. Why?
Elissa Goldstein of Jewcy.com relays the fascinating explanation given by historian Sara Lipton:
… Read the rest
Historian Sara Lipton has penned a fascinating article for the New York Review of Books about the origins of the caricature of the hook-nosed Jew. In ‘The Invention of the Jewish Nose,‘ Lipton, author of Dark Mirror: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Iconography, explains that the image of the Jew with the massive schnoz—the one we know so well from Nazi propaganda, to name just one example—is “far from ‘eternal’” and in fact didn’t exist before 1000 AD.
Editor’s note: To get the full gist of Gilmour’s argument, go to the post on Christian Humanist and read the entire thing.
Nathan P. Gilmour writes at the Christian Humanist:
… Read the rest
I note my own conservative tendencies because, if I am a conservative, I get to indulge my sympathies with long-running, traditioned communities rather than with the so-called “forces of history” (I tend to be more of a personalist when it comes to history–I blame people rather than impersonal forces for bad things that happen). So I resonated with a narrative that often occupies the Homebrewed Christianity podcast, and which got spelled out explicitly in the episode at hand, which goes something like this:
- Once there was a group of people whose way of life stood as the assumed “good” form of life in certain parts of North America.
- At a certain point in history, another group of people, whose military technology was better than the formerly-dominant group, arrived and defeated that group in a series of violent encounters.
Remember the cult killing in a Chinese McDonald’s by members of the Church of the Almighty God? The Economist examines the history of “cults” in China in light of this recent crime.
via The Economist:
… Read the rest
ON AUGUST 21st five members of a banned religious sect known as the Church of the Almighty God went on trial for a murder that has gripped the country. One evening in May, in front of stunned customers at a McDonald’s in the eastern city of Zhaoyuan, in Shandong province, the suspects allegedly beat to death a woman who had refused to give them her phone number.
This is just getting ridiculous. I think these whack-job fundamentalists have simply become parodies of themselves. Do they even believe the hateful rhetoric they spew?
via The Raw Story:
A pastor who uses his Internet platform to teach political lessons based on conservative Christian ideology has proposed a constitutional amendment to punish LGBT people for “ten years in prison at hard labor.”
In a video posted to his PreachingPolitics.com website last month that was flagged by the Good As You blog on Monday, Pastor Michael V. Williams asserts that Christians have been “increasingly tolerant” of gay people over the last 50 years.
“Whereas homosexuality used to be a felony in every state — referred to as sodomy — it has now been decriminalized, and homosexuality is allowed to be openly expressed in public,” he notes. “While Christians are becoming increasingly tolerant of homosexuals, homosexuals are becoming increasingly intolerant of us.”
I guess refusing to give out your phone number makes you a demon.
… Read the rest
China is about to try one of the most notorious murders in recent memory.
In late May a group belonging to a banned cult beat a woman to death in a fast food restaurant. Her only crime was to refuse to give them her telephone number.
The cult in question is called the Church of the Almighty God and claims to have millions of members.
It was an ordinary evening in a small town McDonald’s in east China until a family of six arrived trying to recruit new members to their Christian cult.
They moved between the tables asking for phone numbers and when one diner refused they beat her to death, screaming at other diners to keep away or they would face the same fate.
A thought provoking essay from Jeremy Gilbert on how the confines of “Liberal Individualism” and “Authoritarian Collectivism” stifle true democracy.
Jeremy Gilbert writes at the P2P Foundation:
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The defining conflict of our times appears to some to be that between ‘Islam’ and ‘the West’. It hardly needs spelling out just what a misleading formulation this is: both crudely simplifying and mischievously divisive. Neither ‘the West’ nor ‘Islam’ are coherent entities, and the flashpoints between them are as much the symptoms of their respective internal conflicts as anything else. Bush’s aim, on one level, was always to beat the Democrats before anything else, just as Hamas’s struggle is often against Fatah as much as it is against Israel. But the ‘Clash of Civilizations’ (the title of a notorious essay by neocon ideologist Samuel Huntington) is a problematic myth not only for these reasons, but also because it obscures a more fundamental conflict for which it is at times a metonym and at other times just a mask.
Well, if you consider two months ago “new” fake news. From Sirialbano, translated by Mary Rizzo, at We Write What We Like:
… Read the rest
They were not Christians, they were Muslims. They were not killed by means of crucifixion, but their already lifeless bodies were exhibited in that barbarian manner. The crime is ghastly, no matter what religious denomination the victims belong to. And yet it “news” of “Christians crucified in Syria” went viral in the western media, in particular in the major Italian news media.
The two major Italian newspapers Il Corriere della Sera (above) and La Repubblica (below) dedicated a great amount of space to it, bring attention to the “news” on the first page accompanied by photographs of “a man crucified in Maalula”, the small Christian small town near Damascus.
To push the directors and the heads writers towards a similar editorial choice has no doubt been the statement of Pope Francis in the official Vatican site: “I cried when i saw the news“.
God’s Cartoonist, A recently-published documentary I found through weirduniverse.net, details the content and controversy of “Chick tracts,” the widely promulgated 3×5″ evangelical comics that use simple pen and ink illustrations and easily understood stories to promote creator Jack Chick’s fire-and-brimstone brand of evangelical Christianity.
Chick publications claims to have sold 750 million of the tracts since the first ones were released over 50 years ago. If true, this would make Chick the world’s bestselling author: a distinction that can likely be credited to missionaries, churches, and faithful buying them in bulk.
Chick, now aged 90, has only agreed to on interview during the 50-plus years he has been manufacturing his tracts and other related items, and did not sit for an interview with the producers of God’s Cartoonist. He’s probably too busy, anyway: He’s got more tracts to draw – a job he did by himself until 1975 when he brought in another artist to help.… Read the rest
The Gospel of Barnabas contends that Jesus denied his divinity and didn’t die on the cross. Conspiracy theories have revolved around this manuscript for centuries.
… Read the rest
In Amsterdam in 1709, philosopher John Toland set his eyes upon a remarkable manuscript—what he described in Nazarenus as “a Mahometan [i.e., Muslim] Gospel, never before publicly made known among Christians.”
Associated with the apostle Barnabas, the text essentially retold the life of Jesus in terms familiar from the New Testament, but with some major departures. It contended that Jesus denied his divine status; that he had predicted the coming of the prophet Muhammad; and that Judas died in his place on the cross. Combing Christian canon lists and literature, Toland found references to an otherwise unknown “gospel under the name of Barnabas,” and he concluded that this “Gospel of the Mahometans… very probably is in great part that same book.”
For Toland, this was not just another apocryphon. From this “Turkish Gospel being fathr’d upon Barnabas,” he claimed to have been led to recover “the original plan of Christianity” as centered on Jewish-Christian beliefs that “Jesus did not take away or cancel the Jewish Law in any sense whatsoever.”
This, Toland argued, was the very oldest form of Christianity, only it was lost to history when “converts from the Gentiles… did almost wholly subvert” it. On the basis of the Gospel of Barnabas, Toland characterized the most ancient Christianity as harmonious with Islam as well: its account of Jesus, after all, was
perfectly conformable to the traditions of the Mahometans [i.e., Muslims], who maintain that another was crucified in his stead; and that Jesus, slipping thro’ the hands of Jews, preach’d afterwards to his disciples, then was taken to heaven.